Forget the deficit, local government agencies continue to lavish tax dollars on representatives in Washington, D.C., to lobby for even more taxpayer cash. In the second quarter of this year, the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority paid $40,000 to McBee Strategic Consulting to advocate its interests, including “legislative issues, Aviation Reauthorization bills, and Executive Branch actions.” The port district anted up $20,000 to Alcalde & Fay to lobby about the “National Marine Highway Program.” The City of San Diego spent $50,000 on Patton Boggs to deal with “High Speed Rail program implementation” and “border port of entry infrastructure.” The San Diego State University Research Foundation paid Carpi, Clay & Smith $50,000 to lobby about the National Defense Authorization Act and language training centers. The San Diego County Water Authority paid the Carpi firm $30,000 to lobby about “Colorado River; Salton Sea; seawater desalination.” Blank Rome Government Relations got $40,000 from the San Diego Association of Governments to handle “work related to transportation appropriations, project funding, and reauthorization of federal surface transportation programs.”
The biggest spender of all was San Diego County, which plunked down $80,000 to Van Scoyoc Associates. Issues included “Flood control generally”; “Workforce investment generally”; and “Native American land management generally.” As reported here last October, Van Scoyoc has close ties to La Jolla–founded defense contractor SAIC, which in 2008 was awarded $4.4 million of earmarks for “battlefield sensor netting and bioterrorism detection systems,” due to the efforts of Florida GOP congressman C.W. “Bill” Young of Florida. SAIC gave Young’s campaign $20,500…. Majestic Realty’s Ed Roski, whose plan to build a football stadium in the City of Industry has triggered panic among San Diego sports buffs and chamber-of-commerce types, contributed a cool $411,350 to state politicos during the first half of this year. Recipients included the state Democratic Party ($100,000); state Democratic senate president pro tem Darrell Steinberg ($3900); and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s officeholder account ($10,000). Last Tuesday, Schwarzenegger named Majestic vice president Fran Inman to the California Transportation Commission, which plays a key role in allotting state and federal funds for freeway and other transportation improvements. The appointment requires confirmation by the state senate.