The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
News erupted late on Wednesday after an L.A. Times reporter grilled congressional candidate Carl DeMaio over whether he had been questioned by police over allegations of sexual harassment.
“Not many people knew what allegations he was talking about,” Scott Lewis writes, but they do now that the story has gotten attention from national news outlets. DeMaio’s accuser had apparently given a lengthy interview to Mike Slater, a radio show host on AM 760 KFMB, but the interview never aired. Slater told Lewis he asked the accuser to produce proof before they would air the accusations.
DeMaio claimed the accuser was also the prime suspect in a burglary case involving DeMaio’s campaign office, and that the case is awaiting prosecution by District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. “Dumanis endorsed DeMaio at this end of his failed 2012 mayoral campaign against Bob Filner,” Liam Dillon notes. DeMaio also hosted fundraisers for Dumanis’ re-election campaign. “Dumanis has at least one and maybe two potential prosecutions in her office that could swing the race for or against DeMaio,” Dillon writes.
• U-T San Diego asked a couple of lawyers if Dumanis would be obligated to recuse herself from the cases involving DeMaio. The verdict: “differing opinions.”
• DeMaio and Peters appeared on a television debate Thursday; but nobody wanted to mention the scandal. (KPBS)
• Comedian Stephen Colbert made some hay over House Speaker John Boehner’s planned visit to San Diego to promote DeMaio’s campaign.
• KPBS looked more closely into some of the claims the two candidates are making about each other.
CA Money Not Good Enough
For a state that is often derided as one of the country’s “least friendly” places to run a business, Lisa Halverstadt found that California sure is giving away boatloads of money to businesses.
From TV businesses to manufacturers, aerospace companies and companies doing research and development, California is subsidizing businesses to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. So what’s with the bad reputation? “The state has made more business subsidies available in recent years but they have yet to significantly chip away at the notion that it’s difficult to run a company here,” Halverstadt writes.
A Path for English-Learners
San Diego Unified is making plans to address the needs of English-language learners in its classrooms. Whether that will have some specifics, or just more promises to “look closely” at the issue isn’t clear yet.
Mario Koran notes that one of the least popular things Cindy Marten did when she came to power in the district was to cut back on special teachers who supported English learners.
No official plan has been released yet, but a jumbled chart from the district’s meeting archives appears to hint at what the district has in mind. “So just a few short weeks into the school year, the district is already making changes to the plan it created,” Koran writes.
Sweetwater School Election: San Diego Explained
A criminal scandal recently wiped out most of the board of the Sweetwater Unified High School District, and the last remaining board member is termed out at the end of the current term.
So South Bay voters now have an entire school board to elect in November, but there are a bunch of new rules in this election for voters to navigate. Scott Lewis teamed up with NBC 7’s Catherine Garcia to break down all the changes in this election in our most recent San Diego Explained.
Mexican ISIS Claims Unproven
Are extremist fighters from the so-called “Islamic State” being arrested while sneaking into the U.S. through the Mexico border? That was the claim made by San Diego Rep. Duncan Hunter this week, in an interview with Fox News.
Nobody knows what he is talking about, including the Border Patrol or the Department of Homeland Security, KPBS reports. One Texas county sheriff told Fox News that people “have found Muslim clothing, have found Koran books, laying on the side of the road. So we know that there are Muslims that have come across and been smuggled into the United States.”
After Gas Tax, Pay as You Go?
As cars continue to get more efficient at using gasoline, the state of California is concerned about the effect fuel-efficient and electric cars will have on its gasoline tax revenues.
The state says the revenues are needed in order to maintain the roads and highways we all use. So they’re studying an alternative way to tax people: by tracking how many miles commuters have driven and charging for each mile driven. U-T San Diego notes that Senate Bill 1077, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown late last month, “authorizes a pilot program to explore a ‘road usage charge’ as a potential replacement of the state gas tax.”
• San Diego is now rocking a new street-repair machine, which “grinds up” roads and then repaves them, instead of just filling in potholes. (KPBS)
• San Diegans love their craft beer from Stone Brewery. Soon, Virginians will feel the same way, thanks to an East Coast expansion. (NBC 7)
• If you’re gung-ho about stopping water waste in San Diego, you’re always looking for ways to rat out your water-wasting neighbors. A new smartphone app unveiled Thursday is just what you’ve been waiting for. (U-T)
• There are 133 for-profit colleges on a list of schools found to be getting more than 90 percent of their funding from federal student aid programs. In total, those schools are siphoning off $9.5 billion per year from taxpayers. And guess who’s on the list? Ashford University, one of San Diego’s largest employers. (Center for Investigative Reporting)
• New York Comic-Con claimed its event has surpassed San Diego’s Comic-Con in attendance (if not in popularity and beauty). (Newsarama)
Men in High-Heels for Women’s Cause
It’s possible that on Thursday you noticed a large number of men walking around downtown dressed in high-heels. You may have shrugged it off as another sign of the new normal, but that’s not true just yet. NBC 7 reports that hundreds of women and men put on their highest heels to Walk A Mile In Her Shoes, in support of a program raising funds for the YWCA to empower women and end domestic violence.
One notorious San Diegan took to Twitter on Tuesday looking for help. “Were one interested in purchasing men’s size 11.5 high heels, where might one go?” asked local attorney Omar Passons. He wound up picking brown ones.
Women’s size 13 are equivalent to men’s size 11.5, gentlemen. Now you know.