Hunter Trial, Census Citizenship Question, Youth Detention
KPBS Midday Edition / July 1, 2019
A federal judge will allow evidence of Rep. Duncan Hunter’s alleged extramarital affairs in the congressman’s criminal trial. Also, San Diego leaders praise the Supreme Court decision to block a question of citizenship on the 2020 Census but has the damage already been done? Immigrant entrepreneurs invigorate California’s economy, 95 percent of youth who complete San Diego County’s Alternatives to Detention program are successful and why Harvey Milk still matters to young people.
Speaker 1: 00:00 Congressman Duncan Hunter's personal relationships outside of his marriage can be part of his campaign finance trial. That was a ruling by a federal judge today. But a number of legal motions by both sides are still pending. Joining me as San Diego Union Tribune columnist and Michael Smollins who was in federal court today. And Michael, thank you for joining us.
Speaker 2: 00:21 Thanks for having me on marine.
Speaker 1: 00:22 So why did Judge Thomas Whelan say he decided the evidence about extra marital affairs was relevant to this case?
Speaker 2: 00:30 Well, the, the, the crux of the case is whether, uh, congressman hunter used, uh, campaign funds for non campaign purposes for personal spending. So his relationships with these people and what that money was spent on, uh, goes to the core of that. So that's why he, uh, said that that's, that's relevant and that needs to move forward.
Speaker 1: 00:51 The court had a lot to consider today. I understand they did not actually consider it all. Walk us through those, some of the arguments that were made by both sides.
Speaker 2: 01:00 Well, just to give the overview, I think they were like 31 motions and the judge dealt with about two dozen of them. Uh, the handful, he put a, a vet he didn't, uh, deal with, he put off to next Monday, primarily because the, the filings were too late. It was back after business on Friday. And he said he didn't get to some of the, uh, the paperwork until this morning. Um, w significantly you, some of the key, uh, motions were put off, uh, the change of venue, uh, which, uh, the defense, Duncan Hunter's attorneys are saying that he can't get a fair trial in San Diego. They wanted to move to the eastern district of California up north. Um, the other one which is kind of interesting, is the, a, this motion dealing with the, uh, speech or debate clause of the constitution does a lot of things, but essentially it boils down to that someone can't be prosecuted, arrested, convicted for a member of Congress that is for pursuing legislation.
Speaker 2: 01:53 And that's what, uh, of course, uh, congressman Hunter's defense is that, that all this was related to his job campaign or jobs in Congress. Uh, they did do something. They, they, they, the judge did agree with some limits on character evidence, uh, on behalf of hunter that, that, uh, just in terms of specific good deeds that he did might not be allowed. Um, interestingly, he did sort of punt on whether a Margaret Hunter can testify in particularly how much, uh, information can be introduced into her control of the finances. Uh, the prosecution wanted to limit, if not exclude that, and the judge said that that's going to be determined at trial, uh, depending on where things go. So there were some things left up in the air, uh, regarding, uh, the future of this case.
Speaker 1: 02:44 Now the prosecution has argued that Dunkin Hunter's wife Margaret, who did reach and plead deal with prosecutors should be allowed to testify against him. And I think the defense had a problem with that, that it goes against the idea that married people can't be forced to testify against each other. But that was cleared out, wasn't it? I mean basically she will be able to be called as a witness.
Speaker 2: 03:04 Yeah. I mean it's, there was still a question as to whether that can happen, but the, the notion that, that the sort of, the spousal exemption, if you will, I'm not sure if that's the proper terminology, was not granted because part of this situation here is that, that that apparently doesn't apply when you're talking about co-conspirators, which is what the prosecution say. The hunters work
Speaker 1: 03:28 was congressman hunter in court today.
Speaker 2: 03:30 He was as well as his father, the a, the former congressman. And, uh, as has been the case, it was the father of that, that spoke to the media afterwards, while, uh, uh, the congressman, his son, uh, basically left the courthouse without saying much. I couldn't quite tell because it was quite a gaggle following him to his car. But yes, uh, the congressman was in court.
Speaker 1: 03:50 So in the past, uh, congressman hunter and his side have called this prosecution a witch hunt and said it's a political prosecution. Does that kind of rhetoric continue from the hunter camp?
