With the presidential campaign of Florida GOP senator Marco Rubio gaining traction among some big money San Diego Republican elites, it was only a matter of time, insiders predicted, before Kevin Faulconer would be rolled out to board the bandwagon. Rubio is a big favorite among wealthy denizens of La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe, who also happen to be Faulconer political patrons.
On January 22 last year, the Tampa Times noted that Rubio was embarking on a swing to hit up Californians for campaign cash, including a stop at a pre-presidential dinner in La Jolla. “Rubio will drop by a steak house for a Rubio Victory Committee fundraiser that benefits his Senate campaign and Reclaim America PAC,” reported the Times. “It’s hosted by Dan and Sally Shea and co-chairs include Richard and Linda Alvarez, Sandy Kahn, Doug and Nancy Barnhart, State Senator Mark Wyland and others. A private reception and photo with Rubio goes for $2,600 while guests can pay $500 for a general reception.”
Poway-based Barnhart, a longtime contractor, public works beneficiary, and Republican donor, was on Faulconer’s now-defunct task force to build a new taxpayer-subsidized Chargers stadium. Kahn, another regular local GOP donor, is the son of the late Irvin Kahn of Teamsters Union loan notoriety who launched Peñasquitos and University City in the 1960s. Campaign disclosure filings show he gave $1660 to the Rubio cause on June 19. The previous February Kahn had anted up a combined $5200 to Rubio’s campaign committees and Reclaim America. Kahn and his wife have long played a major role in local Republican financial circles, over the past decade coming up with a total of $16,240, including $5300 for Faulconer, $1800 for GOP ex-mayor Jerry Sanders, $2000 for mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio, and the same for District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’s failed bid for mayor.
Contractor Barnhart, family, and employees were even higher stakes players, furnishing a total $105,724 to city politicos, including $24,949 to Faulconer and $20,000 to the GOP Lincoln Club and its political causes, including cutting public employee pensions.
Democrat Bill Clinton is swinging through La Jolla on behalf of wife Hillary’s presidential bid this Friday, according to a widely distributed fundraising email. An up-close and personal VIP session with the ex-president is offered those who can raise $10,000 to become “co-hosts” of the event, to be held at a yet to be disclosed location. Rank-and-file attendees must fork over $1000.
Local political names scheduled to put in appearances include Democratic congressman Scott Peters and wife Lynn Gorguze, along with ex-congressman and bullet train board member Lynn Schenk and termed-out ex-Assembly speaker Toni Atkins, currently running against fellow Democrat Marty Block for state senate.