Over the last several weeks, we have been paying attention to the politics of San Diego’s judicial branch. First there was District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’ silent boycott of one esteemed member of the Superior Court bench. Then she boycotted a couple more, withholding her prosecutions from their courts (and we explained how here).

Then we noticed that one of her deputies was shockingly being challenged — potentially successfully — in a judicial election — a type of contest that Dumanis and public safety officials normally settle themselves in private discussions. That is, the challenge was going forward until the U-T learned Dumanis’ man saw his rival bail out.

Then last week we learned that a local conservative group was also doing something unprecedented in local judicial races — targeting five incumbent judges and challenging their reelection.

What is going on? Well, we have an update for you on one of the fronts. If you have time this morning tune to KPBS 89.5 at 9 a.m. A producer there tells us they’ve scheduled Dumanis to, for the first time, “explain the DA’s position on the three recent challenges to local judges.”

In other news:

  • The adjective nuclear, as in the “nuclear option,” has been bandied about in politics for a while now. It’s — as it’s relation to the atomic bomb suggests — the Big One. The option that blows up everything to solve a problem. Real estate analyst Rich Toscano has a short but engaging take on what he calls the “nuclear housing bailout option.” What is that? Well, if the government really wants to save the housing market, it might be the only choice it has. It’s a very thought-provoking post. 
  • Every few weeks, education writer Emily Alpert takes us on a voyage of innovation — talking to teachers and administrators who are trying something new. Today, we accompany her to John Muir School where K-12 students don’t have to listen to lectures, are not allowed to raise their hands and have seen their performance now rank among the best of their peers across the state. It’s called the Paideia teaching method and it, along with some other innovations, appears to have made the school a winner.
  • How did a San Diego fraudster build a business model out of attacking companies? Randy Dotinga interviews himself to help explain the situation. As a Morning Report reader, that Dotinga talks to himself occasionally shouldn’t surprise you.
  • Councilman Tony Young, who’s running for re-election, found himself in a new age debate this weekend. On Facebook, he posted an update about how nice it was to see the long-neglected and now restored Chollas Creek start actually flowing. It was a nice sentiment. But soon enough a gaggle of critics started to question him in this quasi public forum why the $2.7 million for the creek wasn’t spent on more pressing neighborhood needs.

    It’s a lesson in social media for politicians. At the same time Young was able to communicate something special to hundreds of constituents, he also had to absorb some of their hostile questions. I predict this kind of thing is only the beginning. We’re entering a period where if a public figure like him wants to use these tools to communicate, he should be ready for a constant, public, press conference type atmosphere.


  • The search continues for 17-year-old Chelsea King and her disappearance has now reached that national buzz reserved for the mysterious disappearances of young women. The U-T has a thorough update on the latest in the search and the police questioning of a registered sex offender. We’ve been asked to point you to the Facebook page that’s been set up so you can see photos and help in any way you can.
  • In case you missed it in the U-T, talking to me — or, to be clear, sending me an e-mail — can get you in a bit of trouble if you are about to preside over a confrontation between the Ethics Commission and a sitting City Council member with a talented election attorney. Marti Emerald got Commissioner Gil Cabrera to recuse himself from her much anticipated hearing with the commission after claiming his comments to me here made it clear he couldn’t preside fairly over the case.
  • Finally, it looks as if the Detroit Lions are interested in trading for the Chargers’ Antonio Cromartie.

I suppose there are worse things than playing for the Detroit Lions. For instance, it would be worse to have Cromartie’s seven children with six women in five states and not have an NFL salary to pay for them.

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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