Rachel Laing at pot zoning hearing
  • Rachel Laing at pot zoning hearing
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Some seemingly strange political bedfellows are behind an independent expenditure committee backing attorney Robert Brewer for district attorney against incumbent Bonnie Dumanis.

Calling itself “Public Safety Advocates," the group received $10,000 from the Alliance for Responsible Medicinal Access PAC, a pro–medical marijuana group, on April 25, according to a May 5 filing with the county Registrar of Voters.

The Deputy Sheriffs Association of San Diego County PAC and the San Diego Police Officers Association PAC gave $5000 each in March. The police officers union kicked in another $5000 last month.

The Peace Officers Research Association of California, the state's biggest police labor advocacy group, came up with $5000 on May 5, in addition to $5000 contributed on April 17.

Other donors have included the San Diego County Probation Officers PAC, with $3500 on March 13; the State Coalition of Probation Organizations PAC, giving $3000 on April 21; and the Chula Vista Police Relief Association, with $2500 on May 1.

Greg Scott of Beverly Hills, listed as an investor at Peak Holdings, LLC, gave $5000. According to an online listing by Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Scott "served as General Manager and Chief Financial Officer of Shapell & Webb from 1985 to 1998.

“He has been a Director of Bridgford Foods Corp. since January 3, 2006. He served as Director of Alliance Bancshares California since 2000 and of Alliance Bank, a subsidiary of Alliance Bancshares California since 1990. Mr. Scott is a Certified Public Accountant."

A registration document for Public Safety Advocates, filed March 7, says the group's principal officer is Asher Burke, a political consultant and former field representative for Republican assemblyman Brian Jones.

According to a 2012 stipulation on file with the San Diego city ethics commission, Burke, doing business as the San Diego Research Group, was paid $12,000 in October 2012 for robo-calls, literature, and canvassing by a committee calling itself “Conservatives for Gay Rights Supporting Carl DeMaio for Mayor 2012.”

As reported here by Dorian Hargrove in October 2012, the group had ties to local marijuana advocates and was funded by Charles McHaffie, a controversial San Diego investment figure. The committee was accused by DeMaio backers of actually favoring Bob Filner for mayor, a Democrat and ally of the marijuana business.

The Alliance for Responsible Medicinal Access had recently retained the services of ex–Jerry Sanders media handler Rachel Laing and was registered to lobby at city hall for zoning-law changes "pertaining to medical marijuana cooperatives." The group terminated its lobbying status in an April 21 filing that said the organization's original registration "was inadvertent.”

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