“We’re not going to have a trial in the media,” District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said during a press conference in which she released video footage of a police shooting she’d been fighting to keep secret. It’s something she said before.
It was strange, then, when Dumanis proceeded to … try the case in the media.
“What Dumanis should have said was that we were not going to have a trial in the media of the officer involved in the shooting, Neal Browder. Dumanis was absolutely willing to try in the media the man who was killed,” Scott Lewis writes in a new story examining what, exactly, Dumanis was doing at the podium that day. More importantly, he talks about what San Diego’s district attorney wasn’t doing.
“The press conference was a follow-up intended to help people understand the whole incident,” he writes. “In that, it was horribly inadequate.”
• Another man allegedly armed with a knife was shot and killed in Hillcrest by an SDPD officer over the weekend. (U-T)
San Diego Unified’s Billions
There are still billions of dollars to go around when San Diego Unified finishes issuing all $4.9 billion in voter-approved Proposition S and Z debt. Props. S and Z were sold to voters as measures to fund urgently needed repairs but the latest plan estimates about 22 percent will go toward such projects.
Ashly McGlone has an updated breakdown and visualization of where all the money is going and what’s still left to spend.
The Chargers Departure Blame Game
Sunday the Chargers lost what could’ve been their last game ever as San Diego’s team. Monday, according to the U-T, the Chargers will be among three teams submitting official applications for relocation.
And by mid-January, when the National Football League owners vote on whether to allow the teams to make their moves, Chargers fans might finally have to accept the cold, hard truth: San Diego’s about to be pro-football-free.
If angry fans need someone to blame for the Chargers’ departure, the U-T’s Dan McSwain says look no further than the NFL’s ballooning financial bubble.
The Chargers owners are simply moving to a bigger market, Los Angeles, where the NFL bubble, powered by the dramatic rise in the price tag of TV broadcasting rights, can expand even quicker and bigger.
Financial experts agree that the Chargers move makes financial sense. But McSwain points to a few signs that the entire NFL bubble, in part because of the whole concussion problem and the new Will Smith movie exploring it, could be close to bursting.
San Diego Mayor Is (Sorta) Showing Republicans the Way
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer proved to the national Republican Party that the GOP can win at the city level if its politicians engage populations they’ve traditionally ignored.
VOSD’s Liam Dillon makes an appearance in The Atlantic, writing about Faulconer’s mayoral campaign strategy and how he successfully won minority votes.
But don’t start the slow-clapping just yet.
Dillon points out that Faulconer has yet to actually deliver any concrete policies that could improve the lives of the same diverse communities who supported him. He says the mayor needs to stop playing it safe if he’s serious about becoming a Republican star.
“It’s tough to imagine Faulconer becoming a model for GOP mayors if he doesn’t raise his voice or deliver on policies that meaningfully improve the lives of those targeted by his political rhetoric,” Dillon writes.
• If, like me, this story’s got you scratching your head a bit asking, “Wait, did people of color actually vote for Faulconer?” don’t worry, Dillon’s sidebar on Medium will get you squared away.
• Faulconer was a major supporter of the pension reform initiative passed in 2012 that left most future city employees without a guaranteed pension. Now that initiative, and the city that is working under its mandate, faces a dilemma after the state’s Public Employee Relations Board said it must be rolled back.
The Wall Street Journal editorial board weighed in on that. Not surprisingly, the newspaper is upset. “Hiram Johnson, the progressive who led the fight for the initiative process in California a century ago, wouldn’t recognize today’s anti-reform progressives,” the paper opines.
Quick News Hits
• People can’t stop talking about these twins born in San Diego on the same night, but in different years (yup, that’s the magic of New Near’s Eve). (NBC 7 San Diego)
• San Diego City Councilman Chris Cate got married over the break.
• The U-T looks ahead at some of the biggest political battles that’ll be waged in the city in the coming year.
• Growing pot in San Diego might get the green light. (U-T)
• This 55-year-old Chula Vista woman used cars packed with cocaine and cash in her drug trafficking business. (U-T)
• For better or worse, philanthropist Darlene Shiley’s is forever tied to PBS’s “Downton Abby.” The U-T’s profile of Shiley goes beyond that fun fact and digs into her method of giving money.
“I’m a nightmare when it comes to being a donor,” she tells the U-T. “Generally speaking, you’ve only made it through the front door because I’ve already decided to give you the money.”
El Niño Isn’t Done With Us
Last year, my backyard turned into a lake after a major rain. This year, with all the El Niño talk, my father-in-law helped us by doing this in our backyard. It ain’t pretty, but hopefully it’s functional, especially since a series of big storms is reportedly headed our way. Send me your El Niño prep pics if you’ve got ’em. I need to know I’m not alone when it comes to sacrificing form for function.