If you’re following the unfolding campaign finance scandal — remember, all we have are federal allegations at this point — you have come across the name Ravi Singh. He’s CEO of a company called ElectionMall and is accused of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars of illegal donations to work on local campaigns.
District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’s bid for mayor is one of them, and now we’ve uncovered another link between the DA and Singh: His company ran the website and email for her mayoral campaign.
If a company donates something of value to a candidate, the candidate has to disclose it. Was this disclosed? No.
That could be a problem for Dumanis. Here’s all of our recent coverage on the scandal.
City Council, Community Confront Police on Profiling
Our story recently about the San Diego Police Department’s quiet abandonment of a policy to track data about the race of people officers pull over and its insistence that leaders had not gotten any complaints from the community about improper profiling led to some big complaints from the community. The City Council demanded a hearing and got one yesterday.
People shared their stories of moments when they felt the police stopped them because of what they looked like. Police leaders are acknowledging they have some work to do, and that’s one of Liam Dillon’s major takeaways from Wednesday’s hearing.
NBC 7 ran with the angle that police may have to wear cameras on their uniforms in the future. The chief offered it as an idea that could address concerns about encounters between cops and the community.
Commentary: Density Has a Bad Rap
In a commentary, Great Streets San Diego founder Walter Chambers writes that “density” doesn’t mean “stacking dwelling units on top of more dwelling units.”
That can be one result of more density, of course, as buildings rise higher to fit more people into smaller areas. But, Chambers writes, ideally, “Land use becomes about putting lots of different uses close together, so people can walk to work, stores, restaurants and services.”
But, he writes, we don’t handle planning that way now. Instead, we focus on cars, cars and cars.
Legal Battle over Private Email Heats Up
Cory Briggs, the environmental attorney and eternal thorn in the side of City Hall, has filed a lawsuit complaining that City Attorney Jan Goldsmith refused to release city-business-related emails from his private email address, the Reader reports.
The flap revolves around emails that Goldsmith sent to reporters at the U-T and the issue of whether he releases private emails selectively in response to public record requests.
Quick News Hits
• “Park trails, playgrounds and other amenities in the unincorporated area (of the county) are going up for sale,” the U-T reports. Yes, naming rights are for sale. (My name would look nice on a swing set, by the way.)
• The U-T digs deeper into the mess that’s engulfed the local chapter of the Sierra Club.
• A few dozen conservative-minded residents of certain neighborhoods of Escondido are trying to launch a recall effort against Councilwoman Olga Diaz, the sole liberal voice on the council and a prominent voice for Latinos, the U-T reports.
• The LA Times reports on the divide among the Chaldean community in the state, especially in East County, in regard to who represents them in the business community.
• San Diego ranks fairly low (at 72 out of 100) on a new “Bible-minded” ranking of the country’s major metro areas based on how often residents read the Bible and whether they strongly believe that it’s accurate.
• Speaking of non-fundamentalist cities, I spent the last week on vacation in San Francisco (the Bay Area is No. 97 on the Bible list), where the drought is a hot topic.
As a public service, I noted the differences between life here and in a city that’s proudly weird, often appalling and always spectacular. (It’s like I have a twin!) Thankfully, we’re spared from some San Francisco trademarks like the naked people (including a man who followed a new restrictive law by only wearing a gold lamé sheath).
But we also lack a convenient (if often-jammed) public transit system, a $10.74 minimum wage, and green bins to gather leftover food for weekly pickup for composting.
San Francisco actually makes it mandatory to compost. It was the first in the nation to do so, and reportedly gathers 600 tons of compostable material per day.
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.