The controversial plan by a stealthy group of La Jolla money men known as FS Investors to replace city-owned Qualcomm Stadium with a soccer venue and high-end commercial and housing development is turning into a full-employment project for the city’s corps of influence peddlers. Latest to join the fray is H.G. Fenton, the family-owned Mission Valley real estate giant that seeks to “monitor and provide input” on the deal, per a February 14 lobbyist disclosure filing with the city clerk.
Fenton executives John La Raia and Michael P. Neal have both been out raising campaign cash for GOP city councilman Scott Sherman, the document says. Yet another lobbying shop joining the prospective land rush on behalf of FS Investors is California Strategies, the Sacramento-based firm founded by former Pete Wilson aide Bob White. A January 13 disclosure report says the company, popularly known as Cal Strats, is lobbying for “entitlement and repurposing of Qualcomm Stadium site and former Charger practice facility in Mission Valley for a mixed-use stadium development project.” The firm’s Craig Benedetto and Ben Haddad have both conducted fundraising efforts for mayor Kevin Faulconer and city councilmen Mark Kersey, Scott Sherman, and Chris Ward, the filing shows. FS has also retained the lobbying services of the law firm of Latham & Watkins, as revealed by a January 19 disclosure report.