Wealthy Silberman clan backs Alvarez

Cash to Faulconer's cause includes $15,000 from plastic-cup-maker

David Alvarez, Kevin Faulconer
  • David Alvarez, Kevin Faulconer

The son and daughter-in-law of Richard Silberman, the fallen San Diego financier who was once a powerful advisor to Democratic governor Jerry Brown, have cast their lot with Brown's fellow Democrat, city councilman David Alvarez, in the race for San Diego mayor.

Jeffery Silberman and wife Karen each kicked in the maximum $1000 individual contribution allowed by law on January 13, according to a disclosure statement posted online by the city clerk’s office.

She is an heir to the Foster family real-estate fortune, the holding company for which, Carleton Management, Inc., is run by her husband.

Her sister, retired superior-court judge Lisa Foster, is married to onetime San Diego city schools chief and teachers’ union foe Alan Bersin, currently assistant secretary of international affairs and chief diplomatic officer in the Obama administration's Department of Homeland Security.

Foster was appointed to the bench in 2002 by Democratic governor Gray Davis, who received considerable campaign support from the family, whose patriarch, wealthy real estate developer and clothing maker Stan Foster, died in 2002. She retired in February of last year, saying she and her children were moving to DC to join Bersin.

During last year's mayoral primary, Carleton Management backed ex-assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, coming up with $10,000 for an independent expenditure committee favoring the Republican-turned-Democrat.

Richard Silberman, once one of Brown's top fundraisers, later married Republican Susan Golding and then pumped major money into her successful campaign for county supervisor. Following his federal felony conviction resulting from an FBI drug-money-laundering sting, she divorced him. He has subsequently relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area and remarried.

Meanwhile, forces backing Republican city councilman Kevin Faulconer's mayoral bid have received $15,000 from Dart Container, a Michigan-based plastic-cup-making giant that has deployed major cash and lobbying muscle to fight a growing nationwide movement to ban its products.

An attempt by New York City's mayor Michael Bloomberg to eliminate sale and use of plastic cups and plates was partially thwarted last month when Bloomberg and the city council agreed to a deal with Dart to experiment with a recycling plan before implementing a complete prohibition on the material to begin in July of next year, according to a report by BusinessWeek.

New York’s ban pitted closely held foam-maker Dart Container Corp. and Restaurant Action Alliance, a group backed by the American Chemistry Council, a trade group representing chemicals and plastics manufacturers, against Bloomberg and the 24 council members who co-sponsored the bill.

The foam doesn’t biodegrade and can’t be recycled, according to the mayor’s office. It makes up an estimated 20,000 tons of the city’s annual waste and contaminates the stream of recyclable metal, glass and plastics, the office says.

Dart, which is based in Mason, Michigan, dropped its opposition this month, while saying the legislation still “singles out and unfairly maligns a quality, cost effective and safe line of products.”

Reached for comment regarding Dart's contribution to the pro-Faulconer effort, company spokesperson Becky Warren issued a statement saying, “Dart Container has consistently supported pro-business candidates across the state, and our support for Kevin Faulconer is no different.

“Councilmember Faulconer is a proven leader who is committed to improving San Diego's quality of life and encouraging job growth.”

Comments

The Silberman/Bersin/Foster family real-estate fortune includes a chunk of properties in the 2000 block of the east side of Logan Ave. Owners B & S LLC are among a number of well-heeled or well-known property owners on Logan Ave who had the privilege of saying "no thanks" to being included in the Barrio Logan MAD put together by Alvarez, Marco Li Mandri, and Shea developers. As Alvarez explained it, they'd rather take care of themselves.

The amount the lucky excluded owners donated in this campaign is less than their assessments would be.

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