On the road again

The University of California has made public a list of travel expenses run up by members of its governing Board of Regents, which includes a trio of wealthy San Diegans. The document says one of the three, Padres owner John Moores, a Democrat put on the board by Governor Gray Davis, "does not request travel reimbursement," and another, attorney John Davies, a wealthy Republican appointed by ex-governor Pete Wilson, "sometimes" pays hotel bills "connected with regents meetings." The third local regent, La Jolla Republican Peter Preuss, another Wilson appointee, doesn't seem to travel as much. According to the expense claim report, in May of this year, Davies got $597 in airfare for a trip to Duke University and the University of North Carolina, along with $213 for a "meeting with P. Small, Oakland" and $313 for a "Health Services" meeting. The month before, Davies was off to Los Alamos, New Mexico, where UC has a contract to operate the spy-plagued national nuclear lab. That cost $747.29. He also attended a "memorial service" at UC Davis for $255. In March, Davies billed $250 for travel to various assignments, including interviewing student-regent candidates. In February, he attended the new regents' dinner and flew back and forth to Oakland and Sacramento a few times for a total of $1138. During March, regent Preuss went to UC Riverside for $242. In February, he racked up $1080 for trips to UCLA, Santa Barbara, and San Francisco. A UC spokeswoman pointed out that regents receive no pay for their board service. Critics argue that many regents use their influence to make valuable business connections that can result in sizable personal gain.

Larry's home

Virginia smells blood in the water. Or so at least Thom Loverro, a sportswriter for the Washington Times, would have it. Last Saturday the paper carried a column bylined by Loverro that claimed a race for the honor of moving a professional baseball team to "Washington/Northern Virginia" may be emerging. Picking up on recent threats by Padres co-owner Larry Lucchino -- who is still a partner in the Washington law firm of his late mentor, Edward Bennett Williams -- to move the team out of San Diego, Loverro writes: "Come home, Larry. Duke's is gone, but there is a seat waiting for you at the newest Washington power fishbowl, Olives." Loverro then tells his readers about how the matter of city councilwoman Valerie Stallings's stock dealings in a software company controlled by John Moores is holding up the Padres' downtown stadium deal. "I guess that sort of stuff is illegal in San Diego -- another reason for the club to move here." Still, Loverro finally concludes, "Despite the threats, it's likely the Padres' will get their new ballpark and remain in San Diego...so put their moving down as a long shot."... JMI Equity, the venture-capital outfit run by Padres owner Moores, is the latest investor in BPA Systems, an Austin, Texas-based "leading developer of e-fulfillment software solutions," according to a news release.

Bad acting

The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports that a 26-year-old member of the elite Navy SEALs was arrested at his Coronado base last week and held on suspicion of molesting a 13-year-old girl in Riverside he allegedly met on the Internet. The paper also said police discovered a "large cache of unauthorized military equipment" when they searched the home of the accused SEAL, Ryan Thorn ... A Chula Vista resident has been busted in Boise, Idaho, after police there seized 170 pounds of pot valued at $245,000. Cops claim it was the largest marijuana seizure in Boise's history, the Idaho Statesman said. Twenty-seven-year-old Jacob M. Blalock, the gang's alleged ringleader, was taken into custody last weekend along with six locals, including a father and two sons, the paper said.

Indian givers

Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters reports that Democratic state senator Steve Peace is doing the bidding of wealthy Indian campaign donors. "Peace last month quietly amended a bill to allow tribes to secure cheap financing for construction projects from the State Infrastructure Bank, although the legislation has been stalled by questions from other lawmakers as to its propriety."

Contributor: Matt Potter

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