San Diego Police Tap Special Interests

The political action committee of the San Diego Police Officers Association spent a total of $181,934 last year, a good portion of which went to advocate passage of Proposition D, the half-cent sales tax hike that was overwhelmingly rejected by city voters. Of course, the expenditure was no surprise, given that police pay, benefits, and pensions are threatened by the City’s financial woes. But what is of note is that the cops didn’t come up with the cash themselves. Instead, they tapped a list of special interests, many of which depend on the cooperation and good will of police officers.

A to Z Enterprises, Inc., a towing outfit, kicked in $1500, as did La Mesa’s C&D Towing and Star Towing of San Diego. Then there was $10,000 from the San Diego Padres Baseball Club, which relies on police protection and traffic control during its games in its taxpayer-subsidized downtown ballpark. Progress Construction gave $15,000.

And five members of Newport Beach’s Patel family, of Tarsadia Hotels, which has run the Gaslamp Quarter’s Hard Rock Hotel, each gave $1000. Two years ago, the Hard Rock drew extensive scrutiny from the police department’s vice squad after allegations arose of excessive force and brutality by security staffers employed in the Sweetwater Saloon and Moonstone Lounge, bars operated under contract by tenant Rande Gerber, husband of supermodel Cindy Crawford…Attorney Julie Hamilton, who is registered as a lobbyist with the City of San Diego, has agreed to pay a $500 fine for filing her second-quarter activity disclosure report last September 2, about a month after it was due, according to a stipulation with the City’s Ethics Commission. Hamilton had previously been fined $200 for a late filing in 2009. Her clients include the La Jolla Village Residents Association and La Jolla Shores Tomorrow, records show…The highest-paid president in the 23-campus California State University system is Jeffrey D. Armstrong, the new head of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, reports the San Luis Obispo Tribune. Armstrong, 51, will get $350,000 a year, plus a free house, eclipsing the $328,209 paid to his predecessor, Warren Baker. By comparison, San Diego State’s Stephen Weber, soon to retire, checks in with just $299,435, though he gets free digs as well.

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How can Webber make it on "only" $300K a year plus housing? When he's in the company of other university presidents and UC chancellors, he must have to hang his head. His counterpart at UCSD is pulling down 'way more than that!

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