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Newsom's San Diegans of interest

Gavin Newsom tried to redefine marriage; now he wants to rearrange Balboa Park.
Gavin Newsom tried to redefine marriage; now he wants to rearrange Balboa Park.

Democratic Lt. governor Gavin Newsom made some waves here just over a year ago when then–Jerry Sanders media handler Rachel Laing tweeted a link to a letter from Newsom to Milford Wayne Donaldson, advising the state historical preservation officer to lay off criticism of the then-pending Plaza de Panama parking and road plan for Balboa Park. “This is a project with broad local political, philanthropic and community support so it may be more productive to work in collaboration with the project development team to achieve your goal of preserving this historical open-space,” wrote the former mayor of San Francisco. “As the State Historic Preservation Officer, I hope that you will consider these arguments, withdraw your comments, and begin to work in collaboration with the leaders of the Plaza de Panama project.”

Unmentioned in Newsom’s letter was the controversial project’s financial backer and devoted lobbyist, Irwin Jacobs, the Qualcomm billionaire from La Jolla. Also not disclosed was a contribution by Jacobs of $5000 to Newsom’s campaign for lieutenant governor in October 2010. But that turned out to be only the beginning. Exactly a month after Newsom’s letter to Donaldson, Jacobs and his wife Joan kicked in a combined $12,000 to the lieutenant governor’s 2014 reelection campaign fund. In the end, the cash to Newsom, as well as all the other big checks cut by Jacobs on behalf of his pet project, proved to be futile when a superior-court judge ruled the project had been illegally approved by the city council.

As for Newsom, it turns out that not many other denizens of San Diego County were motivated enough last year to further his political career with campaign cash. According to recently filed campaign disclosure data, available online from the California Secretary of State’s office, in addition to Jacobs, the only other five-figure donors were two casino owners: the Viejas Tribal Government ($10,000) and the Pala Band of Mission Indians ($10,000). The Sycuan Indians, another casino-owning tribe, came up with $3000. Lower-level money arrived from Gen-Probe, Inc., and Midland Credit Management, at $2500 each. Lower still was A. Christopher Wahl, a registered city lobbyist with the San Diego influence-peddling boutique of Southwest Strategies, who managed to cough up $1000 on December 3.

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4

Why don't you mention the fact that after he was threatened, Donaldson left his position? Asked to resign? Intolerable working conditions? Please find an answer. Ironically, he will probably return to practice architecture in town, in competition with his old firm that worked on the Jacobs project.

Feb. 28, 2013

Doubt he will return to practice of architecture. He has moved on. Will no doubt continue working in the historic preservation field though. He is still involved with preservation issues nationally and in California and is an expert in the field.

Feb. 28, 2013

Thank you, Gavin Newsom, for driving yet another principled public servant out of a position sorely needing one.

March 2, 2013

Wayne Donaldson continues to serve as Chair of the National Advisory Commission on Historic Preservation. The professional biography enumerating his many State and National historic preservation activities, posted at the ACHP website , makes clear that the "Newsom Incident" was a small blip along his path.

Ironically the current principle of the company founded by Wayne Donaldson, is now David Marshall, the so-called "historic preservationist" who did everything he could to present the Jacobs plan in Balboa Park as acceptable in a National Historical Landmark District.

March 2, 2013

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Gavin Newsom tried to redefine marriage; now he wants to rearrange Balboa Park.
Gavin Newsom tried to redefine marriage; now he wants to rearrange Balboa Park.

Democratic Lt. governor Gavin Newsom made some waves here just over a year ago when then–Jerry Sanders media handler Rachel Laing tweeted a link to a letter from Newsom to Milford Wayne Donaldson, advising the state historical preservation officer to lay off criticism of the then-pending Plaza de Panama parking and road plan for Balboa Park. “This is a project with broad local political, philanthropic and community support so it may be more productive to work in collaboration with the project development team to achieve your goal of preserving this historical open-space,” wrote the former mayor of San Francisco. “As the State Historic Preservation Officer, I hope that you will consider these arguments, withdraw your comments, and begin to work in collaboration with the leaders of the Plaza de Panama project.”

Unmentioned in Newsom’s letter was the controversial project’s financial backer and devoted lobbyist, Irwin Jacobs, the Qualcomm billionaire from La Jolla. Also not disclosed was a contribution by Jacobs of $5000 to Newsom’s campaign for lieutenant governor in October 2010. But that turned out to be only the beginning. Exactly a month after Newsom’s letter to Donaldson, Jacobs and his wife Joan kicked in a combined $12,000 to the lieutenant governor’s 2014 reelection campaign fund. In the end, the cash to Newsom, as well as all the other big checks cut by Jacobs on behalf of his pet project, proved to be futile when a superior-court judge ruled the project had been illegally approved by the city council.

As for Newsom, it turns out that not many other denizens of San Diego County were motivated enough last year to further his political career with campaign cash. According to recently filed campaign disclosure data, available online from the California Secretary of State’s office, in addition to Jacobs, the only other five-figure donors were two casino owners: the Viejas Tribal Government ($10,000) and the Pala Band of Mission Indians ($10,000). The Sycuan Indians, another casino-owning tribe, came up with $3000. Lower-level money arrived from Gen-Probe, Inc., and Midland Credit Management, at $2500 each. Lower still was A. Christopher Wahl, a registered city lobbyist with the San Diego influence-peddling boutique of Southwest Strategies, who managed to cough up $1000 on December 3.

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Why don't you mention the fact that after he was threatened, Donaldson left his position? Asked to resign? Intolerable working conditions? Please find an answer. Ironically, he will probably return to practice architecture in town, in competition with his old firm that worked on the Jacobs project.

Feb. 28, 2013

Doubt he will return to practice of architecture. He has moved on. Will no doubt continue working in the historic preservation field though. He is still involved with preservation issues nationally and in California and is an expert in the field.

Feb. 28, 2013

Thank you, Gavin Newsom, for driving yet another principled public servant out of a position sorely needing one.

March 2, 2013

Wayne Donaldson continues to serve as Chair of the National Advisory Commission on Historic Preservation. The professional biography enumerating his many State and National historic preservation activities, posted at the ACHP website , makes clear that the "Newsom Incident" was a small blip along his path.

Ironically the current principle of the company founded by Wayne Donaldson, is now David Marshall, the so-called "historic preservationist" who did everything he could to present the Jacobs plan in Balboa Park as acceptable in a National Historical Landmark District.

March 2, 2013

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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