There’s Always a Bad Smell Downwind of Carl DeMaio

September 11, 2014 by Doug Porter
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Lori Zapf – the Future City Councilwoman for OB – Is Portrayed in DeMaio Ad as Simply Another Republican

By Doug Porter

Voters in the 52nd Congressional District come November will get to make their choice between the former City Councilman and incumbent Democrat Scott Peters. Today I’ll argue that this choice is more than ideological; it’s a question of character.

What differentiates DeMaio in my mind from others who I disagree with (including Congressman Peters from time to time) is the way he does business. A couple of recent examples serve to illustrate my point. (And I’ll remind you of some past incidents that bolster my contention.)

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“I’m No Longer Ready for Some Football.”

September 10, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

There was a time, back when I ran a sports bar in Washington DC, when celebrating our national gladiator sport was a near obsession for me. Televised games (no matter who was playing), betting pools, fantasy teams and the ultimate thrill of a couple of actual seats in an stadium were a big deal.

Not any more. The onset of the NFL marketing mix this year leaves me feeling empty. And sad. And mad.

It’s no longer about the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. (It never was, but that’s another story.) Now its about brain damage. Now it’s about closing the ranks to hide egregious behavior. Now it’s about money, power and a platform for flaunting greed.

The big news yesterday was Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice. He was banned from the sport following release of a February 15th elevator video showing him punching his fiance.

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Fast Food Workers Set for Protest in San Diego and Across Nation on September 4th

September 3, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

San Diego is one of 100-plus cities targeted this Thursday as part of a nationwide protest of fast food restaurant workers aimed at low wages and working conditions.

Two new elements will be introduced into this latest round of protests, at least on a national level: acts of civil disobedience and a supportive presence by thousands of home-care workers joining the protests.

Workers are expected to strike at a dozen San Diego fast-food restaurants, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Jack in the Box. Clergy, elected officials and community supporters will join fast-food workers on the strike lines, according to local organizers.

The Interfaith Center for Worker Justice of San Diego County has emailed supporters inviting them to “pray with our feet” beside Fast Food Workers on Thursday morning. The communique from the social justice advocacy group says they expect up to 500 supporters.

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A Battle Over Increasing the Minimum Wage in San Diego

August 19, 2014 by Doug Porter
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Don’t Sign It! Don’t Sign the Petition to Overturn San Diegos’ Minimum Wage – see below

Editor: The following is Doug Porter’s article posted today on DailyKos about the fight over our city’s minimum wage law. Much of it is a repeat of material Doug has used in his Daily Column at our sister online media partner, San Diego Free Press. (“douigbob” is Porter’s online handle at that site.)

by dougbob /DailyKos / Aug 19, 2014

A City Council veto override on Monday has set the scene for a showdown between local and national business interests vs. a labor-community coalition over San Diego’s Earned Sick Day / Minimum Wage ordinance.

Following months of public hearings and invitations (mostly declined) for local businesses to hammer out a compromise, the city council passed an ordinance providing access to five earned sick days and setting a local minimum wage increasing to $11.50 over three years.

This action makes San Diego the largest city in the nation to raise the minimum wage.

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Who Runs San Diego? – Local Broadcast TV News Operations

July 31, 2014 by Doug Porter

Womans Democratic Logo

Editor: This is the second installment of the Who Runs San Diego? series, a project of the Woman’s Democratic Club. To read last week’s introduction to this series, go here.

By Doug Porter/ Woman’s Democratic Club

The sameness of the content can become overwhelming.

It’s happy, rappy and don’t-be-crappy whenever possible. Drama is reserved for ledes that bleed, i.e., crime and confrontations. Nuance is too difficult to jam into 30 seconds. It’s a formula, differing mostly in graphics, presentation and the personalities of the persons reading the script.

It’s by-and-large an echo chamber. There’s a long standing tradition of prioritizing content based on what appears in print media. In San Diego that means “Papa Doug” Manchester and his Mission Valley minions have a disproportionate influence when it comes to political reporting.

Welcome to the world of commercial broadcast news in San Diego.

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San Diego’s Overlords Seek Overturn of City Council Vote Raising Minimum Wage

July 18, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Business interests opposed to raising the minimum wage in San Diego haven’t given up, despite a 6-3 city council vote on Monday, July 14, approving an ordinance boosting wages for an estimated 172,000 workers.

