The Morning Report
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San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer rolled out a plan Thursday to provide cheaper, greener power to not only the city but the whole region.
The mayor is breaking ranks with San Diego Gas & Electric, and backing a plan to form a government-run power-buying agency, sometimes called a CCA. The power the agency buys will, by 2035, be mostly free of fossil fuels. The decision, which got the mayor national media attention, puts him back on the map as one of the few powerful Republicans who take climate change seriously.
A wide range of environmentalists praised the plan, which would give the city or a group of cities that join with San Diego choice over where power comes from and what kind of power it is.
The plan does present some financial risk to the city, though, but many consumers might not notice a change: SDG&E will still send bills to people’s homes and it will be able to stay in business because the company will continue to run and profit from the power delivery system.
We’ve also put together a list of frequently asked questions about this big decision, which we of course attempt to answer.
Disclosure: Mitch Mitchell, SDG&E’s vice president for government affairs, sits on Voice of San Diego’s board of directors.
The Race for State Superintendent, Explained
Two Democrats are competing for state superintendent this year, and the race has quickly become the most expensive of its kind — outpacing competitions in other states for the U.S. Senate. Charter school-advocating billionaires and teachers unions are behind the unprecedented political spending.
As Will Huntsberry explains, one of the candidates, Marshall Tuck, briefly worked at a Wall Street bank and managed a group of charter schools for several years. (He has the support of Assemblywoman Shirley Weber.) The other candidate, Tony Thurmond, is a former social worker who has the support of teachers unions.
Thurmond wants to temporarily stop new charters from being able to open. Tuck does not.
In the grand scheme of things, though, particular policies might matter less than the overall message projected by whoever wins, Huntsberry writes. That person “would be the biggest mouthpiece over what direction the state should take moving forward.”
Opinion: Leave Jack McGrory Out of This
San Diego City Councilman Scott Sherman is not a fan of Measure G, a proposal on the November ballot that would give San Diego State University control over the redevelopment of the Mission Valley stadium site. Earlier this week, he argued that the driver behind that proposal, Jack McGrory, a former city manager, can’t be trusted because he made a bad stadium deal once before.
Rep. Juan Vargas came to McGrory’s defense Thursday, saying in his own op-ed that the personal attacks on McGrory are a distraction. “Measure G is about securing the future of our city with a sale of the stadium property — at fair market value — to San Diego State University, a regional economic driver for more than 120 years,” Vargas writes.
The 50th District: Refugees and Re-election
As part of a big package examining the similarities between California and Texas, Curbed has a story zooming in on El Cajon, where “Main Street has been made over by immigrants and refugees creating new community institutions while maintaining homeland traditions.”
It examines how that population has impacted politics there, including its conservative leanings and its legacy of “corrupt public officials.”
Which brings us to … Rep. Duncan Hunter.
The Los Angeles Times gamed out what will happen in the likely event that Hunter, who is facing federal fraud charges, is re-elected. It depends in large part on whether the GOP retains control of Congress.
“If Hunter wins reelection and is subsequently convicted, there is no constitutional provision or House rule that explicitly requires him to lose his seat, even if he is imprisoned and unable to vote on behalf of his district,” the Times notes.
National City voters next month will decide whether to impose rent control in the city, with a measure that would survive regardless of what happens with the statewide measure to expand cities’ opportunities to set caps on what landlords can charge tenants. KPBS reporter Tarryn Mento talked to proponents on both sides of National City’s Measure W.
National City’s also going to elect a new mayor this year, after term limits forced Mayor Ron Morrison out of the office (he’s now running for Council there). There are four candidates competing for that office, and KPBS sat down with them too.
The San Diego County Democratic Party posted a Facebook ad Wednesday night that called long-time party activist and Democratic Council staffer Vivian Moreno “the choice of Trump Republicans” because she’s running against the party’s endorsed candidate Antonio Martinez, a trustee on the San Ysidro School District. The party took the ad down after it generated immediate backlash from dozens of liberal activists, including Martinez supporters. (KPBS)
A candidate for Carlsbad City Council confirmed that she received a DUI nearly 10 years ago. (Union-Tribune)
The New York Times has another poll of the 49th Congressional District race and found once again that Democrat Mike Levin is far ahead of Republican Diane Harkey, with Levin at 53 percent of the vote and Harkey at 39 percent.
The Morning Report was written by Ry Rivard and Andrew Keatts, and edited by Sara Libby.