It is hard to believe but another election is upon us. The June primary falls on the heels of the mayoral special election that consumed all our time, and relegated all the budding campaigns to the back burner.
June 3rd mail ballots have been sent out and at least 50% of the voting will be done by mail. This has left La Prensa with a very short window to review the races and vet the politicians. However there is one important race that La Prensa would like to weigh in on — the District Attorney position that Bonnie Dumanis was elected to in 2003 and is now running for a fourth term.
The San Diego County District Attorney is the highest legal official and the person elected to this office should have the highest morals and ethics that there is. Politically Dumanis has proven to be one of the biggest movers and shakers in the political arena in San Diego due to the massive authority and power emanating from the District Attorney’s office and her ethical standard has come under scrutiny.
La Prensa could raise questions about the recent reports that Dumanis received illegal contributions to her recent campaign for mayor from a Mexican millionaire, also reports of her refusing to release phone records in relation to her investigation of a city councilman. This obviously is not the actions of an open and transparent government. However our biggest concern and issue with Dumanis is how she has misused her position as District Attorney to threaten in attempting to destroy political opponents for purely political reasons.
Case in point is Dumanis’ using her office in attempting to destroy the political career of Chula Vista City Councilman Steve Castaneda. Castaneda spent two years fighting Dumanis’ flimsy politically motivated charges that were not based on law, but on supposedly what he did, or what he might have been thinking to do? Dumanis spent $7 million of taxpayers monies on the bogus case… three of the charges were dismissed for lack of evidence, a jury acquitted Castaneda on six charges, and finally the judge declared a mistrial on the rest of Casta-neda’s case. At that time it was politically perceived by many that Dumanis was flexing her DA office muscle to politically impact and affect the Chula Vista Mayor’s race that Castaneda was a candidate for when running against now elected Mayor Cheryl Cox.
We have now learned that Bonnie Dumanis’ political reason was that she wanted one of her employees to be appointed to the Chula Vista City Council. This was collaborated in a reported phone call she made to ex-Mayor, Steve Padilla.
Padilla at the time refused Dumanis’s “recommend candidate”, that in turn led to the investigation of Councilman Steve Castaneda. Dumanis then used her Special Investigation unit to investigate a Padilla aide who was caught taking pictures at a Cheryl Cox fundraiser during her campaign against Padilla. The so-called Special Integrity Unit that Dumanis had created was then disbanded because of charges that it was only investigating South Bay politicians and ineffective. The above actions initiated by Dumanis in La Prensa’s opinion point to the misuse of her office, and are a clear abuse of power for political reasons by her as San Diego County District Attorney.
La Prensa’s Editorial Board no longer has any faith or trust in Bonnie Dumanis to carry out her constituted duties, and is calling for a change in the San Diego District Attorney office.
We have had the opportunity to meet and talk with candidate Bob Brewer. Brewer appears to be a straight shooter who is focused on becoming District Attorney without any ambitions for campaigning or running for higher office, or political gain for himself or others. He has a clear vision of what is wrong with the DA’s office and has a plan to fix those problems by taking politics out of the office.
His knowledge of the law and duties of the office are reflected in the fact that he has received more support from lawyers, and numerous endorsements from all of the Police Officer Associations in San Diego County, especially San Diego and Chula Vista, more than Dumanis has received.
La Prensa endorses Bob Brewer for San Diego County District Attorney and urge all voters to vote for him.