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Juan’s new wheels

$40K of campaign cash went to San Diego Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram

Juan Vargas used campaign funds to buy a car and insurance.
Juan Vargas used campaign funds to buy a car and insurance.

As the Union-Tribune continues to scour the campaign fund of Republican congressman Duncan Hunter for more of the kind of spending that has gotten him into hot water with House ethics police and the Justice Department, the political expenses of a safe-seated South Bay House Democrat have remained under the radar.

Recent disclosure records show that Juan Vargas has used campaign cash to pay for everything from a $39,785 “vehicle purchase” at San Diego Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram on April 3 and $2912 worth of car insurance from Farmers on May 2, to $1400 for “house dues/capital assessments” at the posh National Democratic Club on March 20. In addition, the Vargas reelection fund forked over $4000 for off-year “general campaign consulting” on February 14 to Sinergia Development Consulting of San Diego, which state corporation records say is run by Timothy S. Walsh, Vargas’s chief of staff in Washington and onetime campaign manager for Nathan Fletcher’s failed 2013 bid to become San Diego mayor.

Walsh, who has been paid about $40,000 per quarter in the House job, was named to the San Diego Housing Commission by Republican mayor Kevin Faulconer this past April. According to Walsh’s May 24 city conflict-of-interest filing, Sinergia, valued at less than $2000, has grossed between $10,000 and $100,000 from the Vargas for Congress committee.

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Juan Vargas used campaign funds to buy a car and insurance.
Juan Vargas used campaign funds to buy a car and insurance.

As the Union-Tribune continues to scour the campaign fund of Republican congressman Duncan Hunter for more of the kind of spending that has gotten him into hot water with House ethics police and the Justice Department, the political expenses of a safe-seated South Bay House Democrat have remained under the radar.

Recent disclosure records show that Juan Vargas has used campaign cash to pay for everything from a $39,785 “vehicle purchase” at San Diego Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram on April 3 and $2912 worth of car insurance from Farmers on May 2, to $1400 for “house dues/capital assessments” at the posh National Democratic Club on March 20. In addition, the Vargas reelection fund forked over $4000 for off-year “general campaign consulting” on February 14 to Sinergia Development Consulting of San Diego, which state corporation records say is run by Timothy S. Walsh, Vargas’s chief of staff in Washington and onetime campaign manager for Nathan Fletcher’s failed 2013 bid to become San Diego mayor.

Walsh, who has been paid about $40,000 per quarter in the House job, was named to the San Diego Housing Commission by Republican mayor Kevin Faulconer this past April. According to Walsh’s May 24 city conflict-of-interest filing, Sinergia, valued at less than $2000, has grossed between $10,000 and $100,000 from the Vargas for Congress committee.

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Comments
2

Democratic Congressman Juan Vargas bought a Dodge Ram SUV and car insurance with campaign contributions from the public? I'm hoping the donations came from the insurance industry or Big Pharma, groups which have cultivated Vargas since he was in the State Legislature in return for industry-friendly votes. Actually, even if it was corporate money, I'm still shocked. No way Congressman Bob Filner, Vargas' longtime predecessor in that seat, would ever have sunk so low. How is this legal?

July 26, 2017

Thank you for the update. Please let us know when Ben Hueso buys a new car so we can keep an eye out for him... he drives drunk on occasion. Would hate to see what liability the state or his campaign would be if he got another DUI. Maybe Lorena Gonzales will post another picture of her and her "Latino Homies" on her Facebook page.

July 26, 2017

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