As they ramp up to take the Chargers to Los Angeles, the days of the Spanos family’s big-money backing of San Diego politicos appear to be over.
With one exception…and it’s not Republican mayor Kevin Faulconer, who has been trying to get the team to stay here by offering public subsidies, as yet to no avail.
Instead, North County GOP congressman Darrell Issa has the support of Dean Spanos, who gave the Darrell Issa Victory Fund $2500 on April 30, according to federal disclosure data.
Issa was formerly chairman of the House Oversight Committee, where last fall he was involved in discussions about investigating the domestic abuse case of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and other NFL domestic violence issues.
No hearings on the touchy matter were held, and Issa was termed out of the chairmanship in January.
Under Utah congressman Jason Chaffetz, the oversight committee then took up the issue of whether the NFL should be tax-exempt.
In April, the league voluntarily surrendered its nonprofit status.
Beyond his semi-local contribution to Issa, Dean Spanos and other family members have been saving their wealth for another friend on the national scene.
Dean, wife Susan, brother Michael Spanos, and his wife Helen each came up with $2700 on June 29 for Texas GOP ex-governor Rick Perry's presidential run. In addition, Dean gave $5000 to RickPAC, a separate fund backing Perry, on March 20.
As previously reported here, the family members are longtime Perry backers, throwing a fundraising bash for the candidate at Sacramento's posh Park Ultra Lounge in December 2011.
The family has also anted up for Gridiron PAC, the political action committee run by the National Football League, whose fellow directors Dean Spanos is said to be counting on to pave the way to Carson.
A.G. Spanos of San Diego, employed by the Chargers, is down for giving $2500 to the PAC on June 10. Alex Spanos, also of San Diego and employed by the Chargers, is listed as giving $1250 on June 23.
Whether this is the same person could not be immediately ascertained. Dean's eldest son Alexander Gus Spanos, is president of the team's business operations. Another son, John, president of football operations, gave $5000 June 10.
Dean gave $5000 to Gridiron on June 8, as did brother Michael and sister-in-law Helen. Dean's wife Susan did the same on June 15.
As reported this past January by the Center for Public Integrity, Gridiron PAC has had its own financial issues.
The NFL's chief lobbyist, Cynthia Hogan, ex-legal counsel to vice president Joe Biden, ordered up a legal review of the political action committee operations.
"Hogan wanted to make sure the NFL’s political action committee, which donates money directly to political candidates, was following best practices and providing 'in-depth briefings [to] her and her staff' on PAC operations," says Public Integrity's post.
According to the report, "The NFL’s PAC owed law firm Covington & Burling nearly $33,000 in outstanding invoices at the end of 2014.” The bills have reportedly since been paid.
“The legal bills came during a two-year election cycle when the NFL’s PAC, known as Gridiron PAC, gave less money to federal candidates than it ever has — $330,750, compared to more than $500,000 during the 2010 midterm election cycle.”