The Opponent Bonnie Dumanis Fears Most – And It’s Not Who You Think

The Libertarian Lass, Gayle Falkenthal The Libertarian Lass, Gayle Falkenthal 43 Comments


San Diego political insiders have been all a-Twitter today (literally) with the filing of candidacy papers for the City of San Diego Mayoral Race by District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. Ongoing speculation including a bet between Rostra blogger Barry Jantz and San Diego County Taxpayers Association senior director Chris Cate on whether Dumanis would actually enter the race ran rampant and fairly evenly divided. Jantz is still parsing his obligation to pay up, but pay up he will.

San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio is the other “major” candidate who has filed his paperwork. Others still in the wings include Congressman Bob Filner, Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, and San Diego City Councilmember Kevin Faulconer.

Numerous observers think Dumanis is most concerned about whether Fletcher decides to run. Rumor has it that Dumanis and her representatives tried to talk Fletcher out of running. We’ll see if this is so.

But if all of the above mentioned candidates get into the race and there aren’t any surprise entrants, the individual Dumanis should fear the most in the primary is Congressman Bob Filner.

If DeMaio, Dumnais, Faulconer, Filner, and Fletcher all run, you’ve got four Republicans and one Democrat. All the staunch Dems and liberal decline to state voters would mark their ballot for Filner from among these choices.  Many of these votes would otherwise swing to Dumanis with Filner removed from this lineup, and she makes it into the general for sure. She faces off against Nathan Fletcher as a probable opponent in the general, with DeMaio having an outside chance.

With Filner in the lineup, Dumanis has to fight it out for all the Republican votes along with the social conservatives among the decline to state crowd. Nathan Fletcher picks up the lion’s share of these votes and it’s likely to be enough to get him into the primary against Filner.

Some pundits say Filner’s negatives will prevent him from being a viable candidate. These won’t matter to Democrats who will vote for him against a slate of Republican challengers and get him into the general election. What’s more, as I wrote in an earlier post here on Rostra, Filner has been the underdog candidate every single time he’s run for an office on the first attempt and won all of those races despite the predictions.

Another bit of trivia working against DeMaio and Faulconer:  a sitting City Councilmember hasn’t won a Mayor’s race in 48 years (Councilman Francis E. (Frank) Curran, in 1963).

Finally, lest you all forget, I’ll helpfully remind you that I called the Governor’s race for Jerry Brown here on Rostra on October 9, 2009, long before anyone else did.

As you’re reading this, Dumanis must be sticking pins into her Bob Filner voodoo doll.

Alas, though the February 2011 Meatball Poll showed a groundswell for Governor Pete Wilson, it’s doubtful he’ll be showing up to save the day.

Mayor Bob Filner? Get used to it.


Comments 43

  1. Give it up, Ms. GLF! The opponent the DA really fears
    most is our own Gayle Falkenthal, pistol-packin mama.

    ” Falkenthal the City Hall ! ”

    If you Run on THAT slogan, your Victory is assured.

  2. And there’s this – Bonnie will also be fighting against libertarian and left-leaning, pro-pot voters, who will likely spend money and use resources to fight her bid (they really despise her!). But can they get their folks out of the house to vote?

  3. GF,

    Nice analysis. The problem is that it really overestimates the number (and importance) of electoral social conservatives in the CITY of San Diego. Just not that big (or at least in the traditional political pundit terms of exurban and suburban voters, typically belonging to evangelical or non-denominational congregations. A better depiction would be your strerotypical Del Cerro senior voter – – but it isn’t clear that sexual orientation is going to trump other concerns for this voter. Remember, a huge slice of the prop 8 vote in the city came from socially conservative (but otherwise solidly liberal) african american and hispanic voters. As long as any D runs, they are solidly in that camp and I can’t see them moving to Nathan in great droves.

  4. Post

    Erik, points well taken. Another twist to all this is whether a pension reform measure gets on the ballot in San Diego. The mayoral candidates will be forced to declare where each of them stands. Using Prop D as the model, so far Dumanis has managed to avoid stating a position. Fletcher backed Prop D. Carl DeMaio was a key member of the greater coalition who scored a smashing victory with the defeat of Prop D. This could hurt Dumanis, and boost DeMaio’s fortunes. It won’t hurt Fletcher.

    This is more fun than figuring out the Final Four!

