The Impact of Lobbying Laws on Politics in Chula Vista, CA

Malcolm had a dream of one day becoming wealthy. Growing up in Chula Vista, California, David L. was a poor child with a vision. An attorney from outside the city investigated the lawsuit against McCann and filed a complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission, claiming that the issue of legal defense funding was a state matter, not a local one.

For years, elected officials in Chula Vista have been striving to clarify the city's campaign finance regulations to guarantee fairness. The Sierra Club took legal action against the Coastal Commission for approving the Chula Vista plan to construct a multi-million dollar bayfront hotel and convention center. Former commission president Melvin Nutter, who opposed the project, stated that he had a conversation with Malcolm in which Councilman Malcolm mentioned his friendship with Assemblyman Brown and asked Nutter to vote in favor of the Chula Vista plan. Although Brown and Malcolm have been seen together at several events, such as when they arrived by helicopter in May at an industrial park owned by De La Fuente for its grand opening ceremony in Otay Mesa, it is uncertain how strong their political bond is.

Candidates who are attempting to make their names known to Chula Vista voters often spend more than they receive in donations, and this difference is reflected in disclosure reports as a cumulative expense. Political agents said that there are valid reasons why bills may not be paid immediately, but they acknowledged that there is public interest in stopping bad actors and eliminating confusion. Malcolm's insistence on using Brown as a political tool has sometimes raised questions, whether it is part of a political hoax or not. In July 4th, Malcolm watched the Statue of Liberty show from the deck of a ship as a guest of San Diego businessman Roque de la Fuente II and was accompanied by several politicians from Washington, including the representative.

Others present were Chula Vista Mayor Greg Cox and several ophthalmologists and surgeons from Chula Vista who had hired Malcolm as a consultant. He lives with his wife and two young children in Coronado Cays, an exclusive neighborhood of expensive homes and yachts on San Diego Bay, just across from Chula Vista. However, Nutter said that there is no doubt that Malcolm was pressuring his colleagues heavily to support the Chula Vista Bay construction plan and used Brown's name to do so. He believes that the language of the current regulations is clear enough but acknowledges that the provisions of the Chula Vista Municipal Code on fundraising and candidate debt have not been enforced.

Malcolm is currently a councilman for the city of Chula Vista and has become an influential figure on a larger political stage as a member of the state's Coastal Commission.

Cathleen Read
Cathleen Read

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