Morning Report: A Plan to Offer a Plan

The supporters of Prop. D have plenty of plans to improve the city’s sorry financial situation: the details are in the ballot measure itself and in non-binding promises the City Council made the other day. And what do the opponents of Prop. D have?

Well, one says he’s got a plan to offer a plan after the election. Another has a plan, but it’s lacking important details.

Why does it matter who’s spent more time ironing out everything? For one thing, the lack of comprehensive competing proposals to fix things convinced a powerful business group to finally swing its support to the measure.

Which way are you going to vote on Prop. D? Do you have strong feelings about it?

In Other News:

Score a big get for the pro-Prop. D forces: the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce has endorsed the sales tax/financial reform measure. Business leaders were swayed by the council’s non-binding promise this week to cut an average of $73 million a year from its budget and limit new spending.

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But the anti-Prop. D troops still have business support on their side too, which isn’t surprising considering that the measure would raise sales taxes. They held a rally earlier this week featuring 11 business organizations.

• “America’s Finest City”: it’s been our slogan for nearly four decades. And it came into being thanks to a mammoth White House scandal that robbed San Diego of its GOP national convention and helped spawn both Watergate and an assassination plot.

The full details of the scandal and the killer plot by Nixon operatives (against the nation’s most well-known muckraker newspaper columnist) are only now coming to light thanks to a new book. We talk to its author about a sizzling saga full of corruption, gay-baiting and a hard-drinking but careless lobbyist.

Plus: Why it’s just not terribly helpful to write “Destroy This” on a memo about a bribe.

• The San Diego school board president thinks the board should get a chance to approve or deny individual district-funded travel by board members.

• Columnist Scott Lewis looks at allegations of scare tactics in the Prop. D campaign and offers his verdict on who’s being hypocritical by trying to frighten voters themselves.

• In arts: the guy who gives the lectures before San Diego Symphony performances is not, as we write, “a bookish, mind-numbing history mumbler.” Instead, he takes a whole bunch of threads — stories of politics and composers and instruments — and sews them into a fascinating quilt that overlays the performance.

We could let you just sit there and read about this man, but instead we’re letting you see a video in which he previews the first concerts of the symphony’s 100th season. Through words, images and sound, you’ll learn details about everything from the challenges of creating music in 1930s Soviet Russia to an “ironic twinkle” in a composer’s eye.

Elsewhere:

• The news earlier this week was pretty stunning: the little city of Del Mar is making a bid to buy the fairgrounds and racetrack from the state for $120 million. Now the backlash has begun: the fairground’s CEO told the U-T that he’s appalled because the deal took place behind closed doors.

The NCT, meanwhile, says political issues in Sacramento could extinguish the whole project.

What might a sale mean to the public — fairgoers and horseracing fans? Would it be business as usual? This “so what?” question hasn’t been fully answered yet.

• CityBeat is on a fact-checking rampage: it monitors a statement by the chairperson of the anti-Prop. D campaign, a KPBS report about ticketing the homeless and a U-T story about possible cop layoffs.

• Finally, bookfinder.com is out with a list of the 100 most-requested out-of-print books. No. 33 is a familiar one to San Diegans: it’s the book that inspired the movie “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” based on the time that author Cameron Crowe spent undercover attending classes at our very own Clairemont High School.

Copies of the book are now selling for about $65. If you’ve got one, you should feel just like Jeff Spicoli: totally stoked.

Please contact Randy Dotinga directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

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Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and president of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga

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