Political handout day, otherwise known as Thanksgiving, came two weeks early for embattled San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, whose One San Diego nonprofit threw its annual turkey giveaway on Saturday, November 11 in Oak Park. “Free Admission. Family Friendly. Food. Entertainment,” says an online invitation. “Plus, we will be providing every family with one Thanksgiving turkey. (Turkeys are available one per family until supplies last).”
Katherine Stuart, the mayor’s wife, was joined by soon-to-retire chief of police Shelley Zimmerman for the traditional promotion of the event on KUSI-TV, owned by GOP stalwart Mike McKinnon. “One San Diego is hosting the largest Better-a-Block Party of the year in Oak Park to strengthen the relationship between neighborhood residents and civic leaders,” said the station’s report. “The event will bring Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer, City Council President Myrtle Cole, Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman, officers from the San Diego Police Department’s Southeastern Division, faith leaders and community members in a festive environment.”
Said Stuart: “We’re giving out 700 turkeys, so the word on the street is out there.” She added, “It wouldn’t have happened without AT&T, I have to mention that because they’re our sponsor and they have been amazing to work with.” Over the years, the cell-phone giant has kicked in more than six figures to finance the mayor’s nonprofit. The company’s latest lobbying disclosure filing, dated November 2, shows that assistant vice president Ignacio De La Torre has been pitching Faulconer’s deputy chief operating officer for Neighborhood Services David Graham on a “municipal pole attachment agreement,” and is also seeking to renew a cell-tower permit for 7480 Convoy Court.
Not to be outdone by the mayor, Assembly Democrat Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, whose husband Nathan Fletcher is running for county supervisor, conducted her free fowl event with the assistance of $5000 provided by utility giant San Diego Gas & Electric, now battling with those who seek to alter its local power-distribution monopoly. “Will host our assembly district’s annual Turkey and fresh produce distribution & Health resource fair to constituents that are in-need throughout our district,” says a so-called behesting disclosure of the Sempra Energy subsidiary’s contribution filed with the state. This year’s “Operation Gobble” was scheduled for November 15 at Cesar Chavez Park. Meanwhile, Nathan Fletcher’s bid for supervisor picked up $25,950 from the San Diego County Democratic Party’s federal campaign account on November 13.