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San Diego City Councilman David Alvarez is in a political battle with an unexpected foe: a labor leader who was once a crucial supporter during Alvarez’s mayoral campaign.

That labor leader, Mickey Kasparian of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, is pushing one slate of candidates to serve on the Democratic Party Central Committee representing the 8oth Assembly District. The Central Committee endorsement decisions often drive big spending for candidates.

Alvarez is pushing another slate – one that includes himself — and with the help of the chair of the right-leaning Lincoln Club’s Political Affairs Committee.

Scott Lewis dove into the history behind the fight between the former pals and why former port commissioner and Lincoln Club member David Malcom got involved.

• These Central Committees for local parties are getting to be quite important and filled with drama. We recently interviewed the chairwoman of the Democratic Party in San Diego on our podcast about how it all works and she was quite candid. In fact, she was so candid, Kasparian got a bit upset with her, too.

Sacramento Report: Lawmakers Pal with the Padres

State legislators are already getting ready for the MLB All-Star Game in July.

In this week’s Sacramento Report, Sara Libby pulls back the curtain on a bill that aims to ease alcohol restrictions at Petco Park for the big game plus the single state measure on the June ballot (yes, you read right) and state efforts to change the rules on police property seizures.

VOSD Podcast: A Guide to the District 1 Stadium Views – and Leadership

Lewis takes on the contentious District 1 City Council race in this week’s podcast and zeroes in on the battle that’s gotten Democrat Barbara Bry and Republican Ray Ellis most fired up in recent weeks: the quest to prove who is more opposed to using public money for a Chargers stadium. Lewis also chats with philanthropist Malin Burnham about leadership and his longtime – and now former – goal to move the San Diego International Airport.

Fact Check Follow-Up

There’s a reality I don’t always appreciate about our fact checks: They’re often cited in political mailers and fundraising pushes.

Earlier this week, I declared District 3 City Council candidate Chris Ward’s claim that there were 1,500 unfilled beds during last year’s homeless census false.

Anthony Bernal, who’s also vying for that seat, responded with a fundraising email attacking Ward for “his extreme lack of understanding regarding the homelessness situation.” One passage of Bernal’s email was particularly revealing, though. He suggested San Diego can better address homelessness with “increased permanent and transitional housing inventory.”

What Bernal didn’t mention is that national homeless advocates and federal agencies are pushing for a transition away from transitional housing programs that have long been San Diego’s dominant approach to serving the homeless. There are, however, weeks-long waits for emergency shelter beds.

Bernal and I ended up debating the issue on Twitter Thursday night.

News From Elsewhere

• Gov. Jerry Brown sent state legislators a revised budget Friday after he said lower-than expected tax hauls forced his hand. But a $2 billion bond to build housing for the homeless will remain on the books, the Los Angeles Times reports.

• The opposition isn’t putting up much of a fight against San Diego’s proposed minimum wage increase but KPBS reports that supporters are signing up to campaign for the June ballot measure. Our Andrew Keatts has previously explained why the folks once trying to halt that wage hike are no longer throwing cash at that fight.

• Two years after flames engulfed parts of North County, the Union-Tribune finds some residents are still trying to restore what they lost.

• An event the U-T dubs the American Tour de France will cycle through San Diego County on Sunday.

Most Read Stories of the Week

These were the five most popular Voice of San Diego stories for the week of May 7 -13.

  1. School District Offers Money to Parent of Bullied Students – If She Keeps Quiet and Sends Her Kids Away
    Shelly Monroe submitted a complaint to the Santee School District, saying her children were racially harassed and asking the district to bus her children to San Diego. At first, the district told her there were no available funds to meet her demand, she said. But once her story got out, the district offered to compensate Monroe to drive the kids out of town for school. (Rachel Evans)
  2. San Diego’s Parklet Problem
    They’ve exploded in popularity in cities across the globe, but San Diego has mostly missed the parklet party. The city’s built just two since it launched a parklet pilot program in 2013. (Kinsee Morlan)
  3. Mayor Still Mum, But Conservative Allies Move to Crush Downtown Stadium Plans
    If you were wondering whether the city’s coalition of conservative business groups was open to supporting the Chargers’ plan for a new convadium in East Village, wonder no longer. (Scott Lewis)
  4. Everything We Know About the Climate Action Plan Could Be Wrong
    Mara Elliott, a candidate for city attorney, says the Climate Action Plan can’t be enforced until the City Council begins adopting laws around it. Under Elliott’s interpretation, each action the city takes to cut greenhouse gases would become law and would be a requirement — but the plan itself is just a guide. That’s a big departure from the popular understanding of the plan. (Andrew Keatts)
  5. Opinion: Chargers’ Plan Puts San Diego Tourism Economy at Risk
    Under the Chargers’ stadium plan, San Diego taxpayers would be forced to backfill shortfalls, and the Chargers’ decision to tie its tax plan to our tourism economy makes us vulnerable. (Ray Ellis)

Lisa Halverstadt

Lisa is a senior investigative reporter who digs into some of San Diego's biggest challenges including homelessness, city real estate debacles, the region's...

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