End of Season Closeout

— Last-minute money continues to pour into local congressional campaigns. The latest donations, made in the last week, include many from big corporate interests. On May 18 Republican Brian Bilbray, running against Democrat Francine Busby, posted $1000 from lobbyist J. Allen Martin of the Livingston Group of Washington, D.C. That firm is run by former House Appropriations chairman Bob Livingston of Louisiana; Martin was his longtime chief of staff. Republican Livingston was forced to give up his bid for Speaker of the House and resign from Congress in February 1999 after his marital infidelity was revealed.

Other donations to Bilbray include $1000 from Del Mar's Marla Shepard, president of First Future Credit Union; and $2100 each from Doug and Betsy Manchester, the bayside hotel owners who just got the big federal contract to redevelop the old Navy office complex at Broadway Pier.

On May 19, Busby collected $5000 from UAW V-CAP, a political committee of the United Auto Workers union. The same day, she got $1000 from Golden Door founder Deborah Szekely and, on May 18, $1000 from Jess Hay of Dallas, Texas, for whom no employer or occupation was provided. According to the Dallas Morning News, the 74-year-old Hay, retired CEO of Lomas Financial Group, remains a major Democratic fund-raiser.

Over in the bitter Democratic primary race between incumbent congressman Bob Filner and termed-out assemblyman Juan Vargas, on May 19 Filner got $1000 from La Jolla developer Barry McComic and $1000 from the Bakery and Confectionery Union PAC. On the same day, Vargas, who chairs the Assembly's insurance committee and has been the subject of newspaper exposés about his coziness with the industry, got $3000 from the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company and $1000 from Aegon USA, Inc., the United States subsidiary of the giant Netherlands-based insurer.

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