Starting money

The inauguration committee of Barack Obama picked up more than a few major contributions from San Diegans. Qualcomm billionaire Irwin Jacobs gave $25,000. But his wasn't the biggest donation: Michelle Lerach, wife of now-imprisoned plaintiff super-lawyer Bill Lerach, a major target of the Bush administration’s Justice Department, ponied up $50,000 to honor the incoming president. Other $50,000 givers included La Jollan Kalpana Rhodes; Del Mar Plaza developer and environmentalist Ivan Gayler; lawyer David Casey, who is in charge of panels to screen U.S. attorney and judicial nominees for California; Marcy Krinsk; and Shelia Davis, widow of longtime Democrat and Hotel del Coronado owner Larry Lawrence. Solar Turbine executive and ex–port director Patricia McQuater gave $12,500, as did Centre City Development Corporation boardmember Janice Brown. Robert Irving of Cricket Communications, a subsidiary of Qualcomm spin-off Leap Wireless, was down for $10,000, as was Randall Naiman of Naiman Law Group. Rancho Santa Fe’s Nicholas Binkley, of Forrest Binkley & Brown, a private equity investment firm, gave $25,000, as did Gateway founder Ted Waitt and Patricia Zigarmi, cofounder of the Ken Blanchard Companies. Shari Lawson, the deputy D.A. whose husband, political consultant Larry Remer, was targeted for prosecution during the Bush administration, gave $1500.

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