Saturday, November 5, 2011

Two Cathedrals: Is this Bonnie Dumanis in charge? Or asleep at the switch?

Cross-posted from Two Cathedrals:

CityBeat stumbled into a very strange story this week when they received what should have been a pro forma records response from Bonnie Dumanis’ District Attorney office. A straightforward request — how does the DA’s office spend asset-forfeiture funds — returned a document rife with basic spelling errors and an oddly passive-aggressive breakdown of cost to the taxpayer for providing records publicly:
It’s the sort of basic accounting record you’d expect to be readily available from a public office. But, no—in the email response to CityBeat’s public-records request, Dumanis’ office said that compiling the document took roughly four-and-a-half hours of staff time. That time, apparently, didn’t include basic proofreading, since words like “investigator,” “rescue” and “association” were misspelled throughout the document.
It’s particularly strange for a number of reasons. The first is basic public access to how the public’s money is being spent. Asset forfeitures provide public money, so it isn’t as though the public’s right to access this information should be in any doubt. But the response from the DA’s office made clear that the records were not otherwise compiled, and presumably not otherwise easily accessible for the public. So what we’re looking at is the cost to taxpayers of being able to know how their own money is spent — because the DA’s office never thought to keep track in the first place.

Second is the hubris involved in quoting a price ($322.09 if you’re curious) for producing such a fundamentally incompetent document to the public (their employer). It immediately begs the question: is this the quality standard that Bonnie Dumanis has established for the DA’s office in all official business — research, litigation, all other public documents. And, given the volume of typos, is there reason to assume that all the numbers are accurate?

If this is the universal standard, um… why is anyone getting paid? And if it isn’t, why is there a lower standard being applied to providing access to public records about public resources? Did CityBeat get a receipt because there’s an option for taxpayers or other entities to pay extra and receive competent service from their public officials?

One of the few things that supposedly recommends Dumanis for mayor is that she’s the only one of the four leading candidates to have executive (as opposed to legislative) experience. But this shows that on her watch, basic accounting records aren’t being kept, there’s a missing standard of basic competence for official documents produced by her office, and a passive-aggressive attitude towards the notion that the public should have access to how their elected officials are using the public’s money. Not sure that really recommends her executive experience.

On Monday, we discussed Dumanis’ new(ish) campaign consultant Ron Nehring, who has struggled to maintain basic competence for years in various jobs. Now right on cue, the issue for Dumanis is basic competence.

by Lucas O’Connor

Here's the schedule of the first five states in the nominating process: 

January 3: Iowa (Tuesday night) both parties

January 10: New Hampshire (Tuesday) both parties

January 21: South Carolina (Saturday) GOP only

January 21: Nevada Democrat Caucuses (11:30AM)

January 31: Florida (Tuesday) GOP only

February 4: Nevada (Saturday) GOP only

Friday, November 4, 2011

OC Register: GOP flagging in effort to reverse initiative change

The Democratic Legislature drew its share of flak earlier this year when it changed the rules for statewide ballot measures, forcing them off primary ballots and onto consolidated general election ballots. A group of Republicans launched a referendum effort to ask voters to return initiatives to the primary ballots, but the Sacramento Bee is reporting that they’ve failed to raised enough money to collect the 505,000 signatures needed to qualify the measure for the ballot.

Read the article here.

VOSD: Frye Rules Out Mayoral Run, Endorses Filner

"I am not running for mayor," she said in an email to me.

Instead, Frye said she will endorse Filner, a congressman and the lone major Democrat in the race.

Filner wants Frye to handle open government issues, one of her pet concerns when she was in office.

Read the article here.

SD CityBeat: Medical marijuana lawyers react to Bonnie Dumanis statement

Alex Kreit, a Thomas Jefferson School of Law professor who chaired the city's Medical Marijuana Task Force, has published a reaction on the liberal blog Two Cathedrals, criticizing Dumanis for hypocrisy and daring her to "walk her talk." He breaks down her statements one-by-one, highlighting the reality. 

Read the post here.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Labor Council Sponsors Withdrawal Wedne$day

Withdrawal Wedne$day – Community rally to encourage San Diegans to transfer money from big banks like Bank of America and Wells Fargo to community credit unions that keep and invest money locally.

Lorena Gonzalez, Treasurer-Secretary/CEO for San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council; Norma Chavez-Peterson, Director/Lead Organizer for Justice Overcoming Boundaries, and Pat Zaharopoulos, President/CEO for San Diego Middle Class Taxpayers Association will be onsite to call attention to the importance of transferring money from the big banks to local community credit unions.

Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011
12:00 noon

5th Ave & B Street (outside Bank of America & Wells Fargo), San Diego, CA 92101
Supporters will meet at 1200 B Street and march to the 5th & B rally location.

·         Meet: Lorena Gonzalez (San Diego Labor Council), Norma Chavez-Peterson (Justice Overcoming Boundaries), Pat Zaharopoulos (San Diego Middle Class Taxpayers Association) 
·         Rally to promote National Bank Transfer Day
·         Community march from Civic Center to Downtown banks on 5th & B
·         Public setting provides excellent crowd shots, signage and natural sound
·         Opportunities for midday local news live-shots or stand-ups are also available

ADMISSION: This event is FREE and open to the general public.

San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council

# # #

SDUT: Filner urges Obama to back off medical marijuana

Rep. Bob Filner and congressional colleagues are urging President Barack Obama to reschedule marijuana as a legitimate controlled substance for medicinal purposes, saying state and local governments must be allowed to develop and enforce their own public health laws with regard to medical cannabis.

Read the article here.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

SDUT: Dumanis navigates early bumps in mayoral bid

That’s not to say there haven’t been changes. In August, Dumanis hired a new campaign manager and Ron Nehring, the former chairman of the Republican Party on both the state and county level, as a strategy consultant.

In addition, Dumanis said she is now open to participating in debates, backing off her initial plan to wait until March when the mayoral field is officially set. Her reversal was first mentioned in response to questions for this story; a week earlier her campaign said she would wait until March.

Read the article here.