On Tuesday they launched a major public relations campaign seeking to portray the council vote as undemocratic and unfair to their interests. In closed door meetings led by Chamber of Commerce CEO Jerry Sanders, so-called business leaders are considering the logistics of mounting a signature gathering campaign to place an initiative on the ballot seeking to overturn the minimum wage increase.

Although meeting the August 8th deadline for inclusion on the November 2014 ballot is unlikely, a successful campaign completed …

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San Diego Becomes Largest US City to Pass Minimum Wage Hike and Earned Sick Days Policy

July 15, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Supporters of a hike in local minimum wages left nothing to chance yesterday as a city council decision on a proposal by Todd Gloria neared. Over 400 hundred people showed up at city hall for a 6pm hearing, filling the council chambers and two overflow rooms. Many wore pink signs indicating their support.

Email and social media reminders abounded during the day, including a mid-day Raise Up San Diego-led “Twitterstorm.” More than 100 people testified before the council. Highlights included former basketball star Bill Walton …

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District Attorney Dumanis Holds up Three Fingers, Tells Media to Read Between the Lines.

July 9, 2014 by Doug Porter

Three MonkeysBy Doug Porter

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis appeared on KUSI-TV’s morning talk show today to release a copy of her letter of recommendation written for the son of indicted Mexican financier Susumo Azano.

A consortium of media organizations including City News Service, inewsource, KFMB News 8, KNSD/NBC 7, KPBS, KSWB/Fox 5, the San Diego Daily Transcript, San Diego Press Club, Society of Professional Journalists San Diego, U-T San Diego, and Voice of San Diego had made repeated requests for a copy of the document.

At 5pm yesterday a deadline passed for what was essentially a demand letter (the last thing you do before you sue somebody) written by attorney Guylyn Cummins on behalf of the media organizations.

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Minimum Wage Increase, Earned Sick Days Proposal Set for Full City Council Hearing July 14th

July 9, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

The full San Diego City Council is set to hear arguments over proposals increasing the minimum wage and allowing for up to five earned sick days. The measure being considered is Council President Todd Gloria’s attempt at comprise from an earlier proposal.

The specifics of the current plan are:

  • $9.75 Jan 2015
  • $10.50 Jan 2016
  • $11.50 Jan 2017
  • Indexed to inflation after Jan 2019
  • 5 Earned Sick days
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Ugly Americans Block Migrant Buses in Murrieta on Eve of 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act

July 2, 2014 by Doug Porter
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Editor: On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the historic Civil Rights Act, ugly Americans showed the world just how far this nation still needs to go up in Murrietta in Riverside County, yesterday, July 1.

By Doug Porter

A group of right-wing demonstrators took to the streets on Tuesday, July 1, turning away three Border Patrol buses bringing 136 Central American migrant children and families to a Murrieta, California processing center.

So much for the inscription on the Statue of Liberty, which begins:

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free;
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless,
Tempest-tossed to me
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

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California Coastal Commission Now Able to Levy Fines on Property Owners Who Deny Public Access to Coast

June 25, 2014 by Doug Porter

Senate Speaker Atkins’ Budget Rider Finally Wins Power for Public Agency Protecting California Coast

By Doug Porter

California Gov. Jerry Brown was in San Diego last Friday – June 20th – for a budget signing ceremony. While much of the press coverage focused on all the backslapping and self congratulating about fiscal responsibility, a low-key rider attached to the budget bill by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins is a big victory for beach lovers.

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Glenn Greenwald in San Diego: the Leaks of Edward Snowden

June 24, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Journalist Glenn Greenwald came to town last weekend to promote his best selling book based on events surrounding former systems administrator Edward Snowden’s decision to go public with documents concerning intelligence programs run by the National Security Agency. It was a most unusual evening: part lecture, part political rally and part celebrity appearance.

Seven hundred people paid money to attend a book tour event in a theater in this day and age. His publisher set up a table in the lobby and sold hundreds of copies of “No Place to Hide.”

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It’s Time to Stand Up for Increasing the Minimum Wage, San Diego!

June 11, 2014 by Doug Porter
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San Diegans Are Urged to Attend Council Committee Hearing Today – June 11th

“No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to exist in this country.”~ President Franklin D Roosevelt

By Doug Porter

It’s been the season of (talking about) minimum wage increases. Now it’s time to take action.

