Causes dear to state Assemblywoman Toni Atkins and Senator Ricardo Lara are among the honorees of so-called behested cash.
Bridgepoint Education, Inc., the controversial San Diego–based private school operator, continues to spread around political cash. According to a recent disclosure posted online by the California Fair Political Practices Commission, the firm gave $5000 on January 16 to the California Latino Legislative Caucus Foundation at the behest of Democratic state Sen. Ricardo Lara. Two years ago the foundation came under fire after the Sacramento Bee reported that the nonprofit, tax exempt organization had stopped revealing the identities of its donors.
Besides Bridgepoint, according to the state’s so-called behesting disclosure reports, other January donors to the foundation on behalf of Lara included Verizon ($7500); California Bankers Association ($7500); Cash America of Forth Worth, Texas ($1000); and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers ($6000).
Also on the behesting front, Democratic Assemblywoman Toni Atkins is down for a $5000 gift from AT&T to San Diego’s Downtown Partnership Foundation for “Two months of interim housing for 100 homeless individuals.” Wells Fargo Bank also kicked in $10,000. Atkins’s spouse, Jennifer LeSar, owns LeSar Development Consultants, which is the coordinator of the Campaign to End Homelessness in Downtown San Diego, according to the firm’s website. In addition, Kaiser Permanente gave $10,000 to the Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C. to sponsor a conference.