California's big labor backs San Diego sales-tax hike

Measure A bankrolled by out-of-town infrastructure interests and one environmental group

Newland Sierra, LLC, has a proposal to build 2100 housing units north of San Marcos, near Interstate 15.
  • Newland Sierra, LLC, has a proposal to build 2100 housing units north of San Marcos, near Interstate 15.

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.

Members of the Sudberry family gave heavily to the Measure A campaign; their Civita development in Mission Valley will benefit from improvements to nearby SR-163 and Friars Road.

Members of the Sudberry family gave heavily to the Measure A campaign; their Civita development in Mission Valley will benefit from improvements to nearby SR-163 and Friars Road.

"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.

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Comments

Jack you forgot about the union clowns getting fat paychecks for doing their usual nothing . We should use the hotel tax to pay for this stuff. Vote no on A .

And just who would these union clowns be?

All members of the construction industry are interested in building projects that will sustain their companies and workers thus construction unions are supportive as it employs their members. So, yes who are these union clowns that support work for their members.

Unions have past their prime and are not really needed anymore. They cause the cost of project to go up, they protect useless workers who are there only for a pay check. We have to much government, and to much union involvement in our life. We all would be better off with less of both.

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