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San Diego's Lincoln Club funnels cash to Oxnard

David Alvarez donors take circuitous path

Donations to the the Community Leadership Coalition included $20,000 from Haas Automation of Oxnard.
Donations to the the Community Leadership Coalition included $20,000 from Haas Automation of Oxnard.

Lincoln Club’s Little Nikita money man

Some of the big money players during this year’s political season have yet to play their hands, as evidenced by a committee calling itself The Community Leadership Coalition, sponsored by the Lincoln Club of San Diego County. A May 22 filing shows that the group raised $69,000 and spent just $15,790 from the beginning of this year through May 21.

Vendors included Prospect Strategic Communications of El Segundo, which provided $7500 worth of “Research,” and Tony Strickland Consulting of Huntington Beach, owed $6000 in consulting fees. None of the committee’s causes or candidates are identified by the filing. Donations to the self-styled leadership group included $15,000 from the California Independent Petroleum Association PAC on May 16 and $20,000 from Haas Automation of Oxnard the day before.

Gene Haas needs gas.

The company was founded by Gene Haas, a NASCAR co-owner who also owns Haas F1, the only American Formula One racing team. Following this year’s Russian invasion of Ukraine, Haas was forced to cancel a sponsorship deal with Russian fertilizer giant Uralkali and fire the son of Uralkali kingpin and Vladimir Putin ally Dmitry Mazepin. “Haas F1 Team has elected to terminate, with immediate effect, the title partnership of Uralkali, and the driver contract of Nikita Mazepin,” the team said in a statement cited by ESPN March 5.

Uralkali fired back with a statement demanding a refund. “As most of the sponsorship funding for the 2022 season has already been transferred to Haas and given that the Team terminated the sponsorship agreement before the first race of the 2022 season, Haas has thus failed to perform its obligations to Uralkali for this year’s season.” So why would Haas be interested in giving money to the San Diego Lincoln Club’s committee?

A so-called Major Donor filing made by Haas with the California Secretary of State’s office on May 18 tells the tale. Listing the $20,000 as a contribution to the Community Leadership Coalition, without mentioning the Lincoln Club connection, the statement says the funds are ultimately destined for an “Independent Expenditure Committee supporting Jeff Gorell for Ventura County Supervisor in District 2.” A May 5 story by the VC Star reports that the election of Republican Gorrell as a Ventura County supervisor would likely change the body’s so-called “pro-environment” positions, including those on oil drilling.

David’s tangled web

Another San Diego political mystery has been at least partially solved by the Sacramento-based political news site Cal-Matters, which has been tracking the tortured trail of cash behind a committee calling itself San Diego Families Opposing Georgette Gómez. Funding for the committee, which opposes ex-San Diego city councilwoman Gomez (who is backed by labor unions in her Assembly race against fellow Democrat and city council member David Alvarez), is being provided by a host of big corporations, “including Uber, Amazon, Sempra Energy and Chevron,” notes Cal-Matters.

Another contributor to the purported families group, per the May 24 dispatch, is a committee calling itself the Coalition for Public Safety Reform, Training and Transparency. “Though a committee may carry on spending from one election to the next under the same name, that doesn’t mean its funders — or even its overall political purpose — stays the same,” observes Cal-Matters.

“It was initially established by the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union of LAPD officers, but the league was removed as a sponsor earlier this year. Since then, funding has come from organizations further south: the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of San Diego County and Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Nation near El Cajon.”

Why is this man smiling? Because major corporations oppose his opponent!

A May 12 filing with the San Diego County Registrar of Voters shows the casino-owning Sycuan Band gave $10,000 to the Public Safety Reform, Training and Transparency committee on May 10. During the same period, per the disclosure, the committee spent $11,000 on “digital advertising” on behalf of Undersheriff Kelly Anne Martinez, the pick of ex-Sheriff Bill Gore to become his successor.

Facebook’s political advertising disclosure page shows that the group has spent $34,000 on online advertising attacking retired sheriff’s Commander Dave Myers, one of Martinez’s opponents in the race. “Recycling existing committees for new political purposes and mixing and matching existing coalitions behind new names are both common practice, said Doug Morrow, a Democratic political researcher who tracks independent expenditures,” according to Cal-Matters. “The sponsors change, but the committees live on, and the consultants get paid,” he said.

