So-called behesting, the process by which state and local politicians request — and sometimes pressure — lobbyists and other special interests to give money to their favorite charities, is alive and well in San Diego. County supervisor Greg Cox, who easily won his reelection bid outright last week, got Solar Turbines — the Caterpillar Inc. subsidiary with a factory on San Diego Bay — to give $5000 to the American Lung Association, which battles smoking and air pollution. Earlier this year, Solar lawyered up to fight a planned condominium project across the street from the company’s Pacific Highway plant. Ironically, in light of its gift to the Lung Association, Solar opposed the project because it feared that condo residents might complain about air pollution from the facility and convince state regulators to shut it down.
Solar’s February 20 donation went to purchase a table at a fundraising dinner held by the Lung Association, according to a March 1 disclosure document posted online by the registrar of voters. Cox got the Sycuan Casino tribe to buy a $5000 table at the same event. And the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, a public agency that receives the bulk of its money from federal grants, parking and food concessions, and airline-usage fees that are passed on to passengers, also chipped in $5000, Cox reported. The fundraiser, a tribute to Cox, was held last Friday. The Republican supervisor was honored as a member of the nonprofit’s “Clean Air Circle.”…Speaking of county supervisors and food, Cox’s longtime GOP colleague Ron Roberts has become a limited partner in the Brooklyn Girl Eatery, a new restaurant in Mission Hills.
According to his recently filed statement of economic interest, Roberts, who represents the fourth district, acquired his stake, reported to be worth between $10,000 and $100,000, last August 20. Located on the corner of Goldfinch and Fort Stockton, the establishment is run by Victoria McGeath and her husband Michael, veterans of local restaurant ventures, including downtown’s Fio’s and La Jolla’s Trattoria Acqua.
“There is an ‘old-time’ spirit here, a reminder of gentler times where children, families and dogs roamed the streets and enjoyed the simpler pleasures,” Brooklyn Girl’s website says. “We want to create the ‘place’ where one can come in and enjoy a wonderful cup of coffee and a Danish to start their day, to return for a sandwich mid afternoon or refresh with a cocktail early evening.” A Roberts spokesman confirmed the supervisor’s investment but could provide no details.