Walter Mencken 2:37 p.m., March 1
Sanders Aide, Judges, and Kehoe Join For "Political Bootcamp"
A self-described progressive advocacy group Run Women Run is linking up with the San Diego County Bar Association and Lawyers Club of San Diego to stage a "political boot camp" for women next month.
It features a list of high-powered local politicos, including Democratic state Sen. Christine Kehoe, Aimee Faucett, chief policy advisor to GOP Mayor Jerry Sanders, as well as Lorena Gonzalez, Secretary-Treasurer of San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council.
The event is to be keynoted by Mona Pasquil, appointments secretary to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown. Pasquil is a longtime Democratic campaign operative, having worked as political director for Gov. Gray Davis, deputy political director for John Kerry's 2004 presidential bid, and western political director for the White House Office of Political Affairs under President Bill Clinton.
Superior Court judges Garry Haehnle and J. Lantz Lewis are also on the speakers list, as is San Diego county Registrar of Voters Deborah Seiler.
Lewis was among four incumbent judges whom the group Better Courts Now unsuccessfully sought to unseat last year with a slate of conservative challengers.
During the campaign, Lewis told the Associated Press, "I have no problem with elections, but I think it really should focus on a judge's qualifications, and it's very difficult to think something good could come out of a partisan judicial election."
Featured among the political gurus set for the Oct 15 event: Sanders' longtime political consultant Tom Shepard and Stacie Spector, Chief Communications Officer, The Salk Institute, who used to be the top public relations honcho at UCSD and earlier worked for Bill Clinton and Al Gore.
The event, costing $50 a person, $60 at the door, is good for "6.0 hours of [Minimum Continuing Legal Education] credit, including .5 hours of ethics credit," required by the state bar of California attorneys.
According to its website, "Run Women Run is a California Political Action Committee founded in 2008 by a group of forward-thinking women who believe that individuals with a passion can change the status quo.
"The non-partisan, membership association seeks to bring rationality and accountability back to government by identifying, mentoring and supporting the election of progressive, pro-choice women to state and local government.
The group's executive director is ex-Democratic congressional candidate Francine Busby, and its executive committee includes attorney Abby Silverman Weiss and entrepreneur and ex-reporter Barbara Bry.
Past endorsements, according to the website, have included Busby; Democrat Crystal Crawford, defeated in a 74th district Assembly bid; and Mona Alvarado-Rios, also a Democrat, elected last year to the National City city council.
Listed as "candidates who meet our criteria" are Democrats Toni Atkins, a state Assemblywoman; Congresswoman Karen Bass; Congresswoman Susan Davis; state Attorney General Kamala Harris; and ex-Assemblywoman Lori Saldana. One Republican, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, also made the list.
A release promoting the boot camp says, "The event will include a luncheon sponsored by the law firm of Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP, and will conclude with a reception during which participants can meet and network with local candidates, political officials and others involved in the political process."
Allen Matkins was the longtime professional home of the late Republican attorney, rainmaker, and power lobbyist John Davies, a close advisor and friend of ex-Gov Pete Wilson.
According to its most recent city lobbyist filing, the firm's clients have included the Building Association of San Diego County, Palomar Community College District, Arden Realty, and shopping mall giant Westfield Corp.
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