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What was a private investigator doing lurking around West Hollywood and taking surveillance photos of a local (or maybe not-so-local) guy? The answer offers insight into how far the county’s Republican party is willing to go to push its allegations that a redistricting commission is biased against the GOP.

The investigator, who’s also secretary of the county Republican party, trailed a member of the commission that’s redrawing the lines of the city’s council districts. Now, the GOP is accusing the commissioner of not living in San Diego and wants him off the panel; 10News said the party hired the investigator.

The flap over the investigation — which includes surveillance photos and some impressive skullduggery aimed at getting the man to disclose his address — set Twitter aflame yesterday as Democrats and Republicans slammed each other. Adding to the fire is the fact that the commission member in question is both Latino and an activist for gay causes.

As our story notes, the law requires that commission members be registered to vote in San Diego, but they could apparently live somewhere else temporarily. As for the commissioner in question, he told the U-T that he’s appalled by the GOP’s “sordid and reprehensible” efforts. Whatever the efforts are, they do seem perfectly legal, and his residence (or lack of one) is no minor issue. Then again: Seriously? A private investigator? And not even Magnum P.I.?


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Mayor Reduces Library, Rec Cuts, but…

The mayor still wants to slash hours for libraries, but he was expected to propose trimming back the budget cuts and restoring rec center hours because of an unexpected influx of money, the U-T says. It sounds like it’ll be moot anyway: the City Council has adopted a not-gonna-happen attitude in regard to the cuts.

Consultant Caught Billing for Volunteer Work

The U-T continues to dig up dirt in the high school district that serves the South Bay. Now, reporters have found that a public relations consultant billed the school district for his volunteer work for another organization. We’ve got a roundup of other U-T stories uncovering problems in the Sweetwater district.

Also in education, we ask a couple local universities about how they’d deal with cases in which it turns out that a student’s grades in high school had been improperly changed. A local small high school has been under investigation for years over charges that it changed the grades of several students who have since graduated. That raises the question of whether they might have not actually made the cut to get into college. It’s a bit akin to a fudged resume, and it would definitely be awkward, to say the least.

Behind the County’s ‘Fascinating’ Blueprint

Is our editor easily fascinated? Find out by checking the latest edition of San Diego Explained, in which he explains why the county’s blueprint for the future is actually pretty darned interesting.

Bridgepoint Gets Investigated in NY

Besides building offices around San Diego (I saw one in North County while coming down the I-15 the other day), the mammoth private higher education company Bridgepoint has been busy making money and attracting unwanted attention. Now, the attorney general of New York has his eye on the company, the NYT says: he’s “looking into whether the schools and their recruiters misrepresent their success in finding students jobs, the quality of instruction, the cost of attending, and the program’s accreditation, among other things. Such activities could constitute deceptive trade practices or fraud.”

We’ve explored Bridgepoint’s rapid rise to fame, fortune and controversy.

KPBS Jangles La Jollans and Their Jewelry

CityBeat’s Dave Rolland says he’s happy that KPBS is dumping its overnight classical music format even though he “thought the station would never muster the gumption to wake and rile the snoozing, blue-haired, pledge-making La Jolla dragon that guarded the treasure.”

How important are the matrons of La Jolla to KPBS’s fortunes? Let’s put it this way: Mt. Soledad blocks reception of KPBS to some parts of La Jolla, making listening difficult. So the station broadcasts from a special transmitter in the area (it’s at 89.1, not 89.5 FM).

Save the Date: World to End Tomorrow

You may have seen the billboards around town declaring that the end of the world is May 21. Well, it’s finally here: if a 89-year-old church leader who took his message to San Ysidro not too long ago is right, it’s all over but the rapturing (or — eek — non-rapturing) as of tomorrow. A humongous earthquake, he says, will hit the Pacific Ocean, possibly right around 6 p.m..

Yeah, that’s dinnertime. I’ll definitely be eating dessert first.

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

Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com...

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