In the Morning Report earlier this week, I noted a disconnect in some of Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s rhetoric that’s been making me uncomfortable:

Faulconer is notoriously conflict-averse, but he’s spoken out against (President Donald) Trump, a fellow Republican, multiple times. Yet his criticisms, especially his recent remarks on Trump’s refugee ban, have been relatively muted. Instead of condemning the order for ripping families apart, for example, Faulconer has talked about wanting to protect “commerce” and “culture.”

Faulconer is being more outspoken about the impact of a potential border wall and other immigration actions than some other Republicans, and he deserves credit for that. Yet, the disconnect seemed to grow as the week went on.

This is what the L.A. Times noted in a column on Faulconer this week, during a press conference the mayor held with Tijuana’s mayor:

More than half a dozen times reporters asked some variation of how Trump’s taunting of Mexico might sunder the warm San Diego-Tijuana relationship. More than half a dozen times Faulconer sidestepped the question.

It would be one thing if Faulconer refused to talk about Trump and immigration altogether – but he was declining to address those things at a press conference called specifically to address them.

His strange insistence on bringing up the issue, but sticking to vague, inoffensive concepts and platitudes like the fact that he supports “opportunity for everyone” is only getting more jarring as details about the very real tolls of strict immigration enforcement come to light.

As federal immigration officials start bursting into homes and businesses and deporting folks, by the hundreds, we’re hearing the first few details of what that means: An Arizona mom was taken away in front of her crying children. A Texas dad was detained while his daughter was in school.  The president, Sunday, called it a “crackdown.”

Raids are taking place across Southern California, and details like these are likely to keep coming out. I doubt many of the families watching someone being ripped from their home will be thinking about the “tremendous growth” of the border region or about preserving “the largest hub of medical device manufacturing in the world,” both cheery commerce-based anecdotes from Faulconer’s press conference.

Again, I understand that Faulconer is already doing more than many Republicans when it comes to pushing back against these policies. But if you’re going to speak out about immigration enforcement, for the love of God, speak out about immigration enforcement.

What VOSD Learned This Week

This, for the record, is what it feels like when a reporter tugs on a string for months and, with the help of sources, editors and lawyers, finds a smoking gun:


That was the case when, amid a stack of thousands of emails we fought to obtain, Andrew Keatts found this: proof SANDAG officials knew the total they dangled in front of voters to sell Measure A was way off – but they put it on the ballot anyway.

County Supervisor Ron Roberts, chairman of the SANDAG board, says he should have been informed of the problems that led to the bad numbers. On the podcast, Andy and Scott Lewis vet the very bizarre explanations SANDAG has given since the story dropped.


Financial uncertainty is reigning supreme across San Diego: Questions about state and federal funding are contributing to budget woes around the county.

One federal program in particular is a major source of funding for affordable housing. But uncertainty over President Donald Trump’s tax plan is holding up those projects, including at least one in San Diego.

At San Diego Unified, looming cuts are scaring parents who wonder if their school’s vice principal or health aid might be on the chopping block. If you’re one of those nervous parents, here are a few steps you can take to make your voice heard.

And, while we’re on the topic of uncertainty, there’s a big one facing the MLS stadium proposal.


The San Diego County Water Authority used to pine for a plan to keep water from Northern California flowing south. Now that there’s one on the table, though, the agency is one of the plan’s outspoken critics. Ry Rivard explored what changed.

Another local water agency, one that deals with pollution, says it’s now OK for lots of metals to be flowing through Chollas Creek.


At the heart of the latest squabbles over homelessness efforts are two fundamentally different approaches to solving the problem.

What I’m Reading

 In an absolutely incredible story, the L.A. Times seems to have found a real-life saint: He’s the only man in Los Angeles County known to take in and care for terminally ill foster children.

 And this one is every bit as terrifying as the last story was uplifting: A world-renowned scholar on the rise of Hitler has for months resisted requests that he write about Trump – until now. (Los Angeles Review of Books)

 The refugee ban forced ordinary Americans who work for the federal government to carry out extraordinary acts of cruelty – like handcuffing small children and the elderly. (Baltimore Sun)

 The new face of American unemployment. (Bloomberg)

 This is all pretty heavy, right? Well, here’s a column from a guy who thought he was taking in a tiny pet pig who’d be the size of a housecat and instead got a hog who is now 650 pounds. (Guardian)

Line of the Week

“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless she persisted.” – The justification Sen. Mitch McConnell gave for silencing Sen. Elizabeth Warren as she read the words of Coretta Scott King backfired. #ShePersisted became an instant rallying cry.

Sara Libby was VOSD’s managing editor until 2021. She oversaw VOSD’s newsroom and content.

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