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The Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, which operates a prosperous casino and is currently embroiled in a pitched battle to expand its East County reservation for an ambitious real estate development plan, has of late been giving heavily to San Diego county Republican causes, according to a campaign finance statement filed yesterday in Sacramento.

Since the beginning of this year, the small band has spent a total of $334,661 on state and local politics, the filing says, with $150,200 of that coming between July and the end of last month.

Recent recipients have included the GOP's Lincoln Club of San Diego County, with $25,000 on September 13; the San Diego county Republican Party, with $5000 on September 20; and Garrick for Senate 2014, a campaign fund of Republican state Assemblyman Martin Garrick, with $3900.

Not all of the money went to partisan races.

San Diego Unified School District chief of staff Bernie Rhinerson, an ex-staffer at Alan Ziegaus's Southwest Strategies lobbying shop, picked up $1500 on July 22 for his San Diego community college board trustee campaign.

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