A pop-up store selling merchandise promoting President Trump and his re-election campaign has several Rancho Santa Fe residents questioning his motives and money trail.
The seller is similar to several of the communities in San Diego County, including Rancho Bernardo and La Jolla, where sales of Trump merchandise have been spotted at three locations, most recently at Scripps Park in La Jolla Cove. We do not know if they are all related.
In Rancho Santa Fe, a vendor set up shop at the corner of Paseo Delicias and La Granada at the end of June.
“[People] must be wary [the vendor] maybe not as it looks, âsaid Nick Dieterich, a resident of Rancho Santa Fe, who approached the woman selling the merchandise to ask which company she was affiliated with.
Dieterich said the seller told him the money was going to “different candidates,” although he was not given a website or company name.
Later, Dieterich said, friends from Rancho Santa Fe approached him after purchasing their own equipment from the same vendor. The receipt they showed Dieterich displayed the company name as “Sacramento Women’s March,” an organization dedicated to women’s civil rights and funded by several anti-Trump groups.
âIt’s hijacked,â Dieterich said. “It’s not as it seems.”
Rancho Santa Fe is an unincorporated part of San Diego County, so Dieterich called County Supervisor Jim Desmond to inquire about the code’s enforcement regarding the seller.
Miles Himmel, communications director for Desmond’s office, told the La Jolla Light that the office has received numerous calls about the supplier and “has passed the comments to the county code enforcement and they are reviewing it.”
County code enforcement officials could not be reached for comment.
Dieterich said he obtained the phone number of a Saint-Louis business owner from a friend who had purchased goods from the seller.
Dieterich said company owner David Brown told him the name on the receipt was a “clerical error” and the profits went directly to Brown.
Brown told the Light that the money is intended for “a private company” and declined to comment further.
Longtime Rancho Santa Fe resident Bill Weber said he was also concerned about the business. âIt’s anachronistic. We don’t have street vendors peddling T-shirts, âhe said.
Rancho Santa Fe Patrol Chief Matt Wellhouser told the Light that the seller’s location is not under the surveillance of the Rancho Santa Fe Association, which manages the community, and said further investigations should be directed to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.
Sheriff’s Lt. Ricardo Lopez said MPs have responded to complaints about the sidewalk vendor and the vendor claims to operate under the state’s Safe Sidewalk Vending Act.
“The deputies determined that the matter was in accordance with the law and found no violations,” Lopez said.
Still, Weber said “there is a lot of concern among the residents.”
“Is this really what it claims to be or are they really fundraising for another organization?” ” he said.
Code enforcement for La Jolla vendors is done through the San Diego Development Services Department.
“I checked with the staff of [the department] and they are not aware of any complaints regarding the sale of political merchandise, âsaid city representative Arian Collins. ??