By Doug Porter
Just two years ago San Diego resident Dinesh D’Souza was sitting at the top of the conservative heap. He was a best selling author, president of Kings College, fledgling documentarian and sought after debater. Now he stands accused by federal prosecutors of making $20,000 in straw contributions in a 2012 Senate race.
According to an indictment made public on Thursday in federal court in Manhattan, D’Souza around reimbursed people (believed to be his ex-wife and mistress) who he had directed to contribute $20,000 to a senate campaign, believed to be that of Wendy Long, a Republican attorney who lost to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in 2012. The indictment said the campaign was unaware of D’Souza’s activities, which apparently weren’t very helpful, as Long garnered just 28% of the vote..
D’Souza rose from Reaganite beginnings to become a fixture on the ‘90s speaking circuit, and became a personal favorite of UT-San Diego publisher Doug Manchester. The Daily Fishwrap ran scores of full-color ads promoting his shoddily-made documentary entitled 2016: Obama’s America.
“Papa” Doug even helped finance the film, which set out to lead its audiences to the conclusion that the President of the United States hates this country, wants to destroy it and create a socialist state where everybody is taxed at 100%; one world under Allah.
San Diego filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza charged in NY in campaign fraud case. – http://t.co/JFobxAT95R – Have you seen his film?
— UTSanDiego (@UTsandiego) January 24, 2014
Cleaning Up the Story
A different and less salacious version appears on page A11 of today’s printed edition of UT-San Diego. References to his 2012 divorce scandal were omitted.
Here’s what you missed:
In October 2012, D’Souza resigned as head of an evangelical college after becoming engaged to a woman while still married to his wife.
D’Souza resigned two days after the evangelical magazine WORLD reported he spoke at a Christian values conference in South Carolina and took along his fiancee, Denise Odie Joseph II. Organizers said they confronted D’Souza after concluding that he and Joseph had shared a hotel room while attending the gathering.
D’Souza denied staying in the same room as Joseph. He said he and his wife, Dixie, had been separated since 2010. D’Souza filed for divorce in California a few days after the South Carolina event, according to court records.
After the WORLD report, he called off his engagement.
Papa Doug Manchester wasn’t the only conservative media mogul infatuated with D’Souza.
From an article in Media Matters:
Fox News and Fox Business repeatedly went to bat for D’Souza’s movie, hosting him at least five times in the run-up to its wide release. (To give a sample of the tone of the segments, Lou Dobbs told his audience, “We’ve got a much better fate awaiting us if we just will simply awaken to what Dinesh is revealing in the wonderful movie, ‘2016,’ August 10.”)
In 2010, D’Souza was at the center of a firestorm for penning an article for Forbes magazine arguing that President Obama is animated by an “anticolonial” worldview imprinted on him by his father. In keeping with his usual scholarship, D’Souza’s anticolonial theory was utter nonsense, but was nonetheless widely championed by major conservatives, including then-Fox contributor and soon-to-be presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, then-Fox host Glenn Beck (repeatedly), and Rush Limbaugh.
Yesterday Matt Drudge, publisher of the conservative site the Drudge Report, called out Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday, saying the government is “unleashing the dogs” on critics of President Obama, like former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza.
UPDATES: A Filner-esque Spin to Our Local Scandal
Voice of San Diego posted a story on Thursday evening based on a first person account of an un-named witness who says our former mayor did lunch with Susumo Azano, the Mexican money man at the heart of the campaign finance scandal that has been unfolding this week.
The meeting occurred shortly before $340,000 in illegal donations made their way into various organizations supporting Filner’s mayoral candidacy.
Lobbyist Marco Polo Cortes and former San Diego Police Department detective Ernesto Encinas also attended the meeting, the source said. Federal law enforcement officials allege Cortes and Encinas worked to illegally funnel a Mexican national’s money to local campaigns over the past two years. Azano and Filner are not specifically named in the federal complaints, but are widely believed to be involved.
Azano, the source said, brought in a chef from the high-end Nobu sushi restaurant chain to cater the meeting. Filner and Azano did not discuss fundraising during the meeting, the source said. But immediately after the meeting, and multiple times following, the source overheard Cortes and Encinas say Azano might be interested in funding an independent expenditure on Filner’s behalf.
Two weeks later, according to the VOSD story (which meshes with entries made in Filner’s calendar) Cortes and Encinas shepherded the ex-mayor to as his visited more than a dozen downtown bars and restaurants on a walking fundraiser.
