Núñez kicks in for Hueso senate bid

Cash stash controlled by controversial Democratic ex-Assembly Speaker, now employed by national lobbying firm, drops serious campaign change for current member's step up the ladder

A multi-million dollar campaign fund run by former state Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez has contributed $4,100 to the 40th district state senate campaign of fellow Democrat Ben Hueso, re-elected to the Assembly in November.

The contribution was made on January 11, according to a disclosure filing made by Fabian Núñez for Treasurer 2014 that was posted online by the California Secretary of State.

Currently a partner in Mercury Public Affairs, the so-called public strategy firm co-chaired by ex-GOP senator Jim Talent from Missouri and Democrat Fernando James "Freddy" Ferrer, former Borough President of The Bronx, Nunez is said on the company's website to be "of tremendous value to Mercury clients as he is able to tap into his understanding of political, cultural, commercial and government dynamics to help advise and guide clients on the best strategies to employ and the best tactics to use to ensure the best outcome."

In a lobbyist registration statement filed with the California Secretary of State's office on December 17 of last year by Mercury managing director Paul Bauer, the firm disclosed its clients for the coming year of 2013 included the Union Pacific Railroad; Zenith Insurance Company; and Sempra Energy.

As noted here a year ago, Núñez, a big fundraiser for his political friends and allies, is controversial in San Diego for a last-minute sentence reduction granted his imprisoned son by exiting GOP governor Arnold Schwarzenegger:

On his final day in office, Schwarzenegger cut the sentence of Esteban Núñez from 16 years to 7. On Oct. 4, 2008, the 19-year-old and some friends got into a San Diego knife fight that resulted in the death of Luis Santos, a Mesa College student. Nuñez later copped a plea to charges related to the homicide and was sent to state prison.

The governor failed to alert prosecutors or the victim's family before reducing Nuñez's prison time.

Last summer, the senior Núñez blasted Republican San Diego district attorney Bonnie Dumanis, currently running for mayor of San Diego, for filing a lawsuit to reverse his son's sentence reduction.

"When you're dealing with a district attorney," Núñez was quoted as saying, "like we did in San Diego, who clearly, you know, has aspirations and has always had aspirations for higher office, the approach that they took to my son's case, and in particular to him, irrespective of the facts of the actual case — they picked on my son from day one."

Dumanis responded with a statement saying, "The sole purpose of both the criminal prosecution and the civil case filed by our office is to bring justice to the victims of this violent crime, and their families. The DA's office makes prosecutorial decisions based on the evidence and the law, treating defendants the same regardless of who they may be related to."

A year ago Fabian Núñez for Treasurer 2014 had $4.6 million in the bank, a disclosure said.

The committee's most recent financial tally, dated October 24 of last year, disclosed that the committee had $4,444,761 of cash on hand as of October 20. The fund gave $4,400 to Hueso's Assembly re-election bid last year.

Núñez was born in San Diego and lived in Tijuana until he was eight years old, when his family moved to Logan Heights. Hueso is running to succeed fellow Democrat Juan Vargas, who resigned the seat to move on to the U.S. House of Representatives.

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