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Pimps control San Diego adjacent to National City

Sempra money flows into San Diego Labor Coalition

“In early 2011, [Robert] Hertzberg was a paid consultant for the California State Assembly and I was an assemblywoman,” wrote former Assembly Republican Linda Halderman in a December 2017 op-ed piece for the Sacramento Bee.
“In early 2011, [Robert] Hertzberg was a paid consultant for the California State Assembly and I was an assemblywoman,” wrote former Assembly Republican Linda Halderman in a December 2017 op-ed piece for the Sacramento Bee.

Touchy feely

Robert Hertzberg, an ex-state Senate Democrat from Los Angeles widely known as “Huggy Bear” because of his unwanted serial embraces of female staffers and politicos during his years in the state Capitol, gave $1000 on February 6 to Brian Maienschein’s campaign for San Diego City Attorney. “In early 2011, Hertzberg was a paid consultant for the California State Assembly and I was an assemblywoman,” wrote former Assembly Republican Linda Halderman in a December 2017 op-ed piece for the Sacramento Bee. “From the day I met him, I found his habit of wrapping his arms around my torso and rubbing his chest and lower body against mine in a prolonged embrace to be uncomfortable and unprofessional. Hertzberg physically accosted me multiple times. I repeatedly asked him not to hug me. 

The last time he approached me was in a Capitol hallway. I told him: ‘Don’t touch me.’ He responded by grabbing me, pinning my arms by my side and thrusting his groin against my pelvis. He restricted me from moving away, forcing prolonged torso-to-torso contact despite my shouting at him to let me go.” Hertzberg was subsequently reprimanded by the senate Rules Committee.

Robert Hertzberg is a hugger, okay? No? Not okay? Hm.

The issue was revived two years ago when Hertzberg, then a candidate for Los Angeles County Supervisor, was videotaped speaking in his own defense at an event in Malibu. “What I liked about politics was the human connection,” Hertzberg said, as reported in a Sacramento Bee account. “Really important to me. You go to South LA — I got in trouble for hugging people. Those church ladies grab ahold of you, and they don’t let go. And I loved it, and I’m sorry. In East LA, ‘un abrazo.’ That’s what you do in the community.” The response drew an angry letter signed by a raft of female politicos denouncing Hertzberg. 

“State Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino, who has endorsed Hertzberg’s opponent, said the senator abruptly hugged her from behind on her first day as his colleague in 2014,” the Bee reported. “Leyva told him at the time to never touch her again, and she said hearing about his July comments prompted her to sign the letter. ‘I was just completely incensed by that,’ she said. ‘Rather than just taking some responsibility and saying, “You know what, I used to hug women and they didn’t like it, and I finally figured out to stop doing it,” he’s trying to justify his bad behavior.’”

Hertzberg, a lawyer whose website now promotes him as the “Best Governor California Never Had”, was subsequently defeated for supervisor by fellow Democrat Lindsey Horvath. Ex-GOP San Diego city councilman Maienschein served in the state Assembly as a Republican before flipping to the Democratic Party in January 2019.


Sempra in labor

A political committee called the San Diego Labor Coalition, Sponsored by Laborer’s International Union of North America Local 89, is spending big money to boost the reelection bids of San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and his fellow Democrats, city councilmen Joe LaCava and Stephen Whitburn. Other favored candidates of the committee include termed-out Assembly Republican turned Democrat Brian Maienshcien, who is running for city attorney, and Henry Foster III, running for council to replace Monica Montgomery Steppe, for whom he previously worked as chief of staff. 

Sponsored
Sponsored

But despite the group’s ties to big labor, a sizable amount of cash for the contributions has come from San Diego-based utility giant Sempra Energy, which gave $5000 to the committee on January 11, per a February 8 disclosure filing. With its subsidiary SDG&E fighting an initiative effort to remove its electric franchise in the city, Sempra has of late been scattering money around to politicians and nonprofit groups who appear likely to endorse their cause.

Henry Foster III, from Chief of Staff to chief political rival?


