Whether by coincidence or not, a lavish high-society fundraising bash for the USO has been turned into a well-timed campaign tribute to San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, thanks to his longtime patron, Republican kingpin Doug Manchester and his former journalistic endeavor, the Union-Tribune. The newspaper has its logo strategically placed at the bottom of a prominent display advertisement touting the June 4 “Stars and Stripes Gala” at the Hotel del Coronado, “honoring Mayor Kevin Faulconer.”
The “presenting title sponsors” are listed as “Papa Doug” and Geniya Manchester, the La Jolla real estate magnate’s Russian-born second wife. Among those named as co-chairing the event are the mayor’s spouse, professional convention party consultant Katherine Stuart, billed in the newspaper ad as “First Lady Katherine Faulconer,” along with longtime Faulconer political backers Helene and George Gould. Also a co-chair is Stephanie Brown, who used to be senior director of marketing and public relations at the U-T during Manchester’s reign, and is now vice president of same at the Manchester Financial Group. Republican-owned KUSI-TV media personality and radio talk-show host Mark Larson, another of the mayor’s friends and political allies, is set to be master of ceremonies.
The gala comes just three days before the June 7 primary, and the U-T’s advertisement takes a jab at presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton by morphing the title of her controversial 1996 book, It Takes a Village, into “It takes a city to support our military.”
Big corporate donations for Faulconer’s home-grown charity One San Diego, which picks up the tab for the mayor’s well-publicized free turkey handouts in poorer parts of the city at Thanksgiving time, just keep coming. On April 13, the nonprofit, of which Faulconer’s wife is honorary chair, raked in $5000 from the Bank of America branch in East Providence, Rhode Island, according to a May 11 financial disclosure filing by the mayor.