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Personal Calendar Reveals DeMaio Met With U-T San Diego’s Manchester

Evening Edition

Above: Mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio said he met with U-T owner Doug Manchester only once. His personal calendar shows otherwise.

Aired 10/4/12 on KPBS News.

Mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio said he met with U-T owner Doug Manchester only once. His personal calendar shows otherwise.

— San Diego mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio keeps a private calendar that shows he had appointments with U-T San Diego owner Doug Manchester in December and in May, despite his office insisting no records of communication exist between the two men.

Special Feature Tenth Avenue Terminal

I-Newsource looked at all the leases on the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, talked with port supporters and opponents, maritime experts, and dozens of employees and small business owners affected by what happens on that land. What follows is a look at the terminal from all angles

During a KPBS mayoral debate Monday, DeMaio said he had taken “a meeting” with U-T San Diego’s editorial board.

The KPBS/I-Newsource Investigations Desk obtained 17 pages of DeMaio’s personal calendar. Those pages -- covering months between December 2011 and June 2012 -- specifically note two meetings scheduled with “Papa Doug,” the nickname Manchester, owner of U-T San Diego, prefers, and one that included his CEO John Lynch.

DeMaio confirmed yesterday that he met with Manchester. He said he did not have to disclose those meetings because they were campaign-related.

The revelations in the personal calendar follow a KPBS/I-Newsource investigation released last week that documented financial and political ties among Manchester, Lynch and public officials who could be valuable allies as the newspaper trumpets what it regards as best for the city. The U-T endorsed DeMaio in an announcement that wrapped the front page before the June primary.

DeMaio has had a financial and political relationship with Manchester - the wealthy developer who bought The North County Times this week - and his business partner Lynch for nearly a decade.

DeMaio said the relationship began in 2003, but maintained that other than one meeting with the U-T editorial board in recent months, he had not communicated with Manchester or Lynch. ”My office has released all emails and it shows we've had no conversations over email,” DeMaio said during the KPBS debate.

Earlier, in response to a public records request, DeMaio’s chief of staff, Felipe Monroig, told I-Newsource, “We did not find anything in terms of communications between the councilmember and either Mr. Lynch or Mr. Manchester.”

The records request, submitted on Sept. 4, asked for “any and all communication among (to, from, copied and any combination thereof) Councilman Carl DeMaio and Douglas Manchester and/or John Lynch.” It further specified: “In this request, communication includes but is not limited to emails, faxes, letters, text messages and voicemails.”

DeMaio has promoted government transparency since before he was elected to the council in 2008. On a video on his campaign website, he says, “I'm a big believer in open government. In fact, I've put forward several open government proposals that would make San Diego the leader in Sunshine Laws for local government.”

DeMaio’s personal calendar logs two meetings at the Grand Del Mar, a hotel Manchester built, on Dec. 14, 2011 and on May 16, 2012. The first was scheduled with “Papa Doug” and Lynch. The second was recorded as with “Papa Doug” and Ray Ellis, who is running for a seat in City Council District 1 against incumbent Sherri Lightner. Although council elections are nonpartisan, the San Diego Republican Party has endorsed Ellis as it has DeMaio, and if he wins the seat, Republicans would make up a majority on the City Council.

Ellis confirmed Wednesday that he and DeMaio met with Manchester in May, as the calendar indicates. He characterized the meeting as “an introduction to a couple of of Mr. Manchester's business contacts in the community."

Since the KPBS/I-Newsource investigation was published and aired, DeMaio’s mayoral rival Congressman Bob Filner has flouted the relationship between the U-T and DeMaio, and DeMaio has tried to distance himself from the local media moguls.

During the KPBS debate, DeMaio suggested that Lynch had made statements not "grounded in reality" when he pronounced he had support from a mayoral candidate, labor and others for his proposal to develop the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal into an entertainment center that would include a Chargers football stadium.

Filner demanded that DeMaio release any email communication and any meetings regarding the proposed stadium on the terminal, “from text to email, landline, cell, anything personal, campaign or official.” Yesterday afternoon, DeMaio turned the tables and called on Filner to release all of his communications.

