Whether it was during his time on the Chula Vista City Council or during his current residency as school-board trustee for the Sweetwater Union High School District, John McCann's list of political opponents has grown.
That much can be seen in a May 13 filing from the political action committee called “Public Safety Advocates,” a group largely composed of law-enforcement associations for the purpose of supporting and opposing local candidates. McCann happens to be one of the candidates the committee opposes.
Since forming in March of this year, the independent expenditure committee has collected $85,950 from a wide array of donors, stretching as far north as Sacramento and including law-enforcement groups from nearly every city in San Diego County.
As reported here by Matt Potter on May 9, the group has some strange bedfellows. They include the San Diego County Probation Officers PAC, which on May 9, gave $25,000; as well as the Alliance for Responsible Medicinal Access, a pro-medical marijuana group, which gave $10,000. But that's not all. Beverly Hills investor Greg Scott handed out a $5000 check, as did the Peace Officers Research Association of California and the San Diego Police Officers Association.
To date, Public Safety Advocates has directed that cash to help Robert Brewer defeat district attorney Bonnie Dumanis as well as putting thousands of dollars into phone-banking companies in an attempt to dissuade voters from electing McCann.
The former councilmember and currrent Sweetwater trustee has had his share of controversy in recent years. Most recently, the controversy has centered around more than $15,000 in campaign donations from district vendors. And McCann appointed former port commissioner David Malcolm to a school-district committee whose goal is to evaluate excess school properties; the appointment occurred shortly after Malcolm donated cash to McCann’s campaign. (Malcolm was a former port commissioner who was forced to step down because of conflict-of-interest issues in 2002. He was convicted of a felony charge but his record was expunged a few years later.)
Many of McCann's controversies have been covered extensively by the Reader's Susan Luzarro.
In response to the Public Safety Advocates PAC's opposition to his candidacy, McCann issued this statement: "I have a clear record of balancing the budget, increasing the reserves, and fighting against taxes. I ran the grassroots effort that defeated the local sales-tax increase initiative in Chula Vista, which would have hurt seniors and low-income earners the most.
"Beyond the PAC's lies and the distortions of my record, as well as the potential diversion of funds from Bob Brewer, this is business as usual for Asher Burke and his PAC, like when he created a deceptive PAC to help get disgraced former Mayor Filner elected."