The FBI has searched the Fontana home and business of former GOP state senator, Jim Brulte (pictured), currently an associate with California Strategies, the Sacramento-based political consulting and lobbying operation founded by Bob White, longtime aide to Pete Wilson during Wilson's tenure as San Diego mayor, U.S. Senator, and California governor.
We reported in April 2009 that White's organization was paid $280,950 by the city of San Diego's Centre City Redevelopment Corporation to conduct a "public outreach" program about construction of a new city hall, an idea being promoted by mayor Jerry Sanders.
White and associates hosted a Sacramento fundraiser for Sanders in May 2008 that raised $5300 for the mayor's re-election.
According to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, FBI agents served warrants at nine locations in Riverside and San Bernardino counties in an investigation reportedly tied to San Bernardino county's $102 million settlement with developer Colonies Partners.
A San Bernardino county grant jury handed up a indictment in May alleging various counts of bribery and extortion in the case.
Brulte has not been charged with a crime.
In addition to Brulte's house, FBI agents searched the Rancho Cucamonga home of Paul Biane, a former two-term San Bernardino County supervisor, as well as former aides to supervisors and company executives.
According to the paper, "Brulte served in the Legislature from 1990 through 2004 and led Republican caucuses in both houses. He worked for Colonies during the settlement talks in 2004 and 2005."
Brulte's profile on the website of California Strategies says, "Recently named one of the 100 most powerful people in Southern California by The Los Angeles Times and one of the top 20 'most powerful political players in California' by Capitol Weekly, Jim Brulte opened the California Strategies Inland Empire office in 2005."
A testimonial by Melody McDonald, President, San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District, adds, "Our local LAFCO had initiated a process that likely would ultimately result in the elimination of our district.
"Jim Brulte and his California Strategies team crafted a strategy for us that resulted in LAFCO commissioners rejecting their own staff's recommendation, allowing us to continue our important work."
Its website describes California Strategies as "a full-service public affairs consulting firm dedicated to successfully navigating clients through the myriad pathways of California's political, legislative, regulatory, and media environments."
A sister corporation, California Strategies and Advocacy, LLC, provides "hands-on executive, legislative and regulatory lobbying."
According to San Diego city disclosure reports, the firm employs Craig Benedetto and Ben Haddad to lobby here.
Registered clients include Bridgepoint Education, the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, Scripps Health, Aladdin Developers, and Solar Turbines.
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