Government officials say they’re hard up for funds, but most can’t seem to resist spending for lobbying activities. A recently filed disclosure report covering the third quarter of last year shows that District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis attributed $29,466 of special assistant Gail Stewart-Brockman’s salary to her work lobbying the state legislature. Among the Dumanis office’s other lobbying-related expenses was a $258.66 tab at Sacramento’s Citizen Hotel, recently featured on the travel pages of the New York Times; the paper noted that the “designer boutique hotel that is part of California’s Joie de Vivre collection” features “a tented meeting space, gym and the trendy Grange restaurant and Scandal bar.” Another $269.14 was spent at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento. (A photo of a glum Stewart-Brockman on the California secretary of state’s lobbyist website looks like a jail mug shot, in contrast to the beaming faces of most of the other influence peddlers there.)
For its part, the City of San Diego paid $56,000 in the third quarter to the lobbying firm of Sloat, Higgins, Jensen and Associates, for a total of $140,000 year to date. One thousand nine hundred sixty-one dollars was paid to Southwest Airlines.
Sheriff Bill Gore attributed $31,223 of the salary of special assistant Marla Marshall to state lobbying. One thousand eight hundred and sixteen dollars was spent at the Travel Store in Sacramento, no details provided. The County of San Diego spent a total of $100,083 for two lobbying outfits, $67,473 on Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Mueller and Naylor and $32,610 on Carpi and Clay.
The San Diego County Water Authority spent a total of $84,000 for the services of three lobbying firms and paid an additional $23.97 to take California’s secretary for natural resources Mike Chrisman out to lunch.