Wells Fargo turkeys

Currying mayoral favor

Kevin Faulconer
  • Kevin Faulconer

A political contribution is a terrible thing to waste, judging from a recent disclosure by Kevin Faulconer revealing that giant Wells Fargo bank has deposited $5000 in the Republican mayor’s name with the United Negro College Fund of Los Angeles.

A legally required behested payment report of the transaction dated May 2 shows the transfer was made April 2. With Faulconer increasingly mentioned as a GOP gubernatorial candidate, insiders look for him to collect much more corporate money to turn over to non-profits, thus enhancing his charitable image without actually parting with any of his own money.

Faulconer’s One San Diego nonprofit, in which his wife plays a major role and features the mayor handing out free Thanksgiving turkeys in poor neighborhoods, has become the go-to charity of choice for the city’s big developers and other special interests seeking to curry lucrative mayoral favor. Wells Fargo is also a patron of that operation, most recently giving $5000 on March 16, a disclosure shows.

Other big-money donors include shopping-mall developer Westfield, with $10,000 on March 22; Mission Valley developer Tom Sudberry, who kicked in $10,000, March 29; and Pardee Homes, giving $5000, March 17. Political gamesmanship has long played a role in charitable giving on the national scene. Two years ago a surprise $25 million contribution to the United Negro College Fund by the billionaire Koch brothers raised the hackles of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union, which vowed to cut off its own donations to the fund as a result.

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