Political funding

— As election time nears, campaign contributions continue to pour in from the rich and locally famous. In the race for district attorney, Joseph Wambaugh -- the ex-cop and crime novelist from Point Loma who, along with Union-Tribune publisher David Copley was once reported to have been a potential target of gay serial killer Andrew Cunanan before Cunanan gunned down Gianni Versace -- has given $500 to Bonnie Dumanis. Ex-port commissioner Peter Janopaul, who made history when he was named San Diego's first avowedly gay port commissioner by Mayor Dick Murphy, kicked in $1000 to the same campaign. Lobbyist Nicole Clay of the firm Carpi & Clay has given $500 to District 2 San Diego city council candidate Michael Zucchet, as has Nancy Chase, the Republican campaign fundraiser who has worked closely with campaign consultant Tom Shepard. Other Zucchet money includes $500 from Robert Lawrence, son of the late Hotel del Coronado owner Larry Lawrence. Octogenarian merchandising magnate Sol Price also gave $500. San Diego writer Anna Curren, a Nova Scotia native and onetime nursing instructor at Long Beach City College, who made a small fortune with her best-selling technical manuals about clinical medication, including Math for Meds and Dimensional Analysis for Meds, has been especially generous this campaign season. Curren, now 67 and an author of lesbian novels, told her hometown St. John's Telegram last year that she has been openly gay since she was 35. This year her contributions include $10,000 to the Democratic National Committee and $5000 to Emily's List.

More and Moores Is the Peregrine Systems bankruptcy scandal enough to get Padres owner John Moores out of baseball once and for all? So speculates Ken Rosenthal of the Sporting News, whose "Baseball Inside Dish" column reports that Moores "could lose the team because of legal difficulties" which would then clear the way for manager Kevin Towers to move to the Boston Red Sox, now run by erstwhile Moores partner Larry Lucchino. Notes Rosenthal: "The resolution of Moores's problems, however, isn't imminent, and it's doubtful the team would grant permission for Towers to reunite Lucchino, a former Padres president who departed over philosophical differences with Moores." Meanwhile, Moores picked up another round of bad national press in Business Week. "So what did Moores know? So far, the evidence is only circumstantial. Former employees say it was impossible to miss disturbing signs right under Moores's nose," reports the magazine, which quotes San Diego attorney Mike Aguirre as saying it would be virtually impossible for Moores not to have known about the evil-doing going on inside the firm. "Critics complain that Peregrine's board has been dominated by insiders who didn't question the company's methods." Over in New Mexico, where Democrat and ex-Peregrine board member Bill Richardson is running for governor, Republicans continue to run TV spots pummeling Moores's and Richardson's alleged role in Peregrine's collapse. "Richardson claimed he didn't own any stock, but now we learn Richardson's relative made millions. A Richardson contributor pocketed a half-billion dollars, while 1400 people lost their jobs. Now, a Justice Department probe. Bill Richardson, an insider who got paid, while honest people got hurt."

Borderline What's up between South Bay congressman Bob Filner and San Diego city councilman Ralph Inzunza? In recent weeks, city hall watchers say, Inzunza has been going out of his way to bash Filner during public meetings and in closed-door sessions. The latest dust-up between the two is a fight over a new San Ysidro library, to be leased in a shopping mall developed by Inzunza backer Sam Marasco. But the enmity goes far deeper, say insiders, centering around the fight between Filner and Assemblyman Juan Vargas, who is reportedly angling for a way to oust Filner and get his job. Inzunza's fellow Democratic councilmembers are aiding and abetting his anti-Filner crusade by going out of their way not to defend the longtime congressman ... Oceanside Republican state senator Bill Morrow is biding his time as one of only three members of a state commission that has gone through more than $331,000 in taxpayer money but has never met, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The California Commission for Economic Development was created more than a year ago to help revive a sputtering state economy and is supposed to have 17 members: three state senators, three assembly members, and ten business types to be appointed by Governor Gray Davis. But neither Davis nor the assembly have bothered to fill their allotted seats. "It's a commission that is spending money but appears not to exist." Common Cause's Jim Knox told the paper ...The Dallas Morning News is reporting that Rosarito's Oasis beach resort "represents one of the cracks that have emerged on the unified front against traffickers recently erected by the United States and Mexico." The Oasis, says the paper, is suspected of being a money-laundering front for what remains of the Arellano Felix drug organization, yet remains in business, catering to American tourists.

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