The Morning Report
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Well, that was an amazing burst of first assignments for me. I’ve got enough assignments to keep me busy this Friday, and, in the meantime, I have a first round of initial answers. Here we go:
Assignment: Judge Advocate said: “Find out who exactly is paying for the poll and initiative behind the proposal for the 10th Ave. Terminal. Hint: it’s not just the Chases…”
Judge Advocate is referring to this plan by Richard and Nancy Chase to alter the port’s master plan through the initiative process and, in the process, perhaps place a Chargers stadium atop the 10th Avenue Terminal.
And it turns out Judge Advocate is right — it’s not just the Chases. They are the lead people on San Diego Community Solutions, LLC, and the primary manager of that is their long-time business associate, Frank Gallagher.
And, the LLC has financial partners from the East Coast, according to spokesman Scott Maloni. Who?
“They’re just individuals, honestly I don’t even know. It’s nobody of any big name,” Maloni said.
I asked Maloni if he could provide me with the names, and, how he knew it wasn’t anyone of any big name if he himself didn’t know who they were.
He checked, and got back to me. Maloni said the East Coast partners are silent partners and couldn’t provide me with the names. He said he just assumed they weren’t big-name partners because he hasn’t been told who they are.
Assignment: Whittker Chambers said: “Andy – what all, if anything, is still left – pending in the courts – re the City Attorney’s litigation efforts to overturn benefits? Don McGrath should quickly have an answer for us. Also, was the City Attorney finally adjudicated NOT to be the atty for SDCERS, or what happened to all that litigation?”
This one was easy — I mean, Whittker even told me who to call. So I got McGrath, a man lawyers downtown refer to as “The Rat,” on the horn. This is what he had to say: The main pension benefits case is on appeal with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal.
The case over whether the City Attorney’s Office should be the legal counsel to the pension system is also in appeals. “We have a high degree of confidence that the decision will be overturned,” he said.
Assignment: Greg asked: “Were any past or current San Diego Padres implicated in the Mitchell report on baseball and if so, where are they now? What do they have to say about Roger Clemens testimony.”
As far as Roger Clemens’ testimony, I don’t know if I’ll be able to do that. Anyone let me know if you have Wally Joyner or Rondell White’s phone numbers. I’ll try. I will say two things on the topic: First, I predict that Clemens’ famous use of the word “misremember” will catapult the phrase into the popular lexicon. Second, I find it remarkable that MLB.com does its own original reporting on its website and that of its teams and, from the best I can tell, the league doesn’t censor it or influence its content. I’ve found it to be more critical at times than the reporting in newspapers.
And, while we’re talking about baseball, here’s a really great story from ESPN.com about Tony Gwynn Jr.’s close relationship with Trevor Hoffman, and how the son of the Padres legend ruined the Padres’ playoff run with a ninth inning triple off of Hoffman in the penultimate game of the season. (Full disclosure: I’m a Milwaukee Brewers fan, the team that Gwynn Jr. plays for.)
Assignment: Filipis Pizza wrote: “Investigate why the Voice doesn’t scrutinize the influence organized labor has over the current San Diego City Council. Start with how labor was able to squeeze Frye, Atkins etc to appoint Steve Cushman to a 3rd term on the Port in violation of the City’s Charter… Finally, Can you find out where Mike Aguirre as gone?”
Well, I put in a formal request for my own documents and will start reviewing them. I’ll be conducting a full investigation into voiceofsandiego.org.
As for the second question, it’s my sense that the city attorney realized that he’d done political damage to himself during the landslide and the wildfires and went into a bunker. He’s going to have an intense campaign to keep his office, one that should be firing up in the coming weeks and months, and he’d provided his opponents with some nice firepower by his actions in those two events.
Assignment: Jake said: “Reoport on the reorginzation of the Union-Tribune to be rolled out at the paper on yesterday and today (Friday).”
First, I think Jake needs to hire one of the copy editors that might have gotten a U-T severance package. Second, I think you’ll be seeing something from Rob Davis, our reporter who’s been covering this issue, sometime soon.
Alright, keep the assignments, tips and questions coming. I’ll get to as many as I can. I promise.