Lights out

Utility giant Sempra Energy continued to pour money into local Republican Party coffers right up until the verge of the election, according to state campaign disclosure records. Sempra’s final preelection contribution, $10,000, was on Election Eve, November 3. The party used the money it received on such undertakings as its successful effort to oust City Attorney Mike Aguirre and failed attempts to elect April Boling and Phil Thalheimer to San Diego City Council seats. Another November 3 donation to the San Diego GOP: $5000 from oil giant Chevron/Texaco Corp. A few days earlier, on October 31, La Jolla–based defense contractor SAIC kicked in $5000; Mission Valley Auto Corporation gave $10,000; and the Vulcan Materials Co. PAC, which runs a Mission Valley quarry where a big condo project is proposed, gave $2500. … While the City of San Diego ponders slashing libraries and fire rings, among other budget cuts, it continues to spend $50,000 per quarter on the high-powered Washington lobbying firm of Patton Boggs. According to a registration statement filed October 20, the City wants more taxpayer cash out of Congress for a long list of uses, including roadwork, border-congestion relief, and water projects. In a related development, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Mexico Business Center has retained the firm of RR&G, LLC, a Washington lobbying firm, in an attempt to “reduce wait times at ports of entry to San Diego County,” according to a registration statement filed October 16.

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