Big money city hall

Klein Financial Corp., a controversial Northern California developer being sued by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, otherwise known as CalPERS, for $38.3 million in allegedly unpaid obligations from liquidated Los Angeles real estate developments, gave $10,000 on February 5 to a newly formed political committee calling itself Big City San Diego supporting Todd Gloria for Mayor. 

“CalPERS claims that last year it sought an independent audit of the partnership, but that [Klein] didn’t respond to audit firm KPM & Associates in October,” the Sacramento Business Journal reported Feb 1. “CalPERS in its suit said that by not complying with the audit, [Klein] has triggered a ‘for cause removal event,’ and that CalPERS can remove the manager and appoint a new one.” According to the company’s website, “Klein Financial Corporation is a real estate investment, development and consulting firm specializing in tax-exempt bond multifamily residential development. The company has raised and/or consulted on approximately $7 billion in financing and development of public and private real estate projects and governmental housing funding organizations and programs.”

In addition to Klein’s cash, Big City San Diego, formed on December 27 of last year, received $25,000 on January 25 from Monarch Housing Solutions, run by La Jolla developer Sarah Kruer Jager. Other donors include San Diego pizza king Sami Ladeki, with $1000 on February 7, and Intesa Communications Group, which came up with $2500 the same day. Intesa partner Maddy Kilkenny, according to the firm’s website, “spent 11 years working for County Supervisor Greg Cox as a Policy Advisor for and Deputy Chief of Staff” before going into “governmental relations.” The firm’s latest lobbying disclosure report, for the final quarter of last year, shows that it lobbied Gloria’s office for “consideration of public financing opportunities” for redevelopment of Sea Port Village...Do pimps now “control” parts of San Diego along the National City line? So says Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Digital in a February 8 online dispatch. Sex traffickers wield power “by leveraging the fear of retaliation against locals in exchange for their silence on the parade of nearly-naked women working the streets, a business owner in the heart of a prostitution hotspot said,” per Fox. “The threat of pimps carrying out physical attacks, destroying property or stealing keeps locals quiet from going to the police.”

— 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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“In early 2011, [Robert] Hertzberg was a paid consultant for the California State Assembly and I was an assemblywoman,” wrote former Assembly Republican Linda Halderman in a December 2017 op-ed piece for the Sacramento Bee.
“In early 2011, [Robert] Hertzberg was a paid consultant for the California State Assembly and I was an assemblywoman,” wrote former Assembly Republican Linda Halderman in a December 2017 op-ed piece for the Sacramento Bee.

Touchy feely

Robert Hertzberg, an ex-state Senate Democrat from Los Angeles widely known as “Huggy Bear” because of his unwanted serial embraces of female staffers and politicos during his years in the state Capitol, gave $1000 on February 6 to Brian Maienschein’s campaign for San Diego City Attorney. “In early 2011, Hertzberg was a paid consultant for the California State Assembly and I was an assemblywoman,” wrote former Assembly Republican Linda Halderman in a December 2017 op-ed piece for the Sacramento Bee. “From the day I met him, I found his habit of wrapping his arms around my torso and rubbing his chest and lower body against mine in a prolonged embrace to be uncomfortable and unprofessional. Hertzberg physically accosted me multiple times. I repeatedly asked him not to hug me. 

The last time he approached me was in a Capitol hallway. I told him: ‘Don’t touch me.’ He responded by grabbing me, pinning my arms by my side and thrusting his groin against my pelvis. He restricted me from moving away, forcing prolonged torso-to-torso contact despite my shouting at him to let me go.” Hertzberg was subsequently reprimanded by the senate Rules Committee.

Robert Hertzberg is a hugger, okay? No? Not okay? Hm.

The issue was revived two years ago when Hertzberg, then a candidate for Los Angeles County Supervisor, was videotaped speaking in his own defense at an event in Malibu. “What I liked about politics was the human connection,” Hertzberg said, as reported in a Sacramento Bee account. “Really important to me. You go to South LA — I got in trouble for hugging people. Those church ladies grab ahold of you, and they don’t let go. And I loved it, and I’m sorry. In East LA, ‘un abrazo.’ That’s what you do in the community.” The response drew an angry letter signed by a raft of female politicos denouncing Hertzberg. 

