Political Costs

— San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders has filed a disclosure statement covering the income and expenses of the Inaugural and Transition Fund, set up in late January by a group of wealthy donors. It was ostensibly established to "promote the 'social welfare' of the City of San Diego by organizing receptions in connection with the inauguration of the new Mayor and other activities related to the transition between Mayoral administrations, and by relieving the City of the cost of conducting these activities," according to a letter from Ethics Commission director Stacey Fulhorst to Sanders's lawyer Jim Sutton. But much of the cash, according to the April 17 document, was eaten up by fund-raising fees and payments to Sutton's law firm.

The filing, which covers the period between February 8 and March 31, reports a total of $72,150 raised and itemizes $37,906 in expenditures (under Fulhorst's ruling, expenses under $5000 didn't have to be reported). Of that, $16,000 went to the Freelove Consulting Group for "fundraising"; $5000 was paid to Scott & Cronin, a political accountant; and $16,903 went to San Francisco's Sutton Law Firm for "legal services."

Contributions came from a wide variety of people with business at city hall. Most gave $300, some as little as $100. Among the $300 donors were developers James and Alfred Baldwin; builder Forrest Brehm; real estate mogul Malin Burnham; Mission Bay hotel owners David Cherashore, wife Grace, and her mother Anne Evans; developer Aaron Feldman; airport PR consultant Tom Gable; developer Mike Madigan; lobbyist Paul Robinson; architect Mark Steele; Pacific Beach developer Mike Tuck and wife Karen; and lobbyist Chris Wahl.

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