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Various Authors 11:01 a.m., Dec. 10
San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith and his campaign committee is sitting on a wad of cash left over from the November election. Now, three months later, despite paying for posh accommodations in St. Petersburg, Florida for the Republican National Convention, Goldsmith still has $18,900 in the bank.
Even without an opponent the former judge turned City Attorney was able to raise some serious cash. By the end of 2011, Goldsmith had raked in $102,700 dollars -- $73,848 in donations and $28,858 left over from his previous campaign.
Just a few of his big name donors included Roger Hedgecock and his wife who pledged $1,000, the McMillin Family $2,500, Irwin Molasky $500, then candidates Mark Kersey ($500) and Scott Sherman ($250) and downtown powerhouse Kris Michell, who gave $500.
Without an opponent and without the need to buy ads for television or print, Goldsmith was able to spread the wealth by giving to his favorite causes. He gave $2,500 to the local Republican Party, $15,900 to the conservative group the Lincoln Club of San Diego, and, as we reported last May, $25,000 to Mitt Romney's Super PAC, Restore Our Future.
But from July to the end of the year, Goldsmith stopped giving to political causes and started spending more on himself and his campaign staff.
According to the latest campaign disclosure, filed on January 28, Goldsmith splurged on $181.94 worth of gifts from CVS Pharmacy for his staff. He also spent $486.02 on lunch for them at Pizza Hut.
The greatest expenditures came during last year's Republican National Convention . He spent $1,268 on a hotel room in St. Petersburg Beach and $335 on a rental car to drive from the hotel to the convention center in Tampa -- Goldsmith was an alternate delegate.
And then on election night, not having to worry about having to defend his office here at home, the City Attorney jetted off to Las Vegas on his campaign committee's dime.
A spokesperson for the Fair and Political Practices Commission was not able to comment on a specific case but said that candidates are allowed to use campaign funds if the expenditures are "reasonably related to a political, legislative, or governmental purpose. If an expenditure confers a substantial personal benefit on a candidate/officeholder, the expenditure must be directly related to a political, legislative, or governmental purpose."