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New Faulconer money from California garment makers

Who's watching the Mission Bay leases?

Some well-heeled members of the made-in-China clothing crowd are coming out for Republican ex-San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer’s bid to become governor.
Some well-heeled members of the made-in-China clothing crowd are coming out for Republican ex-San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer’s bid to become governor.
Gerard Guez, denim king, funds Faulconer’s future.

Faulconer’s China connection

Some well-heeled members of the made-in-China clothing crowd are coming out for Republican ex-San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer’s bid to become governor. Among them is Gerard Guez, chairman of the board at Sunrise Brands of Vernon, who kicked in $5000 for Faulconer’s 2021 campaign committee on June 28. “Sunrise Brands has leveraged three decades of uncontested denim preeminence into becoming the most dynamic diversified apparel company in the United States,” says the company’s website. “Today, while Sunrise Brands remains a denim powerhouse, our product mix includes casual bottoms, knits, sweaters, sportswear, outerwear, bags and other lifestyle accessories.” According to an online Dun and Bradstreet profile, “Its products are made by third parties, primarily in China.”

According to a June 12 account by the Miami Herald, Guez and his wife, Jacqueline Rose own a condo in north Miami-Dade’s Arte Surfside residential tower. It’s the same building where Jared Kushner and wife Ivanka Trump are renting while their new mansion on nearby Indian Creek Island is under construction. Also among Faulconer rag trade donors, Yosef and Aliza Simsolo, proprietors of YS Garments, also known as Next Level Apparel, came up with a total of $10,000 for the former mayor on July 7. “At Next Level Apparel, we respect the rights of each individual and care for the environment. In addition to being sweatshop-free and child labor-free, we take social responsibility to the next level in everything we do.” Meanwhile, back home in San Diego, Morgan Dene Oliver, a developer pal of the mayor, gave $7500 on June 25 to Faulconer’s 2022 election committee. Oliver’s behind-the-scenes lobbying of the mayor on behalf of the ultimately failed Soccer City development in Mission Valley featured intimate office lunches and a lavish bayside wedding venue in August 2015 for mayoral chief of staff Stephen Puetz.

Down in Mission Bay

As the city’s Mission Bay Park struggles to re-emerge in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, some self-inflicted harm to the well-being of the lucrative hotel and tourist magnet is getting called out in a June 29 performance review done by the city auditor’s office. “The Real Estate Assets Department is not properly staffed.” according to a report summary. “They lost a key employee that manages the Mission Bay Leases in March of 2020. This position was cut from the budget in FY2021. On-site visits have not been completed this past year due to this as well as due to COVID-19.”

The document adds that “because of Assembly Bill 1486, which was signed into law in October 2019, there is now a requirement based on this Assembly Bill that all lease renewals be brought forward for State review. This adds additional responsibilities to the management of the Mission Bay leases.” Regular oversight is needed, says the audit, “to ensure compliance with lease terms and to ensure the property is being properly maintained.” Making matters worse, the audit team discovered that an unnamed member of the Mission Bay Committee/Mission Bay Improvement Fund Oversight Committee “is currently serving beyond eight consecutive years in violation of the language in the [Municipal Code].”

Lobbyist Brooks Ellison is happy to work both lanes.

Road trip taxation

Pushing a mammoth $160-billion public transportation plan, to be paid for in part by $34 billion gleaned from a so-called road charge on drivers through 2050, the San Diego Association of Governments spent more than $150,000 on lobbying fees during the year’s first quarter. The funds went to the Sacramento influence-peddling firm of Ellison Wilson Advocacy, LLC, run by Brooks Ellison. Since the beginning of the current legislative session, the company has received $308,793 of the San Diego agency’s cash, according to an April 26 disclosure report. “Brooks is the managing partner of Ellison Wilson Advocacy and was admitted into the California Bar in 1986. He began his lobbying career in 1986 with Former Senator Bob Wilson,” notes the lobbyist’s website. Wilson was the only Democrat among three San Diego pols, including Republican mayor Pete Wilson and GOP House member Bob Wilson, to bear the same last name. The happenstance was widely believed to have boosted his showing among unknowing Republican voters. Other Ellison Wilson clients include the California Tow Truck Association and the Western States Trucking Association, which skeptics fear could cause conflicts with SANDAG’s role as the region’s top transportation arbiter.

— Matt Potter

(@sdmattpotter)

The Reader offers $25 for news tips published in this column. Call our voice mail at 619-235-3000, ext. 440, or sandiegoreader.com/staff/matt-potter/contact/.

