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Why does SDG&E shower money on local candidates?

Steve Peace committee gets $135K from Sempra last week of 2021

Campaign disclosure filings show SDG&E’s parent Sempra Energy goes on deploying its mighty stash of political cash.
Campaign disclosure filings show SDG&E’s parent Sempra Energy goes on deploying its mighty stash of political cash.

Sempra’s Peace piece

When the city council voted 6-3 to approve a new decade-long power-providing franchise agreement with San Diego Gas & Electric back in June, Mayor Todd Gloria promised to study the idea of municipalizing the function. Now, the city is looking for a consultant, with proposals due March 11. “The study will be executed in phases based on findings and direction of the Mayor’s Office and City Council following the completion of report(s) identified for each phase,” per a scope of work accompanying the request posted by the city.

“At the direction of City staff, Contractor may perform [a] detailed appraisal of SDG&E electric and/or gas systems for use by City Finance, Debt Management, and other related departments.” An “analysis of City’s ability to operate an electric utility, gas utility, or both,” as well as “analysis of combining gas and electric systems vs. municipalizing one and not the other” is also expected. The cost of the study awaits the arrival of the consultant’s responses.

Meanwhile, campaign disclosure filings show SDG&E’s parent Sempra Energy goes on deploying its mighty stash of political cash. Last April, the utility giant gave $20,000 to the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Political Action Committee.

Chris Cate: power to the provident power providers!

The month before, Democrat Kent Lee, running this year for the city council’s District Six seat, currently occupied by termed-out Republican SDG&E champion Chris Cate, got a total of $985 from two Sempra managers. In addition, two SDG&E employees came up with a total of $494 for Lee’s campaign.

Sponsored
Sponsored

On June 29, Sempra’s vice president for People and Culture Kendall Helm gave $200 to Joel Day for Council 2022. Democrat Day, Executive Director of the City of San Diego’s Human Relations Commission and International Affairs Board, is running in District Two against incumbent Democrat Jen Campbell and ex-Assembly Democrat Lori Saldana, among others. Helm’s LinkedIn page describes her as a “strategic energy-sector leader of complex and controversial issues” and “expert at defining new business models, assessing big-picture risks and opportunities, and effectively communicating strategic visions to stakeholders.”

In addition to those donations, on December 20, 2021, Sempra gave $2500 to the New San Diego PAC, a political action committee registered with the city clerk’s office on August 21 of last year. Its cause, according to the filing: “supporting initiatives and candidates that will make San Diego and the region better for all of us.”

Democrat Gil Cabrera, a lawyer appointed by Mayor Gloria to be chairman of the San Diego Regional Airport Authority board, is listed as Principal Officer. The PAC finished 2021 with $102,145, gathered from a host of special interests, which in addition to Sempra included the United Domestic Workers Action Fund ($7500). Other givers included “Trails at Carmel Mountain Ranch” developer NUWI 2 CMR LLC of Santa Monica ($10,000) and Badiee Development, Inc. of La Jolla ($50,000). “Formed in 2003, Badiee Development, Inc. is a full-service real estate development company specializing in the ground-up development of distinctive logistics and industrial projects throughout the Western U.S.,” per the firm’s website.

Sempra’s most significant single political expenditure in the last week of 2021 was $135,000 given to the Independent Voter PAC. Founded by ex-state Senate Democrat Steve Peace, the PAC transferred $75,000 to the Independent Voter Project, a Peace-created non-profit controversial for hosting a yearly fall getaway for lobbyists and California legislators in Maui. “A dozen state lawmakers are in Maui this week for one of the most unsavory traditions in California politics: a five-day stay at a luxury resort where, far from their constituents and the pesky political press corps, legislators rub shoulders with lobbyists and corporate executives in a tropical playland,” said a Los Angeles Times editorial in November.

Shirley Weber knows how to use social media.

“Conference organizers would not disclose specific companies that paid for the event and sent representatives this year, but said they come from the pharmaceutical, energy, software, cable and telecom industries, as well as the prison guards’ union. Discussions are focused on climate policy and the COVID-19 pandemic, topics that surely interest many Californians who are barred from this exclusive event. Nor would they identify which lawmakers are discussing these important topics this week at the beachfront Fairmont Kea Lani resort. Lawmakers aren’t saying much either.”

Weber’s Facebook money

California Secretary of State Shirley Weber, who served as an Assembly Democrat from San Diego before being named to her current position by Gov. Gavin Newsom, continues to pad her 2022 campaign account. On February 2, controversial social media outfit Facebook, Inc. of Menlo Park kicked in $8100. Regina and CC Yin of Vacaville, who own a McDonald’s franchise, gave a total $16,200 on February 8. As of the end of last year, the most recent disclosure period, Weber’s campaign had $753,065 in the bank.

