Jeff Smith 9:05 a.m., Jan. 24
Manchester, Sempra, and Jacobs gave heavily to sexually accused Schwarzenegger
Big cash means big difference for two high-profile politicos accused of sexual harassment
Before Bob Filner there was Arnold Schwarzenegger, but besides their obvious physical differences, their crisis management skills and abilities also appear to be widely divergent
While the GOP’s Schwarzenegger skated past a host of sexual harassment allegations - handily batting away legal bigwigs including Gloria Allred and easily deflecting reporters who deigned to question his sexual integrity - Democrat Filner finds himself beset by a Republican sheriff and a recall effort promoted by U-T San Diego owner Douglas Manchester.
Of course, it may have helped that Schwarzenegger had mega-millionaire Manchester and most of San Diego and California's big money political interests, including a Poway felon-to-be, on his side.
"Did he rape me? No," said one woman, who described a 1980 encounter in which she said Schwarzenegger touched her breast. "Did he humiliate me? You bet he did."
Four of the six women told their stories on condition that they not be named. Three work in Hollywood and said they were worried that, if they were identified, their careers would be in jeopardy for speaking out against Schwarzenegger, the onetime bodybuilding champion and box-office star who is now the front-runner in the Oct. 7 gubernatorial recall election.
The other unnamed woman said she feared public ridicule and possible damage to her husband's business.
In the four cases in which the women would not let their names be published, friends or relatives said that the women had told them about the incidents long before Schwarzenegger's run for governor.
More women subsequently came forward to make similar charges, but Schwarzenegger made a cursory apology, sounding somewhat similar to Filner’s first post-charge statement, and was elected.
"Yes it is true that I was on rowdy movie sets and I have done things that were not right that I thought were playful," Schwarzenegger said at a San Diego rally kicking off a four-day bus tour.
"I now recognize that I have offended people and to those people that offended, I want to say that I am deeply sorry and I apologize," he said.
Though he had promised during the campaign to pay for an investigation of the allegations against him, the incoming governor thought twice about the idea once in office.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in interviews with CNN and Fox News that he would not hire a private investigator to look into accusations of sexual misconduct against him.
In his campaign for governor, Mr. Schwarzenegger said he would have the accusations investigated after the election.
Last month, his spokesman said an investigator had been chosen and would soon begin work.
But Mr. Schwarzenegger said on CNN, ''I have been elected by the people to come up here and do a job, and that is what I am doing now.''
Still, the charges persisted.
A British TV presenter filed suit in London; the case was settled out of court in 2006. Allred, the sexual harassment lawyer, sued on behalf of another client. That case was also settled.
Not long after the governor left office in 2011, his wife filed for divorce and it was revealed that he had fathered a child with the family maid.
Before and during his time in Sacramento, some of Schwarzenegger's biggest big money political fans hailed from San Diego, a focus of beaches, biceps, bodybuilding, and big real estate development, along with a host of federal spies, gumshoes, and military contractors.
Records on file with the California secretary of state's office show that Manchester's holding company, Manchester Resorts gave $21,200 to the Schwarzenegger campaign on September 9, 2003; his now-estranged wife Betsy who is divorcing him gave the same.
Those who also gave $21,200 that day included Poway defense contractor Brent Wilkes, later convicted in the bribery case of Randy "Duke" Cunningham, and his wife Regina.
Max Gelwix of Wilkes's Group W. Advisors, gave $10,000. Atlas Hotels, run by C. Terry Brown - Manchester's ally in this year's big fight with Filner over how to employ tourist promotion funds - kicked in $5,000 on September 15. Ann Evans, owner of the Evans hotel operation, in league with Brown, gave $10,000 on October 1.
After the election was over - and the sexual harassment charges against the new governor widely aired - other San Diego fat cats lined up with their checkbooks.
On November 26, Qualcomm billionaire Irwin Jacobs, San Diego's richest man and most prominent local Democrat, gave $10,000.
Nor did the governor's alleged sexual violations deter San Diego's giant Sempra Energy Corporation from handing over $50,000 to Schwarzenegger’s "Dream Team" political fund on February 9, 2004.
Jacobs of Qualcomm gave still more: $4526 in April 2004; his corporation gave $3800 that May.
The soon-to-be-indicted Wilkes was back with $10,000 in October 2004.
A year later, on September 19, 2005, Manchester Resorts checked into the Dream Team fund with $25,000, and came up with an additional $25,000 on October 3.
In February 2008, Jacobs was back with another $25,000 for the accused governor. And in January 2010, Sempra came up with an additional $75,000.
More like this:
- San Diego's lobbyist accused of arranging illegal gifts — Dec. 27, 2013
- Who's more embarrassing? U-T or Filner? — Aug. 15, 2013
- Schwarzenegger's sexual harassment history featured in Democrat's Issa hit — Aug. 13, 2013
- Sheriff reportedly plotting mayor's ouster got funds from Lynch, Blue, hotel interests, report says — Aug. 6, 2013
- Political Tithing — June 22, 2006