The Starting Line – DeMaio’s Second Calendar Revealed; Private Meetings with Developers Don’t Count

by on October 4, 2012 · 1 comment

in Columns, Education, Government, Politics, The Starting Line

For several weeks now mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio has been at the center of a controversy regarding his relationship with media mogul and developer Doug Manchester in connection with plans for a proposed football stadium at the site of the Tenth Avenue Port Terminal. A news account last week quoted Manchester’s CEO John Lynch bragging in an email about having a mayoral candidate in tow who was favorable towards their plans.

Since the UT-San Diego newspaper had endorsed DeMaio and the vision for the football stadium site was a pet project for Manchester, many people, including the City Councilman’s opponent Congressman Bob Filner, assumed that some sort of closed door deal had been made.

‘Not so’, claimed both Lynch and DeMaio. The CEO walked back the statement attributed to him regarding a Mayoral candidate, saying “I was trying to say something that was poorly said. There was never any one candidate that we made progress with.”  The mayoral candidate said that he had never supported the stadium plan, and that he’d only had one meeting with Manchester, and that was when he met with the paper’s editorial board.

Now it’s come out via a report by KPBS/I-Newsource Investigations Desk that additional meetings were held between the developer and the candidate.

 San Diego mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio keeps a private calendar that shows he had appointments with U-T San Diego owner Doug Manchester in December and in May, despite his office insisting no records of communication exist between the two men.

 The KPBS/I-Newsource Investigations Desk obtained 17 pages of DeMaio’s personal calendar. Those pages — covering months between December 2011 and June 2012 — specifically note two meetings scheduled with “Papa Doug,” the nickname Manchester, owner of U-T San Diego, prefers, and one that included his CEO John Lynch.

 DeMaio confirmed yesterday that he met with Manchester. He said he did not have to disclose those meetings because they were campaign-related.

The revelation that the mayoral candidate maintained a second calendar flies in the face of DeMaio’s persona as an advocate of “open government”, a premise that has been front and center throughout his campaigns.

This story tool another twist yesterday when Voice of San Diego’s Scott Lewis revealed that UT-San Diego CEO Lynch was now on record as admitting that he’d threatened via email to use the newspaper’s clout to lead a campaign to disband the San Diego Port Authority.  The warning was made in the context of an email exchange between Lynch and Port Commissioner Scott Peters regarding a potential lease (since ratified) with the Dole Fruit Company on part of the embarcadero that was included in the UT-San Diego’s proposal for a football stadium.

After initially seeming to deny authorship of that email and claiming that Peters had somehow altered it, Lynch responded to follow-up questions from VOSD’s Lewis by doubling down on the original threat. From the VOSD story:

Indeed, in his messages to me, Lynch made it clear he’s proud of the statement that the newspaper would now be trying to destroy the port as an agency.

In fact, after I repeatedly asked him to confirm that he wrote the sentence highlighted above, he said he’d go a step further:

“I will rewrite it now. It is our belief the PORT is a layer of government that our City cannot afford. The hundred million or so of savings could upgrade our schools , fix potholes, or be utilized to move the economy forward. The new Mayor, should audit the PORT and determine if it is an asset or an anchor…we will continue to speak out regarding governmental abuse.”

It looks to me like Congressman Filner’s expressed concerns about what’s going on here are more than campaign rhetoric. What’s come out is just the stuff that DeMaio/Lynch/Manchester are willing to admit to.  And the old saying would seem to apply here: “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”

Local Debates, Forums Give Multiple Opportunities to Plug in Today

 Election season is truly upon us and there are a gaggle of opportunities today for curious voters to learn and engage with candidates for virtually every political contest underway in the San Diego area.

There’s a debate between two candidates for City Council in District 1, a contest that will determine the balance of power in town for the next couple of years.  Contenders for a half dozen races, including San Diego Mayoral contest, the 52nd Congressional District, County Board of Supervisors, and three State Assembly seats will be discussing sustainability issues at a Green Policy forum.  And educational issues will be at the forefront during a debate featuring candidates for Board positions in the San Diego Unified School District.

 One Voice at a Time: District One

Voice of San Diego’s popular One Voice at a Time conversation series continues this evening, featuring City Council District 1 incumbent Sherri Lightner and challenger Ray Ellis.  For those of you who haven’t attended any of the events in this series, the way it works is VOSD’s moderator directs one on one conversations with the guests, exploring topics relevant to their and the audiences’ interests. It’s not a shout-a-thon, nor is it a debate in the sense of Romney vs Obama TV theater that many of us witnessed last night. It’s civilized, insightful, sane and sometimes even a little humorous.

Reporter Keegan Kyle will kick off the discussion with a six minute City 101 Speed Session on the major issues at stake in District 1 and why you should care about the race even if you don’t live in the district.  This race will ultimately impact everybody in San Diego; our next mayor will need a council majority to achieve their goals in negotiations with city labor unions. And key projects may hang on those votes.

This event starts at 6:30pm tonight (Thursday!) at the Institute of the Americas. There is a $5 admission charge. For directions and parking information, go here.

A Multi-Candidate Sustainability Forum

Sustainability will be the focus of discussions at the Green Policy forum this evening. Candidates for local, state and national office will lay out their positions on the sustainable and economic future of San Diego at this gathering sponsored by the Green Experts Academy and the Sustainability Alliance of Southern California.

Addressing the crowd will be Mayoral Candidate Bob Filner, Congressional candidate Scott Peters, County Supervisor candidate Dave Roberts, State Assembly candidates Dr. Shirley Weber, RJ Hernandez and Pat Hurley. Candidates Carl DeMaio and Brian Bilbray declined invitations to speak at the forum.

