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Sacramento lobbyists' Bash tainted, but spokesmen unashamed

Union-Tribune's owner daughter heads to Oxford

“For more than a decade the extravagant Back to Session Bash — with cocktails flowing from ice sculptures and hip-hop beats pulsating across the dance floor — was a place to let loose. Debauchery at the Bash, insiders joked, ended at least one career annually.”
“For more than a decade the extravagant Back to Session Bash — with cocktails flowing from ice sculptures and hip-hop beats pulsating across the dance floor — was a place to let loose. Debauchery at the Bash, insiders joked, ended at least one career annually.”

Too Short’s Bash cut

What used to be known as the Back to Session Bash changed its name to simply Bash this year, but the extravagant blowout, funded by special interests, still draws a big crowd of California legislators and their staffers. The event, staged by the California Tribal Business Alliance, was held June 29 at the posh Park Ultra Lounge near the Capitol. “For more than a decade the extravagant Back to Session Bash — with cocktails flowing from ice sculptures and hip-hop beats pulsating across the dance floor — was a place to let loose.

Too Short (but not too racy for political parties).

Debauchery at the Bash, insiders joked, ended at least one career annually,” according to a January 17, 2018, dispatch by CalMatters.com. Continued the item: “The party’s tab is picked up by interest groups that lobby in the Capitol — several Indian tribes that run casinos, a cigarette company, a slot machine manufacturer, and a council of trade unions. Providing a memorable evening of free booze and entertainment is one way the groups try to wield influence — not only on the Capitol’s power brokers, but on the junior staff, who are frequently gatekeepers.” The story went on to say that “Party organizers decided to scrap the rapper they had planned to bring as the headline performer — Too Short, known for songs like ‘Blowjob Betty,’ ‘I’m a Player,’ and ‘Call her a Bitch’ — after learning he was accused last year of rape, an allegation he denies.”

Added lobbyist Paula Treat, “We want it to be a safe and fun event,” But the week before this year’s party, lobbyist David Quintana appeared on a podcast run by Capitol Weekly, media sponsor of the event, praising Too Short and the band Hip Service, who had ended up appearing together at last year’s Bash. “Too Short did great!” said Quintana of Gonzalez, Quintana & Hunter LLC. “Honestly, Too Short’s version of his big hit ‘Blow the Whistle,’ was better with Hip Service than it was on the record, and I keep saying he should release that with a live band, ‘cuz they just killed.” Financial backers of the Bash included the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, which kicked in a chunk of money per the tribe’s latest quarterly lobbying report, filed July 31. According to the disclosure, Sycuan “paid $15,000 Of The $274,808.58 Total Event Costs. Total Combined Gift Amount to Each Official from All Giftors Is $287.46.”

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Soon-Shiongs’ jet cooling

A longtime political nemesis of Union-Tribune and Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong has gathered 1000 signatures on a petition urging the billionaire physician to reopen L.A.’s St. Vincent Medical Center in Westlake as a care center for the homeless.

Proud Papa: Patrick-Soon-Shiong

“Angelenos want St. Vincent to reopen immediately as an acute facility for people experiencing homelessness,” Los Angeles city councilman Mitch O’Farrell said in a statement. “There’s no more time to waste. Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong could help us rebuild the lives of hundreds of Angelenos at a time — if only he would come to the table.” Soon-Shiong bought the hospital for $135 million in April 2020 in a bankruptcy purchase. The property was previously owned by Verity Health System of California Inc. an El Segundo-based non-profit into which Soon-Shiong had infused more than $300 million so that his for-profit Integrity Health could continue to manage it.

Despite Soon-Shiong’s attempted bailout, Verity had careered into bankruptcy in 2018. “Prompt closing of the sale is necessary given the estate’s precarious financial position,” wrote Judge Ernest M. Robles in his hurry-up 2020 tentative ruling authorizing the sale of St. Vincent by Verity to Soon-Shiong. “In addition, there is a risk that the purchaser will walk away if the sale does not close promptly, since the purpose of the sale — establishing a research center to address the COVID-19 pandemic — would be defeated absent a prompt closing.” The pandemic research failed to materialize, leaving the complex vacant and Soon-Shiong skeptics questioning his high-dollar promises, including the preservation of his San Diego newspaper as an independent daily.

Meanwhile, Soon-Shiong’s daughter Nika, once a major player at both the Times and U-T, is heading to England to finish her PhD. ”Society’s inheritance of patriarchal, white-led institutions shouldn’t condemn us to pernicious cultures or processes,” Nika told the Daily Beast in April of last year regarding the motive for her then-growing role at the papers.

Now, however, in a July 21 interview for the website Witness, she says she is leaving West Hollywood’s Public Safety Commission, where she led a successful battle to cut funding for the L.A. County Sheriff’s city law enforcement contract. “I’ll be stepping down from the Commission to finish my PhD. at Oxford but hope to engage other contract cities around the process that was taken in WeHo.”

