When Republican Kevin Faulconer first ran for mayor in the fall of 2013, Qualcomm then-CEO Paul Jacobs, the son of company founder and Hillary Clinton-backer Irwin Jacobs, backed Republican-turned-Democrat Nathan Fletcher for the job. After a relentless attack by the GOP Lincoln Club on Fletcher, who had gone to work for Qualcomm following his turn as a Republican in the state Assembly, Paul Jacobs fired back, accusing Faulconer’s allies of “lying to serve a political agenda.”
This year, however, with Faulconer’s two biggest challengers shaping up as independent Lori Saldaña and Democrat Ed Harris, the younger Jacobs has headed straight for the Faulconer fold. City campaign-disclosure filings show that on March 31, the mayor’s fund picked up $1000 from the Qualcomm executive, who was kicked upstairs to company executive chairman in March 2014, shortly after Faulconer’s election as mayor. The next day, Qualcomm executive vice president and general counsel Donald Rosenberg came up with the same. Earlier in the month, on March 13, Michele Sterling of Poway, the company’s executive vice president of human resources, also gave $1050. The mobile-phone-chip giant is registered to lobby at city hall, backing the mayor’s so-called recycled-water plan and pushing for a new “Qualcomm campus,” among other causes. Last November 17, Christine Trimble, the firm’s vice president for government affairs, threw a Faulconer fundraiser that netted $9275.