Jen Campbell, Lorie Zapf
  • Jen Campbell, Lorie Zapf
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The fundraising battle between two political committees waging a war of hit pieces against their foes in San Diego's Second District city council race currently favors the Republican incumbent, thanks to a fresh cash infusion by builders and developers, along with restaurateurs and barkeeps.

The so-called Public Integrity League Opposed to Jen Campbell for City Council, funded by the GOP Lincoln Club four weeks ago to take on Democrat Campbell against Republican incumbent Lorie Zapf, got a $45,000 cash infusion on October 24 from the Building Industry Association PAC.

The BIA's political action committee has been historically backed by an array of local construction interests, with major givers including Newland Sierra, Baldwin & Sons, Colrich California Construction, and the H.G. Fenton Company. Each company came up with $7500 for the PAC during March and April of this year.

But this year's biggest contribution to the builders' PAC arrived just weeks ago, and it wasn't from a builder at all, but another political committee, called the San Diego Restaurant and Beverage PAC.

The hospitality industry group transferred $45,000 - exactly equal to the BIA's gift to the anti-Campbell hit piece fund - to the builders on October 2, per a financial disclosure report filed with the county Registrar of Voters earlier this month.

Discrete transfers of campaign cash through multiple succession of political action committees have become a local tradition, allowing donors to cloak from the public their motives.

The practice helps financial backers of hit pieces stay removed from the mire of the city’s most notoriously down and dirtycampaigns.

While the Lincoln Club's anti-Campbell fund has so far raised a total of $345,000, the anti-Zapf committee, calling itself San Diegans Against Hate opposing Lorie Zapf for City Council, has reported collecting a total of $307,500 through October 24, city data shows.

Labor union sources, including political action committees run by the Progressive Labor Alliance, District Council of Iron Workers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 569, and hotel workers union Unite Here! have been major givers. Democratic woman's group Run Women Run gave $2500, and $50,000 has come from Scott Borden, a Mission Hills investor.

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JustWondering Oct. 27, 2018 @ 9:43 a.m.

Honestly, neither of these office seekers are worthy of our votes or trust. San Diego politicians are abysmal and each election cycle seems worse than the one before it. The total lack of real leadership at the top has San Diego repeating mistakes from its recent past. Sadly, the moniker “Enron by the Sea” may be more appropriate then “America’s Finest City”.


dwbat Oct. 27, 2018 @ 11:39 a.m.

Maybe change it to: "American's Finest Enron by the Sea"


Visduh Oct. 27, 2018 @ 6:23 p.m.

District-only elections were supposed to make the city council work better and better represent the voters. Since the city cut over to that approach, the city council has declined in its quality and its ability to govern.

But, Matt, if you keep reporting these shady fund transfers and fund sources, how are they going to keep them secret? Sadly the answer is that nobody else in the local media takes the time and effort to watch this stuff. If they did, and it got reported to a wider audience it might make a difference at the ballot box. As it stands many San Diegans have no idea who their councilperson is and no idea of what she or he stands for.


Wabbitsd Oct. 29, 2018 @ 11:45 a.m.

Watching and Understanding are often very different things. Especially when you are talking complicated financial reporting that would expose so many of these charlatans.


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