San Diego’s richest man, La Jolla billionaire Irwin Jacobs, who last year gave more than a million dollars to advance the fortunes of his favorite president, Democrat Barack Obama, is already preparing to help elect his successor. Federal campaign disclosure records show that on June 22 the Qualcomm founder along with his wife Joan gave a total of $50,000 to the Ready for Hillary PAC, promoting the presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton, the former first lady and secretary of state who is said to be exploring launching her second bid for the nation’s highest office. Despite major money from Jacobs and other political high-rollers, the outfit is touting its “grass roots” funding, with Adam Parkhomenko, the group’s executive director, telling Agence France-Presse, “We have turned away seven-figure checks.” According to the PAC’s website, “Every day, thousands more people are joining this movement, signing the petition encouraging Hillary to run, and showing her that if she decides to run for president, she will have a grassroots army of supporters behind her who are ready to help her win.”
That may or may not be, but according to federal campaign filings, as of June 30, the Hillary PAC had raised a total of $1,253,943 and spent $469,303. So far, the Jacobses have been the only local high-rollers to fork over. L.A.’s Marcy Carsey, the liberal TV producer who runs Carsey-Werner with Tom Werner, part owner of the Boston Red Sox (and before that the Padres), gave $25,000. The firm is famous for producing Roseanne Barr’s sitcom Roseanne, among other sitcoms. In San Francisco, James Hormel of Equidex and Sanford Robertson of Francisco Partners each gave $25,000. Hormel was U.S. envoy to Luxembourg under Hillary’s husband Bill, making him the first openly gay United States ambassador.
Besides rooting for Hillary, the wealthy Jacobs couple is also believed by many to be waiting in the wings for the presumed downfall of embattled San Diego mayor Bob Filner, after which they and their friends will spend heavily on a certain newly minted Democrat. Obama campaign-cash bundler Christine Forester, a close friend of Jacobs and his wife, has put out word that she is spearheading a movement to draft former assemblyman Nathan Fletcher to run for mayor if Filner is toppled. Fletcher was once a Republican, who turned independent after failing to get the GOP’s endorsement for mayor last year and has flipped again since, this time to the Democratic column earlier this year.