CityBeat reporter deems Dumanis claim "not credible"

Dave Maass wrote of Mexican campaign money months before 2012 election

Bonnie Dumanis
  • Bonnie Dumanis

On May 23 of 2012, Dave Maass, then with CityBeat, wrote a story titled "New Dumanis Super PAC backed by Mexican businessman" ( and subtitled "San Diegans for Bonnie Dumanis keeping its plans under wraps").

The story explained how a political action committee supporting Dumanis's run for mayor that year raised money from a company registered to José Susomo Azano Matsura, a wealthy Mexican businessman widely believed to be the source of laundered money in the 2012 mayoral election and the 2013 special mayoral election.

Remember that date: May 23 of 2012, months before the 2012 election. Dumanis told the U-T a few days ago that she knew nothing about the money. Did she not read Maass's CityBeat story?

Says Maass, "I don't think her claim is particularly credible." He notes that every day during a campaign, staffers check campaign filings. "It's highly unlikely her campaign didn't know what was going on. It is not credible for her to say she didn't know. The whole investigation was going on under her nose." Her public integrity unit should have known of the investigation, says Maass.

Maass points out that the U.S. attorney's complaint notes that some candidates approached by the alleged donors of illegal funds inquired about the source of the money. But there was no such note in the goverment's discussion that reporters believe concerned Dumanis.

In Maass's article, a Republican strategist named Kevin Spillane was quoted saying Azano had a green card. The United States government complaint said that was in error; the suspect has no green card. Maass says he didn't know how to check whether someone has a green card, so he just went with Spillane's quote. I can't fault him on that. I could not reach Spillane.

"The whole thing has been shady from the get-go," says Maass, who spoke as a former CityBeat reporter and not as a representative of his current employer, Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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With this information at hand, I do not see how Dumanis can deny knowing what was going on with these people and their money.

eastlaker: I agree. I don't know how she can claim -- as of just a few days ago -- that she knew nothing about the money. If she sticks with that story, she has to admit that her campaign was a mare's nest of complete disorganization. Any efficiently run campaign would have checked that out. And how, as a law enforcement official, she did not know of the investigation, is not at all credible.

In sizing up Dumanis, it is important to remember that when she ran for mayor, she WAS a law enforcement official. Best, Don Bauder

As I have stated before, thankfully this time, we have other choices for DA. I look forward to Bonnie's name being preceded by the words "former SD County DA".

aardvark: That would be very good for San Diego. She has politicized the office to an intolerable extent. Best, Don Bauder

But there should be further punishment than just losing her office via an election loss.

KLoEditor: Some people think a criminal case can be made of this. We will have to see how it plays out. Best, Don Bauder

Don: I would assume the feds would be involved, but who? Wouldn't Laura Duffy recuse herself?

aardvark: Duffy, a close friend of Dumanis, says she has recused herself. Best, Don Bauder

Bill Gore is even worse. He just knows how to keep a lower profile.

Ponzi: Gore fits the profile of San Diego sheriffs: bad. Best, Don Bauder

Actually, Don, Sheriff Joe Arpaio from Phoenix and Sheriff Lee Baca from Los Angeles are "bad." San Diego's notorious Sheriff Duffy was bad. San Diego's Sheriff Kolender and Sheriff Gore are something else: way better than "bad" but far from excellent.

monaghan: Far better than bad? Best, Don Bauder

It will be challenge to deodorize the stink this has generated,

Murphyjunk: And there is more stink coming -- not all from Dumanis's corner. Best, Don Bauder

This is exactly the comment I made, and the story I referred to, in your other article attached to the Landsdowne question. Old Bonnie tried to act slick and say she was keeping her distance because it was an independent PAC, what a crock, she had to have known where those thousands of dollars that came pouring in came from. I said that it just goes to show the level of corruption in this city that a third tier progressive rag had to point this out in order to start a FEDERAL investigation, because surely there wasn't going to be a CITY investigation, old Bonnie wasn't going to do it, was she? She could eat her cake and pretend she didn't eat it. Like they say, All fun and games until the police show up.

I will say Maass could have inquired about the green card, people do everyday when they are trying to get someone deported. Your Dorian Hargrove or Matt Potter would have gone the extra step, I imagine. Or maybe not, reporters aren't what they used to be.

KLoEditor: I agree that Dumanis's claim that she did not know the source of the money was not credible. I also agree that Matt Potter and Dorian Hargrove are top-notch reporters. Best, Don Bauder

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