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A newly formed federal super PAC with links to La Jolla billionaire Ted Waitt has launched a website feauring a series of TV commercials on behalf of a group of candidates proclaiming themselves to be independents.

At the top of the Super PAC's list of favored politicans: assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, who quit the Republican party in the midst of his current bid to become San Diego's next mayor.

Calling itself Independent Leaders, Inc., the group filed a letter of organization with the Federal Election Commission on April 24, in which it declared: "Independent Leaders Inc. intends to make independent expenditures and, consistent with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decision in SpeechNow v. FEC, it therefore intends to raise funds in unlimited amounts."

A subsequent May 9 filing disclosed that the organization had changed its name to icPurple.org.

Both documents were signed by Tom Grueskin, listed as icPurple.org's treasurer. 

Grueskin used to work for Waitt's Gateway computer outfit and is associated with Avalon Energy, a subsidiary of Avalon Capital Group, Inc., a Waitt-controlled venture capital firm, according to a BusinessWeek.com database. 

The email address for icPurple.org is listed on federal disclosure forms as tgrueskin@avalon.com. No other officers or contact information, other than a La Jolla post office box, is provided on the FEC disclosure statements.

Avalon Capital's website says it is "the wholly owned private investment company of Ted Waitt co-founder of Gateway, Inc."

Waitt and Avalon Capital have a history of controversy, in particular alleged fraud leading to the 2009 collapse of Lakeland Construction Finance, a lender once controlled by La Jolla-based Avalon.

In April 2010, the Minneapolis Star Tribune ran an exposé of the activities of Avalon and Lakeland, whose failure, the newspaper said, "left local governments on the hook for millions of dollars to complete roads and utilities."

The paper reported: "Waitt promoted Lakeland and bankrolled its rapid growth. Now, his investment firm stands accused of profiting as the lender collapsed."

Waitt previously announced his support for a group of local business owners and lobbyists, many, if not all, Fletcher backers, who said they were turning independent.

According to its website, "icPurple is an ever-growing movement of American voters who are tired of our government’s paralysis at the hands of partisan politics."

"We are citizens from every race, every gender, every income level, and all walks of life."

Fletcher is listed as the only candidate for municipal office backed by icPurple.org.

The others are Silicon Valley state assembly candidate Chad Walsh; U.S. House candidates Chad Condit and Linda Parks of California; and U.S. Senate hopeful from Maine Angus King.

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Comments

monaghan May 18, 2012 @ 10:31 a.m.

Nathan Fletcher's over-reaching political ambition and pull with rich guys is exceeded only by his utter lack of genuine qualification to hold public office.

This slick, costly and persuasive pro-Nathan ad sponsored by Ted Waitt's shadowy "icPurple" front is utterly misleading and represents everything that's wrong with American politics in 2012.

Waitt, whose money is behind Fletcher and "icPurple," is only one of many corporate raiders who have slashed and burned their way to personal wealth at the expense of others in this country. And new law now allows people like Waitt to finance a tsunami of political propaganda on all sides of the red/blue spectrum to influence the outcome of local, state and national elections.

We can only hope that voters will reject such overt manipulation. Thanks to Matt Potter and the Reader for the reality-check.

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Burwell May 19, 2012 @ 4:49 p.m.

Fletcher should move back to Las Vegas where he came from.

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Founder May 20, 2012 @ 9:30 a.m.

The slogan, Buy American

Has now, (thanks to the SCOTUS) become

BUY American Politicians...

No wonder the Middle Class is almost extinct!

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