One very busy city hall lobbyist is Richard Ledford, the former aide to GOP ex-mayor Susan Golding. According to his most recent disclosure filing, covering the first three months of this year, Ledford got $8000 for working on behalf of Alliant Real Estate Investments, Inc., regarding the “development of a project at 500 West Broadway.” That’s the address of the former Armed Services YMCA building, a city historic site designed by master architect Lincoln Rogers that is now being used as a hotel. The ornate structure carries many memories for aging Navy and Marine warriors, who have opposed making dramatic changes to the venerable facility. Ledford lobbied city development aide Jeff Graham to “Obtain necessary permits for redevelopment of the site.”
Another lucrative Ledford client was the California Dental Association, which paid the Republican lobbyist $12,000 to “promote the fluoridation of potable water supplied by the city of San Diego.” Ledford and his associate Liz Saidkhanian — former field representative for GOP ex–assemblyman George Plescia, now running for state senate against incumbent Democrat Marty Block — met with deputy city attorney Raymond Palmucci and the city water department’s James Fisher.
Ledford’s firm picked up $4000 from General Dynamics NASSCO, the big shipbuilder on the bay, to “facilitate the establishment of a bicycle path adjacent to the facility.” The goal: “completion of a bicycle path with minimal impact to the business facility.” On that assignment, they consulted with Travis Knowles, a staffer with District Eight city councilman David Alvarez.
A great deal of Ledford’s revenue this winter came as the result of “Contingency fees earned for lobbying performed in a previous reporting period,” the disclosure says. In that category was $8000 from La Jolla Crossroads II, LLC; $12,000 from Palm Properties, LP; $11,000 from St. Paul’s Senior Homes and Services; and $8000 from High Flying Foods, Inc. High Flying, which specializes in running trendy bistros at airports, won a big contract last fall with the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, due in part to Ledford’s lobbying.