Inside the Mayor’s Nonprofit That’s Not Really the Mayor’s Nonprofit
The lines separating the mayor’s nonprofit and the mayor’s political ambitions are pretty blurry. Technically, the mayor has nothing to do with One San Diego. But the branding matches his political campaigns, the nonprofit is run by his political allies and his wife is its “honorary chair.”
Everybody was on the list earlier this month when Mayor Kevin Faulconer headlined a fundraiser for his new charity. There was Bank of America, Cox, Sempra Energy, Wells Fargo, Pardee Homes and many more.
Those powerhouse companies were named as partners and event sponsors for the fundraiser for One San Diego, the nonprofit created soon after Faulconer took office last year. All frequently have business interests tied to City Hall decisions. And yet, none of the companies’ donations – not the amount nor when they were given – has been made public, and it’s unlikely they ever will be.
The donations aren’t subject to the strict disclosure laws that govern campaigns and City Hall lobbying because they’re not for campaigns and City Hall lobbying.
But it’s impossible to miss the close ties between One San Diego and the efforts to boost Faulconer’s standing in advance of his re-election bid next year and any future run for higher office. The people who donate to One San Diego certainly know this, said Richard Hasen, a law professor at UC Irvine and expert in campaign finance.