"I'm calling on Mr. Filner to release all of his correspondence with the labor union bosses, with all of his backers, the developers, who are giving money to him, the special interests, the lawyers, release all of his correspondence because he is a congressman and he has a double standard," DeMaio said.

I-Newsource put in a request Wednesday at noon to Filner’s campaign for the past six months of his personal calendar, minus “truly personal items.” As a congressman, Filner is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act so he is not legally compelled to release calendars or communication.

Last night, Filner responded with this statement: "I am providing my official calendar. And I want to reiterate that I have never had a meeting with Mr. Lynch or Mr. Manchester, both of whom have major projects before the City." He did not answer a request for comment on DeMaio’s challenge.

The fact that DeMaio keeps a second calendar, connected to a personal Google email account, spotlights a transparency campaign nationwide. Legal experts say the law is not clear on the topic.

The critical issue is when public business is conducted through personal email accounts and calendars. In DeMaio’s case, the question is whether his meetings with Manchester and Lynch included talk of any city business. DeMaio said the meetings were purely campaign-related. He said he posts his official calendar online because he wants to be transparent about his official duties as a councilmember.

Peter Scheer, executive director of the First Amendment Coalition, said, “Public officials have gotten smart, and they’ve figured out if they want to have communications by email that will not be discovered under the (public records acts) then they use their private email accounts.”

Scheer believes communications that relate to government business “are public records regardless what kind of account one uses.” But he acknowledged, “There are some legal arguments on both sides of the issue.”

I-Newsource clarified its initial legal request for communication between DeMaio and the newspapermen to specify personal and city accounts. DeMaio’s office has not yet responded.

The KPBS/I-Newsource investigation disclosed that Lynch communicated with another public official, Port Commissioner and congressional candidate Scott Peters, through Peters’ personal email account. An email from Lynch, which Peters interpreted as a threat, was made public because Peters forwarded part of it to port officials, whose government emails are subject to California’s Public Records Act.

The email -- from Lynch to Peters on Aug. 9, 2012 -- asked Peters how he intended to vote on a 24.5-year lease extension with Dole Food Company at the Tenth Avenue Terminal. Peters later revealed more from the email. It said the newspaper might lead a “campaign to disband the PORT [sic]” over provisions Lynch wanted to see in the lease.

Because the U-T has made the terminal site its mission for development, the extension of the Dole lease was seen as a blow to the U-T’s vision.

This story was reported by Joanne Faryon and Amita Sharma of KPBS, and Brooke Williams of I-Newsource. It was written by Lorie Hearn of I-Newsource.

Comments

Avatar for user 'rede2roc'

rede2roc | October 4, 2012 at 8:05 a.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

Really we are to believe there was no communications pertaining to the stadium plans.And monkeys don't like bananas !!!

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'TheKindGardenersCollective'

TheKindGardenersCollective | October 4, 2012 at 8:48 a.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

DeMaio is opportunistic, he obviously twists the truth, and obviously is Papa Doug's tool. Odd how DeMaio agrees to lie down with 'Yes on 8(hate)" Manchester...
Politics makes strange bedfellows indeed!

Here, we find that DeMaio fabricated 'no meeting' with Manchester. A blatant deception.

Just last week, DeMaio fabricated a 'working relationship with the Medical Marijuana Community' (where absolutely none ever existed).

Fortunately, come November 6, he can't fabricate votes. THIS is just another nail in his coffin, and another reason to vote for FILNER for our next Mayor.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'local'

local | October 4, 2012 at 9:25 a.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

Trust DeMaio even less.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | October 4, 2012 at 11:28 a.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

A Mayor DeMaio would be a nightmare for San Diego.

He is a puppet of the Manchester-Lynch mafioso clan and would be their guy shoving their agenda onto our city if he's elected.

I want all the undecided folks reading this to take think about the way the U-T newspaper is being run right now.

Now picture City Hall being run in the same manner, and by the same people.

That will give you a picture of what a Mayor DeMaio would be.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | October 4, 2012 at 3:29 p.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

Duck,

Bob Filner has been a career politician for 20 years! He comes with a mountain of dirty laundry that has accumulated from raising tens of millions of dollars for his never ending reelection campaign from two decades in Congress.

