Jerry’s female side
The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee led by Republican ex-mayor and former police chief Jerry Sanders has come up with a creative name for its latest political venture: Women in Leadership Supporting Bonnie Dumanis for Supervisor 2018. On October 5, the chamber’s PAC transferred a total of $150,000 to the new group, which spent $42,900 for polling the same day. Four days earlier, filings show, Newland Sierra, LLC — battling North County’s Golden Door beauty spa over county permits to build a sprawling 2135-unit development nearby — gave $5000 to the chamber’s PAC, followed a day later with $25,000 from the Sycuan gambling tribe. The Golden Door is funding a referendum drive in an effort to overturn a 4-0 vote by the all-Republican board of supervisors last month approving Newland Sierra’s project.
Meanwhile, an independent expenditure committee backing Dumanis’s opponent Nathan Fletcher, who is married to Assembly Democrat Lorena Gonzalez, came up with $15,000 on October 9 from the California Applicants Attorneys Association PAC. According to its website, the Sacramento-based group “has dedicated itself to helping Californians that get hurt on the job heal and get back to work. As a Teamsters affiliate, we proudly represent 25,000 union members every year. Our headquarters are down the street from the State Capitol in Sacramento and we’re always present at the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation meetings in Oakland.”
Other California legislative cash provided to the Fletcher cause in the weeks before November’s election has included a total $25,000 from the California Medical Association Independent Expenditure Committee.
In days of yore, the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company of Marysville, Ohio, was best known for marketing Turf Builder, Monsanto’s Roundup pesticide, and an array of other chemical assists to keep garden flowers blooming and lawns an extreme green. Then in 2014, Scotts formed a subsidiary, the Hawthorne Gardening Company of Vancouver, Washington, “to focus primarily on the emerging areas of indoor and urban gardening products.” Hawthorne, says the firm’s website, is “a house of brands that provide an incredible array of tools and services for a multitude of gardening needs and yet all share one mission: to help people live happier, healthier lives through gardening,” though it primarily caters to the hydroponic cultivation of marijuana.
“California’s better than 50% of our business. I think 53%-54% of our total revenue is just in California,” Hawthorne’s general manager Chris Hagedorn told Marijuana Business Daily October 10. “The reality is a high percentage of this marketplace is being grown indoors. Not in a greenhouse — indoors. So, when you’re having to completely master the environment, humidity, temperature, light levels, controlling pests, controlling CO2 and nitrogen levels, it’s a really complicated thing when you’re completely in control of the environment.”
Despite legalization in California and elsewhere, local regulations have clouded the picture, causing pot-related stocks to gyrate. “We ask ourselves two questions: ‘Have people stopped consuming THC?’ The answer clearly is no. We know that. More and more people are consuming THC. We check that box. We also ask, ‘Have our products gone completely out of style? Like overnight?’ Again, we feel pretty confident.”
Part of the strategy is to give big money to local politics, including the San Diego Association of Cannabis Professionals political action committee, which got $10,000 from Hawthorne on September 21. The PAC is backing La Mesa city councilman Bill Baber’s reelection bid with $2000.
As seen on TV
The Los Angeles Times, under new ownership by billionaire physician Patrick Soon-Shiong, is going Hollywood, per a recent appearance by newspaper executives at an L.A. event called NewFronts West, sponsored by the Interactive Advertising Bureau. The paper “plans to launch two podcasts in the first quarter of 2019, aiming to replicate the franchise-building success of Dirty John. That series went from print to 27 million downloads worldwide, an Oxygen documentary and an upcoming Bravo series, with Season 2 following a different true-crime story in the works,” reports AdWeek. “The first new podcast project, tentatively titled Big Willie, will follow a local street racing veteran and Vietnam veteran, examining his eccentric career and checkered legacy; the second, Room 20, centered on an unidentified car crash victim who has been in a coma for 17 years, will piece together clues about the man’s life.”
Meanwhile, Soon-Shiong’s other daily newspaper, the San Diego Union-Tribune, currently offers “The Conversation,” a locally-grown podcast with titles including “Why do newspapers still do endorsements,” “Will California Elect a Republican governor next?” and “Who gets to keep the dog in a divorce?” Last month the paper hyped a five-episode podcast as part of what it called a multimedia project “that explains how immigrants have come to live in San Diego County and the struggles that have shaped their experiences.”