The San Diego Association of Realtors has traveled a long and bumpy lobbying road. Last December, it agreed to pay a $500 fine to settle charges brought by the City’s Ethics Commission that it chronically failed to file its lobbying reports on time. The Realtors, noted the commission, have “an extensive history of failing to timely file quarterly disclosure reports. In particular, [the Realtors] paid a $200 fine in August of 2009 for failing to timely file its 2008 third and fourth quarter disclosure reports. In addition, [the Realtors] filed four additional quarterly disclosure reports late.” Added the commission: “Moreover, staff in the City Clerk’s office sent several letters to Respondent reminding the organization that its second quarter report was due by August 1, 2011.”
But all that is apparently in the past, as the group’s new lobbying firm, Government Affairs Strategies, takes the helm. The Realtors are now represented by the Washington Beltway firm’s Christopher “Chip” Ahlswede, according to a July report. “I am a Contract Government Affairs Professional that specializes in protecting the rights of REALTORS(R) and property owners,” writes Ahlswede in an online profile. “I concentrate my efforts on connecting REALTORS(R) with local community leaders, promoting private property rights and protecting homeowners.” … San Diego’s lobbying world, like the rest of us, must eventually move on with life after a respectable mourning period. The Industrial Environmental Association, a group of businesses formed in 1983 “to promote responsible, cost-effective environmental laws and regulations,” according to its website, marked a sad moment this summer when its widely respected former executive director and registered lobbyist, Patty Krebs, who died last October, was finally replaced by Jack Monger, a well-known local influence peddler in his own right. Monger’s past lobbying clients have included San Diego Bike and Kayak Tours, as well as Pacific Gateway Concessions, the San Francisco outfit that last year nabbed part of a big new restaurant contract at Lindbergh Field.