Note from Frank Gormlie: This post by Doug Porter from today is absolutely right on! I read the entire transcript late last night – and it’s all true – not doubting Doug or other media – but it is incredible.
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.
The incumbent DA has denied any knowledge of $200,000 in contributions –illegal because they came from a foreign national–made to organizations supporting her bid for mayor. Half the money went to an independent expenditure campaign and the balance went to a rather shady DC social media campaign organization.
Dumanis, who finished fourth in the 2012 mayoral primary, told the Associated Press earlier this year that the contribution had “nothing to do with me or my campaign.” She said she remembered little from a meeting with Azano at his Coronado house early in her campaign except that he spoke at length about his collection of fancy cars.
“No promises were asked for, nothing was asked for, and if it had been asked for, I would have kicked him to the curb,” Dumanis said.
Via UT-San Diego:
The contributions were made in the last weeks before the June 2012 primary, when Dumanis was lagging in fourth place in the race.
Dumanis has acknowledged meeting with Azano at his waterfront Coronado home. Although she remembers his fleet of luxury cars, Dumanis’s recollection has been less clear about what was discussed and when the meeting was.
“It makes me angry that I would be mentioned in the same breath as people who would go to such extreme lengths to violate the law,” Dumanis told U-T San Diego in January. “And if the allegations are true, they should be held accountable.”
The race for district attorney in this election has been all about Dumanis as a political tool. Whether its declining to prosecute cases of corruption to protect political allies, instigating investigations of political foes or frequent endorsements in electoral contests, the current DA’s reign is symptomatic of the municipal malaise keeping San Diego in the political dark ages.
Sadly, Dumanis was headed into today’s election with the distinct possibility of winning an outright majority over challengers Bob Brewer and Terri Wyatt. Thus far Dumanis and her allies in the US Attorneys office have managed to keep potentially damning information out of the public record.
Reporter Dave Maass, whose story in City Beat in May, 2012 first brought the pro-Dumanis activities of Jose Susumo Azano Matsura to light, filed a public records request with the District Attorney’s office back in October 2012 for all documents related to Azano and his representatives. He noted on Facebook this morning that the DA’s office claimed there were no documents responsive to this public records request
So far there’s been no response from DA Dumanis. She cancelled an election day media availability this morning at the Registrar of Voters.