DA’s Race – Can Brewer Close the Deal?

B-DaddyB-Daddy 39 Comments


Bonnie Dumanis ran unopposed in her last run for District Attorney; this year she faces opponents Bob Brewer and Terri Wyatt. I am unhappy with Dumanis, but not ready to endorse an opponent.  First my airing of grievances against Dumanis.

  • Prior to running for mayor, Dumanis had the opportunity to make her voice heard on Proposition D, the half-cent sales tax increase; she demurred.  Carl DeMaio’s strong support stood in stark contrast and was a key element in my support for his mayoral bid.
  • She joined an amicus brief arguing against gun rights in DC v Heller. The argument presented was that we need to violate the 2nd amendment because it would harm our ability to prosecute gun related crime.  I have zero sympathy for that position.  Law enforcement that does not take seriously upholding citizen’s rights while enforcing the law sets precedents for tyranny.
  • Her prosecutions in the area of medical marijuana have not helped San Diego normalize this situation.  Further, her office claimed that a number of arrests were to protect military families when in fact they were medical marijuana patients.  Further, she appears vindictive in her attitude towards the “crime” of medical marijuana use.  I have been made aware by family members and by a doctor of how medical marijuana can be helpful to people suffering.
In short, Dumanis appears to act with disdain towards the subjectscitizens who elected her.  In fact, she has held office for too long; it’s not healthy.  In general, I believe in term limits.Of Dumanis’ challengers, I am less sympathetic to the candidacy of Terri Wyatt.  Her case is that she is a career prosecutor and not a politician.  So what?  The office is political.  It should respond to the people.  Part of the problem with Dumanis is her lengthy stay in office.  Why would I expect a career prosecutor to be any more sympathetic to my concerns over individual rights than Dumanis?

But I am also not overwhelmed by what I see with Bob Brewer. His first TV ad touts law enforcement endorsements; I find the endorsements of public employee unions to be a negative.  Bob Brewer is claiming that Dumanis’ run for mayor in 2012 showed that she can no longer run the DA’s office. I don’t think that matters, unless he can show that this led to unethical behavior as DA.  His pledge not to make endorsements as DA is more salient.  The DA can easily be required to investigate the city attorney or mayor, and not having to recuse herself, as Dumanis had to with the Filner issues, would be a big plus.  Brewer accuses Dumanis of cronyism in her operation of the District Attorney’s office.  This is hard to prove, although the U-T wasn’t sympathetic early in her tenure. This issue with a researcher who endorsed a Dumanis opponent also looks fishy.

I am actually more sympathetic to Brewer’s life experience as a Vietnam War veteran, prosecutor and then defense attorney.  His varied career, and the personal hardship he has overcome make me more confident in his judgement.

I am still doing more research before I endorse.


Comments 39

  1. I have had some really interesting conversations about Ms. Dumanis mostly because I share your concern for her opposition of the Heller vs. D.C. decision.
    One told me that he asked her about signing on to the Heller vs. D.C. amicus brief and she described signing on to the brief as a huge mistake. Her explanation seemed to have more to do with using her elected position to try and influence federal legislation rather than a change of heart on the opinion that the Second Amendment is NOT an individual right. (I don’t think people have a grasp on just how radically extreme that amicus brief was and as a lawyer, she knows exactly what she signed.)
    Another is a firearms expert (I don’t want to say how because I’d rather the person stays anonymous…you’ll have to just trust me) and told me that she tries very hard to get gun cases right. She seeks advice and works reasonably. He was not discouraged by the amicus brief because it led to nothing and her actions are more important.
    Another was prosecuted by her office with way too much zeal over a gun crime. His sentence and charge was way too harsh.

    Generally, the gun owning/gun rights community is not a fan of hers at all. I agree with you, I am not sure Mr. Brewer has made the case for why she should be replaced and time’s a runnin’ out. Personally, I have made the decision to help with other races where my opinion on the candidates is more deeply defined. Thanks for writing this, B-Daddy.

  2. “I find the endorsements of public employee unions to be a negative.”

    You’re entitled to your opinion, of course, but to me there is a big difference between general public sector unions and first responder unions. The police unions are comprised of the cops who see their cases not being issued or, if issued, watching felonies pled down to misdemeanors to keep Dumanis’ conviction rate high. (What’s the matter, does she not trust her own deputies to go to trial?) The District Attorney has nothing to do with police salaries or pensions. The cops are endorsing Brewer because they want a change in the way crimes are prosecuted in this county.