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“People have been coming in for years. They know what they like.”
Some well-heeled members of the made-in-China clothing crowd are coming out for Republican ex-San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer’s bid to become governor.
Some well-heeled members of the made-in-China clothing crowd are coming out for Republican ex-San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer’s bid to become governor.
Gerard Guez, denim king, funds Faulconer’s future.

Faulconer’s China connection

Some well-heeled members of the made-in-China clothing crowd are coming out for Republican ex-San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer’s bid to become governor. Among them is Gerard Guez, chairman of the board at Sunrise Brands of Vernon, who kicked in $5000 for Faulconer’s 2021 campaign committee on June 28. “Sunrise Brands has leveraged three decades of uncontested denim preeminence into becoming the most dynamic diversified apparel company in the United States,” says the company’s website. “Today, while Sunrise Brands remains a denim powerhouse, our product mix includes casual bottoms, knits, sweaters, sportswear, outerwear, bags and other lifestyle accessories.” According to an online Dun and Bradstreet profile, “Its products are made by third parties, primarily in China.”

According to a June 12 account by the Miami Herald, Guez and his wife, Jacqueline Rose own a condo in north Miami-Dade’s Arte Surfside residential tower. It’s the same building where Jared Kushner and wife Ivanka Trump are renting while their new mansion on nearby Indian Creek Island is under construction. Also among Faulconer rag trade donors, Yosef and Aliza Simsolo, proprietors of YS Garments, also known as Next Level Apparel, came up with a total of $10,000 for the former mayor on July 7. “At Next Level Apparel, we respect the rights of each individual and care for the environment. In addition to being sweatshop-free and child labor-free, we take social responsibility to the next level in everything we do.” Meanwhile, back home in San Diego, Morgan Dene Oliver, a developer pal of the mayor, gave $7500 on June 25 to Faulconer’s 2022 election committee. Oliver’s behind-the-scenes lobbying of the mayor on behalf of the ultimately failed Soccer City development in Mission Valley featured intimate office lunches and a lavish bayside wedding venue in August 2015 for mayoral chief of staff Stephen Puetz.

Down in Mission Bay

As the city’s Mission Bay Park struggles to re-emerge in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, some self-inflicted harm to the well-being of the lucrative hotel and tourist magnet is getting called out in a June 29 performance review done by the city auditor’s office. “The Real Estate Assets Department is not properly staffed.” according to a report summary. “They lost a key employee that manages the Mission Bay Leases in March of 2020. This position was cut from the budget in FY2021. On-site visits have not been completed this past year due to this as well as due to COVID-19.”

The document adds that “because of Assembly Bill 1486, which was signed into law in October 2019, there is now a requirement based on this Assembly Bill that all lease renewals be brought forward for State review. This adds additional responsibilities to the management of the Mission Bay leases.” Regular oversight is needed, says the audit, “to ensure compliance with lease terms and to ensure the property is being properly maintained.” Making matters worse, the audit team discovered that an unnamed member of the Mission Bay Committee/Mission Bay Improvement Fund Oversight Committee “is currently serving beyond eight consecutive years in violation of the language in the [Municipal Code].”

Lobbyist Brooks Ellison is happy to work both lanes.

Road trip taxation

Pushing a mammoth $160-billion public transportation plan, to be paid for in part by $34 billion gleaned from a so-called road charge on drivers through 2050, the San Diego Association of Governments spent more than $150,000 on lobbying fees during the year’s first quarter. The funds went to the Sacramento influence-peddling firm of Ellison Wilson Advocacy, LLC, run by Brooks Ellison. Since the beginning of the current legislative session, the company has received $308,793 of the San Diego agency’s cash, according to an April 26 disclosure report. “Brooks is the managing partner of Ellison Wilson Advocacy and was admitted into the California Bar in 1986. He began his lobbying career in 1986 with Former Senator Bob Wilson,” notes the lobbyist’s website. Wilson was the only Democrat among three San Diego pols, including Republican mayor Pete Wilson and GOP House member Bob Wilson, to bear the same last name. The happenstance was widely believed to have boosted his showing among unknowing Republican voters. Other Ellison Wilson clients include the California Tow Truck Association and the Western States Trucking Association, which skeptics fear could cause conflicts with SANDAG’s role as the region’s top transportation arbiter.

— Matt Potter

(@sdmattpotter)

The Reader offers $25 for news tips published in this column. Call our voice mail at 619-235-3000, ext. 440, or sandiegoreader.com/staff/matt-potter/contact/.

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