Anchor ads are not supported on this page.

4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

San Diego Dems get cash from RCS Harmony Partners

Donors want to raise taxes to get others to join in altruism

Real Capital Solutions’ chairman and founder is Marcel Arsenault. His wife Cynda Collins Arsenault belongs to Patriotic Millionaires, a liberal group advocating higher taxes on the rich.
Real Capital Solutions’ chairman and founder is Marcel Arsenault. His wife Cynda Collins Arsenault belongs to Patriotic Millionaires, a liberal group advocating higher taxes on the rich.

Liberal richies

The political committee called the San Diego Labor Coalition, Sponsored by Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 89 has received another major round of developer cash for its direct mail “Democratic Choice Voter Guide” touting the reelection bids of Democratic Mayor Todd Gloria, city council Democrats Joe LaCava and Steve Whitburn, along with city attorney hopeful and state Assembly Republican-turned-Democrat Brian Maienschein. On February 14, a total of $100,000 was given by Judy Larson in the name of RCS Harmony Partners, LLC, according to a city disclosure filings. Larson is the longtime vice president of commercial operations and asset management for Real Capital Solutions, otherwise known as RCS.

Steve Whitburn may be in it to win it, but he also appreciates Harmony.

“Based in Colorado, RCS owns a national portfolio of real estate and provides full service and in-house operational expertise,” says the firm’s website. “RCS has a long track record of acquiring under-performing or distressed assets and ultimately creating exceptional value in real estate.” Lawson and her team “now oversee the entire real estate portfolio for RCS (valued at more than $1.7 billion and comprising ~13 million square feet of office, industrial, retail, hotel and multi-family space),” the site continues.

The company’s chairman and founder is Marcel Arsenault. His wife Cynda Collins Arsenault belongs to Patriotic Millionaires, a liberal group advocating higher taxes on the rich. “Charity dispensed at the personal discretion of ultra-wealthy individuals is not only undemocratic, it is a drop in the bucket compared to the financial realities of running a global superpower like the United States of America,” says an October 2021 letter to the Denver Post co-signed by her.

“It is no substitute for a fiscally responsible tax policy that simply asks the ultra-wealthy to contribute in the same way that tens of millions of working-class Americans already do.” In addition, Arsenault and spouse have signed the Giving Pledge, vowing to ultimately give away 99% of their $2 billion personal fortune.

“Both my husband and I come out of the ‘60s and the anti-war movement — the destruction of war, the senselessness of it, and how the budgets that go into it could be used for something else,” she told Crain Currency in a Feb 14, 2023 interview. “So that has been our set of values for many years. As he made his money, eventually it was like, ‘OK, now we have enough to really do something.’ And we started our foundations.”

The couple’s current foundations include the Secure World Foundation and One Earth Future, according to Crain. “Our personal values are not to spend money but to live simply. I grew up an Air Force brat, and my husband comes from Canadian miners, a much poorer family. We have one house, which is fine, and we have two cars — they’re both electric, plug-in.” She added: “I am a member of Women Moving Millions, who have more of that value of using their money for women and girls.”

Further, “We do not intend to pass money on to our son, which is a sore subject. But that’s our belief — that he can make his own way. We have a trust for him that provides medical payments, so as he needs medical care, he’s covered. But it’s limited to that. We want him to earn his own way to be able to have his own sense of achievement.”

Sponsored
Sponsored

Environmental politics were not covered in the interview. RCS has faced longstanding controversy in San Diego County over its Harmony Grove Village South development plans. A lawsuit by the Sierra Club, the Elfin Forest Harmony Grove Town Council, the Endangered Habitats League and the Cleveland National Forest Foundation ultimately forced the county board of supervisors to yank permits for the site in December 2022.

