Liz Swain 4:24 p.m., May 24
Favor for Favor(s)
On heels of FBI deal, DeMaio catches a break from the Feds.
GOP hotel mogul Doug Manchester's U-T San Diego reported this afternoon that U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy has jumped into San Diego's mayoral fray with both feet, calling Democratic congressman Bob Filner's behavior at a weekend forum "uncivil."
“Our apologies that Filner had to be admonished about his uncivil ‘debate-style’ remarks," Duffy reportedly wrote in an email to the campaign of Filner's GOP rival, Carl DeMaio, following the event at her Reform Jewish synagogue, Temple Emanu-El.
The U-T, which said the email had been provided to reporters by the DeMaio camp, did not say whether the message had originated on a government email server or a private email account.
"If it is any consultation, (sic) I heard more than one temple member express their view that he embarrassed himself and that they thought Carl appeared far more mature and capable of addressing the challenges San Diego faces," Duffy went on to say, according to the U-T account. "Good luck in the final days of the campaign.”
Duffy used a subsequent interview with the U-T to expand her criticism, saying that Filner had had an “unprofessional flare-up," and, "I was, as an organizer, disappointed that this happened.”
The Duffy dust-up in the U-T is only the latest indication that the federal law enforcement establishment here has unofficially thrown its weight behind Republican DeMaio.
As previously reported, DeMaio was a guest of honor at the ground breaking for a new $223 million FBI regional headquarters in Sorrento Valley, being built by Las Vegas developer Irwin Molasky, a long-time associate of the late mobster Moe Dalitz.
According to city hall records obtained under the state public records act, DeMaio's office assisted Molasky in an attempt to hasten construction of the huge building over the objections of a neighboring property owner and some city employees. In turn, Molasky, his family, and employees of his Las Vegas-based development arm have been heavy donors to the DeMaio mayoral campaign.
Today's U-T report says Duffy has also personally contributed to DeMaio's cause.
U-T owner Manchester, also a staunch DeMaio backer, joined with Molasky to finance the campaign for Proposition B, DeMaio’s pension reform measure passed by voters in June.
In addition, Manchester and Molasky share the same city hall lobbyist, downtown GOP super-lawyer Paul Robinson, a key point man for Molasky's FBI project as well as Manchester's Grand del Mar resort complex.
More than a few local political observers also speculate that DeMaio's hard line on the regulation of medical marijuana versus Filner's more liberal position on the matter may also be influencing behind-the-scenes involvement by federal law enforcement in the campaign here.
Duffy has been a chief actor in the Obama Justice Department's crackdown on medical pot operations in the county, causing the ACLU here to accuse her of "unjustified interference in local legislative matters."