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Morning Report: New Candidates, Old Alliances in D8

Vivian Moreno (left) and Antonio Martinez (right) are running to represent District 8 on the San Diego City Council. / Photos by Adriana Heldiz

The race to represent District 8 on the City Council, which covers southern San Diego and the South Bay, is not just a contest between two candidates, it’s between two historically divided factions.

Current District 8 Councilman David Alvarez is backing his staffer Vivian Moreno. Antonio Martinez is backed by former D8 Councilmen Ben Hueso and Juan Vargas.

Alvarez, who is being termed out, won as an outsider without support from traditional district power-brokers like Vargas and Hueso in 2010.

Andrew Keatts paints a vivid picture of the old rivalries that drive South Bay politics and life on the campaign trail: “Systematically, Moreno shakes the front gate to every house before opening them, hoping to startle any dog that might be back there, just to be safe. “Veteran move,” she said.”

Both candidates criticized the old rivalries but acknowledged they exist. Each said they tried to reach out to high-profile politicians backing their rival and each says they were rebuffed.

“I’m trying to break that old rivalry,” Martinez said. “It’s trivial, it’s ‘Who looked at me the wrong way at the gala the other day?’ It’s beyond trivial.”

Moreno said she finds the feuding depressing.

“Sometimes it’s like, am I running against him, or them?” she said. “I don’t get it. I really don’t. But I guess it’s not for me to get. It kind of sucks. It makes me kind of sad.”

… And in Other Local Election News

Including occupation and employer information in political candidates’ financial disclosure reports works to identify special interests supporting a candidate, helping to root out potential conflicts of interest. Rep. Duncan Hunter’s campaign often left out that information about its donors, reports the Union-Tribune. Hunter and his wife were indicted in August for allegedly misusing campaign funds.

Councilwoman Lorie Zapf, who’s running for re-election in District 2, is being targeted by mailers trying to tie her to the politics and policies of President Donald Trump. Meanwhile, in a low-budget campaign handout Scott Lewis stumbled on, Zapf says she opposes the airport’s Terminal 1 expansion plan and that her opponent, Jen Campbell, supports it.

In the third of a new five-part podcast and print series, inewsource looks at the money behind Measure D, a ballot measure that would require elections for county offices to be decided in November.

Data: More Than Half of Detained Immigrants in SD Have No Criminal Convictions

Even though ICE officials consistently characterize the people they arrest as dangerous criminals, new data shows the majority of immigrants in ICE custody in San Diego County and throughout the country have no criminal past.

In San Diego County, 563 of 959 people in ICE custody, or 59 percent, have no criminal conviction, according to data released by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a nonpartisan research entity at Syracuse University.

ICE has increasingly been arresting unauthorized immigrants without any criminal history under the Trump administration,” Maya Srikrishnan reports. “At the end of September, ICE concluded an enforcement operation in San Diego that resulted in 84 arrests. Twenty-five of those individuals were convicted criminals.”

Arrests of non-criminals increased 66 percent in 2018, while arrests of those convicted of crimes rose by just 2 percent during the same time, the Associated Press reported last month.

ICE officials disputed TRAC’s data, contending that more than half of the people in their custody did have criminal records. ICE would not, however, release data specific to San Diego.

Political Digs to Celebrate #WorldMentalHealthDay

It’s been an increasingly loud refrain among city politicians: The county needs to spend more money on mental health.

Those calls may have hit a fever pitch in honor of World Mental Health Day, with Mayor Kevin Faulconer and iMayor-turned-Assemblyman-turned-aspiring mayor Todd Gloria essentially subtweeting the county.

Then long-sitting County Supervisor Ron Roberts, who is termed out this year, had enough.

Our Lisa Halverstadt rounded up politicians’ awkward tweets – and the latest on county mental health spending.

Time to Weigh in on What Question VOSD Should Answer

It’s time, once again, to vote on which People’s Reporter question you want Voice of San Diego to answer next.

The People’s Reporter is our series where we gather questions from readers like you. Then people vote on the best questions, and a VOSD reporter answers the one that gets the most votes.

Many questions come in that Voice or others have already answered, so we’ve been trying to work our way through that list in the Morning Report. Here’s one we can answer: Why is the Museum of Man no longer going to be anthropological nor a museum? How many employees have been fired or have quit?

This question is related to the Museum of Man’s recent announcement that it’s searching for a new name, as the Union-Tribune and many others have reported.

In a statement on the museum’s website, the change was explained as an effort to find a new name that “better reflects our values of inclusivity, equity, and love; better describes all the people we serve and the stories we want to tell; and fully embodies our mission of inspiring human connections by exploring the human experience.” Basically, it wants to be called something like the Museum of Us – or something similarly less man-centric.

Shannon Fowler, the museum’s communications director, said the Balboa Park institution “will continue to be a museum rooted in the field of anthropology and its values.” She also said no employees have quit or been fired as a result of the name change process. The change has the full support of museum staff and leaders, she said.

In Other News

Correction

Tuesday’s local ballot guide misstated the amount of a school bond measure in Vista. The bond is $247 million.

The Morning Report was written by Will Huntsberry and Kinsee Morlan, and edited by Sara Libby.

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