By Doug Porter
Things must be going poorly for incumbent District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis in her re-election campaign. While she hasn’t been accused of involvement in the unfolding campaign finance scandal stemming from a foreign donor’s quest to turn our downtown waterfront into another Miami, a whiff of ‘something’s not right here’ remains in the air.
Her re-election effort is facing a stiff challenge from a well-funded opponent who’s managed to nail down endorsements from a large majority of law enforcement-related groups and nearly two dozen former assistant DAs. And her latest gaffe won’t help matters much.
Yesterday, challenger Bob Brewer announced the endorsement of Father Joe Carroll, whose high profile blessing of Kevin Faulconer was well received by voters during the recent mayoral contest. It should have been a blip on the radar of the campaign. Now it’s not.
The Dumanis campaign issued a press release in response criticizing the announcement for characterizing Brewer as a ‘prosecutor,’ since he’s now in private practice. His prosecutorial experience includes seven years as a Deputy District Attorney and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles.
But that was several decades ago. And the Dumanis campaign pounced. Brewer’s no prosecutor they whined. Father Joe’s got it wrong.
Then Father Joe responded directly:
“Today’s press release by the Dumanis campaign was very petty. The release suggests I made misleading statements in a video in which I endorse Bob Brewer for District Attorney. I stand by what I said in the video and press release and will continue to do so. Her campaign contacted me about a possible endorsement but I had already given my support to Bob, a man of great integrity who I believe will take politics out of the DA’s office. Responding to my endorsement of Bob in the way that her campaign did was inappropriate.”
Ooops. Now Dumanis has offended a well-regarded retired priest known for his unselfish devotion to the homeless. What’s she going to do next? Spit on the flag?
Perhaps the Dumanis campaign was hoping to draw attention way from the looming $7 million dollar judgement against the City of San Diego resulting from her failed prosecution of members of the pension board.
Via UT-San Diego:
On Wednesday, the state Supreme Court decided not to review a decision by a lower court that ordered the city to pay $5.4 million in legal fees for the former board members.
They had been charged in 2005 by District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis with violating the state’s conflict-of-interest law by voting for a city plan to save money by putting less money into the pension system — while boosting their own benefits and those of thousands of other employees.
With interest, plus the costs of a second lawsuit filed by the lawyers to recover their costs for filing the initial suit to recoup fees, the total city bill will likely exceed $7 million.
The City Attorney was the actual loser in this most recent case, since the lawsuit was about legal fees. But the fees wouldn’t have been a question if Dumanis’ prosecutions had passed muster at the State Supreme Court, which found most defendants in the case hadn’t received special benefits over and above those granted to all city employees.
Eight Million Flaws in the GOP’s Game Plan
Oh-oh. The Republicans’ hopes for the end of the world caused by the Kenyan-Muslim-Socialist in the White House are in trouble.
On page A2 of today’s UT-San Diego there’s an Associated Press story signalling a sea-change in the American landscape. Eight million people nationally have signed up for health care through Obamacare’s insurance exchanges.
A Washington Post article says another 3 million Americans have signed up for Medicaid. Five million have signed up for non-exchange health plans. Three million young people have insurance under their parents plans.
On the front page of the business section, the sub-head for the local version of the story tells us that the final number for Covered California is twice what was predicted for the state’s health care exchange.
This is the worst kind of news for a Republican Party that’s been banking on the hope the Affordable Care Act would fall on it’s face. Today’s New York Times includes an article saying roughly $33 million has already be been spent nationally by conservative Political Action Committees in 2014. Much of that war chest, including the ads running about Rep. Scott Peters funded by the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity has focused on negative portrayals of Obamacare.
Our own UT-San Diego has been at the forefront of the war against Obamacare. As is common with reactionary propagandists these days, they’ve waged a campaign based on the premise that the program would actually hurt the people it was intended to help.
Remember this one? (January 24, 2013)
To call Obamacare flawed is an understatement on the order of calling the Amazon River a tiny stream. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 is so fraught with internal contradictions that it sometimes seems designed to collapse the existing U.S. health-care system.
And this one? (August 16, 2013)
Here’s the wonder: that the president can survey this wreckage and argue with a straight face that he’s the one advancing “an agenda that is going to strengthen our middle class.” That’s not what it looks like to the middle class — to small-business owners, union members, restaurant managers, school administrators and many more.
Obamacare shouldn’t just be defunded. The stinking mess should be repealed.
And this one? (August 20, 2012)
With 11 weeks until Election Day, President Barack Obama’s desperation couldn’t be plainer. He wants the campaign to be about anything other than his record, starting with the failure of the $787 billion “stimulus” plan to revive the economy and the deeply unpopular, vastly expensive and utterly flawed botch that is Obamacare.
More Pot Shots Coming
Having taken my first victory lap (there will be more) over the UT editorial board’s mundane malevolence toward any health insurance solution short of firing squads for the uninsured, I recognize that the fat lady hasn’t actually sung yet.
In the short term it’s likely that GOP/Koch mythology will keep those segments of the voting public more likely to show up in mid-term elections believing that there is actually a possibility of repealing Obamacare. Combined with the egregious gerrymandering that’s taken place in House districts all over the country, I doubt that any proclamation coming out of Washington will do much more than blunt a mid-term GOP electoral advantage.
As Jamie Fuller points out in the Washington Post:
For the Republican Party, new press releases from the Obama administration aren’t a reason to despair. It provides a perfect opportunity to give their talking points maximum exposure. For the most part, Republicans don’t need to persuade people that their belief in the complete failure of Obamacare is right. All they need to do is make their base — which already has been conditioned to have a negative Pavlovian response to Obamacare — angry enough to vote against the incumbents who supported the legislation.
But, as many observers have noted, the Real Fear on the right isn’t that Obamacare will fail. It’s that Obamacare will succeed. So we can all expect the GOP to make mountains out of molehills as this health insurance program rolls on. Stuff like “My third cousin’s acne turned out to be gonorrhea because of Obamacare” will continue to get plenty of play.
Let them continue to cry “wolf,” I say. It will come back to bite them in the ass. As more Americans get with the program and the world doesn’t end, the GOP’s doomsday logic will be exposed for the fraud it is.
The tide is already turning, From Greg Sargent at the Washington Post:
…Republicans spent years saying No to Obamacare — a strategy based on seeming certainty that all Republicans had to do was wait until the law collapsed, as it inevitably would – and now they have been caught flat-footed with nothing to offer of their own.
Kaiser’s tracking polls on health care — the gold standard — neatly demonstrate that Americans don’t believe there is any Republican alternative. Its March poll found that only 29 percent of Americans want to repeal Obamacare, but in that category, only 11 percent of Americans want to repeal the law and replace it with an unspecified GOP alternative. In February some 12 percent were in that latter category. In October it stood at 13 percent. And so on.
The GOP “repeal and replace” strategy relies on keeping replace vague. It relies on a gamble that voters won’t notice that the actual choice Republicans are offering them is to stick with Obamacare or to return to the old system…
On This Day: 1906 – San Francisco was hit with an massive earthquake. The original death toll was cited at about 700. Later information indicated that the death toll may have been 3 to 4 times the original estimate. 1955 – Albert Einstein died. 2003 – Etta James received a star (#2,223) on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
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