Roger Hedgecock. The U-T pushed hard for Great American PR man Dick Carlson's 1984 mayoral bid against embattled incumbent Hedgecock
Fallen San Diego mayor Roger Hedgecock, who has long described himself as a "recovering politician," has suffered another relapse, judging by the $10,000 that his corporation — Worldwide Community Forum, Inc. — gave January 7 to the GOP Lincoln Club's committee to dash Democrat David Alvarez's hopes of becoming mayor.
Currently holding forth on U-T TV, a cable channel run by La Jolla real estate magnate Douglas Manchester (who is backing Republican champion Kevin Faulconer for mayor), Hedgecock resigned his job as mayor after being convicted in a 1985 campaign money-laundering case.
Following a second trial and lengthy appeals, Hedgecock, represented by Las Vegas lawyer to the mob Oscar Goodman, cut a deal with the district attorney, as reported here in 1998 by Bill Manson:
Rather than face a third trial, Hedgecock pled guilty to one felony conspiracy charge, agreed to pay a $5000 fine, and served three years' probation.
In January 1991, a judge, following the terms of Hedgecock's plea bargain, reduced the felony conviction to a misdemeanor and dismissed the case.
Under the deal, Hedgecock is forever required to disclose his record if he runs for office, seeks local or state licenses, or applies for a concession to sell state lottery tickets. He later paid a $30,000 civil fine to settle state corruption charges.
Hedgecock, who started political life as a liberal Republican, veered to the right during his subsequent career as a radio talk-show host. He turned up on Manchester's media shortly after the San Diego hotel mogul opened for business.
The operations of Hedgecock's Worldwide Community Forum have drawn their own share of scrutiny, as reported here in March of last year by Don Bauder.
Hedgecock makes a big slug of money from a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization in Arlington, Virginia, the American Studies Center. It calls itself a “non-partisan educational organization” but boasts of being “a voice for American conservatives” through a division, Radio America, that syndicates Hedgecock’s radio show.
The 2009 filing for American Studies Center shows it paid Worldwide Community Forum, 2656 Bayside Walk, San Diego, $300,000. Hedgecock heads Worldwide and lives at that address. In 2010, the sum jumped to $300,150, and in 2011, it was up to $345,729. The 2012 information is not yet available.
Besides Hedgecock's outfit, other January 7 donors to the Lincoln Club's anti-Alvarez effort included Mission Valley developer Thomas Sudberry ($10,000), Carlsbad's Kelly Mikules ($8000), and Don Daley, Jr., president of California Commercial Asphalt ($1000).
As Republican Faulconer has been drawing big money from the right, his city-council colleague David Alvarez has continued to pile up cash from labor unions and state Democrats.
On January 7, according to a report posted online by the California secretary of state's office, he received $70,000 from the California Democratic Party. The next day, the Service Employees International Union Candidate PAC gave $25,000 to an independent expenditure committee backing Alvarez.