To all the undecided voters, think about how dysfunctional and corrupt Congress is. Do you really want San Diego to resemble Congress?

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'vor73'

vor73 | October 4, 2012 at 3:52 p.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

Papa Doug and Puppet DeMaio ... like smoke through crevices, the truth will hopefully seep out, exposing previously hidden alliances and agendas.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | October 4, 2012 at 10:24 p.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

OK, I OFFICIALLY declare Amita Sharma San Diego's Media Diva.

I saw her on KPBS this evening calling out DeMaio on his lies outdoors on a lawn - poised, poignant and professional in her stylish shades as she gracefully presented the facts as DeMaio squirmed helplessly like an earthworm on pavement caught in his web of fallacies.

Then she returned to the roundtable in a gorgeous green necklace looking fab once again.

And Joanne as usual looked wonderful as well, I give major points for the chunky ring.

Sorry, a little off topic I know, but I love being able to turn on a local news station and see intelligent, stylish people who actually care about journalism.

It's certainly a refreshing change from the journalistic massacres that are the other news stations, i.e. the "rape channel" (that would be CBS8 who are sex-crimes obsessed and over-report on anything related to sex to stir hysteria and boost ratings) and Channel 10: News for the Small Minded.

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Avatar for user 'philosopher3000'

philosopher3000 | October 22, 2012 at 3:19 p.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

EVERYTHING is POLITICS:
KPBS just posted this on their facebook page!!!

"With election day just around the corner, we wanted to give you a friendly reminder that our community guidelines ask you to refrain from posting political solicitations on our Facebook wall. Thanks!"

WTF - are you telling me Corporations can buy "underwriting statements" (ADVERTISING) on Public Media, But citizens in the public can't vent their opinion on the Public Radio facebook page! Are you NUTS! (oops was that a political statement?)

https://www.facebook.com/KPBSSanDiego

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Avatar for user 'Tammy Carpowich'

Tammy Carpowich, KPBS Staff | October 22, 2012 at 4:29 p.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

@philosopher3000~

The goal of our community is to create a safe place for thoughtful discussion. All citizens are welcome to post. We're trying to avoid outright lobbying, links to petitions, etc. Our community manager just told me that we've been getting a lot of political spam on our Facebook page, so she posted the guidelines as a reminder. My apologies if it came out wrong. It wasn't intended to hamper the discussion that y'all are having here. I enjoy watching the debate among our regulars. It's lively, entertaining and thoughtful. Keep it up!

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Avatar for user 'houseofWindsor'

houseofWindsor | October 31, 2012 at 7:20 p.m. ― 1 year, 9 months ago

@ California Defender,
I love how your commentary intends the reader to believe that Filner is why Congress and Washington are such a mess and in a state of gridlock. No one Congressional member is to blame. More likely is the general party line, party politics. To imply that Filner is the culprit is obviously uninformed. However, KPBS has shown very definitive proof that DeMaio is hiding his dealings with two of the largest money players and special interests in the City. Furthermore asking the question why and what does he have to hide. I am not championing Filner as he has many faults, however Republicans and DeMaio in particular wave the flag defending the middle class but deal only with the richest of the rich and align themselves with special interests of those 1% per-
centers.

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Avatar for user 'houseofWindsor'

houseofWindsor | October 31, 2012 at 7:27 p.m. ― 1 year, 9 months ago

I truly hope that San Diegans will see the truth of Carl DeMaio... He is a carpet bagger in the truest sense. He moved here to San Diego only 8 years ago, he "keeps" a house in Rancho Bernardo but spends no time there, instead spending most of his time living with his "partner" in the HIllcrest area. His political agenda is exactly in line with the Tea Party, the Gingrich Foundation, and the Koch Brothers. In no way does he have the average San Diegan in mind, he plays on the heart strings of the retired who struggle on their pensions by pointing out that todays future retirees will have it better than they do now. He plays on the general publics fears by saying that City workers make more than they do and are doing so on their tax dollar. He implies that only his stewardship will save the city when the current mayor has really done all the heavy lifting in regards to fixing the city of San Diego's financial woes. He is not to be trusted and I hope that San Diego will see him for what he is..........

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