Monday, January 27, 2014

Campaign finance scandal, endorsements, and new poll in San Diego

Time for the next update on San Diego election news since Debate, endorsements, and a poll from KPBS in San Diego.  For once, the lead story isn't the current Mayor's contest.  Instead, it's a campaign finance scandal involving a foreign national funneling money to candidates, which is illegal.  Under the policy of "if it moves, it leads," here's the video about the story from KPBS: San Diego Politicians Return Illegal Campaign Donations.

A former U.S. Attorney said the former San Diego mayoral candidates did not violate any law if they didn't know the source of the money was illegal.
More at the article accompanying the video.
Congressman Juan Vargas said he'll return any money his campaign might have received from a Mexican businessman at the center of a federal campaign finance probe.

Vargas did not confirm that his campaign had in fact received the funds, but a source told KPBS that Vargas is "Candidate 2" listed in a federal complaint unsealed this week.

The complaint said retired San Diego police Detective Ernesto Encinas approached Candidate 2's campaign for federal office in 2012 to offer a contribution on behalf of a foreign national, now confirmed to be Mexican billionaire Jose Susomo Azano Matsura.
Follow over the jump for more on the scandal, other campaign finance news, and the latest in endorsements and polls.

KPBS: San Diego Campaign Finance Scandal: Tracing The Donations
By Brad Racino, Joe Yerardi
Originally published January 23, 2014 at 4:59 p.m., updated January 24, 2014 at 4:09 p.m.
San Diego’s newest scandal involving a “conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States” broke Tuesday after a sealed federal court complaint was made public. It involved Ernesto Encinas, a retired San Diego detective; Ravneet Singh, a D.C.-based “campaign guru;” an unnamed “foreign national,” an unnamed “straw donor,” unnamed informants and a slew of politicians only referred to in the complaint as numbered “Candidates.”

In short, the U.S. Attorney’s Office is alleging that a lot of money was funneled into San Diego politics illegally during the 2012, 2013 and 2014 election cycles.
KPBS: “Foreign National” Azano Is “Almost A Legend” In Mexico
By Leo Castaneda / inewsource
Friday, January 24, 2014
Jose Susumo Azano Matsura, the foreign national at the center of a local campaign finance scandal, is a little-known figure in the U.S., but back home in Mexico, he has a reputation as a billionaire who reportedly moves in high government circles.

Mexican newspapers and periodicals have for years followed Azano’s business dealings, his political connections, and his monumental fight with Sempra Energy over land for a liquified natural gas plant in Ensenada. El Sol de Tijuana newspaper calls him “almost a legend.”
As you can see, this news has sucked all the oxygen out of the room for the Mayor's race.  KPBS has more about campaign finance that isn't a scandal, but probably should be in  PACs Funnel Big Money To Mayoral Hopefuls From Mystery Donors by Joe Yerardi on Wednesday, January 22, 2014.
Last Friday, Jan. 17, the San Diego Jobs Political Action Committee made a $25,000 donation to support City Councilman Kevin Faulconer’s bid for San Diego mayor.

In making the donation, San Diego Jobs achieved membership in a rarefied club — those who had given at least $100,000 to the mayor’s race. Of the 12 such donors in the race, 11 are political committees of various sorts, like the Jobs PAC.

The Jobs PAC is affiliated with business interests. It’s sponsored by the Downtown San Diego Partnership. What is not known publicly is exactly where its money is coming from.

That’s because PACs generally have different rules from committees that explicitly support a candidate. Those committees must regularly disclose their donors—in some cases every day.
More standard news follows in  San Diego Mayor’s Race: Endorsements, New Plans And Press Conference Campaigning by Sandhya Dirks on Wednesday, January 22, 2014.
With Election Day looming, it is no surprise that mayoral candidates and Councilmen David Alvarez and Kevin Faulconer are like political gophers, popping up everywhere.

In less than three weeks San Diegans will go to the polls and pick their next mayor, and this is one of those points in the race where press conference reporting becomes the name of the game -- candidates stage events and a slew of cameras show up to package it for the evening news.

So what are the latest press conferences all about? Democrat David Alvarez pulled out a big gun, getting a hug and an endorsement from and from U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer.
Finally, some good news for Democrats in  Alvarez, Faulconer Virtually Tied In Most Recent San Diego Mayor Poll by City News Service on Tuesday, January 21, 2014.
San Diego City Councilmen and mayoral candidates David Alvarez and Kevin Faulconer were in a virtual tie in a poll out Tuesday.

Alvarez, a Democrat on the technically nonpartisan City Council, had the support of 46 percent of the 526 likely voters surveyed last week by Public Policy Polling, which was hired to do the poll by the Democratic Party of San Diego County.

Faulconer, a Republican, had 45 percent.

The results conflict with a poll released nine days ago that showed Faulconer up 53 percent to 37 percent. That poll, by SurveyUSA, was conducted on behalf of 10News and UT San Diego.
That beats being 16 points down.

No comments:

Post a Comment