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Pretty much every Republican in San Diego is rooting for Bob Hickey in the upcoming city attorney race. That is, every Republican except Hickey’s own boss, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.
Andrew Keatts delves into the tension between Dumanis and Hickey and why the DA is actively opposing Hickey’s bid for city attorney behind the scenes.
In 2012, Hickey was president of deputy district attorney’s union, which rejected a $100,000 donation offer that would have helped Dumanis in her mayoral bid at the time. Two years later, he didn’t endorse the DA in her re-election campaign and was then demoted.
The DA’s office said reassignments like Hickey’s were routine, but Hickey told Keatts that he was told his demotion had nothing to do with his job performance.
The tension may eventually put Hickey in a tough spot. At some point in his campaign, one of his Democratic opponents will likely ask: If he’s such a good candidate, why hasn’t he earned the endorsement of the county’s top prosecutor – his boss?
City’s Kumbaya Climate Moment Could Be Short-Lived
The San Diego City Council will have its final vote on San Diego’s Climate Action Plan today.
It’s expected to pass, offering a rare moment in which virtually every warring group in the city, Democrats and Republicans, business and unions, environmentalists and the building industry, all join hands and agree on something big.
Don’t expect it to last long, writes Andy Keatts in a new story previewing the possible climate battles to come.
“Even while the plan commits the city to measures that are themselves significant among the actions of other cities around the world, it also includes a series of landmines that could undermine its bipartisan support,” Keatts writes. Among them is a provision that the city conduct a cost/benefit analysis each time it implements a policy within the plan, an extra step that could force all sides back to their corners over and over again.
• This weekend, almost 200 countries came to an historic agreement in Paris, committing to greenhouse gas reduction targets. But as this CityLab piece points out, the real work now lies in localities, specifically in cities like San Diego, which house most of the world’s population and are more nimble in implementing policies than federal governments.
As Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti put it in a statement released at the end of the Paris climate talks: “Cities generate 80% of the world’s GDP, produce 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, and house more than 50% of the world’s population. The agreement’s ultimate success will depend on local leadership.”
San Diego’s plan has tried to avoid the missteps of the county’s plan with mandatory, enforceable greenhouse gas reduction targets. In anticipation of the big vote, the Union-Tribune is putting out a three-day Climate Action Plan series. The latest looks at the role of landfill waste in greenhouse gas emissions and the plan’s call for increasing organic compost, like food, and recycling.
Ever Considered Running for Office?
Now’s your chance to see how you might do.
VOSD’s Scott Lewis looks at Crowdpac, a new crowdfunding site that could help potential candidates test the waters before actually deciding to run.
You can either nominate yourself or someone else, then try to raise pledges on the site. If the fundraising pledges convince you or whoever was nominated to actually run, the candidate will be able to create a campaign committee and cash in on the online pledges. If the nominee doesn’t decide to run, no money pledged to them will be spent.
“Crowdfunding political campaigns has the potential to put power back in people’s hands,” said CrowdPac CEO Steve Hilton. “And right now, there is no crowdfunding platform for politics.”
CrowdPac – as any money-making company would – will take 3 percent of any donations made. As will a credit card company. And a facilitator, Democracy Engine, which handles any compliance and reporting work with city governments, will take 2 percent. So if someone donates $100 to a campaign through CrowdPac, the candidate will get $92.
CrowdPac has a couple of other fun features, such as a spectrum that allows you to see how conservative or liberal a candidate is based on who’s donating and a Sankey chart that shows who major San Diego donors are supporting.
Our Day in Court: Judge to Hear Motion to Release Police Shooting Video
On Tuesday morning, a federal judge will hear a motion filed by us and other local media outlets that calls for surveillance footage of a police officer shooting of an unarmed man to be made public.
Fridoon Rawshan Nehad was shot and killed by a police officer outside of an adult bookstore in Midway in April. A surveillance camera from a nearby business caught the incident and the footage was turned over to Nehad’s family during a wrongful death lawsuit they filed against the city. The video was turned over under the condition that it remained under seal – meaning that the family can’t show it to anyone, including the media, even though they want to. So VOSD, along with KPBS, 10 News, the Union-Tribune and inewsource, have asked a federal court to let the family share the video.
We’ll keep you updated on the case as we learn anything new.
The district attorney decided not to prosecute and file criminal charges against the officer, Neal Browder, saying the evidence clearly supports Browder’s perspective – that he felt threatened. Nehad’s sister, though, told VOSD’s Liam Dillon that no person could see the video and “come to the conclusion that my brother was attacking a police officer.”
Quick News Hits
• The Carlsbad desalination plant opened Monday. The $1 billion plant will turn 50 million gallons of seawater into drinkable water each day at a cost increase of about $5 per month to the average ratepayer. (NBC7, KPBS)
• The mayor and City Council members will be updated on one of four unresolved sexual harassment cases involving former Mayor Bob Filner. This case was filed by Benelia Santos-Hunter, Filner’s former executive assistant. Three previous cases against Filner were settled by the city out of court for a total of $448,000. (SD Reader)
• The state of California is changing its policy on where sex offenders are allowed to live after a ruling from San Diego County. The March court ruling said prohibiting sex offenders from living near parks, schools or anywhere where children spend a lot of time should only apply to child molesters. This means three-quarters of the state’s sex offenders can now live wherever they want. (Associated Press)
• While Donald Trump calls for walls along the U.S.-Mexico border, San Diego just built a pedestrian bridge connecting it to Tijuana’s airport. (NPR) In October, VOSD’s Liam Dillon wrote in the Washington Post about how the airport bridge represents the difference in San Diegans’ view of the border and national discussions.