Faulconer’s personal retinue of PR people

Propaganda central

Mark Fabiani raked in $40,000 from the Chargers during the first three months of this year.
  • Mark Fabiani raked in $40,000 from the Chargers during the first three months of this year.

Chargers’ special counsel Mark Fabiani, who has been doing plenty of public outreach lately regarding the fate of professional football in San Diego, picked up $40,000 from the team in the first quarter of this year, according to his March 31 lobbyist disclosure statement. Meanwhile, a certain city whose mayor is a former public relations man is preparing to load up on yet more taxpayer-paid PR help. That would be San Diego and mayor Kevin Faulconer, who formerly labored for Porter Novelli, the international publicity giant. The city’s latest good news opportunities are being advertised on the city employment website.

“Public Information Officer positions develop target public relations campaigns in support of ongoing projects or activities,” and “write, edit, prepare, and distribute advisories and news releases,” says the notice. Other duties are to involve the preparation of speeches and participation in “public outreach efforts such as community meetings and targeted educational programs.” The solicitation doesn’t say how many jobs are available, but annual salaries range from $44,513 to $52,707.

Faulconer’s own personal retinue of PR people is paid more. Chief of communications Matt Awbrey, who worked for Faulconer when he was a city councilman and switched to the mayor’s office following his election in 2014, pulled down $131,873 last year, according to city payroll records obtained under the California Public Records Act. Craig Gustafson, a former U-T San Diego reporter now listed as Faulconer’s “press secretary/director of media relations,” got $71,940 from March 28, 2014, through the end of the year. Charles Chamberlayne, who once worked for Texas GOP senator John Cornyn and is now listed as the mayor’s press secretary/senior advisor, received $63,740 during the same period, the documents show. Salary figures for Faulconer’s newest PR hire, press secretary Jen Lebron Kuhney, also a former U-T scribe, were not immediately available.

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