Home » Feature Story, Top Highlights » Anti-LGBT money surfaces in mayoral race

Anti-LGBT money surfaces in mayoral race

Gay News - San Diego

The race to succeed termed out Mayor Jerry Sanders is turning out to be an historic election. Two of the major candidates are members of the LGBT community. Both are Republicans; they are openly lesbian District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and openly gay City Councilman Carl DeMaio.

Yet it is the remaining two straight candidates vying for the mayor’s office – Democratic Congressman Bob Filner and Republican state Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher – who have been endorsed by two of the most high-profile local LGBT political groups. San Diego Democrats for Equality has endorsed Bob Filner, while the Log Cabin Republicans of San Diego County endorsed Nathan Fletcher in October of last year.

According to each of the campaigns’ disclosures, the candidates have raised a total of $2,380,552.83. Leading in both fundraising and polling, Carl DeMaio raised $965,943.50 in 2011 besting his nearest rival, Nathan Fletcher, who raised $744,373.21. Bonnie Dumanis came in third place with $462,749.00, and trailing far behind was Bob Filner who raised just $213,487.12. Councilmember DeMaio’s total includes a personal contribution of $405,792. This means that Nathan Fletcher, who trails in the polls, bested the front-runner by $184,221.71 in non-personal contributions.

We know how much the candidates have raised; but where is all that money coming from? Perhaps more importantly, does any of it come from donors who have financed anti-LGBT equality causes?

San Diego LGBT Weekly took a look at contributions made to campaigns and political action committees controlled by the four mayoral candidates.

Some community activists – especially those loyal to DeMaio – have called into question contributions to Nathan Fletcher by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his family who have made large contributions to anti-LGBT causes.

Yet, we found, through a search of public campaign finance records, that 42 individuals who donated to Proposition 8 also donated an aggregate amount of $121,245 to committees controlled by DeMaio – including $11,245 that was donated by 41 individuals to Carl DeMaio for Mayor 2012.

One of those individuals, Brian Caster, gave $10,000 to Reforming City Hall with Carl DeMaio. Developer and now Union Tribune owner, Doug Manchester gave $100,000 to a campaign committee controlled by DeMaio in 2005, according to OpenSecrets.org.

Brian Caster is a member of the same family who owns “A-1 Self Storage” and who donated $693,000 to Proposition 8 proponents in 2008.

Doug Manchester’s former property, the Manchester Hyatt, was famously boycotted by several groups because he donated $125,000 in support of Prop. 8.

Contributions in support of Proposition 8 that were donated by “the DeMaio 42” total more than $890,000.

San Diego LGBT Weekly also found that Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher’s campaign committee accepted donations from 15 individuals who also gave to Proposition 8. One of those donors, Claire K.T. Reiss, the owner and president of Reisung Enterprises, gave an eye-popping $1 million to support Prop. 8. Reiss and her fellow Prop. 8 proponents gave a total of $7,900 to Nathan Fletcher for Mayor 2012.

Among donors who have supported the Bonnie Dumanis for Mayor 2012 campaign are three individuals who gave a total of $800 to the Dumanis campaign, and a total of $2,900 toward the campaign to get Prop. 8 passed.

The only candidate who had no Proposition 8 financial supporters on his donor list was the lone Democrat, Congressman Bob Filner.

It is important to note that each candidate has expressed support for LGBT causes including marriage equality. Donations to candidate campaign committees can be found on the City of San Diego’s Web site and donations to Proposition 8 were found in disclosures filed with the California secretary of state’s office.

(Disclosure: Will Rodriguez-Kennedy is a supporter of Nathan Fletcher for Mayor and a former independent contractor for Reforming City Hall with Carl DeMaio.)

Candidate Overall money raised in 2011 Total funds raised from contributors who gave to anti-LGBT causes Total funds contributors gave to anti-LGBT causes
Councilman Carl DeMaio (R) $965,943.50 $121,245 $1,240,066
Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher (R) $744,373.21 $7,900 $1,044,074
District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis (R) $462,749.00 $800 $2,900
Congressman Bob Filner (D) $213,487.12 $0 $0

Sources: City of San Diego; The Office of the Secretary of State of California, OpenSecrets.org and the Federal Election Commission.



Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=21128

Posted by LGBT Weekly on Feb 23, 2012. Filed under Feature Story, Top Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

4 Comments for “Anti-LGBT money surfaces in mayoral race”

  1. It’s nice to see LGBT donors do not automatically endorse or contribute to a candidate simply because he or she is a member of that community. As one who worked for Bonnie Dumanis in Drug Court while she was a judge at San Diego Superior Court, I can tell you that she leveled false charges against me (Does poor work, not a team player, etc.) because I would not work overtime without pay (THAT’S illegal, by the way). When my supervisor told me of the charges, I said I was shocked, and would definitely fight the charges as they were baseless and trumped up. My supervisor later came to me and said Judge Dumanis had reconsidered and would withdraw the charges if I left my position in Drug Court. I know I should have insisted on a hearing in order to bring this blatant attempt to frame an employee to light, but I did not. I returned to the Presiding Department of Superior Court where, in 2011, I received an award for Achievement Above and Beyond the Call of Duty. Any thought that I might lack understanding of people in recovery is also groundless, as just last week I celebrated 22 years of sobriety myself. Ms. Dumanis says she insists on honesty, ethics, and professionalism in the District Attorney’s office. As one who Ms. Dumanis personally attempted to “railroad” with totally fabricated charges, I find that hard to believe. The mayor’s race must be about the candidates’ history, their visions for our future, and their integrity. Regarding Ms. Dumanis, YOU be the judge.

  2. It’s hard to believe that any LGBTQ would vote for ANY Republican no matter what their stated position is on your issues. Repubs are anti-woman and anti-family. Stand with us and vote ONLY for a Democrat. Please look beyond your own issues to wider ones. Democrats support LGBTQ AND family planning, women and contraception.

  3. This article is factually incorrect. The bulk of the contributions that Will Kennedy is pointing to DeMaio actually went to ballot measures and pacs NOT the DeMaio for Mayor campaign. Many of those contributions made BEFORE Prop 8. Additionally Will fails to points to Fletcher’s Assembly donations. Another factually incorrect hit piece.

    • Jeff, thank you for your comment. A review of the article reveals that, indeed, Will Rodriguez-Kennedy reported what you’ve asserted he did not report: That is to say the article makes it plain that the aggregate numbers include monies received by the candidates’ mayoral campaigns AND donations received by other campaigns CONTROLLED by those candidates.

      From the article in question:


      San Diego LGBT Weekly took a look at contributions made to campaigns and political action committees controlled by the four mayoral candidates.

      Regarding Councilman DeMaio specifically (also from the article):


      Yet, we found, through a search of public campaign finance records, that 42 individuals who donated to Proposition 8 also donated an aggregate amount of $121,245 to committees controlled by DeMaio – including $11,245 that was donated by 41 individuals to Carl DeMaio for Mayor 2012.

      As far as the fact that some of the contributions in question were made by anti-marriage-equality donors BEFORE Prop. 8, that too was made clear. Again, from the article:


      One of those individuals, Brian Caster, gave $10,000 to Reforming City Hall with Carl DeMaio. Developer and now Union Tribune owner, Doug Manchester gave $100,000 to a campaign committee controlled by DeMaio in 2005, according to OpenSecrets.org…

      I fear you may have missed the point of the article. It was merely a snapshot of the types of supporters (relative to their stances on LGBT civil rights) who are supporting the mayoral candidates. It’s not unreasonable to presume that donors who, in 2008 were opponents to same-sex marriage rights were, in 2005, also of that same anti-equality opinion.

      Again, thank you for your comment. It’s vigilant readers such as yourself who keep us on our toes. -ED.

Leave a Reply

Pride Card Deals

LGBT Weekly Digital Magazine

© 2014 LGBT Weekly. All Rights Reserved. Log in - Website by BluSkye Group