Early look at Wild Animal Park, troubled elephants come to the zoo, China’s panda hunter and pandas end up in San Diego, the morality of SeaWorld’s dolphins
Various Authors 3:49 p.m., Dec. 3
As noted here earlier, Union-Tribune owner Douglas F. Manchester has been a long-time financial supporter of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Back in January, Manchester gave $25,000 to the Romney-backing Super PAC, "Restore our Future," on top of the same amount he'd contributed to the PAC the August before.
And this March 21, the developer-publisher kicked in $10,000 to the federal campaign account of the local GOP, according to a Federal Election Commission filing.
The San Diego hotel mogul's enthusiasm for multi-millionaire Romney, who owns a beach house in La Jolla where he hangs out during surfing breaks from the campaign trail, is shared by other members of the Manchester family, according to a disclosure report posted online by the FEC.
Leading the list is Elizabeth C. Manchester, the publisher's estranged wife, who gave $2500 to Romney for President, Inc. on February 29.
According to the disclosure, she's given a total of $3000 to the Romney cause so far.
The couple's son, Douglas W. Manchester, who is listed as working for his father's Manchester Financial Group and has an address in Austin, Texas, where the firm is in the business of real estate development, gave $2500 the same day his mother did, according to the records.
The website of Manchester Senior's La Jolla-based company says his son graduated from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and since then "has applied his business knowledge in all aspects of the hotel, insurance and real estate industries.
"This career path has led him to Austin to engage the firm in commercial real estate ventures and hotel development."
U-T scribes have thus far kept clear of a national debate of sorts now raging over Romney and his beachfront La Jolla residence, once owned by ex-San Diego Democratic mayor Maureen O'Connor, widow of Republican Jack-in-the-Box multi-millionaire Bob Peterson.
Yesterday the New York Times posted a lengthy piece chronicling the trials and tribulations of Romney's neighbors in the tony Barber Tract, including worries by a gay couple in the neighborhood that the former Massachusetts governor will supersize his relatively modest house on the sand into a view-blocking McMansion.
The Times story brought a quick retort from a pundit with the conservative Weekly Standard, who claimed the piece was "politically loaded" against the Mormon candidate and asked, Is Romney holding Fast and Testimony meetings in the middle of his cul-de-sac? What do his neighbors care about his religion?