Garrett Harris 11 a.m., Jan. 17
Tapping the homeless lobby for Cole's political debt retirement
Democratic Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins and spouse Jennifer LeSar staging Cole political payback bash on Sunday at LeSar's San Diego consulting firm
With the blood money battle between the GOP's wealthy Lincoln Club and big labor all wrapped up in San Diego's fourth city council district, one of San Diego's poorest, it's time to pay the piper.
Though a final campaign spending tally for the epic battle between labor and capital - with plenty of city hall special interests along for the wild ride - must await financial disclosure reports due at the end of July, most insiders think the Democrat on Democrat contest, featuring union favorite Myrtle Cole against developer and U-T San Diego backed Dwayne Crenshaw, easily set a new money record.
As previously reported here, cash from a host of would-be influence seekers, including Wal-Mart; EMS Management LLC of Englewood, Colorado, owner of American Medical Response, Inc.; downtown super lobbyist Paul Robinson; as well as U-T San Diego publisher and developer Douglas Manchester's Perry Dealy made its way into Lincoln Club coffers before the election.
On the other side of the bitterly fought contest, the labor unions' San Diego Works!, an independent expenditure committee, tapped money sources including the United Auto Workers Region 5 of Pico Rivera; the California Federation of Teachers; and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees.
Cole and Crenshaw also had their own committees. As Dorian Hargrove reported here, each was sanctioned by the city's ethics commission for soliciting money from city employees at their city hall email addresses.
The costly campaign was also notable for the hit pieces both sides launched at each other.
Now Cole, who beat Crenshaw, is throwing a debt retirement fundraiser this coming Sunday afternoon, featuring Democratic Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins; fellow Assemblywoman Shirley Weber; ex-state senator Chris Kehoe; and city councilman Todd Gloria.
Host of the event, says an emailed invitation signed by Atkins, is Jennifer LeSar, spouse of Atkins and a former member of the city's now-defunct Centre City Development Corporation board.
The venue for the fundraiser is the office of Lesar's firm LeSar Development Consultants, which has long played a big role in downtown homeless politics and whose client roster has included CCDC and the San Diego Housing Commission, along with the Corky McMillin Companies, according to the company's website.
LeSar Development Consultants also is coordinator for the ambitiously titled Campaign to End Homelessness in Downtown San Diego, according to that effort's website.