Speaker 2: 04:03 It very much so. In fact, the father still was pressing the bullet political bias notion of the prosecutors who had attended a Hillary Clinton fundraiser claiming that, that biased them for a variety of reasons against, uh, the congressman. One interesting thing is that the, it appeared that there was a motion by the prosecution that to restrict what the congressman could say in terms of political bias and I assumed the winch and so forth. And the judge basically said, you know, he's not going to do that. That, that, you know, basically it's a freedom of speech issue. Uh, so we will continue here. I'm sure a lot about that as the, uh, uh, litigation unfold.
Speaker 1: 04:45 And how is the litigation going to unfold? Apparently we have another hearing scheduled for next week. Is it on these motions?
Speaker 2: 04:53 That's right. Those handful of motions. Like I said, there are some of the big ones. You know, there's been a lot of focus on the change of venue, which most, uh, legal experts think a is the longest of long shots. They've noted some other, you know, more heinous situations where there was a lot of pretrial publicity. And that's just not something that they do in federal court. Again, the key motions to dismiss the case outright, uh, were, were put off until Monday. So there's still that, again, legal experts don't think that, uh, they'd be surprised, I think if Judge Whelan just dismissed the case outright. But, uh, there is still that potential, I guess, because of the hearing on Monday. Should things proceed then that's a trial is scheduled for, for September.
Speaker 1: 05:34 I've been speaking with San Diego Union Tribune columnists. Michael Smolan is from the Union Tribune newsroom. Michael, thank you.
Speaker 2: 05:41 Thank you. Maureen.
Speaker 3: 05:45 [inaudible].
Speaker 1: 00:00 San Diego leaders and immigrant rights groups are praising the Supreme Court's decision to keep the citizenship question off the 2020 census for the time being. And the court said the Trump administration's justification for the question was contrived, leaving open the possibility of adding the question in the future. But California Governor Gavin Newson believes the damage may have already been done.
Speaker 2: 00:22 This has been delayed, but the Trump administration has not been denied. Uh, the fear and the anxiety that he has caused and induced a and that is still very present in our society today.
Speaker 1: 00:35 So how will this impact how the immigrant community responds to the census? Joining me is Christopher Wilson, associate director of alliance San Diego and part of the count me 2020 coalition. Chris, welcome. It's great to be here. Thank you for having me. You know, I would like to play a little bit more of what the governor said in reaction to last week, Supreme Court decision. Here it is
Speaker 2: 00:56 regardless of the decision today, the damage of bringing this issue up and being part of our national discourse over the course of the last year has been done just a few days ago, we were warning about ice rates and we encouraged, uh, members of our community to, you know, not answer the door unless there is a warrant. We wanted folks to know their rights the same time. Now we're letting everybody know it's critical that they answer the questionnaire and the survey. So we have work to do.
Speaker 1: 01:33 Do you agree with Governor Newsome?
Speaker 3: 01:35 I do find myself agreeing with governor some. It's something that we've talked about in our community meetings. Um, and I also sit on the complete count committee for the state of California advising a governor on efforts that California can undertake to get the most complete count. And it's something we've talked about in those meetings as well. What if the intent was never to really put the question on the census? What if the intent was just to scare people enough to create the two to 5% undercount that would help, you know, the administration in his efforts to dilute undercounted or marginalized communities. And so we have to make sure that we as community members, as a nonprofit organizations who are trusted messengers that were out there telling people that we have to be counted in order to preserve our, our representation. And we have to be counted in order to preserve the federal resources that we deserve as taxpayers, as members of the United States. And that we will stand together with everyone to ensure that the laws are upheld that protect people.
Speaker 1: 02:38 And what kind of reaction have you heard from the immigrant community?
Speaker 3: 02:42 You know, I think the census question created a lot of fear. We've heard people say things like, I'm not filling it out. We've heard people say things like, I'm going to count my brother's children as mine. We've heard people saying things, everyone in my house is not going to be listed. And it's not just the immigrant community. I've heard from African Americans that they don't want the government in their business and so they're not going to fill it out. It's not the first time people have had fear about the census. I think California experienced a large under town in the 1990 census, which they said led to more than $2,000 a day per person under counted being lost in federal resources. You know, so we, we have a lot of work to do to ensure that people understand that they are required to fill out the census number one. And people should know that the census data is protected by law and that because of those laws, no individual data is ever released to any government agency and that that is a protection we can take all the way to the supreme court.
