More on Inbreeding in San Diego Politics: Haven’t We Met Before?

by on March 19, 2014 · 7 comments

in Culture, History, Politics, San Diego

revolving-door-575By Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner

In response to requests I received for the names of people I alluded to in last week’s commentary Too Many Years of Inbreeding Make for a Rotten City San Diego, I’m providing a list of Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s recent appointees, plus a brief description of who they are.

Many names will be familiar to those of you who have been following city affairs over the years. For others, the people on this list may not ring a bell; like the city’s water and sewer pipes they tend to operate beneath the surface. But their organizational interconnectedness and crossovers are readily identifiable by one and all.

(As for interconnectedness, those of you interested in the city hall game of Chinese Checkers will find a good description in this 2009 Reader story. Be assured, the game is still being played.)

Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s leadership team

Stephen Puetz – Chief of Staff
VP at Revolvis/a full-service Republican consulting firm. Campaign manager for Kevin Faulconer. Political consultant for Mark Kersey, Scott Sherman, Carl DeMaio. Staffed Faulconer in Council District 2

Jaymie Bradford — Chief of Policy
Staffed Carl DeMaio, Jerry Sanders, Todd Gloria. Legislative advocate on SANDAG. Internal communications for Building Industry Association. SD Chamber of Commerce public policy committee

Felipe Monroig — Chief of Community Engagement
Attorney. CEO for SD Taxpayers Assn. Carl DeMaio’s chief of staff. Worked for DeMaio’s Performance Institute

Matt AwbreyChief of Communications
Formerly staffed Fauconer D2. SD Chamber of Commerce public policy committee

Craig GustafsonPress Secretary
Former politics reporter at U-T San Diego

Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s transition team

Tony Young
Former SD council president. Former CEO at SD Red Cross. Presumed new chief at Civic San Diego

Steve Cushman
Businessman. Chair, SD Chamber of Commerce. Chair, SD Convention Center. Board of Downtown SD Partnership. Chair at SD Port Commission. SD Red Cross. Special assistant to former mayor Jerry Sanders
Sharon Cloward
Pres, SD Port Tenants Association. Board, SD Convention Center Corp. Board SD Fleet Week Foundation. One of several women accusing former mayor Bob Filner of harassment
Ronne Froman
Rear Admiral U.S. Navy Ret. Former CEO at SD Red Cross. COO in mayor Jerry Sanders administration. Senior VP General Atomics. Married to Linden Blue/ co-owner of General Atomics . Formerly chief of business operations, SD Unified School District. One of several women accusing former mayor Bob Filner of harassment
Aimee Faucett
Chief of staff for councilmembers Kevin Faulconer, Jim Madaffer. Executive VP & COO of SD Regional Chamber of Commerce. (Jerry Saunders’ first hire after taking over Chamber)
Bill Geppert
Former general manager Cox Communications. Past chair SD Regional Chamber Commerce. SD Regional Economic Development Corp. Organized efforts for choosing Faulconer as Republican Party candidate
Kris Michell
CEO Downtown SD Partnership. Former chief of staff to mayors Golding and Sanders. Considered Sanders’ link to the downtown establishment. SD Regional Chamber of Commerce public policy committee. Balboa Park Centennial board. VP govt relations for SD Padres
Vince Mudd
Businessman. SD regional Chamber of Commerce. SD Regional Economic Development Corp. Former Chair SD Red Cross. Advisor to mayor Sanders
Bob Nelson
Advertising, public affairs. Melded consulting agency with public relations firm Porter Novelli – where Kevin Faulconer was VP. SD Port Commission. SD Convention Center Corp
Joseph D. Panetta
President & CEO and a member of the Board of Directors of BIOCOM, trade association for biotech/life science industry. SD regional Chamber of Commerce. SD Regional Economic Development Corp
Faith Bautista
Businesswoman. CEO, Natl Asian American Coalition. Board of SD Regional Chamber of Commerce
Lani Lutar
Former SD Taxpayers Assn. Asian Business Association. Executive Director, Equinox Center
William D. Lynch
Investment banking. Chair of Republican Lincoln Club. Executive committee SD Regional Airport
Jennifer Jacobs
Public relations. Political consultant. Past director SD Lincoln Club. Republican Party central committee.
Ure Kretowicz
Developer. Real estate investment. CEO Cornerstone Communities. Building Industry Assn-PAC. SD Lincoln Club Entangled in legal actions with Coastal Commission regarding each access via his La Jolla home
Michael Zucchet
Former city councilman. General manager SD Municipal Employees Assn
Brian Marvel
Nicole Murray-Ramirez
Columnist for the LGBT Weekly. Member of Human Rights Commission
Father Joe Carroll
Dan Hom
Businessman. Asian Business Association. Political candidate for Chula Vista council seat
Tony Manolatos
Former Faulconer aide. Pres, By George Strategies. Former U-T reporter
Sam Bedwell
Administrator, SD American African Coalition
Adbur-Rahim Hameed
Susan Jester
Public relations. Pres. Log Cabin Republicans. AIDS Walk San Diego
Byeong Dae Kim
Businessman. Chair Korean-American Assn of SD. Pres., Korean Chamber of Commerce
Pastor Rickey Laster
Blanca Lopez Brown
Teacher/businesswoman. Political candidate for District 4 city council office
Kristen Victor
Building consultant, founder of Sustainability Matters
Pastor Walter G. Wells
Barbara Ybarra
Leslie Kilpatrick

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie March 19, 2014 at 1:26 pm

Norma, what a great list – a wikipedia of who’s who in local GOP & establishment politics – thanks so much.


Norma Damashek March 19, 2014 at 1:51 pm

I was surprised to find so many of Carl DeMaio’s people ensconced in mayor Kevin Faulconer’s inner circle. Makes me wonder if Doug Manchester got his way after all — DeMaio may have been his first choice but Faulconer could turn out to be a more personable, pliable minion.


judi curry March 19, 2014 at 9:38 pm

What a tremendous list, Norma. I wonder how many people will try to refute these people?


outside on-looker March 20, 2014 at 11:55 am

I liked the article about how city staff keeps getting recirculated at city hall. It would be interesting to do an article on who are the city hall “insiders” and who are the “outsiders” seeking the district 2 appointment. One Council Member has a former Chief of Staff and current Chief of Staff in the mix and other candidates for the position have connections as well. Isn’t it time to stop the incestuous back room deals and insider trading that the article speaks about?


Norma Damashek March 20, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Nothing in politics is ever black or white. There are certainly advantages to having old-time staffers /repeat performers in council offices. It takes a long time to master city and state regulations and understand how the city runs — knowledge that few newly-elected council members have when they step into office. Good intentions, good heart, good work habits aren’t necessarily good enough to run a good office.

On the other hand, the advantages of having an outside, heavy-duty, private fraternity with members who continually recirculate are considerable fewer. At least where the public is concerned.


UNWASHEDwalmartTHONG March 21, 2014 at 9:00 am

Sharp teeth make a perfect smile.


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