Ian Pike 1:37 p.m., May 23
Bilbray's Congressional leadership PAC lags, Issa's parties, and Filner's is semi-dormant
So-called Leadership PACS, by which members of Congress can collect sizable contributions from special interests and their lobbyists, and then spend the cash on political gifts to other politicos, as well as on office expenses, fundraising bashes, travel, and meals, have long been a staple for members of the San Diego delegation, both Democrats and Republicans.
But recent filings show that only one very wealthy San Diego area House member has been piling up the big bucks of late; the others either don't have a leadership fund or haven't been using it much.
King among the locals is GOP congressman Darrell Issa's "Invest in a Strong and Secure America--ISSA PAC," whose latest disclosure, posted online July 13 by the Federal Election Commission, shows a cash balance of $185,258 at the end of June, after raising a total of $204,105 in first half of the year.
Cash came in from a variety of mostly high-tech donors, including Joseph Kennedy, CEO of Pandora Media ($2,500); Y Fuad El-Hibri of Emergent Biotech Solutions ($5,000, plus $5,000 more from his wife); Lockheed Martin Employees PAC ($5,000); and the National Rural Letter Carriers PAC ($2500).
Expenses included $7,655 paid to the Longboat Key Club & Resort on May 29 for "event costs." The Florida resort got another $2400 on June 4.
Contributions by the Issa PAC included $1,000 on June 18 to the Joe Coors for Congress committee in Golden, Colorado. Members of the Coors clan are longtime denizens of Rancho Santa Fe, and once got into a battle with UCSD over a bequest allegedly made by the late Joe Coors, Sr.
Far down the congressional pecking order was Issa's fellow Republican, Brian Bilbray, whose "Riptide PAC" took in only $2,000 during the first half of the year, and ended June with just $2,409.
Richard White of the D.C. influence peddling firm Roberti White LLC came up with $1,000, as did utility giant Edison International's PAC.
Then there was Democrat Bob Filner, now a candidate for mayor, whose San Diego PAC started the year with zero in the bank and raised only $513.21 during the first six months, which it still had at the end of June. The cash was transferred into the account from Filner’s congressional committee on March 31.
Filner's fellow Democratic House member Susan Davis does not have a leadership PAC on file.