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Hoteliers, Hospitality Industry Back DeMaio Over Other Candidates

Above: Concept photo of the proposed expansion of the San Diego Convention Center.


Aired 4/26/12

Councilman Carl DeMaio strongly supports the convention center expansion and the hotel tax that will fund it. In turn, he’s attracting the financial support of local hoteliers, caterers and event planners in his bid for mayor.


Carl DeMaio

Above: Carl DeMaio

Councilman Carl DeMaio strongly supports the convention center expansion and the hotel tax that will fund it. In turn, he’s attracting the financial support of local hoteliers, caterers and event planners in his bid for mayor.

Our analysis of campaign finance documents shows companies in the hospitality and tourism industry have donated at least $23,000 to DeMaio’s campaign. That’s nearly three times what they’ve donated to his competitors.

As councilman, DeMaio supported the creation of a taxing district that would add a one-to-three-percent surcharge on city hotel rooms. Hotel owners approved that tax on Tuesday.

Included in the industry's donations is $4,175 from members and relatives of the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau board for fiscal years 2012 and 2011. ConVis is a private non-profit group of organizations that market county tourism.

Last month, DeMaio voted with the council majority to approve the switch of convention marketing duties from the public convention center board to ConVis. The move was criticized as a power play to get hotel owners to approve the room tax.

In a brief interview, DeMaio said these donors are no different than his others -- their expectation is that he will "clean up the mess in City Hall."

The convention center expansion has been a main issue in the mayoral race. Candidates District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher approve of the convention center’s expansion, though they have disagreed with the financing plan.

Dumanis’ campaign has received at least $8,600 from the hospitality industry, including $700 from ConVis board members and relatives. Fletcher has received at least $9,150, with $1,100 coming from board members.

Congressman Bob Filner, who opposes the tax and expansion plans, has received less than $300 in donations from hoteliers. No board members contributed to his campaign.

Filner has challenged DeMaio publicly and repeatedly about his support for the tax and the convention center expansion. He jumped on De Maio during a televised debate last week when DeMaio said the hotel tax wasn’t public money.

DeMaio said the center’s expansion was “critical to the economy” and that the transfer of marketing to ConVis would better the chances of bringing large events to the city. He also defended the hotel surcharge.

“The last two convention center expansions involved public money through the TOT, transient occupancy tax,” DeMaio said. “Under my Convention Center expansion proposal, the hoteliers will have to take the responsibility for financing the expansion.”

He added: “I believe that’s fair because taxpayers funded phase one and phase two of the convention center. It’s time for the business community to take the responsibility of phase three.”

Filner challenged the assertion.

“How can you call the vote on the transient occupancy tax not taxpayer-funded?” Filner asked. “It is a public tax and you’ve given the right to vote on that to a private group.”

To analyze the donations candidates received from the hospitality industry, Investigative Newsource looked for any donation from a person or company involved with area hotels, lodging, catering, parking or event planning, as well as any donations from board members listed on the ConVis website for fiscal years 2011 and 2012.

You can see our list of identified donors here.

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Avatar for user 'Roberto Rolando Salinas'

Roberto Rolando Salinas | April 26, 2012 at 12:11 p.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

It is a laughable contradiction and once again exposes DeMaio's self delusion. DeMaio defends his vote by claiming the added surcharge is not taxpayer money. He also asserts that having Con Vis take over the marketing duties from the Public Convention Center Board is vital to the economy of the city. The only economic interest DeMaio is concerned with is the same, good ole boy, economic power elite that control city and county government. You have to give DeMaio credit for his relentless rush to crush the working class and mostly working poor that serve his corporate paymasters. Ask the maids, and others employed by the hoteliers if they are paid a living wage. As the anti-consumer, anti-union, anti-poor, anti-voter, Republican Party war rages locally and nationally, DeMaio's motives become even more questionable. Socialism for the rich, and rugged individualism for the rest of us, has to be stopped!! By, for, and of the economic Oligarchy, were not the intentions for Democracy. Power To The People!!!!!

