— In the final weeks before next Tuesday's election, downtown real estate mogul Malin Burnham has been pumping big money into the Lincoln Club of San Diego County, a Republican campaign committee that, according to its website, "consists of business and civic leaders, promoting economic growth that will lead to high-value jobs in our region, and electing pro-business Republican candidates to public office." On October 11, according to the group's financial disclosure, Burnham, a partner of Padres owner John Moores, gave $13,000. Billionaire Wal-Mart heir John Walton, who lists an address in Jackson, Wyoming, gave $10,000, as did La Jollan Peter Preuss, a UC regent. All three, along with Moores, were major contributors to the million-dollar effort two years ago to bring down Frances O'Neill Zimmerman, the San Diego Unified School District board member opposed to the policies of superintendent Alan Bersin. This year's Lincoln Club givers list also includes $3000 from contractor Gafcon, a school-district vendor, and $5000 from Science Applications International, the big La Jolla-based government contractor that also does business with the district. Four days after Burnham made his contribution, according to the disclosure, the Lincoln Club spent $20,000 on a mailer promoting Clyde Fuller, a pro-Bersin candidate running against incumbent school-board member John de Beck. As of October 19, the group reported spending a total of $24,830 for Fuller. Burnham gave another $43,500 to the county GOP central committee, which has so far spent $31,938 on Fuller's behalf ... Yet another beneficiary of the Lincoln Club's largesse is Imperial Beach mayoral candidate Ron Rogers, who got $12,000 on October 14. On October 11, the club received $15,000 from Aguaclara, LLC of Rancho Santa Fe. The group is promoting Bajagua, a controversial for-profit plan supported by Rogers to treat Mexican sewage in Tijuana. Other donations to the club this year have included $1000 from Harry Mohney, the convicted federal felon associated with the Déjà Vu strip-club empire. Déjà Vu and competitors, including employees of the high-dollar Cheetahs chain of strip joints, have given thousands of dollars to members of the San Diego City Council and District 4 council candidate Charles Lewis in an attempt to combat religious fundamentalists seeking to ban nude "dirty dancing." Asked about Mohney and his exotic-dance empire, Lincoln Club executive director Scott Barnett responded, "It's a legal business. We don't do background checks on people, and we don't deal in social issues either way, pro or con. Any social issues, we ask people to leave at the door. Pro-choice, pro-life, pro-gun, anti-gun -- we have a big tent. This is all pro-business."

Peterson's progress Union-Tribune financial reporter Kim Peterson made a name for herself this spring writing about the collapse of Peregrine Systems, the Del Mar Heights software outfit controlled by Padres owner John Moores. After three years at the paper, Peterson's last byline appeared October 14, igniting speculation that her coverage of Moores had been too revealing for the newspaper's pro-Padres management to stomach. Not so, says Peterson, who has relocated to the Seattle Times, where she is now covering Microsoft. "I had a very good experience at the Union-Tribune," she says. Peterson is lauded on the website of the local chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association: "As a testament to her journalistic skills, officials and lackeys at Peregrine all came to fear and despise Peterson for telling the truth about the company. Though Peregrine is glad to see her leave, her friends at AAJA will miss her sorely."

Kehoe's keys Democratic assembly member Christine Kehoe, who this summer masterminded a bill to allow easier City Heights development ventures between San Diego's school district and city council, has received $1000 from Citylink, the City Heights development venture run by ex-city councilman William Jones ... The Screen Actors Guild is shuttering its San Diego office, reports Daily Variety. The cost-cutting move, shrinking the number of SAG local offices from 25 to 15, will save $1.3 million annually ... Ex-GOP congressman Brian Bilbray, defeated two years ago by Democrat Susan Davis, has just given $5000 of his leftover campaign funds to Ron Rogers, who's campaigning for Bilbray's old job as mayor of Imperial Beach. Bilbray is now a Washington lobbyist who has, among his clients, backers of Bajagua, the Mexican sewage-treatment plan backed by Rogers ... Ex-Charger Leo Goeas is causing a flap in Honolulu over a commercial he made for the Republican Party in which he says he and his wife "have lost any faith in Hawaii's public school system."

Contributor: Matt Potter

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