We recently sat down with U.S. Rep. Scott Peters for a wide-ranging interview about his priorities and the man standing in the way of his re-election, former City Councilman Carl DeMaio.

Peters said a lot of things about policy but he’s going to get the most attention for what he said about DeMaio’s bipartisan appeal.

“To be honest,” Peters said, “I think he’s got a lot of traction out of this, ‘I’m gay, therefore I’m moderate’ thing.”

DeMaio immediately took umbrage, demanded an apology and got it on Fox News.

It’s a good Q-and-A. Peters, for instance, says the most important bill he would pass if he could is immigration reform.

We invited DeMaio for a similar discussion.

Startups vs. Small Businesses

Misunderstandings about the difference between startups and small businesses abound, even among reputable publications. Clearing up the confusion is important to supporting both sectors, writes Lisa Halverstadt.

“Startups have a host of concerns that don’t match most small businesses’ needs. They start with an innovative idea and may want office space or guidance from others as they develop it. They need outside capital, a concept that many startup founders have said is a particular challenge here.

Most local government programs aren’t geared toward helping them get these things, she writes.

Hueso’s Night in Jail

It was a bad Friday for state Sen. Ben Hueso.

The California Highway Patrol reported that it spotted a car driving the wrong way in Sacramento around 2:30 a.m. Friday. The driver, Hueso, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

By midday, a photo posted on Twitter by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (and later deleted) was circulating across the state. It showed Hueso and colleagues drinking at the Capitol.

Hueso was mobbed by reporters when he was released. He said he would fight to prove his innocence but then his office later issued an apology. “I am truly and profoundly sorry for the unacceptably poor personal judgment which I demonstrated last night,” he said, according to Fox40 Sacramento.

DeMaio, once the target of a nasty accusation from Hueso, couldn’t contain his glee, tweeting “Karma.”

Denise Ducheny, who used to hold that Senate seat, was once pulled over for a DUI but ended with a reckless driving charge. Hueso’s predecessor in the senate seat and ally, Juan Vargas, used it against her. Vargas vacated the seat to become a congressman and Hueso left his assembly seat to fill his shoes. Now, Gonzalez has that assembly seat.

The news was particularly disturbing to me after the graphic scenes of the wrong-way driver on Fiesta Island that plowed into dozens of bicyclists.

Reminder: As we discovered recently, at least 20 percent of the time, the city attorney in San Diego lowers the charge to a “wet reckless” conviction when suspects challenge their DUIs.

Emergency Response Improvement

Last year, in a major investigation, we explored the consequences of terrible emergency response times in some of the poorest areas of the city. Then the city struggled to put together a solution for City Heights and southeastern San Diego neighborhoods.

Emergency response times became a major issue in the mayoral campaign to replace former Mayor Bob Filner. And now we’re seeing results. The U-T reports that emergency response times have shrunk dramatically in Encanto after the city put in a two-person, fast-response squad.

It’s a pilot program that may now spread throughout the city.

Minimum Wage Fight Moves to the Street

KPBS created a place for you to register your encounter with anyone collecting signatures on the minimum wage repeal effort. Some have reported that signature-gatherers are claiming it’s a referendum to increase the minimum wage.

It is not.

Supporters of the referendum to overturn the minimum wage hike claimed someone stole a signature-gatherer’s clipboard and returned it with a note: “Sorry bud! All’s fair in love and war.” The blocking effort is well-organized.

What We Learned This Week

• The bulk of the public conversation about the Operation Secure San Diego program has been limited to recruiting people with private cameras to join in – not outlining how police can safeguard people’s privacy.

• San Diego County has seen its most significant job growth since the recession in the last two years, but a big part of that is from part-time or low-paying roles.

• Neel Kashkari is right. About 24 percent of Californians are living in poverty, according to our fact check.

• America’s limit on the number of people who can get asylum has been in the news a lot lately, with young people streaming to the border from Central America. An El Cajon group is working to lift the limits for another group: Iraqi Christians. And it could mean many more coming to the San Diego area.

• Two old school tuna companies headquartered in San Diego are losing customers but one thriving local upstart brand is proving there are consumers willing to pay more for its product.

Three big reforms came out of the Sweetwater school district scandal.

• Mayor Kevin Faulconer has some decisions to make. I was on the KPBS Roundtable Friday discussing my take on them. Seems like he needs to lead more on what he would prefer be done for the working poor, if not minimum wage, and on the Convention Center.

Quick News Hits

• When former Mayor Bob Filner was convicted of felony false imprisonment, it was after allegations from three “Jane Does.” Now we know who one of those Jane Does is. KPBS reports it is Benelia Santos-Hunter. Santos-Hunter now says she was harassed by Filner 36 times and she’s suing the city.

• As San Diego gets closer to potentially hosting the next America’s Cup sailing race, U-T San Diego reports that organizers have made it known that they want local hotels to pony up 10,000 hotel room nights to help court sponsors and do other preparations. Local tourism officials are considering a counter offer.

Flashback to 1947!

• Cohn Restaurant Group leader Lesley Cohn did a HuffPost Women in Business Q-and-A. She talks about her effort to teach young people about culinary arts: “There has been so much emphasis on college that an entire group of youngsters have been left out in the cold.”

• As we’ve reported, San Diego schools are going to be dealing with a whopper of a problem as they improve standards for graduation but face students who aren’t meeting those standards. Here’s an interesting story on why L.A. promotes failing students to the next grade.

• The star Mexican chef Javier Plascencia’s new Little Italy restaurant is going to have a name loaded with historical significance: Bracero.

Quote of the Week

“I certainly wanted to make this asset work for MTS, it really had gotten nothing in the 34 years that we owned it.” — Paul Jablonski, CEO of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, in a long Q-and-A on his approach to the “Impossible Railroad” dream.

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...

Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.