Still awaiting the results of a state attorney general’s office investigation into whether there was wrongdoing involved in his turnover of a confidential city legal memo to lobbyists for Mission Valley’s SoccerCity, San Diego city councilman Chris Cate continues to impress with his money-raising prowess. In addition to his rapidly growing city-council 2018 reelection fund, Cate controls another political committee, known as “Communities for a Better Tomorrow by Chris Cate,” boasting a grab-bag of objectives.
One purpose, per the fund’s website, is to back a state ballot initiative called the “Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2018.” That would “end early release of rapists and child traffickers, and would add 15 crimes to the list of violent crimes for which early release is not an option, including child abuse, rape of an unconscious person, trafficking a child for sex, domestic violence, and assault with a deadly weapon.” Another cause is the “Reform Our School Board” ballot measure, calling for district elections and term limits for San Diego Unified school-board members. The group also says it favors the “Proposition 13 Portability Initiative,” which “would allow homeowners 55 years of age or older to transfer some of their Proposition 13 property tax base to a home of any price, located anywhere in the state, any number of times.”
But what do any of those causes have to do with the group’s spending $815.65 at the Intercontinental Yokohama Grand hotel, along with round-trip airfare of $844.59 from San Diego to Tokyo in October of last year? Cate couldn’t be reached, and his committee’s disclosure filing says only that the purpose of the expenditures was a “Trade mission.” The sole donation to the fund during last year’s second half is listed as $20,000 in November from Allan Camaisa, vice chairman of StemImmune, who did not respond to a request for comment placed with his personal assistant. Last summer StemImmune was raided by the U.S. Marshals Service, which “seized five vials of Vaccinia Virus Vaccine (Live) – a vaccine that is reserved only for people at high risk for smallpox, such as some members of the military,” according to an August 28 news release by the Federal Drug Administration. “As the vaccine is not commercially available, the FDA has serious concerns about how StemImmune obtained the product for use as part of an unapproved and potentially dangerous treatment.”