The election isn't until June, but the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of San Diego County political action committee hasn't wasted any time getting signs lined up for its candidate of choice, attorney Robert Brewer, running to unseat District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.
The group spent $26,453 on March 19 to print and post the signs, according to a campaign finance report filed with the county registrar of voters. The same filing disclosed that Kathryn Gettel of La Jolla had given the deputies' PAC $50,000 on January 14.
Her occupation was listed as an investor in MVCA, LLC, which California corporation registration records show has an address at the Fay Avenue offices of an outfit called Variant Capital Markets, the chief executive of which is Courtland Gettel.
According to his profile on LinkedIn, "Mr. Gettel has played an integral role in acquisitions and sales of over $1 billion in distressed real estate since 1994 and managed large portfolios in various asset classes, including underdeveloped land, single family residences, multifamily assets and commercial properties."
A news release issued in July 2012 by Conix, another Gettel-led firm, quotes him as saying, "Even in a distressed market, there are key opportunities available for people with a system for finding them."
The release goes on to say, "Conix uses a strategy of locating distressed properties, acquiring them and putting the property through a revitalization process that restores the property to usable condition. These properties are then resold, or held and managed for positive cash flow."
Reached by phone yesterday, Gettel readily acknowledged his backing for Brewer, saying he "absolutely" supported the criminal defense lawyer in his effort to unseat incumbent Dumanis.
But regarding other details of his support, Gettel was more reticent.
Saying that Brewer and he were "just friends" from "around town," Gettel declined to discuss the nature of their friendship, where and they had met, or how long he had known him.
"Why are you asking these questions?" asked Gettel. "We give anonymously."
Told that the state disclosure laws did not allow anonymous political giving, Gettel responded, "Way too many questions, buddy. I wish you the best," and ended the call.
This isn't the first time a law enforcement labor group has relied on a well-heeled, developer-related entity to bankroll its political activity.
In January, the San Diego Police Officers Association PAC received $20,000 from the Building Industry Association of San Diego County PAC that bankrolled campaign literature, robo-calls, and an email blast on behalf of GOP mayoral candidate Kevin Faulconer.
A call left for sheriff deputy’s association president Matt Clay requesting more information on Gettel and the PAC's campaign for Brewer was not returned.