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The election isn’t until 2014, but Democratic governor Jerry Brown is already out raising money for his reelection campaign. Recent donors include beer-making giant Anheuser-Busch, with a $25,900 donation on January 28, and the California Academy of Eye Physicians & Surgeons PAC, with $17,500 on February 3. Then there is the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, operator of the famous track here, with $5000 on January 30, and the Thoroughbred Owners of California PAC, with an address in Del Mar, which kicked in $15,000 on February 3.

What makes the timing of the latter two contributions of interest is a recently reported lobbying campaign by the cities of Del Mar and Solana Beach regarding four possible upcoming Brown appointments. As governor, Brown enjoys a big role in shaping the ultimate fate of the racing emporium, and political and horse-racing observers note that controversial plans to sell the state-owned fairgrounds, where the track is located, to the two cities have gone nowhere since Brown became governor.

Now serious jockeying has broken out among the various parties of interest regarding whom Brown should appoint to the 22nd District Agricultural Association board, which that oversees the complex. As the Coast News reported February 2, “[O]fficials in Del Mar and Solana Beach are working to ensure that at least one of those appointments is a resident from their cities, something they feel will result in better representation from the agency that governs the state-owned Del Mar Fairgrounds.” The story went on to quote Del Mar mayor Carl Hilliard as saying Brown seemed in a hurry to make the appointments.

“Hilliard said in December he received two emails in one day from different people telling him his recommendations were needed. He said he also got a voice message from Sonya Logman, [the governor’s] deputy appointments secretary, telling him he should just submit the names verbally.” But Brown spokesman Evan Westrup denied there was a rush. “That was probably just our appointment’s office doing what it does best, which is talking to the candidates and making sure we get the right people in those positions,” Westrup told the paper.

Interviewed by phone earlier this week, Hilliard said there have been no fresh developments and that other gubernatorial appointments have apparently taken precedence over filling the four Del Mar openings. He maintained that the timing of the Thoroughbred association campaign contributions to Brown is likely a coincidence.

In an email, Brown spokesman Westrup said: “We are in the process of identifying and selecting candidates to fill these seats. Our focus is ensuring we fill these vacancies with top-notch candidates. That ultimately dictates the timing of our appointments.”

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Comments

BCayenneBird Feb. 15, 2012 @ 6:10 p.m.

I am certain that there is some special interest at the bottom of donating money to Jerry Brown's campaign. But are people considering that he is the one who passed the determinate sentencing laws when he was governor before that ultimately broke our State? He is a shill for law enforcement labor unions: namely, the prison guard's union CCPOA. He wants to raise taxes so that he can use the money to build more prisons and jails and give law enforcement raises. Stop giving this phony money and please support the campaign Liberals to Recall Jerry Brown so that we can save our state. We will file papers when we have 6500 workers so that we can get a true progressive in that position who is not beholden to prison guards. His cuts to human services and education mean less money will be spent at the race track. Think about what you're doing folks. http://www.facebook.com/LiberalsToRecallJerryBrown

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SurfPuppy619 Feb. 15, 2012 @ 7:52 p.m.

But are people considering that he is the one who passed the determinate sentencing laws when he was governor before that ultimately broke our State == 3 strikes is what broke the system, that was 1994, not Clown's work. And the $200K per year prsiosn guard comp, which Gray Davis did.

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tomjohnston Feb. 15, 2012 @ 9:41 p.m.

I agree with you that 3 strikes put an unbearable load on prison operating costs. But remember, almost 6 million people voted in favor of it; that was something like almost 75% in favor of it. It could be amended by the legislature with a 2/3 vote, but every time an attempt has been made to change it's been shot down.

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SurfPuppy619 Feb. 16, 2012 @ 1:28 a.m.

But remember, almost 6 million people voted in favor of it; that was something like almost 75% in favor of it. == And they all voted for it being based on SERIOUS and VIOLENT felony crimes. Not stealing a slice of pizza or stealing $100 of video tapes from WalMart, both of which were charged, and convicted of, as third strikes resulting in 25-life.

There is simply NO REASON to be putting people in the joint for 25-life over that kind of minor bullshit. Especially when the cost is $50K per year-of which 90% of that $50K goes to the prison guard compensation.

I have no problem putting VIOLENT offenders away for 25-life. But the law is and always has been abused.

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tomjohnston Feb. 16, 2012 @ 8:43 a.m.

"There is simply NO REASON to be putting people in the joint for 25-life over that kind of minor bullshit" I agree. Those, and I include myself among them, who voted in favor of it did so because Wilson made it a huge campaign issue. He practically used the Polly Klass funeral as a campaign event about getting tough on violent crime. There was a father of another child who had been killed by an ex-con. I don't remember the details, but I remember he was the one who started trying to get longer sentences for repeat violent offenders. I think he was even the one who came up with three strikes as a name. But it was the Klass killing that got the ball rolling because all the politicians jumped in. And of course the CCPOA was a major supporter. It was sold as a way to keep serious and violent repeat criminals off the street and that's all any us thought about, including NOT thinking about the long term costs. both societal and financial. And as I said every effort to modify it and correct the inequities in it has been shot down.

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BCayenneBird Feb. 15, 2012 @ 11:49 p.m.

Brown passed the original determinate sentencing laws that overcrowded our prisons and led to the building of the prison guards union. We will have a police state until we recall him. Here is a paper about him admitting that those laws were a failure, during his campaign he promised to work to change those laws. What did he do instead? Give the prison guards hundreds of millions of dollars in raises while cutting education and human services budgets.He's guilty. http://www.law.stanford.edu/program/centers/scjc/workingpapers/SHayes_06.pdf

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SurfPuppy619 Feb. 16, 2012 @ 1:30 a.m.

What did he do instead? Give the prison guards hundreds of millions of dollars in raises while cutting education and human services budgets.He's guilty. ==

I agree, the prison guard union (CCPOA??) have bought and paid for Brown and many others, and I have been beating the drum that public unions are destroying the state and every muni in it. They must be controlled somehow.

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