Politics & Media Mashup is on break for a few weeks so we can bring you exclusive Q & As with San Diego Mayoral candidates Bonnie Dumanis, Carl DeMaio and Nathan Fletcher.
We kicked off the series two weeks ago with Fletcher and followed up last week with DeMaio. We determined the order based on when the responses to our questions were received — first in, first up. Despite repeated attempts, no one from Bob Filner’s campaign would answer our questions, even though a staffer there said, “We read Rostra all the time.”
Perhaps by the end of this series — following Q & As with Dumanis, DeMaio and Fletcher over three consecutive Saturdays — Filner will have changed his mind and we can learn a little more about him.
Here is Rostra’s Q & A with San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis:
- Why are you running for Mayor?
We’re at a critical point in San Diego’s recovery. We need to complete the restoration of the city’s financial position, create the best environment in California for job creation and boldly improve the quality of San Diego’s schools. By focusing on these challenges, we’ll set the stage for the City to finally meet its full potential. I have the right combination of experience, knowledge and commitment to get it done.
- What is your favorite thing to do in San Diego?
I enjoy walking my dog, and I have been known to frequent just about every Starbucks I pass!
- Which of your opponents do you fear the most? Why?
I don’t fear any of them. I started my career as a clerk typist, worked my way through law school at night and then became a prosecutor and a judge when there were few women working in those fields. I was the first woman elected judge in San Diego County and the first women elected as San Diego’s District Attorney. I don’t get scared. I just work hard!
- What was your favorite thing to do as a kid?
I was a big reader as a child and still enjoy it when I have time.
- What’s the biggest problem the City faces? How would you fix that problem?
San Diego faces the twin challenges of getting its financial house in order and creating a better environment to help retain and attract employers. These two challenges are directly related because, for as long as the city’s financial condition is troubled, we will constantly face the threat of higher taxes, which creates a chilling effect on job creation. We need to reform the pension system to eliminate the City’s giant unfunded liability, reduce the day-to-day cost of operating the city and begin clearing our massive deferred maintenance infrastructure backlog.
- What’s your go-to place for fish tacos?
I don’t have one but I enjoy fish tacos when I have them.
- What is your vision of San Diego in 10 years?
I see a San Diego that has put its pension problems and structural budget deficit firmly behind us. Our school system will be financially sound and our parents will send their children to San Diego schools because they want to, not because they have no other choice. Our downtown waterfront will be completed and vibrant with green space, businesses and public art. Our backlog of infrastructure projects will be completed and you will have to look hard to find a pot hole.
- President Obama admitted last year he never sent out a tweet from his account. Since then, when he does send a tweet himself he signs it, “BO.” Do you send out your own tweets? If not, who deserves the credit?
We have two twitter accounts, @BonnieDumanis is for tweets written or approved by me. I send some of them myself and also post on my Facebook page as well. Our campaign team tweets using @DumanisHQ.
- Pensions, education and ________ are the 3 biggest issues in the Mayor’s race.
The City’s economy. San Diegans are still hurting, with high unemployment, foreclosures and an uncertain economic future. Our mission needs to be to make San Diego the easiest place in California to start or expand a business and to create jobs. Sacramento is not making things any easier with its taxes and regulations, so we need to make an even stronger effort to reduce our regulatory burden, hold the line on taxes, and create a reputation for the city that this is the place in California where things are happening, and that San Diego is a place where the local government really does make things easier for employers.
- House Speaker John Boehner recently said the first thing he reads in the morning is POLITICO on his iPad. What’s the first thing you read in the morning and what device (if any) do you use to read it?
I have an iPad and read many things on it, but I still enjoy the morning paper (the U-T) in the printed version first thing every day.
- What one word best describes Mayor Jerry Sanders?
- Are you a dog or cat person? If you have a dog and/or a cat, please share your pet’s name, breed, age and how you met.
I like both cats and dogs. We have a Queensland Heeler, which is a type of Australian cattle herding dog. Her name is Abby, after Abby (the forensic specialist) on NCIS. We rescued her so we aren’t sure of her exact age.
- Anything else you want to add?
San Diego is a great city and it deserves a great mayor. I think the most positive aspect of a high-profile campaign like the one we are in right now is that it focuses the public debate and gets many people involved. Solutions emerge and that is a great benefit for San Diegans.