Will Rodriguez-Kennedy / Photo courtesy of Will Rodriguez Kennedy

State Sen. Ben Hueso is urging an independent investigation into a group of Democratic Party clubs in the South Bay and asking party leaders to hold off on declaring which 2020 races should be considered critical.

Hueso’s call follows a VOSD investigation that revealed an intraparty dispute over a dozen Democratic clubs that party activists allege exist only on paper and help steer endorsements and resources to candidates preferred by one consultant.  

Hueso stands to benefit if he gets his wish, Jesse Marx reports in a new story: A successful pitch could block an early endorsement that could imperil Hueso’s campaign to replace long-sitting South Bay County Supervisor Greg Cox.

For now, San Diego County Democratic Party Chairman Will Rodriguez-Kennedy says he won’t bow to pressure. Rodriguez-Kennedy told Marx he plans to pursue reforms to the club system and to discourage political and financial players with a stake in the game from weighing in.

Newsom Hits the Border

Gov. Gavin Newsom visited San Ysidro on Thursday to meet with residents and spotlight the realities of life at the border.

“San Ysidro is the busiest border crossing in the Western Hemisphere,” Newsom tweeted Thursday morning. “It’s a region of economic vibrancy — of trade and commerce. Our state thrives because of the families who live on both sides of this border.”

KUSI live-streamed a roundtable the governor held at El Rincon Restaurant in San Ysidro.

Meanwhile, documents obtained by the Associated Press reveal border agents have been directed to target Spanish speakers and Latin American migrants as they implement a Trump administration initiative to force asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico.

Dramatic Response to Border Patrol Tracking Report

Lawmakers, border officials and national advocacy responded dramatically to a Wednesday NBC 7 report that revealed the federal government is tracking more than 50 people including journalists, an attorney and immigration advocates tied to migrant caravans.

Chairs of the congressional homeland security and border security committees demanded information from the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, saying the NBC story raised “serious legal and constitutional questions.”

Meanwhile, a Border Patrol official told NBC that the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General has already opened an inquiry into the tracking effort. The official said the journalists who were tracked had been identified as potential sources of information about instigators of incidents involving attacks on border agents.

Newsom called the reported tracking “a disgrace” and national advocacy groups and lawmakers also decried the report.

When a School Has Cops But No Counselors

About 1.7 million students in the United States attend a school with a cop or security guard – but not a school counselor, according to new data released by the ACLU.

For this week’s Learning Curve, VOSD’s Will Huntsberry pulled local statistics and chatted with the counseling coordinator for the San Diego County Office of Education to get a sense of the situation on the ground here.

Speaking of Schools …

We get it. Choosing a school for your child is tough – and overwhelming.

In our latest video explainer with media partner NBC 7 San Diego, anchor Catherine Garcia uses our 2019 parent’s guide to local schools to advise parents on what to consider when choosing a school.

In case you missed it …

The schools guide includes easy-to-read data on local schools, plus information on how various districts’ school choice programs work, data and other factors to consider when evaluating a school and how some schools have changed over the years.

The VOSD team can help you dig into the guide and answer more questions next Saturday, March 16 at the  Serra Mesa Library. You can RSVP here.

In Other News

  • The city expects to spend $430,000 repairing Ocean Beach Pier, which was ravaged during a January storm, in hopes of opening the popular destination before Memorial Day. (10News)
  • Six percent of California community college students reported being homeless in the past year during a recent survey. (Union-Tribune)
  • The city is poised to offer loans and pre-approved design templates to try to spur more granny flat developments. (Union-Tribune)

Correction

In our story about Sen. Ben Hueso’s request to Democratic Party leaders that they investigate South Bay clubs, we mischaracterized one of the recommendations made by Codi Vierra, south state regional director of the California Young Democrats, on potential reforms. Her recommendations can be found here.

The Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt, and edited by Sara Libby.

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