D.A. Summer Stephan's incumbent protection plan

plus: Grassroots group hires lobbyists

District Attorney Summer Stephan has put nearly $13,000 into television ads.
  • District Attorney Summer Stephan has put nearly $13,000 into television ads.

A political committee run and mainly funded by a payroll tithing plan for prosecutors in the district attorney’s office has picked up a donation from the political action committee of the Sheet Metal Workers Local 206. San Diegans Against Crime, sponsored by the San Diego County Deputy District Attorneys’ Association, got the $1000 on March 19, per a March 19 disclosure filing. In the same report, the group said it spent a total of $26,449 for polling, advertising, and signs backing incumbent D.A. Summer Stephan, appointed to her job last year by the county Board of Supervisors following the departure of her boss Bonnie Dumanis to run for county supervisor. $1887 was spent by the D.A.’s deputies on behalf of incumbent Sheriff Bill Gore. Stephan has been running a two-pronged campaign, touting support from Democrats including Shawn VanDiver, the longtime ally of ex-Republican Nathan Fletcher, currently running for the board of supervisors as a Democrat. At the same time, Stephan’s political consultant Jason Roe, referred to by city hall insiders the “brain” of San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, has been attempting to link deputy public defender Genevieve Jones-Wright, Stephan’s challenger, to billionaire Democrat George Soros and other like-minded criminal justice reformers.

Greasing the grassroots Circulate San Diego, a self-professed “regional grassroots organization” dedicated to “advancing mobility and making the region a better place to live, work, learn, and play,” has just hired the development lobbying and law firm of Sheppard Mullin. The firm’s mission, according to a March 30 disclosure filing with the city clerk’s office, is to garner “support for the use of mass transit and increasing options for mobility in San Diego planning documents.” Corporate members of the non-profit include San Diego Gas & Electric, Tom Sudberry’s Sudberry Properties of Mission Valley, Lowe Enterprises, another major Mission Valley builder, and Wakeland Housing & Development Corporation.

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Circulate San Diego has figured out the perfect grift: When developers directly hire lobbyists to get politicians to relax rules for them, it's a taxable expense.

But if instead they "donate" that money to Circulate, which claims to be a 501(c)3 nonprofit, to do that same "advocacy" for them, they can deduct it as "charity."

The big fix is going as planned, and there's no derailing it, short of a major scandal. How Stephan managed to make the transition from Pfingst to Dumanis and to Dumanis' anointed successor is a great mystery to outsiders. Pfingst lost his bid for a third term due to number of factors, but the most obvious one was the wrongheaded prosecution of the boys in the Crowe case. He would not back down at all. Stephan was the lead prosecutor on that case, although she now tries to distance herself from it. The Crowe family hates her guts--my words for it, not theirs of course. When Pfingst was turned out of office, I'd have expected Stephan to be the first of the attorneys in the office to be fired, but she wasn't.

So, how will she deal with a persistent thorn in local government, corruption? Bahnee went easy on it, usually with a "see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil" approach. Her one exception was the So County school boards, but after lodging almost three hundred charges, many of them felonies, involving fifteen miscreants and crooks, she and the judge went wobbly on most of them, and little punishment was dished out. I'd like to hope that the new DA would get really tough on that sort of wrongdoing, but she didn't get where she is by stepping to toes of politicians, especially supervisors.

I, like most voters, know little of the opponent. But if she's getting financial support from Soros or his ilk, she's not what we need either.

If George Soros is involved with funding, I'll all for her. He has done amazingly progressive things for the world. And given huge amounts of money to various nonprofits. What's NOT to like about Soros?

As reported a week ago, Soros is a bugaboo created by Jason Roe to cast doubt on Jones-Wright. Even if he does eventually support her, it would be for her commitment to civil rights for civilians, not privileges for police.

I'd rather vote against Stephan's real conflicts of interest than imagined ones for Jones-Wright.

This next auto-incumbent BS scam is unacceptable, stop and wake fool public, decisions and money belong to us. Don't allow more of the same. Means we control, not them.

Summer Stephen is hard to listen to. She sounds like her dentures are too big for her mouth and she it butt ugly. I change channels every time she is on.


by Ponzi

She always looks like she is sad or about to cry. My hope is the voters will look past her being an "incumbent" and vote in a qualified D.A. She has been incompetent since her first day.

If her role in the misbegotten Crowe case prosecutions is paraded in front of the voters, I'd say she's toast. That piece of miscarriage of justice cost a tougher lawyer his DA seat after eight years. But, that was what, twelve years ago? Memories are short for sure, and younger voters have no recollection of that miserable piece of work. What I don't understand is how she ended up in this position, when there were (or should have been) more attractive candidates whom Bahnee could have anointed.

You answered your own question: good leaders nurture champions— bad leaders promote chumps.

Wasn't it the Board of Supervisors and not Dumanis that appointed Stephan?

Dumanis "arranged" for an early resignation, and she highly recommended Stephan has her successor. The board, following long precedent, ratified that choice without making any sort of serious search for a successor. So, yes, the board appointed Stephan after Dumanis groomed her, recommended her, and campaigned for her.

Never underestimate the stupidity of the voters.

My concern is that Jones-Wright is going to let even more criminals free to roam the streets than the California propositions already have.

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