Walter Mencken 11 a.m., May 24
Wife of port scandal figure gives big to Bruce Williams cause
Out-of-district developers heaping cash on Fourth District council race
Some of San Diego's richest and most controversial developers are pouring money into one of its poorest city council districts in a well-funded effort to elect a top aide of the man who quit the seat in the midst of his term.
Candidate Bruce Williams has been a policy advisor to 4th district Democrat Tony Young, who walked away from the job late last year to become head of the local Red Cross.
The former Republican Williams worked for GOP mayors Dick Murphy and Susan Golding, becoming a Democrat just recently. He ran against Young in 2004 and 2006, losing both times.
In a filing with the San Diego city clerk's office, a group calling itself San Diegans for Strong Neighborhoods in Support of Bruce Williams for City Council 2013 says it raised $8,000 from the beginning of this year through March 9.
$7500 of the money was reported to have been contributed by Annie Malcolm, president of Suncoast Financial and wife of David Malcolm, the ex-port commissioner brought down by the Duke South Bay plant lease conflict of interest scandal, during which he copped a plea and avoided prison time.
A separate filing shows that another donor to the Williams cause is Tom Sudberry, president of Sudberry Properties, a major real estate development outfit, who gave $1500 on March 12.
Meanwhile, another developer backed group, San Diego County Voters for Progress and Reform, has spent $4367 against 4th District Democrat Myrtle Cole, the labor-backed candidate, as disclosed in a March 13 filing.
Contributors included the Build SD PAC ($25,000); Building Industry Association of San Diego PAC ($10,000); San Diego County Apartment Association PAC ($10,000); the Lincoln Club of San Diego County ($11,000); and the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation ($17,000). Much of the cash was spent on the failed city council election challenge of Republican Ray Ellis against La Jolla Democratic incumbent Sherri Lightner.
According to the San Diego city clerk's office, the committee has filed no contribution disclosure reports for this year; the fund's year-end 2012 filing could not be immediately located.
Update: Liam Dillon of the Voice of San Diego online news organization has advised us via Twitter that the Fourth District is not the poorest city council district, per figures of SANDAG, a government agency that compiles demographic information. We have changed the copy to reflect his information.
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