Speaker 1: 03:38 Yeah, I mean, so what is being done to make sure every San Diego is counted
Speaker 3: 03:42 first I want to apply governor Newsome for his effort to ensure a complete count. He has pledged more than $150 million of California's budget to the effort to ensure everyone in California is counted. And that is a large number. That's the largest amount of money being spent by all the other states combined.
Speaker 1: 04:02 And then there's also this extra added layer of partnerships right here in San Diego, correct?
Speaker 3: 04:07 Yes. So the company 2020 coalition is a coalition of more than 100 community organizations across San Diego and imperial counties dedicated to getting the word out about the census, doing education on the purpose and in how to fill out the census and ensuring that the heart to cow communities get the information and the awareness they need to participate fully. We will be door knocking, we will be phoning, we will also be sending up kiosks. So this will be the first census conducted online, which is also a concern for people. You know, we hear about data hacks each and every day and so we'll be setting up secure kiosks so if people don't want to use their computers at home or their phones, they can come to a public location, use a kiosk there to complete the census. There'll be an attendant who can help them answer questions and provide any assistance necessary at those kiosks as well.
Speaker 1: 04:57 The Public Policy Institute of California estimates as many as 1.6 million people could potentially be under counted in California. Can you talk about which census tracks in San Diego have been historically hard to count and what makes them hard to count in the first place?
Speaker 3: 05:13 Almost every city within the county has at least one census track that is defined as a hard to count census track in San Diego. I think the number is 7.23% of the population is defined as hard to count. I don't think we can just focus on those single census tracks that might fall, that might be the most hard to count. We need to focus on getting the word out to everyone. Um, and that's going to require a huge community effort. And that's why we have more than a hundred community organizations in account me 2020 coalition.
Speaker 1: 05:44 Uh, but still, how do you manage to convince immigrants who might be nervous and have been living with fear of deportation to give up their personal information?
Speaker 3: 05:53 Well, that, that's a hard thing to do. Being a person who works with the immigrant community everyday be in an organization who has stood on the front line to protect our immigrant community members. I don't know that there's any one thing we can say to convince them, but what we have been saying is not filling out the census continues to make people invisible. And we know the dangers that happen when people can't be, can't fully realize the life that they came here to seek. Also a message around safety and numbers. If we all participate, if the numbers are so great coming from San Diego County, that makes it hard to filter through the data to get down to those vulnerable people who might find themselves in harm's way by filling out the census and we're kind of an impact would and under count have in San Diego. I don't think anyone has actually studied the financial impact, but I, I know that, um, through the work I do on a complete count committee, we've looked at in Los Angeles, and it's estimated that Los Angeles lost billions of dollars from the 2010 centers from the undercounted they experienced, and we estimate that a serious undercounted San Diego could cost us a congressional seat, which would be devastating to our congressional delegation.
Speaker 3: 07:08 California on the whole could lose two congressional seats with an undercount. It would be a financial impact, but also be a representation impact, which could have far reaching impacts outside of finances. One less congressional representative might be the vote necessary to maintain those programs. I have been speaking with Christopher Wilson, associate director of alliance San Diego, and part of the county me 2020 coalition. Christopher, thank you very much. Thank you for having me.
Speaker 1: 00:00 Immigrants take big risks coming to California and once here, many take another risk starting a business. California immigrants are actually more likely to become entrepreneurs than people born here as part of our California dream collaboration. Kate PCCs, David Wagner went to the heart of Las Thai community to see how immigrant entrepreneur entrepreneurs shape our economy.
Speaker 2: 00:26 I remember in Cerebra de sets up her booth at the East Hollywood farmer's market. She takes up a sign with the name. She chose to describe her food. So Zap, it's a stamp. It's, I mean delicious. So delicious. Her Dad helps out. He grinds fresh ingredients for a spicy and sweet
Speaker 3: 00:45 Papaya Salad. Hi. Yeah, I'm doing a hand high. You had been hired hair, much like harm. It's like ma'am, it's like layer.
