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Why did Faulconer get so much cash from farmers and oilmen?

San Diego looking to replace Patton Boggs as D.C. lobbyist

Larry Elder and Kevin Paffrath: harvested more votes than third-place Kevin Faulconer.
Larry Elder and Kevin Paffrath: harvested more votes than third-place Kevin Faulconer.

Kevin’s big cash crash

After a third-place finish as Gavin Newsom’s would-be replacement in last week’s recall contest, uncertain money-raising prospects loom ahead for ex-San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer. Up to now, the Point Loma Republican has made it a point to collect a raft of six-figure donations from supporters of Donald Trump. California Secretary of State figures show he got $2,551,295 from January 1 through August 28 for his 2021 recall race fund, and $2,211,248 during the same period for his 2022 gubernatorial “exploratory” committee, aimed at next year. He spent $2,191,994 from the 2021 fund and $2,097,891 from the 2022 exploratory kitty. Despite the avalanche of cash, Faulconer never caught fire amid the likes of the first-place winner and conservative radio talk show host Larry Elder and runner-up Democrat Kevin Paffrath, an influencer on YouTube.

Kevin Faulconer: number three at the polls, but other numbers are good.

Still, the recall campaign’s final weeks were like the previous ones for Faulconer, who, despite voter indifference to him, continued to raise major campaign cash from the state’s oil drilling and natural gas fracking lobby. On September 3, Ken Hunter, who runs Vaquero Energy and who has long battled Kern County farmers in court for more expansive drilling rights, tossed in $20,000 for Faulconer’s bid. “Normally, Hunter said, he has no problem working with farmers who own the land above his oilfields,” the Bakersfield Californian reported in June 2019. “When he needs access to the surface property, he negotiates, writes a check for any lost farm production, then arranges to do whatever surface work his oil interest requires. But he said the county disrupted the balance of power in such discussions when it forced oil companies to get surface property owners’ approval for any oil-related construction.” Wealthy agricultural interests also flocked to Faulconer’s campaign, including Buttonwillow Warehouse Company, ranked twentieth on CropLife.com’s list of the country’s top 100 largest agrarian retailers by revenue. A last-minute Faulconer giver, Buttonwillow came up with $2400 on September 13, the day before the election. And two weeks earlier, on the first of the month, computer accessories maven Chester Pipkin, who has an address in low-tax Stateline, Nevada, came up with $10,000. An August 2011 Daily Breeze profile of Pipkin, a longtime California entrepreneur who then reportedly lived in Manhattan Beach, chronicled his support for charter schools. “Pipkin insists that he isn’t one of these people who believes charter schools are the silver bullet, but he does appreciate how they are generally more receptive to experimentation.”

Peddling for Todd and pot

According to a Request for Proposal posted last month on the city’s online vendor portal, Democratic San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria is looking for a Washington lobbyist who will cost taxpayers $840,000 over five years. “The Contractor shall work under the policy direction of the Mayor and be administratively responsible to the Mayor’s designee,” says the document, dated August 19. “The principal responsibility of the Contractor shall be achieving Federal funding and other legislative priorities for the city, including advocating before legislative and regulatory decision-makers on behalf of the city. This shall include, but not be limited to, direct advocacy with federal officials, legislators, and their staff to advance legislation and proactively pursue opportunities to strengthen the City of San Diego on its policy priorities.” Per a December 2020 report by Gloria’s government affairs director Adrian Granda, the city has maintained two incumbent lobbyists, Sacramento-based Platinum Advisors, LLC for California lobbying, and Washington, D.C.’s Squire Patton Boggs to handle federal influence-peddling.

Todd Gloria: think locally, lobby nationally

This May, the Washington Post listed Patton Boggs among D.C. lobbying firms with ties to questionable governments, including China’s. “The firm’s January filing with the Justice Department reported payments of $330,000 from the Chinese Embassy for the previous six months of work, which included advice on ‘U.S. policy concerning Hong Kong, Taiwan, Xinjiang and Tibet,’ among other places where Beijing has been trying to muzzle dissidents, and ‘matters pertaining to human rights,’ according to the firm’s latest filing with the Justice Department’s foreign-agent registration database”...Eighth District San Diego city council incumbent Vivian Moreno will seek reelection next year and has already set up a fundraising committee, according to September 7 filings with the city clerk. During her first bid for the job, the ex-aide to former city councilman David Alvarez, now a lobbyist, received $2200 from a fundraiser put on by Cynara Velazquez of Community Engagement Resources. The lobbyist’s firm represented the United Patients Alliance/Association of Cannabis Professionals and the South Bay Dreams Cooperative, on behalf of “permitting of medical marijuana manufacturing and cultivation in San Diego city,” according to an August 2017 disclosure filing... A July 8 news release by the Department of Justice tells the tale: “Medical device manufacturers Alere Inc. and Alere San Diego Inc. (collectively, Alere) have agreed to pay $38.75 million to resolve allegations that the companies violated the False Claims Act by billing, and causing others to bill, the Medicare program for defective rapid point-of-care testing devices.”

