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On the evening of January 23, a variety of high-end vehicles arrived at the downtown offices of Public Policy Strategies, Inc., depositing a virtual who's who of city hall influence peddlers for a fundraiser to benefit new Democratic mayor Bob Filner.


Public Policy was founded by political consultant Tom Shepard, who went to work for Filner last year after the consultant's original candidate, erstwhile GOP Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, placed third in the mayoral primary.

The $500 a person January bash drew such local lobbying luminaires as Republican lawyer Paul Robinson, who represents both U-T San Diego publisher Douglas Manchester and Las Vegas developer Irwin Molasky, a former business associate of the late mobster Moe Dalitz, and Marcela Escobar-Eck, who's worked for such well-heeled clients as McMillin-NTC and Kilroy Realty.


Also pulling up to the curb for the event was Nancy Chase, a longtime friend and associate of Shepard's dating back to their days together as political intimates of fallen GOP mayor Roger Hedgecock. Chase, who runs the controversial Gregory Canyon solid waste project of her late husband Richard Chase, as well as her own contract lobbying company, was an early Filner donor.

Her daughter Molly was recently named a $40,000 a year city "protocol officer" by the mayor.

According to Public Policy's first quarter 2013 lobbying report, filed yesterday and posted online by the San Diego city clerk's office, the event brought in $9,000 for the mayor's campaign committee.

Coincidentally, that's the same amount the lobbying boutique itself received from American Medical Response Ambulance Service, Inc., the Colorado outfit that's battling Arizona's Rural/Metro for a new city paramedic contract. Last year, AMR executives gave big money to the failed mayoral bid of the GOP's Carl Demaio.

Public Policy touched base with Filner's Vince Hall and Jay Goldstone on that assignment, the filing shows.

In addition to the cash from AMR's assignment, Shepard's lobbyists got $9,000 from SDG&E regarding work on "city decisions affecting energy policy; Creation of the Utility Advisory Committee. “

Filner, Hall, and Democratic city councilman Todd Gloria were lobbied on those issues, the filing reveals.

In addition to lobbying politicos and fundraising for them, Public Policy executives have other duties.

This coming May 23, Rachel Laing, the firm's director of communications and a former media handler for GOP ex-mayor Jerry Sanders, is set to moderate a breakfast panel regarding "the State of San Diego Media," to feature U-T San Diego editor Jeff Light and San Diego State University's KPBS general manager Tom Karlo, among others.

According to an online notice by the non-profit sponsor of the event, Citizens Coordinate for Century 3, its "2013 Breakfast Dialogue Sustainability Partner" is none other than SDG&E.

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