Richard Verstegan 5 a.m., March 12
Obama bundler, not Filner, gets top spot at county Democrats' gala
San Diego mayor not mentioned in invitation to county party's Paint the Town Blue May awards dinner
He's the first Democrat since 1988 to get elected mayor of America's eighth-largest city and currently engaged in an epic legal, political, and editorial war with the town's wealthy and powerful GOP hotel moguls - including UT San Diego publisher Douglas Manchester - but the name of Bob Filner is missing from the program of the local Democratic Party's 33rd Annual Roosevelt Dinner.
"We have a lot to celebrate at our 'Painting the Town Blue Gala & Awards Ceremony,' says a message from party chair Francine Busby at the top of an invitation to the function.
"It is the biggest event of the year for the San Diego County Party. Don't miss out on this fun and inspiring evening.”
To be held Saturday May 4 at the Hilton San Diego Mission Bay Resort, the Democratic fest is to feature "honorary chairs" Scott Peters, Juan Vargas, and Susan Davis, all members of Congress.
So-called chair’s awards, the event's highest, are being given to former party executive Jess Durfee and Christine Forester.
According to the invitation, "Through her early and loyal support of President Obama, Christine has become one his most successful fundraisers, a trusted member of his inner circle, and a personal friend to the President and his family."
La Jollan Forester, who is also listed as the gala's "featured speaker," is the widow of architect and artist Russell Forester.
Back in 2008, she was reported by U.S. News and World Report to be Obama's second largest campaign contribution "bundler," hauling in more than $500,000 from various friends and associates.
An ex-architect herself, the Geneva, Switzerland-born Forester now runs Christine Forester Catalyst, a marketing consulting operation known for connecting would-be entrepreneurs with hedge-fund money.
In an interview with the San Fernando Valley Business Journal last summer, Forester listed San Diego multimillionaire Sol Price as her mentor, calling him “a curmudgeon with a vision, a remarkable clarity of mind, and a big heart.”
Single admissions to the event, offering dinner, live music, and dancing (Suggested Attire: Cocktail/Evening), are going for $125 for single tickets; it's $1200 for a table of ten.
Though Filner was left out, there is one local municipal official being honored: Escondido Deputy Mayor Olga Diaz.
We have a call in to party officials for more information.
Update: San Diego Democratic party executive director Ryan Hurd has returned our call to say that although Filner won't be getting an award, he will be present to welcome guests and introduce speakers at the event. Other local Democrats not named in the invitation will also put in appearances, he says.
More like this:
- Purple Filner eaters — July 31, 2013
- Pelosi and Papa Doug: strange bedfellows in anti-Filner follies — July 19, 2013
- National Obama bundler hatching Fletcher for mayor draft — July 16, 2013
- Filner "Special Events" committee reports big special interest cash — Feb. 11, 2013
- Winners and losers — Nov. 12, 2008