Southwest Strategies was paid $17,000 for its influence-peddling on behalf of ASM Global, per a November 2 disclosure filing.
Growing heights of influence
Southwest Strategies, the connected San Diego lobbying shop that frequently showers political money on candidates of all stripes, was paid $17,000 for its influence-peddling on behalf of ASM Global, per a November 2 disclosure filing. ASM is the multi-national events outfit owned by Denver billionaire Phil Anschutz which partnered with Toronto-based real estate giant Brookfield Asset Management to get an exclusive sports arena redevelopment deal from GOP mayor Kevin Faulconer. Southwest’s lobbying assignment, says the disclosure, was the pursuit of “a [request for proposal] and long-term lease for Sports Arena facility.”
Mayor Kevin Faulconer brokered a Sports Arena redevelopment deal.
A political consulting outfit owned by long-time Faulconer PR operative Matt Awbrey, who left the mayor’s employ on October 2, according to a departing office statement he filed November 3, is owed $24,000 by a Brookfield-backed campaign committee favoring Measure E. That successful effort will raise Midway area height limits, which the developers are counting on to max-out project densities and profits...Democrat Raul Campillo, a deputy city attorney who beat Republican restaurateur Noli Zosa for San Diego’s Seventh District city council seat, wound up making a last-minute donation of $17,807 to his campaign on November 2, according to an election day, November 3 filing.
UCSD docs go off scrip
Doctors in the Orthopedic Surgery department at UCSD have played too fast and loose with accounting for staff travel and handouts given to experimental subjects they recruit, per a September 17 university audit document. “Scrip and gift cards are used by Principal Investigators for the payment or reimbursements for compensation to human subjects in research,” the audit notes. “Scrip is like a check, but the name of the payee is not printed on scrip. Scrip and gift cards must be tracked, audited, and controlled by the department and is subject to University policy. We determined that logs were being maintained for scrip and gift cards; however, the gift card number was not documented on the log and the reconciliations were not [being] performed for scrip or gift cards.”
Raul Campillo flashes the smile of a man who jumped from deputy city attorney to city council member.
The document goes on to say that scrip will be “discontinued in June 2020, and Gift Card Program will continue” under beefed up scrutiny. As for travel and entertainment, auditors said they “determined that one traveler was reimbursed for the expenses paid on behalf of other persons. University policy states that University travelers normally should not be reimbursed for expenses paid on behalf of other persons, with limited exceptions, for payment of group subsistence expenses.” Adds the audit, “in one travel event, a faculty member staying separately from a group of travelers was reimbursed for the travel.”
The audit adds that in the future, “additional documentation and/or support should be included to support exceeding lodging maximums, cost savings for extended stays, and/or modes of transportation that do not appear to be the most reasonable and provide a description of the necessity of travelers for whom attendance is not apparent.”
Even after reaching the purple tier of the state’s covid pandemic shutdown list, the County of San Diego is still sending mixed messages regarding the dreaded virus’s future here. On the one hand, officials appear confident enough of holding mass gatherings in the days to come that they have a call out for bids for event equipment rental services. “Throughout the year, the County of San Diego holds a variety of themed events,” says the bid solicitation, dated October 30. “These events are attended by various groups, dignitaries, community leaders, County staff, and the public,” says the notice. “They can take place any day of the week, including weekends. The setting can be staged in small, medium, large, standard, complex, or multiple-site locations. The term will vary according to the event. Examples of County themed events could include a grand opening for a new County program, paying tribute to community leaders, polling sites for elections or holding high level dedication ceremonies throughout the community.”
On the other hand, the document notes, “the County is temporarily changing procurement processes due to the social distancing and other requirements put in place in response to the COVID-19 virus. BIDS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED BY PERSONAL DELIVERY.” Final responses are due November 20.
— Matt Potter
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