It used to be that campaign committees for San Diego politicos closed up shop within a week or two after the election, holding a victory or consolation party, paying off a few bills, and occasionally making refunds to contributors. Rarely did a campaign organization stay open forever.
These days, though, it seems that no self-respecting local politician would be caught dead without a quasi-eternal fundraising machine, a big campaign debt owed to high-flying consultants, and money-laden special interests attracted to boozy cash-raising events, held well below the public's radar.
A master of the practice has turned out to be San Diego Republican mayor Kevin Faulconer, whose most recent disclosure report, on file with the city clerk, shows that as of June 30 his mayoral campaign committee had a cash balance of $84,874 and a leftover campaign debt of $157,040, much of it owed to a pair of city-hall lobbyists.
On a single day, June 2, according to the data, the mayor raised $14,775 from 48 donors, including a total of $3000 from the three Falic brothers of Hollywood, Florida, proprietors of Duty Free Americas.
A week later, June 9, as previously reported here, brother Simon Falic, Duty Free's chairman and chief operating officer, arrived in town to rally local backing for an enormous "multi-use" complex at the border. To facilitate the plan, a land swap with the federal General Services Administration was proposed.
Duty Free is a longtime supporter of San Diego politicians, be they Republican or Democrat. In October 2012, the company shoveled $10,000 into a committee backing Bob Filner for mayor. While he was a congressman, Duty Free had been Filner's biggest single campaign donor.
In August 2012, Duty Free came up with $12,000 to partially finance a lavish "Bi-National Summit" thrown by GOP then-mayor Jerry Sanders.
Another fat cat ex-Filner supporter also gave to Faulconer on June 2. Enrique Landa, promoter of the ill-fated Baja Agua border sewer treatment scheme who backed Nathan Fletcher for mayor last year, came up with $500, according to the disclosure. His son Fernando gave $250.
The campaign’s biggest creditor, according to the disclosure, was Revolvis Consulting, Inc. Run by Republican political gurus Jason Roe and Duane Dichiara, the firm, paid $56,054.22 during the reporting period, was still owed $100,453.46 by the Faulconer campaign.
As previously reported here, since Faulconer's election, Roe and Dichiara have added to their portfolio by setting up a new influence-peddling boutique called Presidio Public Affairs Group, which is registered to lobby city officials on behalf of tobacco giant Lorillard, Inc. and billboard behemoth CBS Outdoor.
Golden State Consultants, run by GOP political fundraiser Ashley Hayek, received $72,840.79 during the period and was still owed $55,968.49 by the Faulconer campaign.
According to the Golden State website, Hayek, “began her career interning for Assemblyman George Plescia, Associated Builders and Contractors PAC, and the Republican Party. She began working for the Lincoln Club of San Diego County orchestrating membership communication, coordinating fundraising events, and managing legislative activities.”