Let's start this week with a pat on the back for U-T San Diego's Greg Moran, who didn't stop reporting on the reelection of San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis after the reelection of Bonnie Dumanis. In two stories, Moran reported that Dumanis has promoted several underlings who supported her campaign and demoted some who opposed her.
The first story revealed that three management-level attorneys—Robert Hickey, Teresa Santana and Andrea Freshwater—who either actively supported Dumanis' opponent, Bob Brewer, or were perceived to have been opposed to Dumanis were transferred out of management positions. The second story shed additional light on those demotions and revealed that Dumanis had promoted three prosecutors— Victor Nuñez, Brian Erickson and Carlos Varela— who, as members of the board of a political action committee (PAC) operated by the Deputy District Attorneys Association, voted to increase the amount of money the PAC would spend on Dumanis' behalf. Hickey and Freshwater were board members who opposed the expenditure.
Dumanis' spokesperson said all of these decisions were based on merit. Sure.
Were we surprised by this news? No. Does this kind of thing happen all the time? Yeah. It was just a good reminder from Moran that the folks running the various units in the DA's office might not always be the best people for the jobs. It was also a reminder of what a political animal Dumanis is, though we hardly needed to be reminded of that.
What the hell, Todd?
We've been really high on San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria all year. One of the reasons for that was his hiring of environmentalist Nicole Capretz to ressurect and shepherd the city of San Diego's Climate Action Plan while he was interim mayor.
Well, the same folks who were so happy with Gloria for his commitment to a genuine plan to reduce carbon emissions within the city limits are super-disappointed with him now, thanks to his vote to appeal (again) a court ruling that struck down a regional transportation plan.
Gloria is a member of the board of directors for SANDAG (San Diego Association of Governments), which passed a transportation plan for the county that environmentalists opposed because it fails to comply with carbon-reduction standards set forth in an executive order signed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. So far, two courts have agreed with the environmentalists. SANDAG, which is largely run by people who still favor freeway expansion over mass transit, is desperately hoping to find a judge who'll say that the agency doesn't have to comply with Schwarzenegger's order because it was never codified by legislation. Gloria voted with the overwhelming majority of board members last Friday to appeal the latest ruling, which came on a 2-1 vote from the 4th District Court of Appeal, upholding an earlier ruling at the Superior Court.
In a statement provided to CityBeat on Tuesday, a spokesperson said that Gloria "supported the appeal as a means of obtaining clarification of state law regarding greenhouse gas reduction requirements . This clarification will ensure regional plans here and elsewhere in the state meet or exceed the state's requirements."
Folks who demand a more environmentally sustainable future for San Diego County are right to question Gloria's commitment to reducing the region's carbon footprint. Two courts now have ruled that SANDAG's plan is inadequate. That should be enough clarification. But at least Gloria voted. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer handed off his vote to his alternate, City Councilmember Myrtle Cole, who voted to appeal.
Shame the frat boys
We stand with the San Diego State University students who were set on Tuesday to protest the abominable behavior of certain fraternity members who, late last month, taunted marchers during Take Back the Night, an event aimed at drawing attention to the problem of rape on campus.
An SDSU spokesperson tells us that the school is still investigating and that the outcome could be discipline for any individuals and/or fraternities found to have violated the university's code of conduct.
Meaningful consequences and a public shaming would be the only acceptable result.
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