Politics Report: It's Money Time! - Voice of San Diego

Politics

Politics Report: It's Money Time!

We’ve got cash-on-hand totals for the candidates in local races. Issa isn’t backing down. And SANDAG’s Friday meeting was tense, if you can believe it.

Image via Shutterstock

We were pretty eager for new updates to campaign fundraising efforts and we got them.

But first, a bit of explaining.

Normally local campaigns release results every six months. There’s a January through June reporting period, and a July through December period.

There are also other deadlines, though, that come up before an actual election. And this year, the primary election is in March, which means we got the first of those before we got the results of the last six-month period.

What that means is that some candidates just turned both in this week. Others only met the Jan. 18 deadline and have yet to report their fundraising during the last half of 2019.

So … what that means is we have everyone’s cash on hand as of now. But we do not have everyone’s second half of 2019 results.

What we have done is put out cash-on-hand graphs for all the major races here. (Cash-on-hand is what matters most right now. Ballots are about to go out and this is the money they can spend chasing those ballots with mailers and other outreach. We’ll update the graphs with last year’s contributions next week.)

And, as always, supreme, unqualified, effusive gratitude and praise be to Mason Herron, the political consultant and president of Edgewater Strategies, who gathers all this info and puts it in one great spot. He’s got more there.

(Also, congressional races aren’t updated yet.)

The Measures

The Mayor’s Race

County Supervisor District 1

County Supervisor District 2

County Supervisor District 3

San Diego City Council District 1

San Diego City Council District 3

San Diego City Council District 5

San Diego City Council District 7

San Diego City Council District 9

Issa Calls for GOP Chair to Resign

Former Rep. Darrell Issa (left) and Tony Krvaric, chairman of the Republican Party of San Diego County / Photos by Megan Wood

On Thursday, Scott wrote about the weird week former Rep. Darrell Issa had. We have never seen a TV ad generate such widespread condemnation.

There was more fallout and developments Friday.

Politico posted a piece with a couple interesting nuggets.

First nugget: Issa isn’t backing down and he’s ready for war with Tony Krvaric, the chairman of the local Republican Party, who called Issa’s ad highly inappropriate.

Asked if he regretted or would withdraw the spot, Issa said, “Not a bit,’’ and said he would instead demand Krvaric “resign and withdraw his statement.’’

Issa accused Krvaric of trying to help DeMaio. Krvaric has had plenty of critics, but Issa’s by far the biggest to call for him to step down.

He had already announced he would be leaving the chairmanship last year before deciding to give it another go.

It’s no secret that DeMaio has long had a strong relationship with Krvaric and the Central Committee of the party.

Second nugget: The Chamber of Commerce was considering an Issa endorsement and decided to stay out of it.

Why it matters: There were two provocative points in Issa’s ad. The one was clearly gay-bating. Issa’s explanation at a press conference was that he was just publishing existing newspaper headlines – as though it was somehow unavoidable to put them up in that way. C’mon, displaying them as he did was not subtle.

He could have quoted articles in any number of ways. Every aspect of those ads is calculated, and they wanted to communicate that DeMaio is gay in an ad meant to cast him in a negative light to conservatives in East County. It’s insulting to our intelligence to keep saying it was some kind of coincidence, or to suggest we should ask the newspapers about their headlines.

But the other part of the ad could have a much deeper implication for California GOP politics. It was about unauthorized immigrants, and it lifted comments DeMaio made that were sympathetic to the idea of some people who are living here without valid visas being allowed to find their way to legitimacy or citizenship. It depicted them as murderous thugs.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has endorsed Issa, and he didn’t call Issa out about that part of the ad. Make no mistake, though, if Faulconer does run for governor, his own support for a pathway to citizenship for people working and living here could face the exact xenophobic slander Issa deployed on DeMaio. In fact, it could come from Issa! It’s a fire Faulconer is letting rage.

Speaking of Faulconer’s Gubernatorial Ambition …

Mayor Kevin Faulconer speaks at a press conference for the Yes! For a Better San Diego campaign in October 2019. / Photo by Megan Wood

Dispatch from Lisa Halverstadt: Faulconer is touting his track record on homelessness as he ramps up efforts to hatch a 2022 state ballot initiative aimed at stemming the crisis.

A new poll funded by philanthropists urging the city to use vacant buildings to temporarily shelter homeless San Diegans offers a window into how city voters view progress Faulconer and other leaders have made combating homelessness.

While Faulconer has often noted that San Diego County was one of the few areas in the state that didn’t report a dramatic boom in homelessness last year, the poll commissioned by nonprofit Lucky Duck Foundation reveals the vast majority of city voters don’t believe the city has put a dent in the problem in the past year.

