Vincent Farnsworth 2:38 p.m., Sept. 26
San Diego city attorney dances to lobbyists' tune in banquet video
Video posted by business lobbying group features Jan Goldsmith in chorus line to "help us roast our new mayor"
Lobbyists' banquets have not always been kind to Republican city attorney Jan Goldsmith.
Back in February, newly elected Democratic mayor Bob Filner took to the microphone at the Downtown Partnership's dinner and reportedly poked a little fun at Goldsmith's infamous toupee, which then-Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, a Democrat, first called to public attention in 1994 during Goldsmith's tenure as a GOP assemblyman from Poway.
"Asked the fate of a Goldsmith bill to legalize ferrets as pets," the Union-Tribune once reported, "Brown replied, 'That bill is deader than that thing on his head.'"
Filner's February remarks about the hairpiece as well as other comments he made that apparently weren't music to the lobbyists' ears, drew a hailstorm of criticism on Twitter from the tables full of well-heeled influence peddlers.
Particularly incensed was Lani Lutar, then-executive director of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, registered to lobby at city hall on topics including outsourcing and privatization of city services; so-called public-private partnerships; and "streamlining approval of the City's capital projects for quicker delivery of projects."
Most recent past chairman of the lobbying group's board, a veritable who's who of San Diego special interests, is Mike McDowell, vice president of corporate affairs at Atlas Hotels, the firm owned by C. Terry Brown, who lead the charge to sue Filner in an effort to force him to sign a funding contract negotiated by previous GOP mayor Jerry Sanders, who received sizable financial backing from the hotel industry.
Tweeted Lutar, who later left her position at the lobbying group:
Now a video has arrived on YouTube touting a banquet to be staged early next month by the Taxpayers Association.
One of the stars is Goldsmith, apparently playing himself as a chorus boy dancing in support of the lobbyists' mascot, someone dressed up as a watchdog.
As reported earlier today, Filner has accused the city attorney of conflicts of interest resulting from his heavy support by the hotel business.
The final lyrics of the song backing Goldsmith's performance: "help us roast our new mayor."
And the city attorney is wearing a hat.
More like this:
- Port and council staff load up on free banquet tickets from super lobbyists — July 2, 2013
- Downtown lobbyist from Carlsbad seeking San Diego city council seat — April 12, 2013
- Advocacy group closely tied to big hotel owner backs legal attack on Filner — Feb. 23, 2013
- Does San Diego's City Attorney have conflict of interest in hoteliers' legal attack on mayor? — Feb. 20, 2013
- Lobbyists use Twitter to rip Filner over downtown banquet speech — Feb. 7, 2013