On Wednesday the Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee will be discussing a proposal supported by Council President Todd Gloria. If the committee approves it will go to the full City Council. Then Council members will then decide whether to approve the wage hike or send it to the ballot for a public vote.

Local supporters of Gloria’s measure, led by Raise Up San Diego are calling for people to attend the committee hearing, slated for the 12th floor at city hall, Wednesday, June 11th from 9am til Noon.

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2014 San Diego Primary: It’s #Ididnotvote By a Landslide

June 4, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Yesterday San Diego non-voters elected a district attorney personally embroiled in a criminal case, a county clerk supported by anti-gay bigots and a supervisor known for using taxpayer dollars to support religious causes. Call it a resounding victory for apathy and a defeat for advocates of the two tier/jungle primary voting system as a near-record low number (I’m guessing 22%) of voters cast ballots.

Approximately 12% of the city’s registered voters agreed with a corporate campaign almost completely based on lies to overturn a five-year-long community planning process. Incumbents were triumphant everywhere.

The low turnout favored Republicans. For complete local results go here; for statewide results go here. There remain 98,000 votes to be counted as I’m writing this, but past experience tells me little will change.

There will be runoff elections in November for San Diego City Council District 6 between Carol Kim and Chris Cate, the 52nd Congressional District between Carl DeMaio and Scott Peters, along with Mary Salas versus Jerry Rindone vying for the Mayor in Chula Vista. A stealth campaign by teahadist Donna Woodrum for a seat on the San Diego Community College Board failed to unseat Maria Nieto Senour.

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Election Day Bombshell: DA Dumanis Penned Endorsement for Indicted Moneyman’s Son

June 3, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

The race for County District Attorney got a little more interesting yesterday as a hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Michael Anello revealed the existence of a letter, purportedly written by Bonnie Dumanis on official stationary on behalf of the family of foreign national Jose Susumo Azano Matsura.

While the judge ultimately denied a motion by defense attorney Knut Johnson to make the document public, testimony about a letter of recommendation on behalf Azano’s son written to the president of the University of San Diego suggests a more substantive the previously described relationship between the incumbent DA and the man accused of illegally donating funds supporting her failed mayoral campaign.

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The Absolute Last Minute Voter Cheat Sheet for San Diego Progressives

May 31, 2014 by Doug Porter

VOTE NOW plsBy Doug Porter

Okay, so I know the deal. You’ve been putting off doing your election homework and now you’re getting nervous because you have no clue about many of the contests on the ballot.

Don’t even think about not voting on Tuesday June 3rd. Here’s your one-stop shop for better candidates and issues on the left side of the aisle.

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Meet Susan Guinn – the Real Candidate for County Clerk

May 30, 2014 by Doug Porter

Susan GuinnMeet Susan Guinn

By Doug Porter

This week I met with Susan Guinn, the attorney who is challenging Ernest Dronenburg for County Clerk, and came away impressed.

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Ernest Dronenburg is a Terrible Choice for County Assessor/Clerk/Recorder

May 30, 2014 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter

Functionaries like County Clerk Ernest Dronenburg are important assets for the big money types that typically dominate local governments. Their behind the scenes efforts mean that policies get interpreted and enforced (or not) in a manner ensuring that “business as usual” remains Business As Usual.

That’s the reason why Dronenburg was among the earliest (along with Bonnie Dumanis) to get an editorial blessing from UT-San Diego. And they had to s-t-r-e-t-c-h the truth to find a reason to support him. Or, as one astute commenter noted, perhaps they just penned the editorial based on a campaign press release.

Let’s face reality here; the position of “County Assessor/Clerk/Recorder” is usually not likely to be of concern to most voters.

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Dumanis, Schall and Dronenburg: Three Bad Apples Needing to Be Voted Out of Office

May 20, 2014 by Doug Porter
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The Fifth and Final Installment of
A Progressive Procrastinators 2014 Primary Guide

By Doug Porter

ISometimes it becomes necessary to take a stand, using the power of the ballot box to say ‘enough!’ This is one of those times.

In the upcoming June 3rd primary there are three incumbents who I believe ought to be voted out of office: District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, County Assessor/Clerk/Recorder Ernest J. Dronenburg, Jr. and Superior Court Judge Lisa Schall.