Questions regarding the Green economy, job creation, proposed power plants, nuclear energy, urban agriculture, cleantech, transportation, water, climate change, AB 32 implementation, PACE, alternative fuels, renewable energy and other public policy matters will be asked of candidates, as appropriate.

This event starts at 5pm and is being hosted by Cricket Communications, 5887 Copley Dr, San Diego, CA.  Tickets are $20 and include parking, dinner and beverages.  For more information and advance ticket sales, go here.

School Board Candidates to Debate

The League of Women Voters of San Diego will moderate a debate featuring Scholl Board candidates John Lee Evans, Bill Ponder and Mark Powell tonight at Central Elementary School (4063 Polk Ave) at 6pm. The event is co-sponsored by Up for Ed and is free to the public.  Candidates Richard Barrera (unopposed) and Marne Foster were invited, but do not expect to be in attendance.

Proposition Z Rally Slated for this Afternoon

Supporters of Proposition Z, a $2.8 billion bond proposition for school construction, maintenance and repairs in the San Diego Unified School District, will hold an after school rally on Thursday, October 4th at the corner of Park Blvd and Zoo Dr/Morley Field Dr., across the street from Roosevelt Middle School.  Starting at 3:30 kids will be encouraged to create signs and banners to express their support for Prop. Z, followed at 4:15 with a program featuring speeches by local students.

Proposition 38 Forum

Attorney Molly Munger, chief supporter of Proposition 38, a measure that would dedicated proposed tax increases for K-12 education, will be discussing the proposal with former California Teacher of the Year Alex Kajitani at a free event to be held at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, 404 Euclid Ave. starting at 7pm.  This event is co-sponsored by San Diego Unified Council of PTAs, Ninth District PTA, and others.

Proposition 30 Live TV Debate

Labor leader Lorena Gonzalez has bravely volunteered to venture into the lion’s den of reactionary politics down at the Mission Valley studio of UT-TV for a debate on Proposition 30, Gov. Brown’s tax measure to fund education, with Lincoln Club member Paul Robinson. Moderated by UT-San Diego Editorial and Opinion Director Bill Osborne, the session is most likely going to highlight serious questions like “When did Ms. Gonzalez stop beating baby pandas?”  You can tune in for the show at 5pm, Cox channel 114 or livestream via UTTV.com.

Vets for Peace continue anti-drone demonstrations at General Atomics in Poway

Today, veterans from the San Diego Veterans For Peace, associates and friends will stage the eighth weekly anti-drone demonstration outside the General Atomics factory in Poway where the Predator Drone is made.  Their goal is to educate the public concerning the lack of oversight being utilized by Homeland Security, police and others, who are now sending these drones over the US skies without any judicial oversight.

The Vets want to call attention to the fact that law enforcement agencies are using the drones to do surveillance work throughout the United States without judicial oversight. Law abiding citizens, meeting to conduct business or political affairs, are being recorded and documented by the US government and local officials for unknown purposes. They also feel that the Predator Drone, made by General Atomics, in Poway, makes continuing war too easy of a choice, thus keeping America embroiled in current and future wars.

They intend to picket every Thursday, from 4-6 PM, at the corner of Scripps-Poway Parkway and General Atomics Way, which is about 10-15  minutes off the I-15.  For more information, contact Dave Patterson, from San Diego Veterans For Peace, at 760-207-9139 or dpatterson998(at)yahoo.com

On This Day: In 1931 the comic strip “Dick Tracy” made its debut in the Detroit Daily Mirror. The strip was created by Chester Gould. In 1957the Soviet Union launched Sputnik I into orbit around the Earth. Sputnik was the first manmade satellite to enter space. Sputnik I fell out of orbit on January 4, 1958.  In 1970 Janis Joplin was found dead of a heroin overdose at the age of 27. She had just finished recording her second solo album “Pearl.”

Eat Fresh! Today’s Farmer’s Markets: Carmel Valley (Canyon Crest Academy 5951 Village Center Loop Road) 3:30 – 7:00 pm, Chula Vista(Downtown, Center St. & Third Ave.) 3 –7 pm, Linda Vista  (6900 Linda Vista Road Between Comstock & Ulric) 2 – 7 pm, North Park (CVSPharmacy parking lot 3151 University & 32nd St.) 3 – 7 pm, Oceanside Market & Faire (Pier View Way & Coast Hwy. 101) 9 am – 1 pm,Oceanside Sunset (Tremont & Pier View Way) 5 –9 pm, San Carlos (Pershing Middle School 8204 San Carlos Drive) 4 – 7 pm, SDSU Farmers’ Market (Campanile Walkway btw Hepner Hall & Love Library) 10 – 3 pm, University Town Center  (Genesee Ave. at UTC Westfield Shopping Plaza) 3 – 7 pm.

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Doug Porter

Doug Porter was active in the early days of the alternative press in San Diego, contributing to the OB Liberator, the print version of the OB Rag, the San Diego Door, and the San Diego Street Journal. He went on to have a 35 year career in the Hospitality business and decided to go back into raising hell when he retired. He won awards for 'Daily Reporting and Writing: Opinion/Editorial' from the Society of Professional Journalists in 2013 and 2014. Doug is a cancer survivor (sans vocal chords) and lives in North Park. NEW: Ello contact @dougbob
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avatar John Lawrence October 4, 2012 at 3:56 pm

If DeMaio is elected Mayor, he will probably try to shut down the Port Authority. Just what does the Port Authority do anyway? Since the Dole deal has already been done, how could they turn the 10th Ave pier into a football stadium. Wouldn’t that be reneging on the Dole contract?

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