    Gayle meant to write that Fletcher backed the effort against Prop D. – EDITOR

  5. The op-ed in today’s U-T by Malin Burnham makes clear that the San Diego Downtown Businessmen’s Subsidy Association is going to go all out (or all in, to use the poker term) against Carl DeMaio. Of the candidates currently in the running, DeMaio is the most circumspect about the pyramid building so near and dear to these rent seeking business men and women.

    I think it’s fair to say that most such “Republicans” would support Bob Filner over Carl in a runoff. Sure, they are concerned about city fiscal problems, but their subsidy “Jones” trumps such secondary concerns.

  6. Post

    Alger, my bad there… I worked for No on D and Fletcher supported our (victorious) campaign, so it got garbled in translation on the comment. Yes indeed, Nathan was very clearly AGAINST any increase in the sales tax as proposed under Prop D.

    Thank you for the correction. Fletcher should get credit where it is due.

  7. Gayle, Malin Burnham and many of his staunch allies would support Filner against DeMaio. A RINO, I doubt that Malin has EVER opposed a local tax increase or a bond. EVER.

    Against DeMaio, such subsidy chasers will gladly support a reliable socialist who would back the downtown convention center, stadium and particularly the stalled new city hall. And if not Filner, for sure they will support prospective mayoral candidate Democrat Christine Kehoe — blithely ignoring that SD City Council critter Kehoe was a KEY player in digging us into our current deep fiscal pit. Mark my words on this.

    If DeMaio makes the runoff against a Democrat, expect a split in the GOP — the rent seekers vs. the reformers.

    Yes, the SD C of C will be divided on this. Less so the downtown San Diego Economic Development Corp — an organization that exists SOLELY to steer government funds for their projects. Within the GOP, there will be (political) blood.

  8. I am not convinced at all that Bob is in. Just a really really hard decision to make since he has to give up his House seat to roll the dice in a crowded field. Moreover, while Filner represents parts of the City of San Diego, they are parts with HORRIBLE turnout. Like everyone of these elections candidates have to do well in the “SR-52” corridor – UC, Claremont, La Jolla, Tierrasanta.

    Richard – I am not reading the Malin piece as you are and I reread the thing three times to be sure. Now I would not question Carl’s challenges with the “downtown crowd” – and only time will tell whether that matters. But i think Malin’s point (and the Mudd report) was that the City has a ton of work to do. Carl’s plan is good (the Mudd report said so) but the brutal reality is that many of the biggest items that Carl proposes have not gained traction. Is a proposal unadopted all we want? Or is part of problem-solving to understand politics is the art of the possible?

  9. The danger, Erik, is that we adopt tepid reforms that don’t materially affect our city’s huge deficit in this decade — and then blithely claim “mission accomplished” — taking further, painful reform off the table.

    Such pseudo reform arguably is worse than NO reform.

    It’s no surprise that Carl’s reforms have not “gained traction” in our labor union-controlled city hall. Meaningful reform will NOT come from the city council until bankruptcy looms (we are not even close to that — yet).

    I think the initiative process is the only viable avenue for true reform. I hope DeMaio pursues that avenue.

  10. Erik: How can you say DeMaio’s reforms aren’t gaining traction? He’s been driving the entire debate at City Hall since he got elected.

    You have to realize DeMaio’s M.O. He presents bold ideas, then applies public pressure, and eventually the Mayor and Council cave and do some things.

    Then DeMaio recasts his ideas and repeats this step…over and over again.

    It is like watching a football team move the ball down the field play after play. And he’s been racking up victories.

    Richard, I think you are correct that DeMaio will pursue the ballot approach because either way it is win-win for his reforms. The ballot process puts pressure on others to act, and also may end up being voted on in June/November 2012.

  11. It used to be that you could ask a Liberal what is fascism and he would reply, “Fascism is the marriage of government and corporations.” If no one wants to identify the San Diego Economic Development Corporation as such then why not just refer to them as Peronists del Norte? Yeah, crony capitalism lives.

  12. Actually, a better example I should have used in my blog item above mentioning EDC is the San Diego Downtown Partnership, I don’t consider SD EDC as bad as the SD Downtown Partnership — EDC has some interest in the well-being of the city as a whole – though they also too often champion subsides.

  13. I just spent time looking up Nathan Fletcher = ANTI-CHOICE!!!! Can anyone tell me where Carl stands on this issue?

    The slogan I hear around town is anyone one but DeMaio. I am a long time Democrat and I would not vote Filner. My question is who other than Bonnie has executive experience or taken a government office with huge budget and union issues and turned it around?

