San Diego’s Republican county supervisors say they are gunning for legislation introduced by the local Democratic Assembly delegation that would allow for charter amendments requiring a general-election runoff for the top two finishers in primary supervisorial races. A similar provision was approved for San Diego City Council races by voters here last year.
Also opposed by the supervisors is a redistricting measure that would allow for elimination of a panel of retired judges from the supervisorial district line-drawing process. Based on the amount the county spends for lobbying in Sacramento, the supervisors may be able to raise a significant barrier to the bills. Through January 2015 to December 2016 alone, the influence-peddling firm of Nielsen Merksamer got $439,688, and JGC Government Relations was paid $240,880, according to a January 2017 disclosure filing. The latter lobbying shop is run by Jonathan Clay, whose now-retired father Ben did similar chores for the county, port, water authority, and other government agencies.
Other current clients of the younger Clay include the City of Encinitas, which opposed a State Assembly bill to “prohibit local agencies from enforcing laws and ordinances, or otherwise subject to civil or criminal penalties, the act of people sleeping or resting in a lawfully parked motor vehicle. While a vehicle may be ‘lawfully parked’ in a residential neighborhood or in the parking lot of a business, that does not mean that it is acceptable to have people live there. The issues raised...are less about parking, and more about the use of vehicles for human habitation, including sleeping and ‘resting’ in front of existing homes and businesses.”
H.G. Fenton, the giant Mission Valley land owner battling the efforts of transplanted Manhattan hedge-fund magnate Mike Stone to grab control of the 165-acre site of Qualcomm Stadium for a soccer-themed commercial and residential development, has so far laid out $62,427 worth of in-kind expenses on behalf of Public Land, Public Vote, a political committee opposing Stone’s current big-money signature drive, according to a March 17 filing.
The Deputy Sheriff’s Association kicked in $2500 to the local Democratic Party on March 15 to cover some of next year’s June primary expenses.