— 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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Larry Elder and Kevin Paffrath: harvested more votes than third-place Kevin Faulconer.
Larry Elder and Kevin Paffrath: harvested more votes than third-place Kevin Faulconer.

Kevin’s big cash crash

After a third-place finish as Gavin Newsom’s would-be replacement in last week’s recall contest, uncertain money-raising prospects loom ahead for ex-San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer. Up to now, the Point Loma Republican has made it a point to collect a raft of six-figure donations from supporters of Donald Trump. California Secretary of State figures show he got $2,551,295 from January 1 through August 28 for his 2021 recall race fund, and $2,211,248 during the same period for his 2022 gubernatorial “exploratory” committee, aimed at next year. He spent $2,191,994 from the 2021 fund and $2,097,891 from the 2022 exploratory kitty. Despite the avalanche of cash, Faulconer never caught fire amid the likes of the first-place winner and conservative radio talk show host Larry Elder and runner-up Democrat Kevin Paffrath, an influencer on YouTube.

Kevin Faulconer: number three at the polls, but other numbers are good.

Still, the recall campaign’s final weeks were like the previous ones for Faulconer, who, despite voter indifference to him, continued to raise major campaign cash from the state’s oil drilling and natural gas fracking lobby. On September 3, Ken Hunter, who runs Vaquero Energy and who has long battled Kern County farmers in court for more expansive drilling rights, tossed in $20,000 for Faulconer’s bid. “Normally, Hunter said, he has no problem working with farmers who own the land above his oilfields,” the Bakersfield Californian reported in June 2019. “When he needs access to the surface property, he negotiates, writes a check for any lost farm production, then arranges to do whatever surface work his oil interest requires. But he said the county disrupted the balance of power in such discussions when it forced oil companies to get surface property owners’ approval for any oil-related construction.” Wealthy agricultural interests also flocked to Faulconer’s campaign, including Buttonwillow Warehouse Company, ranked twentieth on CropLife.com’s list of the country’s top 100 largest agrarian retailers by revenue. A last-minute Faulconer giver, Buttonwillow came up with $2400 on September 13, the day before the election. And two weeks earlier, on the first of the month, computer accessories maven Chester Pipkin, who has an address in low-tax Stateline, Nevada, came up with $10,000. An August 2011 Daily Breeze profile of Pipkin, a longtime California entrepreneur who then reportedly lived in Manhattan Beach, chronicled his support for charter schools. “Pipkin insists that he isn’t one of these people who believes charter schools are the silver bullet, but he does appreciate how they are generally more receptive to experimentation.”

Peddling for Todd and pot

According to a Request for Proposal posted last month on the city’s online vendor portal, Democratic San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria is looking for a Washington lobbyist who will cost taxpayers $840,000 over five years. “The Contractor shall work under the policy direction of the Mayor and be administratively responsible to the Mayor’s designee,” says the document, dated August 19. “The principal responsibility of the Contractor shall be achieving Federal funding and other legislative priorities for the city, including advocating before legislative and regulatory decision-makers on behalf of the city. This shall include, but not be limited to, direct advocacy with federal officials, legislators, and their staff to advance legislation and proactively pursue opportunities to strengthen the City of San Diego on its policy priorities.” Per a December 2020 report by Gloria’s government affairs director Adrian Granda, the city has maintained two incumbent lobbyists, Sacramento-based Platinum Advisors, LLC for California lobbying, and Washington, D.C.’s Squire Patton Boggs to handle federal influence-peddling.

Todd Gloria: think locally, lobby nationally

This May, the Washington Post listed Patton Boggs among D.C. lobbying firms with ties to questionable governments, including China’s. “The firm’s January filing with the Justice Department reported payments of $330,000 from the Chinese Embassy for the previous six months of work, which included advice on ‘U.S. policy concerning Hong Kong, Taiwan, Xinjiang and Tibet,’ among other places where Beijing has been trying to muzzle dissidents, and ‘matters pertaining to human rights,’ according to the firm’s latest filing with the Justice Department’s foreign-agent registration database”...Eighth District San Diego city council incumbent Vivian Moreno will seek reelection next year and has already set up a fundraising committee, according to September 7 filings with the city clerk. During her first bid for the job, the ex-aide to former city councilman David Alvarez, now a lobbyist, received $2200 from a fundraiser put on by Cynara Velazquez of Community Engagement Resources. The lobbyist’s firm represented the United Patients Alliance/Association of Cannabis Professionals and the South Bay Dreams Cooperative, on behalf of “permitting of medical marijuana manufacturing and cultivation in San Diego city,” according to an August 2017 disclosure filing... A July 8 news release by the Department of Justice tells the tale: “Medical device manufacturers Alere Inc. and Alere San Diego Inc. (collectively, Alere) have agreed to pay $38.75 million to resolve allegations that the companies violated the False Claims Act by billing, and causing others to bill, the Medicare program for defective rapid point-of-care testing devices.”

— 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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2

these creeps should be in jail. no fairness or justice in this society. hmmm, what will be the result???

Sept. 24, 2021
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
Sept. 29, 2021

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