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A veritable rogues' gallery of those linked to San Diego crime and scandal has been pouring money into the mayoral campaign of Republican city councilman Kevin Faulconer.

The wave of cash could help rival Nathan Fletcher and other mayoral candidates make the case that Faulconer is beholden to some of the seamiest elements of San Diego’s old boys network.

Yet Faulconer may have no other choice but to accept the allegedly bad boy cash in order to pay the price of a costly barrage of TV commercials outlined in a document filed online yesterday by KFMB, the television and radio operation whose talk show host Mike Slater played an active role in the ousting of fallen mayor Bob Filner.

As reported here yesterday, convicted federal felon Dominic “Bud” Alessio and wife Katherine contributed a total of $2000 last week to the Faulconer campaign.

Alsessio, is a close friend and business associate of hotel magnate C. Terry Brown, whose longtime executive Mike McDowell also gave $1000 to the Faulconer cause.

Yesterday, they were joined by Irwin Molasky, the Las Vegas developer long associated with notorious mobster Moe Dalitz. The pair, along with Merv Adelson and Allard Roen, built the mobbed up La Costa Resort with cash from the Teamsters pension fund.

Molasky, who has built a posh new FBI headquarters here in a controversial lease-back arrangement managed by the U.S. General Services Administration, has been a longtime backer of Faulconer’s fellow Republican councilman Carl DeMaio.

While running for mayor, DeMaio assisted Molasky in getting the mammoth project through the city. DeMaio has bypassed this year's mayor's race in favor of taking on freshman Democratic congressman Scott Peters.

Molasky’s San Diego representative at city hall, downtown super lawyer and top Republican real estate lobbyist Paul Robinson, kicked in $1000 to the Faulconer cause at the same time.

Also giving the maximum to Faulconer yesterday, according to the disclosure, were Nancy and Richard S. “Tony” McCune, the National City car dealer who was a key witness in the case of so-called Rolodex Madam Karen Wilkening.

McCune testified that he was one of Wilkening’s top customers and that he had given her cash to get out of the country to avoid arrest and questioning in a homicide case.

As the Los Angeles Times reported in May 1989:

National City auto dealer Tony McCune arranged for as much as $20,000 to be paid to a San Diego woman who fled to the Philippines after she was charged with running a prostitution ring out of a Linda Vista condominium, according to court documents made available Tuesday.

The alleged madam, Karen L. Wilkening, is quoted in the documents as saying in a tape-recorded telephone conversation with an unidentified police informant that she received $20,000 from McCune in two installments and that McCune still owes her $5,000.

Wilkening was returned to San Diego after information developed by a task force investigating the killings of 40 women, many of them prostitutes and drug users.

Wilkening was sought because of her knowledge of prostitution in San Diego and because she might have known at least one of the victims, said Lt. Liz Foster, spokeswoman for the San Diego Metropolitan Homicide Task Force. Foster declined to identify which of the victims.

In addition to those infamous Faulconer donors, fallen mayor Roger Hedgecock and wife Cyndi gave a total of $2000.

Hedgecock's cash and the campaign money laundering case that ousted him from office may shed a spotlight on his lengthy political and business affiliation with his current boss, real estate developer and hotel mogul Douglas Manchester, now publisher of U-T San Diego.

(Hedgecock is a star of U-T San Diego’s cable channel, though Faulconer’s disclosure yesterday listed the talk show host’s employer as “Self”.)

As previously reported here, Manchester, who openly bought the newspaper operation with the intention of wielding it against political foes, has been funneling his own funds through the federal committee of the local Republican party, in an operation effectively obscuring their ultimate use in local campaigns.

More big money is expected from Manchester and his allies, and it apparently will be put to use, at least in part, on a major television ad buy, according to a document, entitled "political inquiry record," disclosed by KFMB. Faulconer media buyer CoxReps of San Francisco has requested thirty second spots for "all day parts" beginning October 5 and running through November 18, the day before the election.

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dwbat Sept. 10, 2013 @ 1:02 p.m.

I wonder if the ghost of C. Arnholdt Smith, infamous embezzler/felon and Nixon chum, will rise up from the grave and donate a thousand clams to Faulconer?


KCKCSASA Sept. 11, 2013 @ 9:03 p.m.

Oh let's drag up some ancient history (which is inaccurate as there has never been a connection between the Alessios and any alleged mob figures other than in the figment of your imagination) and make a story out of it. Seriously, you can certainly do better than this b.s.


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