South Bay students campaign for Pat Aguilar, Mary Salas and Stephen Padilla in Chula Vista in 2014. / Photo courtesy of Andrea Cardenas

Democrats are engaged in a bitter dispute over whether a dozen clubs in the South Bay, made up of young Latino students on paper, are actually fake.

Activists contend that a prominent South Bay political consultant has exploited a loophole in the party’s rules so that a single club he’s associated with was split into 13, thereby increasing his influence over local endorsements. In the process, activists contend, the consultant helped steer the party’s financial resources to his friends and clients in the last election.

Clubs are a key part of the San Diego County Democratic Party’s infrastructure because they help determine who gets official support in an election.

Jesse Marx and Andrew Keatts present the evidence against the consultant, Jesus Cardenas, in a new story and write that the internal debate speaks to a larger sense of restlessness and mistrust among the party’s grassroots. Some leaders are still upset about a handful of endorsements last year, including the party’s decision to support then-City Council President Myrtle Cole over newcomer Monica Montgomery in San Diego’s District 4.

Montgomery went on to win the election, and her victory was widely seen as a repudiation of the establishment.

The whole debate about the legitimacy of the clubs is playing out ahead of the District 1 supervisor race to replace outgoing Republican Greg Cox, who’s sat on the board for nearly a quarter-century. Democrats could make an early endorsement in that race, which is anchored in the South Bay.

Judge Shoots Down Police Unions’ Attempt to Keep Misconduct Records Secret

A San Diego Superior Court judge on Friday shot down police unions’ argument, and rules that misconduct records should indeed by made public under a new state law.

The unions had sued to block the release of records, arguing that the law is not retroactive.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Eddie Sturgeon noted that it “was not a hard call,” VOSD contributor Kelly Davis noted on Facebook.

VOSD and several other media outlets in town had intervened in the case to oppose the unions’ attempts to keep the records secret.

Sturgeon held off on making the records public immediately, though, as KPBS noted, giving the unions time to appeal.

Layoffs Are Coming to Sweetwater Schools

Sweetwater Union High School District officials are considering plans to lay off 30 percent of the district’s central office staff, as well as an unknown number of assistant principals and school psychologists.

An early retirement program, as well as other cuts, are also reducing the number of teachers in the district, reports Will Huntsberry.

Sweetwater will have to cut $37 million from next year’s budget just to stay afloat. It is being investigated by one state agency and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, because top officials appear to have covered up the district’s budget problems.

Politics Roundup

  • The California Legislature is set for a showdown over public records, involving more than Sen. Ben Hueso’s to make public records-related lawsuits harder to file. An LA-based assemblywoman wants to exempt from disclosure the calendars and appointment logs of college faculty and more.
  • In San Diego, mayoral candidate Todd Gloria and others are championing something called the Green New Deal. But what it is, as the crew explains on the podcast, is not always clear. They also talked to KPBS reporter Claire Trageser about her podcast series on a gang murder in southeastern San Diego.
  • Even Republicans respect Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez’s way of saying what she means. The former labor leader told delegates from the San Diego Chamber of Commerce last week that she hates them (sometimes, a lot of the time). “Let’s be honest and not play a game where we all get together and break bread and smile and then talk shit in our silos,” she told the Politics Report crew.

A Brief History of Strippers in the Political Spotlight

A “bikini protest” outside Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez’s office went about as well as you’d imagine. Sign-holding dancers who are upset over a bill that would change their employment status chanted, “Strip my clothes, not my rights.”

But Voice contributor Lyle Moran reports that the wild scene was far from the first time the exotic dancing industry has found itself at the center of legal and political debates in town.

For instance, three members of the San Diego City Council were indicted in 2003 for allegedly taking illegal campaign contributions from a strip club owner in exchange for promising they would work to lift the city’s so-called “no touch” ordinance prohibiting nude dancers from touching patrons. The infamous “Strippergate” public corruption case that featured a federal raid of San Diego City Hall.

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx, and edited by Sara Libby.

Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.