Franklin Antonio
  • Franklin Antonio
  • from UCSD website (photo by David Baillot, Jacobs School of Engineering)
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Whenever a high-profile political fight breaks out in America, wealthy San Diegans from both sides of the political spectrum can be counted on to ante up handsome sums to benefit their favorite causes, with this week's rough-and-tumble Senate face-off in Alabama no exception.

Roy Moore

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Preliminary numbers from the Federal Election Commission, covering the period from the beginning of 2017 through November 22 of this year, reveal that county backers of narrowly victorious Democrat Doug Jones came up with the most, $101,682.

The cause of Republican rival Roy Moore picked up $53,493 here, analysis of the federal disclosure filings shows, with Qualcomm chief scientist Franklin Antonio of Del Mar among the top two givers, with $2700 on October 17.

Last month, Antonio donated $30 million to UCSD for a "programmatic expansion of the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering," according to the school's website.

Susan Polis Schutz and Stephen Schutz


Antonio "graduated from UC San Diego with a bachelor’s degree in Applied Physics and Information Science in 1974. After college, he worked at Linkabit for 12 years before joining Irwin Jacobs, Andrew Viterbi, and four others to create Qualcomm in 1985," per the news release regarding his contribution.

"Mr. Antonio is a remarkable alumnus and visionary who has made transformational technological advances that have touched each of our lives," said chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla in a November 17 announcement of the donation and the naming of a new engineering school building after Antonio.

Rancho Santa Fe's John Peck, a regular player in GOP funding, including big contributions to the Lincoln Club, came up with the same for Moore on October 26. Both donations arrived before the November 9 Washington Post story about Moore's alleged sexual transgressions that played a major role in the final weeks of the campaign.

Gregory Vega


Other San Diego–area contributions to the Moore campaign were made even earlier, with real estate investor Barbara Theberge of Coronado donating $1500 on August 20 and hotel-industry lawyer Thomas Sayer coming up with $2000 on August 16, according to campaign filings.

On the winning side, San Diego cash for the Doug Jones effort came spring, summer, and fall, with $2700 on May 15 from Gregory Vega of Del Mar, a former U.S. Attorney currently practicing with Seltzer Caplan. Lawyer Patrick Coughlin of Robbins, Geller, Rudman, and Dowd, another regular Democratic donor, gave $2700 on July 31. He contributed the same on October 19.

Susan Polis Schutz and Stephen Schutz anted up a total $5400 for Jones on November 10. The La Jolla couple got rich in the greeting-card business, founding Colorado's Blue Mountain Arts in 1971. Son Jared Polis is a Colorado congressman.

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AlexClarke Dec. 17, 2017 @ 10:13 a.m.

That anyone with more than a single digit IQ and morals would back Roy Moore is incredible. No wonder that Qualcomm at its core is corrupt.


monaghan Dec. 18, 2017 @ 11:19 p.m.

It's a free country, as they used to say when I was a kid, and one can give to or withold from whomever one wants, but chief scientists at Qualcomm sending money to Roy Moore strain credulity.


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