Semper chalet

— Are you a business fat cat who wants to get up close and personal with the military brass and hardware at the upcoming Miramar Marine air show? How about purchasing a "Corporate Hospitality Chalet" right on the flight line? According to the air show's website, the deal includes "ample shaded tent area with patio-style seating," "permission to display corporate banner," "spacious and exclusive viewing area with theater-style seating," and "catered food and beverage services by Semper Fi Specialties," along with "your own personal chalet attendant" and "VIP portable restroom facilities." Tenants of the luxury digs are reported to include the San Diego Taxpayers Association, which is throwing at least one shindig to include local public officials. Air show sponsorships are also available, including the top-ranking "General's Club," which includes a corporate chalet, "eight (8) rounds of golf at the MCAS Miramar Memorial Gold Course," "Use of one (1) four-passenger golf cart during the show," "Opportunity for promotional tie-ins with retail, media, other corporate sponsors and Air Show exhibitors," and "Eighteen (18) mentions over public address system during air show weekend." Proceeds from chalet rentals and show sponsorships, the prices of which aren't listed on the website, are said to go to the base's recreation fund.

Old campaigns never die Ex-Republican congressman Brian Bilbray, ousted from his Imperial Beach-based congressional seat two years ago by Democrat Susan Davis, has long since gone into the lobbying business, representing such clients as the right-wing Federation for American Immigration Reform and the Tia Juana Valley County Water District. But Bilbray is still sitting on $214,000 in leftover campaign funds from his congressional days. Records show he's using the cash to invest in the candidates he likes. In February, for instance, he gave $3000 to Chula Vista mayor Shirley Horton's Republican campaign for state assembly against Democrat Vince Hall. In May, he kicked in another $3000. The same day he gave Bill Van de Weghe, who is this year's Republican challenger to Susan Davis, $1000 ... Retired Air Force colonel Joe Craver, a close friend and financial supporter of Mayor Dick Murphy's, has just hired Ben Clay, San Diego's lobbyist extraordinaire, to represent him in the state capital. Craver, a member of the city's Public Facilities Finance Authority, owns Galaxie Management, which specializes in sales to the military. In addition to Craver, Clay's firm works for some of the region's heaviest governmental hitters, including the county water authority. Craver says he hired Clay on behalf of an aerospace client who needs help in Sacramento. ... North County Republican congressman Darrell Issa is number six on Roll Call's top 50 richest members of Congress for 2002. The Capitol Hill newspaper pegs Issa's net worth at $110 million and calls the tale of his successful car alarm company "an inspiring rags-riches story."

GLAAD wrap Will the Union-Tribune soon be running same-sex commitment ceremony notices? The Boston Globe reports that the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has put the U-T on a list of newspapers "willing to publicize gay and lesbian commitments," along the lines of the New York Times, which recently started publishing the gay notices alongside the paper's straight marriage announcements. Not so fast, notes the Globe. "Officials at the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Denver Post, the Rocky Mountain News of Denver, and the Baltimore Sun -- all on GLAAD's list -- say they are reviewing or still formulating a policy on same-sex announcements." ... A loose wireless computer network at Lindbergh Field may be jeopardizing security there, reports Computerworld. The magazine says Richard Rushing, vice president of technical services at Alpharetta, Georgia-based AirDefense Inc., conducted an "informal survey" of wireless networks at various airports, including San Diego's, which he passed through earlier this month. "The security shortcomings found at the four airports, particularly the DHCP [Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol] broadcasts, could be easily exploited by hackers," the magazine warns ... Critics note Gaslamp Quarter streets and sidewalks are a mess. Bumps and cracks are a hazard to pedestrians, they say, and the gutters are frequently full of trash, especially after big weekends and major events. Relief is on the way, says Jim Schmidt, chairman of the Quarter's Land Use & Planning Committee. The city has hired a consultant to examine festering infrastructure problems ... The San Diego League of Women Voters of San Diego is having a contest to find a new slogan. On the list of candidates: "Our capacity for justice makes democracy possible, and our capacity for injustice makes democracy necessary" and "Join the League of Women Voters -- because democracy is not a spectator sport."

Contributor: Matt Potter

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