A story in today’s UT-San Diego says Azano’s name has come up in an investigation into money laundering activities in Mexico, according to reports in the Reforma newspaper. The few details about this money laundering investigation appear at the end of the story, buried beneath this gratuitous paragraph:
As the scandal continued to unfold Thursday, the head of the Democratic National Committee, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, was in San Diego to campaign for Councilman David Alvarez, who faces Councilman Kevin Faulconer in the Feb. 11 mayoral runoff election. The Alvarez campaign on Thursday said it returned a $999 contribution it received from Cortes in September.
Eight paragraphs later, here’s the meat of the story, which ran under the headline “Tycoon Tied to Mexican Probe”
The Mexican money-laundering case that Azano has been associated with involves allegations by businessman Carlos Ambe Buzali and was reported Thursday by the Mexican daily newspaper Reforma. A spokesman at the Mexican Attorney General’s Office declined to comment on the matter or supply additional information.
Democrat to Challenge Duncan Hunter, Jr.
Last night marked the kickoff for Democrat James Kimber’s campaign at the Bella Vita in Temecula. He’s challenging the seemingly unbeatable Duncan Huntrer, Jr for the House of Representatives in the 50th Congressional District.
The influential Cook Report list Hunter’s district as +12 towards the incumbent, so Kimber’s clearly facing an uphill climb. The Democrat has been networking towards this announcement for better than a year now, as has been seen recently making all the photo ops and meet-ups with party big wigs around town.
His Facebook page includes nearly 12,000 “likes”, so he’s obviously been getting around.
The GOP’s Not-A-War on Women
This is just too stupid not to share.
From Talking Points Memo:
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) said that the government shouldn’t help women who can’t control their “libido or their reproductive system” by providing co-pay-free birth control and that Democrats are encouraging women to be “victims of their gender.”
Huckabee made the comments during a speech at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting on Thursday.
“If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of government then so be it! Let us take that discussion all across America because women are far more than the Democrats have played them to be,” Huckabee said.
Huckabee argued that Democrats “think that women are nothing more than helpless and hopeless creatures whose only goal in life is to have the government provide for them birth control medication.”
Will the City Heights Debate Address the Closing of Albertsons?
City Councilmen David Alvarez and Kevin Faulconer will face off at in a sold out forum at Hoover High School on Saturday (1/25) starting at 3pm. Community cohosts include the Mid-City Community Advocacy Network and its Youth Council, Educate for the Future, along with the Cesar Chavez Service Clubs.
Hopefully the debate will get beyond the now-trite questions about a football stadium and the ‘shocking’ news that labor unions are supporting a Democratic candidate.
Local activists are hoping to hear about an issue of real importance to their community, namely the announcement by the Albertson’s grocery store that it’s closing on February 20th. SDFP’s Anna Daniels has an excellent story (here) with plenty of details surrounding the shuttering.
This closing is about more than a low income community losing an important source of nutrition. It’s about redevelopment, promises that were made to the community and the possibility that Civic San Diego, the successor to the local redevelopment entity, has no idea about their responsibilities (if indeed they have any) in this matter.
The bottom line here is, unless somebody in power takes an interest, the City Heights community is about to get screwed. This is at the heart of what should be talked about by politicians who claim to be interested in “neighborhoods.” A question or two about each candidate’s support or lack thereof for an increase in the minimum wage wouldn’t hurt, either.
The debate will be broadcast at 9 p.m. Sunday Jan. 26 on San Diego 6 the CW (Channel 6)
How Bad is American Broadcast Journalism?
This bad, wherein a Congresswoman being interviewed about the National Security Agency is interrupted for BREAKING NEWS about Justin Bieber. And this isn’t Fox News:
A Tribute to Pete Seeger and Woodie Guthrie
Activist San Diego and Community Radio KNSJ 89.1 are throwing a benefit concert on Saturday January 25th featuring guitarist George Mann performing folk melodies from the 20th century labor movement.
The concert will be held at Church of the Brethren, 3850 Westgate Place, starting at 7pm. Tickets are $10 or $17.50 with a dinner starting a 6pm.
On This Day: 1848 – James W. Marshall discovered a gold nugget at Sutter’s Mill in northern California. The discovery led to the gold rush of ’49. 1962 – Brian Epstein signed with the Beatles as their manager and began to direct their image away from leather jackets. He led them toward a smarter stage presentation, with matching suits and bows to the audience. 1985 – Penny Harrington became the first woman police chief of a major city. She assumed the duties as head of the Portland, Oregon, force of 940 officers and staff.
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