Sara’s PAC blow-up
When 75-year-old Democrat Susan Davis announced she was finally going to give up her seat in Congress, House Armed Services Chairman Adam Smith was quick to dispatch a press release of praise. “As one of the House Armed Services Committee’s most senior members,” said Smith’s statement, “Congresswoman Davis understands profoundly that America’s military potential can only be realized through the care for, and support of, its members and their families.”
Davis, a consistent foe of defense spending cuts, is a favorite among mega-dollar military contractors, which have been contributing mightily to her reelection cause for decades through their political action committees. Among defense contractor donors kicking in so far this year are Cubic Corporation, with $5000 on February 21; Employees of Northrup Grumman Corporation PAC ($2500, June 28); Raytheon Company Political Action Committee ($2500, June 30); Lockheed Martin Corporation Employees’ Political Action Committee ($1000, May 9); the Boeing Company Political Action Committee ($1000, March 31); and Science Applications International Corporation Voluntary Political Action Committee ($1000, March 27). BAE Systems, Inc. PAC came up with a total of $2000 in March and June. Leidos PAC gave a total of $2000 in February and June.
In all, Davis picked up $16,000 from major military vendors during the first half of this year, compared with $13,000 from public sector unions, according to the website OpenSecrets.org. Her reelection committee raised a total of $93,639 and ended the first six months of the year with $210,673 on hand, which likely will be handed out to fellow Democrats. PAC contributions represented 82.76 percent of the haul.
Davis’s would-be successor, Democrat Sara Jacobs, granddaughter of Qualcomm billionaire co-founder Irwin Jacobs who has spent millions for her election cause, vows on her campaign website “I’m not taking a DIME of corporate PAC money.”
Too hot to audit
Lack of lab and laser safety is raising unacceptable risks at California State University San Marcos, says a September 16 report by California State University chief auditor Larry Mandel. “100 percent of employees assigned to laser safety and biosafety awareness training had not completed it.”
Compounding the school’s safety woes, the report adds, “42 percent of employees assigned to bloodborne pathogens training had not completed it,” and “38 percent of assigned employees assigned to radiation safety training had not completed it.” Besides that, “at three locations, HAZWASTE had been accumulating for longer than one year.” School officials promised to fix the problems by early 2020.
Covered in Gloria
The coffers of so-called independent expenditure committees set up to advance the San Diego mayoral cause of Assembly Democrat Todd Gloria have been swiftly growing. The latest, San Diegans from Every Community in Support of Todd Gloria for Mayor, has raked in $190,000 through the end of June, according to an October 1 disclosure filing. Strange bedfellows in the group of special interests backing Gloria include the California Apartment Association PAC, with $10,000 on June 30; the Southern California District Council of Laborers PAC ($50,000, June 28); El Cajon’s Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation ($15,000, June 27) and Del Mar-based politics maven Mel Katz ($10,000, June 25).
Owed $7800 at the end of the reporting period was Public Policy Partners, the lobbying and politics shop run by Nancy Chase, a onetime confidant of two fallen mayors, Republican Roger Hedgecock and Democrat Bob Filner. Her daughter, Molly Chase, a former Filner protocol aide, is now campaign manager for San Diego City Council Democrat Chris Ward, currently seeking the Assembly seat Gloria is vacating to run for mayor. Meanwhile, a separate independent expenditure group formed on September 3 to back Gloria’s mayoral hopes has quietly folded up shop.
As noted here on September 11, the fund’s name, One San Diego, is already in use by Kevin Faulconer’s charity operation, which garners glowing TV coverage for the termed-out GOP mayor by handing out free turkeys and backpacks. Also, the Gloria-backing committee’s principal officer, political operative Samantha Stevens of Reseda, had been sued for gender discrimination while employed by Service Employees International Union, otherwise known as SEIU. The complaint charged that Stevens told an SEIU worker tasked to meet then-Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa that “We both know that the only reason you’re getting this assignment is that you have bigger boobs.” Stevens denied the accusation and the matter was privately settled out of court. On September 25, two weeks after it was formed, the pro-Gloria version of One San Diego filed a termination statement with the city clerk’s office.