Once-imprisoned super lawyer Bill Lerach, now ensconced on a lavish La Jolla estate overlooking the Pacific, didn’t come out a winner in the derby to replace fallen Democratic mayor Bob Filner. The onetime Bill Clinton confidante, who was sent to the slammer by George W. Bush’s Justice Department for client kickbacks, backed Nathan Fletcher’s failed run for the city’s highest job, giving $5000 last month to an independent committee supporting the newly hatched Democrat. Lerach also gave $1000 to Fletcher’s own committee, as did his wife, fellow lawyer and La Jolla organic cupcake maven (Cups) Michele Ciccarelli, and her parents. But Fletcher’s third-place finish behind Republican Kevin Faulconer and Democrat David Alvarez apparently hasn’t discouraged the flamboyant attorney from taking part in politics.
His latest fundraising venture is on behalf of the reelection campaign of San Diego Unified school-board member Kevin Beiser, set for December 14 at Lerach’s La Jolla Farms manse. Many of the old Fletcher faithful, including freshman Democratic congressman Scott Peters, retired UCSD professor Walter Munk, and Fletcher’s big primary backers, Qualcomm billionaire Irwin Jacobs and his wife Joan, are on the list of co-hosts. Other local political stars include ex-Democratic state senator Steve Peace; former Roger Hedgecock aide and trash magnate Nancy Chase, along with her daughter Molly, ex-protocol officer for Filner; and Jim Waring, the Sunroad scandal-plagued ex-planning aide to GOP former mayor Jerry Sanders. Suggested contribution levels range from $100 to $750. According to the invite, “This is a MUST attend event this holiday season!”
In the meantime, Beiser himself is out raising campaign cash for Democrat Carol Kim, a city-council candidate in the sixth-district race that also includes former Republican, now independent ex–school board member Mitz Lee and Republican Chris Cate, a staffer at the largely GOP San Diego County Taxpayers Association. “It is a rare opportunity for us to win a seat in a critical swing district and solidify our progressive majority on the city council. I am all in with my support for Carol and I am asking you to do the same. Please join me, along with Majority Leader Toni Atkins and Senator Marty Block, on Tuesday, December 3rd from 5:30 to 8:00 at the Bay Park home of Rhoda Quate to show your support for Carol, her campaign, and our future,” says an email sent by Beiser to his backers.