The race for County District Attorney got a little more interesting yesterday as a hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Michael Anello revealed the existence of a letter, purportedly written by Bonnie Dumanis on official stationary on behalf of the family of foreign national Jose Susumo Azano Matsura.
While the judge ultimately denied a motion by defense attorney Knut Johnson to make the document public, testimony about a letter of recommendation on behalf Azano’s son written to the president of the University of San Diego suggests a more substantive the previously described relationship between the incumbent DA and the man accused of illegally donating funds supporting her failed mayoral campaign.
The incumbent DA has denied any knowledge of $200,000 in contributions –illegal because they came from a foreign national–made to organizations supporting her bid for mayor. Half the money went to an independent expenditure campaign and the balance went to a rather shady DC social media campaign organization.
Dumanis, who finished fourth in the 2012 mayoral primary, told the Associated Press earlier this year that the contribution had “nothing to do with me or my campaign.” She said she remembered little from a meeting with Azano at his Coronado house early in her campaign except that he spoke at length about his collection of fancy cars.
“No promises were asked for, nothing was asked for, and if it had been asked for, I would have kicked him to the curb,” Dumanis said.
Via UT-San Diego:
The contributions were made in the last weeks before the June 2012 primary, when Dumanis was lagging in fourth place in the race.
Dumanis has acknowledged meeting with Azano at his waterfront Coronado home. Although she remembers his fleet of luxury cars, Dumanis’s recollection has been less clear about what was discussed and when the meeting was.
“It makes me angry that I would be mentioned in the same breath as people who would go to such extreme lengths to violate the law,” Dumanis told U-T San Diego in January. “And if the allegations are true, they should be held accountable.”
The race for district attorney in this election has been all about Dumanis as a political tool. Whether its declining to prosecute cases of corruption to protect political allies, instigating investigations of political foes or frequent endorsements in electoral contests, the current DA’s reign is symptomatic of the municipal malaise keeping San Diego in the political dark ages.
Sadly, Dumanis was headed into today’s election with the distinct possibility of winning an outright majority over challengers Bob Brewer and Terri Wyatt. Thus far Dumanis and her allies in the US Attorneys office have managed to keep potentially damning information out of the public record.
Reporter Dave Maass, whose story in City Beat in May, 2012 first brought the pro-Dumanis activities of Jose Susumo Azano Matsura to light, filed a public records request with the District Attorney’s office back in October 2012 for all documents related to Azano and his representatives. He noted on Facebook this morning that the DA’s office claimed there were no documents responsive to this public records request
So far there’s been no response from DA Dumanis. She cancelled an election day media availability this morning at the Registrar of Voters.
Seattle Leads the Way on Minimum Wage
The political significance of this, via the Los Angeles Times:
The push for a $15 minimum transformed the November elections here and brought Seattle its first socialist elected official in nearly a century, City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant. During her grass-roots campaign, Sawant pushed for the purest form of the new wage — $15 an hour, implemented immediately and granted evenly to everyone.
On Monday, she introduced several amendments to change the ordinance, seeking to force big businesses to pay the higher wage sooner and to strip out the training wage. As each amendment failed, the angry audience shouted: “Shame! Shame! Shame!”
“Seattle is setting the stage for future movements,” Sawant said. “Seattle will be the place with the highest minimum wage in the country. But how will we expect workers in other cities to fight big business if we don’t set the right tone?
Serious consideration of similar raises in Chicago and San Francisco are underway, and Los Angeles is looking at a $15 minimum for hotel workers.
Here in San Diego, the city council will be considering a more modest proposal on June 11th, when it comes before the Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations committee. There is an effort underway by Raise Up San Diegoencouraging people to attend that meeting in support of the increase.
Elements within the San Diego’s reactionary power structure have conjured up a fake minimum wage initiative and are using paid signature collectors at retail locations. Please, please, don’t sign one of these petitions; the hotel industry funded proposal exempts 93% of all minimum wage employees and is designed to disrupt and discourage popular support for the real measure.
June 5th: Resetting the Internet
A public service announcement via Nadia Kayyali of the Electronic Frontier Foundation:
The NSA has corrupted the Internet. On June 5, we will Reset the Net. We hope you’ll join us.
June 5 is the one-year anniversary of the first documents leaked by Edward Snowden. While EFF has been fighting NSA surveillance for years, 2013 marked a new chapter in our battle against mass spying. The documents made it clear to everyone why we care so much, and why they should too.
Surveillance affects everyone, in the United States and internationally. Millions of innocent people have had their communications swept up by the NSA’s dragnet surveillance. Thomas Drake, former NSA official and whistleblower described recently retired NSA chief General Keith Alexander’s surveillance philosophy: “He is absolutely obsessed and completely driven to take it all, whenever possible.” This philosophy clearly underpinned his nearly nine year tenure at the NSA. In addition to this collect-it-all strategy, the NSA has used tactics such as deploying malware, trying to weaken encryption, and other sophisticated techniques that make the Internet less secure.
Mass surveillance is toxic for the Internet. The Internet is a powerful force that can promote democracy, innovation, and creativity, but it’s being subverted as a tool for government spying.
That’s why EFF has joined with dozens of other organizations in calling for a day of action to Reset the Net. On June 5th, Reset the Net is asking everyone to help by installing free software tools that are designed to protect your privacy on a computer or a mobile device. Reset the Net is also calling on websites and developers to add surveillance resistant features, like HTTPS and forward secrecy.
Don’t wait for your privacy and freedom. Start taking it back.
And here’s the ACLU’s video recapping the last year of revelations:
Eyes Glazed by Net Neutrality?
Thanks to the technology forum at Reddit and a spot-on hilarious commentary by John Oliver on HBO, people are flocking to the FCC’s site to leave comments about proposed changes in how the Internet works to deliver kitten photos.
If the corporate overlords of the cable companies get their way, some kitties will soon be cuter (and faster loading) than others. And the days of the World Wide Wait will once again be upon us.
If you don’t understand what all the fuss is about, please take 14 minutes and allow the bonkers Brit to explain what this is all about, then please share and focus your outrage and go tell the FCC to leave the internet alone.
Don’t have time for the video? Go here: https://www.fcc.gov/comments If the site is crashed, try this: http://www.fcc.gov/page/fcc-establishes-new-inbox-open-internet-comments. The name of the proposal (since this is the land of Orwellian doublespeak) is “Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet”
On This Day: 1918 – A federal child labor law, enacted two years earlier, was declared unconstitutional. 1989 – Chinese army troops positioned themselves to began a sweep of Beijing to crush student-led pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square. 2003 – Sammy Sosa (Chicago Cubs) broke a bat when he grounded out against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The bat he was using was a corked bat.
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