  14. Carl moving the ball? Maybe. Can you point to one thing that is actually MOVING (as opposed to being endlessly confabed about) down at City Hall. Cause I can’t. Even the 401K efforts seemed doomed by sniping and 2012 Mayoral politics. I understand full well the idea of putting something outlandish on the table to move the window of the possible a bit. But so far I don’t see the Mayor jumping through.

    Richard – I don’t know if I buy that. I think the jury is still out on whether, when push comes to shove, the DT crowd “blinks” and accepts tepid reforms. I know…hope springs eternal but that is also why I think SDSU can actually beat both UCON and DUKE

  15. uh….”anti choice”? I believe the term is”Pro-Life”. As in we don’t think it is OK to end a person’s life starting from conception. As in we have more respect for a human’s life.

    Boy…who knew the mayor’s race post was going to touch on abortion? Unbelievable.

  16. Michael, we’re glad you clarified the meaning of Kelly’s reference to the term. We were about to respond that Fletcher is not at all “anti-choice.” He believes everyone has the right to vote for whom they choose in the mayor’s race, and would not take that right away…although he does prefer they choose to vote for him. That seems pro-choice to us Luddites.

  17. The irony is someone who runs an internet message board describing himself as a Luddite. Kinda like a pro-choice, anti-gun person calling themselves “Republican”.

  18. The Mayor has a great obligation in the role of Women’s Rights. As a woman I will exercise my right to vote on that matter.

    Is anyone going to answer the executive experience?

  19. Bob Filner has some very distinct things going for him. He is a former city councilman, long time Congressman, organized labor favorite, has represented diverse peoples, civil rights activist and is smart. He is very good at fund raising and builds loyalty because he is loyal. He is a tough as nails ideologue and plays to win. He is really SOMETHING and cannot beaten with NOTHING.

  20. Would someone please answer the one-sided question posed by Kelly, so we can have a little discussion?

  21. TA: Filner is an aggressive, tough player who runs because he has a particular set of beliefs. That is SOMETHING. If his opponent is an atypical establishment climber that is a vacuous NOTHING. You do not beat SOMETHING with NOTHING.

  22. TA: You are right Professor. “Typical” is correct.

    JS: The only thing you know for sure is that there is no way on earth I would vote for another “typical” establishment empty suit like Jerry Sanders. LOL or should I say happy Hope and Change?

  23. Ya know, I think we are all busy rejecting Kelly’s premise. Is that why she was elected? For her executive skills? People equate the executive skills it takes to be mayor with what a district attrorney does? (Or is suppossed to do) I mean I was the Senior Patrol Leader for my Boy Scout troop and I am not running for mayor.

  24. I think the thing we all need to worry about is Filner running as the lone Dem on the ticket. If that were to happen, we are in a bunch of trouble.

    Anybody have Scott Peters phone number? Or a solid connect to Kehoe? We need to make sure that some more Dems think they have a solid shot and valid path to victory, to split some of that vote.

  25. The thought of getting Filner out of Congress is very appealing. Better to have him screw up one city than continue to assist the tearing down of our Nation. I live in East County I don’t a vote in this race.

  26. Bonnie has terrorized the medical cannabis community in San Diego. Taking advantage of unclear laws to fill her asset forfeiture account with the assets of the low hanging fruit that makes up the patient community.

    She talks out of both sides of her mouth, claiming to be a medical cannabis supporter but then storming the homes of sick patients, seizing their assets and scaring them into taking pleas.

    She is a blight and we will defeat her, just as we did Steve Cooley. The medical cannabis community is a voting block to be reckoned with.

  27. Craig Balben and Bonnie Dumanis can count on the fact that many will devote time and resources to defeating Ms. Dumanis. In a month we mobilized over 500 people to come out to a city council meeting and speak out against this issue. In a year we will mobilize thousands to vote against her.

    Our community has a unique way of helping each other out, we will carpool to the polls if we have to in 2012. But I promise you thousands will be out to vote against her. Not Dumanis will be a common theme in San Diego and unlike marketing where all publicity is good, in politics, as we have proven in the past, Not Dumanis will mean, Not Dumanis.

    Another thing I would like to point out, is that I am not Left, nor am I a democrat, nor am I libertarian, as a matter of fact, I am fiscally conservative and used to identify with the republican party much more until Ms. Palin stepped to lead it.

