Out About Town: March 25, 2016

March 25, 2016

SD City Attorney Race
Several high ranking political operatives and lobbyists are working to get Republican Robert Hickey elected as City Attorney. An invitation sent out two weeks ago invited movers and shakers to the home of Ben Haddad, a registered lobbyist and longtime Republican operative. Haddad once served on staff for Pete Wilson and then-SD Mayor Susan Golding. The event was abruptly cancelled this week with the hopes of being rescheduled. Haddad is currently a partner in a local lobbying firm representing clients before the City, including Airbnb, Bridgepoint Education, and Ovations Fanfare which is fighting for concessions contracts at Qualcomm Stadium. Campaign finance laws allow lobbyists and companies that may have issues before the City to raise money and help elect the City Attorney that may have to rule on the legality of issues related to those same parties.

Ramirez Loses Support
Former Chula Vista Councilman Rudy Ramirez failed to secure the endorsement of the Democratic Party this week. Ramirez is running again for the council after having served two four-year terms. Ramirez lost his race for State Assembly in 2014. The Party instead gave its support to Emmanuel Soto, a local educator and member of the Chula Vista Cultural Arts Commission. The other candidates in that race include middle school Principal Eduardo Reyes, and healthcare administrator Marcos Lopez.

Padilla Fighting for Support
Former Councilman and Mayor of Chula Vista Steve Padilla continues his comeback campaign in his quest to win a seat back on the City Council. This week the Democrat went before the Lincoln Club, a pro-business political group that usually backs Republicans. During his interview, Padilla stated that he “in certain circumstances” may oppose Project Labor Agreements, or PLAs, a major political goal for Democrats. Padilla has historically enjoyed the support of labor unions so it will be interesting what they think of his half-hearted support of PLAs. Padilla is locked in a tough race against Jason Paguio, an up-and-coming Republican that has already received the endorsement of his Party.

La Prensa San Diego in China

Our Publisher and CEO Art Castañares spent this week in Shanghai and Wuxi China for meetings with international journalists. Local Chinese journalists held meetings to discuss the evolving openness of media outlets and how local newspapers can better compete in their respective countries. Journalists from Brussels, there when the terrorist attacks occurred on Monday, discussed how some of the most immediate news reports after the bombings came from small, local media outlets. While in Shanghai, he also attended a trade conference with representatives from over 30 countries to discuss exports to emerging countries from the U.S. and especially from California.

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