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As it girds its loins to do battle on behalf of its chosen San Diego mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio, the Republican Party of San Diego County has been building up a sizeable war chest with contributions from a host of big donors, some of whom have a financial interest in what goes on at city hall.

In the period between the first of the year and March 17, according to the party's disclosure filing posted online this morning by the California Secretary of State, the local GOP raised $321,342, all but $750 of it in cash contributions.

The party spend a total of $182,224, and ended the period with a cash balance of $266,828, along with outstanding debts of $19,323.

Perhaps the most noteworthy donation was $5,000 made by Manchester Financial Group, L.P. on February 29.

DeMaio's endorsement by the party came a little more than a week later on March 10.

As most locals know by now, Manchester Financial is run by Douglas F. Manchester, who also owns the renamed Union Tribune San Diego newspaper and aspiring multi-media operation.

Though the paper has yet to make an endorsement in the mayor's race, Manchester has backed previous DeMaio and San Diego Republican party causes.

Other big donors to the local GOP cause included the Building Industry Association of San Diego County PAC ($15,000); Costa Verde East Village LLC ($10,000); Farmers Employees And Agents Political Action Committee ($10,000); and the 2010 reelection committee of San Diego city councilman Kevin Faulconer ($5,000).

Other heavy hitters included Torrey Pines defense contractor and Predator drone maker General Atomics ($5,000); Garden Communities Redfield LLC ($10,000); Herzog Contracting Corp. out of St. Joseph, Missouri ($5,000); McMillin Management Services LP ($7,500); Otay Greenfield Developers LLC ($10,000); and Pardee Homes ($5000).

New York's Rancho Guejito Corporation, piloting a controversial development project on a vast tract it owns in North County, gave $27,500.

The Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, a big casino operator which also owns the Grant Hotel downtown as well as other interests, gave $18,000.

Another big downtown property owner, Don Bren's Irvine Company, gave $10,000.

Wal-Mart Stores of Bentonville, Arkansas, a long-standing focus of city hall controversy, kicked in $25,000.

On the expense side of the ledger, the GOP spent a total of $63,424 promoting the 7th District city council candidacy of Scott Sherman, as well as $7,896 to back 1st District candidate Ray Ellis.

During the period, the cause of mayoral candidate DeMaio was reported as receiving $500 on March 15, five days after his endorsement by the party.

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citizenkurt March 22, 2012 @ 11:04 a.m.

AND Doug Manchester was a major donor to Yes on Prop 8, taking away the rights of thousands of Californians


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