Kilroy's still here, promising campaign juice

New political committee set up by L.A. developer of controversial One Paseo

One Paseo conceptual illustration
  • One Paseo conceptual illustration

Whether or not San Diego is sufficiently business friendly has been a debate fostered over the past year by those who derive sizable funding from the city's so-called entrepreneurial and developer classes.

“I felt like San Diego didn’t want us,” internet maven Reid Carr was quoted as saying last month on Voice of San Diego, an online nonprofit news and opinion venture funded by billionaire Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs. Carr is on the Voice of San Diego's board.

Another self-styled business advocate and a member of the Voice’s board is Eugene “Mitch” Mitchell, vice president of California government affairs for San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Gas Co., owned by utility giant Sempra Energy.

Before that career, Mitchell had been vice president of public policy and communications at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, where he worked “to develop a public policy agenda that is favorable to the business climate and standard of living in San Diego," according to a write-up on SDG&E's website.

As previously reported, Sempra and its employees spent big to get Republican mayor Kevin Faulconer and council Republicans elected last year, giving $10,000 to an outfit called New Majority San Diego.

"The Chapter is comprised of San Diego's top business leaders, from various industries, who are highly involved in local, state and federal politics," according to the group's website.

The utility company's Francisco J. Urtasun threw a Faulconer fundraiser last January 8 that netted $8625. Sempra also kicked in $25,000 to the chamber of commerce’s PAC after Faulconer was elected. Democrats weren't left entirely out in the cold. On March 3, Sempra gave the county party $5000 and came up with another $2000 on May 1.

Now comes yet another heavy hitter — named "Citizens for a Business Friendly San Diego” — ostensibly concerned about the local business climate with a new political committee.

According to a December 30 disclosure filing with the city clerk's office, Los Angeles–based Kilroy Realty, L.P. has set up the operation to "support candidates to foster San Diego business investment."

As reported here last month, Kilroy is in the midst of a high-stakes fight over One Paseo, a big commercial and housing development in Carmel Valley seeking city council approval.

The developer is fielding a phalanx of high-dollar influence-peddlers, spending a total of $62,000 in the third quarter of 2014, according to the firm's lobbying disclosure report filed with the city clerk. Since 2010, the company and its employees have given more than $30,000 to city candidates.

Judging by the formation of the firm's new committee, more is likely on the way.

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In San Diego "Business Friendly" means anti employee. They champion low wages, no benefit part time jobs. While many employers "need" employees they do not value them and feel that most are easily replaceable by illegal immigrants, legal immigrants or stupid citizens who think they are lucky to have a job that keeps them in poverty.

VOSD is nothing more than a very well funded Propaganda PR machine that promotes for all those that want yet more HIGH DENSITY land development, more Utility rate increases and more of what will keep lowering the quality of life for the majority of those living in San Diego that are not Wealthy!

The San Diego Reader is the only media outlet in San Diego that actually calls out those that seek to make living in San Diego ever more expensive so that the Wealthy can continue to profit.

Example: Our elected officials (and almost all local media) are all saying nothing about the San Onofre multi-billion dollar CPUC ripoff of southern California ratepayers which will cost every electric meter account owner a $1000, because the Utilities donate massive amounts of money, which they get from us thanks to ever increasing Utility bills OK'd by the CPUC.

Well said, CaptD! Where's the outrage? People need to wake up to the rip-offs all around us that are being falsely portrayed as economic "progress" or "investment"or "job-creation" by self-serving business groups whose bottom-line is profit and new-media groups whose essential goal is basic survival.

Some people live west of I-5 and closer to the city of San Diego, so they may not have followed the proposed massive development of One Paseo in Carmel Valley in North County. What once were open rolling brown hills covered with yellow mustard in the spring, the area was called "the Future Urbanizing District" and then "North City West" and now its name is "Carmel Valley." The hills have been flattened and terraced with houses, multi-lane highways were built and business parks and strip-malls have filled the open space in between. In fact, Carmel Valley is poorly-planned suburban sprawl, unrecognizable from its natural condition 30 years ago.

But developers are not done. LA real estate builder Kilroy is going for broke with the proposed huge One Paseo project in Carmel Valley and it has greased the skids for City Council approval with a new political action committee revealed in a required end-of-year filing and discovered only last weekend by the Reader's Matt Potter.

Builder Kilroy's PAC gives $$$ to every politician in sight from both political parties and to struggling "non-profit" media outlets like VoiceofSanDiego.org and enlists supporters from the Chamber of Commerce, now run by former top-cop and business-tool ex-San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders. It ain't right, but Kilroy's PAC is even fronted by public relations tweeter Rachel Laing who used to get her taxpayer-paid salary from Mayor Sanders' City Hall where she knew and worked with many of the same City Council members who will vote on Kilroy's One Paseo behemoth. Laing actually dared to say last Fall that public opposition to her Kilroy employer's One Paseo project is not really grassroots."

As I said, where's the outrage?

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