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A Progressive Procrastinators 2014 Primary Guide – Part Four: the San Diego City Council Candidates

May 19, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Today’s guide provides thumbnail sketches of people running for city council in San Diego. In most instances you’ll find a link for the campaign website right underneath their listing providing much more information about the candidate.

This year all the even-numbered City Council seats are up for grabs. The seriously competitive races are in Districts 2 and 6.

Should the Democratic candidates prevail in those contests their party will maintain a veto proof majority on the council. Unless there’s some polling that I don’t know about, Myrtle Cole (District 4) and David Alvarez (District 8) should win handily.

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A Progressive Procrastinators 2014 Primary Guide – Part Three: Saying ‘Yes’ to All State and Local Ballot Propositions

May 16, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

There are five ballot measures covered in today’s column; two-state wide issues and three local topics. State propositions 41 and 42, along with city proposition A, are no-brainers, righting wrongs and fixing stuff that obviously needs to be fixed.

So we’ll start with what I think is the best reason for San Diego voters to get motivated to go the polls: Propositions B&C. They are about a small issue with much larger implications.

Actual endorsements will be in another article, though I doubt you’ll have much trouble figuring out which way I personally lean. Last time we took a look at federal and state legislative contests.

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A Progressive Procrastinators 2014 Primary Guide – Part Two: Congressional and State Legislature Races

May 15, 2014 by Doug Porter
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Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you! — Pericles (430 B.C.)

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Today’s column provides thumbnail sketches of people running for legislative positions, both in Sacramento and Washington. In most instances you’ll find a link for the campaign website right underneath their listing providing much more information about the candidate.

There are thirty some-odd candidates running for five congressional, five state assembly and two state senate seats. The way voting districts exist at present tends to favor the incumbents, but California’s demographics are changing rapidly. So this election’s losing candidate in any particular race may well find him/herself with a much more favorable picture next time around.

Unless you’re a hard core politico, it’s hard to keep track of who’s who, especially in primary races, so we’re publishing this series to aid in your decision making process. Actual SDFP endorsements will be in another article, though I doubt you’ll have much trouble figuring out which way I personally lean.

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A Progressive Procrastinators 2014 Primary Guide Part One: Top Statewide Contests

May 14, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

There are so many decisions to make. My voting district’s mail-in ballot for the June 3, 2014 election has 26 choices to be made. Opening that envelope made me realize I could no longer put off writing this series…

The fictional (activist) fairy on my shoulder says,“Say it loud & say it proud! Voting is the most fundamental duty of every citizen. Do it for truth, justice and the American way.”

The pretend (procrastinator) demon on my other shoulder says “Ugh. I’d rather watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer re-runs.”

So here we go… Today we’ll take a look at the top statewide contests.

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Clear Channel Responds to Political Pressure, Quashes Billboard Ads for Judicial Candidate

May 12, 2014 by Doug Porter

carla posterBy Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Four Billboards paid for by former prosecutor Carla Keehn in support of her candidacy for San Diego County Superior Court Seat 20 were summarily removed on Friday by the Clear Channel Outdoor corporation just two days after being erected.

The candidate says the company “received pressure to take the billboards down and they would not tell me from whom the pressure came.” This action is consistent with earlierassertions made by Keehn about surreptitious efforts by incumbent Judge Lisa Schall and/or her supporters to deny or withdraw endorsements for the challenger.

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June 3rd Primary: Send Bonnie Dumanis Packing

May 8, 2014 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter

District-Attorney-Race-0221Our current county district attorney is making the news frequently as of late, in a not good way.

Yesterday’s UT-San Diego has a story about high profile events attended by Bonnie Dumanis that seemingly weren’t disclosed in financial reports as required by law.

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis is the subject of two state ethics complaints alleging she failed to report meals and travel she accepted from interest groups — complaints filed by a supporter of a political challenger on the June 3 ballot.

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San Diego Goddam! The June 3rd Election And Why You Should Care

May 8, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

I borrowed the first part of this headline from one of my favorite songs by Nina Simone, who sang about a certain southern hellhole of a state of mind as her response to the murder of Medgar Evers in Mississippi; and the bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama that killed four black children back in 1964. The song speaks to the level of angst and frustration I’m starting to feel about the upcoming election.

