Eva Knott 9:36 a.m., May 23
Washington, D.C.-based public employee union backs Filner with $400,000
An independent expenditure committee calling itself "San Diegans in Support of Bob Filner for Mayor - 2012" has collected a total of $607,500 from labor unions, a wealthy local Democrat, and a corporation sharing an address with La Jolla's premier luxury car dealership, among others.
According to a disclosure filing, dated October 4 and posted online by the San Diego City Clerk, the group spent $249,073, much of it on television and radio advertising purchases, through the end of September, leaving it with an ending cash balance of $358,426.
Big labor, in the form of the Washington, D.C.-based American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees AFL-CIO, was the largest single donor, with $400,000 on September 20.
The second biggest donor was an entity identified by the disclosure as South Beach Acquisitions of La Jolla, with $120,000 on September 27.
State records show that South Beach Acquisitions, Inc. is a California corporation with an address of 7440 La Jolla Boulevard.
Other entities at the same address include the La Jolla Children’s Foundation, a small non-profit corporation headed by Marc and Ruth Chase, according to its 2011 annual filing with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
The main tenant at the location is Symbolic Motor Car Company, a high-end car dealership featuring Bugatti, Lamborghini, Bentley, Ferrari, Porsche, and Rolls Royce.
"Symbolic Motor Car was launched 14 years ago by Bernie and Marc Chase, a pair of high-strung brothers from Los Angeles afflicted with Southland car culture to the point of neurosis.
"One by one they bought and sold increasingly more exotic cars--Symbolic owns all of its stock and does not sell on consignment--until eventually their remarkable savvy made them the largest dealer of collectible and performance cars in the world.
"Steve McQueen's Ferrari 275, Elvis Presley's BMW 507, Sophia Loren's Rolls-Royce: Sooner or later the most exotic cars have ended up with the Chase brothers."
Lawrence Hess, a wealthy donor to Democratic causes, gave $10,000 to the Filner committee on September 27.
"In the 1960’s Hess was active in the Young Democrats and the ACLU." according to the website of Washington, D.C.-based Council for a Livable World, where Hess is a member of the national advisory board.
"Both he and his wife Suzanne have been active supporters of the San Diego Peace Resource Center since its inception in 1980, and for several years, he was on the board of directors."
"Hess is currently on the board of directors of Progressive Majority, and he heads Lehbros Limited, a real estate management firm that owns and operates apartment communities."