The Morning Report
San Diego news and info
you need to take on the day.
Election Day put a scare into several incumbents.
Two county supervisors — Bill Horn and Ron Roberts — will face runoffs in November, as will San Diego school board members John de Beck and Katherine Nakamura.
Other incumbents did just fine, however, including Sheriff Bill Gore, who walloped his rivals, including the son of a late sheriff.
On the county level, Supervisor Horn will run all summer long against Steve Gronke, a Vista councilman. Horn is popular among North County conservatives, but he’s Public Enemy No. 1 among many local liberals. A more moderate Republican, Supervisor Roberts, who represents most of San Diego, will face a runoff against Democrat Stephen Whitburn in a race that’s sure to draw plenty of attention.
This is exactly what Whitburn had hoped would happen.
There hasn’t been a runoff in a county supervisor race since 1998; the five supervisors (every one a Republican) have been in office together since 1995.
Here’s a quick recap of the other big local races we’ve been following:
• Labor-supported term limits on county supervisors passed easily (and overwhelmingly), as did San Diego’s “strong mayor” measure that retains a powerful-mayor system and creates a ninth council seat. Chula Vista’s high-profile Prop. G, which would prohibit labor union pacts in public works contracts, passed by a big margin.
• In San Diego City Council races, Lorie Zapf, who fought off allegations of being anti-gay and careless with money, will face former Assemblyman Howard Wayne in the District 6, which covers Clairemont, Mission Valley and some surrounding neighborhoods.
As the vote count continued last night, the race in District 8 (southern San Diego) was tight as a too-small bathing suit on a too-long ride home from the beach, as Dan Rather might (and did) say. But in the end, David Alvarez advanced to a runoff with Felipe Hueso.
(By the way, we visited District 8 yesterday and watched one of the candidates hustle for votes in a suit and Panama hat.)
Councilmen Kevin Falcouner (who represents several of the coastal communities) and Tony Young (southeast San Diego) breezed to re-election.
• In education, Republican political consultant Scott Barnett will face San Diego school board incumbent de Beck in a runoff. Middle school teacher Kevin Beiser will try to knock Nakamura out of office in another runoff.
Both Nakamura and de Beck have annoyed some now-former Democratic allies by straying from approved positions. The big question now, as our election analysis explains, is this: What does the unexpectedly large anti-incumbent vote reveal about what voters are thinking?
We produced more than words yesterday: You can also check out a plethora of photos from Election Day here.
In other (non-election) news:
• It’s a lesson everyone learns in Media Relations 101: Dump bad news on Friday afternoon when nobody is paying attention. And there’s an correlary: Release a report on Election Day when it will get buried by other news.
It looks like nobody bothered to tell this to the San Diego County Grand Jury, which clearly wanted the world to notice its new report yesterday. Among other things, it says San Diego is $7 billion in debt and suggests that the City Council seriously consider bankruptcy as an option.
There’s more, including some ideas — like outsourcing the library system — that will get a lot of tongues flapping. That is, if anyone notices the report.
In a related story, people (lots of them, in fact) actually want to get elected to the City Council. Psst! Nobody tell them about the $7 billion debt. That way they’ll be really surprised once they get sworn in. It’ll be hilarious!
• The San Diego school board took a hatchet to its budget last night, eliminating adult education and clinics for mentally ill students, cutting back on central office and magnet school expenses, and more. More cuts are on the way.
Also: the district isn’t quite ready to announce its finalists for superintendent and will wait until next Tuesday instead. The finalists will get to greet the public at a forum just two days later.
And there’s bad news for San Diego schools: “California plans to delay more than $58 million in funding from this school year to next, prompting the school district to borrow money to cover its costs.”
Delays aren’t unusual. But big amounts like this are. And borrowing costs money.
• Remember those protesters who want the right to take their clothes off at the World Naked Bike Ride next Saturday? They’ve appealed a judge’s ruling against them to the Ninth Circuit Appeals Court, which will decide by Friday if they can go commando. A law professor tells us they don’t have a prayer.
• A judge has halted a nurses strike at University of California hospitals — including UCSD Medical Center — and student health centers, the LAT says. Their base pay is more than $74,000, and some can make more than $122,000.
• The port district has postponed a “request by hotel magnate Douglas Manchester to give up controlling interest in his 1,625-room Manchester Grand Hyatt in downtown San Diego to Hyatt Hotels.”
Manchester is perhaps most known for spawning a boycott after supporting the anti-gay-marriage Prop. 8. He tried and failed to assuage gay activists with offers of contributions and free hotel space. He also found his own contentious divorce a topic of media coverage in light of his views. (U-T)
• Well, that’s thoughtful: a Chula Vista man helpfully informed readers of the Phoenix newspaper that there are 17 cities in this county besides San Diego for Arizonans to visit if they’re upset about votes opposing the state’s immigration law by the City Council and school board.
Maybe Lemon Grove, San Marcos, Imperial Beach and all the rest should brace for a Zonie influx. (To imagine that some people thought the votes would have absolutely no impact on anything at all.)
• CityBeat profiles the new head of the trouble-plagued and short-staffed county Citizens Law Enforcement Review Board, which has been unable to investigate numerous complaints before time ran out.
The paper also has a bizarre story about a man who’s gone on YouTube to threaten to snitch on gangs in the Skyline and Lincoln Park neighborhoods.
• CityBeat also profiles a local resident who’d like to see a 300-foot statute at the bay. Just another wackadoo with a crazy plan? No, this guy is an architect with actual impressive credentials.
Let’s just hope the proposed Statue of Justice — a West Coast sibling of the Statue of Liberty — doesn’t feel the need for a mate.