    “…unless he can show that [her mayor campaign] led to unethical behavior as DA.”

    How about Dumanis drawing her full DA salary while she was out campaigning every day for 16-months? She even told her deputies not to call her, email her, or come by to see her because she was not going to be there. The whole time she took along her “protection detail” of DA Investigators, which was nothing more then a publicity stunt, although her “bodyguards” racked up over 3,000 hours of overtime at taxpayer expense.

    M.A. Schwartz wrote: “[Dumanis] tries very hard to get gun cases right. She seeks advice and works reasonably.”

    Would that include ignoring the advice of her own Chief of Special Operations and issuing ADW charges against Officer Frank White because he used his handgun to protect him and his wife against a deadly threat of road rage from a drunk driver? Thank goodness the jury told Dumanis she was wrong.

  3. B-Daddy: I do think Bob Brewer can close the deal here. There has been so much negative press and bad publicity about Bonnie Dumanis that any decent alternative has got to be considered. I know you folks at Rostra like to pimp out the usual conservatives, but even Rostra must admit that this time, with the megalomaniac corrupt Dumanis, it’s hand has been forced to finally throw out the Beantown byatch with the bathwater.

  4. Post
  5. Did I get this right? Some on here do not agree with Ms. Dumanis and her squishiness on the 2A; a longtime, well defined and core pillar of the Republican Party platform…could it be they are secretly opposed to her because of her sexuality preference?

    How is it those not supporting DeMaio are accused as homophobic because they happen to believe in core platform values within the former GOP that were not aligned with his views…?? Many of those charges coming not only from the left…but from the New majority types…makes you go, hum!

    The hypocrisy and diluted logic displayed by those rightfully opposing Dumanis on her muddled position on the 2A on GOP platform grounds while slinging ad hominem attacks on those that oppose DeMaio on abortion and traditional marriage is staggering…

    But following the logic here, the “platform” doesn’t matter…unless, of course, it’s something YOU oppose…

  6. Interesting. I just read on her Wikipedia page that she is the “first openly gay DA”. I didn’t know that.

    FF, your gaydar is amazing.

    OK, now that I am closer to being up to speed…what does sexual preference have to do with the Second Amendment?

  7. The vast targeting by “arguments” waged by pro-DeMaio forces have been that one who doesn’t support his views on two-equally foundational platforms of the GOP, pro-life/pro-TM (note, not anti- gay union), is homophobic…Here some are equally as principled on their positions w/ 2A…understandable…yet, does that make them homophobic simply because they oppose Dumanis on her views of GOP platform issues?

    Perhaps that makes them anti-child safety…or pro-gun extremism, or anti-minority because more minorities are killed with guns? Guns kill…how can anyone be for guns???

    Of course, preposterous…on that we can agree…yet, the logic used by the gun advocates against Dumanis is the same used by DeMaio opponents on his VIEWS on Life and TM…yet, one is touted as anti-gay, the other is not…I am equally against Peters and his VIEWS on the exact same issues…yet, Peters is a heterosexual. Would I back Peters if he was everything he is except he was pro-life/TM…of course not!

    Why the imbalance? Apparently, because it is very natural for people to hurl ad hominem attacks against those whom they cannot sway and disagree with them…the major difference for me, and thousands of other Republicans, is it only used to come from Democrats and Liberals..not other Republicans…I guess we’ll call them “New” Republicans…that’s catchy…someone should use that!

  8. That would all be valid, FF, except that you’re anti-gay.
    It’d be even more valid if Jorgensen and DeMaio had different views on what they want as far as same sex marriage public policy.

  9. ..and I’m “anti-gay” because I don’t agree with you on DeMaio…so, by that logic, so are you (Dumanis)..and you’re anti-child…anti-safety, anti-peace…anti-minority…its a vicious circle.. 🙂

    Your comment just proves my point…and my former college roommate that passed of HIV is laughing his butt off right now at that ludicrous statement…

  10. What would you like us all to assume about your roommate based on you telling us he died of HIV, FF? That you are cool with hemophiliacs because you knew one? I’d bet that’s probably not your point.

    You’d be a more convincing victim here if you haven’t (in past comments) equated a lack of character with homosexuality and equated same sex marriage with your friends who had prison sex.

    But I don’t have to post anything to prove something about you. Your own words do a good job of that.

  11. TA,

    You posted his bile-laden and directed comments…But that’s ok. He makes assumptions on things he knows not of…says more about him…and this is a perfect example of what people do when they lose arguments…He’s proven over and over to be very good at that! It’s the intellectual equivalent of clubbing a baby seal…and it’s kinda fun!