Bad things are more likely to happen and good things probably won’t happen if you and your friends pass on your obligation as citizens to vote come June 3rd. Starting today and in the coming weeks we’ll be talking about those possibilities, so you need to (please!) pay attention.

Fast forward 50 years from Ms. Simone’s lament and there are 8 million eligible but unregistered voters in California. Of the 17.7 million voters that are registered to vote in the Golden State, only about one third will bother to cast ballots in the upcoming June 3rd elections. That works out to 14% of the total population deciding how things will be for next few years.

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Highway to Hell – Federal Scientific Report Documents the Current Course of Climate Change

May 7, 2014 by Doug Porter

politicians discussing global warming

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

A federally funded report on changing climate conditions released today warns of dire consequences throughout the United States in coming years unless significant actions are taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Isaac Cordal’s “Politicians Discussing Climate Change” sculpture – Berlin 2011

The National Climate Assessment, a 1,300-page report compiled by 300 leading scientists and experts, says the climate is changing in the United States almost without a doubt, and the warming of the past 50 years is primarily due to emissions of heat-trapping gases released by humans. By the end of the century the scientists forecast temperatures that could be up to 5 degrees higher if the nation acts aggressively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from industry, or up to 10 degrees if emissions are high.

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Who’s Funding the Competing Minimum Wage Initiative in San Diego?

May 1, 2014 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for Who’s Funding the Competing Minimum Wage Initiative in San Diego?

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Seriously. We need to know. UT-San Diego and KPBS have run stories about an initiative in the works proposing an increase in the minimum wage that’s less than the one currently under consideration by the City Council. In fact, the “increase” it purports to offer wouldn’t affect 93% of businesses small and large in the city via loopholes large enough to drive a truck through.

It takes serious money and/or a large grass roots organization to collect signatures for a ballot initiative. Essentially you’ve got to get 100,000 people to sign a petition in the hope that 68,000 or so will be recognized as valid. The shipbuilders association spent somewhere south of a half million dollars to get their measure killing the Barrio Logan Community Plan on upcoming the June ballot. The 2012 Proposition B Pension Reform backers spent over a million bucks.

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DA Bonnie Dumanis – Keeper of the Flame for San Diego’s Power Elite

April 29, 2014 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for DA Bonnie Dumanis – Keeper of the Flame for San Diego’s Power Elite

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The race for District Attorney in San Diego has heated up in recent days, with incumbent Bonnie Dumanis actually showing up for a debate in Del Cerro after skipping events in Oceanside and La Jolla earlier this month. She also appeared at a Ramona Tea Party multi-candidate forum on Saturday, reportedly wearing a straw cowboy hat.

UT-San Diego gave Dumanis their editorial blessing this weekend, saying “She deserves re-election to a fourth term,” before acknowledging that she might have picked up some “baggage” over her 12 years in office. While that “baggage,” which includes a campaign finance scandal and an over-zealous (and failing) campaign against medical marijuana is of interest, it’s the broader accusations that Dumanis has politicized the District Attorney’s office that merit your attention.

While politicization in elective DA races usually connotes a process through which incumbents use crime as a political issue to increase their “electability and popularity,” in this contest the term is referencing Dumanis’ role as protector for the established interests that have long dominated San Diego politics.

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Press Conferences and Vanity Shovels Cannot Hide the Truth About San Diego’s Crumbling Infrastructure

April 11, 2014 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for Press Conferences and Vanity Shovels Cannot Hide the Truth About San Diego’s Crumbling Infrastructure

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Newly elected Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s been on quite a tear lately, putting forth a smiling face at press conferences in various neighborhoods around the city. Yesterday cameras rolled as the mayor and local politicos including Councilman Todd Gloria posed and preened over a gateway renovation project on 25th Street in Golden Hill.

Hizzoner says he’s making good on campaign promises to direct more monies (50% of revenue growth, as I recollect) toward street and infrastructure repair. He proudly announced yesterday that $22 million of the anticipated $35 million growth in next year’s inflow would be dedicated to that cause.

It played real well on TV. Sadly, the truth of the situation is that revenue growth, which will likely come from an improving economy, can’t even begin to address the $1 billion hole San Diego faces when it comes to the basic the basic physical and organizational structures and facilities needed locally.

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