Sherri Lightner did plenty of talking at a Friday forum — mostly because her opponent, Ray Ellis, didn’t show up. But Lightner had no words for a question on whether, Proposition B, the pension reform measure passed in June, is fair to city employees.

She explained her silence to Keegan Kyle afterward.

More on the U.S. Attorney as Mayoral Referee

Bob Filner and Carl DeMaio have participated in a seemingly endless string of mayoral debates. So it wasn’t surprising things got debate-like during a forum at Temple Emanu-El last weekend.

But U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy was surprised. She helped organize the forum as a member of the Temple (not in her official capacity for the Justice Department), and sent a note to DeMaio’s camp about Filner’s inappropriate “debate-style” remarks. She talked to our Scott Lewis about the email.

Many of you weighed in on Duffy’s actions, and whether they represented a signal that she is pro-Demaio (DeMaio sure thinks so, he touted her support during Thursday’s debate).

From reader Cheryl Geyerman:

“It appears Duffy is endorsing DeMaio and she is not inserting herself in politics? What did she expect from these two strong opponents? How naive is she? Not very, I am sure of that.”

Lesser of Two Evils

There is a less-terrible option on the table for San Diego Unified than the reviled 40-year capital appreciation loans that got Poway schools into trouble. They can take out 25-year bonds that don’t cost as much to pay back, Will Carless notes in a new Explainer. 

• Meanwhile, Reuters contributor Cate Long offered some national perspective on California Treasurer Bill Lockyer’s startling comments about Poway’s bond and the people who worked on it, which we reported yesterday. Long wrote the remarks would be taken as a big warning to the bond world:

“Muni professionals generally rely on repeat business within a state. If they spoil their reputation with state officials, they could cut themselves off from local bond business.”

She also says, about our writer: “Carless could probably host his own conference to teach reporters how to dig into bond deals and find the truly abusive ones.”

How Vast Is Vast?

What constitutes a “vast majority”? That question is at the heart of our latest Fact Check.

Ray Ellis, who is running to unseat District 1 Councilwoman Sherri Lightner, claimed at a recent debate that the “vast majority” of the donations his campaign has received have come from within the district.

Keegan Kyle looked into both candidates’ donations, and found Ellis’ claim barely true — Ellis received just over half his money from inside the district.

What We Learned This Week

Carl DeMaio Had a Big Change of Heart: The Republican mayoral candidate is currently a strong supporter of a 2 percent surcharge on hotel rooms voted on by hoteliers. Seven years ago, though, DeMaio opposed the same tax, and derided it as a “stealth tax” in a passionate op-ed.

Been There, Tried That: If someone goes to the trouble of laminating and binding a plan, you know it has to be good.

That might, in fact, be the problem with Carl DeMaio’s “Roadmap to Recovery” — the budget plan he has made a cornerstone of his campaign — the proposals were so good that the city has already tried many of them over the last two years.

He wants to re-open some of those deals, despite hesitation among even his closest ally on City Council.

Relationship Status: It’s Complicated: The Balboa Park Conservancy was supposed to be different from other park groups because of a “special relationship” with the city that never quite got off the ground.

Kelly Bennett breaks down why that tension, and other factors, have stalled any big impact by the group.

Quick News Hits

• Nothing says positive public relations like berating your own fans. (Deadspin)

• RollCall looks at Bilbray vs. Peters race.

• Great infographic from EdSource on Propositions 30 and 32.

• Members of the legal community, including a group of retired judges, rallied to draw attention to the Superior Court race, and the fact that only one candidate is rated “well qualified.” (KPBS)

Quote of the Week

“I would fire staff that made a deal like this. And if I were a voter, I’d pick a different school board. But that’s just how I react to how egregious I think this deal is.”

— State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, on Poway schools’ billion-dollar bond

Sara Libby is VOSD’s managing editor. She oversees VOSD’s newsroom and its content. You can reach her at or 619.325.0526.

Disclosure: Voice of San Diego members and supporters may be mentioned or have a stake in the stories we cover. For a complete list of our contributors, click here.

Sara Libby

Sara Libby was VOSD’s managing editor until 2021. She oversaw VOSD’s newsroom and content.

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