The Morning Report
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We’ve uncovered more in the still mysterious campaign finance scandal: “Before Jose Susumo Azano Matsura set up a political action committee he allegedly used to funnel illegal donations to District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’ 2012 mayoral bid, he offered to cut a six-figure check to an existing committee that was already supporting her.”
The man making the offer was a former cop who’s since pleaded guilty to helping Azano funnel money to local politicians. The committee, run by an association of deputy prosecutors, turned down the money.
• In an editorial, CityBeat notes our coverage and calls on the DA to just be clear about a letter of recommendation she wrote on district attorney letterhead for Azano’s son and all their contacts.
Not-To-Be-Fired City Workers Get Sacked
Former Mayor Bob Filner put together a city-run “Civic Innovation Lab” designed to promote more function and less dysfunction. The new mayor, Kevin Faulconer, nixed the program, but a spokesman said the four employees wouldn’t be fired.
As we report in a new story, things didn’t work out that way. The workers each lost their jobs this week.
City Hall Roundup: Behold a Streetlight Locator?
• New skate parks are in the works in the Linda Vista and City Heights neighborhoods thanks to state grants.
• CityBeat devotes almost 2,000 words to city Planning Director Bill Fulton and the eternal tug-of-war between “the smart-growth principles of walkability, public transportation and architectural sophistication” and budget limitations. Fulton, by the way, says he’s sticking around.
• “Detailed crime statistics, gallons of water used per household and the locations of every street light in San Diego may soon be conveniently available to residents, entrepreneurs and anyone else who’s interested,” the U-T reports.
• City Attorney Jan Goldsmith has turned to a private attorney for help defending himself against a lawsuit seeking his private emails, the Reader reports. Goldsmith has used his private email account to communicate with a variety of local journalists.
School Board Trustee: No ‘Bomb’ in Budget
A few years ago, we warned of a “ticking time bomb” in the budget of the San Diego Unified school district.
So what happened? In a VOSD commentary, school board member John Lee Evans claims things turned out fine in the end. In addition to “good cuts,” he writes, the district “survived with federal stimulus dollars, property sales and employee concessions.” He also lauds the district’s “brilliant” superintendent.
Commentator Blows It Again
Last year, we zapped right-wing commentator Charles Krauthammer for blowing a couple claims about the border fence. Oops, he did it again: Krauthammer brought up more bad data in a comment this week on the Fox News show “The O’Reilly Factor” about the value of the border fence: “San Diego did that in the mid ’90s, and within a decade, the illegal immigration rate at that point was reduced by 90 percent, and people ended up going through other places like Arizona.”
Nope. It’s apprehensions that fell over a decade, and it’s not correct to attribute that entirely to the fence.
Quick News Hits: ‘Serial Entrepreneurship’ Alert
• South Bay’s corruption-plagued Sweetwater school district has a new and temporary chief. (KPBS)
• Former Councilman Jim Madaffer has sold several small community newspapers and will focus on “serial entrepreneurship,” whatever that means, and other things.
• San Diego is scoring high on new national ratings lists, just in time for the holiday. On the Fourth of July, feel free to ride your bike (we’re one of USA Today’s top 10 bike-friendly cities) to the nearest fireworks display (we’re the most patriotic city in the country), and down some craft beer (we’re among the five “beeriest beach towns” in the nation).
And then make sure to take a cab home if you have too many. But be prepared to pay through the, um, meter. We rank fourth out of 60 on the list of taxi prices in U.S. cities. Those darned rankings: They giveth, and they taketh away.
Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and president of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. Please contact him directly at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.