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Prop. C Battle Heats Up After Campaign Contribution Violation


The battle over the city of San Diego’s Managed Competition Initiative, Prop C, is heating up. Supporters say the November ballot measure will save taxpayer money by shifting some city services to the private sector. Opponents say the change will increase the potential for public corruption.

Opponents of Prop. C are calling on all companies that do business with the city of San Diego to reveal their campaign contributions to city officials. Donald Cohen is with the Center on Policy Initiatives. He says Grubb and Ellis, a company that was just fined by the city’s Ethics Commission for contribution violations, was recently awarded a $150,000 no-bid contract in the city’s real estate assets department.


Cohen: “It’s just the kind of ‘pay to play’ that we’re really worried about that Prop C will open the door to.”


But city spokesman Fred Sainz says the mayor knew nothing about the campaign contribution violations, and the contract was completely above board.


Sainz: “But to suggest that there is some sort of nefarious connection between the two is not only factually incorrect but completely irresponsible on the part of employee unions that clearly do not want the city to move forward.


Sainz says under Prop. C, an independent committee will award all contracts.  The mayor and council will only have authority to reject or approve them. He says government would grind to a halt if no contracts could be awarded to anyone who made campaign contributions.


Stacey Fulhorst of the city’s Ethics Commission says full disclosure is the best way to limit potential political backroom deals. She says San Diego does not require that of companies but …


Fulhorst:  “The Ethics Commission is going to recommend proposed changes to the lobbying ordinance.”


Fulhorst says other major cities in California like Los Angeles, do have more disclosure laws for companies that do business with City Hall.  Alison St John, KPBS News.

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