Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Nancy Reagan, where art thou?

Picture a totem pole.  Now visualize our regional law enforcers -- the city attorney, police chief, sheriff, and district attorney -- stacked head-to-foot up the length of the pole.  Atop them all you'll find the U.S. Attorney.

The name of San Diego's U.S. Attorney is Laura Duffy.  Laura who?  As the U.S. Attorney for the San Diego region, Laura Duffy has the job of investigating and prosecuting violations of federal criminal law, such as political corruption, tax evasion, drug trafficking, human trafficking, organized crime, and so on.   

U.S. Attorneys are instructed to steer clear of partisan politics -- local, state, or national.  It's the law.

But last week, San Diego's U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy engaged in a series of activities that directly affected and advanced the political aspirations of mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio, who boasted:

I'm supported by Mayor Jerry Sanders. I’m supported by the leading Democrat donor, Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs.  Laura Duffy, the U.S. Attorney, donated to my campaign and today commented about her displeasure with the congressman’s (i.e., Bob Filner's) temperament.
Why would U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy violate the ethical, moral, and even legal rules inherent in her prestigious Department of Justice appointment?  Why would she meddle in San Diego's mayoral politics, leaning her finger on the scales to try to manipulate the outcome of the Filner-DeMaio mayor's race?  For a fuller description of the story, click here.

While it's true that San Diego's long history of Ponzi schemers and income tax evaders, of racketeers and fast-talking land developers can seem like a quaint and colorful folktale, the fact is that San Diego's underside continues to be very dark and sinister.

Did you know that the FBI identifies San Diego as one of the nation's top sex-trafficking hubs?  Or that our reputation as the methamphetamine capital of America is still up and running?  Illicit drugs continue to snake like a river around our city, filtering into our schools, local bars, and neighborhood party houses.

So let's ask the question again: why would Laura Duffy go out on a limb to violate… meddle… manipulate… curry favor with Carl Demaio and the Republican Party when there's plenty of bona fide work in our town to keep any U.S. Attorney busy?

Frankly, I'm stymied by this one
.  Here is a list of 8 observations (in no special order) – maybe you can figure it out:

  1. We've got a Midwestern, lesbian, Republican* Democratic U.S. Attorney -- risking her career to align herself with Carl DeMaio.
  2. We've got Carl DeMaio, a shrink government Midwestern, gay, Republican candidate for mayor -- congenitally unable to distinguish truth from fiction.
  3. We've got a politically conservative, anti-gay, Catholic, control freak-multi-millionaire hotel and land developer, Doug Manchester -- beating the bushes and breathing fire down the necks of fellow-millionaires and developers to support the campaign of Carl DeMaio for mayor.  
  4. We've got John Lynch, Doug Manchester's mirror image partner-in-ownership at the San Diego U-T -- using their daily newspaper as a lethal weapon to mow down any and all opposition to Carl DeMaio for mayor.
  5. We've got a rabid leadership team at the Republican Party of San Diego -- exerting inordinate pressure, intimidation, and duress on San Diego's political and business establishment to bludgeon them into falling in line behind Carl DeMaio.
  6. We've got a totem pole (I'd call it a shame pole) of ambitious Republican law enforcers – swallowing their integrity and self respect to endorse Carl DeMaio, a person for whom they have expressed great contempt in the past (to her credit, Bonnie Dumanis remains a holdout).  
  7.  We've got Johnathan Hale, full-time live-in partner of the man who would be San Diego's first gay mayor -- a bullying, gay newspaper/ media/ events and parties maven, a mystery man who blew into town laden with a checkered past, tussles with the law, restraining orders, multiple name changes, porn-style online ventures, and a knack for throwing magic dust into the eyes of the person with whom he plans on sharing the mayor's office. 
  8. We've got the full faith and credit of the historically powerful, politically conservative San Diego establishment -- salivating at the thought of putting a zealous proponent of privatized government into the mayor's office.  Even the U.S. Attorney is willing to risk her career to jump on his bandwagon.  The promised rewards from San Diego's very own Candyman must be very great, indeed! 
Remember Nancy Reagan? Just say no!

* Duffy is registered as a Democrat -- which just goes to show you that succumbing to pressure from one's peers can linger long after graduating from high school.