Brandon Hernández 9 a.m., April 24
Symphony lobbyist raises big cash for GOP Lincoln Club's city council contender
Eager to clear the field of other Republicans, downtown influence peddlers going all out for hand picked candidate, lobbyist disclosure reveals
As previousy reported here, the city's establishment Republicans and their lobbyists are vigorously working to clear the sixth district city council field of other members of the GOP to make way for their handpicked candidate, Chris Cate, vice president of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, a downtown lobbying group closely tied to Mission Valley hotel magnate C. Terry Brown.
The GOP insiders campaign for Cate has included an early endorsement for him by the county party and a stealth foray against former Republican turned independent Mitz Lee, a former school member who is also seeking the newly redistricted sixth district seat.
Another Republican, veterans advocate Don Azul, attempted to get the party's endorsement, but was turned back. He has vowed to stay in the race.
The latest sign that Brown and his big money hotel allies are deadly serious about their efforts to keep other Republicans out of the contest came yesterday with the filing of a lobbyist disclosure statement by Richard Ledford, first cousin to Bill Evans, who runs the Evans family's string of luxury hotels and commercial holdings here, most notably the Bahia on Mission Bay and the Lodge at Torrey Pines, both on city owned real estate leased to the family.
According to Ledford's lobbying disclosure statement, covering the second quarter of this year and posted online by the San Diego city clerk's office, the Evans kinsman was a member of a group that collected $24,705 for Cate's campaign at a June 27 fundraiser
Ledford "served on a large honorary committee for the event," the disclosure says, adding that he was "directly responsible for contributions totaling $1100."
In addition to his support for Republican Cate, Ledford reported giving $150 to Democratic city councilwoman Myrtle Cole on May 10, little over a week before she beat Lincoln Club favorite and fellow Democrat Dwayne Crenshaw for the fourth district council seat.
The lobbyist's biggest client during the second quarter, according to the disclosure, was the San Diego Symphony, which paid him $12,000 to lobby for "a long term use of the Marina Park South for utilization by the Symphony Summer Pops Series."
More like this:
- Party cash clashes in Sixth District council race — Feb. 22, 2014
- Stealth attacks in San Diego's sixth district council race already flying — July 5, 2013
- Amidst intrigue, San Diego GOP sets early endorsements for 2014 races — May 15, 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