— 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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Campaign disclosure filings show SDG&E’s parent Sempra Energy goes on deploying its mighty stash of political cash.
Campaign disclosure filings show SDG&E’s parent Sempra Energy goes on deploying its mighty stash of political cash.

Sempra’s Peace piece

When the city council voted 6-3 to approve a new decade-long power-providing franchise agreement with San Diego Gas & Electric back in June, Mayor Todd Gloria promised to study the idea of municipalizing the function. Now, the city is looking for a consultant, with proposals due March 11. “The study will be executed in phases based on findings and direction of the Mayor’s Office and City Council following the completion of report(s) identified for each phase,” per a scope of work accompanying the request posted by the city.

“At the direction of City staff, Contractor may perform [a] detailed appraisal of SDG&E electric and/or gas systems for use by City Finance, Debt Management, and other related departments.” An “analysis of City’s ability to operate an electric utility, gas utility, or both,” as well as “analysis of combining gas and electric systems vs. municipalizing one and not the other” is also expected. The cost of the study awaits the arrival of the consultant’s responses.

Meanwhile, campaign disclosure filings show SDG&E’s parent Sempra Energy goes on deploying its mighty stash of political cash. Last April, the utility giant gave $20,000 to the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Political Action Committee.

Chris Cate: power to the provident power providers!

The month before, Democrat Kent Lee, running this year for the city council’s District Six seat, currently occupied by termed-out Republican SDG&E champion Chris Cate, got a total of $985 from two Sempra managers. In addition, two SDG&E employees came up with a total of $494 for Lee’s campaign.

Sponsored
Sponsored

On June 29, Sempra’s vice president for People and Culture Kendall Helm gave $200 to Joel Day for Council 2022. Democrat Day, Executive Director of the City of San Diego’s Human Relations Commission and International Affairs Board, is running in District Two against incumbent Democrat Jen Campbell and ex-Assembly Democrat Lori Saldana, among others. Helm’s LinkedIn page describes her as a “strategic energy-sector leader of complex and controversial issues” and “expert at defining new business models, assessing big-picture risks and opportunities, and effectively communicating strategic visions to stakeholders.”

In addition to those donations, on December 20, 2021, Sempra gave $2500 to the New San Diego PAC, a political action committee registered with the city clerk’s office on August 21 of last year. Its cause, according to the filing: “supporting initiatives and candidates that will make San Diego and the region better for all of us.”

Democrat Gil Cabrera, a lawyer appointed by Mayor Gloria to be chairman of the San Diego Regional Airport Authority board, is listed as Principal Officer. The PAC finished 2021 with $102,145, gathered from a host of special interests, which in addition to Sempra included the United Domestic Workers Action Fund ($7500). Other givers included “Trails at Carmel Mountain Ranch” developer NUWI 2 CMR LLC of Santa Monica ($10,000) and Badiee Development, Inc. of La Jolla ($50,000). “Formed in 2003, Badiee Development, Inc. is a full-service real estate development company specializing in the ground-up development of distinctive logistics and industrial projects throughout the Western U.S.,” per the firm’s website.

Sempra’s most significant single political expenditure in the last week of 2021 was $135,000 given to the Independent Voter PAC. Founded by ex-state Senate Democrat Steve Peace, the PAC transferred $75,000 to the Independent Voter Project, a Peace-created non-profit controversial for hosting a yearly fall getaway for lobbyists and California legislators in Maui. “A dozen state lawmakers are in Maui this week for one of the most unsavory traditions in California politics: a five-day stay at a luxury resort where, far from their constituents and the pesky political press corps, legislators rub shoulders with lobbyists and corporate executives in a tropical playland,” said a Los Angeles Times editorial in November.

Shirley Weber knows how to use social media.

“Conference organizers would not disclose specific companies that paid for the event and sent representatives this year, but said they come from the pharmaceutical, energy, software, cable and telecom industries, as well as the prison guards’ union. Discussions are focused on climate policy and the COVID-19 pandemic, topics that surely interest many Californians who are barred from this exclusive event. Nor would they identify which lawmakers are discussing these important topics this week at the beachfront Fairmont Kea Lani resort. Lawmakers aren’t saying much either.”

Weber’s Facebook money

California Secretary of State Shirley Weber, who served as an Assembly Democrat from San Diego before being named to her current position by Gov. Gavin Newsom, continues to pad her 2022 campaign account. On February 2, controversial social media outfit Facebook, Inc. of Menlo Park kicked in $8100. Regina and CC Yin of Vacaville, who own a McDonald’s franchise, gave a total $16,200 on February 8. As of the end of last year, the most recent disclosure period, Weber’s campaign had $753,065 in the bank.

— 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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CORRUPTION

March 7, 2022

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