Morning Report: Meet the Players Behind Poway’s Messy Bond Deal

 

The unusual and very risky Poway school borrowing scheme — which has made national news — wasn’t immaculately conceived. Plenty of folks played a part in making the deal come together and saddle some Poway-area property owners with more than $1 billion in debt.

We’ve compiled sketches of the major players, including the superintendent, board members, consultants and lawyers. We’ve included their comments if they’ve talked to us.   

MIA Candidate Promises to Debate

Marne Foster, who’s running for San Diego school board, has missed various forums and appearances, two debates and a meeting with the editorial board of the U-T. On top of that, she didn’t get back to us when we asked her about her opinions.

But now Foster tells us that she’ll be at future debates, starting with two this week.

Fact Check: Filner’s Off-Target Money Claim

A tax on guests at local hotels would raise $2 billion to expand the convention center and boost tourism. Rep. Bob Filner says he’d devote half that total to public safety, a category that encompasses cops and firefighters.

But, as our reporter Liam Dillon reports, it’s hardly that simple.

Fact Check TV: $3 Billion Claim and the U-T Saga

Fact Check TV has some fun with the claim by Rep. Bob Filner that his first piece of legislation as a congressman saved taxpayers $3 billion.

We also look at the latest developments in the ongoing saga over emails between a port commissioner, U-T CEO John Lynch and us.

One of our stories about Lynch and the port turned out to be the most popular on our site over the past week. It was followed by a Fact Check of how often Filner misses votes (quite often as of late) and a look at San Diego’s crime rates in graphic form. Here’s the full Top 10 list.

VOSD Radio: From Lynchgate to Lynch-as-Goat

Local media types have had a field day trying to figure out what to call the dispute over those emails about the port. Lynchgate? Emailgate? Port-a-Scandal? Tempest in a U-Teapot? (OK, I made those last two up.)

Whatever nickname the mess deserves, our Scott Lewis and Will Carless aren’t impressed by Lynch. On the latest edition of VOSD Radio, they named him Goat of the Week.

Carless and Lewis review the highlights from Politifest’s many debates.

• Also in the radio world, our City Hall reporter Liam Dillon appeared on KPBS last Friday to talk about how the city is trying to bypass the law requiring new taxes to go before votes of the people.   

Politicians Paying Family

In an editorial, the U-T bashed Filner for — legally — putting his wife on the campaign payroll: “Conveying $620,000 of campaign cash to family bank accounts isn’t a civic misdemeanor. It’s an assault on the public interest,” the paper proclaimed.

Surely the U-T is also targeting other local politicians who have spread the wealth.

Like… Rep. Brian Bilbray, who has the U-T’s support, has done the same thing, as CityBeat has reported. (He’s paid both his wife and daughter).

Like… Councilman Carl DeMaio, who’s running for mayor and has the U-T’s support, has done nearly the same thing. He paid his partner’s company for signature gathering during a petition campaign, CityBeat reports.

Funny thing: Neither DeMaio nor Bilbray were mentioned in the Filner-bashing editorial.

Quick News Hits

• If you’re a voter in the San Diego school district, catch up on a big issue on next month’s ballot: Prop. Z, which would boost property taxes to raise $2.8 billion for construction and technology.

• A proposal to more than double city funding to the arts and culture organizations advanced Monday. (CW 6)

• Newsflash! San Diego is still more right-leaning than California’s other major cities partly because it has retained a substantial military presence, according to The New York Times in its Presidential Geography series.

• One of the San Onofre nuclear plant’s reactors is in such bad shape that it won’t return to operation until next summer, the LA Times reports. But the energy company that runs the plant wants to restart the other reactor. Activists are fighting to keep both offline.

For background, read our exploration of the plant’s mammoth troubles.

• Darrell Issa is the wealthiest member of Congress. (Washington Post)

• The U-T looks at fundraising by the mayoral candidates. Bonus: each candidate tries to smear his opponent for bowing to special interests.

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-elect 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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