Walter Mencken 11 a.m., May 24
U-T owner Manchester moves more big money into San Diego GOP
As mayoral election approaches, Koch-linked publisher continues flow of money to local party, and is raised in political poker game by public employee union for Democrats
With the multi-million dollar special election to replace fallen Democratic mayor Bob Filner rapidly approaching, the big money proxy power war expected by inside political watchers appears to be shaping up on schedule, with major cash contributions to both Democratic and Republican parties from San Diego special interests.
The timing, coming in a year when no other big races are on the ballot, is notable.
The field of actual candidates is still in formation, with announcements expected today from politicos including Republican ex-city councilman Carl DeMaio, who would have to abandon a promising congressional campaign against freshman Democrat Scott Peters to enter the mayoral contest.
His fellow Republican, city councilman Kevin Faulconer, has also scheduled an announcement.
UPDATE: DeMaio said today he will stay in the congressional race against Peters and won't run for mayor.
On Thursday, DeMaio's oldest and biggest political angel, U-T San Diego publisher Douglas Manchester, quietly slipped another $5,000 to the county GOP.
As previously reported here, publisher Manchester gave $5,000 to the party back on July 30, just as the Filner ouster movement led by his media operation was getting into high gear.
And Manchester gave $5,000 to the county GOP's federal campaign committee, which the same day routed a total of $70,000 to the campaigns of two Manchester favored San Diego city council candidates, Lorie Zapf and Chris Cate.
Insiders expect the partying U-T owner to open his checkbook even wider in the weeks before the mayoral election, not counting the oversized editorializing the paper has become nationally famous for.
As previously reported here, the GOP publisher has linked up with a national advocacy organization tied to the wealthy Republican Koch brothers of Wichita.
But big labor may not sit still for a Manchester and Koch takeover of the city without putting up a cash fight of its own.
On August 30, according to a financial disclosure report, the San Diego Firefighters' local 145 Political Fund gave $7500 to the San Diego county Democratic Party.
Like the Republicans, the Democratic field has yet to gel, though Republican-turned-Democrat Nathan Fletcher, the Qualcomm executive widely expected to get the financial backing of San Diego's richest man, Irwin Jacobs, has jumped out to a quick special interest money start.
More like this:
- More Walmart cash arrives for GOP's mayoral campaign — Nov. 26, 2013
- Mayoral battle joined as billionaire Jacobs goes for Fletcher — Sept. 25, 2013
- U-T San Diego publisher routes $100,000 through state GOP — Sept. 17, 2013
- Manchester minion, other famous figures of San Diego crime and scandal fork over for Faulconer — Sept. 10, 2013
- New filing shows U-T's Manchester personally backed Carl DeMaio and GOP to tune of $283,900 — Jan. 27, 2013