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Soon-to-be-ex City Councilman Carl DeMaio, provoked quite a discussion Saturday when he published an op-ed in the Orange County Register blasting the Republican Party. Its brand, he wrote, was a “nonstarter” with Latinos, blacks and gays, and “in San Diego this was a huge liability for us, and we never really overcame it.”

He adds: “Californians like government, and voters want government to work again. Too often, Republicans have taken an ‘end it, don’t mend it’ stance.”

Our Scott Lewis rounded up the reactions of some local GOP types to DeMaio’s points. Not all were in total agreement.

• Lewis later spoke to DeMaio, who said he published the piece in Orange County simply because he had another one planned for the U-T San Diego (many other theories were swirling). DeMaio also said he was asked to run for leadership of the state party but declined and will not run but wants to influence the direction of it.

• This is hardly just a local challenge. The New Yorker profiles the GOP’s challenges in Texas. The chair of the state party warned Texas members of Congress that the party must change its ways or it would be toast, even in Texas.

No Congressman for a Month

• Rep. Bob Filner hasn’t been hanging out in Congress much lately. Come December, when he becomes mayor, his absence will become permanent.

As we report, that means his district — which covers much of the South Bay — won’t have any representative until newly elected congressman Juan Vargas takes over in January.  

Governors can appoint senators when there’s a vacancy, but only voters can fill vacant House seats.

• Before the election, I wondered on Facebook about the wisdom of voting in a race in which neither candidate has earned my vote, even though one’s views are closer to mine. (I was asking for a, um, friend.)

A new U-T story suggests that others may have found themselves in a similar predicament: about 10 percent of Obama voters declined to vote in the mayor’s race, compared to 2 percent of Romney voters.

The graphic alone is worth just looking at for a while.

• The U-T’s Sunday editorial lays out its position in support of ways to help “unauthorized immigrants” reach legal status or citizenship. It also opposes efforts to change the constitutional guarantee of citizenship to those born here.

What’s Next If Red-Light Cameras Get Heave-Ho

Our Lisa Halverstadt gets her arms around the debate over red-light cameras in San Diego, which could disappear at least in the city. Local statistics are outdated, but one recent study from Virginia suggests that drivers got a little hog-wild when the cameras are removed. Other recent studies support the value of the cameras.

And if you think the cameras — and the wildly expensive $490 tickets — are padding the city coffers by a bundle, think again.

Criminal Update: Out of Prison; Under Surveillance

• The local legal system “is preparing for about 250 requests from state inmates seeking reductions in their prison sentences after voters approved a ballot measure revising California’s three-strikes law,” the U-T reports.

• Prop. 35, the ballot measure that strengthened sex trafficking penalties in California, didn’t get much attention and passed easily. But now, a largely unnoticed part of the proposition is getting legal scrutiny.

At issue is the provision that sex offenders “must inform the authorities of their e-mail addresses, user names, screen names and other Internet handles, as well as report any additions or changes within 24 hours,” the NY Times reports. (The information won’t appear on the offender database that the public can look at.)

A judge has already put part of the proposition on hold pending a hearing today.  

Twinkie, Twinkie, Little Snack Cake…

The Hostess company is dead, and there’s apparently panic that Twinkies, Ho Hos and Ding Dongs may vanish too unless another corporation picks up the brands. The snack cakes were flying off the shelves at local Hostess bakery outlets over the weekend, NBC San Diego reports. One Twinkie collector had this to say: “I’m going to save the last box and sell them on the Internet, something like that. I heard they’re going for like $89 on eBay.”

By the way, here’s a pro tip for any kids who may be reading: If you’re attending middle school in Chula Vista, it’s not a good idea to loudly declare one day during lunch that “Somebody stole my Ding Dong!”

Why? Because your ninth-grade crime report may come back to haunt you on Facebook three decades later when Hostess goes under.  

Never you mind how I know this.   

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

Randy Dotinga

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

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