A local political consultant is appalled by strategist Tom Shepard’s switch from working with Republicans to helping a Democrat, Rep. Bob Filner, get elected to mayor.

But our Scott Lewis thinks consultant Jason Roe deserves a reality check. Roe, after all, worked on the Carl DeMaio campaign during the primary season and actually worked to boost a Democratic candidate.

Who? Bob Filner. Why? Because the DeMaio folks thought he’d be the easiest (and liberal-est) to beat in the fall.

“This guy thinks it’s ‘offensive’ that a political consultant who has worked primarily with Republicans helped Democrat Bob Filner get elected,” Lewis writes. “Yet this guy also helped Bob Filner get elected.”

‘No Different’? No Way

To hear Superintendent John Collins tell it, Poway Unified’s exotic bond deals were ho-hum, run-of-the-mill money generators.

“Poway has done nothing different than every other district in the state of California,” he said in an interview with Investigative Newsource last week.

Our Will Carless objects in our latest Fact Check — he gave Collins the dreaded Huckster Propaganda rating, reserved for the most egregious claims.

“Poway’s 2011 bond was extraordinary not just because of the high interest the district will pay, but because of its sheer size,” Carless writes. There was also that letter from the state attorney general warning Poway it was squeezing money out of its deal in a legally questionably way.

Fact Check TV: Election Results

Fact Check TV examines the Democratic sweep of local races and reviews a bold U-T editorial prediction that didn’t quite come to pass: “The U-T believes there will be a landslide win for Romney, largely due to the failure of the Obama economic policies and repudiation of his attempt to move the country toward European socialism.”


• Our 10 most popular stories of the week were all about the election.

• And Scott Lewis and Will Carless broke down what Democrats’ big across-the-board wins could mean for the state on VOSD Radio.

He Came, He Built, He Applied for a Permit

Doug Manchester, the hotel magnate and local media mogul, seems to have developed a major allergy to red tape. Get this man an EpiPen!

As we reported recently, Manchester’s U-T San Diego didn’t bother getting building permits when it built a showcase for the publisher’s vintage automobiles. Then the paper blew off a city inspector who dropped by after we alerted officials to the existence of the “U-T Auto Museum.”

Now, the Reader reports that Manchester’s Grand Del Mar built a helicopter pad a year ago but is only now getting around to asking the city for permission.

The Reader writes that the hotel has already been promoting the pad: “‘Touch Down. Check In. However you arrive, we look forward to welcoming you to The Grand life,’ was the post on Facebook accompanied with a picture of a rich-looking white couple walking past the two-person helicopter crew.”

Plight of Homeless Veterans

Arthur Lute survived the 1983 bombing of Marine barracks in Lebanon but was left disabled by post-traumatic stress. The years since then have included a stint in prison and 15 months of homelessness in Chula Vista.

Now, Lute has a home in the city where he once slept next to the downtown police station. He’s a success story for the Obama administration, which is pushing to reduce homelessness among veterans, the Associated Press reports in a new story.  

The U.S. secretary of veterans affairs wants to end homelessness among vets in three years, but there are plenty of skeptics. “It’s baloney to say it will end in 2015,” said Bob McElroy of the Alpha Project, a major advocacy organization for the homeless in San Diego. “This needs to be a priority for decades to come.”

• The Atlantic Cities reports on new research that shows how veterans are becoming increasingly rare in cities, and not just because their numbers have dipped. In many cases, they have moved to rural areas, particularly in the South.

San Diego County, the story shows in maps, has lost its distinction as having a high concentration of vets.

Quick News Hits

• An unusual art project is now open to the public in downtown at the new federal courthouse. It’s made of hundreds of hedges and a prism.

• The Los Angeles Times examines what the future holds in Sacramento thanks to the new system of open primaries: “The next class of the Legislature will be stocked with a new variety of lawmaker, the product of a new political order intended to foster moderation, compromise and foresight in an institution not known for such things.”

Thanks to the new way of doing things, Democrats ran against Democrats in some districts, and Republicans fought Republicans in places like North County’s 76th Assembly District.

• Here’s a twist on political party loyalty: Investigative Newsource finds that many voters in the 52nd Congressional District — home to the only competitive local House race — split their tickets. An analysis shows that “nearly two-thirds of the precincts that favored Democrat Scott Peters favored Republican Carl DeMaio for mayor.”

• They say you should never discuss a lady’s age. If you do, bad things might happen.

Case in point: Thanks to a typo, yesterday’s Morning Report misstated the age of downtown’s grande dame, the U.S. Grant Hotel. The hotel turned 100 two years ago, not 10.

Although she’s very well-preserved thanks to all that Botox! It does wonders for facade wrinkles.

And a Morning Report item about the billions of dollars owed by Poway school district taxpayers didn’t link to the appropriate story from patch.com. Here’s the correct link.   

Hair Apparent

Two former San Diego Padre pitchers land on Business Insider’s list of the athletes with the greatest below-nose foliage.

No. 3 is Goose Gossage, with what the website calls a “horseshoe” moustache. And No. 1, of course, is Rollie Fingers, whose waxed “handlebar” mustache looks like it would fit perfectly on a certain Belgian sleuth who’s famous for his little gray cells.

Back in the day, I sold Mexican car insurance down at the border to Americans heading south. My most famous customers were a former mayor named Roger Hedgecock and Goose Gossage. 

Sadly, I didn’t ask either for tips about politics, facial grooming and the intersection between the two. Perhaps Rep. Brian Bilbray — who boasted a hirsute upper lip in his early ’80s bachelor days —  could fill me in?

Please contact Randy Dotinga directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com...

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