At the March 5 meeting of the Rancho Santa Fe Association’s Political Action Committee, the board authorized the expenditure of up to $10,000 to make contributions to 2020 San Diego County Board of Supervisors races.
The Political Action Committee (PAC) was formed back in 1985 to help the Association play a more active role in elections, pending litigation and lobbying for county issues that directly concern the community. According to RSF Association Manager Christy Whalen, the PAC had been mostly inactive since 2015. Most recently, PAC funds were used for the Association’s lawsuit against the Santa Fe Irrigation District over its rate schedule and increases.
While Rancho Santa Fe’s representative Supervisor Jim Desmond is not up for re-election, three of the five supervisor seats are up for grabs in November.
In District 1, State Senator Ben Hueso will face off against Southwestern Community College board member Nora Vargas or San Diego Port Commissioner Rafa Castellanos (at press time it was still a tight race for the second place with 90,000 ballots to be counted).
In District 2 former State Senator Joel Anderson and Poway Mayor Steve Vaus will be up for election to replace Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who has held the seat for 28 years; and in District 3 incumbent Kristin Gaspar will face challenger Terra Lawson-Remer, an economist and professor at UC San Diego.
Whalen said the Association does not anticipate endorsing any candidate but the authorization will give them the ability to possibly underwrite candidate events and allow their voices to be heard on county issues that impact Rancho Santa Fe such as roundabouts, road maintenance and utility undergrounding. RSF Association Vice President Mike Gallagher said over the last year the Association has worked to build a strong relationship with Supervisor Desmond and having similar relationships with the other supervisors will go a long way toward getting needed infrastructure projects done in the Covenant.
Last year, the board approved issuing a call for optional donations to the PAC that was sent to the membership with their assessment mailings. The board settled on a suggested amount of $80 and they received “so-so results,” about $1,100 so far. On March 5, the board said the Association should consider a stronger push to increase participation and awareness and might explore the option of multiple giving levels.
There is a currently a balance of about $275,000 in the PAC account.