    Different topic…nothing on the DeMaio plagiarism revelation? Probably a bit A-C-K-W-A-R-D, like the Richard Rider ghost email debacle. One might think the plagiarism was relevant to all those die hard DeTypo supporters that they might see a pattern here…but like all indefensible positions, they really, really…REALLY, don’t want to see it…like global warming…or the IRS scandal…or Benghazi.. “move along…nothing to see here…”

    Your next congressmen?

  12. FF: Any reader can clearly see that your reference to your “former college roommate that passed of HIV” makes no mention of any prison time.

    The judgment call was to leave the response up, although a close call, but since the person was willing to use his name he can take responsibility for his comments if anyone is offended. If readers believe the comment is out of line to the point of it not be appropriate to leave up, please weigh in. We’re all ears.

    But, a reminder and a short lease going forward to all: Don’t personalize your disagreements.

  13. On DeMaio: We’d love to see a statement from Jorgensen or Simon. Anything at all.

  14. I am not sure if this is worth posting, TA. If not, I get it and don’t care either way.

    I wasn’t saying anything about prison time and his college roommate who passed from HIV. The prison thing was referring to a previous discussions with FF under a different article where we were talking about same sex marriage and FF asserted that same sex marriage was no different than friends of his who were straight, but while serving time in prison….well…anyway.

    During another discussion I pointed out that DeMaio and Jorgensen have the same legislative views on same sex marriage and FF responded that their difference in sexual preference had to do with their character which is why he supports Jorgenson. Although FF is now trying to make the case that he is not anti-gay, someone who makes those connections and conclusions is anti-gay.

  15. That is clear and the clarification is appreciated. You did indicate in the prison reference, “(in past comments)” — so now things make sense.

  16. TA,

    No offense taken. WRT Michael’s “explanation”…it only underscores the crux of the argument..My concern with DeMaio’s charater was NOT (for the slow and unwilling..NOT) about his sexuality. It was, and continues to be, about his previous stunt with Prop8 when he was a councilman. He defied the voters, along with Faulconer, on an issue that was decided by the majority. It could have been sanctuary city, or gun control, or higher taxes…he signed the petition, as did Faulconer, solely on political expediency. I happen to be pro-marriage sanctity…as I am also pre 2A, pro-low tax, etc…I did NOT vote for Faulconer in the mayorial race for the exact same reason; The lack of political fortitude.

    One last issue: Micahel seems disturbingly fixated on my previous discussion about those who were commenting on sexual preference as a nature vs. nurture argument. I had illustrated “people” (not close friends) that had disclosed to me that they knew of, and in one case a man had engaged in same-sex activities while in prison. Let the truth be known, it was a choice he discosed because the alternative was to be gang raped. They all survived the rape camps that are the present-day prisons, and understand they live married, hetrosexual lives, with wives, and children (by choice) So, I would kindly ask Michael in the spirit of gentlemanly discourse to at least get the construct straight.

    Carry on!

    PS- Speaking of character- Still nothing on CDs plagiarism of the National Journal? Tsk, tsk…

  17. “Speaking of character- Still nothing on CDs plagiarism of the National Journal? Tsk, tsk”


  18. Hint. Five comments up there is a link. Click on it. Or just read the posts on Rostra.

  19. FF,

    The problem with your argument that the majority of the people supported Prop 8 is that public opinion has drastically changed since 2008. If voted on today, Prop 8 wouldn’t come close to passing.

  20. TA- “When your right…your right…”

    Not sure how…but I missed it…I stand corrected.. 🙂

  21. Maybe…, but HQ… it was then, 2008-ish, when both DeMaio and Faulconer, decided to unilaterally disregard the majority, and the ruling…and thus proved they can, would, and might in the future decide unilaterally what the next “issue” is for them to disregard the will of people. Gun control, punitive taxes, right to work, sanctuary zones, charter schools..pick an issue…any of them can, and might be ignored for political expediency. Even progressives and democrats need to heed that ominous trait of political relativism, be it Prop 8 or something you might care about in the future..

  22. “If voted on today, Prop 8 wouldn’t come close to passing.”

    …which would have been the proper way to repeal Prop 8. The “inaction” defense, by Harris and Brown, was deplorable. I voted against Prop 8 but the current outcome was no victory for the First Amendment. A voter-driven repeal would have been.

  23. Brian,

    My only point was that FF should not hang his hat on “that’s what the public voted for” because opinions have changed.

