San Diego Now that Congressman Duncan Hunter has entered the presidential derby, it may be instructive to take a look at just what kind of people are giving campaign cash to the county's congressional delegation, composed of Republicans Hunter, Darrell Issa, and Brian Bilbray, along with Democrats Susan Davis and Bob Filner. One might presume that lobbyists would rank high on the list of donors, but that turns out not to be the case. According to a tally made by the website PoliticalMoneyLine, the number one group of Hunter donors during the 2006 campaign season was made up of 18 "homemakers," who gave his campaign fund a total of $27,050. Next came 22 "retired" individuals, who kicked in $14,385. Eight attorneys gave a total of $6450, and 6 self-employed "consultants" were after that, with $5000. Number six on Hunter's list were 6 "farmers," with $4550. But these were no ordinary farmers. One was Reverge Anselmo, who has a Beverly Hills address. The Internet Movie Database says that Anselmo wrote and directed 2004's Stateside, a movie about "a rebellious teenager on leave from the Marines who falls in love with a female musician. The relationship is threatened when she develops a mental illness." According to his bio, "Anselmo is of Italian descent, was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City and Connecticut. He is a former US Marine Corps combat veteran who fought in Beirut, Lebanon, in the 1980s." Anselmo's late father Rene made a fortune in Spanish-language television and satellite communications.
Brian Bilbray's top tier of donors was made up of retirees, who made 180 donations to his campaign, giving a total of $116,670. But many aren't entirely retired or only fairly recently left the working world. J. Dennis Heipt of Rancho Santa Fe is down for $2100; he's a former senior executive at SAIC, the big La Jolla-based defense contractor. Less than two years ago he left the board of Metal Storm, Ltd., an Australian defense outfit "engaged in the development of electronically initiated ballistics systems." Bilbray's second-largest group of donors was made up of 39 "homemakers." One of those was Betsy Manchester, wife of Navy Broadway Complex-developer Douglas Manchester.
The occupation of the highest-giving group of Darrell Issa donors, 29 people with a total of $30,551, was left blank on the reporting form. Second highest were 16 retirees with $9000.
Over on the Democratic side of the aisle, Susan Davis hit up 26 retirees for $23,050, and 11 homemakers gave $13,450. The occupation of 12 donors who gave $6424 was left blank. Retirees were the biggest source of cash for the Bob Filner campaign, which collected $101,235 from 127 from them. They included Danah Fayman, the wealthy longtime civic do-gooder ($2900); Ben Dillingham III, ex-chief of staff to former San Diego mayor Maureen O'Connor ($2000); and La Jolla investor Murray Galinson and wife Elaine ($3900).