On various occasions, Councilman Carl DeMaio has claimed he uncovered the city of San Diego’s financial crisis in 2003.
Former Voice of San Diego editor Andrew Donohue, who was present at the birth of the narrative that has dominated the city for a decade, deftly debunked that claim for us Wednesday.
DeMaio’s skills and focus helped keep the story alive and frame the issue into what it is now, but he did not uncover the liabilities that have left the city’s services in shambles.
• After we posted the story, U-T editorial writer writer Chris Reed reminded us of an even more brutal takedown of DeMaio’s claim to fame Reed wrote in 2008.
Reed had called an earlier example of DeMaio’s self-promotion a “laughable exaggeration of his centrality in uncovering the pension scandal.”
Filner Calls on U.S. Attorney to Resign
“The U.S. attorney should resign because she got involved in a campaign,” Filner said in what was perhaps the biggest news to come out of last night’s live TV debate we helped put together with NBC 7 San Diego.
U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy, the top federal prosecutor in the region and an appointee of the Obama administration, has donated to DeMaio’s campaign. She sent his staffers an apology last week after the two candidates tussled at a forum at Temple Emanu-El.
That apology, with a damning take on Filner’s comportment, made it to the media. DeMaio said on TV it was “unfortunate mistake” that his campaign leaked that email.
• Scott Lewis previously highlighted how awkward it was for such an important law enforcement official to be seen as taking a side in a political race and calling out a candidate.
The Mogul and the Possible Future Mayor
We’ve put together a Reader’s Guide to help you understand the long history between U-T publisher Doug Manchester and DeMaio.
Federal EB-5 Explained
Both mayoral candidates like the federal EB-5 program that gives foreign investors a path to a permanent visa if they pony up money for a commercial project.
Ever wondered how it actually worked? Andrew Keatts at the Daily Transcript offers a nice explainer along with the downsides of the program.
Prop. 30 Struggling
The San Diego school board and its teachers union have already agreed to cut the school year by nearly three weeks more if Proposition 30 fails. It’d make San Diego’s school year the shortest in the world.
Proposition 30 is struggling. The measure, which would add a quarter-cent sales tax on goods and raise income taxes for those making more than $250,000, did not do well in a new poll from the LA Times and USC.
For background on the difference between Propositions 30 and 38 remember to consult our Parent’s Guide.
Lucy in the Sky with Molecules
A local artist named Kelsey Brookes didn’t make career jump into painting because he wanted to boost his income. He was a scientist previously, working for the CDC and a local biotech.
“I imagined myself as an old scientist, you know, 50 years old, and I imagined myself as an old artist,” Brookes tells us. “I guess I decided I’d rather be the artist.”
But, we learn in a new profile of the artist in our pages, Brookes hasn’t left the science behind. “Brookes’ latest projects take the simple molecular line diagrams you remember from high school — the ones scientists use to relate a molecule in a simple, visual way — and corresponds them to what those molecules do to our visual perception,” writes our Kelly Bennett.
An Ex-President on San Diego’s Payroll?
“I should be on the payroll of the city of San Diego, because they’re my exhibit A about why creative cooperation works better than constant conflict,” former President Bill Clinton told a crowd in Orange County the other day. (KPBS)
While he may be unclear on the amount of constant conflict we have in these parts, Clinton has been touting San Diego’s approach to economic development. As a recent Fact Check showed, however, he could use a better fact-vetter.
Quick News Hits
• Ray Ellis and Sherri Lightner, the two candidates for the District 1 council seat, went at each other on KPBS, disagreeing on issues such as pension reform, the Balboa Park renovation and even how often the candidates voted.
• Federal nuclear regulators are studying the risks of cancer around the San Onofre nuclear power plant and other nuke plants. (NBC San Diego)
• DeMaio’s “311” smart phone app is making it mighty easy for the Hillcrest area to get a big chunk of the city’s attention when it comes to vandalism.
Also, an executive linked to an international bribery scheme — one that cost a San Diego company $28.5 million in penalties — is being touted as an endorser of DeMaio. (CityBeat)
• At the moment, the city does its planning without a stand-alone Planning Department. But maybe not for long. Both mayoral candidates “say planning should return as a stand-alone department or figure much more prominently in economic development and community revitalization,” the U-T reports.
• This just in from the Ain’t that the Truth Department. A Twitter denizen named Lemonverbena_ tweeted this yesterday: “Fun fact: a San Diego Mayoral debate starts every 15 minutes.”
My response: “Every 15 minutes, an angel gets its zings.”
Thank you, thank you very much. I’ll be here all week. Enjoy the buffet!