Charlie Morgenstern 11 a.m., June 25
Cox's everlasting political money machine gears up for 2016
First district county supervisor starts fundraising for 2016, less than seven months after winning easy re-election bid
As noted here back in February of this year, GOP county supervisor Greg Cox has long proved to be a dedicated fundraiser for himself, even if his electoral competition is virtually nonexistent.
By this time last year, Cox had squirreled away $343,939, raised from the usual suspects, including:
$500 each from Cox Communications vice president Sam Attisha; Jacob Brouwer, owner of Superior Ready Mix; Katayoun Y. de la Fuente, wife of border-property baron and car dealer Roque de la Fuente; Damon Hininger, of Brentwood, Tennessee, president and chief executive of private jail operator Corrections Corporation of America; Hininger’s wife Carrie; Anthony L. Grande, another Corrections Corporation vice president; Steven Groom, another Corrections executive; John Beasley, yet another Corrections executive; developer Sushil Israni of Pacifica Companies; Reena Israni; real estate investor Roberto Jinich; Peter MacLaggan of Poseidon Resources; junkyard owner Charles Siroonian, president of Ecology Auto Parts; and Siroonian’s wife Deborah.
Perry Dealy, a former employee of U-T San Diego owner and real estate developer Douglas Manchester, and now a consultant for the hotel mogul, kicked in $250.
In June, Cox easily bested his token re-election opponent and was honored as a member of the Lung Association's “Clean Air Circle," after a host of local special interests, including Solar Turbines, the Sycuan casino tribe, and the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, a public agency, contributed $5,000 each to the charity on his behalf.
Then, last Thursday, Cox made it official, filing a statement of his intention to run again for reelection in 2016, along with setting up a new campaign committee, "Friends of Greg Cox for Supervisor 2016."
Cox will have something of a head start over any potential opponents who have the temerity to challenge to a sitting San Diego county supervisor.
At the end of this June, the latest reporting period available, the Cox 2012 campaign still had $263,191 in the bank, having collected new cash in June from donors including Sempra lobbyist Mark Nelson ($300); Hamann Companies land acquisition agent John Gibson ($500); and real estate man Greg Lansing ($500).
As usual, the ubiquitous GOP campaign consultant Tom Shepard, who also provides political services to Democratic mayor Bob Filner, got a tidy cut of Cox's campaign action, receiving $6,000.
So-called eternal political fundraising campaigns such as Cox's are legal, but critics say that they can encourage corruption by offering special interests year-around opportunities to curry favor with elected officials by employing sizable cash contributions.
The huge campaign war chests thus raised also serve to dissuade would-be challengers from taking on long entrenched incumbents, the critics believe.
Such fundraising practices aren't confined to Republicans; one of this year's biggest Democratic examples has been San Diego city councilman Todd Gloria, who this fall lavished his extra cash - raised from an array of special interests - on his political friends and allies.
More like this:
- Look out, Trump, here comes Rocky — Dec. 20, 2015
- Fifteen seconds of politics — Feb. 4, 2015
- Bridgepoint's PAC Keeps up Political Pace, Contributes to Paul Ryan — Aug. 14, 2012
- Jacob Piles Up Heavy Cash, Faces Only One Challenger — March 16, 2012
- Greg Cox's Campaign Financed by the Usual Roster — Feb. 29, 2012