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VOSD Podcast: A Fiery DA Debate and Omar Passons' Supervisor Run

On this week’s podcast, hosts Sara Libby, Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts talk about some of the issues behind the friction in the DA race.

omar passons san diego
Omar Passons speaks at a San Diego County Board of Supervisors candidate forum. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

The two candidates vying to be San Diego’s next district attorney went after each other in a fiery debate Sunday.

There were many tense moments at the recent forum with Democrat Geneviéve Jones-Wright, a public defender, and appointed District Attorney Summer Stephan, a Republican.

On this week’s podcast, hosts Sara Libby, Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts talk about some of the issues behind the friction in the DA race.

One of the tensest exchanges happened when Lewis, who moderated the event, brought up a controversial comment Stephan made in an interview with the Union-Tribune’s editorial board. Stephan suggested that Jones-Wright should remain a public defender and work her way up through that office’s chain of command. She used the term “Kardashian effect,” to suggest Jones-Wright doesn’t have the right experience or leadership skills to run the DA’s office.

Jones-Wright explained the “Kardashian effect” comment another way.

“It is completely demeaning and is utterly appalling that another professional woman who professes to stand with women would compare another professional woman to a person who leaked a sex tape,” she said.

Also on the show: San Diego is awash in proposed designs for new NFL stadiums now that San Diego State University just released a rendering of a potential stadium in Mission Valley that could fit a professional team; and the June 5 primary isn’t far off, so folks should start seeing their sample ballots followed by an onslaught of campaign mailers and digital ads (take photos of the mailers and send them to us, please).

Omar Passons joins the second half of the show to talk about his campaign for county supervisor.

The North Park lawyer called the all-Republican Board of Supervisors’ recent vote  to join the Trump administration’s lawsuit against California’s sanctuary policies “bald politics” and “a bad call.”

He also talked about his priorities, including providing kids and young adults in the region with more support through new county programs.

“I’ve called for fully subsidized transportation for a youth aged 14 to 21 so they can get to work and get to school,” he said.

He also said he wants every 3-year-old in the county to have access to free preschool.

Passons also explained parts of his plan to improve the county’s approach to housing the homeless, his ideas on growing the region’s housing supply and more.

Hero of the Week

The hero this week is Superior Court judge Ronald F. Frazier. Voice of San Diego is going to court with local school districts that are attempting to withhold records related to educators accused of misconduct. In a tentative ruling, Frazier recently said VOSD should get records in certain cases.

Goat of the Week

The goat goes to everyone in town who patted themselves on the back and celebrated the news that San Diego is getting $311 million in funds from Senate Bill 1, better known as the “gas tax.” That number should have been put into context, because $311 million is below what a region our size should get, and about 70 percent of those funds are earmarked for roadways even though the region’s made commitments to fight climate change by spending more on public transportation and less on freeways.

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