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With the multi-million dollar special election to replace fallen Democratic mayor Bob Filner rapidly approaching, the big money proxy power war expected by inside political watchers appears to be shaping up on schedule, with major cash contributions to both Democratic and Republican parties from San Diego special interests.

The timing, coming in a year when no other big races are on the ballot, is notable.

The field of actual candidates is still in formation, with announcements expected today from politicos including Republican ex-city councilman Carl DeMaio, who would have to abandon a promising congressional campaign against freshman Democrat Scott Peters to enter the mayoral contest.

His fellow Republican, city councilman Kevin Faulconer, has also scheduled an announcement.

UPDATE: DeMaio said today he will stay in the congressional race against Peters and won't run for mayor.

On Thursday, DeMaio's oldest and biggest political angel, U-T San Diego publisher Douglas Manchester, quietly slipped another $5,000 to the county GOP.

As previously reported here, publisher Manchester gave $5,000 to the party back on July 30, just as the Filner ouster movement led by his media operation was getting into high gear.

And Manchester gave $5,000 to the county GOP's federal campaign committee, which the same day routed a total of $70,000 to the campaigns of two Manchester favored San Diego city council candidates, Lorie Zapf and Chris Cate.

Insiders expect the partying U-T owner to open his checkbook even wider in the weeks before the mayoral election, not counting the oversized editorializing the paper has become nationally famous for.

As previously reported here, the GOP publisher has linked up with a national advocacy organization tied to the wealthy Republican Koch brothers of Wichita.

But big labor may not sit still for a Manchester and Koch takeover of the city without putting up a cash fight of its own.

On August 30, according to a financial disclosure report, the San Diego Firefighters' local 145 Political Fund gave $7500 to the San Diego county Democratic Party.

Like the Republicans, the Democratic field has yet to gel, though Republican-turned-Democrat Nathan Fletcher, the Qualcomm executive widely expected to get the financial backing of San Diego's richest man, Irwin Jacobs, has jumped out to a quick special interest money start.

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MeReader Sept. 3, 2013 @ 1:44 p.m.

ah, that's too bad about carl demaio not running for mayor. because imagine if he won, and if the conan o'brien show found out about the news about demaio realizing his full potential in the restroom at city hall. could have resulted in silly comedy skits on the conan show where the "masturbating mayor" goes up against the "masturbating bear." lol

as for papa doug manchester, who will most likely be publishing front page editorials for the candidate that he ends up endorsing, it's probably a good symbolic time for ending my subscription to the UT. yes, still subscribing to the UT, but only for the sunday paper, particularly for the comics for my sister and the advertising supplements for my elderly mom. old habits are hard to break, yet going to finally break off the subscription since you really don't get a discount at all, where the subscription price is actually higher than buying the paper at the newsstand because you are also paying for the online version. so, even if no longer paying for a subscription, will still be holding my nose while putting quarters in a newspaper machine to get the sunday fish wrapping paper for my loving mom.


monaghan Sept. 3, 2013 @ 9:40 p.m.

It is touching that somebody buys the Sunday paper for his kid sister to read the comics. I would suggest you try the Sunday LA Times that comes with many ad sections as well as color comics -- and the bonus of stories written from LAT own foreign bureaus, good CA coverage, excellent columnists and one reporter devoted to San Diego only. You will never miss the Manchester U-T.


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