The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
Three top potential candidates for mayor — former Councilman Carl DeMaio, Council President and quasi-mayor Todd Gloria and County Supervisor Ron Roberts — all announced they aren’t going to run. San Diego hasn’t seen this much inaction since the last time the Chargers were in the Super Bowl.
DeMaio is going to focus on Congress. Gloria, who’s taken on extra duties in the absence of a mayor, says his priority is repairing the damage wreaked by Bob Filner. And Roberts will continue as a county supervisor.
VOSD reporter Lisa Halverstadt examines what this all means. Her article includes a subhead you don’t see everyday: “Where my ladies at?” (That’s a pop-culture reference with an eye to the dearth of female hopefuls).
• It was a bad day for journalists and pundits who expected DeMaio to definitely run (DC’s Politico had reported it was guaranteed) and Gloria to probably get into the race.
So take this prognostication with a shaker-full of salt: It now looks like the major candidates will be former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher for the Democrats (he made his campaign official yesterday) and Councilman Kevin Faulconer for the Republicans (who’s expected to declare his campaign today).
The most high-profile of the rest of the potential candidates are all on the left: former City Attorney Michael Aguirre and Bruce Coons, head of the Save Our Heritage Organisation (both say they intend to run), former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña (who’s mulling her options) and City Councilman David Alvarez (a newcomer to the mayoral sweepstakes who told CityBeat he’d consider running if Gloria declined to run and former Councilwoman Donna Frye didn’t veer from staying out of the race).
• DeMaio drew the most attention. Who before him has been able to drum up so much attention for an announcement that nothing is changing?
• Why did DeMaio lose in the 2012 mayoral election? He blames the same folks as former Mayor Filner did when he railed about a “lynch mob”: “the special interests who had controlled this city for so long, and who had opposed our reforms.” They, DeMaio believes, “used dirty politics to hang on to power by electing Bob Filner.”
Funny story: DeMaio’s campaign worked to make Filner his opponent in the runoff last year.
Quick News Hits
• The weekly Culture Report leads off with news of VOSD’s next “Meeting of the Minds” event later this month. Plus: sandcastles, toy pianos, the California Tower and a house with, um, anatomical features.
• VOSD sports blogger John Gennaro thinks the San Diego State football team is in big trouble.
• Via the LA Times, former VOSD reporter Emily Alpert takes a look at the challenges facing interracial couples, whose numbers are on the rise. The story includes comments from two San Diegans: freelance writer Damon Brown (a black man who faced a familial culture clash when he married an Indian-American woman) and freelance radio and print journalist Brooke Binkowski (who’s white and endures insensitive remarks about her Latino boyfriend).
• Our own Dagny Salas announced she was heading to The New York Times. Very good for her. Too bad for us.
• Over the holiday weekend, mayoral hopefuls announced that they were consulting loved ones about their futures. (You know, the usual suspects: spouses, partners, kids, polls.) Then a sly Councilman Mark Kersey declared on Twitter: “Long discussion tonight with family and close friends about a tough decision: Scruff or clean-shaven this week?”
Good question. I suggested a possible facial hair role model: 19th-century San Diego Mayor William “Billy” Carlson, still the youngest person to ever hold the office. (He was 28 when elected).
The San Diego Union called him “a charlatan, faker, traitor to the people, a cigar-and-smile trickster, political quack, pretender, clown, cheap gambler, bamboozler and a liar.” Wow. It’s like I have a twin!
That’s not all: he’d eventually be imprisoned. But check out his mug. The well-coiffed hair, the piercing eyes, the handle-bar moustache: They all cry out: “Hello, ladies!” And now, guess what: Women can vote! Although honestly, you’d do better with a feasible platform than a pretty face.
Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and vice president of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. Please contact him directly at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.