San Diego Bankers' millions San Diego mayoral honcho Ronne Froman, an ex-admiral, has filed her first statement of economic interests as required by state law. It reveals she is a director of La Jolla's 1st Pacific Bank, earning between $10,000 and $100,000, and owns bank stock valued in the same range, her only listed reportable asset. The other woman on the bank's board is real estate developer and Chinese restaurant owner Susan Lew. A Froman buddy, ex-port director, and longtime friend and supporter of ex-mayor Susan Golding, Lew has close ties to the local GOP establishment. County records show that the bank has made hundreds of real estate loans, doing business with such notables as Ted Gildred, lending him $2 million on a house in Encinitas and $585,000 on a Solana Beach condo, and Republican donor Sam Kholi. On July 1, the records show, the bank filed a statement securing a loan to an entity known as 720 Lewis LLC; according to the records, Lewis is run by Maisel Presley, one of the county's most prolific condo converters. Company principal Matt Maisel is a vocal critic of efforts such as those favored by city attorney Mike Aguirre to regulate conversions. "San Diego has a housing crisis, but not in the rental stock," Maisel told the Union-Tribune last April. "It's in the for-sale stock. If you cut the legs off that by modifying the condo conversion ordinance, you'll eliminate the affordable housing stock, thus driving up prices in a fashion heretofore never seen in San Diego."
Duke in stir As GOP Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham faced investigation last summer for accepting bribes from defense contractors, he took time to honor an old friend. "I rise today to ask my colleagues to join me in honoring Alan Bersin, who this June will conclude his seventh year as superintendent of San Diego City Schools," said Cunningham in a June 27 speech on the House floor. "Mr. Bersin oversaw a transformation of San Diego City Schools. The district is now better able to serve its students, their families, and the broader San Diego community. His outreach efforts set a new standard for community participation and dialogue and helped to foster an atmosphere of mutual respect. By maintaining a relentless focus on enhanced instruction and improved student achievement, Superintendent Bersin achieved great things for public education in San Diego." ... Fund-raising is well under way for candidates running to replace Cunningham. As of the end of September, Democrat Francine Busby had already come up with $248,149. Donors to her cause included Rancho Santa Fe attorney Lynne Heidel, a lobbyist for developers, who gave $700. San Francisco's Dagmar Dolby, wife of Ray Dolby, inventor of the famous surround-sound system, kicked in $1000. On September 30, Republican Mark Wyland, currently in the state assembly, personally loaned his campaign $250,000. Alan Uke, another Republican, gave his campaign $50,000.