Bob McPhail 6:31 a.m., May 19
Over the years, the business tribulations of Padres baseball hero Tony Gwynn have made occasional news.
Back in December 1999 we reported about the slugger's battle with the big downtown San Diego law firm of Seltzer, Caplan, Wilkins and McMahon over its alleged mishandling of a licensing lawsuit brought against Gwynn by Japanese baseball superstar Hideo Nomo, and other legal matters.
And as Don Bauder wrote earlier this year, Gwynn, a cancer victim, has found himself in the middle of a national battle over chewing tobacco.
This past Friday, Gwynn's tax history got some unaccustomed scrutiny by Union Tribune San Diego, which wrote about the baseball star's pile of old federal liens from 2003, 2007 and 2009.
The paper quoted Gwynn's lawyer Mitch Dubick, husband of San Diego mayoral chief of staff Julie Dubick, as saying Gwynn was paying off the debt in installments.
Unmentioned was the role of Gwynn's wife Alicia and his son Tony Gwynn, Jr., a player with the L.A. Dodgers, in the campaign of Democratic Congressman Bob Filner, running for mayor against Republican Carl DeMaio, whose effort is backed by the newspaper's editorial board.
According to Filner's campaign finance disclosure filings, posted online by the San Diego city clerk's office, on May 23 Alicia Gwynn, president of Gwynn Foods of Poway, and Gwynn, Jr. each gave $500 to Filner's primary bid.
Filner and the Gwynns have long been members of the same mutual admiration society; in October 2001, Filner made a speech on the House floor honoring the baseball great on his retirement from the sport.
"Everybody knows he will be a success because he does not know the meaning of failure," said Filner.