continued After his second marriage to Lois Karas, Kolender wasn't as often seen at Bully's. He began to be frequently mentioned in society columns as attending parties in Fairbanks Ranch hosted by billionaire McDonald's heiress Joan Kroc. "It was [Joan Kroc's] first at-home party in five years," wrote the Los Angeles Times in 1985. "Dom DeLuise and Sid Caesar helped entertain.... Cleveland Amory and Norman Cousins represented the literati. Other guests were former President Gerald Ford, Lois and Bill Kolender.... They gathered around Mrs. Kroc at the organ and sang Christmas carols."
So far this year, Kroc has contributed $500 to Kolender's reelection effort; Christy Walton, the Bonita-based wife of Wal-Mart heir John Walton, gave $250. John Davies, the ex-college roommate and longtime political advisor to former governor and San Diego mayor Pete Wilson, chipped in $250; Rayma Craver, the wife of retired Air Force colonel Joe Craver, a military contracting consultant and chamber of commerce supporter, gave $150. San Diego Unified School District superintendent Alan Bersin, a former U.S. Attorney, gave $500, as did Bersin's wealthy father-in-law, real estate developer and garment-maker Stanley Foster.
Kolender has drawn support from the local media, including KFMB sportscaster Ted Leitner ($500); San Diego Magazine publisher James Fitzpatrick ($500); McGraw-Hill television executive Ed Quinn ($100); and writer Joseph Wambaugh ($500). Bazaar del Mundo owner Diane Powers gave $300, lawyer Vince Bartolotta, Jr., contributed $500, as did Coronado financier Thomas Stickel.
Perhaps the most intriguing name on the sheriff's list of donors is that of Michael Blevins. Blevins is an ex-drug dealer who in October 1988 was sentenced to three years in federal prison for his role in a methamphetamine manufacture and distribution conspiracy that took place in Rancho Santa Fe. After he got out of the pen, Blevins founded diet-drug maker Metabolife with Michael Ellis, his codefendant in the methamphetamine case. Ellis, who pleaded guilty and was given five years' probation, and his wife, Monica, each gave Kolender $500.
According to court records in the methamphetamine case, Blevins's criminal history dated back to at least 1972. An affidavit on file claimed that in the early 1980s Blevins was "purchasing between 40 and 50 kilos of cocaine every six to eight weeks" from a connection in Orange County, reputed Chicago mobster Sam Sarcinelli.
"Sarcinelli at this time owned two homes in or near Laguna Beach and also maintained two apartments in the same area." According to the informant, "Blevins sold/distributed approximately 15 kilos of cocaine over a two-day period of time." The informant "believed that Sarcinelli obtained his cocaine from Macario [a drug source] at a cost of $49,000/kilo and distributed the same to Blevins at $55,000/kilo."
An informant, the affidavit said, "related that he/she had been involved in narcotics transactions with both Michael Blevins and Robert Blevins (Michael's father), namely in the purchase of methamphetamine and the distribution of cocaine during the period 1976 through 1983." The informant added that "he/she acted as an agent for a client in 1983 who wanted someone to rip off a large quantity of cocaine from Michael Blevins and his partner, Jerry Bordeaux."
After he was busted in the Rancho Santa Fe case, Blevins began cooperating with the feds, according to court records. "Mr. Blevins has been very cooperative with law enforcement since his first arrest," wrote U.S. marshal James. J. Molinari in a November 1995 pitch for clemency on Blevins's behalf. "I came in contact with Blevins in 1989 while commanding the Narcotics Division of the San Francisco Police Department. Mr. Blevins provided information and assistance that led to the dismantling of a major drug trafficking network operating in the San Francisco Bay Area."
According to Kolender's campaign-disclosure filing, Blevins, who gave the sheriff $500, is now the proprietor of Iron Horse Realty in Del Mar.