Chad Deal 6:58 p.m., May 21
The Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee has entered the local election with big league support. According to a recent filing, county supervisor Greg Cox through Friends of Greg Cox for Supervisor 2012 gave the chamber PAC $7,500.
The committee has collected a total of $22,300. As of October 21 the PAC had spent $9,610.86 to support city council candidate Pamela Bensoussan and $4,819.86 to oppose Proposition B.
Bensoussan is a Democrat who was elected to city council in 2008. The Lincoln Club, a conservative organization, endorsed Bensoussan in 2012.
Bensoussan recently voted in favor of continuing a controversial Tourism Market District tax although the majority of local hoteliers opposed it. A 2011-2012 grand jury report found that the most of the money collected had gone to chamber of commerce salaries. County supervisor Cox, through his discretionary neighborhood reinvestment funds, gave $25,000 in start-up funds to the chamber to establish the tourism market in 2008.
In Cox's 2012-2013 neighborhood allocation budget, he dispensed $20,000 to the chamber for operating expenses. The chamber has endorsed Bensoussan as have supervisor Cox and mayor Cheryl Cox.
Chamber of Commerce PAC money was also used to oppose Proposition B.
The proposition would change the city's election system from "at large" to "by district." It would also change the run-off procedure. If the proposition passes, the mayor, city attorney, and council members will be unable to win in the primary; they will have to proceed to the general election.
Had a proposition like B been in place in 2010, mayor Cheryl Cox would have been obliged to proceed to the general election. Sixteen percent of Chula Vista's registered voters re-elected Cox in the primary.