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In December, business leader Fred Maas told us he was looking into doing something unprecedented in a San Diego mayoral election. He was exploring financing a full-length, investigative documentary into mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio’s background.

Maas and DeMaio have a history of bad blood — when DeMaio says he fights against “downtown insiders” he means guys like Maas — but this project promised to go much further than either had before.

December was a long time ago. And Maas told us in a brief statement Monday that we shouldn’t expect a DeMaio documentary before the quickly approaching June 5 primary.

“This was always intended as a commercial venture and having our ducks in a row was more important than having a specific product to publish,” Maas said. “We’re going to take our time and be deliberate. When we’re ready, we’ll say more on the record.”

Maas didn’t give a time frame for publishing an investigation of DeMaio or anything else.

DeMaio’s campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment on Maas’ decision. When news first broke about the documentary, a DeMaio spokesman derided it as a “sleazy attack campaign.” The move also fed the DeMaio narrative that he’s fighting both the left, in the form of labor unions, and the right, in form of downtown business elites.

Maas and DeMaio’s most famous exchange came in the wake of the “Midnight Deal,” the downtown redevelopment legislation spearheaded by now-mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher in 2010. At the time, Maas headed the city’s downtown redevelopment agency and was one of the few knowledgeable about the deal before it passed.

Any opportunity we have to re-post Maas vs. DeMaio clip, we take.

YouTube video

Liam Dillon is a news reporter for Voice of San Diego. He covers San Diego City Hall, the 2012 mayor’s race and big building projects. What should he write about next?

Please contact him directly at or 619.550.5663.

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Liam Dillon

Liam Dillon was formerly a senior reporter and assistant editor for Voice of San Diego. He led VOSD’s investigations and wrote about how regular people...

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