Robert Bush noon, Feb. 19
Filner inaugural roster revealed
Lobbyists, past political friends, and a vanquished foe and his big contributor on list of V.I.P. invites.
An invitation list to Monday's inauguration of Bob Filner as mayor of San Diego - furnished by the office of outgoing Republican mayor Jerry Sanders after a request made under the California public records act - boasts the traditional Who's Who of downtown and La Jolla influence peddlers, socialites, and political donors, minus some heavy-hitting GOP contributors who, until Filner's victory this fall, have enjoyed plenty of access to the mayor's 11th floor city hall offices.
The list also features a variety of advocates of Democratic and environmental causes not exactly accustomed to getting the royal treatment around city hall under the reign of Sanders. (It is not clear whether all the picks on the list are Filner's, as the invitation furnished by the mayor's office covers the swearing in of new and re-elected council members and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith.)
Among the top lobbyists on the A-list is A. Christopher Wahl, who runs Southwest Strategies; as previously reported, in August Wahl and Southwest founder Al Ziegaus maxed out to the campaign of Filner's Republican rival, city councilman Carl DeMaio.
Among the firm's clients: the controversial Quail Brush Cogentrix power plant.
Herman Collins, a onetime aide to the late Cheetahs-strip-club-case-defendant Charles Lewis, also shows up. More recently, he has represented clients seeking concessions at San Diego International Airport.
Matthew Peterson, whose father Paul was a longtime business associate of the late Democratic discount retail mogul Sol Price, is listed as well. Peterson lobbies the city for mega-million dollar La Jolla estate remodels, including that of former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
High-rolling La Jolla Democrat Bill Barkett, whose wife Lisa was once on the Del Mar fair board, got the nod, as did former city attorney Mike Aguirre, long a whipping boy for outgoing mayor Sanders and his GOP friends, including the late David Copley as well as current U-T San Diego publisher Doug Manchester.
Though no U-T San Diego executives appear to be on the list, media figures haven't been left out altogether. They include Barbara Bry, a former L.A. Times reporter, entrepreneur, and founding editor of the Voice of San Diego non-profit news website. Current Voice editor Scott Lewis is also listed. Lowell Blankfort, once the liberal press baron of South Bay, is among the invitees, as is retired TV newsman Jonathan Dunn-Rankin.
Former AFL-CIO boss Jerry Butkiewicz, who now works for Sempra Energy, made the cut, along with current labor chieftain Lorena Gonzalez.
Among vintage politicians included on the lengthy list of special guests is former Arizona Democratic Senator Dennis DeConcini. Now a prosperous Washington lobbyist with a house in La Jolla, DeConcini was a member of the notorious "Keating Five" during the national savings and loan scandals of the 1980s.
Other old pols are Jim Bates, who faced his own trials and tribulations as a Democratic congressman, and Ron Packard, the former Republican congressman from North County whose aide was the late Clyde Romney, a cousin to Mitt Romney.
Another prominent name on the list is that of Nathan Fletcher, the erstwhile Republican Assemblyman who proclaimed himself an independent in the midst of his ultimately failed for bid for mayor this past spring. He is going to work for Qualcomm soon.
Some of Fletcher’s wealthiest former financial backers have been invited, according to the list, including real estate investor Hal Jacobs, son of Democratic La Jolla billionaire and Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs. In March, Harlan Jacobs gave $25,000 to San Diegans for Nathan Fletcher 2012, an independent expenditure fund that savaged both Filner and the GOP's Carl DeMaio. Irwin’s wife Joan, as well as Gary, another son, have been extended invitations as well, according to the document.
Dorian Hargrove provided research and contributed to this item.
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