File photo of Chula Vista City Hall / Photo by Jakob McWhinney

For years, politicians in Chula Vista have been spending more money on their campaigns than they take in. They rack up unpaid bills, leading to complaints that one candidate gained an unfair advantage over another to get their name in front of voters.

In response, officials have argued that the rules are unclear and need to be updated. But they’ve yet to take the next step and put any concrete proposals on the table as the next election nears.

In our latest installment of the “Whatever Happened to…” series running all week, Jesse Marx considers the history of this perennial issue in South Bay. The Chula Vista City Council created a subcommittee last summer to review the municipal code and make recommendations.

It came on the advice of City Attorney Glen Googins. At the time, he said clarifying the rules around campaign debt would be in everyone’s best interest. A spokesperson for the city said Googins is continuing to work on changes and plans to introduce something before he leaves office at the end of this year.

As Marx notes in his piece, finishing a campaign with a lot of unpaid bills isn’t a big problem in other cities. San Diego, for example, gives candidates 180 days to pay back their vendors or become personally responsible for the money.

Read the rest of the story here. 

Monkeypox Declines in S.D. But Remains a Threat

Within just a few weeks, the monkeypox virus has infected nearly 300 people in San Diego County, almost all of them gay men. While many cases are mild, the skin lesions caused by monkeypox can be exquisitely painful, and it’s been hard to get treatment for severe cases. Now, there’s good news. The local outbreak — like the national and worldwide ones — seems to be on the decline, and it hasn’t widened into the community at large. 

Want to know more? VOSD contributor Randy Dotinga, a board member of the Association of Health Care Journalists, has put together an FAQ about monkeypox and its impact on San Diego. The story includes statistics about its spread here, details about how it affects people, and a look at who’s getting sick. Plus details about things we don’t know, like how well the monkeypox vaccine works. By the way, If you’d like to get vaccinated, hop to it: The local supply is running low. And don’t be shocked if monkeypox sticks around for months or years. Critics say the White House may have fumbled our chance to kill it off for good. 

Read more here.

In Other News 

  • NPR profiled a clinic in Tijuana that is reporting seeing more American patients for abortions since Roe v. Wade was overturned. The clinic estimates that about 50 percent of its patients in July were American, up from 25 percent in May. This isn’t the first time women have traveled across the border for abortions, as Voice contributor Randy Dotinga previously wrote. 
  • Mass incarceration is most severely impacting communities in City Heights, Barrio Logan, Encanto and Southeast San Diego, according to new data from the Prison Policy Initiative reported Wednesday by inewsource. Incarceration rates in those neighborhoods are nearly double the state average, while incarceration rates in Encinitas, La Jolla and Coronado are roughly half the state average.
  • A new report revealed that San Diego County needs to more than double the behavioral health professionals in its workforce in the next five years to meet the region’s growing need. That’s not an easy task given that it’s an industry where many are underpaid, which makes recruiting and retaining difficult, KPBS reports.  

The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx, Andrew Keatts and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña. 

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