“The general plan prescribes a third of (the proposed development) perhaps less than that, so they’re trying to triple the density in this little space than they’re entitled to.” complained Elfin Forest resident J.P. Theberge in a March 2, 2018 interview with TV station KNSD. “We’re in an area that burnt not only 2 to 3 years ago in the Cocos fire, the entire area burnt. We lost about 30 houses about 100, 200 yards from here. I want the Board of Supervisors to look at this plan and to look at what the evacuation risk really is.”


Following the Sempra money

Utility giant Sempra Energy continues to spread political cash around San Diego in labyrinthine ways as it faces an initiative effort that would strip the city’s lucrative power monopoly from its subsidiary San Diego Gas & Electric. On January 11, Sempra gave $5000 to the Downtown San Diego Partnership PAC. Less than a month later on February 7, per a disclosure report filed with the city on February 22, the Downtown San Diego PAC transferred $35,000 to a committee calling itself Protect Neighborhood Services Now, run by the San Diego Municipal Employees Association. That was the same day that the municipal employees PAC began bankrolling a direct mail campaign for its favored city council candidates, including Henry Foster III, along with council incumbents Sean Elo-Rivera, Stephen Whitburn, and mayor Todd Gloria.

Will Henry Foster III say Sempra Fi or Sempra, Fie?

Meanwhile, Sempra’s campaign funding figured prominently in a February 20 debate between California United States Senate candidates, with Irvine’s Katie Porter singling out rival fellow House Democrat Adam Schiff of Burbank for taking campaign cash from a host of oil and gas industry sources, including Sempra, per a Los Angeles Times account of the clash. “Schiff argued that Porter had ‘not been fully clear about her own record,’ saying she had accepted political contributions from people who work in the oil industry, on Wall Street and for pharmaceutical companies,” the Times reported “The problem with the ‘purity tests’ that Porter was trying to establish, Schiff said, is that ‘invariably, the people who establish them don’t meet them.’”

— 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/.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Blue Whales: Return of the Giants, North Park Salsa Fest, Lime Cordiale

Events April 19-April 20, 2024
Next Article

Dad Darius Degher writes lyrics for his daughters - and himself

“What I respect most are song lyrics that do something wholly new.”
Real Capital Solutions’ chairman and founder is Marcel Arsenault. His wife Cynda Collins Arsenault belongs to Patriotic Millionaires, a liberal group advocating higher taxes on the rich.
Real Capital Solutions’ chairman and founder is Marcel Arsenault. His wife Cynda Collins Arsenault belongs to Patriotic Millionaires, a liberal group advocating higher taxes on the rich.

Liberal richies

The political committee called the San Diego Labor Coalition, Sponsored by Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 89 has received another major round of developer cash for its direct mail “Democratic Choice Voter Guide” touting the reelection bids of Democratic Mayor Todd Gloria, city council Democrats Joe LaCava and Steve Whitburn, along with city attorney hopeful and state Assembly Republican-turned-Democrat Brian Maienschein. On February 14, a total of $100,000 was given by Judy Larson in the name of RCS Harmony Partners, LLC, according to a city disclosure filings. Larson is the longtime vice president of commercial operations and asset management for Real Capital Solutions, otherwise known as RCS.

Steve Whitburn may be in it to win it, but he also appreciates Harmony.

“Based in Colorado, RCS owns a national portfolio of real estate and provides full service and in-house operational expertise,” says the firm’s website. “RCS has a long track record of acquiring under-performing or distressed assets and ultimately creating exceptional value in real estate.” Lawson and her team “now oversee the entire real estate portfolio for RCS (valued at more than $1.7 billion and comprising ~13 million square feet of office, industrial, retail, hotel and multi-family space),” the site continues.

The company’s chairman and founder is Marcel Arsenault. His wife Cynda Collins Arsenault belongs to Patriotic Millionaires, a liberal group advocating higher taxes on the rich. “Charity dispensed at the personal discretion of ultra-wealthy individuals is not only undemocratic, it is a drop in the bucket compared to the financial realities of running a global superpower like the United States of America,” says an October 2021 letter to the Denver Post co-signed by her.

