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He's come under fire by San Diego State University-owned and operated KPBS, the public broadcast operation heavily funded by Qualcomm billionaire Democrat Irwin Jacobs, but Carl DeMaio and his "Reform San Diego with Carl DeMaio" political fund has recently gotten some love in the form of $5000 from Jacobs's arch rival and fellow La Jollan Douglas Manchester, the GOP owner and proprietor of U-T San Diego's mini media empire.

DeMaio's committee still has a big debt, all of it owed to DeMaio himself.

As previously reported, this past June KPBS and an associated non-profit called inewsource wrote up DeMaio regarding what it characterized as questionable political funding.

Reform San Diego is a “grassroots 527 Super-PAC campaign organization,” as DeMaio has described it. He launched the group in 2004 with the help of money from Doug Manchester, a developer who now owns U-T San Diego.

If DeMaio’s congressional campaign ends up benefiting from the unlimited contributions raised by his 527 before he announced his candidacy, he might have discovered “a great new loophole” as Jessica Levinson, an elections law professor at Loyola University, put it.

inewsource and KPBS found one member of his coalition is the high-profile Americans for Prosperity, an outside spending group of billionaire conservative brothers Charles and David Koch that spent about $36.3 million in the 2012 federal elections.

Later, Reform San Diego with Carl DeMaio played a role in the drive to recall Democratic mayor Bob Filner.

As noted here in August, July emails retrieved from the city's ethics commission under the state public records act showed that GOP treasurer April Boling was advised by the commission’s executive director Stacey Fulhorst that it was legal under certain conditions for Reform San Diego to poll for DeMaio's proto mayoral campaign to replace Filner.

Reform San Diego may pay for a purely exploratory poll. In the event that Carl became a candidate in the recall, his mayoral committee would have to reimburse Reform San Diego for all the costs associated with the poll.

(Because Carl is the principal of Reform San Diego, he clearly has access to the polling data.)

Reform San Diego may not pay for a poll that contains any type of advocacy, including listing Carl's qualifications for office.

Such expenditures would essentially constitute an unlawful in-kind contribution from a committee/organization to a City candidate.

Filner subsequently resigned, but DeMaio decided not to run for mayor, staying with his original decision to run for congress against La Jolla freshman Democrat Scott Peters. DeMaio then set up yet another fund, called the "Carl DeMaio for Mayor 2013 Research Expense Settlement Fund," to which on September 6 he personally loaned $23,000.

Publisher Manchester gave $990 to that fund on September 16, a disclosure filed yesterday shows. Other donors included Bazaar del Mundo owner Diane Powers, who gave $500. The fund paid $22,341 to the Tarrance Group, an Alexandria, Virginia-based polling company.

According to Reform San Diego's latest disclosure, also filed yesterday afternoon with the city clerk's office, the $5000 contribution by "Papa Doug Manchester" on September 16 was the only money that the committee collected between July 1 and October 5, giving the fund a total cash balance at the end of the period of $5355.

As of October 5 the committee's remaining debt was $18,607, all of it owed to DeMaio himself on an original personal $50,000 loan he made to the committee in March 2011.

Much of the balance was previously collected and paid to the former councilman as a result of spring fundraising conducted by wealthy DeMaio backers.

The committee made payment of $13,892 on a personal loan of $50,000 DeMaio made to the committee in March 2011; after that and previous payments, the committee still owed DeMaio $18,107 as of the end of June, the report says. The balance is listed as coming due at the end of this year.

Big donors included J. D. Bols, listed as a real estate investor ($2500); California Commercial Asphalt ($1000); Carlin Law Group ($1000); Martin Fenton ($500); contractor Ian Gill ($1000); retail furniture mogul Jerry Navarra ($1000); and developer Colton Sudberry ($1000).

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