Friday, Aug. 17, 2007 | A campaign committee that guided Mayor Jerry Sanders’ ballot initiatives to victory in November has continued to raise thousands of dollars after the election from donors who have business in front of City Hall for a cause that is currently unknown.
From Election Day through June, San Diegans for City Hall Reform raised $111,950 in political contributions from businesses and individuals that hail overwhelmingly from the real estate industry.
The purpose of the donations is unclear, as nearly all of the donations came several months following the campaign efforts that enacted two pieces of Sanders’ financial recovery platform, propositions B and C. The committee currently serves no specific cause, but has plodded on anyway, stockpiling checks to champion an effort to be named later and pay thousands of dollars to consultants, including the chief strategist for Sanders’ mayoral campaign, to keep an eye on the political scene.
“The question is, why are they giving money now?” said Bob Stern, president of Center of Governmental Studies, a public policy think tank based in Los Angeles.
The committee’s continued existence and activity illustrates one of the lesser known — but more powerful — ways Sanders’ boosters can support the mayor. The fund will likely be used as a political vehicle for Sanders in the June 2008 election, when San Diegans are slated to vote to change the city charter to recalibrate the balance of power between the mayor and City Council.
“I think everyone is assuming there will be something on the June ’08 ballot for charter reform, so we’re just watching the process right now,” said Janette Littler, a consultant for San Diegans for City Hall Reform.