Final numbers are in for U-T publisher Douglas Manchester’s California political giving during the 2014 election cycle, and they show that the Republican megamillionaire forked over a total of $452,440 to campaign causes around the state. The San Diego County GOP picked up the most, $232,600, much of it used to elect Kevin Faulconer mayor. The state party got $150,000, and the Republican Lincoln Club received $45,000. Councilwoman Lorie Zapf got $550.
Virgin Atlantic’s Richard Branson has told the New York Times he’s planning on opening a Virgin Hotel chain to include one in San Diego.
As Republican officials wrapped up their national meetings last week in Coronado, a New Mexico newspaper was shedding new light on a July 2013 blow-out at the La Costa spa and resort held by the Republican Governors Public Policy Committee. According to a January 12 account in the Albuquerque Journal, Keith Gardner, chief of staff to New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, showed up at the party, ostensibly to talk about energy and healthcare policy, which made it an official state trip. “Time records show Gardner didn’t take administrative compensatory time or annual leave to attend the policy committee meeting. Records of Gardner’s use of his government-issued credit card show he picked up a rental car July 10 at San Diego International Airport and returned it July 14, at a cost of $209,” the paper reported. “The fuel cost was an additional $37."
Gardner stayed an extra day in California to attend economic development meetings. He also charged a couple of meals during the conference.”