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Avatar for user 'laplayaheritage'

laplayaheritage | April 26, 2012 at 2:51 p.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

Please see our Alternative plan for a public vote on November 6, 2012 to increase the City of San Diego's Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) by an additional 5 percent.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | April 26, 2012 at 4:02 p.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

*"Congressman Bob Filner, who opposes the tax and expansion plans"*

Is this an accurate statement?

I watched the KPBS debate, and Filner, while clear on opposing the tax, said he is in favor of the convention center expansion.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | April 26, 2012 at 4:13 p.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

And how is ths news?

It's about as shocking as saying, "Romney's wife supports Willard Romney for President."

This is classic **pay for play** and precisely the type of self-promoting back room deal Dirty Carl is known for.

While many politicians are corrupt, few reach the level of scum sucking bottom feeders who literally have no moral bounds when it comes to building their own political fortune like Dirty Carl.

Under a DeMaio regime, the public is **out** and special interests like his groomed hotelier gang is **in**.

I know many have seen this website:

But I would like to direct citizens to an article I read yesterday in CityBeat:

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | April 26, 2012 at 4:48 p.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

Dirty Carl is so foul and so corrupt, CityBeat felt compelled to construct an a-z catalogue documenting the reasons to vote against this hack, listed in alphabetical order.

Dirty Carl had positioned himself as a successful politician **not** by representing his constituents, but rather by cultivating relationships with key interests that help prop him up as their puppet.

Case in point, two of he most prominent media outlets in San Diego have fingered Dirty Carl as their boy, their hack, their heir-apparent rubber stamp cronie whose ample bottom planted firmly in a certainly steel-reinforced mayor's seat would give them both a tentacle into city hall with which they would be able to slide their far right agendas directly into the city's political g-spot and manipulate their way to special treatment from a docile and very willing bought-and-sold DeMaio.

These two journalistically-void media outlets are:

(1) *KUSI: news for the small minded*

An absolute joke, this local "news" station is so blatantly biased and pro-DeMaio, it's as jaundiced as a hepatic event triggered by decades of swigging the swill of poison known as blind obedience to the local GOP Political Bosses.

Even something as usually benign as weather reporing has been tainted by the unprofessional bias of this pathetic "news" station (cue the loony, twirling Old Man Coleman who holds **no** science degree but uses his rickety old crank voice and position as weather man to spew his anti-science denier crucade).

*KUSI: News For The Small Minded* has directly participted in pro-DeMaio events, and the inept airheads they put on TV to deliver their version of "news" are eerily reminiscent of the dopes on *"Fox 'N' Friends"* who are publicly campaigning for Willard Romney and always having to retract false information that repeatedly emanates from their fake smiles.

(2) The *Pravda UT*

A print media outlet so biased and so unprofessional that I actually overheard two men on the street referring to it as the *"San Diego Urinal".

Quite appropriate considering urine is the color yellow and the *Pravda UT* is an entity that puts out yellow-colored waste not fit for anything other than disposal in the bowels of our city.

This joke of a media outlet has long been nationally regarded as an unprofessional mouthpiece for local GOP bosses, but once shanty developer cum homophobic political activist cum mistress keeping slime-bag cum divorcee cum journalism molester Papa Manchester bought it, it became an unreal piece of garbage most people wouldn't even line a bird's cage with.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | April 26, 2012 at 4:48 p.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago


Without surprise, Papa Puke fingered the ready and willing Dirty Carl for his boy at city hall. His boy who will listen to and obey his Papa Doug. His boy who knows Papa Doug's favors don't come for free.

Electing Dirty Carl would in essence be electing Papa Doug as mayor, because Dirty Carl is the perfect puppet for Papa Puke's ploy to play partisan politics and poop on the people while propagating his perilous political pestilence and plutocratic Papaganda.

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