And the dominoes keep falling. First Bob Filner was elected mayor, leaving his congressional seat open for long-time rival Juan Vargas. This left Vargas’ seat on the state Senate open, which Ben Hueso took easily. Then Hueso’s assembly spot opened.

Now comes news that Lorena Gonzalez the CEO of the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council will take Hueso’s seat.

But there’s another domino: Wendy Fry from NBC 7 San Diego reports that San Diego Unified school board member Richard Barrera will take Gonzalez’ job and lead the labor group.

That means Barrera either stays on the school board as the most visible union representative in the county or he gives up his seat, and leaves another elected position vacancy.

Gonzalez opined that there would be no conflict were Barrera to stay on the school board. The Labor Council includes the San Diego Education Association, the teachers union. And one of Barrera’s board members would be the teachers union’s leader, Bill Freeman.

SDEA was not a part of the Labor Council until just a few years ago.

“Let’s take a deep breath. This has been well thought out. There won’t be a conflict,” wrote Mickey Kasparian, the head of the United Food and Commercial Workers.

• We’re discussing this in The Plaza (remember to log in at the top of the site to comment).

• Gonzalez is also taking Labor Council politico Evan McLaughlin to Sacramento as her chief of staff. It’ll be a new day for labor politics in San Diego.

Cole Wins District 4 Seat

Another labor leader is claiming victory. Health care union organizer Myrtle Cole is the newest member of the San Diego City Council. Cole beat Dwayne Crenshaw in a close runoff race.

The runoff turned expensive and bitter as the two Democrats struggled to distinguish themselves and the conservative Lincoln Club of San Diego County jumped in on Crenshaw’s behalf, while labor unions supported Cole.

The Mayor Goes Round and Round

In just six months, three schedulers for Filner have quit. Here’s our story about how hard that job is.

• We explore what the Unified Port of San Diego can teach Filner about the constitutional rights of people who want to peddle things like their own artwork.

• The mayor has revised his proposed budget for the next fiscal year, and it includes items like $50,000 for a “seal cam” at the La Jolla Children’s Pool and a smaller cut to the spending of his rival, the city attorney. Our story has details, and all you wonk types can dig deeper into the budget and compare notes with others in The Plaza.

Meet Jim Jones

VOSD editor Sara Libby decided to learn more about the most prolific and notorious commenter on our site, Jim Jones. In a new Q&A-style interview, she talks to the “almost uniformly rude” Jones, who politely answered questions about himself and even sent along some photos: “Honestly I am not too terribly concerned with your notions of me or dissuading you of your preconceptions. But if you want to know a little about me for your own curiosity I’ll play along.” Jones lives on a boat. The discussion after the article isn’t half bad either.

Quick News Hits

• In an editorial, the Arizona Republic takes lessons from San Diego about the border: “They call us Zonies. We consider them the keepers of our summertime playground. The link between Arizona and San Diego is long-standing and symbiotic. They provide the beach, we bring our money. When it comes to sharing an international border, they also provide an example.”

Two local residents — Filner and onetime presidential candidate Mitt Romney — make appearances in regard to their interest, against the odds, to bring the Olympics to San Diego and Tijuana.

• The libertarian Reason magazine takes note of the mayor’s suggestion that a jury ignore the law and turn to “jury nullification” in a medical marijuana dispensary case.

• The office of Rep. Susan Davis, a Democrat who represents part of San Diego, says she has reintroduced legislation requiring federal wildlife officials to disclose details about the culling of animals.

She cited our reporting last year that found federally funded trappers killed 18,700 animals over a seven-year period in our county, including bobcats, foxes, mountain lions, coyotes, songbirds, and ducks.

• The Stumblr drops by a major thoroughfare in PB.

• The Washington Post reports on a study that says “election officials are less responsive to requests for basic information about voting when they come from people with Latino-sounding names.”

• Member of the California legislature, who already make the highest base pay of any state lawmakers in the country, may be getting a raise, U-T San Diego reports. Currently, they make more than $90,000 a year plus a tax-free $30,000 for expenses. However, they don’t earn a pension.

• You may have heard of the lawsuit in Encinitas, where some parents are outraged over the religious flavor of yoga classes offered to schoolchildren.

Well, the lawsuit made it to trial. Yesterday, an Indiana professor told the court that, as the U-T puts it, “the very act of performing yoga moves can be considered religious.” She also “said there is no distinction between the physical and spiritual aspects of yoga.”

I’ve tried yoga. Trust me, no religious experience was had.

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Randy Dotinga

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

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