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Mega-millionaire U-T publisher and hotel and real estate mogul Douglas Manchester also controls a relatively small non-profit foundation, which he has used over the years to stash various investments and hand out some six figure gifts of cash to favored charities.

According to its most recent disclosure statement, filed on February 19 of this year with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, the Manchester Family Life Foundation gave $150,000 to the United Way in Alexandria, Virginia.

It also contributed $100,000 to Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the alma mater of the publisher's son, Douglas W. Manchester, who runs the Texas branch of the family real estate operation.

The third and only strictly local beneficiary was the Mother Rosalie Hill Hall School of Leadership at the University of San Diego, the private Catholic school that Manchester has long backed. It got $25,000.

The School of Leadership and Education Sciences, SOLES for short, has been a big favorite of education union critics and public school privatization proponents.

Ex-San Diego schools chief and onetime Obama border czar Alan Bersin, a teachers union foe, keynoted the school's groundbreaking when he was then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's secretary of education in April 2006.

Two months ago, a story in Manchester's U-T San Diego touted an effort by SOLES to market an online-only masters degree program:

Heather Lattimer, an associate professor and chair of the Department of Learning and Teaching in USD’s School of Leadership and Education Science, said the university is marketing the program to teachers beyond those who live in the San Diego region, including educators who work at Department of Defense schools located on military bases overseas

Manchester himself made no contributions to his foundation during the most recent reporting period, but three others did.

According to the filing, covering the twelve months between April 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012, David Fisher, a San Diego securities lawyer with the firm of K & L Gates, was listed as giving the foundation $285,600 in cash, along with an additional $169,487 "non-cash" contribution, which, the disclosure says, took the form of 1,210,622 million shares of Nextwave stock, delivered to the foundation on November 2, 2011.

Fisher's profile on the law firm's website says:

He has substantial experience in public and private equity and debt offerings, venture capital financings, real estate securities, public and private M&A transactions, reverse mergers and PIPES. Mr. Fisher represents clients primarily in connection with business transactional matters, particularly securities regulation, taxation and real estate. In 2008 Mr. Fisher was named one of San Diego's top 100 Attorneys by the San Diego Daily Transcript.

Federal campaign disclosure records show that the Gates firm has contributed heavily to the presidential election causes of Republicans Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, two Manchester favorites.

As Don Bauder previously reported here, a deal to sell Nextwave, in which Manchester had invested heavily, to AT&T was reached last August.

A stockholders class action case, as reported by Dorian Hargrove, was subsequently filed against the deal last fall, but was later settled out of court.

On January 24 of this year, Manchester filed a disclosure statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in which he revealed that he had disposed of the 1,210,622 Nextwave shares he indirectly controlled through the foundation.

The GOP stalwart also unloaded 21,023 shares held by Manchester Financial Group, L.P., and 22,285 shares in his IRA, the disclosure says.

The other donors to the Manchester foundation were Louis and Suzanne Sabala of Boise, Idaho, with $8,000.

Overall, the year was good for the non-profit, which saw its net assets grow from a reported $872,735 the year before to a total of $1,090,487 by the end of March of last year.

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