She first became known to San Diegans as a crusading journalist whose title — “Troubleshooter” at Channel 10 — made her sound like the citizen’s best friend. Now, Marti Emerald has been a city councilwoman for four years and hopes voters think that job description still fits.

Emerald has a challenger, plus a bunch of new neighborhoods to get to know. She’s running to represent the new District 9, which looks quite a bit different than her current District 7 and spans City Heights, Kensington and Talmadge, the College Area and a piece of southeastern San Diego.

Our editor Andrew Donohue, who spent last week soaking up the issues in District 9, has put together a Reader’s Guide to help you understand Emerald and what she represents. We have details about her priorities (voter registration, public safety, redevelopment/affordable housing), her pitch (she’ll be chief lobbyist for the district) and what she’d rather not talk about (how to pay for things).

Next on our agenda: Emerald’s challenger, Mateo Camarillo.

We also have links to stories about the views of Emerald and Camarillo on energy and water costs plus a roundup of our District 9 coverage and more.

Our community of readers helped Donohue identify story lines and sources as he spent last week in the district. This week, Will Carless hits the ground in Emerald’s former haunt, District 7. Drop him a line at and let him know the issues, the people to meet and the questions he should put toward the candidates there.

Dumanis’s Rise Against the Odds

On TV’s Mad Men, a young women character joins an advertising agency as a secretary in the 1960s, turns out to have talent, then ends up working her way up in a field dominated by men. Drama, of course, ensues.

Bonnie Dumanis took a similar path in the 1970s, joining the county as a typist, proving her worth (without being too good at typing so she wouldn’t be stuck in the secretarial pool forever) and working her way up in a field that was unfriendly to females.

So did drama ensue? Not sure. But a new U-T San Diego profile of Dumanis shows she remains one of the most private of public figures. And one thing is clear: She’s tenacious. She became a prosecutor (stuck in the sticks of the family law department because that’s where female attorneys were first sent), a judge and, eventually, the first lesbian district attorney in the country.

In 2010, we put together a five-part series about how Dumanis became the county’s most powerful politician.

Dumanis, by the way, would be the second gay elected mayor of one of the 10 most populous U.S. cities if she wins. (The same goes for Councilman Carl DeMaio); the first of the cities to elect one is Houston, where a gay woman serves as mayor. And there might soon be a third: Christine Quinn is a leading candidate to be the next mayor of New York City.

Filner Won’t Debate DeMaio

DeMaio seems eager to turn the mayoral race from a competition between four major candidates to two — between him and Rep. Bob Filner. To that end, DeMaio suggested a debate — Lincoln-Douglas style — between the two of them over reform of pensions for city employees.

If it truly was Lincoln-Douglas style, viewers would have been treated to a three-hour debate — 60 minutes for one candidate, 90 minutes for the other, then 30 minutes for the first one’s rebuttal. That would have been a challenge, both for the debaters and the audience.

But never mind. Filner declined, the U-T reports, and gave DeMaio some gruff: “We have had and we have scheduled dozens of debates. He hasn’t shown up to more than half of them. I mean talk about a gimmick. … He has missed more debates than anybody because he makes demands. He says you got to have this moderator or this question or this or that. So all of a sudden he wants me to show up at his debate. Come on. It’s the most ridiculous thing in the world.”

For his part, DeMaio correctly noted that Filner hasn’t released his own pension plan (although he’s kept on talking for months about how it’s coming soon). 

Quick News Hits

• New York Times media columnist David Carr includes San Diego’s own Doug Manchester in a piece about the resurfacing of the old newspaper baron.

“So if most newspapers are an uneconomical proposition incapable of sustaining profits, let alone pay off the debt so many buyers have larded on them, who is left to own them?” Carr asks. “Rich guys.”

• A study funded by a progressive organization finds that undocumented immigrants who live in North County are avoiding the police because the cops have been working with the federal immigration agency, the NC Times reports. Escondido Mayor Sam Abed, who’s supported efforts to target illegal immigrants in his city, told the paper that the immigrants “put themselves in this situation.”

The researchers surveyed 202 immigrants, including 120 who are in the country illegally. Of 18 who said they’d seen or been a victim of a crime, only 3 reported it.

You can read the report, issued by the Center for American Progress, here.

• “The FBI can’t get into a (San Diego) pimp’s Android phone—so it wants Google to hand over the keys,” reports the tech site Ars Technica. The pimp in question went to prison after he beat up and kidnapped a $500-a-night prostitute who talked about getting off the streets. He got out and authorities thought he was pimping again with his Android phone, but they couldn’t get into it because it was locked.

The FBI subpoenaed Google, since the suspect’s Google account would open the phone. It’s not clear if Google has provided the information.  

Can We Get a Fact Check Over Here?

We pride ourselves on accuracy here at the Morning Report. So I launched my own Fact Check when a reader made a claim about me the other day in our comment section.

Statement: “Randy Dotinga’s jokes fall flat every single morning and yet you let readers suffer through it day after day after day.” — reader David Hall.

Determination: False

Analysis: I write the Morning Report five days a week. That means my jokes fall flat 71 percent of the time, not “every single morning.”

Ask anyone. Even my mom. Especially my mom.

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

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

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