Journalism won’t die if you donate. Support Voice of San Diego today!

A day after advancing out of the mayoral primary, Carl DeMaio and Bob Filner hit the airwaves yesterday and began to craft their pitches for the upcoming November election.

Both tried to sell sunshine.

“Mayor (Jerry) Sanders called Carl a candidate of doom and gloom,” Filner said on Fox 5. “Well, I’m going to be the mayor that creates neighborhood bloom and economic boom.”

And here’s DeMaio: “We have a positive vision for our future that involves environmental protection, job creation, fixing our roads, restoring our services, getting our school reform in place so all children have equal opportunity to pursue their dreams. These are issues that unite rather than divide.”

In more city politics news:

• Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher conceded yesterday, but not without some self-congratulation: “Any metric you want to look at, we ran a great campaign.” (Well, there’s the matter of the metric of actually winning the race, but never mind.)

Fletcher didn’t say anything about his future. He risked unemployment to run for mayor; his term as assemblyman will end soon.

• Vladimir Kogan, a local political scientist and author, gave us some perspective about the San Diego city election. One big message: While the GOP had a cow over the redrawing of the City’s Council district boundaries, the ultimate map actually provides plenty of opportunities for Republicans to gain control.

“For ‘progressives,’ trying to keep the peace between the gay, black, and Latino communities, giving each constituency its own districts, may now also cause these groups, collectively, to be in the minority on the council,” Kogan writes.

Also: He’ll be watching to see if the largest labor group in town, the Labor Council, will patch things up with Councilwoman Sherri Lightner, a Democrat, in her bid to keep her seat against a Republican. “It would be incredibly foolish for them not too,” considering that the GOP is within sight of taking over the council, he writes.

A Birther Judge in San Diego?

The battle of Kreep vs. Peed is gaining national attention, and not just because of those two last names.

Attorney Gary Kreep, a leader in the birther movement to question the president’s citizenship, is still in a tight battle for a Superior Court judgeship against prosecutor Garland Peed.

Low Turnout and More Election News

If you were underwhelmed by the issues and the candidates, you had plenty of company. The registrar of voters says turnout should ultimately be about 36 percent of eligible voters, KPBS reports.

• The New York Times notes the big victory for union-unfriendly pension reform in San Diego and says a similar measure won easily in San Jose — California’s third-largest city — where it had the support of a Democratic mayor.

• As usual, there are several close races whose ultimate winners may not currently be ahead in the tally. What happens if there’s a tie?

As a public service, I checked this out back in 2010 when an Assembly primary was mighty close.

Ties have happened before in small local political races, sometimes in the boonies in places like Valley Center and Borrego Springs. If there’s a tie, it must be broken by a random game of chance. That could mean something like a coin flip — one Ramona tiebreaker required that a quarter be tossed at least six feet — or the pulling of a slip of paper out of a hat.   

They’re a bit more creative in Nevada, where a hand of five-card stud poker was used to break a tie.

Tell Us Your Laid-Off Teacher Stories

About one in every five San Diego school district teachers has received a layoff notice.

“We want to hear your stories,” writes our reporter Will Carless. “We want to tell, in human stories, the real impact of tens of millions of dollars in deficits and thousands of pieces of pink paper.”

You can reach Carless at or 619.550.5670.

CityBeat’s Message: Give In Already, Teachers Union!

The bosses over at the leftie weekly CityBeat certainly made their message clear: It’s time for the San Diego teachers union to surrender.

On the heels of a local labor union leader’s unusual nudge toward negotiations, the editorial is another sign that the teachers union is losing the support of allies on the left as it refuses to give in to pressure.

At least for the moment, the union is unwilling to negotiate with the school district, raising the prospect that hundreds of teachers will be laid off so that the remaining teachers will get raises on top of the ones that many get automatically. Some union leaders, however, don’t accept the school district’s math.

“Teachers should be paid much more than they’re currently paid. But to pay them more, there has to be money available, and there just isn’t,” the editorial says. “We’re sorry to have to say that the teachers union must put the interests of students ahead of the interests of its members.”

Hey, Big Spender

Only one San Diego-area resident makes the list of “The Rainmakers,” California Watch’s name for the state’s top political donors from 2001-2011. (Only contributions to California campaigns are counted.)

James Holman, the publisher of the Reader and a prominent anti-abortion activist, is at No. 11 with $5.2 million spent. He’s repeatedly and unsuccessfully pushed anti-abortion state ballot measures.   

Also of interest: No. 6 is Alex Spanos, the owner of the Chargers, with donations of $9 million.  

As La Jolla Turns

Much as been made locally of presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s La Jolla home.

Now The New York Times has put together a big spread on it, painting Romney’s construction as the cause for major neighborhood drama. There’s the elderly woman whose car is always boxed in, a gay couple worried about their ocean views and a widow whose dog walking routine could be ruined.

“Little did Mr. Romney know that his efforts to quadruple the size of his house would collide with a bid for the White House, foisting the unpredictable dramas of home renovation and presidential politics onto a community that prides itself on low-key California neighborliness,” says the author, who’s clearly never witnessed a La Jolla land-use debate.

It turns out that Romney also taken to being a fatherly figure around the neighborhood as well:

“A young man in town recalled that Mr. Romney confronted him as he smoked marijuana and drank on the beach last summer, demanding that he stop.”

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

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.