Institute of the Americas website features Juan Beckmann.
  • Institute of the Americas website features Juan Beckmann.
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Termed-out GOP state senator Mark Wyland has set up a campaign committee to run for the Board of Equalization and is already picking up big money. Last week he collected $8000 from the California Ambulatory Surgery Association PAC…Just weeks after the prestigious Institute of the Americas on the UCSD campus allowed Jose Cuervo president Juan Francisco Beckmann Vidal to promote his company with a $15-a-ticket tequila tasting aimed at La Jolla’s business and political royalty, the firm has been put on the block. Diageo, the British spirits giant, is talking with the Beckmann family to acquire the brand, reports the New York Times…The annual dinner of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, a stalwart of the downtown business establishment, got a lot of publicity on TV last week with funny videos featuring stand-up cameos by local politicos and journalists. The event’s program was also interesting. Among the underwriters was California Strategies, LLC, the Sacramento lobbying outfit run by ex–Pete Wilson aide Bob White, which picked up the Taxpayers' wine tab. Two years ago the firm got a $280,950 contract from the City-owned Centre City Development Corporation to work on development of a new city hall, deemed by critics a sinkhole for local taxes. Another listed sponsor was San Diego Medical Services, the so-called public-private joint venture between the city of San Diego and Rural/Metro, recently the subject of a scathing report by city auditor Eduardo Luna. Another sponsor, the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, got the association’s Regional Golden Watchdog Award.

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