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Belmont Park owner gives boost to Lincoln Club

Will SDSU and Chula Vista work out plans for cinema center?

Not mentioned by the missive is that Belmont Park operator, Rancho Santa Fe-based Pacifica Enterprises, is a big Lincoln Club donor. - Image by Matthew Suárez
Not mentioned by the missive is that Belmont Park operator, Rancho Santa Fe-based Pacifica Enterprises, is a big Lincoln Club donor.

Abe’s money club

The Republican-leaning San Diego Lincoln Club, noted for fierce hit pieces dispatched against opponents in local elections, has a new role: drumming up developer cash for GOP ex-mayor Kevin Faulconer’s bid to knock off incumbent Democratic county supervisor Terra Lawson Remer. “We are thrilled to announce a fundraiser in support of Kevin Faulconer’s campaign for County Supervisor,” says a Lincoln Club email touting the December 5 bash. “His commitment to fostering a thriving economic environment aligns perfectly with the goals of the Lincoln Club Business League. Join us for this marquee event in partnership with our Business Platinum Sponsor, Belmont Park!” Tickets range from $250 to $2000, the email says.

Kevin Faulconer knows about political roller coasters.’

Not mentioned by the missive is that Belmont Park operator, Rancho Santa Fe-based Pacifica Enterprises, is a big Lincoln Club donor. In April of 2015, during Faulconer’s mayoral reign, Pacifica got a lucrative lease extension for the city-owned Belmont Park property. Two months earlier, on February 23 of the same year, Pacifica had given $5000 to Faulconer’s now-defunct nonprofit called One San Diego, ostensibly set up to promote his anti-poverty agenda. The year before that, Pacifica was a major player in the successful effort to retain Republican county Supervisor Bill Horn by funneling $15,000 of Pacifica cash through the Deputy Sheriffs Association PAC, per a May 16, 2014, post on the website of public broadcaster KPBS. “On May 5, two days after the second check from Pacifica, the DSA PAC spent $36,218 for mailers and consulting,” according to the account. In addition, Pacifica employees directly gave Horn’s campaign $4200.

This year, according to a disclosure filing posted online by the county of San Diego, Pacifica’s lobbyist A. Christopher Wahl of Southwest Strategies is currently registered to lobby “All Possible County Offices, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer, Board of Supervisors, Board Representatives of the Board of Supervisors, Chief Administrative Officer, Director of Planning and Development Services.”


Different hats

Chula Vista Deputy Mayor Jose Preciado can participate in “discussions and decisions regarding lease agreements between the City and Deputy Mayor Preciado’s employer, San Diego State University,” opines a November 15 advice letter written by John M. Feser Jr., senior counsel of the California Fair Political Practices Commission to Chula Vista Senior Counsel Jill D.S. Maland. Preciado, who is an assistant dean for undergraduate studies at SDSU, “does not have a prohibited source of income interest, because he receives a government salary from SDSU which is not ‘income’ as defined in [state law].” Preciado made a total of $145,363 in wages and benefits at SDSU last year, according to the website Transparent California.

Chula Vista and San Diego State are in drawn out negotiations over the conditions, including high cost and design, of a so-called SDSU Cinematic Arts extension to be developed in the city. “It’s unfortunate that it’s gotten to this point where initial concepts didn’t work out because it seems like it would’ve been easily avoidable if we were more involved,” Brian Hu, associate professor of SDSU’s television, film and new media program, told the Union-Tribune in a June 14 dispatch. “As a faculty member, we don’t want to end up with a space that is a compromise. It has to be all or nothing.”...

Jose Preciado gets paid by SDSU, but it’s not like it’s an income.
Sponsored
Sponsored

With the end of the year approaching, the drip-drip of departing Union-Tribune staffers continues. Latest to go include reporter David Hernandez. “Personal news: I’m signing off on my last day at the Union-Tribune, he wrote on his X account November 9. “It’s the paper that shaped me, and I’m so grateful for that. Thank you to everyone who ever helped me tell a story. A new (and exciting) chapter awaits. More to come.” Says his profile on the U-T website: “David Hernandez is a former Union-Tribune reporter who covered law enforcement, crime and public safety across San Diego County. A San Diego State University graduate, he joined The San Diego Union-Tribune in 2015.” In another departure, longtime U-T scribe Laura Groch’s LinkedIn profile describes her as “recently retired from writing community news and schools at San Diego Union Tribune.”


