City rehires lobbying firms

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downtown-san-diego SAN DIEGO – Two lobbying firms whose contracts former Mayor Bob Filner ended were rehired by the city to nurture San Diego friendly legislation at the state and federal levels, interim Mayor Todd Gloria said Thursday.

Patton Boggs LLP will handle San Diego interests in Washington, D.C., and Sloat Higgins Jensen and Associates will work primarily in Sacramento, Gloria said.

“We need to make sure someone is advocating for San Diego’s interests on the national and the state level,” Gloria said. “We haven’t had this representation for months due to the actions of the previous mayor, a situation that was obviously unacceptable given that our city is directly impacted by the actions of our federal and state governments.”

Both contracts will run through July 1, or until bidding for the work is complete. The contract for Patton Boggs includes a $135,000 cap, and Sloat Higgins Jensen and Associates’ deal was capped at $126,000, according to Gloria.

“There are key pieces of legislation, especially in Sacramento, that the city needs to be a part of,” Gloria said, adding that bills related to Councilwoman Marti Emerald’s proposed taxi industry reforms did not move forward because the city had no one pushing for them at the state level.

Gloria said he and two other council members planned to meet with Patton Boggs operatives in Washington, D.C. next week to discuss issues such as border infrastructure, sequestration, the extension of trolley service to the University Town Center area.

“There are many many needs that we need attended to in Washington and, with the help of the firm, we’ll be able to get many of those things done,” Gloria said.

On Oct. 23, representatives of both firms are scheduled to be at a meeting of the City Council’s Rules and Economic Development Committee.

Patton Boggs had worked for the city since 2003 and Sloat Higgins Jensen and Associates since 1999.

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