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If the race to occupy San Diego city council's fourth district seat wasn't rich enough already, a campaign committee run by a local teachers union has just thrown more cash into the fray.


As previously reported here, the well-heeled downtown Republican business establishment, in the form of the GOP 's local Lincoln Club, is squaring off against big labor, represented by the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council, for dibs on the seat of former councilman Tony Young, who left his council job to become chief of the Red Cross here.


The Republicans - backed by a phalanx of high-dollar city hall lobbyists, including Paul Robinson, the dean of city hall influence peddlers whose clients include U-T owner and mega-million-dollar real estate developer Douglas Manchester, as well as Las Vegas developer and builder Irwin Molasky, one-time business associate of the late mobster Moe Dalitz and a major supporter of last year's ill-fated Carl DeMaio mayoral run - are behind Democrat Dwayne Crenshaw. U-T has editorially endorsed Crenshaw.

The unions are supporting Myrtle Cole, another Democrat, with their own torrent of cash.

Now, according to disclosure reports filed yesterday and posted online by the California secretary of state's office, comes the American Federation of Teachers Guild, Local 1931 San Diego and Grossmont - Cuyamaca Community Colleges Committee on Political Education with an independent mail campaign favoring Cole and opposing Crenshaw. The committee has spent more than $6,000 on its efforts, the filings show.

It isn't the first time that the organization has been involved in a San Diego city hall race.

Last year, according to a stipulation agreement posted online by San Diego's ethics commission, the committee "produced and distributed mass campaign literature in the form of six mailers to support the mayoral candidacy of Bob Filner in the June 2012 primary election that did not comply with the 'paid for by' disclosure requirements in the City’s campaign laws."

Respondent violated SDMC section 27.2970 by producing and distributing mass campaign literature in the form of six mailers that did not comply with the “paid for by” disclosure requirements in that the disclosure was not printed in the requisite 12-point type size.

As discussed above in Paragraph 10, one mailer included the disclosure in 8-point type, and the other five included the disclosure in 6-point type.

Among "factors in mitigation" of the violation, according to the document, was that the group "does not have a history of participating in City elections."

It previously made expenditures to support or oppose candidates in school board races, and state law requires campaign mailers distributed to support or oppose school board candidates to include a “paid for by” disclosure in no less than a 6-point type.

The group was fined $3,000.

In addition to its District 4 expenditures, the teachers' committee reported collecting $10,500 from the California Federation of Teachers COPE Prop/Ballot Committee of Burbank on January 16 and $15,000 from the San Diego Education Association Political Action Committee on February 22.

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