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News arrived this morning via the Union-Tribune's Tom Blair that ex-San Diego city councilman Brian Maienschein is throwing a $3900-a-head fundraiser for his 77th district Assembly campaign at the La Jolla house where MTV's "Real World" was shot.

The big party, set to feature boxing champ Evander Holyfield--along with Supervisor Ron Roberts, state Sen. Joel Anderson, and congressman Darrell Issa--brings to mind the candidate's salary trajectory as a councilman and commissioner of United Way San Diego's "Plan to End Chronic Homelessness."

Maienschein picked up the United Way gig after he was termed out of his city council seat and defeated in a primary race for city attorney in 2008.

According to a January 2009 U-T feature, Maienschein denied the that the job represented a payback for favors he had done while on the council.

"I've had no connection with the United Way," he told U-T reporter Ron Powell. "I've never had any interaction with the United Way ."

(According to its website, United Way's homeless effort is co-chaired by downtown developer Dene Oliver, CEO of OliverMcMillan, Inc. and Jennifer LeSar, an ex-member of the city-run Centre City Development Corporation board, development consultant, and spouse of Democratic Assemblywoman and ex-city council member Toni Atkins.)

Father Joe Carroll, then president of St. Vincent de Paul Village, was reported by the U-T as saying Maienschein, a Republican, had "built relationships with lawmakers in Sacramento and Washington that should help in getting funding for the program."

"If he needs to get (Democratic Rep. Bob) Filner or (Democratic Rep. Susan) Davis, he can get them on the phone," Carroll told the paper.

Maienschein declined to reveal the amount of his new United Way salary, said the story, which noted that his council pay had been $75,386.

"There's a part of me that thought it would be nice to make a really good salary for a while and use some of the contacts I made and do that," Maienschein said. "But what I realized is that doing something that is more significant for the community meant more to me."

As it turns out, Maienschein hasn't done all that badly in the money department.

According to the San Diego United Way's most recent IRS return, filed in January of this year and covering the period betweeen July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010, United Way paid the former councilman $101,099 in salary, plus $5,171 in estimated "other compensation," for a total of $106,270.

That made Maienschein the United Way's second highest-compensated employee, behind president and CEO Douglas Sawyer, with a total of $190,620.

James Buscher, vice president for resource development, was third with $103,923.

Karen Sprigle, vice president and chief administrative officer of the charity, made $96,709.

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monaghan Nov. 4, 2011 @ 2:22 p.m.

We wouldn't want our United Way execs to fall behind equivalent private sector levels of compensation -- since that remains the standard in San Diego, even though so many people are out of work or working more for the same money or working less for less money or can only find part-time employment.

That said, Maienschein remains one of the nicest smartest people to hold public office in San Diego and, in fairness, there is no evidence that the UW job is "payback for favors" while he was on the City Council, though that is what's implied in this story.


SurfPuppy619 Nov. 4, 2011 @ 11 p.m.

"There's a part of me that thought it would be nice to make a really good salary for a while and use some of the contacts I made and do that," Maienschein said. "But what I realized is that doing something that is more significant for the community meant more to me."

== Errrrr....Righttttttt.

The only thing that means anything to this clown is the pay check. He has no experience as a "homeless commissioner". His contacts is why he is there -and he admits it.



Twister Nov. 5, 2011 @ 8:10 a.m.

For some reason, "Bring in the Clowns" keep ringing, a-ringing, a-ring-a-ding-dinging in and on and about my ear.


monaghan Nov. 5, 2011 @ 4:43 p.m.

Not everybody is a "clown," SurfPuppy and Twister. Whenever someone moves from public office to private employment, "contacts" made while in public life can play a positive part. I don't see Brian Maienschein getting rich at United Way, and his salary is a lot less than that of many of our double-dipping Navy Admirals whose career trajectories have taken them from military service into local public education. Like it or not, Republican Brian Maienschein actually has a bent for social service and doing good in the community.


SurfPuppy619 Nov. 5, 2011 @ 5:18 p.m.

OK, I take the "clown" part back.

But he is NOT doing this to give back to the community, but to get a big fat pay check. Totally self serving.


BradleyFikes Nov. 6, 2011 @ 11:28 a.m.

There's an unspoken rule that politicians will be taken care of when out of office. It's institutionalized in Sacramento, where dozens of politicos or their spouses draw five- and six-figure salaries on numerous board and commissions whose purpose is to provide a sinecure. Both Democrats and Republicans do this routinely.

Maienschein's United Way appointment may or may not have been such a payoff. He may even have convinced himself that he was chosen solely on merit. But the appointment certainly earned United Way good will with a potential future Assemblyman. It's hard to believe that wasn't part of the group's calculus.


Boltfan Nov. 12, 2011 @ 1:08 p.m.

Brian Maienschein is being paid over $100K per year to be the "Homeless Czar" for United Way San Diego. This is, of course, in addition to the taxpayer-funded pension he is already collecting from the City of San Diego, which according to UT reports amounts to $25,306 annually. In fact, he is one of United Way's highest-compensated employees, second only to Doug Sawyer, the President and CEO, and he is paid more than the senior vice president, chief financial officer, and two other vice presidents. But, Maienschein isn’t even listed as a senior staff member on the website (http://uwsd.org/content/senior-staff).

Interestingly, the word “homeless outreach” does not even appear prominently on United Way San Diego’s homepage. One would think if the Homeless Czar was the second highest paid member of their team, they would have this arm of the organization at the top of the website as a major initiative.

Exactly what does Brian Maienschein do at United Way San Diego? And, while Maienschein may have had "no connection with the United Way" he most assuredly had connections with Dene Oliver. How many of Dene Oliver's projects did he vote on as a Councilman? It's also not surprising that Democratic Reps. Filner and Davis are rumored to be on his speed dial. But, then, that's Brian.

With so many questions, maybe someone needs to talk to Evander Holyfield!


historymatters Nov. 23, 2011 @ 9:43 p.m.

yes now that the housing market has crashed developers suddenly care about the homeless. Hmmm I wonder why? maybe because each homeless person is worth about $500,000 to them? Ive been saying for a while this was coming a sudden caring about the poor...its really a caring about developers and ensuring they still have obscene profits.


historymatters Nov. 23, 2011 @ 9:45 p.m.

Yes Toni Atkins and wife Jennifer LeSar make millions solving homelessness. This is about 1 thing money and development. How about programs for rental assistance instead? I just logged on to see about rental assistance because I have 0$ in income and no savings. the wait list for section 8 rental assistance is 5-8 years! Why because it doent make the developers rich. Consider that a brand new airstream is $50,000 why not take a plot of city owned land and set up a community of airstreams? it would facilitate community and be much more empowering than wharehousing them in depressing slums. You guys should look closer at this. I wrote a blog about The United way and how their participation in this development stuff is highly suspect.


historymatters Nov. 23, 2011 @ 9:47 p.m.

someone should really really really audit the delaware LLcs that these projects are organized as as in look into Toni Atkins and LeSars personal finances. I bet you will find these benefactors are stashing millions in offshore accounts the way ADI developers did in los Angeles.


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