San Diego’s politicians in the last decade have been disappointing, to say the least. They promise to represent our neighborhoods, but soon after arriving downtown get sucked into the “go along to get along” culture.

The reason for this is understandable. Insiders downtown contribute the lion’s share of the money the politicians need for reelection. So it’s important to track where the money comes from for these expensive races. It reveals a lot about the candidates, and is a rough predictor of how they will behave once in public office.

The Center for Policy Initiatives has provided a handy online tool to track contributions. You can check for yourself who is giving what to whom.

Council Candidate Todd Gloria is proud of the amount of money he’s raised so far from special interests. Who is behind his campaign, and what will they expect in return?

Lawyers and Lobbyists:

Well-connected Republican lobbyists love Gloria. They’ve given over $12,000 so far to elect him to represent them on the City Council. A “who’s who” of insiders leads the list:

• Craig Benedetto: Spokesman for failed Bajagua project, and Legislative Advocate San Diego Building Owners and Managers Association

• Mitch Berner: Republican Lobyist, East Village Association, Former Chief of Staff to Barbara Warden

• John Dadian: Republican Consultant and Lobbyist

• John Kern: Republican Consultant, Lobbyist, Former Chief of Staff to Dick Murphy

• Scott Maloni: Republican Lobbyist, VP of Poseidon

Political Staffers:

Downtown politicians and their staff are hopeful Gloria will join them in running San Diego their way. Look who’s backing Gloria with cash:

• Elizabeth Brennan Kinsley: Chief of Staff, Scott Peters

• Aimee Faucett: Chief of Staff, Jim Madaffer

• Nancy Graham: Disgraced Former CEO of CCDC

• Sherm Harmer: VP of Building Industry Association


It’s no surprise that developers want Gloria to continue supporting their big box projects with taxpayer money. It’s not only developers, but also members of the disgraced CCDC Board who “pay to play”:

• Perry Dealy: Manchester Financial Group (backers of Proposition 8)

• Kim Kilkenny: Otay Ranch Co. (Board Member, CCDC)

• Fred Maas: Black Mountain Ranch, (Chairman of CCDC)

• Jennifer LeSar: Board Member, CCDC (Toni Atkins’ new wife)

Reading the list above shows where Gloria's going if he gets a seat on the Council. He's got a lot of favors to repay.

As this race continues, watch for big money last minute contributions from special interests trying to by your vote.


historymatters Sept. 18, 2008 @ 5:52 p.m.

Thanks Fred, I knew I was missing some on my list. I will add these as well.


historymatters Sept. 18, 2008 @ 6:02 p.m.

I also think people should know the GLT is censoring any comments on Gloria that reveal this specific info. My comments have been censored, erased, and disregarded many times. In the recent article on the HTC debate someone asked if Todd really took money from Manchester people. Someone posted after that "No its not true, total lies". I posted a comment, that said "I am the one who questioned him on this at the debate and yes it is true--I did my research at the Center for Policy Initiatives. He also took money from many heavy hitters like Sherm Harmer, the Baldwin family (OC developer), Nancy Graham etc. These people regulary speak against all the things Todd is campaigning FOR." I said nothing mean spirited. They would not post it, but they "allowed" me to post a much more benign comment about the gay community needing to really look at why they are voting for him. I think we should expose this major suppression of info by the GLT.


_Spark_ Sept. 22, 2008 @ 12:45 p.m.

Just got a flier from Todd Gloria left on my doorstep. High-gloss, full-color, near-cardstock brochure with this photo on the cover:

Which leads me to ask...Which one is Gloria?!?!?

What ticks me off about these fliers is that I won't see them again until the next election.

Dear Councilmembers: How 'bout leaving me some fliers with updates about progress made during your term? The only time you come by my house is when you want me to elect you.


Fred Williams Sept. 22, 2008 @ 1:59 p.m.


I believe you have difficulty finding Todd because his shirt blends in so well with the blue background, leaving just a disembodied head flashing teeth.

Could be Photoshop.

Will he come around with a report card after the election?


That's too much work. If there's something political staffers avoid, it's work. That and the public.

Thanks for your comment.



district3resident Oct. 1, 2008 @ 3:56 p.m.


You're logic is warped. To demonstrate, ask yourself why you support parental notification for Abortion?

You say you don't? Well you must, because you blog for a magazine who's publisher has bankrolled current and past propositions to require parental notification. Thus, you are anti-choice and anti-woman.

The truth is that a $270 contribution won't buy a candidate. What buys a candidate is over $100,000, like Stephen Whitburn "loaned" his campaign. No evidence on where that money came from. And no justification for the loan rather than a contribution. Whitburn will pay himself back once elected, depriving you the chance of investigating who is contributors are.

Wise up Fred. You've become a tool for Whitburn and his pal DeMaio.


Reader_reader Oct. 1, 2008 @ 4:36 p.m.

Uh, district3resident, how is it "anti-woman" (or even "anti-choice") to support parental notification for abortion? I'm not seeing the connection. And to suggest that Fred is supporting same is quite a leap. I have no idea what his views are, but suggesting that he "must" support the parental-notification proposition because he posts a blog on the Reader website is the same as suggesting that YOU support it because you're commenting on the Reader's website. Ridiculous, right?


district3resident Oct. 3, 2008 @ 5:31 p.m.

Exactly my point. I was demonstrating Fred's flawed logic by using Reducto Ad Absurdum. He continually argues that because there is a connection between two people, both must necessarily agree on an issue. For instance, Fred says that because a former Manchester employee donated to Todd Gloria, Gloria must support Manchester and the causes (like Prop 8) that Manchester supports. I say that because Fred blogs on a site owned by a supporter of Parental Notification, Fred must support the owner, and his campaign against a Woman's right to choose. Because both statements reach absurd conclusions, their logic is flawed. Hopefully Fred will realize this and stop putting up poorly thought out posts.