Speaker 2: 00:51 She makes Thai food the way she learned from her mom and dad growing up in northeastern Thailand. La Has the largest Thai population outside of Thailand, so she's betting a lot of people here crave the real thing and she has big plans for so zap, she's going to move into a food hall opening up soon, called the Thai town marketplace.
Speaker 3: 01:09 Michael, they happy. My quad heat's about to dawn under [inaudible].
Speaker 2: 01:13 She's happier working for herself. Since coming to la, she's had a lot of different jobs. She's been an Uber driver. She's been a server in a restaurant. She says that that wasn't what she wanted to do, but it's where she discovered a valuable skill.
Speaker 3: 01:30 [inaudible]
Speaker 2: 01:30 the restaurant didn't have dessert, so she started making mango sticky rice. It was a hit. She branched out and sold her food at a local Thai temple. So Zap is her first attempt at starting her own business.
Speaker 3: 01:42 Hi. Yeah. Yeah. Mac [inaudible].
Speaker 2: 01:45 Oh, hey Bob. It's hard, tiring work, but she loves it and hopes the risk pays off. Back in Thailand, Sri Rodo had a successful career in the makeup industry. Her plan was to be a makeup artist for film and TV, but she couldn't get her foot in the door. Harvard Business School Professor Bill Curtis says that's a pretty common story for immigrants who become their own boss. He says a lack of good job opportunities can push immigrants into entrepreneurship and so in those settings they may find starting their own company to be the most attractive IV option, but it's not a fallback for everyone. Many come to California with a specific business plan in mind. Yeah, especially if you are launching a scalable national and internationally focused business. About half of California's fortune 500 companies were started by immigrants or the children of immigrants. They are really the engines for our local economy. Linda Lopez heads, the La Mayor's Office of immigrant affairs. She says it's not just big companies. Immigrants also own many of Ellie's small businesses or businesses generate about 3.5 billion or 45.6% of all the self employed income in the city. Immigrant entrepreneurs are creating jobs and paying taxes across California. Immigrants create about 40% of all new businesses in California making it one of the
Speaker 4: 03:00 top states for immigrant entree
Speaker 2: 03:02 partnership. Wanna put me open that chancy march. RL with the Thai community development center doesn't want those opportunities to disappear. That's why she's so excited to see the Thai town market place. Food Hall finally under construction. So SAP will have that stall. She has an ideal star because it's going to be fronting the sidewalk. The Thai town marketplace has been mark Tarell's passion project for years. Rents for commercial space have gone up. She sees low income entrepreneurs struggling to get bank loans. She wants this food haul to give today's immigrants their shot at opening a small business. Otherwise you end up just seeing a community of chain stores that have no history in the community. And so that's what we're trying to prevent by Bob McKee back at the East Hollywood farmers market. High River in three. Rudolph sees a big future for so app goodnight does never. Yeah, I talk. Huh? I didn't get her. She says if she can save enough, she wants to open up more than one. So up. Thank you.
Speaker 4: 04:03 Joining me is KPCC is David Wagner and David, welcome to the program. Good to be here, Maureen. So why does California have so many immigrant entrepreneurs? Yeah. The simple answer to that question is just that we have a lot more immigrants than the rest of the country. You know, statewide, about a quarter of people in California are foreign born here in la. It's higher with immigrants representing about a third of the population. Um, but then if you look at who's starting new businesses in California, immigrants make up an even bigger part of the puzzle. About 42% of new businesses in California these days are founded by immigrants nationwide. It's only about 25%. So right there you can see that California really does rely on immigrants for new business creation. And even though it's less than other states, do other states have a lot of immigrants starting businesses?
Speaker 4: 04:52 Yeah, I mean California isn't alone in this. So you can look at other states with large immigrant populations like New York and New Jersey, they have pretty similarly high rates of immigrant entrepreneurship, which makes sense. You know, they are also a place where a lot of people are moving to from around the world, but California does consistently ranked near the top of this list. It's just behind or just about tied with those other states. So our economy really does stand out from the rest of the country for just how much we count on new immigrants to start new businesses. Now you told us about the owner of, so zap food market and other Thai eateries opening up in la, but what other kinds of businesses do, immigrant entrepreneurs tend to open immigrants start a lot of different kinds of small businesses, especially those kinds of businesses that you see in almost every neighborhood in uh, cities throughout California. So one study up here in La found that immigrants were running nearly two thirds of what they called main street businesses. That includes things like restaurants, nail salons, dry cleaners, gas stations. You know, those businesses that you interact with a on a day to day basis in California, more often than not, they're being run by immigrants.