Only 3 percent of the roughly 500 city voters questioned told Competitive Edge Research & Communication that they have noticed a recent reduction in homelessness. About 45 percent reported homelessness seemed stagnant while 42 percent said they believed it had increased.

About two-thirds interviewed also said they believed the city’s response to homelessness hadn’t significantly changed in the past year. About 85 percent said they believed the city should play a major role in addressing the problem.

John Nienstedt of Competitive Edge said the poll also documented what others have shown: Homelessness ranked as city voters’ top concern ahead of public safety and crime, housing affordability and traffic congestion.

 

The poll also backs the Lucky Duck Foundation’s latest push for the city to provide more shelter beds for homeless San Diegans. Eighty-four percent of those surveyed said they believed city-owned vacant buildings should be used as shelters during inclement weather.

The foundation, which released partial poll results earlier this week as part of a petition drive to pressure city officials, reports it has since gathered more than 1,000 signatures.

The city has dramatically expanded its homeless service offerings since a deadly hepatitis A outbreak in 2017, including with four new homeless shelters.

Lucky Duck board members say the city needs to do more.

“Publicly owned property can and should be used to provide shelter, especially in winter months while we work to develop longer-term solutions,” said Padres general partner Peter Seidler, who sits on the board.

Guys, You Won’t Believe This But it Was Kind of Tense at SANDAG

It wouldn’t be a modern SANDAG meeting without a bitter dispute settled by the agency’s controversial weighted vote.

The fight this time: Board Chair Steve Vaus proposed a subcommittee to create performance goals to evaluate Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata.

Ikhrata has been in a feud with some board members over his promise to remake San Diego transportation around a vast transit network at the expense of freeway investments.

The subcommittee was another salvo in that fight.

Local Democratic Party Chairman Will Rodriguez-Kennedy showed up to call the proposal a hyperpartisan attack on agency business, pointing to comments by political consultant Jason Roe in which he said opposing Ikhrata’s plan was a winning political issue for Republicans.

San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones, a Republican, responded that she appointed a Democrat to a vacant seat on her Council.

“I’m disappointed we have political party leaders coming here to tell us how we need to do business,” she said.

Vaus argued the subcommittee was balanced, and it was: It had Democrats including San Diego Councilwoman Monica Montgomery, Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas and Escondido Mayor Paul McNamara, and Republicans including County Supervisor Jim Desmond and Oceanside Councilman Jack Feller. La Mesa Councilwoman Kristine Alessio, who has no party affiliation, is on it too.

The vote: The measure passed, but San Diego Council President Georgette Gómez called for a weighted vote; a 2017 state law allows cities representing more than half of the county to overrule the rest of SANDAG’s board.

The weighted vote passed, with cities representing nearly 70 percent of the county’s population killing the proposal.

Earlier Fighting Words

That whole display came after things had already gotten tense.

Ikhrata might have thought Friday would be a day of celebration. A day earlier, he took a major step toward one of his big ideas – redeveloping the Navy’s Old Town NAVWAR complex into a major regional transit hub called San Diego Grand Central – when SANDAG and the Navy signed an exclusive agreement to start working on the project.

But Desmond indicated he wasn’t happy to learn Ikhrata was at the Pentagon to ink an agreement without informing the board about it first.

“I appreciate your words and wisdom on this, however, you still work for a board, and I’m sorry if we sometimes get in the way,” he said.

Desmond recalled that a year ago, he asked for data comparing a potential trolley-to-the-airport connection from Santa Fe Depot to Ikhrata’s Grand Central concept, and that he still hasn’t seen it.

“You have a board that you need to not be so far in front of,” he said. “And I think that will help on cross-partisan issues in getting this board to work better.”

When board members said they had insufficient information on another item, Ikhrata said he’d heard that concern enough, offering to meet with any board member for five hours on any topic. He seemed to say the concerns weren’t being made in good faith.

“This is getting to the point that staff can’t do anything without you saying, ‘I don’t have any information,’” Ikhrata said. “Mr. Desmond said he wants modeling, well, I can’t make up information. … Honestly, I think your staff is demoralized by this. Every week, people leave this meeting thinking staff didn’t give enough information, we’re hiding something.”

Alessio played peacemaker.

“When I’ve had questions for the staff, I shoot an email and I get a response,” she said. “We often hear these questions right now, but the time to bring them is before the meeting, and if the answers aren’t satisfactory, bring them here. Ask your questions, read the agenda.”

This Politics Report would not have been possible without Megan Wood, who is awesome. If you have a tip or feedback for the Politics Report, send it to scott.lewis@voiceofsandiego.org or andrew.keatts@voiceofsandiego.org.  

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