— 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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Donations to the the Community Leadership Coalition included $20,000 from Haas Automation of Oxnard.
Donations to the the Community Leadership Coalition included $20,000 from Haas Automation of Oxnard.

Lincoln Club’s Little Nikita money man

Some of the big money players during this year’s political season have yet to play their hands, as evidenced by a committee calling itself The Community Leadership Coalition, sponsored by the Lincoln Club of San Diego County. A May 22 filing shows that the group raised $69,000 and spent just $15,790 from the beginning of this year through May 21.

Vendors included Prospect Strategic Communications of El Segundo, which provided $7500 worth of “Research,” and Tony Strickland Consulting of Huntington Beach, owed $6000 in consulting fees. None of the committee’s causes or candidates are identified by the filing. Donations to the self-styled leadership group included $15,000 from the California Independent Petroleum Association PAC on May 16 and $20,000 from Haas Automation of Oxnard the day before.

Gene Haas needs gas.

The company was founded by Gene Haas, a NASCAR co-owner who also owns Haas F1, the only American Formula One racing team. Following this year’s Russian invasion of Ukraine, Haas was forced to cancel a sponsorship deal with Russian fertilizer giant Uralkali and fire the son of Uralkali kingpin and Vladimir Putin ally Dmitry Mazepin. “Haas F1 Team has elected to terminate, with immediate effect, the title partnership of Uralkali, and the driver contract of Nikita Mazepin,” the team said in a statement cited by ESPN March 5.

Uralkali fired back with a statement demanding a refund. “As most of the sponsorship funding for the 2022 season has already been transferred to Haas and given that the Team terminated the sponsorship agreement before the first race of the 2022 season, Haas has thus failed to perform its obligations to Uralkali for this year’s season.” So why would Haas be interested in giving money to the San Diego Lincoln Club’s committee?

A so-called Major Donor filing made by Haas with the California Secretary of State’s office on May 18 tells the tale. Listing the $20,000 as a contribution to the Community Leadership Coalition, without mentioning the Lincoln Club connection, the statement says the funds are ultimately destined for an “Independent Expenditure Committee supporting Jeff Gorell for Ventura County Supervisor in District 2.” A May 5 story by the VC Star reports that the election of Republican Gorrell as a Ventura County supervisor would likely change the body’s so-called “pro-environment” positions, including those on oil drilling.

David’s tangled web

Another San Diego political mystery has been at least partially solved by the Sacramento-based political news site Cal-Matters, which has been tracking the tortured trail of cash behind a committee calling itself San Diego Families Opposing Georgette Gómez. Funding for the committee, which opposes ex-San Diego city councilwoman Gomez (who is backed by labor unions in her Assembly race against fellow Democrat and city council member David Alvarez), is being provided by a host of big corporations, “including Uber, Amazon, Sempra Energy and Chevron,” notes Cal-Matters.

Another contributor to the purported families group, per the May 24 dispatch, is a committee calling itself the Coalition for Public Safety Reform, Training and Transparency. “Though a committee may carry on spending from one election to the next under the same name, that doesn’t mean its funders — or even its overall political purpose — stays the same,” observes Cal-Matters.

“It was initially established by the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union of LAPD officers, but the league was removed as a sponsor earlier this year. Since then, funding has come from organizations further south: the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of San Diego County and Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Nation near El Cajon.”

Why is this man smiling? Because major corporations oppose his opponent!

A May 12 filing with the San Diego County Registrar of Voters shows the casino-owning Sycuan Band gave $10,000 to the Public Safety Reform, Training and Transparency committee on May 10. During the same period, per the disclosure, the committee spent $11,000 on “digital advertising” on behalf of Undersheriff Kelly Anne Martinez, the pick of ex-Sheriff Bill Gore to become his successor.

Facebook’s political advertising disclosure page shows that the group has spent $34,000 on online advertising attacking retired sheriff’s Commander Dave Myers, one of Martinez’s opponents in the race. “Recycling existing committees for new political purposes and mixing and matching existing coalitions behind new names are both common practice, said Doug Morrow, a Democratic political researcher who tracks independent expenditures,” according to Cal-Matters. “The sponsors change, but the committees live on, and the consultants get paid,” he said.

— 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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