Rep. Duncan Hunter leaves a federal court hearing. / Image via KPBS

This week, host Sara Libby and Voice environment reporter Ry Rivard took the podcast helm.

For a shorter Fourth of July episode, Libby and Rivard reviewed the latest developments in the 50th Congressional district. They also dove in to the San Diego Pure Water case, the mayor’s race, an investigation in to School Board Trustee Kevin Beiser and topped it off with a Hero & Goat of the week.

The 50th Congressional District

The 50th Congressional district seat, currently occupied by embattled Rep. Duncan Hunter, has an interesting race taking shape. More than a few folks are lining up to replace Hunter, who’s facing potential fallout from a case against him and his wife for misusing campaign finances for a slew of things.
Also on the Hunter beat this week, the L.A. Times editorial board called for Rep. Hunter’s resignation. 
Here are some of the current contenders for the 50th:
Sam Abed, the former mayor of Escondido, has filed paperwork to run for the position. Abed has traveled to the White House to meet with President Donald Trump in the past.
Darrell Issa, a former congressman who previously represented the 49th District — and Trump’s current very-long-time pick to head the U.S. Trade and Development Agency — is eyeing the race according to The Hill.
El Cajon mayor Bill Wells is in the mix.
And of course, Hunter’s opponent from 2018, Ammar Campa Najjar, has basically never stopped running against Hunter.

A Stopper On Pure Water

Pure Water is a big project for San Diego, potentially. It promises to take sewage and turn it into a third of the city’s drinking water.
However, a legal case brought by the Associated General Contractors has delayed the project, one of the city’s most ambitious undertakings ever, Rivard reported.
Hundreds of jobs are on the line, but the stakes may be even higher regionally. A judge’s ruling on the case could be used to determine how union-friendly language is employed in other major projects funded by city taxpayers.

The Housing Debate Marches On

A “They’re Coming for Our Homes” update: Remember that email subject line from Barbara Bry, who’s running for mayor? She was referring to a piece of state legislation, SB 330, that she said would “give Sacramento politicians control of local land use decisions.”

She didn’t mention Assemblyman Todd Gloria by name. But she said his support for the measure was a big distinction between the two of them.

In response, seemingly, Todd Gloria and Senate President Toni Atkins have a new op-ed in the Times of San Diego supporting SB 330. In the podcast, Libby said if you pay attention, there are a few messages for Bry in the Times piece. Here’s an excerpt:

“Crisis breeds tension. That’s natural. What we mustn’t do is demonize each other and lose our heads amid fear and anger. What we must do is understand each other, educate ourselves with accurate information about the proposals being put forth, and work toward planning for more housing where it makes the most sense.”

The Beiser Investigation

This week, Sweetwater Unified School District announced the launch of an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Kevin Beiser.

Beiser is a district math teacher who is also an elected trustee at the San Diego Unified School District

In March, four men came forward to accuse Beiser of sexual harassment and assault. One of those men filed a civil lawsuit against him.

See You In Chula Vista

Our next live show is Wednesday July 10 at Chula Vista Brewery.

Voice of San Diego’s recurring “Brews and News” event will feature Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas and Jason Wells from the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce.

Get your tickets now and we’ll see you there!

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Nate John

Nate John is the digital manager at Voice of San Diego. He oversees Voice's website, newsletters, podcasts and product team. You can reach him at

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