Oceanside’s James Buss, son of late Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss (above) and part-owner of the team, gave $250 to this year’s Trump cause.
Oceanside Laker Trump backer
The COVID-19 pandemic may have cut the number of donations from San Diegans backing the reelection of president Donald Trump, but money continues to stream in. Among prominent contributors, per new filings at the Federal Election Commission, are Vista City Attorney Darold Pieper, with $1000 on May 30. He was at the center of a marijuana flap at the city in November 2018, during which the city attorney accused a pro-cannabis group of failing to disclose the identity of their mailer’s sponsors. Also giving to this year’s Trump cause was Oceanside’s James Buss, son of late Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss and part-owner of the team. According to the federal filings, James Buss, who kicked in $250 on May 28, is currently a Lakers department head. In 1984, he was sued for fraud and passing bad checks, according to a UPI account in October of that year. Three years ago, he was stripped of all power over the team by sibling Jeannie Buss in a family putsch that gave her control of the Lakers, as related by USA Today in February 2017. “She’d recount all the mistakes that her brother, part-owner and former front office executive Jim Buss, and longtime general manager Mitch Kupchak had made and wondered why her patience in them hadn’t paid off, she was more and more ready to do this deed,” the report said.
“The message is clear here: Do not underestimate Jeanie Buss,” Adam Streisand, her attorney, told the L.A. Times in March 2017. “There is not going to be [another] palace coup. Not now. Not ever.”
Vista city attorney Darold Pieper chipped in $1000 to President Trump’s reelection campaign.
After Trump questioned the intelligence of Lakers star LeBron James in an August 2018 tweet, Jeannie came to the player’s defense, writing, “We could not be more proud to have LeBron James as part of our Lakers family.” Federal records show she gave $270 to Act Blue, a Democratic online fundraising site, in February of last year.
Jerry Buss, who died in February 2013 at 80 of cancer complications, was a longtime resident of Rancho Santa Fe. An infamous womanizer, he was busted in May 2007 at 74 for driving drunk while cruising around Carlsbad in his gold Mercedes-Benz E320 after midnight with 23-year-old Jeannana Flores of New York City, according to an L.A. Times account of the day.
The Lakers are now partly owned by L.A billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, proprietor of the Times and San Diego Union-Tribune, which rarely report on the inside doings of Lakers ownership.
Nathan’s Gaslamp safety pitch
It’s been a torrent of mixed messages from local politicos racing to keep up with the always morphing COVID-19 pandemic, especially for Democratic county supervisor Nathan Fletcher and San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer. The Gaslamp Quarter’s “diligent cleaning crews pledge to pressure-wash all sidewalks and patios every week, and restaurants pledge to provide responsible dining service, and hotels pledge to keep guests safe and comfortable, and retailers pledge to keep customers safe while they shop,” said Fletcher in a June 26 video for the Gaslamp Quarter Association. He strolled down a Gaslamp sidewalk while extolling the area’s purported safety, with scenes of custodians hosing down sidewalks and waitresses taking safety vows. A separate video, using the same script, featured San Diego Republican mayor Kevin Faulconer. Four days later, the hammer dropped. Bars that don’t serve food were ordered by the county to shut down, and eateries of all kinds slapped with a 10 pm curfew.
Nathan Fletcher wants you to feel safe eating and drinking in the Gaslamp.
Jill Galvez, a member of the Chula Vista city council elected last year, has been barred by an attorney for the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission from voting on a proposal to buy fire trucks financed by the Bank of America. Her husband is a senior vice president at BofA subsidiary Merrill Lynch and owns BofA stock. “The City of Chula Vista seeks to purchase an aerial ladder fire truck and an engine/pump fire truck, which together cost $2,273,805.23,” says a June 25 letter to Chula Vista city attorney Glen Googins from the commission’s general counsel Dave Bainbridge. “To finance the purchase of the two fire trucks, Chula Vista seeks to enter into a lease agreement with Bank of America Corporation with a written rate and term lock for up to $2,400,000 at 1.39% interest with a five-year term.” Though “Mr. Galvez owns less than 3 percent of Bank of America’s stock and he is neither an officer nor a director of Bank of America,” his wife still has a “remote” interest in the company and can’t play any role in the deal. “Similarly, because she is also disqualified from taking part in the decision under the Act, she must follow the recusal requirements... which includes the further requirement that Councilmember Galvez recuse herself and leave the room after identifying her economic interests.”
Galvez caused controversy this April when she inadvertently emailed her contact list with home addresses and private notes to 940 people and asked the U-T not to report the breach.