Champagne and free BMWs

One of Kevin Beiser’s fundraising hosts promised free champagne and BMWs to employees.
  • One of Kevin Beiser’s fundraising hosts promised free champagne and BMWs to employees.

UCSD wants to build a costly new biology building, but the state hasn’t yet given it the cash, so University of California regents have said it’s okay for the school to start working on a set of pricey plans and an environmental impact report by dipping into its local slush fund. “The Regents are being asked to approve preliminary plans funding in the amount of $4.5 million to be funded by campus funds, specifically Short Term Investment Pool earnings,” says a March staff report. The university expects to return for actual construction funding in the fall, though nothing is guaranteed and the ultimate cost is already rising. “Total Project budget for preliminary plans, working drawings, construction, and moveable equipment is currently estimated to be approximately $112 million.”...

Democrat Kevin Beiser, running for re-election to the San Diego Unified school board, is taking his fundraising campaign on the road. On April 14, according to an email to supporters, he’ll be heading for “the beautiful Rancho Santa Fe home of Agnes Barrelet” for a $50 minimum contribution. She was cofounder with husband Blaise of high-tech startup WebSideStory. According to a 2001 account in Business Week, the “eccentric French couple…lured employees with promises of champagne parties and free BMWs for those who exceeded expectations. The early, ad-supported version of HitBox became all the rage among porn sites, causing WebSideStory to be inadvertently classified as a porn player. The Barrelets embraced the attention, even going so far as to post a directory of the porn sites that used HitBox.” Also on the fundraising circuit this month is freshman Democratic congressman Juan Vargas, who is staging an April 23 breakfast at Talavera Azul in Chula Vista. Tab is $250 for individuals, $1000 for PACs.

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