Fred Sainz – helps Apple's Tim Cook navigate the world of Donald Trump.
A flack from San Diego's political past has popped up on the list of maximum-dollar campaign contributors to Assembly Democrat Todd Gloria, currently running to succeed termed-out Republican mayor Kevin Faulconer in next year's March primary.
Fred Sainz was a Republican operative from New York who had a significant hand in running the 1996 GOP national convention here before going to work for San Diego mayor Susan Golding, and later Jerry Sanders.He has kicked in $1150 for Todd Gloria on December 14, a December 15 city filing shows.
These days Sainz is director of corporate communications at Apple, Inc., where he helps chief executive officer Tim Cook navigate the world of president Donald Trump, for whom Cook hosted a genial corporate event in Austin, Texas last month.
Back in the nineties, Sainz adapted to San Diego's rough-and-tumble political world with gusto, getting named Republican Golding's public relations person as she began a failed bid for the U.S. Senate.
Sainz subsequently went to work for Golding's GOP successor Jerry Sanders, where he guarded the ex-police chief from questioning by local journalists not affiliated with the Sanders-supportive Union-Tribune.
Sainz's stonewalling on behalf of Sanders included a June 2006 clash with KPBS-TV, which wanted its star reporter Gloria Penner to interview the mayor. Wrote station producer Graciela Sevilla in an email to Sainz: "We don't have any specific agenda, just a check-in and update."
Replied Sainz: "We'd love to do it, but we won't with Gloria as the interviewer."
Asked Sevilla: "Would it be safe to assume Gloria is out of favor after the [Ronne] Froman interview in January, or is there another reason?"
Said Sainz: "I think your read is accurate."
A year later, Froman, an ex-Navy admiral who had served as the neophyte mayor's political sherpa, abruptly quit the Sanders gig as the scandal of building near Montgomery Field became a fiasco.
In another case, Sainz moved in 2005 to block news of the mayor's Wi-Fi plans. "To all copied here," wrote Sainz in a memo to staff, "Do not speak with any reporters from the Reader. Tell them that you do not speak with reporters from the Reader. No additional information or follow up necessary. Thanks."
Yet another Sainz run-in with San Diego scribes happened in April 2008, when he rejected a request from the Voice of San Diego for a copy of an expletive-filled memo Sainz had sent Union-Tribune editorial page chief Bob Kittle.
"Sainz decided instead to give in to the San Diego Union-Tribune despite the requests we had placed under the Public Records Act," the Voice reported. "It appears that politics trumped law in the mayor's office."
When the email saw the light of day, it showed Sainz lobbying Kittle regarding a sewage treatment plan offered by then-city attorney Michael Aguirre, a Democrat:
"Our boy Mike is up to his regular bullshit messing things up,"
"Toilet to tap makes no sense on the economics of it alone," continued Sainz. "Not a good idea but Mike is hell-bent it appears on hurting the City. Bob, he's about to fuck this up big time -- WATCH!!!"
In 2008 Sainz left town to do public relations for the Gill Foundation, "the nation's largest funder of LGBT issues," according to his LinkedIn profile. Two years later, Sainz went to Washington, where he became vice president of PR for the Human Rights Campaign, before leaving for Apple in August 2015.