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Crowded art of influence

Lobbying firms reported collecting $3.25 million in 2013 from clients who sought to influence city hall officials.
Lobbying firms reported collecting $3.25 million in 2013 from clients who sought to influence city hall officials.

The lucrative business of peddling city hall influence has never been busier, according to a recently released tally of lobbyist activity by San Diego’s ethics commission. “During the 2013 calendar year, 69 lobbying firms and 47 organization lobbyists registered a total of 321 individual lobbyists with the City Clerk,” according to the October 3 report. “During 2013, lobbying firms reported receiving a total of $3,252,081 from their clients, and organization lobbyists reported making a total of 1,164 lobbying contacts with high-level City Officials.”

That translated into a major fundraising opportunity for city candidates. The lobbyists themselves came up with $377,213 in direct campaign donations and arranged $2,620,935 in fundraising activities for candidates and ballot causes. “It should be noted,” says the report, “that the definition of ‘fundraising’ is limited to: funds personally delivered to a City candidate; and contributions a lobbyist has taken some credit for raising with the candidate or the candidate’s controlled committee.” … Blue Shield of California apparently has the best health of the San Diego Democratic Party in mind, contributing $25,000 on October 11. Balancing that out was $15,000 from developers Scott and Mark McMillin to the local GOP on October 7. The same day, Jack in the Box’s Qdoba Mexican Grill outlet division forked over $5000 to support Jerry Brown’s Yes on 1 and 2 water-bond campaign. Brown’s wife Anne Gust used to be on the company’s board, and Brown’s personal financial disclosure reports say she still has a sizable stock holding in the firm.

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Lobbying firms reported collecting $3.25 million in 2013 from clients who sought to influence city hall officials.
Lobbying firms reported collecting $3.25 million in 2013 from clients who sought to influence city hall officials.

The lucrative business of peddling city hall influence has never been busier, according to a recently released tally of lobbyist activity by San Diego’s ethics commission. “During the 2013 calendar year, 69 lobbying firms and 47 organization lobbyists registered a total of 321 individual lobbyists with the City Clerk,” according to the October 3 report. “During 2013, lobbying firms reported receiving a total of $3,252,081 from their clients, and organization lobbyists reported making a total of 1,164 lobbying contacts with high-level City Officials.”

That translated into a major fundraising opportunity for city candidates. The lobbyists themselves came up with $377,213 in direct campaign donations and arranged $2,620,935 in fundraising activities for candidates and ballot causes. “It should be noted,” says the report, “that the definition of ‘fundraising’ is limited to: funds personally delivered to a City candidate; and contributions a lobbyist has taken some credit for raising with the candidate or the candidate’s controlled committee.” … Blue Shield of California apparently has the best health of the San Diego Democratic Party in mind, contributing $25,000 on October 11. Balancing that out was $15,000 from developers Scott and Mark McMillin to the local GOP on October 7. The same day, Jack in the Box’s Qdoba Mexican Grill outlet division forked over $5000 to support Jerry Brown’s Yes on 1 and 2 water-bond campaign. Brown’s wife Anne Gust used to be on the company’s board, and Brown’s personal financial disclosure reports say she still has a sizable stock holding in the firm.

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The San Diego Ethics Commission ought to publish this information for the general public. You can't tell the players without a program.

Oct. 29, 2014

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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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