More special interest cash rolls into Filner's political fund

Embattled mayor collects $39,400 from variety of those with business at city hall; money pays for ex-Hedgecock aide Tom Shepard and San Francisco political law firm

As previously reported here, San Diego mayor Bob Filner, now under fire in a sexual harassment scandal, has since February been accumulating money in a fund called the Mayor Bob Filner for San Diego Committee.

At the time, speculation about the move, which Filner wouldn't comment on, centered on a possible recall attack on the mayor by the trio of well-heeled hotel moguls then seeking to force Filner to sign a lucrative city contract they thought they'd obtained from GOP ex-mayor Jerry Sanders, a major beneficiary of hotel owner cash.

With Filner in even hotter water today, the fund could prove a crucial source of money as he clings to his seat in the face of a barrage of media fire from the likes of New York liberal talk show host Rachael Maddow and Koch-brothers connected conservative U-T San Diego publisher Douglas Manchester.

As reported here in May, $10,000 for the Filner fund has come from San Diego real estate developments with ties to billionaire Zygi Wilf, owner with his family of the NFL's Minnesota Vikings.

According to a report the committee filed yesterday, posted online by the city clerk's office, Filner's committee collected a total of $39,400 in the first half of the year.

In addition to Wilf's cash, $10,000 came in on June 11 from Duty Free Americas, the huge duty free U.S.-Mexico border store operation run by the Falic family of Hollywood, Florida, big financial friends of Democrat Filner since his congressional days.

Big residential developer Pardee Homes gave $2500 on May 16, and Southwest Strategies, the lobbying shop owned by ex-Tribune reporter Al Ziegaus that has represented everyone from a marijuana vending machine operation to Fox Sports in its efforts to parry a U-T San Diego "Padres to the People" campaign, came up with $2000 on June 6.

Another big donor, the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, which owns an East County casino, along with the Grant Hotel downtown and other real estate interests, is listed as having given $10,000 on April 18. But on April 25, according to the filing, the money was refunded.

Grocery workers union UFCW Local 135 gave $9900 on May 13.

Expenses included $4110 paid to political consultant KM Strategies, along with $1500 paid to Tom Shepard, Filner's now-departed political consultant whose earlier experience with political scandal has included copping a plea in the Roger Hedgecock J. David Dominelli campaign finance case.

Sutton Law Firm of San Francisco, whose specialty is political law, got $3375.

The fund ended the period with $32,531 in the bank and outstanding debts of $6713.

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