Republican Ray Ellis has bowed out of his runoff race against Democrat Barbara Bry, who bested him by a sizable margin in the June primary to succeed La Jolla city councilwoman Sherri Lightner. Now a political committee created by the GOP Lincoln Fund and San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce to back him has made some refunds. An August 26 campaign disclosure statement shows that Coastal Communities for a Fair Economy has returned $4000 to the chamber and $4075 to the Lincoln Club. In all, the fund spent a total of $252,214 in its unsuccessful effort to elect Ellis.
Proposition A, the measure on November’s ballot to retain the half-cent transportation sales tax sponsored by the San Diego Association of Governments, otherwise known as SANDAG, is drawing opposition from the environmentalist and labor lobby who have formed a scary-sounding campaign committee: “No on Measure A, Coalition to Stop SANDAG from Poisoning Our Children, Communities, and Environment.” Meanwhile, Thomas Jenkins of giant civil engineering contractor HDR, a project manager for SANDAG’s trolley extension to UCSD, has kicked in $2000 to the Yes on A forces, and gambling tribe Sycuan came up with $20,000 on August 26.
Yet another San Diego big-money lobbyist has joined the legions of local influence peddlers working for major-league fiber optics players. MJE Marketing Services, founded by ex–Union-Tribune reporter Marlee Ehrenfeld, has been retained by fiber-optics infrastructure company Wilcon, according to an August 29 amendment to its client list. Over the summer, the law firm of Perkins Coie filed to represent Google for the same purpose, and eight Google staffers have been conducting private talks with city officials regarding so-called micro-trenching of city streets to install a purportedly state-of-the-art communications grid. Wilcon’s website says the company has “3000 route miles of fiber connecting close to 1000 enterprise locations, data centers, cell towers and Internet hubs” in Southern California.