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Anyone who's had trouble parking at Lindbergh Field during the latest construction binge there will no doubt envy local state legislators. A lobbying disclosure statement filed April 29 by the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, covering the first quarter of this year, reveals that in just those three months alone, the authority handed out a total of $8083 in free parking passes to legislators.

The free parking is characterized by the authority as a lobbying "activity expense."

Lucky recipients include GOP senators Mark Wyland ($688) and Joel Anderson ($1214), along with Democratic senators Chris Kehoe ($1058) and Juan Vargas ($798).

Others who got the freebies included newly elected Democratic Assemblyman Ben Hueso ($125) and fellow Democratic Assemblymen Marty Block ($1282). GOP Assemblymen Brian Jones ($1167), Martin Garrick ($1235), and Nathan Fletcher, a would-be San Diego mayoral candidate ($516), also got in on the booty.

Besides the direct gifts to the legislators, the airport authority paid $26,000 to the Sacramento office of the law and lobbying firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

The city of Los Angeles, which owns LAX and Ontario airport, also provided free parking for its special legislative friends. According to its disclosure, L.A. provided airport parking and shuttle services to Assembly members Jeff Miller ($450), Paul Cook ($560), Kevin Jeffries ($540), Curt Hagman ($560), Brian Nestande ($560), Tim Donnelly ($110), Mike Feuer ($90), Jim Beall ($30), Steven Bradford ($90), Julia Brownley ($90), Betsy Butler ($90), Mike Davis ($90), Holly Mitchell ($90), Warren Furutani ($90), Isadore Hall ($90), Bonnie Lowenthal ($90), and Tony Mendoza ($90). Joseph Tavaglione, member of the California Transportation Commission, got $130 and Board of Equalization member Jerome Horton received $90.

The city as a whole paid the lobbying firm of Weideman Group, Inc. a total of $30,022.

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Visduh May 17, 2011 @ 7:32 p.m.

This is all reminiscent of the preferred free parking spots that were reserved for members of Congress at Washington National Airport. Those spots were curbside and a very short walk from the boarding gates for departing flights. Of course, this was about forty years ago, maybe as recently as thirty years ago, and was turned into a mini-scandal. At that time, VIP treatment didn't involve bypassing usual airline security, because there was little or none of that. There were no financial records kept for the value of that ultra-preferred parking, because nobody kept track of who parked there or for how long.

I have no idea of what happened to those parking spots at the now-Reagan National Airport. The congresspersons probably get wonderful treatment, but it is unlikely to be out in the open and as obvious to the public. So, what's new?


SurfPuppy619 June 13, 2011 @ 10:54 p.m.

I have no idea of what happened to those parking spots at the now-Reagan National Airport.

Still there, and as fate would have it we were discussing this today as we conversed about the Congress gym where Weiner took some pics of his, well, weiner. The members of Congress have to pay a nominal fee to use the gym, and I wondered why they paid anything b/c they get so many others perks for free-like free parking at RR airport worth much more......


monaghan June 12, 2011 @ 8:32 p.m.

It's always interesting to know the figures, but free airport parking has been afforded to local pols in the State Legislature for at least 25 years (that I can recall) and probably longer. And what gets free parking is a state-issue automobile.

No question that the present austerity of Governor Brown is overdue.


Twister June 13, 2011 @ 1:38 p.m.

The Port (Airport) Authority is a fiefdom, accountable to no one.


SurfPuppy619 June 13, 2011 @ 11:11 p.m.

The Port (Airport) Authority is a fiefdom, accountable to no one.

================== Yes it is, as are many special districts that number in the thousands in this state.

Sort of like little mini-City of Vernons.


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