There are few local politicians who spike the blood pressure of liberals more than County Supervisor Bill Horn, a conservative with a big mouth and a habit of getting in hot water. Yet his North County constituents keep electing him.

This time around, Horn is facing a challenge from a moderate Republican who now serves as Oceanside’s mayor. Jim Wood isn’t well known but he has some money to spend thanks to a union-sponsored political action committee.

As we reveal in a new profile, Wood — a former cop — has critics who say his attitude toward women and their appearances is prehistoric. “We repeatedly reminded him that it was in fact the 21st century,” a former adviser says, “and things were different now.” Wood even seems to acknowledge that he didn’t like his old campaign manager because he is in a wheelchair.

After reading the piece, CityBeat’s Kelly Davis wrote: “I think we’ll be changing our Supervisor D5 endorsement to ‘No endorsement.’” And the Republican blog, SD Rostra, pulled out its own choice passage.

Pension Reform Flub Rears Ugly Head Again

They keep saying it, and we keep calling them on it.

Once again, pension reform advocates — in this case, Mayor Kevin Faulconer and a campaign flier for Councilwoman Lorie Zapf — are saying that fixes to the city’s retirement system for its workers saved (past tense) about $1 billion.

But that’s misleading, as we note in a new Fact Check.

Under Fire and Fighting Back, Cop Leaves Force

A San Diego cop named Donald Moncrief has left the force amid an accusation of sexual misconduct, NBC San Diego reports. It’s not clear if he left voluntarily; he’s been pursuing legal action against the city in regard to its handling of the accusation.

New Airport Ad: Yo! Stay Away from SeaWorld

Remember that anti-SeaWorld ad that the animal rights group PETA wanted to display at Lindbergh Field? The airport’s advertising management company said no, and PETA sued with the ACLU’s help.

PETA won. Thanks to an out-of-court settlement, the ad — featuring actress Kathy Najimy and the words “If you love animals like I do, please avoid SeaWorld” — is going up, the U-T reports.

Pay Now (and Hurt) or Pay Later (and Hurt)

The LA Times looks at the governor’s proposal to throw more money into the state’s deeply troubled pension system for teachers, which faces a $74 billion deficit. The problem with handling the mess now instead of later: “School systems would have to quickly pare back spending for next year, and they would face steeper diversions of dollars in later years.”

But a critic says the governor’s plan doesn’t go far enough to put the pension plan on solid footing and protect future generations of schoolkids from big cuts to pay for our bad decisions.

Quick News Hits

• U-T publisher Doug Manchester is building a $370 million hotel in Austin, Texas. (U-T)

• The new fire chief in San Marcos was the first person to notice the devastating Cocos Fire, the U-T reports. Due to its location, it couldn’t be stopped. “We don’t lay hose downhill to an active fire through green — barely green, brown — brush,” he said. “That is how firefighters die.”

• The port’s CEO is backtracking on a bid to get his college freshman son a job with one of the port’s tenants. (U-T)

• A new report estimates that San Diegans need to make $98,534 a year to afford a house here at a monthly payment of $2,229.

• It doesn’t sound like state Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, a San Diego assemblywoman, is up for banning fracking. (Sacramento Bee)

• The Ché Café, a “worker co-operative, social center, and live music venue,” as Wikipedia puts it, has entertained and fed leftists at UCSD for decades. It’s also perennially on the edge of being shut down, and its existence is now threatened once again.

In a tweet the other day, I pointed out that “my college newspaper had offices right next to Ché Cafe. It smelled funny.” The cafe tweeted back at me: “Dude, we always thought YOU smelled funny, too.”

Touché, Ché. Touché.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and president-elect of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

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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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