    On your point, I agree that another voter initiative would have been a better way to overturn Prop 8, but are you saying that elected officials have an obligations to legally defend every voter initiative even if they believe the initiative to be unconstitutional?

  24. Voter initiative should go away. It has no place in a representative Republic form of government. It’s mob rule.

    What if the courts wanted to strike down a voter approved total gun ban?

    Popularity doesn’t make right. Examples of other things the majority liked, but were wrong about:
    1. Slavery
    2. Disco
    3. Staying under English rule
    4. Sanka
    5. Earth is flat
    6. Members Only jackets

  25. You had to say “Sanka?” I dropped everything I was doing and ran to Starbucks just to get the thought of that taste out of my mouth.

  26. Yeah, we sure don’t want citizens petitioning their government…scandalous.

    Bad example… as cute as it is…most of those driven by market forces or pesky facts…and the market and science spoke…you forgot the Edsel.

    Slavery…yes, held on to the bitter end by a very small, powerful group of southern white men against morality…kinda like the closed meeting in La Jolla where a small group of white men decided Kevin would be mayor, and carl would be congress…but I digress..

    The courts are apparently taking care of that for you…popular also doesn’t make it wrong…So much for states rights…federalism…etc..the state spoke, and the cultural stalinists didn’t like the answer…so they changed it.

    What will they change next?

  27. FF,

    Petitioning the government is one thing. Voting on every issue is quite another.

    There is a reason that the word “democracy” isn’t found, not even once, in The Constitution. Our Founding Fathers never envisioned the United States as a direct democracy. They very clearly laid out the rules of a Constitutional Republic.

  28. I’m sorry, FF, I just want to be clear…are you suggesting that voter driven propositions are “petitioning government”?

    Because this would indicate a lack of understanding and knowlege of fundamentals when it comes government.

    The ability for 50%+1 voters to make law is a characteristic of a direct democracy. The American form of government is a constitutional republican government with representative democracy. We elect people to represent us and as their constituents, we can petition (meaning request or appeal…plea or lobby) them on issues. Our form of government is meant to vote for new representatives if they are not making decisions in a way we approve; not vote for new laws.

    For more fun facts on the very basics of government try this: http://www.sdmesa.edu/students/academic-programs/poli/courses/course-details/?CID=18516

  29. I agree with Michael Schwartz; the ballot initiative seriously undermines a (small r) republican form of government.

    But Californians disagree with me. Californians use the ballot initiative to make constitutional amendments–that is currently a legitimate process. Elected officials,especially the Atty. Gen. of the state, should not pick and choose which constitutional amendments they like. Rather they should enforce and defend the law vigorously as their oath of office demands.

  30. Brian,

    Again I ask, are elected officials obligated to defend, in court, laws enacted by initiative which they believe to be unconstitutional?

  31. Good question. Yes (but in this case it doesn’t apply). The Attorney General represents the People of California. He or she can’t pick and choose which laws to defend or not.

    In this case, a definition of marriage is constitutional. Had Harris defended it, SCOTUS might have ruled on this once and for all. But Harris knew they would say this was an issue for the States which meant the state constitutional amendment would have been upheld.

  32. Brian,

    I couldn’t disagree with you more strenuously and I assume if the initiative had banned “assault weapons” or prohibited Muslims from teaching school, you might re-think your position.

    As for defining marriage being constitutional, we used to define marriage as being on between people of the same race. I don’t think that definition would stand up to the test of constitutionality.

  33. Michael…in all candor..I enjoyed meeting you today! (Finally)…our talons are retracted…as we discussed….We can disagree and still find areas of mutual respect..

    As for the “government” remedial…I didn’t think our tax dollars should have sent me to Harvard’s Kennedy School either…but that’s your government at work…besides, lord knows educated doesn’t mean smart..lol..but we can disagree on the role of initiatives and “grassroots” public policy another time..I agree with BB as well on this one!

    Ready for that beer!

  34. I wouldn’t rethink my position at all, HQ. I will be Atty. Gen. to defend the laws of the state. I trust you (and I) to change bad laws

  35. Brian,

    It is too easy for well-funded groups or individuals of all political persuasions to write and pass any legislation, even that which is later ruled unconstitutional. I do not believe that the attorney general should be required to fight for a law he/she knows to be unconstitutional nor should the taxpayers have to fund multiple appeals, all the way to the Supreme Court, everytime an unconstitutional initiative passes. I guess we will have to agree to disagree.

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