Home stretch

It’s down to the final week of the campaign, the time when special interests that don’t want their contributions widely reported — at least not until after the election — start dumping money into the efforts of their favorite candidates and issues. This year is no exception, with San Diego County’s Republican Party leading the way. On October 20, for instance, the local GOP reported it spent $11,263 on an independent mailer for Phil Thalheimer’s race against Sherri Lightner in the city council’s First District. It also laid out $8434 for April Boling in her Seventh District race against Marti Emerald.

Under city law, political parties and labor unions can’t give money directly to campaigns; a state law allows them to make so-called independent expenditures on behalf of candidates as long as messages are sent only to members. The parties also don’t have to abide by the City’s ban on corporate contributions and its $270 limit on contributions to individuals. That opens a big loophole through which corporations can pour hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The same day the GOP made its expenditures for Thalheimer and Boling, it received $5000 each from the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association PAC of Sacramento and S. Lew & Associates of San Diego, run by ex–port commissioner and real estate investor Susan Lew. On October 21, downtown hotelier Doug Manchester gave $31,257. On October 24, Qualcomm, Inc., gave the Republicans $5000. And Blackwater Lodge and Training, builder of a controversial military and police training facility on Otay Mesa, contributed $5000 on October 26.

For its part, big labor was putting its money into two Chula Vista City Council races. On October 20, a group called San Diego Works!, sponsored by the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, spent a total of $5182 on printing on behalf of the campaign of Pamela Bensoussan, running in the Third District. It spent the same for incumbent Fourth District councilman Steve Castaneda. Both oppose a plan by Chula Vista mayor Cheryl Cox to build a nonunion convention complex on the waterfront.

The San Diego County Democratic Party also got into the act, spending a total of $74,010 on behalf of San Diego Third District city council candidate Stephen Whitburn, running against fellow Democrat Todd Gloria. The party also spent $18,953 for First District candidate Sherri Lightner. And as of October 18, it had put $231,891 behind Marti Emerald. Party efforts for incumbent city attorney Mike Aguirre got much less: $29,728.

Share / Tools

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • AddThis
  • Email

More from SDReader



To the Gloria Camp, when you lie it always comes back to you. The Voice of SD is on the case. In line w/ their investigation on "independent expenditures" the biggest loophole for developers, they caught on to your "independent expenditures" particularly the one used to send this hit piece.

Ironically it tries to list all Whitburns "developers" except this is the best they could do and the so called developers are actually community activists.

And the big kicker...

The flyer was paid for by developers supporting Gloria: case and point Sudberry properties building the much maligned Quarry Falls in Mission Valley calling itself:

Voter Education Project

The democrats need to stop spending money in District 3, and start working for Marti in D7 and Sherri in D1. This is a huge blunder, and will backfire.

To see the truth about Whitburn the money waster check out: www.whoisstephenwhitburn.com.

"District3Resident" also posts as "Stephen Davis of South Park" aka "kensington" and "2muchsense".

None of these aliases are to be believed.

Stephen Whitburn is the candidate for reform, and the frightened fat cats behind Gloria's insider candidacy are running scared and spreading lies.

Look at the facts. Donna Frye endorses Whitburn because she knows he wants to change San Diego. Gloria has the endorsement of the builders, developers, and lobbyists...including disgraced former city manager Jack McGrory.

Read it all on the Reader Abnormal Heights blog...


Don't trust anonymous posters using multiple fake names.

Here are the real facts:

Whitburn is just another tainted political hack.

  1. He greased his campaign with over $150,000. Surprisingly, Whitburn has no assets besides a 1991 Honda Civic. Where does a person who can’t afford a car with power windows come up with $150,000 for a political race? Why won’t Whitburn come clean about the source of his money? Was it illegally obtained? If not, is this the type of shabby fiscal management we need at City Hall?

  2. Stephen Whitburn accepted an out-of-state contribution from a Texas attorney at the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. This firm was lead counsel for George W. Bush in Bush vs. Gore, which gave Bush the election and sent our country on a spiraling downward path. Why can’t Stephen Whitburn make better decisions?

