There’s a warm version of Councilman Carl DeMaio, one who’s full of anecdotes and details about his favorite things. Then there’s the programmed version, who only talks passionately about policy and saving the city.

Here’s the funny thing: To catch the warm version you have to find him on your computer, in a strange virtual reality setting. The programmed version is the one you’ll see in real life.

DeMaio acknowledges he’s uncomfortable talking about his tragic and fascinating life. In an extensive profile posted last night, Liam Dillon cites DeMaio’s allies, his critics (including one who was appalled by his closely watched distracted actions at a cop’s funeral) and a former councilwoman who’s anything but a fan.

“In less than a decade, DeMaio’s resolute, rehearsed and relentless focus on the city’s financial problems has turned him from an obscure government consultant with no San Diego ties into a leading candidate to run the nation’s eighth-largest city,” Dillon writes. “DeMaio contends voters want to know about his plans to deal with pensions, potholes and prosperity. There’s no room in that list for puppies.” (Although he did famously talk about cats when he had a political issue to flog).

Dillon has also posted the transcript of an interview several months ago with DeMaio. In it, the candidate explains why he’s so intensely private and, even there, hammers at public employee unions.

• Speaking of DeMaio, think tank analyst Erik Bruvold follows up on Scott Lewis’ point that DeMaio symbolizes a new version of the Republican Party of San Diego. “What Carl DeMaio represents is an effort to see if one can forge an alternative coalition that is a break with San Diego’s history,” Bruvold wrote.

Another commenter, Jannette Littler, said Lewis was wrong. “The local GOP is made up of more than the few you discuss.”

What’s your perspective on DeMaio and the mayor’s race? Log it here.

Curfew Sweeps Debate Erupts

Writer Keegan Kyle was all over the airwaves yesterday discussing his analysis of juvenile crime statistics and the curfew sweeps in certain neighborhoods.

A passionate debate broke out in the comment section of his article. Here’s a clip of Kyle explaining his findings on KPBS’ Evening Edition.

What Lies Beneath, Florence-Style

A UCSD professor and a team of researchers from the university are in the world news this week: They announced that they’ve got new evidence suggesting that a long-lost painting by Leonardo da Vinci is hidden behind another centuries-old painting in Florence, Italy. A documentary will air on the National Geographic Channel next week.

We’ve profiled the professor, whose restoration work is controversial among art historians.

For more links and a recap of the week’s other news in the world of arts, read our weekly Arts Report.

The Arts Report is like the Morning Report, only serious-minded, cultured and refined. All right, all right. Maybe it’s not like the Morning Report. Whatever!

Latinos, Blacks Disciplined More than Whites

Statistics show that Latinos and black public school students in San Diego County are disciplined more than whites when it comes to expulsions, the U-T reports. Latinos make up 57 percent of expulsions  while they’re only 42 percent of the student population as a whole; the numbers for blacks are 12 and 6 percent, respectively.

“San Diego Unified has recently stepped up efforts to make discipline polices more consistent districtwide, so, for example, a raunchy student comment or student scuffle would be treated the same whether it occurred in La Jolla or Logan Heights,” the U-T says. “Cultural sensitivity training is also offered to educators.”

Maker of Viral Video Denies ‘Slacktivist’ Tag

As a San Diego organization’s online video about an African warlord continues to get tens of millions of hits, the filmmakers have released another video “to answer questions about their finances and mission,” the LA Times reports.

“I understand why people are wondering is this is just some slick, kind of fly-by-night slacktivist thing, when actually it’s not at all…. It’s connected to a really deep, thoughtful, very intentional and strategic campaign,” says Invisible Children’s CEO, Ben Keesey, in the video.

The video has attracted attention, criticism and questions  about the ideology of its funders, forcing the filmmakers to defend their expenditures. Invisible Children’s three top leaders make around $90,000 a year, which is not high for a non-profit group of its size, and salaries and benefits are just 17 percent of its total budget.

The video made a splash on The Daily Show, which mocked members of media for seeming to resent that no one paid attention to their coverage of Uganda and made fun of the video’s earnest description of the atrocities to a little boy who looks about 4.

Quick News Hits

• The city has enough money to once again fund maintenance of the city’s beach fire pits, NBC 7 San Diego reports. Private donations had kept them alive for several three years.

• “The number of vessels caught trying to illegally enter the U.S. by sea from Mexico in San Diego County increased by 48 percent from 123 to 183 between 2010 to 2011,” public radio’s Fronteras Desk reports. But the number of people caught on the boats declined because more people are using watercraft designed to only hold one or two people.  

• I watched this amusing “Conan” compilation — of local newscasters around the country spouting the same exact fluffy story — in search of anchors from a San Diego station. I wasn’t disappointed. Look for the flub-tastic little KUSI clip at the end.

• An El Cajon tattoo artist is giving out free Bibles and free tattoos at his Christian-themed tattoo parlor, CNN reports.

Do they offer piercings too? It’d be handy to find holiness through holeyness.

Please contact Randy Dotinga directly at and follow him on Twitter:

Randy Dotinga

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

Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.