Toni’s cash guardians

State Senate Democrat Toni Atkins continues to pad her campaign account for a 2026 bid for Lieutenant Governor, raking in $5500 from controversial kidney dialysis provider Fresenius Medical Care of Waltham, Massachusetts on November 26. That was the same day her so-called officeholder account picked up $40,000 from a political action committee of the state’s prison guard union, the California Correctional Peace Officers Association.

That union was called out in a September 11 Sacramento Bee editorial for the rich contract it won last summer from Democratic governor Gavin Newsom. The union membership, wrote the Bee, “happens to be mostly men and gave Newsom $1.75 million to fend off a failed recall attempt in 2021.” Added the piece: “Given how the California government holds 21 different negotiations to craft contracts to pay its state employees, some disparities are bound to happen. But it invites special treatment for units that are favored by the Legislature and governor for one reason or another.”

An August 30 Orange County Register editorial was tougher. “’The prison guard union understood that for all of his progressive rhetoric, the ambitious Newsom could be bought. When he was first inaugurated, Newsom ‘behested’ hundreds of thousands of dollars from the union to support his inaugural fund.”

Added the Register: “Good government group Govern for California conducted its own compensation study for CCPOA, concluding, “Even before the 2021 increase, California correctional officer wages were more than 20% above the next highest state ($88,710 in CA, followed by $72,990 in Massachusetts) and more than double the median for all U.S. states ($43,800).

That’s after controlling for education, experience, and cost of living. No wonder the Newsom administration didn’t bother to follow the law. But here’s the kicker: the CCPOA’s contract is up, and Newsom is preparing to give away even more. To justify this, the Newsom administration has chosen to pull a fast one on Californians by authorizing a compensation study that deliberately makes it appear as though California’s prison guards are underpaid.”

— 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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Seaside Equestrian Tour, Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, The Great Junk Hunt

Events February 29-March 1, 2024
Not mentioned by the missive is that Belmont Park operator, Rancho Santa Fe-based Pacifica Enterprises, is a big Lincoln Club donor. - Image by Matthew Suárez
Not mentioned by the missive is that Belmont Park operator, Rancho Santa Fe-based Pacifica Enterprises, is a big Lincoln Club donor.

Abe’s money club

The Republican-leaning San Diego Lincoln Club, noted for fierce hit pieces dispatched against opponents in local elections, has a new role: drumming up developer cash for GOP ex-mayor Kevin Faulconer’s bid to knock off incumbent Democratic county supervisor Terra Lawson Remer. “We are thrilled to announce a fundraiser in support of Kevin Faulconer’s campaign for County Supervisor,” says a Lincoln Club email touting the December 5 bash. “His commitment to fostering a thriving economic environment aligns perfectly with the goals of the Lincoln Club Business League. Join us for this marquee event in partnership with our Business Platinum Sponsor, Belmont Park!” Tickets range from $250 to $2000, the email says.

Kevin Faulconer knows about political roller coasters.’

Not mentioned by the missive is that Belmont Park operator, Rancho Santa Fe-based Pacifica Enterprises, is a big Lincoln Club donor. In April of 2015, during Faulconer’s mayoral reign, Pacifica got a lucrative lease extension for the city-owned Belmont Park property. Two months earlier, on February 23 of the same year, Pacifica had given $5000 to Faulconer’s now-defunct nonprofit called One San Diego, ostensibly set up to promote his anti-poverty agenda. The year before that, Pacifica was a major player in the successful effort to retain Republican county Supervisor Bill Horn by funneling $15,000 of Pacifica cash through the Deputy Sheriffs Association PAC, per a May 16, 2014, post on the website of public broadcaster KPBS. “On May 5, two days after the second check from Pacifica, the DSA PAC spent $36,218 for mailers and consulting,” according to the account. In addition, Pacifica employees directly gave Horn’s campaign $4200.

