A tsunami of political TV spots may be about to hit San Diego airwaves, thanks to Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg and House hopeful Sara Jacobs, granddaughter of Bloomberg's longtime friend and associate Irwin Jacobs.
The double-billionaire punch comes two months before the California primary in March. It could be only the beginning, based on a torrent of television commercials bought by the family friends to run during the first week of the year.
Bloomberg 2020 booked $86,921 worth of spots on ABC affiliate KGTV here and $143,310 on CBS affiliate KFMB, disclosure filings posted online by the Federal Communications Commission show. The campaign made a total buy of $101,575 at KSWB, the region's Fox affiliate.
So far, Jacobs, running to succeed House Democrat Susan Davis in the 53rd District, has purchased a weeklong run of commercials for $7114 on KGTV and $14,535 on KFMB, according to the records. Jacobs's KSWB buy was $3315. The two wealthy candidates are the only ones in any race to have arranged for airtime here, per FCC filings.
Bloomberg has spent almost $200 million on broadcast and social media across the nation, reports Vice, financed by his personal fortune.
The New Yorker's ties to the Jacobs family run deep. In May 2012, he reached out from the East Coast to endorse the candidacy of ex-Republican Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher for mayor of San Diego, backed by Irwin's son, then-Qualcomm chairman and CEO Paul Jacobs, and a raft of other company executives.
A year earlier, Irwin Jacobs and wife Joan had bankrolled Bloomberg's pet project to build a high-tech grad school on New York's Roosevelt Island for the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. "Today will be remembered as a defining moment," Bloomberg proclaimed. "In a word, this project is going to be transformative."
Sara Jacobs, who is facing labor union-endorsed San Diego city councilwoman Georgette Gomez, a fellow Democrat, in the March primary, has thus far gotten a total of $90,899 in campaign cash from donors with the last name of Jacobs.
Additionally, her grandfather Irwin gave a total of $2.5 million to Washington, D.C.-based Women Vote! which supported Jacobs with TV spots featuring Barack Obama during her failed 2018 run for congress in the 49th District.