    One thing I can assure you is that by the time the election comes around San Diegans will know well Dumanis’ position on medical marijuana, marriage equality, the environment, and many others.

    Oh and Craig, we never had that cup of coffee! If you’re still interested in helping out with the Not Dumanis campaign as well as out efforts to protect patient’s rights, let me know! 🙂

  28. Personally I wish I were a single issue voter. And they ARE out there! Actually, HERE on SDROSTRA.

    Included would be an obsession concerning guns, gays, “the cross” and marijuana — either side. But while a justifiably emotional issue, my favorite candidate selector is abortion.

    Imagine how much time and concern one could avoid wasting if ALL one wanted to know about a candidate — ANY candidate — is their position on abortion. Life would be SO much simpler.

    Of course, the fun part is that it doesn’t even matter to such single issue voters if the candidate has much (if any) power to alter the concern dogging the voter. It’s a wonderfully simple litmus test — allowing one to blithely vote without actually much THINKING about — ya know — things.

  29. I don’t think I can be tagged as single issue voter, if that is what you are suggesting by my emphasis on taxes, Michael. Personally I have a libertarian viewpoint, which gives me all too many issues to look at when weighing my candidate choices. Would that it were not so!

    I want school choice (vouchers or tax credits), an end to the drug war, free trade, significant deregulation (a free market), a commodity based currency, the end of the federal reserve, and the right to endanger myself by making my own decisions about my lifestyle and activities.

    That being said, the number one issue on the table that can be readily changed indeed is govt taxing and spending. Now more than ever. I might be accused of reaching for (relatively) low hanging fruit, but never of being a single issue soul.

  30. What a great dialog taking place here. I love the many different views and openness to discuss many issues that San Diego has to look forward to. Yes, I am a Dumanis supporter and a Democrat. This will be the first time I vote outside my party lines. When looking at all the candidates’ Bonnie best represents what I want for San Diego. I am very tired of a polarized city, state, and country. I want a leader who will work with all groups. As a business person, I do not want a new leader walking in the door who has never handled a large staff; I want a leader who is PRO EMPLOYEE not pro or anti Union. I also want a leader who looks at all sides of an issues and acts for the better good of the city not their career. Every person in politics is to act based on the majorities interest not just their beliefs. I do believe in Pro-Choice i want a mayor who will react when we have protest in our city to make sure both sides are safe.

    As far as the cannabis issue, she does support medical use. It is the DA’s job to enforce the laws or those laws that are lacking content. That’s what she is paid to do. As a reminder, all the other candidates have serious issues with dispensers (business owners making money of the sick and selling drugs).

    BTW Why are so many of you friends with Bonnie Dumanis on Facebook if you have such a low opinion of her?

  31. Richard, my voting litmus test starts with guns, but does not end there. I am sure all the other single issue voters on here would say the same about their issue. The gun laws in California are horribly oppressive. Nobody in San Diego was talking about it enough. I live in San Diego and I know about the Second Amendment and guns. It was a match made in heaven, really.

    Kelly, I don’t think friending someone on Facebook has a significant meaning. Especially a public official. It helps voters get information directly from the official/candidate and helps us keep tabs on them. Plus the professional and mature manner with which SDRostra-farians conduct themselves allows us to be friends with people even if we disagree with their opinions and political stances. We are truly a sophisticated and complicated group. Next time you speak with Bonnie, by all means have her send me a friend request. Or just slip me a note in study hall.

  32. Michael, we’ve had one Rostra blogger say that they can’t vote for anyone who is gay (Carl DeMaio, in this instance). I’ve run into a number of folks who only vote for pro-life candidates.

    I don’t know the numbers, but I envy their simplified view of politics — they have time for a LOT more computer games than I.

  33. Eugene: I was just waiting on a call or email from you. I was happy to meet with you but I never heard from you. I think you still have my contact info. If not, you can find it on my blog. By the way, I know you’re not left-leaning or libertarian and I wasn’t implying that you are with my post on this article. I was speaking about pro-pot voters, generally. Do you disagree?

  34. My vote is for Carl De Maio, Dumanis has burned too many bridges and continues to refuse to investigate Elder Abuse cases,work comp cases,murder cases only of her choice, you name it she doesn’t do it.

    So I see the Mayor’s race as huge this year, and attention all voters, please consider Carl De Maio for your next Mayor.

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