“It is no substitute for a fiscally responsible tax policy that simply asks the ultra-wealthy to contribute in the same way that tens of millions of working-class Americans already do.” In addition, Arsenault and spouse have signed the Giving Pledge, vowing to ultimately give away 99% of their $2 billion personal fortune.

“Both my husband and I come out of the ‘60s and the anti-war movement — the destruction of war, the senselessness of it, and how the budgets that go into it could be used for something else,” she told Crain Currency in a Feb 14, 2023 interview. “So that has been our set of values for many years. As he made his money, eventually it was like, ‘OK, now we have enough to really do something.’ And we started our foundations.”

The couple’s current foundations include the Secure World Foundation and One Earth Future, according to Crain. “Our personal values are not to spend money but to live simply. I grew up an Air Force brat, and my husband comes from Canadian miners, a much poorer family. We have one house, which is fine, and we have two cars — they’re both electric, plug-in.” She added: “I am a member of Women Moving Millions, who have more of that value of using their money for women and girls.”

Further, “We do not intend to pass money on to our son, which is a sore subject. But that’s our belief — that he can make his own way. We have a trust for him that provides medical payments, so as he needs medical care, he’s covered. But it’s limited to that. We want him to earn his own way to be able to have his own sense of achievement.”

Sponsored
Sponsored

Environmental politics were not covered in the interview. RCS has faced longstanding controversy in San Diego County over its Harmony Grove Village South development plans. A lawsuit by the Sierra Club, the Elfin Forest Harmony Grove Town Council, the Endangered Habitats League and the Cleveland National Forest Foundation ultimately forced the county board of supervisors to yank permits for the site in December 2022.

“The general plan prescribes a third of (the proposed development) perhaps less than that, so they’re trying to triple the density in this little space than they’re entitled to.” complained Elfin Forest resident J.P. Theberge in a March 2, 2018 interview with TV station KNSD. “We’re in an area that burnt not only 2 to 3 years ago in the Cocos fire, the entire area burnt. We lost about 30 houses about 100, 200 yards from here. I want the Board of Supervisors to look at this plan and to look at what the evacuation risk really is.”


Following the Sempra money

Utility giant Sempra Energy continues to spread political cash around San Diego in labyrinthine ways as it faces an initiative effort that would strip the city’s lucrative power monopoly from its subsidiary San Diego Gas & Electric. On January 11, Sempra gave $5000 to the Downtown San Diego Partnership PAC. Less than a month later on February 7, per a disclosure report filed with the city on February 22, the Downtown San Diego PAC transferred $35,000 to a committee calling itself Protect Neighborhood Services Now, run by the San Diego Municipal Employees Association. That was the same day that the municipal employees PAC began bankrolling a direct mail campaign for its favored city council candidates, including Henry Foster III, along with council incumbents Sean Elo-Rivera, Stephen Whitburn, and mayor Todd Gloria.

Will Henry Foster III say Sempra Fi or Sempra, Fie?

Meanwhile, Sempra’s campaign funding figured prominently in a February 20 debate between California United States Senate candidates, with Irvine’s Katie Porter singling out rival fellow House Democrat Adam Schiff of Burbank for taking campaign cash from a host of oil and gas industry sources, including Sempra, per a Los Angeles Times account of the clash. “Schiff argued that Porter had ‘not been fully clear about her own record,’ saying she had accepted political contributions from people who work in the oil industry, on Wall Street and for pharmaceutical companies,” the Times reported “The problem with the ‘purity tests’ that Porter was trying to establish, Schiff said, is that ‘invariably, the people who establish them don’t meet them.’”

— 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/.

Comments
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Blue Whales: Return of the Giants, North Park Salsa Fest, Lime Cordiale

Events April 19-April 20, 2024
Next Article

The hopeless resistance of a cash user against Tender Greens

And cannabis dealer Farmer's Cup's cash-only bondage
Comments
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox Movies@Home — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close

Anchor ads are not supported on this page.