Trump and Hunter donors kick in for Faulconer's governor try

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John Kilroy, Jr.: “Kevin, we’re so thankful that you’re running the ship down here.”

Another top California donor to last year’s reelection campaign for Donald Trump is backing the California gubernatorial hopes of San Diego ex-mayor Kevin Faulconer.

Probity International, a real estate development outfit run by Robert Zarnegin of Beverly Hills, came up with $32,400 on February 9 for the Faulconer for Governor Exploratory Committee 2020, state campaign disclosure filings show.

Majestic executive vice president Kent Valley gave Faulconer $20,000 on February 9.

The Los Angeles Times reports Zarnegin, who built the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel and a shopping complex on tony Rodeo Drive, gave $375,000 to the Trump cause last year. That placed him fourth among the then president’s California givers, with $15,000 more than fifth place donor Jamie McCourt, the Dodgers ex-owner whom Trump made ambassador to France and Monaco.

Last month, another major Trump backer and La Jolla oceanfront estate owner, billionaire Darwin Deason, and his wife came up with $64,800 for Faulconer’s committee.

In addition to Probity, Faulconer bagged $25,000 on February 9 from another Los Angeles developer, Kilroy Realty, a longtime backer of the San Diego mayor, who gave the firm’s local projects extra care.

“Kevin, we’re so thankful that you’re running the ship down here,” board chairman John Kilroy, Jr. told Faulconer during a 2015 video appearance. “We’re all big fans. We want to work with you. We want to be on a winning team.”

Faulconer frequently showed up at Kilroy events, both private and public, including the January 2017 groundbreaking of its controversial One Paseo development. “This is going to be a remarkable project. Let’s get a shovel in the ground,” Faulconer enthused.

Majestic is run by Los Angeles billionaire Ed Roski, Jr.

The then-mayor was a cheerleader for Irvine-based Majestic Realty, whose executive vice president Kent Valley gave Faulconer $20,000 on February 9. “Industrial projects like Majestic Sunroad Center help fuel our regional economy and create places businesses need to grow and continue creating high-quality jobs for San Diegans,” the mayor said in a Majestic news release of October 2018.

In addition to his Faulconer money, Valley gave the Trump Victory Committee $17,500 on February 3, 2020.

Majestic is run by Los Angeles billionaire Ed Roski, Jr., another longtime GOP giver. His financially favored candidates have included now-resigned Congressman Duncan D. Hunter ($2800, July 16, 2019) and Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell ($50,000, March 18, 2020), per federal campaign disclosure filings. Valley gave the Hunter cause $2800 on the same day as did Roski.

Hunter and his wife Margaret were indicted by a federal grand jury in August 2018 for wire fraud and campaign finance violations. On December 3, 2019, he pled guilty to a single count of misusing campaign cash, four months after his wife copped a similar plea. The month before he was set to head to federal prison, both Hunter and his spouse were pardoned by Donald Trump in December of last year.