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Blog: Who's Pulling the Strings of the US Attorney?

Why would U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy violate the ethical, moral, and even legal rules of her office and meddle in San Diego's mayoral politics?

Picture a totem pole.  Now visualize our regional law enforcers—the city attorney, police chief, sheriff, and district attorney—stacked head-to-foot up the length of the pole. Atop them all you'll find the U.S. Attorney.

The name of San Diego's U.S. Attorney is Laura Duffy. 

Laura who?  As the U.S. Attorney for the San Diego region, Laura Duffy has the job of investigating and prosecuting violations of federal criminal law, such as political corruption, tax evasion, drug trafficking, human trafficking, organized crime, and so on.  

U.S. Attorneys are instructed to steer clear of partisan politics -- local, state, or national. 

But last week, San Diego's U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy engaged in a series of activities that directly affected and advanced the political aspirations of mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio, who boasted: I'm supported by Mayor Jerry Sanders. I’m supported by the leading Democrat donor, Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs.  Laura Duffy, the U.S. Attorney, donated to my campaign and today commented about her displeasure with the congressman’s (i.e., Bob Filner's) temperament.

Why would U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy violate the ethical, moral, and even legal rules inherent in her prestigious Department of Justice appointment?  Why would she meddle in San Diego's mayoral politics, leaning her finger on the scales to try to manipulate the outcome of the Filner-DeMaio mayor's race?  For a fuller description of the story, click here.

While it's true that San Diego's long history of Ponzi schemers and income tax evaders, of racketeers and fast-talking land developers can seem like a quaint and colorful folktale, the fact is that San Diego's underside continues to be very dark and sinister.

Did you know that the FBI identifies San Diego as one of the nation's top sex-trafficking hubs?  Or that our reputation as the methamphetamine capital of America is still up and running?  Illicit drugs continue to snake like a river around our city, filtering into our schools, local bars, and neighborhood party houses.

So let's ask the question again: why would Laura Duffy go out on a limb to violate… meddle… manipulate… curry favor with Carl Demaio and the Republican Party when there's plenty of bona fide work in our town to keep any U.S. Attorney busy?

Frankly, I'm stymied by this one.  Here is a list of 8 observations (in no special order—maybe you can figure it out:

  1. We've got a Midwestern, lesbian, Democratic U.S. Attorney—risking her career to align herself with Carl DeMaio.
  2. We've got Carl DeMaio, a shrink government Midwestern, gay, Republican candidate for mayor—congenitally unable to distinguish truth from fiction.
  3. We've got a politically conservative, anti-gay, Catholic, control freak-multi-millionaire hotel and land developer, Doug Manchester—beating the bushes and breathing fire down the necks of fellow-millionaires and developers to support the campaign of Carl DeMaio for mayor.
  4. We've got John Lynch, Doug Manchester's mirror image partner-in-ownership at the San Diego U-T—using their daily newspaper as a lethal weapon to mow down any and all opposition to Carl DeMaio for mayor.
  5. We've got a rabid leadership team at the Republican Party of San Diego -- exerting inordinate pressure, intimidation, and duress on San Diego's political and business establishment to bludgeon them into falling in line behind Carl DeMaio.
  6. We've got a totem pole (I'd call it a shame pole) of ambitious Republican law enforcers—swallowing their integrity and self respect to endorse Carl DeMaio, a person for whom they have expressed great contempt in the past (to her credit, Bonnie Dumanis remains a holdout).
  7. We've got Johnathan Hale, full-time live-in partner of the man who would be San Diego's first gay mayor—a bullying, gay newspaper/ media/ events and parties maven, a mystery man who blew into town laden with a checkered past, tussles with the law, restraining orders, multiple name changes, porn-style online ventures, and a knack for throwing magic dust into the eyes of the person with whom he plans on sharing the mayor's office.
  8. We've got the full faith and credit of the historically powerful, politically conservative San Diego establishment -- salivating at the thought of putting a zealous proponent of privatized government into the mayor's office.  Even the U.S. Attorney was willing to risk her career to jump on Carl DeMaio's bandwagon.  The promised rewards from San Diego's very own Candyman must be very great, indeed!  But Carl DeMaio and his bag of goodies are harmful to the public health.  It's up to us to JUST SAY NO!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Victoria McIntyre October 28, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Does anyone really care anymore who is gay and who is not? Is that the main point? It's hard to take this article seriously when the author is so preoccupied with everyone's sexuality except, of course, the one person she gives credit to. My overall reaction is just "ick".
norma damashek October 28, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Somewhere over the rainbow we'll be a society free of race, ethnic, and gender-identity biases. We're not there yet. These qualities are still part of the normal process when government appointments are made or when votes are cast. The point of "who's pulling the strings" is that there's a powerful force in San Diego politics capable of bringing men and women of ALL persuasions to their knees. * It's powerful enough for a gay mayoral candidate (Carl DeMaio) to ignore the in-your-face, anti-gay activities of his loudest campaign funder and cheerleader, Doug Manchester. * Powerful enough to force grown men (like news reporters, public officials, and country club buddies) to call another grown man "papa" (yes, Papa Doug again). * Powerful enough to convince a U.S. Attorney (Laura Duffy) to swallow her personal and professional principles to bolster a mayoral candidate. * Powerful enough to cover up the controversial personal and professional activities of Carl DeMaio's intimate partner and political advisor, Johnathan Hale -- a kid-gloves treatment that has never been applied to personal mates of any other political candidate. * Powerful enough to force an outgoing mayor (Jerry Sanders) to endorse a candidate he privately abhors and has publicly shamed. This story is not about sex -- gay or straight. It's about the role of entrenched, abusive power and wealth in the city of San Diego and how difficult it is to get out from under.
Victoria McIntyre October 28, 2012 at 05:36 PM
I totally agree that you intended the story to be about political power but the sexual preferences of everyone you mentioned are irrelevant to the story and none of our business.
Mickey Mouse October 30, 2012 at 03:04 AM
Sexual preference DOES matter today as much as did yesterday. It is not a stereotypical problem. It wont be solved by education, it will only be solved thru tolerance and tolerance of sexual preference is the first step towards the destruction of a heterosexual relationship and the natural union of man and woman. Homesexuals may be a part of nature, but the animal kingdom does not tolerate them in their ranks. I dont particularly care if someone is gay or not, it makes no difference to me, but I do prefer they keep sexual orientation to themselves. The gays feel like they need to tell the entire world that they are gay!.... Okay your gay, so what? Are we supposed to praise you, congratulate you? and if so, why? Thats what I dont get

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