Vincent Farnsworth 6:31 p.m., Dec. 4
New filing shows U-T's Manchester personally backed Carl DeMaio and GOP to tune of $283,900
San Diego newspaper mogul and litigation-beset Navy Broadway Complex developer gave heavily to those supporting controversial downtown project
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.
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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