San Diego politics, not always considered a charitable calling, has of late been the source of thousands of dollars given to some local non-profits by committees as November's election time grows near.
While most campaign cash is deployed for consultants, Facebook ads, lawn signs, direct mail pieces and television spots, disclosures on file with the city and county show that a sometimes sizable chunk of the money is being routed to those with the perceived ability to sway hearts and minds.
Such payments are required to be revealed as campaign expenses at the bottom of disclosure filings, under the rubric Civic Donations - CVC for short - classified by state law as "donations to civic, nonprofit, or educational organizations," and "payments for community events." Much of the cash has traditionally gone to high school bands and other student causes, given by school board candidates.
But at the top of San Diego's charitable givers among county politicos this fall is the GOP Lincoln Club, a campaign operation that is known for its election hit pieces against Democratic politicos, including one-time Republican Nathan Fletcher and Second District San Diego city council hopeful Jen Campbell.
The Lincoln Club, which took $731,882 from an array of sources, including $10,000 from private prison operator Geo Group, Inc. of Boca Raton, Florida on August 9, came up with $5000 on September 20 for the non-profit news and opinion website Voice of San Diego, according to the club most recent spending disclosure, covering the period between July 1 and September 22.
Funding from private prisons has been a hot potato for local Democrats, including Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez and state senate leader Toni Atkins, who this summer contributed $12,000 in previously received prison industry contributions to “four local non-profit organizations actively involved with immigration justice issues," Capitol Weekly reported in July.
Next on the county registrar's list of civic-minded political donors was the Martha Alvarado for Vista School Board Trustee 2018 campaign, which came up with $2000 on September 15 for the Rancho Minerva Middle School Mariachi Band. San Diego Unified school district trustee Kevin Beiser's re-election campaign gave $600 on September 17 to the San Diego Community College District.
In the city of San Diego, GOAL San Diego, the committee backing the takeover of the old Qualcomm Stadium site in Mission Valley for the SoccerCity development, was top charitable giver, coming up with $1500 on September 21 for Herencia Hispana.
Chris Cate for City Council 2018 gave $500 on July 16 to the San Diego Pan Pacific Law Enforcement Association and termed-out Democratic city councilman David Alvarez contributed $160 of leftover 2014 reelection money to the Calvary Baptist Church on January 14, per city disclosure filings.
A newly released federal audit has found that an Adelanto, California facility run Geo Group for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had increased risks for inmate suicide. "ICE must prioritize addressing the issue of sheets hanging in detainee cells, as they represent the potential to assist suicide acts,” according to the document, reported October 2 by Government Executive.
Auditors called out what they said were violations of ICE prison policies. "Physically restraining all disciplinary segregation detainees whenever they are outside their cells does not comport with ICE standards and gives the appearance of criminal, rather than civil, custody,”