Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Why do businesses give shoo-in Greg Cox such big campaign contributions?

The San Diego Reader's Susan Luzzaro has some questions, and some possible answers, about San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox's campaign donors.San Diego Reader
Big War Chest, No War
By Susan Luzzaro
May 21, 2008

"...Greg Cox has been a San Diego County supervisor since 1995, and he will be a candidate again on the June 3 ballot. He represents District 1, the southern part of the county, which includes Chula Vista, where his wife is mayor, and Otay Mesa. Cox’s opponent, Howard Johnson, says his campaign has only $20,000.

"The total amount Cox has collected for his war chest, $280,000, is remarkable because it is so unnecessary. Why are people donating sizable amounts to a shoo-in? A look at Cox’s campaign donations between July 2007 and March 2008 is equally remarkable for what they reveal about what’s going on in his district.

"...In the second half of 2007, employees of San Diego Gas & Electric and its parent company, Sempra Energy, gave Greg Cox $6150. SDG&E has been pushing hard to get the Sunrise Powerlink project approved. Supervisor Cox and Mayor Cox have given strong public support to the controversial project.

"Worth mentioning is that the Coxes have investments in three companies located on Otay Mesa: Medtronic Inc., Copart Inc., and Ethos Environmental. Disgraced former port commissioner David Malcolm is a major stockholder in Ethos Environmental.

"Do campaign contributions affect the future? Ask the Coxes. A February 1995 Union-Tribune article reported, “In the six weeks before Greg Cox was appointed to the Board of Supervisors, he and his wife made campaign contributions to three of the four county supervisors who would select him to the coveted position.” Dianne Jacob, the one supervisor who did not receive contributions, said she would not have “accepted money under circumstances like that.… It carries the wrong message.”

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