Political Gifts of Green

Sempra Energy has been spreading around its campaign cash to a variety of local special interest groups, according to its recently filed state disclosure, including, on September 15, the county’s Democratic Party ($3000) and the San Diego Port Tenants Political Action Committee ($1000); and on August 3, the Downtown San Diego Partnership Political Action Committee ($3500) and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee ($3500)…The Barona Band of Mission Indians treated a lot of state politicos to meals and more this summer. On August 11, GOP assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, now running for mayor of San Diego, got a meal worth $69.60. Fletcher was joined by assembly colleagues Connie Conway, Paul Cook, Kevin Jeffries, Brian Jones, Jim Nielsen, Diane Harkey, and Harkey’s chief of staff Sherry Hodges.

Over on the senate side, Joel Anderson got the same royal treatment, as did colleagues Bob Dutton, Tom Harman, Bob Huff, and Mark Wyland. Chris Holden, a Pasadena city councilman vying for an assembly seat, got two hotel rooms at the casino on July 28, worth $192.24. On August 1, Senator Rod Wright got one room valued at $101.52. On August 12, Tom Harman received greens fees, along with a logo hat and logo golf balls, all worth $94.50. Senator Juan Vargas, now running for Congress to replace Bob Filner, who wants to be San Diego’s mayor, ate a $29.27 meal at Harbor Island’s C Level. In addition, Wright was treated to a $27.60 meal at McCormick and Schmick’s in Sacramento.

Not to play favorites, Wright also made it over to the Grove Steakhouse, run by the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, for a $24.78 lunch on August 2. The same was enjoyed by Assemblyman Mike Gatto on July 29 and his colleague Bonnie Lowenthal on September 12, though her freebie was reported to be worth a bit more than the men’s: $64.07. Meanwhile, back in Sacramento, Victoria Harris, legislative aide to Juan Vargas, got two free tickets worth $303.10 to the Sade concert on August 17 at the Power Balance Pavilion, thanks to phone and cable giant AT&T.

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