Turkey time with Lorena G.

High-profile legislative Democrat gets cozy with AT&T

"Families receiving turkeys have been pre-selected," noted Gonzalez's website
  • "Families receiving turkeys have been pre-selected," noted Gonzalez's website

It's time again for the holidays, when the state's giant corporate special interests ante up to cover the cost of turkeys distributed by elected officials to their impoverished constituents.

As previously reported, San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer was joined by chief of police Shelly Zimmerman and a phalanx of cops to be seen giving away the free poultry in the Southeast San Diego neighborhood of Webster.

Chief Zimmerman at Mayor Faulconer's turkey giveaway

Chief Zimmerman at Mayor Faulconer's turkey giveaway

Mayor Faulconer handing out turkeys at Webster block party

Mayor Faulconer handing out turkeys at Webster block party

One San Diego photo

As television cameras rolled, more than 200 birds were "handed out to folks who need a little help this thanksgiving," reported station XETV.

"It's all about making sure people feel safe in their neighborhood and this was so fantastic today, and especially the young children that came up to our officers and they're just out having a great time," a smiling Zimmerman (who of late has been battling in court to keep a lid on body-camera footage of a San Diego police shooting) told a TV reporter.

Besides the chief, an inflatable bounce house and slide were also provided for the kids’ edification.

The tab for the affair was picked up by One San Diego,the Faulconer-controlled nonprofit backed by some of the Republican's biggest campaign contributors, most if not all of whom who also happen to have their own city hall agendas.

In the month before the turkey giveaway, a family charity run by Resmed chief Peter Farrell gave $5000, as did fast food's Jack in the Box. Other donors to One San Diego have included cell-phone giant AT&T.

The mayor is not alone among local politicos associating himself with fowl freebies this season.

Assembly Democrat Lorena Gonzalez rolled out her own version of the political tradition, with an event called the Operation Gobble Turkey Giveaway and Health Resource Fair, held at Cesar Chavez Park November 19.

Not just anybody was eligible for a turkey, according to a notice on Gonzalez’s website, which said, "PLEASE NOTE: In collaboration with partner community organizations, families receiving turkeys have been pre-selected."

Among "event partners" listed on the flier, featuring a photo of a smiling Gonzalez and a plump turkey, was National Steel and Shipbuilding, the shipyard of military contracting behemoth General Dynamics that financed last year's successful referendum to overturn the Barrio Logan community plan.

Other sponsors included the Port of San Diego and SDG&E.

Another donor, according to a December 7 Gonzalez disclosure filing posted online by the California Fair Political Practices Commission, was Faulconer favorite AT&T, which came up with $5000 for the giveaway.

The filing says Operational Gobble "helps assist and uplift the most in-need families in the 80th Assembly District through providing holiday turkeys, fresh produce, and access to health resources."

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Pre-selected. Just like how she serves her constituents. When will term limits remove this poser?

You think that term limits are a solution? How quaint. Do you have the milk and cookies ready for Santa tonight, too?

No mention of the size of the birds given away. Many years ago I worked for a local retailer that gave every employee a Thanksgiving turkey. They were always the same size, just about ten pounds. Ten pounds? Yep that was the deal, and in those days they had to cost, in commercial quantities, no more than about 40 cents a pound. So the big deal gift of a bird--nothing else was included--cost about $4.00 per employee. Then for Christmas, it was a ham, a five pound canned ham. Total value was $5.00 or less. Really generous, that employer. Yet those small gestures were, I suppose, better than nothing.

So good old Lorena raised in excess of $10,000 for this effort, maybe much more than that. Let's say that she raised $20,000. Divide that over 200 turkey recipients, and each one should have cost about $100. That's a far cry from a crummy little turkey that might now cost under $10. Are you like me in wondering where all the other funds went? Did they provide all the other things that go with a turkey, such as stuffing, potatoes, yams, cranberry sauce? Mo mention of that type of add-ons.

It is sad that politicians have co-opted charities doing good and turned them into political events and money raising opportunities. What a bunch of crap. True "giving" is when one gives of money or time or both without their name being mentioned or associated with some phony PAC.

Lordy, what a bunch of Scrooges! I think it's enterprising of Lorena to hit up big companies to contribute turkeys to her needy Cratchet families. Any turkey is better than no turkey! I notice no one thought up this gesture without the Assemblywoman's muscle. In my opinion, Lorena could have run for Mayor or for Barbara Boxer's seat and been a contender.

I usually agree with you monaghan...not this time! Lorena would be a disaster for our city. She cares about one person...Lorena and sometimes her children! No one is being a Scrooge, we are just calling this poser out on what is clearly Lorena being her typical opportunist self promoting Lorena. Those of us who have worked in this city and county for those less fortunate than the rest of us i.e. homeless folks, mentally ill homeless and children who have asthma from breathing the crap that the shipyards spew into Barrio Logan KNOW that Lorena has done NOTHING to help. Her most recent legislation helps cheerleaders, which is fine, but certainly not a priority in her district. Just ask the constituents. No one I know would ever take funding, ever, from a company that funded the ending of the Barrio Logan collaborative community plan update. (which took more than 5 years to produce) Yes, monaghan, Lorena wants to run for the U.S. Senate or for Governor...but like my dad use to say...she thinks her sh** does not stink...but her farts give her away.

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