  3. Whitburn claims to be a San Diegan, but he is from back East, doesn’t own a home in our City and has moved at least three times in the last 8 years. If elected, most District 3 residents will have been in their area longer than their councilmember. Whitburn is not an involved community member, but instead a calculating opportunist. Is Whitburn fit to hold office when he has such a limited history and understanding of the District and its needs?

  4. Whitburn’s campaign propaganda claims he will stand up to developers and lobbyists. In fact, Whitburn has accepted thousands of special interest dollars from: Developers, Real Estate Executives and Mortgage lenders, including campaign cash from firms that have foreclosed on hundreds of San Diego’s working families. High-priced Downtown Lawyers, including contributions from a law firm whose lead lawyer is in Lompoc Federal Prison for multiple felonies, including, fraud and racketeering. Oil and Gas Executives responsible for outrageous gas prices that are gouging middle class working families. If Whitburn is so close to the special interests, aren’t the residents of District 3 sure to lose with Steven Whitburn? How can the voters put their trust in a candidate that says one thing and does another?

  5. Whitburn proudly touts the endorsements he received from a convicted criminal. John Hartley, a former candidate for District 3, plead guilty to a lewd conduct in public charge during the election and is listed as a proud supporter of Whitburn. After his plea, Hartley was banned from his day job-- substitute teaching in the San Diego Unified School District. Is this someone you would be proud to have support you?

When this race first started the establishment pretty much ignored it because they thought their boy Todd Gloria would have no trouble defeating the underdog Whitburn. But now Whitburn has come from behind and is surging. What was once a nice safe win for the developers has turned into a toss- up with Whitburn having all the momentum. Now the GOP is worried enough that they had a secret behind closed doors meeting with the developers to sabotage the Whitburn campaign. This was confirmed on their own blog Red County under the article ALL TIED UP IN DISTRICT 3. Now a disgusting republican hit piece is arriving at the homes of potential Whitburn voters.Why else would the republican party send out a hit piece on one democrat candidate unless they knew the other democrat in the race was bought and paid for by the developers?

Gloria is taking money from lobbyists, developers, Manchester, Prop 8 backers.

Whitnurn is taking money from lobbyists, developers, Manchester, Prop 8 backers.

Check the record for yourselves. Why would the republicans send out a disgusting hit piece against Whitburn at this late date unless they were scared that he might actually win? Why would Mayor Sanders endorse Gloria, a democrat if they were not sure he would play ball with his wealthy developer friends? Why would the republicans have a secret back door meeting with developers about sabotaging Whitburn if they didn't know ahead of time that Gloria was nothing but a wolf in sheep's clothing? I think voters can figure this out.By the way the Manchester money being given to Gloria was given by a surrogate minion and is a matter of public record. No disinformation campaign or republican dirty trick can change that. Just follow the money and do your homework,then make up your own mind.


Are you one of those consipracy theorist?

What's more likely:

  1. Republicans are spending their money and time picking their favorite Democrat in D3 instead of fighting the hard races they have in D1 or D7?


  1. Todd Gloria is actually a decent candidate with a broad base of support from both sides.

It's OK... admit it. Your opponent just happens to be a better candidate. Todd's been here longer, people actually like him and trust him.

Save yourself time people. Just look at the Builsing Industry Voter Guide. The BIA is self proclaimed largest lobbying group in SD and they lobby for ...you guessed it developer interests. They are asking/begging you to vote for Todd.


This list is more valuable than all the campaign lterature in the world. Just read it and vote for the opposite.

Admin, please delete the postings made with a fake name close to my own.

Impersonating other registered users is pretty juvenile.


Fred Williams

Yes, shallow inbred nippleheads do seem to have a propensity for imitating their betters.

It's been done at City Beat and other online blogs too. Someone uses my name to copy/paste the same attack on Stephen Whitburn.

I don't think anyone buys it, and it just irritates the sys-admins. I wonder if, like wiki media, you can block an IP from originating new accounts after you've removed a poster for misusing multiple accounts. (Just wondering, Jane.)

I thank you, Fumber, for coming to my defense and supporting me in these trying times. As always, you are my truest friend.


