Politics

SANDAG Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata Unethically Donated to Campaigns of Several Far-Left Democrats

Written by Nicholas Vetrisek

Hasan Ikhrata, Executive Director of San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), has repeatedly donated thousands of dollars to far-left Democrat candidates despite being in a supposedly nonpartisan position.

What Ikhrata has done is not illegal, but it’s certainly unethical and unbecoming of an individual in his position. SANDAG controls the bulk of transportation policy in San Diego, and such an important institution should not be subject to partisan politics. Unfortunately, Ikhrata has chosen to break this unwritten rule to further his political ambitions.

We recently reported that Ikhrata donated the maximum allowable amount of $850 to Democrat County Supervisor candidate Terra Lawson-Remer, who is challenging sitting Republican County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar. This conflict of interest is exacerbated by the fact that Supervisor Gaspar sits on the SANDAG Board of Directors as a representative of San Diego County. Ikhrata targeting Gaspar by donating to her opponent is the kind of unethical, self-serving behavior that San Diegans have had enough of.

To make matters worse, Ikhrata also donated over $4,000 to Georgette Gomez’s congressional campaign, in addition to $600 for Todd Gloria’s mayoral campaign. Is it any coincidence that Gloria is adamantly supportive of Ikhrata’s proposals, while his opponent, Barbara Bry, is more apprehensive?

This type of political favoritism shown by a nonpartisan officeholder is unacceptable. The politicization of our institutions is deteriorating public trust, which is especially vital in the midst of a pandemic. Ikhrata’s actions must be condemned and punished accordingly, as officials must be held to a high standard when they hold substantial power over the lives of the public.