Speaker 1: 06:02 And where did they get the capital to open their businesses? That's okay.
Speaker 4: 06:06 Big Struggle for a lot of immigrants who want to start their own business. You know, some are able to tap into those more traditional small business loans from, uh, from typical banks. Um, many are shut out of that though. Maybe there is the language barriers. Maybe they don't have, uh, a lot of credit history. Maybe there's just a cultural bias against lending to entrepreneurs like that. Um, so some of them are turning to more informal lending networks among their family members, among their communities. Um, others turned to nonprofits like the one that we heard from in this story, the Thai community development center. You know, nonprofits that really want to help out low income entrepreneurs in a, just starting out their first business.
Speaker 1: 06:48 And you described, um, many of these businesses being fallback positions for immigrants who can't move forward in their chosen career. Why is it so hard for their skills and credentials to transfer to the u s
Speaker 4: 07:03 yeah, experts described it to me kind of like this. There's two different ways as they see it that immigrants become entrepreneurs in California. Some get pulled into it, others get pushed into it. So for the ones who are pulled into it and you know, they may have a great idea for a tech startup or an entertainment company in their home country and they think to themselves, you know, I really should launch this in California where all these tech and entertainment and other kinds of companies are clustered. So, you know, for those immigrants who are able to make that move, California can really pull people in, others get pushed into it when they kind of come here and they find that they're not able to continue in the same kind of professional career that they had back home. You know, maybe they were doctors, maybe they had some other kind of career. Um, and they hope to keep doing that once they got here in California. But when they got here, you know, no one recognizes the university they went to. Maybe they'd have to earn new credentials in this country, which can be difficult when you have a language barrier in place. So those kinds of people, instead of getting a low paid service job, many decide they'd rather take the risk and start their own company.
Speaker 1: 08:09 And the immigrants who get pulled into it, as you say, do they tend to open more IRA? No. High Tech, high end businesses.
Speaker 4: 08:17 Yeah. In California, that is a pretty common story among tech entrepreneurs. One recent study found that close to half of the fortune 500 companies headquartered in California have at least one founder who's either an immigrant or the child of immigrants. Um, and when you think about tech companies, uh, you can point to one big example in San Diego, Qualcomm, it was actually co founded by Andrew Viterbi who was actually born in Italy. This is true of a lot of California tech companies. You can look at Google, you can look at companies like Tesla and many others.
Speaker 1: 08:50 When the woman you profile says running a business like hers is hard work. What is she talking about? I mean, how much time and effort does it take? Yeah,
Speaker 4: 08:59 yeah. I mean, becoming your own boss is a real lifestyle change for immigrants who want to start their own company. Uh, the woman I talked to [inaudible], she used to have pretty stable jobs. You know, she used to be a server in a restaurant. She used to know her schedule. Uh, it was pretty clear when she was on and off the job. Now she's really hustling. She's out there selling her food at farmer's markets. She's at a local Thai temple every week, uh, trying to get her product out there and her business known, uh, she's getting ready to launch this food style. She's devoting a lot more time and taking a lot more personal risk to launch her company. Um, and immigrant entrepreneurs often have this kind of scrappy approach to starting a business. Research has found that on average they tend to hire fewer people than native born business owners. So many times they really do have to put in more of the work by themselves.
Speaker 1: 09:49 Dave, and what got you interested in this story?
Speaker 4: 09:52 Well, the, this is part of a series that we're doing a in the statewide California dream collaboration, looking at different cultural communities that really defined California. So for me as a business reporter, immigrant entrepreneurs just really made the most sense to spotlight. They're such a big part of our state's economy. On every level, you know, you see them running great restaurants and small businesses in different ethnic enclaves throughout the state. Um, and they've started some of our biggest employers here in California. So I really wanted to find out what is it about immigrants that makes them more likely to start a business than people born here? And how are they going about starting those businesses today?
Speaker 1: 10:32 And I've been speaking with KPCC is David Wagner. David, thank you very much. Thank you.
