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San Diego Congressman Bob Filner, the lone Democrat in the race for San Diego mayor, is staging a fundraiser at the posh La Jolla digs of fallen La Jolla lawyer Bill Lerach and his wife Michelle.

"It's spring!" says an invitation to the May 12 event. "Come join us for a pleasant afternoon in La Jolla and hear Bob's plans for the future of San Diego.

"Spring toward a bright future with Bob Filner for Mayor 2012!"

Admission is $500 a person for a "V.I.P. Reception" and an "Art and Garden" tour of the Lerach estate.

The general reception following will cost $100.

The host committee list includes the names of former San Diego city councilwoman Donna Frye; state Sen. Christine Kehoe; Assemblywoman Toni Atkins; city council members David Alvarez and Marti Emerald; and San Diego school board members Kevin Beiser, John Lee Evans, and Richard Barrera.

In recent years, Lerach's house has become the fundraising venue of choice for many Democrats, including city councilwoman Sherri Lightner, currently facing a vigorous challenge from the GOP.

Two years ago, our Don Bauder described the place as "a cliffside villa" and went on to describe Lerach's rise and fall as a shareholder champion and bête noire of the board room:

"As an attorney who filed hundreds of class-action suits against corporations, he became a bigger fraudster than a lot of the companies he was pursuing.

"First, he filed many dubious suits, rejoicing when 90 percent of the companies decided to settle for millions of dollars rather than spend the time and money fighting.

"That stratagem wasn’t illegal, but it was grossly unethical — the classic shakedown.

"Companies called it getting 'Lerached.'

"Second, Lerach and his firms paid fat kickbacks to shifty characters to become plaintiffs in those lawsuits.

"That was illegal, landing Lerach in prison."

"Now he is out, residing comfortably in one of the county’s most luxurious spreads, a cliffside villa in La Jolla.

"He is worth an estimated $700 million. The government made him pay a mere $7.5 million for his crimes.

"The profane, volatile, bullying Scotch guzzler and work addict — now on his fourth marriage — can no longer practice law but is preparing to teach a course at the University of California Irvine School of Law."

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Visduh April 28, 2012 @ 7:57 p.m.

Doesn't this make all of the Filner supporters who think he's the "man of the people" feel really happy? He's in thrall of not only the muni employee unions, but that of the trial lawyers. Just what the city needs in a new mayor. A worthy successor to Sanders. And just one more step towards civic bankruptcy and a third-world city. But, hey, he's a Democrat and we have to overlook all the warts! Don't we? DON'T WE?


SurfPuppy619 April 29, 2012 @ 11:26 a.m.

Learchs pad is right across the street from Jonas Salk's old home. I wonder if the Salk Institute still owns that home, I would guess yes.


tomjohnston April 30, 2012 @ 4:37 p.m.

If I remember correctly, when he died, Salk was still married to Francoise Gilot. I would imagine the house would have been hers unless Salk had made other prior arrangements. If Salk did leave the house for Gilot, it would be no surprise that she didn't keep it. She often said that she didn't care for La Jolla, that she preferred New York and Paris. Do you know the address of the Salk house? I would like to take a look at it. I have read that it is actually a pretty simple house, albeit one with spectacular views of the Pacific.


SurfPuppy619 April 30, 2012 @ 8:54 p.m.

The Salk home on La Jolla Farms was titled under the Salk Institute, at least back in the early 1990's. I do not know the address anymore- I have been by it on a few occassions recently and the landmark 3 dolphin sculpture in the front of it (how I knew it was the Salk pad) appears to have been removed (or at least I could no longer see them).

I don't think I have seen any simple houses in La Jolla farms, but the Salk pad was not as big as the others.


tomjohnston April 30, 2012 @ 10:42 p.m.

Actually, I saw a pic of Lerach standing by his pool, so I know exactly where his house is.


monaghan April 30, 2012 @ 12:34 p.m.

Filner should resist the pull of SD County hack-Dems who are in the thrall of Bill Lerach and his cupcake-baking wife and should stay away from the Lerach bluff-top La Jolla manse. There are lots of places Bob could run a fundraiser other than the home of a convicted felon. And you know what, Visduh? Filner IS what this city needs, despite this misstep.


SurfPuppy619 April 30, 2012 @ 9:55 p.m.

Filner has no plan to stop the public pension Ponzi scam, and for that reason alone he is wrong.


tomjohnston April 30, 2012 @ 10:19 p.m.

surfpuppy619, I thought you were a Filner fan, because he would do a good job as Mayor. What changed your mind?


MikeC May 2, 2012 @ 11:40 p.m.

Dear San Diego Reader Editors:

I am glad you brought some much-needed attention to Congressman Filner's bid for Mayor. Not only is Filner the only Democrat in the race, he is also the only Freedom Rider in the race. In 1961, Filner risked his life to challenge racist laws in the South, was imprisoned in Mississippi, met Martin Luther King and civil rights leaders, and was inspired to help his country do better. Filner is one tough Pittsburgh-made Jew.

Like Mr Filner, Mr Lerach was also imprisoned. Lerach (also tough, also from PIttsburgh, not Jewish) is a flawed human being, who, nonetheless, took on corporate bad actors and fraudsters like Enron, AIG, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, AOL-TimeWarner, and occasionally won, despite the jurisprudential deck being stacked against him and the pension funds he worked to represent in court. Yes, pension funds, which had been defrauded by Wall Street & Enron -- Lerach aggressively clawed back money stolen by fraud on behalf of the retirement savings accounts of working stiffs like you and me.

Anyone who wishes to claim they have done more to fight corporate fraud, or for that matter, for the Democratic Party, than Mr Lerach, should make that case here. Those who do not lay challenge should open up a nice cold juice-box of STfU.

Cordially, Mike C. Reader


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