Friday, we got a lot closer to understanding what the players may have wanted as they carried out what prosecutors allege was an illegal scheme to bring in campaign dollars from a foreign citizen.

A prosecutor in court Friday said the money man behind it all, Susumo Azano, had grand visions of reshaping San Diego’s bayfront to make it “Miami West.” The prosecutor said Former Mayor Bob Filner told Azano the only thing he could do was maybe help scuttle Doug Manchester’s plans at the Navy Broadway Complex.

And we uncovered that two of the alleged middle men in the scheme to illegally launder money into local politics wanted to persuade Filner to overrule the police chief on liquor-license decisions downtown.

Remember, prosecutors say that one of the middle men, former police detective Ernesto Encinas, was recorded saying he would help get money to a candidate for mayor if that candidate agreed to fire Lansdowne.

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis went on the record at length with the U-T about meeting Azano at his Coronado home with Encinas. She said Encinas did bring up liquor licenses but she doesn’t remember much about what Azano wanted.

She did remember his cars, however. Nice, nice cars they were.

Inewsource put together a guide to all the stories about Azanao on both sides of the border.

That’s the latest on this fascinating tale. Here’s our guide to the scandal if you’re having trouble finding it.

The Line Between Campaigns and Independent Expenditures, Explained

It appears as though one thing really worked in this case: campaign finance disclosure laws. We talked with the city’s Ethics Commission director, Stacey Fulhorst, on this week’s VOSD Radio.

She cleared a few things up about those laws.

The line between campaigns and the committees they are not supposed to coordinate with is not very clear. We learned a lot from Fulhorst and Andrew Keatts explains what.

What We Learned This Week

• The city is warning investors that it may have to spend $4 billion and modify nearly every public asset to reduce the pollutants it leaks into the ocean and other local watersheds. City officials do not see any way out of the massive liability.

• Friday, an attorney from the Natural Resources Defense Council reacted to that post about stormwater pollution and, in a commentary, tries to explain in more depth why the issue matters so much.

• The San Diego school board might be signaling that it’s going to stop the growth in charter schools in the city. Or it might not. We reviewed the trends, the data and the opinions around charters in San Diego.

• David Alvarez got a misleading for saying the biggest union at City Hall supports his opponent in the mayor’s race.

Quick News Hits

• Our weekly Sports Report leads with the point that the Padres’ latest trade seems to look better and better as you look closer and closer.

• The unemployment rate in San Diego is going down but not all for the good reasons.

• The Housing Commission released new statistics on the homeless population (KPBS). The U-T has photos from the big annual count volunteers perform. It took place Friday morning.

• U-T San Diego came up with even more questions about the effort to put together a big party in Balboa Park in 2015 to celebrate the centennial of the Panama-California Exposition.

Quote of the Week

“Shit still hasn’t come out from the last election, whether it’s clean or not … and ethics probes … and the FPPC violations and everything  so … [candidate 4]’s going to be squeaky clean.” — Confidential Informant 1, according to the complaint filed by the U.S. attorney’s office. The confidential informant was not yet working for the FBI at that point.

Scott Lewis

Scott Lewis oversees Voice of San Diego’s operations, website and daily functions as Editor in Chief. He also writes about local politics, where he frequently...

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