“State Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino, who has endorsed Hertzberg’s opponent, said the senator abruptly hugged her from behind on her first day as his colleague in 2014,” the Bee reported. “Leyva told him at the time to never touch her again, and she said hearing about his July comments prompted her to sign the letter. ‘I was just completely incensed by that,’ she said. ‘Rather than just taking some responsibility and saying, “You know what, I used to hug women and they didn’t like it, and I finally figured out to stop doing it,” he’s trying to justify his bad behavior.’”

Hertzberg, a lawyer whose website now promotes him as the “Best Governor California Never Had”, was subsequently defeated for supervisor by fellow Democrat Lindsey Horvath. Ex-GOP San Diego city councilman Maienschein served in the state Assembly as a Republican before flipping to the Democratic Party in January 2019.


Sempra in labor

A political committee called the San Diego Labor Coalition, Sponsored by Laborer’s International Union of North America Local 89, is spending big money to boost the reelection bids of San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and his fellow Democrats, city councilmen Joe LaCava and Stephen Whitburn. Other favored candidates of the committee include termed-out Assembly Republican turned Democrat Brian Maienshcien, who is running for city attorney, and Henry Foster III, running for council to replace Monica Montgomery Steppe, for whom he previously worked as chief of staff. 

Sponsored
Sponsored

But despite the group’s ties to big labor, a sizable amount of cash for the contributions has come from San Diego-based utility giant Sempra Energy, which gave $5000 to the committee on January 11, per a February 8 disclosure filing. With its subsidiary SDG&E fighting an initiative effort to remove its electric franchise in the city, Sempra has of late been scattering money around to politicians and nonprofit groups who appear likely to endorse their cause.

Henry Foster III, from Chief of Staff to chief political rival?


Big money city hall

Klein Financial Corp., a controversial Northern California developer being sued by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, otherwise known as CalPERS, for $38.3 million in allegedly unpaid obligations from liquidated Los Angeles real estate developments, gave $10,000 on February 5 to a newly formed political committee calling itself Big City San Diego supporting Todd Gloria for Mayor. 

“CalPERS claims that last year it sought an independent audit of the partnership, but that [Klein] didn’t respond to audit firm KPM & Associates in October,” the Sacramento Business Journal reported Feb 1. “CalPERS in its suit said that by not complying with the audit, [Klein] has triggered a ‘for cause removal event,’ and that CalPERS can remove the manager and appoint a new one.” According to the company’s website, “Klein Financial Corporation is a real estate investment, development and consulting firm specializing in tax-exempt bond multifamily residential development. The company has raised and/or consulted on approximately $7 billion in financing and development of public and private real estate projects and governmental housing funding organizations and programs.”

In addition to Klein’s cash, Big City San Diego, formed on December 27 of last year, received $25,000 on January 25 from Monarch Housing Solutions, run by La Jolla developer Sarah Kruer Jager. Other donors include San Diego pizza king Sami Ladeki, with $1000 on February 7, and Intesa Communications Group, which came up with $2500 the same day. Intesa partner Maddy Kilkenny, according to the firm’s website, “spent 11 years working for County Supervisor Greg Cox as a Policy Advisor for and Deputy Chief of Staff” before going into “governmental relations.” The firm’s latest lobbying disclosure report, for the final quarter of last year, shows that it lobbied Gloria’s office for “consideration of public financing opportunities” for redevelopment of Sea Port Village...Do pimps now “control” parts of San Diego along the National City line? So says Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Digital in a February 8 online dispatch. Sex traffickers wield power “by leveraging the fear of retaliation against locals in exchange for their silence on the parade of nearly-naked women working the streets, a business owner in the heart of a prostitution hotspot said,” per Fox. “The threat of pimps carrying out physical attacks, destroying property or stealing keeps locals quiet from going to the police.”

— 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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