Southwest Strategies signs on with Friends of SDSU

Strategic Straw man

Everybody wants the property formerly known as Qualcomm Stadium
  • Everybody wants the property formerly known as Qualcomm Stadium

Southwest Strategies, the influence-peddling firm that helped mastermind the 2016 defeat by the military shipyard lobby of the Barrio Logan community plan, has signed on with Friends of SDSU, the political committee backing a takeover by San Diego State University of the 60-plus-acre city-owned property formerly known as Qualcomm Stadium.

The outfit is facing off against another, similarly named and well-wired lobbying company in the form of California Strategies, hired to represent SoccerCity. That group has a competing measure on this coming November’s ballot that would turn the Mission Valley real estate over to a group of La Jolla hedge-fund investors backed by mayor Kevin Faulconer. So SDSU isn’t outclassed in the city-hall insiders category, Southwest Strategies has just hired Jack Straw, the mayor’s ex-director of Land Use and Economic Development Policy, where he made a total of $98,207 in 2016, according to the website TransparentCalifornia.com.

“Jack’s extensive knowledge of public policy and land development will be an asset to our team. His experience will strengthen the first-hand knowledge we have of our client’s industries,” said a statement by Chris Wahl, son-in-law of Southwest Strategies founder Alan Ziegaus.

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It will be interesting to see if San Diego's soccer-loving registered voters will turn out in greater numbers to approve the Soccer City measure for Mission Valley than the legions of good ol'boy developers who are backing the SDSU bid to grab the Qualcomm site. In a Clash of the Titans, it will come down to whose self-interest rules.

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