Politically ambitious San Diego Unified school-board member Kevin Beiser is throwing a bash to raise cash on behalf of the campaign for the minimum-wage measure on June’s ballot, saying, “The best way to help kids in poverty attending San Diego Unified Schools is to give their parents a living wage.”
To be held at the La Jolla manse of fellow Democrats and millionaire lawyers Candace Carroll and husband Len Simon on March 15, the effort is the first public sign of major backing for the wage hike this campaign season. The election was triggered in 2014 when a group calling itself the San Diego Small Business Coalition spent at least $496,482 on a referendum drive to force the city-council-passed law to the ballot.
Despite the group’s name, much of that money came from out-of-town interests, including $100,000 from the American Hotel and Lodging Association and $25,000 from International Franchise Association, both of Washington DC, and $40,000 given by the California Restaurant Association Issues PAC of Sacramento. Shelter Island, Inc., owned by the Baumann family, operators of Tom Ham’s Lighthouse and the Bali Hai (where an awards ceremony for local journalists was hit by food poisoning last fall), came up with $5000.
A campaign against the June wage-hike proposal hasn’t yet surfaced. As of December 31 of last year, the most recent disclosure deadline, the Chamber’s political action committee had $739,633 in the bank.