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Combative U-T San Diego publisher Douglas Manchester, whose development company was sued last week by the California Coastal Commission over Manchester's plans to turn the U.S. Navy's waterfront real estate into a giant hotel, office, and retail complex, remained busy through the end of last year handing out political largesse to local Republican causes, according to a financial disclosure statement posted online by the California Secretary of State's office.

Dated January 16 and signed by Manchester second-in-command Richard Gibbons, the document says that, among other contributions, Manchester personally staged a December 4 "holiday dinner" for the New Majority PAC, founded by Orange County Republican billionaire real estate magnates Donald Bren and William Lyon. The event was said to be worth $10,000. In all last year, the San Diego media mogul kicked in $18,000 to the political action committee.

Other San Diegans giving post-election to the New Majority PAC included Qualcomm president Rocco Fabiano ($8,000) and Ace Parking ($8,000).

Besides his effort on behalf of New Majority, the newspaper publisher's Manchester Financial Group gave $50,000 to the GOP Lincoln Club of San Diego and $140,000 to the Republican Party of San Diego county. Both organizations were big cash backers of Carl DeMaio, the former Republican city councilman and pro-Navy Complex development ally, who lost his bid for mayor to Democrat Bob Filner.

In addition, Manchester's firm contributed $49,900 to Taxpayers for DeMaio - Mayor 2012. Another $1,000 went to La Jolla GOP city council hopeful Ray Ellis, who was bested by incumbent Democrat Sherrie Lightner.

DeMaio and many of his allies in the local GOP are staunch supporters of Manchester's multi-billion-dollar Navy Broadway Complex proposal, currently targeted by the coastal commission's lawsuit.

As reported here previously, Patton Boggs, the city's contract lobbyist in Washington, D.C. under GOP mayor Jerry Sanders, disclosed it had lobbied the Navy Broadway development issue throughout last year. Late Friday, the U-T's Watchdog unit broke word that new mayor Bob Filner had fired the firm, playing the story as a clash between the Democrat and the city council.

Image: Sprawling Navy waterfront site coveted by U-T San Diego publisher and Republican real estate developer Douglas Manchester

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Comments

Visduh Jan. 27, 2013 @ 8:22 p.m.

So, it would appear that Dougie just threw away more than a quarter million. But, ya' gotta' remember that he's rich, and that such a sum is really only pocket change for him.

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monaghan Jan. 28, 2013 @ 9:30 p.m.

The point is not that Doug Manchester is rich, but that he gave and gave and gave at the office to conservative candidate Carl DeMaio in his failed bid for Mayor. When new Mayor Bob Filner up and fired the D.C. lobbyist who had been getting paid to push Manchester's huge Broadway/Navy redevelopment, Manchester's newspaper played that bold act as if it were an example of shocking mayoral incivility toward City Council. Ridiculous, of course, and fortunate that Filner knows how to play hardball.

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Fred Williams Jan. 31, 2013 @ 11:29 p.m.

Monaghan, it's not just the UT. CityBeat and VOSD are also trying to portray Filner as incivil, hiding information, fighting the city council...

They sometimes mask this with "Dems vs Reps" as part of the story line, but none of them reveal what this is really about: Insiders vs Outsiders

For the Insiders, you've got glory seeking toadies like Todd Gloria, who has earned a reputation for being bought by special interests, especially developers and government contractors who will fund his congressional aspirations.

For the Outsiders you've got Filner and maybe Frye.

Reporters are all butt hurt that they're not getting the deferential treatment they grew accustomed to receiving from the former reporters Sanders hired to flatter them, and they're looking for any excuse to go after Filner.

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out, but my concern is that Filner is vastly outnumbered and cannot make even one mistake...while the insiders will cover up any of their own misdeeds.

Personally, I don't like "Smiling Bob" one bit. He's annoying, arrogant, ill tempered, plastic...but he tells what he believes to be the truth, and he's got more courage than all the rest of San Diego's current politicians combined. I wish him well...

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rdotinga Feb. 1, 2013 @ 12:50 a.m.

Um, what? "Deferential treatment" under Sanders?

Bwa-ha-ha-ha! That's rich. I'd love to locate the alternate universe where you find this stuff.

The Sanders flaks were quick to respond to reporters, and that was nice. But quick to respond doesn't necessarily translate into transparency, and it sure didn't under Sanders.

Journalists from VOSD and CityBeat, which you mention specifically, got into endless battles with them over things like access to public records. You can look it up. (Google "Pudgil Watch.")

The Sanders administration was hardly a golden era for journalists who wanted to do their jobs. Things are different now. Journalists (including me) just get ignored.

By the way, it was fun reading about you on Twitter today. You're even driving one of the most progressive journalists in town around the bend.

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rdotinga Feb. 1, 2013 @ 12:53 a.m.

Well lookie here. I googled "Pudgil Watch" myself and found this:

"Longtime city hall watchers know that Pudgil and the mayor's office are often accused of being less than forthcoming when it comes to handling requests for public information regarding all city offices, whether from the media or local citizenry."

Huh. Must have been some totally out of touch reporter/publication that wrote that! Let's see... who's this Matt Potter guy? Hmm. http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs...

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