Fred "The Real One" Williams

Also the recent Hit piece was funded is the idea of "independent expenditures" Gloria gets to take all this money from developers that are doing doing his dirty work and not count in in his famous "17%".

The organization that was created to put out the campaign mailer, San Diego Voter Education Project.

Who are they:

The mailer funded by: Thomas Sudberry, the President of Sudberry Properties, the developer of the recently approved Quarry Falls development, provided $1,000 for the mailer, ostensibly to support the position on two propositions. Thomas Sudberry, a registered City lobbyist, had previously donated $540 to the Todd Gloria Campaign. His wife, Jane Sudberry has also contributed the maximum amount of $540 to Gloria. Other registered City lobbyists who are employees of Sudberry Properties and who have contributed to Gloria’s campaign include Stephen Haase, $540, Jeffrey Bradley, $270, Marco Sessa, $540, and Colton Sudberry, $270. With the possible exception of Lehman, none of these people live in District 3.

The group lists as its Treasurer registered City lobbyist Paola Avila. Paola Avila is also a registered lobbyist–; Otay Mesa Ventures, LLC, rezone from industrial to residential; OLP Community Outreach Mr. Avila personally contributed $540 to Todd Gloria’s campaign. One of Mr. Avila’s clients is Our Lady Of Peace parochial school; he serves as their Community Outreach specialist.

The Voice of SD story on how McMillin paid 16000 to fly Goldsmith banners around---from developers--Independent expenditures are a goldmine for developers. They dont have to register as regular contribution. More evidence that Todd is the developers schill.

Can Gloria's secret backers buy an election in San Diego, or will the grassroots band of supporters working their hearts out for Stephen Whitburn prevail?

If San Diego wants change, it will vote for Whitburn.

...do tell more...will "CLAWGATE" be a TV series or Documentary on Frontline?.......this is good!......Rick Wilson...Hillcrest...

Typical republican slime machine at it again. Apparently they haven't learned their lesson yet. Whenever confronted with facts they call it "conspiracy". People in the district are finding out about the Manchester donations to Gloria and the news is spreading like wildfire. They even accused a volunteer at the Whitburn office of being a developer because he rents two units out of his San Diego home. I personally know a lot of people doing something very similar just to keep up with the rising cost of living in this area. I'm sure this homeowner would gladly trade his property for say the properties owned by the McMillen corporation. As for the mail piece the republicans sent out for Gloria attcking Whitburn I think Democratic voters will recognize the republican's slimy fingerprints all over it. Typical for the republicans to try this because San Diego is one of the last places in the country where they have any influence at all.

The piece is blowing up in Gloria's face:


Everybody knows he's the developer's pet, and rather than distract attention away from his secret backers, Gloria has made it the biggest issue in the election.

Now everyone is talking about who's funneling money to Gloria. The community is outraged at being lied to, sure. And it's more than that...

How stupid does Gloria think we are?

It's one thing to be deceived. It's quite another to be openly insulted too. Gloria is shameless.

Stephen Whitburn must be ahead for the slime balls downtown to pull out their bag of dirty tricks. That's because Stephen Whitburn stands for reform, open and honest government, and an end to secret back room deals.

The insiders and their professional political prostitutes deserve defeat at the hands of the voters who are outraged to be targeted with such obvious lies.

Stephen Whitburn will bring a whole new era to the City Council.

Time to Change San Diego.

It's good to see that the people of this community are finding out the truth about Gloria's secret financiers. I think the news of this disgusting mailpiece will hit the union tribune soon. I think it's clear they want to avoid this story because the editors over at the trib are in bed with the same power brokers that have financed the Gloria campaign.But the more the truth comes out about the connections between the mailpiece, the developers and the republicans, the more likely it is that the trib will have to cover the story. I would only guess that since republicans will be losing all over the country next tuesday they decided they better try and buy off dems like Gloria so they don't lose complete control of the agenda.

Log in to comment

Skip Ad

Let’s Be Friends

Subscribe for local event alerts, concerts tickets, promotions and more from the San Diego Reader