Ex-captain Wade Sanders (left) copped a guilty plea to child pornography charges and was stripped of his Silver Star by Navy secretary Ray Mabus (right)
  • Ex-captain Wade Sanders (left) copped a guilty plea to child pornography charges and was stripped of his Silver Star by Navy secretary Ray Mabus (right)

Word last week that Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus had stripped ex-captain and swift-boat veteran Wade Sanders of his Silver Star rekindled the memories of political watchers about the brief Democratic primary campaign for Congress that Sanders ran back in 2000. Now serving a 37-month federal prison term as a result of having copped a guilty plea to child-pornography charges, Sanders was at one time admired by wealthy San Diego Democrats, some of whom contributed to his campaign and continue to grease the financial wheels of the city’s politics.

Take the case of retired banker and financier Murray Galinson, who gave Sanders $1000 in February 2000. These days, Galinson is backing District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis for mayor. C. Hugh Friedman, husband of ex-congresswoman Lynn Schenk, currently being touted by Dumanis as an example of the Republican D.A.’s bipartisan support, also gave Sanders $1000. “I”m honored to receive Lynn’s support,” Dumanis said in a news release. “She’s established a number of ‘firsts’ in her career, and I admire her dedication and leadership on the issues that are important to San Diegans.”

Among nationally famous names on the list of Sanders’s $1000 contributors were Democratic senator John Kerry, his wife Teresa Heinz, and the late chief of naval operations during the Vietnam era, Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr. Other locals on the list of 150 who contributed included retired South Bay publisher Lowell Blankfort, attorney Michael Thorsnes, the late real estate mogul Stanley Foster, developer Barry McComic, and Golden Door founder Deborah Szekely…On June 29, Democratic assemblywoman Toni Atkins picked up $1000 from Advance America, a Spartanburg, South Carolina outfit that runs so-called payday lending storefronts around the country; critics accuse the operations of taking advantage of the poor, who are required to live from payday to payday, but hard times have created a big demand for the service. The price of Advance America’s stock has doubled over the past year; on Monday it was trading at $7.62.

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