Garden Communities, the family business led by Minnesota Vikings owner Ziggy Wylf and a raft of New Jersey relatives who gave their occupations as retired, was a financial mainstay for Republican Mayor Dick Murphy
After Peter Selis, brother of wealthy apartment complex heiress Andrea Lee Posnock, went on an April 2017 killing spree at the Posnock-owned La Jolla Crossroads units where he lived, the super-rich housing family became politically less conspicuous. This year, though, they are inching back into the arena, with honcho Stuart Posnock kicking in $2000 to termed-out Republican city councilman Scott Sherman’s failed bid for mayor, and $1150 each to mayoral finalists Barbara Bry and Todd Gloria, both Democrats, on June 30. Andrea Lee, Stuart’s wife, did the same. By contrast, in 2013, Stuart Posnock and affiliates routed $10,000 to soon-to-resign mayor Bob Filner’s doomed campaign committee. And in 2001, Garden Communities, the family business led by Minnesota Vikings owner Ziggy Wilf and a raft of New Jersey relatives who gave their occupations as retired, was a financial mainstay for Republican Mayor Dick Murphy and his council allies.
Bob Filner - the face of regret.
Photograph by Alan Decker
Reached by phone at his residence on the East Coast, Garden Communities employee Mario Dudzinski, who had given substantially to Murphy, replied, “I’m very civic-minded, just leave it at that.”
Following questions asked for a Reader story regarding the contributions, Murphy amended his contribution reports to reveal the true occupations of developers originally listed as retirees.
A raft of text messages
attacking San Diego mayoral candidate Todd Gloria is hitting local cell phones. An October 14 expenditure of $14,000 by Reform California, the political committee run by ex-San Diego city councilman, former GOP congressional candidate, and radio talk show host Carl DeMaio is behind the effort. The two are battling over California Prop 15, to tax commercial and industrial property at market value, favored by Gloria, opposed by DeMaio, and San Diego’s Measure A, to boost property taxes for subsidized housing. The pair have also grappled over Gloria’s backing of sex-offender reform Bill 145
Todd Gloria flashes the smile of a man without money worries.
A tortured cash pathway between shadowy political committees has emerged in San Diego’s rough-and-tumble race for mayor. Looking to derail Barbara Bry’s mayoral hopes, an independent expenditure committee that calls itself Community Voices San Diego spent a total of $26,500 on October 12 for digital advertising to take down the city councilwoman. But who paid for the anti-Bry attack is harder to know. Per an October 13 disclosure filing, $6550 of the money behind the digital effort was donated back on July 7 by a group calling itself the San Diego Small Business Coalition supporting Todd Gloria, which shut down after cutting the check. County disclosure filings show that the principal officer of Community Voices, formed October 10, 2019, is Ryan Clumpner, the ex-GOP Lincoln Club principal who later said he was leaving the Republican Party.
Original funding for Community Voices came in October 2019, from Building Strong Communities Supporting Vivian Moreno for Council 2018, an independent expenditure group backing the ultimately elected San Diego councilwoman, and from Del Mar Beach Resort Investors. Each gave $5000. On December 30, 2019, Community Voices spent $5000 to support Del Mar’s Measure G, an ultimately failed developer’s initiative, and $7500 on legal services the week before to oppose Democratic county supervisorial candidate Terra Lawson Remer. Clumpner’s consulting firm, Public Dynamics, got $5000. In February and March of this year, Community Voices got $16,500 from the 2018 Moreno committee and $15,000 from the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce PAC. A total of $12,578 was spent on a mail piece for Ninth District San Diego city council hopeful Sam Bedwell, and seventh District San Diego council candidate Monty McIntyre got a $1900 contribution. Both lost.
The San Diego Small Business Coalition supporting Todd Gloria, the source of $6550 behind this month’s anti-Bry digital campaign ads by Community Voices, also has a convoluted history. On February 21, 2020, when the Small Business Coalition initially registered, it reported getting $27,500 from the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee. A donation of $10,000 came four days later from the California Asian Chamber of Commerce Candidate PAC of Encinitas, along with $2500 from Otay Truck Parking, LP. Year 2020 contributors to the Asian Chamber PAC include Verizon Wireless and its Good Government Club ($5000), the San Diego Restaurant and Beverage PAC ($5000), and Yin McDonalds Management in Vacaville ($1000).
Meanwhile, Bry has poured a sizable amount of personal cash into the campaign. On October 9, Bry kicked in $200,000, the largest amount from her yet. Another recent hefty donor to the Bry cause was the Browning Family Trust, whose trustee, J. Stephen Peace, is the controversial former Democrat state Assembly and Senate member. On October 8, the trust made an independent expenditure of $81,619 for campaign literature in favor of Bry, per campaign disclosures.
— Matt Potter
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