By the way, notification is just an attempt to chip away at a woman's right to privacy. If it is passed, activists will use it to sue clinics and shut them down through litigation.


Fred Williams Oct. 5, 2008 @ 7:23 a.m.

Thank you for pointing out my logical flaws. I deeply appreciate your questions and insights.

Do you have a real name, "District 3 Resident"? I use my real name because I have nothing to hide.

Are you in fact a member of Gloria's professional staff of campaigners? If so, then you ought to disclose such things. I am a supporter of Whitburn, (unpaid volunteer by the way), and here's why:

You're right that a single $270 contribution won't buy much.

How about bundles of $270 contributions?

  • Bundles from the disgraced CCDC board and Nancy Graham...

  • Bundles from secretive military contractor Epsilon Systems...

  • Bundles from the Baldwin development companies...

  • Bundles from staffers and lobbyists in City Hall...

It's all available at

This isn't about Proposition 4, or who owns which publication that hosts blogging software...this is about who would make the best representative for District 3.

At the meeting of the Neighborhood Preservationists this week, Gloria was shame-faced about his many ties to developers, including Manchester.

While Stephen Whitburn called for dissolving scandal-plagued CCDC and SEDC, Gloria put up a lame defense of the status quo. Gloria says everything is going just fine downtown and that the fraud and conflicts of interest aren't serious.

I wonder why...

Stephen Whitburn was asked about how he could lend money to his campaign.

Stephen Whitburn explained, in detail, how he has saved money for over twenty years. He lives in a modest apartment and drives an eleven year old car. By being thrifty, he's been able to spend his own money on this campaign instead of being beholden to the downtown crowd.

Whitburn said very clearly that he doesn't expect to see that money back. It's on video.

So I hope this answers your questions, "District 3 Resident", and you now understand how repeatedly taking money from developers, lobbyists, downtown insiders, and staffers at City Hall has tainted Gloria's reputation.

  • Historic preservationists, who know a lot about how redevelopment scams work in this town, are united behind Whitburn.

  • Donna Frye, who is standing almost alone against corruption downtown, is supporting Whitburn.

This is a race of the reformer against the insider. You may be charmed by Gloria, but just a few minutes of research online shows you that he's taken bundles of money from the wrong people. Again, and again...

Whitburn is a very polite guy, and he doesn't attack Gloria. He doesn't have to. The facts speak for themselves. Anyone can see who the reformer is in this race.

Thank you again, "District 3 Resident", for giving me the opportunity to clarify things for you.




dylan_shaw Oct. 24, 2008 @ 11:49 a.m.

An elderly neighbor of mine said Todd Gloria came knocking on her door even though she had a Whitburn sign in her yard.

She said Gloria went negative in a big way.

Gloria called Whitburn unqualified and incompetent. Then called him a carpetbagger. He then told her that Whitburn was just another Steve Francis trying to buy the election.

She found herself almost believing him because Gloria seemed so sincere. But when Gloria told her that Whitburn earned the Democratic Party by only two votes--and after some back room deals--she knew that Gloria was lying to her.

A friend of hers had been at that endorsement meeting. She knew that Whitburn had won the Democratic Party's endorsement by a large amount.

Todd Gloria's stock must be tanking. Otherwise, why go negative with lies like that?


Stephen_Davis_from_South_Park Oct. 24, 2008 @ 4:18 p.m.

Fact is, Whitburn hasn't lived in San Diego very long and has dumped over $140,000 of his own money into his political candidacy. He won't own up to where it's from, even though he doesn't own a house (and therefore it's not form a line of credit) and works for a non-profit making about 55,000 grand a year.

There is no way Whitburn saved $140,000 in cash to dump in his campaign, that's just stupid. Where did it come from Whitburn, why can't you be clean?


dylan_shaw Oct. 28, 2008 @ 6:10 a.m.

Notice how vague South_Park_Davis is with "facts."

"What does "not very long" mean? Is that more or less time than Hillary Clinton spent in New York before running for U.S. Senator? Or Carl De Maio in his district before running for City Council?

As a fourth generation Californian and a native of San Diego--a resident here of 52 years--I can say most the people in San Diego haven't been here a very long.

The Kumeyaays can say none of us have been here a very long time.

Also notice that Todd_Davis_from_South Park is so accustomed to the culture of corruiption that surrounds Todd Gloria, he just can't comprehend the concept that Whitburn made his money the old fashioned way--he earned it. Then saved it.

It should be noted that while Todd Gloria was still a child Stephen Whitburn was an adult with a career and working on his life's goal of doing good in this world.

Whitburn is the rare individual who isn't materialistic. Rather than spend money on new cars or a mortgage he saved his money so he could live a life of public service and be beholden to anybody or any special interest except the common good.

It appears to me Gloria's goal is to win an election and sit pretty.

Stephen Whitburn's goal is to unselfishly serve the community.

Gloria is the developer's and insider's candidate--a mere puppet for special interests.

Whitburn is the people's candidate.


jamesf Nov. 11, 2008 @ 4:22 p.m.

A better name for Prop. 4 is “Jim’s Law”—for Jim Holman, the editor and publisher of the San Diego Reader and anti-abortion crusader who has bankrolled Props. 73, 85 and 4 to the tune of more than $5 million, money that, presumably, he earned as salary paid for by Reader advertisers.



Sign in to comment

Let’s Be Friends

Subscribe for local event alerts, concerts tickets, promotions and more from the San Diego Reader