Ric Grenell in the Washington Post. He was spokesman for Republican mayor Susan Golding and her race for the U.S. Senate.
Virtual giving, post facto
Covid-19 has proved no barrier to post-election fundraising for winning mayoral candidate Todd Gloria. Influence peddlers Stephanie Saathoff and Denise Z. Price, two Clay Company employees, threw a “virtual coffee” on November 24 that raised $5200 for Gloria’s campaign fund. Besides that event, the pair’s virtual coffees came up with $5350 on October 16 for City Attorney Mara Elliott’s re-election. Saathoff and Price raised $2850 on December 7 for newly elected council Democrat Marni Von Wilpert and $3200 on December 4 for council Democrat Joe LaCava, another November winner, at other online events. The report says a December 3 “virtual mtg” by the pair for councilman Stephen Whitburn raised $600. Prominent Clay Company clients include Evans Hotels, which leases from the city the land under the company’s Bahia and Catamaran hotels, and the Lodge at Torrey Pines. Evans paid the lobbyists $13,000 in the final quarter of 2020, the disclosure shows. The hotel group has been pushing hard for rent relief during the covid-19 pandemic.
Deep-pocketed clients make politician-turned-lobbyist David Alvarez smile. of a
Kilroy was here
David Alvarez,the former San Diego city council Democrat who lost the February 2014 mayoral runoff to Republican Kevin Faulconer, now hoping to be governor, has signed up his first city hall lobbying client. According to his February 3 lobbying disclosure registration, he’s advocating for Los Angeles developer Kilroy Realty regarding “Acquisition/Development of 951 Park Blvd.” The so-called Popular Market site is being sold by the city to Kilroy for a reported $8.5 million for development as offices for technology and life science companies. Kilroy already owns adjacent real estate, sold by the Salvation Army for $40 million, to be included in the mega-complex.
San Diegans for governor
Rancho Santa Fe Republican John Cox kicked off his latest campaign for governor with a TV spot drilling ex-San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, another declared Republican gubernatorial hopeful, for the city’s Ash Street office building scandal. Cox, who lost to Newsom in 2018, self-funded his latest campaign with $1 million on January 5, records show. Real estate mogul and Los Gatos vintner Joe McCarthy kicked in $31,000 for Cox on January 26. Meantime, yet another famous GOP name is being floated for governor. Ex-Trump administration acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell, no stranger to San Diego’s rough-and-tumble political environs, is said to be the top pick of some MAGA adherents, according to a February 5 dispatch by Breitbart.com. “A recall fight could be the best way for a Republican, especially one this close to Trump, to get into the governor’s mansion in California with just a plurality of the vote,” notes a February 5 take by the website.
Grenell cut his teeth in San Diego as a manager for the 1996 GOP convention here and later as tough-talking spokesman for Republican mayor Susan Golding and her quickly abandoned race for the U.S. Senate. After that, he briefly served as vice president of corporate communications for La Jolla–based military contracting giant Titan Corp., where Golding was a board member. “After a lifetime career in the public sector, Grenell calls this private enterprise post, which he assumes in December, a great challenge — and a welcome return to San Diego,” wrote Union-Tribune columnist Diane Bell. But Grenell vanished from the role when Titan’s connection to the Abu Ghraib torture scandal emerged in 2004. In 2014, Grenell briefly returned to San Diego politics as a hard-hitting champion of GOP ex-city councilman Carl DeMaio’s congressional challenge to La Jolla Democratic incumbent Scott Peters. “Congratulations to @PeteButtigieg on becoming the second openly gay member of a President’s Cabinet. Welcome to the club!” Grenell tweeted on February 2 following Buttigieg’s confirmation as transportation secretary in the Joe Biden administration.
Jen Campbell gets her first recall opponent.
The first would-be challenger to council Democrat Jen Campbell, subject of a current recall campaign, has filed a February 8 candidate intention statement with the city clerk. Loxie Gant, a victims-rights proponent who in 2017 went public with allegations that a La Jolla High School teacher groped her in 2003, relates her platform on a new Facebook page: “Recent policies and Council votes are riddled with racism and waste - the “Smart Streetlights”, 101 Ash Street, the Hep A outbreak, the covid-19 convention center mega-shelter/outbreak epicenter, the militarization of our police, the sprawl development, the 10+ year waiting list for Section 8, and the beach coming to a place only tourists can afford.”
— Matt Potter
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