They say it takes two to tango, but U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy only saw Bob Filner dancing.

Mayoral candidates Carl DeMaio and Bob Filner traded stinging accusations during an audience Q-and-A on Sunday at Temple Emanu-El. The event was designed to be an open audience forum, but the candidates turned it into a gloves-off throwdown.

“I wanted this to be a civil debate, but he’s a liar. He knows he’s a liar,” Filner said when DeMaio asked him to refuse his $120,000 pension, while failing to mention that most of that pension is not city-funded.

Duffy was not pleased by Filner’s antics. So displeased, in fact, that she felt obligated to apologize to the DeMaio campaign.

“Our apologies that Filner had to be admonished about his uncivil ‘debate-style’ remarks,” she wrote in an email to DeMaio aide Tommy Knepper.

The DeMaio team took Duffy’s comments straight to the hoop, posting a video of the heated exchange and forwarding her email to reporters.

Check out our recent post for more details on the exchange and our original analysis of Rep. Bob Filner’s pension that started this fight in the first place.

Baby Steps for the Two-Year-Old Balboa Park Conservancy

If the Balboa Park Conservancy were a toddler, these first steps would be a bit on the late side. Nevertheless, more than two years after its unveiling, the non-profit group is beginning to lay the groundwork for its relationship with the park and the city.

The project was envisioned as San Diego’s version of similar groups like the Central Park Conservancy, which have had great success in revitalizing the nation’s urban parks. The Balboa Park Conservancy had a rocky start due to expensive distractions like the Plaza de Panama remodel and the conservancy slid down the park’s long and expensive to-do list.

After a long period of bureaucratic wrangling, it appears the conservancy is ready to outline a list of projects and a fundraising plan.  We have been analyzing the park’s long and tortured relationship with the city in a recent series.

State Treasurer Comes Out Swinging

California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer does not mince words when it comes to Poway Unified School District. Lockyer condemned the district’s sketchy borrowing habits in a recent speech, recommending that voters clear out the school board and hand the irresponsible staff members their walking papers.

Poway Unified was the subject of our investigation earlier this year into the use of expensive long-term borrowing practices. 

Lockyer believes the problem is not limited to Poway and says his office is analyzing more than 1,000 cases of irresponsible borrowing statewide. The state currently has no official recourse for pursuing staffers who negotiated the shoddy deals.

Lockyer’s comments set twitter ablaze on Wednesday. For more on his comments and our investigation, read the story here.

Fact Check: Did Filner Assault a Woman At Dulles Airport? DeMaio Says Yes.

If it isn’t clear already, mayoral candidates Carl DeMaio and Bob Filner have started hitting below the belt in the final weeks before the election. DeMaio’s recent ad makes the shocking claim that “Filner was arrested for assaulting a female baggage handler” in 2007.

Is it true? Not quite.

There is no question that Filner got himself into a nasty altercation with airport staff, but he pleaded guilty to trespassing, not assault. It is an important distinction.

While the DeMaio campaign is guilty of exaggerating the nature of the incident, we dinged Filner for being equally guilty of downplaying the same story in a radio interview.

For more on the details of this incident and a video of DeMaio’s misleading advertisement, check out the full story in our latest Fact Check.

Doug Manchester Wants to Fix Qualcomm Stadium

Hotel mogul and U-T San Diego publisher Doug Manchester seemed to stray from his big push to build a new Chargers stadium.

“Give me $200 million and I’ll fix Qualcomm Stadium,” said Manchester at a Thursday morning breakfast Q-and-A session.

The statement is a major departure from Manchester’s recent push for a new stadium at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, which was published in a full-color front-page editorial back in January.

If Manchester’s $200 million figure is even close to the mark, it raises some interesting questions about the possibility of refurbishing the current site and saving taxpayers hundreds of millions in public financing.

Thursday was a big news day for Papa Doug. KPBS reported that he is also considering purchase of the Tribune Company, owner of the Los Angeles Times.

A full rundown of Manchester’s stadium comments and our ongoing coverage of the stadium discussion can be found here and here.

Say Hello To Our New Managing Editor

Voice of San Diego has a new editor and she’s fresh out of the political trenches of Washington, D.C.

Sara Libby is a veteran politics reporter and seasoned alum from Politico and TPM. She is joining us as managing editor and will be running the day-to-day operations previously handled by Andrew Donohue.

Libby wrote this letter Thursday as her official introduction to VOSD readers. You can follow her on Twitter and email her at

She is excited to learn the local political scene and has already figured out that pensions may be the only subject in San Diego that gets more discussion than the Chargers and late-night burrito joints.

Colin Weatherby is a freelance writer. You can reach him at and follow him on Twitter at @CCWeatherby.

Colin Weatherby is a freelance writer. You can reach him at and follow him on Twitter @CCWeatherby.

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.