This year, according to a disclosure filing posted online by the county of San Diego, Pacifica’s lobbyist A. Christopher Wahl of Southwest Strategies is currently registered to lobby “All Possible County Offices, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer, Board of Supervisors, Board Representatives of the Board of Supervisors, Chief Administrative Officer, Director of Planning and Development Services.”


Different hats

Chula Vista Deputy Mayor Jose Preciado can participate in “discussions and decisions regarding lease agreements between the City and Deputy Mayor Preciado’s employer, San Diego State University,” opines a November 15 advice letter written by John M. Feser Jr., senior counsel of the California Fair Political Practices Commission to Chula Vista Senior Counsel Jill D.S. Maland. Preciado, who is an assistant dean for undergraduate studies at SDSU, “does not have a prohibited source of income interest, because he receives a government salary from SDSU which is not ‘income’ as defined in [state law].” Preciado made a total of $145,363 in wages and benefits at SDSU last year, according to the website Transparent California.

Chula Vista and San Diego State are in drawn out negotiations over the conditions, including high cost and design, of a so-called SDSU Cinematic Arts extension to be developed in the city. “It’s unfortunate that it’s gotten to this point where initial concepts didn’t work out because it seems like it would’ve been easily avoidable if we were more involved,” Brian Hu, associate professor of SDSU’s television, film and new media program, told the Union-Tribune in a June 14 dispatch. “As a faculty member, we don’t want to end up with a space that is a compromise. It has to be all or nothing.”...

Jose Preciado gets paid by SDSU, but it’s not like it’s an income.
Sponsored
Sponsored

With the end of the year approaching, the drip-drip of departing Union-Tribune staffers continues. Latest to go include reporter David Hernandez. “Personal news: I’m signing off on my last day at the Union-Tribune, he wrote on his X account November 9. “It’s the paper that shaped me, and I’m so grateful for that. Thank you to everyone who ever helped me tell a story. A new (and exciting) chapter awaits. More to come.” Says his profile on the U-T website: “David Hernandez is a former Union-Tribune reporter who covered law enforcement, crime and public safety across San Diego County. A San Diego State University graduate, he joined The San Diego Union-Tribune in 2015.” In another departure, longtime U-T scribe Laura Groch’s LinkedIn profile describes her as “recently retired from writing community news and schools at San Diego Union Tribune.”


Toni’s cash guardians

State Senate Democrat Toni Atkins continues to pad her campaign account for a 2026 bid for Lieutenant Governor, raking in $5500 from controversial kidney dialysis provider Fresenius Medical Care of Waltham, Massachusetts on November 26. That was the same day her so-called officeholder account picked up $40,000 from a political action committee of the state’s prison guard union, the California Correctional Peace Officers Association.

That union was called out in a September 11 Sacramento Bee editorial for the rich contract it won last summer from Democratic governor Gavin Newsom. The union membership, wrote the Bee, “happens to be mostly men and gave Newsom $1.75 million to fend off a failed recall attempt in 2021.” Added the piece: “Given how the California government holds 21 different negotiations to craft contracts to pay its state employees, some disparities are bound to happen. But it invites special treatment for units that are favored by the Legislature and governor for one reason or another.”

An August 30 Orange County Register editorial was tougher. “’The prison guard union understood that for all of his progressive rhetoric, the ambitious Newsom could be bought. When he was first inaugurated, Newsom ‘behested’ hundreds of thousands of dollars from the union to support his inaugural fund.”

Added the Register: “Good government group Govern for California conducted its own compensation study for CCPOA, concluding, “Even before the 2021 increase, California correctional officer wages were more than 20% above the next highest state ($88,710 in CA, followed by $72,990 in Massachusetts) and more than double the median for all U.S. states ($43,800).

That’s after controlling for education, experience, and cost of living. No wonder the Newsom administration didn’t bother to follow the law. But here’s the kicker: the CCPOA’s contract is up, and Newsom is preparing to give away even more. To justify this, the Newsom administration has chosen to pull a fast one on Californians by authorizing a compensation study that deliberately makes it appear as though California’s prison guards are underpaid.”

— 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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