Opponentless mayor backed by $1.2 million

Cash flows to San Diego's Faulconer from many wealthy directions.

On the heels of a report from the University of Southern California chiding San Diego's wealthy establishment for running the town as an "exclusionary enterprise" for big money special interests, campaign reporting season has arrived, revealing that not all of the city's ostensible vote-buying is done by rich locals.

"For many decades, San Diego leaders held a vision of progress that we would argue is a narrow one — focused on a limited set of industries and built on a fragmented social and economic landscape," intones the study by Manuel Pastor, Alejandro Sanchez-Lopez, and Jennifer Ito of USC's Program for Environmental and Regional Equity.

Add the researchers, "Businesses still see San Diego’s proximity to the border with Mexico as an opportunity to exploit the lower labor costs and to escape governmental regulation."

As it turns out, a fair amount of the $634,915 collected by Republican mayor Kevin Faulconer during the first half of the year, according to his campaign's July 29 filing with the city clerk's office, originates from well-connected out-of-town sources to the north, including wealthy denizens of Rancho Santa Fe ($44,975); Del Mar ($15,349); Encinitas ($15,275); Carlsbad ($13,950); and Poway ($14,660).

Executives of developer Baldwin and Sons out of Newport Beach came up with $2550.

Within San Diego city limits, a sizable $86,057 was coughed up by those using La Jolla addresses, continuing the city's long tradition of fat cat political giving alluded to in the USC report.

Regarding questions raised by the study about the ballot defeat of the Barrio Logan community plan at the hands of Faulconer and his political ally, ex-GOP mayor Jerry Sanders, the ranks of the mayor's financial backers are filled with employees of the military contractors who forked over for last year's successful campaign to kill the proposal.

A look inside General Dynamics' Tecnologias Internacionales de Manufactura, in Mexicali

A look inside General Dynamics' Tecnologias Internacionales de Manufactura, in Mexicali

According to the Faulconer filing, a total of $7245 was given by employees of General Dynamics-owned National Steel and Shipbuilding, which outsources a sizable chunk of its shipyard work to a giant maquiladora complex it owns in Mexicali.

Other traditionally faithful groups of mayoral donors included workers at ACE Parking ($2800) and cell phone giant AT&T ($1300). Employees of Cox Communications from around the country, including Phoenix, Arizona, donated $3450.

Douglas Manchester, the real estate developer and ex-U-T San Diego owner who uses "Papa" in his name, and his executive Tom Voss, gave a total of $1500.

Austin Beutner

Austin Beutner

from LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce YouTube video

Media watchers are waiting to see if the rechristened Union-Tribune’s new publisher, ex-Los Angeles deputy mayor and investment banker Austin Beutner will alter Manchester's pro-Faulconer, see-no-evil coverage of the city’s pay-to-play political scene.

“Our own city has seen a chorus of ethics violations and influence peddling from city officials,” Beutner blogged about Los Angeles in January 2012 as he was mounting a subsequently abandoned bid to become mayor of the City of Angels. "Shameful, isn’t it? No wonder the public has little trust or respect for politicians.”

In addition to his own campaign stash, Faulconer, who has yet to face a serious opponent, is set to benefit from the $600,000 raised so far by a committee called "Communities United for Tomorrow’s Economy supporting the reelection of Mayor Faulconer."

As previously reported here, the group is masterminded by the GOP Lincoln Club and the Jerry Sanders-run chamber of commerce.

Unlimited by the city's campaign contribution limits, donors to that fund included the California Apartment Association's political action committee of Sacramento, which kicked in $25,000.

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A Donation by any other name is still potentially money in the pocket, since any Donation not spent is now allowed to be kept by the Candidate!

If I am mistaken, please reply and set me straight!

I wonder if it is too late to "RUN" against Kevin, I'm sure that he would appreciate that, since he would then be able to collect even more Donations.

If nothing else, he and the Lincoln Club could enjoy a chuckle while toasting each other, since my campaign slogans would be something like these:

I'll Support Big Business, If They Spend Their Money Someplace Else


Living in SD Is Getting More Expensive, But We Can Fix That


FIX SD's Government Before Our Pot Holes


Density Will Only Make SD Overcrowded


Reduce Crime, Before Water Usage


Open Gov't. = Better Government


If You Don't Love Kevin, You'll Love To Vote For Me


Better Government Begins With Your Vote


No More Stadium Deals, SD Can't Afford Them


Less City Rate Increases = More $ in Your Pocket


Less Gov't. Spending Is Best For You & Your Family


Clean Up SD, Put A Public Restroom in Every Council District


Make San Diego Family Friendly, Not More Expensive


SD Is Getting Less Fun, Let's Change That Together


SD Voters, Help Is On The Way In November

==> I look forward to your candid replies!

Some people love to bleat about "big money special interests" backing Republicans. Those very same people have absolutely no problem whatsoever with corrupt unions and other leftist interests pouring money into Democratic politics.

I'd far rather have a government that's trying to encourage profitable businesses to create jobs and bring real money into the economy than one that encourages dependence, sloth, and entitlements. We're all always better off with people who are working for a living than people living off of government checks.

Jnojr - RE: "no problem whatsoever with corrupt unions and other leftist interests pouring money into Democratic politics" Name calling using words like "leftist and corrupt" is far different than using big money, so please stick to the discussion and stop acting like a bully!

As far as "people living off a government checks," far too many are left with no other choice but to try to do just that since the middle class has been decimated by an economy that has enriched Wall Street and the Big Banks, which has resulted in the Ultra Wealthy now owning more of the USA than ever before in History.

The size of the once proud middle class is now just a mere fraction of what it used to be, through no fault of theirs, so I challenge you tell us where all these folks are supposed to find jobs that are not just low paying part-time jobs. FYI: By the time the $15 minimum wage passes, the real COLA increases will have made it a net loss, since Congress is doing everything it can to "game" the Social Security accounting system to keep costs low.

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