Speaker 1: 00:00 One of California's most well known LGBT voices is Harvey Milk. Milk became the state's first openly gay elected official when you want to seed in San Francisco's board of supervisors in 1977 but his time in office was cut short when he was gunned down in city hall a year later by one of his colleagues on the board. Milk is a seminal figure in queer history, but for many people coming of age today, their first exposure to milk and his story was not from firsthand experience or even heard in history books. But from the 2008 Oscar winning film milk KQ Ed reporter Ryan Levi went to San Francisco city college to find out what milk means to young people today.
Speaker 2: 00:44 Oh right. Everyone,
Speaker 3: 00:47 Brianna by her Hanson welcomes their students to introduction to LGBT studies and introduces them to today's topic,
Speaker 2: 00:53 carving up the life and journey of one of the greatest visionaries in the LGBTQ community.
Speaker 3: 00:57 And they're surprised when they find out that someone, the class like second year student Matthew fully know nothing about the Gay San Francisco icon.
Speaker 2: 01:05 I haven't even heard of him before today, which I feel kind of bad about
Speaker 3: 01:08 and most of the students who have heard of him have just seen the Sean Penn movie and really don't know much else. At least one student third year, Miranda labounty is a little more familiar with milk's legacy.
Speaker 2: 01:18 I grew up kind of with Harvey milk, mentioned in the same sentence as Martin Luther King,
Speaker 3: 01:23 but even she's pretty hazy on the specific
Speaker 2: 01:26 and the fact it was so recent, I always assumed that milk was like 50 to 60 years ago that it was only 40 years ago he was assassinated. Our parents, our parents were alive and walking around during that time
Speaker 3: 01:38 hearing the details of milk and Muskogee's assassinations for the first time. The students are especially disturbed by the fact that former San Francisco supervisor, Dan White, only served five years in prison for the killing.
Speaker 2: 01:50 If Harvey Milk Somehow killed enlightened Moscone who'd be life in prison, but because it was a white straight man doing it, if it were a black guy or a trans or trans person or just a woman. Yeah, like that person would be institutionalized or still in jail. To this day,
Speaker 3: 02:08 that last voice belongs to Mckayla Kendrick and she's touched on something that a lot of students brought up during the discussion, race and gender identity privilege, not just for Dan White, but for Harvey milk too. This idea of intersectionality, the way that a person's sexuality combines with their race and gender and socioeconomic status and other identities is something that young queer people talk about a lot and it impacts how they view someone like milk.
Speaker 4: 02:32 I do connect with him in some sense because he is a hero and I will never sit down and say that he's not a hero because he literally died fairs, but at the same time he comes from a different background and I don't think he liked encapsulated. Everybody.
Speaker 3: 02:45 Lashawn per cell says he can connect with milk because both of them are cisgender males, but for Purcell, who's black? That's where the similarities end.
Speaker 4: 02:53 You know what I mean? There's a lot of other trans women of color that can necessarily do what Harvey milk did because of
Speaker 2: 02:59 who he is,
Speaker 3: 03:01 but even while they look critically at how milk's privileges allowed him to do what he did, students like Michael Thomas still recognize the kind of impact milk had if it wasn't for him. This class when I've been able to even be in college, that's a fact. And milk also opened the door to a generation of LGBT elected officials in San Francisco who felt like they could be political players without hiding who they were. Student Miranda labounty notes that voters almost elected San Francisco's first openly gay mayor last year, former supervisor and state Senator Mark Leno. Leno ended up coming in second ahead of Korean-American, Jane Kim and behind London breed the city's first African American female mayor.
Speaker 2: 03:38 The fact that our election was between two women of color and a gay man. I Dunno. That made me kind of happy.
Speaker 3: 03:47 After class. I asked Professor Brianna Bahar Hanson why they thought the students, some of whom had never heard of milk before, still seem to feel a connection with him.
Speaker 2: 03:55 Many people are living that experience where they're marginalized, they're vulnerable, they, they're not welcome within their spaces. Even here in San Francisco, there's been just some very heart wrenching stories of not being accepted by families. And really it, the issues that Harvey milk talking about in the 70s still so apply to their lives today,
Speaker 3: 04:16 and because those issues of oppression are still present for these young people, Harvey Milk in his legacy still mattered to them, even if they only just learned about it. I'm Ryan Levy.