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Taxing dinner with Lorena and the two Brians

There are no free dinners, except for San Diego politicos. That’s the word contained in a lobbying disclosure report filed by the County of San Diego last month. According to a recently amended statement with the California Secretary of State’s office, the county spent a total of $104,007 on lobbying expenses during the second quarter of this year: $54,961 was paid to Sacramento’s Nielsen Merksamer Parrinello, Gross & Leoni; $30,110 went to San Diego–based Carpi & Clay. And on May 29, three San Diego legislators, Republican assemblymen Brian Jones and Brian Maienschein, along with their newly elected Democratic colleague, Lorena Gonzalez, got treated to a free spread worth $79 each at Sacramento’s posh Esquire Grille on the K Street Mall near the capitol, thanks to county taxpayers.

“With its elegant décor, seasonal menu, and well-trained staff, Esquire Grill is the ultimate in downtown Sacramento dining,” says the eatery’s website. “Sip a cocktail in the bar or on the open-air patio. Clever takes on American cuisine are prepared using fresh, local ingredients, making Esquire Grill one of the best downtown Sacramento restaurants.” So, what was on the county’s lobbying menu? Among the hot issues pending, the report reveals, were monitoring of Medi-Cal managed-care programs, subdivision map expiration dates, fire prevention fees, an extension of so-called design-build programs for public buildings, setting up a storm-water pollution task force, and exempting bicycle transportation plans from mandatory environmental review.

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There are no free dinners, except for San Diego politicos. That’s the word contained in a lobbying disclosure report filed by the County of San Diego last month. According to a recently amended statement with the California Secretary of State’s office, the county spent a total of $104,007 on lobbying expenses during the second quarter of this year: $54,961 was paid to Sacramento’s Nielsen Merksamer Parrinello, Gross & Leoni; $30,110 went to San Diego–based Carpi & Clay. And on May 29, three San Diego legislators, Republican assemblymen Brian Jones and Brian Maienschein, along with their newly elected Democratic colleague, Lorena Gonzalez, got treated to a free spread worth $79 each at Sacramento’s posh Esquire Grille on the K Street Mall near the capitol, thanks to county taxpayers.

“With its elegant décor, seasonal menu, and well-trained staff, Esquire Grill is the ultimate in downtown Sacramento dining,” says the eatery’s website. “Sip a cocktail in the bar or on the open-air patio. Clever takes on American cuisine are prepared using fresh, local ingredients, making Esquire Grill one of the best downtown Sacramento restaurants.” So, what was on the county’s lobbying menu? Among the hot issues pending, the report reveals, were monitoring of Medi-Cal managed-care programs, subdivision map expiration dates, fire prevention fees, an extension of so-called design-build programs for public buildings, setting up a storm-water pollution task force, and exempting bicycle transportation plans from mandatory environmental review.

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