Each of the 12 companies that donated more than $5,000 to the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) Proposition U school bond campaign were given a contract to work on the bond project, according to a recent report by Voice of San Diego and NBC 7 San Diego.
The report documents 17 school districts in the county, including the Santee School District, which awarded contracts to three of four large donors to the 2006 Proposition R school bond campaign.
School bond programs entail millions of dollars of tax payer money and the campaigns to get them passed at the ballot require major donations. But, campaign donations are legally not supposed to influence the district's awarding of contracts for financing and constructing the projects.
The Voice of San Diego/NBC 7 report found a "significant correlation" between companies that donated to a bond campaign and the subsequent awarding of contracts to those same companies in 13 of 17 school districts with bond projects since 2006.
Many of these companies that benefit from the school bond projects deal with financing of the bonds, acting as a middle man between the school district and investors, netting a lucrative profit.
The report found that UBS Securities LLC gave $25,000 to the Santee School District Proposition R campaign, and once the bond project passed, UBS became the underwriter for the bonds. The same occurred with GUHSD. Stone and Youngburg donated $25,000 to the Prop U campaign and acted as underwriter for bonds in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Read the full report at Voice of San Diego