Don Bauder 7:49 p.m., May 22
Lawrence and Suzanne Hess Gave $294,000 in Political Donations
Super PACs have become the underbelly of American politics, a way that wealthy donors can give unlimited donations on behalf of candidates and political causes.
In San Diego, a good deal of soft money, $145,000 in all, has been handed to Mitt Romney's super PAC, Restore Our Future. Donors include hotel developer and owner of San Diego's only daily paper, Doug Manchester ($75,000), land developer Thomas Sudberry ($30,000), city attorney Jan Goldsmith ($25,000), and other smaller donors.
But San Diego's biggest political donors aren't only giving to conservative committees.
Since December 2010, Lawrence and Suzanne Hess, of Lehbros Limited real estate firm, has given a total of $130,000 to liberal super PACs Progressive Kick ($100,000) and America's Families First Action Fund ($30,000).
The couple has given a total of $294,000 in soft money and directly to candidates in just over a year and a half.
Some local candidates have also received support from the wealthy donors. Mayoral candidate/congressman Bob Filner and former assemblywoman and candidate for the 52nd congressional seat Lori Saldaña received $1,000 and $2,500, respectively.