— 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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A poem for Thanksgiving by Lydia Maria Child

The New-England Boys’ Song About Thanksgiving Day
“For more than a decade the extravagant Back to Session Bash — with cocktails flowing from ice sculptures and hip-hop beats pulsating across the dance floor — was a place to let loose. Debauchery at the Bash, insiders joked, ended at least one career annually.”
“For more than a decade the extravagant Back to Session Bash — with cocktails flowing from ice sculptures and hip-hop beats pulsating across the dance floor — was a place to let loose. Debauchery at the Bash, insiders joked, ended at least one career annually.”

Too Short’s Bash cut

What used to be known as the Back to Session Bash changed its name to simply Bash this year, but the extravagant blowout, funded by special interests, still draws a big crowd of California legislators and their staffers. The event, staged by the California Tribal Business Alliance, was held June 29 at the posh Park Ultra Lounge near the Capitol. “For more than a decade the extravagant Back to Session Bash — with cocktails flowing from ice sculptures and hip-hop beats pulsating across the dance floor — was a place to let loose.

Too Short (but not too racy for political parties).

Debauchery at the Bash, insiders joked, ended at least one career annually,” according to a January 17, 2018, dispatch by CalMatters.com. Continued the item: “The party’s tab is picked up by interest groups that lobby in the Capitol — several Indian tribes that run casinos, a cigarette company, a slot machine manufacturer, and a council of trade unions. Providing a memorable evening of free booze and entertainment is one way the groups try to wield influence — not only on the Capitol’s power brokers, but on the junior staff, who are frequently gatekeepers.” The story went on to say that “Party organizers decided to scrap the rapper they had planned to bring as the headline performer — Too Short, known for songs like ‘Blowjob Betty,’ ‘I’m a Player,’ and ‘Call her a Bitch’ — after learning he was accused last year of rape, an allegation he denies.”

Added lobbyist Paula Treat, “We want it to be a safe and fun event,” But the week before this year’s party, lobbyist David Quintana appeared on a podcast run by Capitol Weekly, media sponsor of the event, praising Too Short and the band Hip Service, who had ended up appearing together at last year’s Bash. “Too Short did great!” said Quintana of Gonzalez, Quintana & Hunter LLC. “Honestly, Too Short’s version of his big hit ‘Blow the Whistle,’ was better with Hip Service than it was on the record, and I keep saying he should release that with a live band, ‘cuz they just killed.” Financial backers of the Bash included the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, which kicked in a chunk of money per the tribe’s latest quarterly lobbying report, filed July 31. According to the disclosure, Sycuan “paid $15,000 Of The $274,808.58 Total Event Costs. Total Combined Gift Amount to Each Official from All Giftors Is $287.46.”

Sponsored
Sponsored

Soon-Shiongs’ jet cooling

A longtime political nemesis of Union-Tribune and Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong has gathered 1000 signatures on a petition urging the billionaire physician to reopen L.A.’s St. Vincent Medical Center in Westlake as a care center for the homeless.

Proud Papa: Patrick-Soon-Shiong

“Angelenos want St. Vincent to reopen immediately as an acute facility for people experiencing homelessness,” Los Angeles city councilman Mitch O’Farrell said in a statement. “There’s no more time to waste. Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong could help us rebuild the lives of hundreds of Angelenos at a time — if only he would come to the table.” Soon-Shiong bought the hospital for $135 million in April 2020 in a bankruptcy purchase. The property was previously owned by Verity Health System of California Inc. an El Segundo-based non-profit into which Soon-Shiong had infused more than $300 million so that his for-profit Integrity Health could continue to manage it.

Despite Soon-Shiong’s attempted bailout, Verity had careered into bankruptcy in 2018. “Prompt closing of the sale is necessary given the estate’s precarious financial position,” wrote Judge Ernest M. Robles in his hurry-up 2020 tentative ruling authorizing the sale of St. Vincent by Verity to Soon-Shiong. “In addition, there is a risk that the purchaser will walk away if the sale does not close promptly, since the purpose of the sale — establishing a research center to address the COVID-19 pandemic — would be defeated absent a prompt closing.” The pandemic research failed to materialize, leaving the complex vacant and Soon-Shiong skeptics questioning his high-dollar promises, including the preservation of his San Diego newspaper as an independent daily.

Meanwhile, Soon-Shiong’s daughter Nika, once a major player at both the Times and U-T, is heading to England to finish her PhD. ”Society’s inheritance of patriarchal, white-led institutions shouldn’t condemn us to pernicious cultures or processes,” Nika told the Daily Beast in April of last year regarding the motive for her then-growing role at the papers.

Now, however, in a July 21 interview for the website Witness, she says she is leaving West Hollywood’s Public Safety Commission, where she led a successful battle to cut funding for the L.A. County Sheriff’s city law enforcement contract. “I’ll be stepping down from the Commission to finish my PhD. at Oxford but hope to engage other contract cities around the process that was taken in WeHo.”

— 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/.

Sponsored
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