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Congressman Bob Filner has always maintained that his ace in the hole in the race for San Diego mayor would be big financial backing from fellow Democrats, and a filing yesterday by the state account of the San Diego County Democratic Party appears to illustrate the point.

On March 1, the party paid $11,700 to Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, a Washington, D.C.-based polling and political consulting firm whose clients have included Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel and a raft of New Jersey Democratic legislators.

The cash funded a poll conducted by the party on behalf of Filner's mayoral effort, the filing says.

In all, Democrats reported spending a total of $49,175 on Filner during the period from January 1 through March 17, including $37,475 from the party's federal account, "to support Hon. Bob Filner."

That included $4,475 to pay field director Daniel Rottenstreich, who, as political director for Unite Here, a hotel workers union, has been frequently quoted regarding labor's position on a proposed convention expansion and related issues.

Many contributions to the Democrats' state fund were made by old Filner political friends.

Those included $10,000 on March 5 from Duty Free Americas, Inc., of Hollywood, Florida, a duty free shop operator to which Filner has lent support while in congress.

Other big donations were $25,000 from the American Federation of Teachers, Local 1931; $7,000 from "Pacifica SD Management-Operating"; $5,000 from Sempra Energy; $3,500 from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 569; and $2,000 from Protea Flower Hill Mall, LLC.

Heavy donors to the San Diego party's federal committee--which separately raised a total of $105,677 in February, according to its March 17 filing--included the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, a big casino operator ($10,000); convicted plaintiff's lawyer Bill Lerach of La Jolla ($7500); Lerach's wife Michelle Ciccarelli ($7500); as well as ex-San Diego city councilman and current congressional candidate Scott Peters and his campaign committee ($3,700).

In addition to Filner, other local Democrats backed by the party during the period included San Diego District 7 city council candidate Mat Kostrinsky ($13,000) and District 1 council incumbent Sherri Lightner ($9,000).

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Visduh March 22, 2012 @ 8:55 p.m.

If this report were about the GOP giving that sum to one of the local mayoral candidates there would be a half-dozen comments here already, decrying the partisanship of the "non-partisan" mayor's race. Sure is curious how nobody is outraged when this sort of thing comes from the Dem side of the aisle.


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