Our politically ambitious Mayor Faulconer is hyping himself as the “anti-drought mayor.”
With San Diego’s water rates set to rise and supply cuts ever growing, that $1.6 million, off-again, on-again public relations contract being issued by Kevin Faulconer to hype his status as the anti-drought mayor is looking ever more essential for the politically ambitious Republican. And plenty of the ex-public relations man’s former peers showed up at a July 9 city hall briefing in an attempt to nab the lucrative deal, scheduled to include such tasks as helping to “identify press opportunities and media partnerships” and “provide support as needed for press conference or campaign related events.”
Hopefuls on the sign-in sheet included Paul Worlie of Nuffer, Smith, Tucker. The former staffer to Nevada Democratic Senator Harry Reid is married to Nancy Worlie, Content & Communications chief at KPBS. The San Diego State-owned public broadcasting operation frequently covers the mayor and water.
Reached by phone earlier this week, Worlie said she had been unaware of her husband’s attendance at the meeting. If his company should obtain the city contract, she said she would inform the KPBS newsroom of the situation. Lawyer Cory Briggs and his wife Sarichia Cacciatore have been the target of coverage by KPBS regarding Cacciatore’s role as a San Diego city environmental consultant while her husband was representing plaintiffs against city hall. Worlie said her case was not similar.
Another attendee at the city’s procurement session was Andrew Aiello-Hauser of MJE Marketing, the outfit that engaged in city hall lobbying for the ultimately failed Balboa Park makeover championed by La Jolla billionaire Irwin Jacobs. Josie Calderon of JLC Consultant Services, a longtime handler of PR for big public works projects, also put in an appearance. The participants were told that TV adverting costs, said to be a major part of the soon to burgeon program, aren’t included in the $1.6 million.
The new hire will also be tasked “with managing the crisis communications that could arise from strict water reductions,” says the briefing document. “Water conservation is behavioral, and it is the consultant’s responsibility to continue the effort to broaden the public’s attitude toward water conservation.”