Don't call them building-industry special interests — they'd rather be known as "a coalition of construction professionals to repair San Diego's roads," according to campaign disclosure filings.
But by any name, Yes on A forces, seeking to pass a controversial November measure that would hike sales taxes in the county by a half cent on the dollar for 40 years are raising big bucks.
Two of California's largest labor political funds have begun pouring cash into the campaign for the campaign, and their allies in big business aren't far behind.
The Los Angeles–based Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters Issues Committee came up with $250,000 on September 13, according to a disclosure filing made the same day.
That money is on top of $150,000 from Sacramento's Laborers Pacific Southwest Regional Organizing Collation, and an additional $150,000 from the Southern California District Council of Laborers Issues PAC, also based in Sacramento.
Business is represented among recent Yes on A donors by Newland Sierra, LLC, which kicked in $5000 on September 17, and Rick Engineering Co, with $2800 a day later. Giant engineering concern HNTB Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri, gave $5000 on September 16.
The Newland group has been accused of abetting dangerous urban sprawl with a proposal to build 2100 housing units on undeveloped property north of San Marcos near Interstate 15.
Part of neighbors' opposition to the project has been based on lack of traffic improvements in the area leading to problems with fire evacuation.
"The infrastructure is just plain not here,” resident Dee Folse told Fox 5 News in March.
"It’s hard enough to get to a convenient store mid-day, let alone if there’s an emergency,” said Folse. “There’s only one way in and one way out of all these areas; there’s no way to evacuate.”
Similarly, members of the Sudberry family, a Mission Valley mega-developer, have given heavily to the Measure A campaign; they are seeking "[State Route] 163/Friars Road interchange and freeway improvements," according to a lobbying disclosure report filed earlier this year.
A nonprofit donor to the Yes on A cause was the Nature Conservancy, which benefits from so-called mitigation payments related to highway and transit projects. The group made a non-monetary contribution of $1193.52 on September 16.
As previously reported, some representatives of San Diego labor are opposing the measure, with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 569 coming up with $75,000 on September 2.