Suicidal fundraiser

— It's payback time for San Diego County district attorney elect Bonnie Dumanis, and almost everyone, it seems, likes a winner. Next Thursday, December 5, the county's new chief prosecutor is set to stage a "Retire the Debt" fundraiser at downtown's Wyndham Emerald Plaza hotel, with lawyers and business interests of all stripes ponying up to get on the new D.A.'s good side. Listed as "special guest" is KFMB talk-show host Rick Roberts, a Dumanis partisan who dueled with rival radio-talker Roger Hedgecock during the race between Dumanis and vanquished incumbent D.A. Paul Pfingst, with Pfingst-backer Hedgecock calling Dumanis "a suicidal lesbian." Suggested donation is between $100 and $500. Public officials scheduled to attend, according to a fundraising flyer, include San Diego mayor Dick Murphy, Governor Gray Davis aide Lynn Schenk, and GOP assemblywoman-elect Shirley Horton. Other big names listed include real estate mogul Sol Price; Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs; Chargers honcho Dean Spanos; ex-port commissioner Peter Janopaul; bail bondsman George "King" Stahlman; and attorney Gina Dronet, once an associate of Schenk and ex-con Richard Silberman, formerly married to ex-mayor Susan Golding ... He's not running for office again yet, but outgoing San Diego city councilman Byron Wear is still collecting money. Last Friday Wear staged a "Wear the Heart Is" fundraiser at the Children's Museum, with proceeds destined for the new "Wear District Two Charity Fund" of the San Diego Community Foundation. The price of admission ranged from $35 for an "individual ticket" all the way to $25,000 for an "honorary presidential sponsorship." The "honorary councilmember" tab was only $2500 ... December 2 is going to be a big day for Assemblywoman Christine Kehoe. According to a recent fax from her office, "California is the first state to create a full-time lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender legislative caucus," and Kehoe and the group, otherwise known as the LGBT Caucus, are having a reception to welcome new members.

Identity theft The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego is out with a brand-new logo and "graphic identity," which, according to a recent letter to museum supporters, was "designed by the firm 2x4, based in New York. The identity includes redesigned stationery materials, an all-new website, and new ancillary print materials. I am pleased to attach newly designed membership cards for you, which will replace your old cards." The news is contained in correspondence from executive director Hugh Davies, who signs the letter as "The David C. Copley Director." ... What's up with that expensive Colorado consultant's study -- paid for by San Diego taxpayers -- that was supposed to come up with a plan to raise private funds for a new downtown library? For months, the city library commission has been awaiting its delivery, but the study has yet to be made public, raising suspicions that the researchers found little interest among big donors for giving to a posh central library. Repeated calls to head librarian Anna Tatar and Mary Walshok, the UCSD dean and Del Mar resident who is chairwoman of the city's library commission, have gone unreturned ... Running a public television station isn't much different from selling cars, according to KPBS general manager Doug Myrland. "We're like a Ford dealer," he told the Washington Post last week. "We're a franchise. We're dependent on PBS for the core product, and like a Ford dealer, we want them to come out with great, new models. Something that will bring people back. But talk to any Ford dealer, and they have criticisms of the new model. 'My customers want leather, and you're not offering leather.' But ultimately, you can't have 350 Ford dealers designing the new Explorer."

Copyright complaint The firm of Rancho Santa Fe attorney Bill Lerach, who has made millions of dollars from suing the likes of Enron and other corporate miscreants, has trained its sights on lazy lawyers who are allegedly plagiarizing Lerach's legal briefs. According to American Lawyer magazine, Milberg, Weiss, Bershad Haynes & Lerach has sent cease-and-desist letters to ten law firms, claiming that the competition is violating copyright law. "It's been a longstanding practice of certain law firms simply to take our work product, actually our clients' work product, and then copy it and use it for their own benefits," Lerach told the magazine. A friend, he added, advised him, "You're being taken advantage of. You shouldn't tolerate it. You should copyright your complaints."

Contributor: Matt Potter

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