Even with three local Republican stars running for mayor, the Republican Party of San Diego’s Central Committee may today endorse one of them. It would be a big boost for the candidate who got it. For one thing, it would unlock the party’s coffers (parties can give unlimited amounts to candidates right now).

But things got uncomfortable this week as Councilman Carl DeMaio and Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher raced to show who was more consistent and conservative ahead of the vote (two thirds support is needed to do the endorsement now).

Scott Lewis breaks down two interesting claims from Fletcher, who bashed the supposedly anti-tax DeMaio of supporting a “billion dollar tax increase.” There’s only one problem: Fletcher supports that tax too.

What We Learned This Week

Remember to Follow Up on Promises: A decade and a half ago, developers, environmentalists and public officials struck a landmark deal designed to cut red tape for builders and set aside land for threatened species. You can probably see where this is headed: While developers have enjoyed their new freedoms, money hasn’t delivered to protect the sensitive land despite years of promises, our story found.

• Bonus: The comments did just what they should: They added value, were smart and took the story to another level.

Doug Manchester Wants to Be a Media Magnate: Just months after completing his purchase of The San Diego Union-Tribune, Manchester tells us he’s eyeing the Orange County Register. “Check with me in 30 days and there might be something,” he told our Rob Davis.

And he’d already told us he had designs on the North County Times. There’s long been talk of a merged Southern California super-paper. Could Manchester be the one to pull it off?

• Manchester’s new editorial page continued to beat the drum on its mega-waterfront-project-thing, proposing a tax increase to fund it and whining about how nobody’s supporting it.

• In the meantime, Scott Lewis and I have each written about our pet projects and they seem to be getting more traction: People are lining up behind a Major League Soccer team and Nathan Fletcher wants San Diego to have a bike-share program. Perhaps Manchester should have just started a nonprofit news org with that $110 million instead.

Jobs and Free Time Take Center Stage in Mayor’s Race: We broke down each major mayoral candidates’ jobs plan (simplifying each in one word for the short-attention-spanned) and KBPS profiled the candidates doing something in their free time. Let’s see if we can combine the two somehow:

• Carl DeMaio: Cut and knocking on voters’ doors.

• Bonnie Dumanis: Trust and walking the dog in Little Italy.

• Bob Filner: Port and playing the piano.

• Nathan Fletcher: Ambassador and getting sweaty.

We had a good discussion about the mayor’s race, the candidates and their roles in education yesterday on KBPS’ Evening Edition.

Teachers Union Leader Benched: Craig Leedham was a driving force behind the San Diego teachers union’s hard-line, confrontational nature. Now, he’s on the sidelines at a critical moment for union leadership and district-union relations. At least one group alienated during Leedham’s tenure is hoping to get back in its good graces, the retired teachers.

♦♦♦ 

Weird Stuff Happening with Padres Ownership

Padres CEO Jeff Moorad has withdrawn his application with the league to take over majority control of the team. There are conflicting reports about what all of this means. (Gaslamp Ball) But the U-T says other owners are trying to block Moorad, who had an agreement in 2009 to gradually take over lead control of the team over the course of a number of years while John Moores went through a divorce.

Utility Watchdog Gets the Aguirre Lawsuit It Says It Wanted

When the Utility Consumers’ Action Network last week made the surprising move to disband itself, its leader said he needed to “smoke out” quiet allegations that had been dogging the organization. If that was indeed the plan, he got his wishes.

Mike Aguirre filed suit yesterday on behalf of UCAN whistleblowers, saying the organization didn’t investigate seriously their complaints. Rob Davis breaks down the allegations and what the case means.

A San Diego Love Story

You probably know Davis for his harder-hitting work covering the environment, public agencies and the Union-Tribune. But he’s got a softer side, too. He had media types aswoon on Twitter with the love story he told in his side gig writing for The New York Times’ wedding section.

Quick Hits

• It’s time for Dagny Salas’ weekend reading mixtape, in which she offers up what VOSDers and others recommend reading. This week: ticket-fixing, bikes, job creation and more.

See if what you’re reading is interesting enough to clear Salas’ high hurdle: email her at dagny.salas@voiceofsandiego.org.

• Did you make the top comments of the week? Here’s a hint: If you commented about belching trucks or teacher layoff warnings, you might have. Give it a look.

• The top story of the week out of our City Heights media collaborative: how the District 9 City Council candidates will keep development alive there despite the death of redevelopment.

Marti Emerald says she’d find partners and make sure plans on the table get completed. Mateo Camarillo wants to keep the community involved. We have that and more in our weekly City Heights wrap.

Quote of the Week

“Certainly if you were trying to design a budget process for California, you wouldn’t be able to figure out one as bad as what we have.”

— Ron Bennett, education finance consultant.

I’m the editor of VOSD. You can reach me at andrew.donohue@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0526. Follow me on Twitter: @AndrewDonohue.

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