It's fall again, time for some pre-election political shenanigans from the GOP Lincoln Club. The developer-backed group, famous for its direct mail hits on local Democratic hopefuls, has returned for a round of opponent bashing, judging from a September 27 filing with the county registrar of voters.
The club's latest undertaking is a political committee calling itself the Public Integrity League Opposed to Jen Campbell for City Council, not to be confused with the club's similarly-named Public Integrity League of San Diego Opposed to the 2016 Re-election of Dave Roberts for County Supervisor.
This time around, Democrat Campbell, a Bay Ho physician, is facing off against Republican incumbent Lorie Zapf, who is seeking another four years on the council by avoiding the city's term limits through a redistricting loophole.
One of the declining number of dependable Republican votes on the city council, Zapf in her reelection bid has been the beneficiary of Lincoln Club and Chamber of Commerce largesse to the tune of $95,000, funneled through another paper entity calling itself Coastal Communities Supporting Lorie Zapf for Council 2018.
The newly-formed integrity league picked up $15,000, its initial Lincoln Club contribution, on September 26.
Chronically mislabeled as conservative, the developer-financed club takes pains to eschew ideological positions, viewing discussions regarding the nation's culture wars a distraction from its key mission as political bankroller for the city's and county's real estate development lobby.
In an October 2013 hit on Nathan Fletcher, the club rolled out a direct mail piece aimed at Democratic and independent voters highlighting the Democrat's former affiliation with the GOP, along with a photo of the ex-assemblyman with Republican strategist Karl Rove.
"Where is Nathan Fletcher?" said the headline. "Hiding from his Extreme Right-Wing Record."
The same month, then-Qualcomm CEO and chairman Paul Jacobs blew up at the club in a letter demanding that its hit piece calling out Fletcher's alleged make-work job at the company, founded by his father, Bill and Hillary Clinton backer Irwin Jacobs, be retracted.
"Is the Lincoln Club so desperate and out of constructive ideas that they are resorting to attacks on private employers, forsaking their supposed principles and lying to serve a political agenda?" stormed Jacobs. "I demand a full apology and a retraction of this slanderous attack on our company and its more than 13,000 local employees."
From the beginning of this year through September 22, according to a September 27 filing by the group with the county Registrar of Voters, the club has raised a total of $731,882, and spent $922,210, leaving it with a cash balance of $125,881, and debts of $13,590.
This year's biggest single source of funding for the club, a combined $52,500, are six real estate development partnerships controlled by New Jersey-based Garden Communities, a frequent seeker of apartment project permits before the planning commission and city council.
The development outfit, run by Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf and family, drew unwanted attention in April of last year when 49-year-old Peter Selis, the ex-husband of a company property manager, went on a killing spree at the firm's La Jolla Crossroads apartment complex on Judicial Drive near University Town Centre.
Other major development interests among this year's givers include Mission Beach amusement park proprietor Pacifica Enterprises ($10,250) and J. Stephen Quinn, founder, president, and CEO of American Property Enterprises, ($10,500).
Ex-city manager Jack McGrory, a trustee of the California State University system currently leading this fall's campaign to turn the site of the former Qualcomm Stadium over to San Diego State, came up with $2500, and Gafcon, a building contractor whose executive Josh Gaffen recently alleged that the San Diego County Taxpayers Association rigs its political endorsements,gave $4500.
Power giant Sempra Energy, currently fighting a proposal at city hall to deprive it of its electric distribution monopoly, contributed $7500.
South Bay financier David Malcolm, whose own integrity came under fire when he was forced to resign as a member of San Diego's port commission and sent to work furlough after pleading guilty to a felony conflict-of interest charge in 2003, donated $12,500.