Pro-Gloria hit piece funded by business and labor groups
It's been no secret among inside political observers that the big gorilla of the San Diego's election season this year was a so-called independent expenditure committee calling itself Neighbors for Housing Solutions Supporting Todd Gloria for San Diego Mayor 2020.
The committee raised a total of more than $1.3 million through October 17 this year, according to financial disclosure forms submitted to the city clerk's office.
Now the city's ethics commission has confirmed the outsized role of the group in the form of a list of big-money donors ranked in order of contribution.
Protect Neighborhood Services Now Sponsored by the SD Municipal Employees Association, is expected to press Gloria hard for raises and other financial perks for its members during the trying budgetary times to come.
The city employee labor group gave $250,000, followed by the LGBT Caucus Leadership Fund with $155,000, the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters Political Action Fund Small Contributor Committee, which came up with $100,000, and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce PAC, contributing $99,963.
The Committee to Expand the Middle Class, Supported by Airbnb, Inc., gave $80,000, per the ethics commission's list. At the next level down $50,000 each came from John G. Thompson, the Laborers' Int'l. Union of North America Local 89 PAC Fund, the Laborers Pacific Southwest Regional Organizing Coalition PAC Small Contributor Committee, the Southern California District Council of Laborers PAC Small Contributor Committee, and the San Diego Works! PAC.
Another pro-Gloria mailer, this one featuring pro-Bry Republicans. In fact Holly Smithson backed Biden over Trump this year.
$20,000 each was raised from SeaBreeze Vacation Rentals, LLC, the Downtown San Diego Partnership PAC, and Share San Diego, a political committee run by the short-term rental lobby.
Anheuser-Busch Companies gave $10,000, as did HNTB Corporation, Campland's Michael Gelfand, Service Employees International Union Local 221 Independent Expenditure PAC, Westfield Property Management, LLC, Evan Low for Assembly 2020, and ex-San Diego Unified Port commission member Robert Nelson.
In their take-no-prisoners campaign against Gloria's opponent, his fellow Democrat Barbara Bry, Neighbors for Housing Solutions rained a volley of direct mail hits on the city councilwoman from La Jolla, including one that charged that Bry was "tied to Donald Trump."
Said one of the committee's two-sided hit pieces, dispatched October 7 according to the website PoliticalPropaganda.org, "Barbara Bry will drain the swamp and run San Diego like a business."
Another mailer pictured Bry with an offshore oil derrick and linked her to Big Oil through her stock ownership. Another, sent to Democrats and headlined "Barbara Bry, The Republican Choice for Mayor," carried endorsement-style praise for Bry from Republican county supervisor Dianne Jacob and GOP Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey.
"As a Republican, I know I can work with Barbara," said Bailey's quotation. "Barbara Bry shares the same principles that have guided me as an elected official," Jacob was said to have proclaimed.
A quote from Holly Smithson, identified in the piece as a "Republican, Technology Leader," said: "We need a proven job creator and that's Barbara Bry."
A onetime U.S. Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman under 43rd President George W. Bush, Smithson backed Biden over Trump this year as part of a Biden-sponsored effort called 43 Alumni for America.