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Local political consultant Larry Remer, who back in May 2006 pled guilty to a single misdemeanor charge of violating campaign-spending laws after a federal jury deadlocked 10–2 for conviction on a raft of more serious counts, already looks like the big money winner in this year’s Democratic primary season. According to campaign disclosures filed with the California secretary of state, Remer — a Democrat who claimed that Republican U.S. Attorney Carol Lam trumped up the case against him — is working for a Republican-leaning outfit called “Californians for Balance and Fairness in the Civil Justice System, Sponsored by the Civil Justice Association of California.” According to its website, the Civil Justice Association “works to reduce the excessive and unwarranted litigation that increases business and government expenses, discourages innovation, and drives up the cost of goods and services for all Californians.”

The group’s board of directors is packed with big corporate interests, including Anthem Blue Cross of California, Sempra Energy, Allstate Insurance, CNA Insurance, American International Group, Chevron Corporation, General Electric, Intel, ExxonMobil, and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

In March, according to the records, Remer’s Primacy Group received $12,008 in the form of an independent expenditure supporting Juan Vargas’s state senate bid. David Takashima, a former utility-company lobbyist who worked for Democrat Steve Peace when he was in the legislature, got $12,395, also for efforts on behalf of Vargas.

Contributions to the group included $75,000 from the Travelers Indemnity Company on February 10; $50,000 from United Services Automobile Association last December 30; and $50,000 from the California Real Estate Independent Expenditure Committee on January 28. Word from the Sacramento rumor mill has it that the corporations may ultimately spend more than $1 million in their bid to return Vargas to the legislature.

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Comments

Otaytak April 1, 2010 @ 6:05 p.m.

Well---I am mentioned in this article---I am a native Chula Vistan--a graduate of Castle Park High--it's senior class president...a graduate of University of San Diego School of Law....I lived in Chula Vista for over thirty years. Yes, I was a lobbyist for Southern Cal Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric...but I worked for Democratic in the California Legislature for 20 years. My last public service job was with Govenor Gray Davis as the Deputy Director for the Department of Finance.

In fact one of the reasons that I am helping Juan Vargas is that his dad worked on my dad's farm in Otay Valley....

David K. Takashima from Otay Valley

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a2zresource April 2, 2010 @ 4:01 p.m.

Coincidentally, Carol Lam's departure from the local US Attorney's Office came shortly after Sempra Energy's San Diego Gas and Electric Company was indicted in a federal environmental crimes matter in 2006.

Her successor was able to get guilty verdicts by jury in UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. SDG&E in 2007, but the verdicts were tossed out and the re-trial was dismissed when clever lawyering got key APCD, DEH, US EPA and FBI evidence first used in 2007 to be ruled as inadmissible late last year...

It turns out that California NVLAP-compliant results of "50-60%" friable asbestos don't mean what they say when 42 USC 7412(d)(7) gets ignored.

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whitneymankato April 5, 2010 @ 8:45 a.m.

That's weird, David. The only reason you're supporting him is because his dad worked on your dad's farm? And you say it has nothing to do with Steve Peace (your former boss) nor David Malcolm, the dastardly duo of the South Bay that you run with?

Come on. This election is for sale, thanks to Juan Vargas. Last time, he ditched his principles for cash and was handsomely rewarded with a six-figure job in insurance. Even though Vargas was asked, "if you lose this election, will you take a job with insurance?" He swore up and down the aisle that he just wasn't interested and would not take the job no matter what. HE LIED.

Now this time, he's pretty open about his willingness to sell his campaign out to the highest bidder in hopes of getting elected to the state senate so he can, safely, attack Rep. Filner's congressional seat in 2012. Paco wants to be in Congress and he'll sell us all out to try and do just that.

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