Chevron, builders, and trash hauler counter union cash

San Diego Council Moreno-Martinez, Zapf-Campbell races get attention

Jen Campbell, Lorie Zapf
  • Jen Campbell, Lorie Zapf

Last minute money has been arriving in torrents during the final week of San Diego's Campaign '18 and is being spent in record amounts, funneled through a byzantine network of political committees that make it next to impossible for voters to know where the cash is coming from.

Antonio Martinez

Antonio Martinez

Kicking off a busy final week of the campaign on Monday, October 29, the Progressive Labor Alliance PAC - which on October 5 received $130,000 from the San Diego County Building Trades Council Family Housing Corporation and on October 9 got $100,000 from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union No. 569 - shipped $25,000 to Unite Here Local 30, the hotel workers union.

Vivian Moreno

Vivian Moreno

From vivianmorenosd.com

The same day Unite Here spent $14,293 on a mailer opposing the candidacy of Vivian Moreno, who is seeking to succeed her termed-out boss David Alvarez on the San Diego city council. Also that day, Unite Here spent $5000 to promote Moreno's opponent and fellow Democrat, Antonio Martinez, on whose behalf United Here, doing battle with Airbnb over short-term vacation rental regulation, had previously invested $27,574 for an October 22 mailer.

October 29 was a propitious day for pro-Moreno money, with a committee calling itself Building Strong Communities Supporting Vivian Moreno receiving a total of $16,360 from Share San Diego, a political committee bankrolled by those having an interest in the residential vacation rental industry.

Donors to Share San Diego included Bluewater Vacation Homes, which gave $9823 on October 1, bringing Bluewater's total support since August to $18,283.

In addition to short-term rental money, the pro-Moreno committee picked up $10,000 on October 26 from the Build San Diego PAC, run by the San Diego Building Industry Association, which had previously come up with $10,000 for the committee on October 19.

Another major battlefront in San Diego's last-minute campaign funding war is the contest between Republican city council incumbent Lorie Zapf and her Democratic challenger, physician Jen Campbell.

Campaign disclosure data shows that on October 29 the Republican-led San Diego Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee kicked in $40,000 to what it has dubbed Coastal Communities Supporting Lorie Zapf, bringing the Chamber PAC's total contributions to the pro-Zapf effort to $375,000 since September 12.

Late season donors to the Chamber PAC have included oil industry giant Chevron Corporation of San Ramon, California, with $10,000 on October 20, the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, owner of downtown's Grant Hotel, with $15,000 on October 2, developer Newland Sierra, with $5000 on October 1, and $2500 from trash hauler Republic Services, October 6.

A largely union-financed political committee calling itself San Diegans Against Hate opposing Lorie Zapf, got $25,000 from the Progressive Labor Alliance PAC on October 29. Through Tuesday, October 30, the anti-Zapf effort had spent $307,206 on polling, digital ads, and mailers, per campaign filings.

An Anti-Campbell political committee, backed by contributions furnished by members of the GOP Lincoln Club, including $12,500 from fallen former port district commissioner David Malcolm, spent $323,370 on television spots, literature, social media, and mail, through November 1. Late money sources for the effort include the Building Industry Association PAC with $45,000 on October 24.

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