A campaign finance investigation in San Marcos.

More outside cash flowing into San Diego races.

A termed-out city councilman gearing up for 2020.

This week was all about the money in politics. And with the primary election Tuesday, things won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Stay tuned for post-election day coverage next week.

Have a great weekend.

—Shyla Nott, inewsource

Campaign finance complaint

The city of San Marcos is looking into a campaign finance complaint against its mayor, who is also running for the county Board of Supervisors.

The complaint alleges Mayor Jim Desmond violated campaign finance laws by receiving contributions too close to when six donors had development projects voted on by the City Council.

As mayor, Desmond is on the council.

What are the rules?

1) City Council members can’t vote on an issue that financially affects someone who gave them a campaign contribution of $100 or more during the previous 12 months.

2) Council members also can’t receive contributions of $100 or more in the 12 months after casting a vote that affects that donor.

The complaint points to one developer whose project was approved by the council and who later contributed $800 to Desmond’s supervisor campaign seven months later.

Reporter Leo Castañeda broke this story.

–Read Leo’s story
–Watch on KPBS Evening Edition

Outside money ramps up before election day

With the election Tuesday, outside groups are spending big money in three heated San Diego County races:

49th Congressional District
This race to replace Congressman Darrell Issa is shaping up to be one of the most competitive in the country. Candidates for the district race have raised $11 million, and $5.8 million has been spent by outside groups.

District Attorney
The DA’s race has turned into a spending war between four groups supporting interim District Attorney Summer Stephan and four other groups backing Deputy Public Defender Geneviéve Jones-Wright. In all, the two candidates have raised $803,000, while $3.2 million has been spent by PACs to support or oppose them.

A poll conducted this week by Survey USA for the Union-Tribune and 10News shows Stephan with a 20-point lead over Jones-Wright.

4th District Board of Supervisors
The race has turned into an expensive battle between two opposing labor-backed PACs. Candidates have raised $1.3 million, and $915,000 has been spent by outside groups.

–Read Jill and Leo’s story
–Watch on KPBS Evening Edition

Reporters Leo Castañeda and Jill Castellano spent several late nights crunching the numbers and making interactive charts for their story, so this tweet especially made our week:

  • We’ll do the work. You just read it.
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Gearing up for 2020

San Diego Councilman David Alvarez can’t run for re-election this year because of term limits. But that’s not stopping him from looking to the 2020 election.

Already he has raised a little more than $119,000 for a bid to replace county Supervisor Greg Cox. That amount is more than what some supervisor candidates running in the 2018 election have raised.

When Cox is termed out in 2020, it’ll be the first time his seat has been open in 25 years.

Reporter Leo Castañeda also interviewed state Sen. Ben Hueso, who isn’t ruling out a run for Cox’s seat.

Read Leo’s story
–Watch on KPBS Evening Edition

In the community

Fake news was the hot topic this week at the Rancho Santa Fe book club.

inewsource Executive Director Lorie Hearn gave the group tips on identifying information that is fake, skewed or biased.

She cautioned about “what you’re feeding your mind” and about passing on unverified headlines to your friends. She urged the group to follow inewsource’s work because we’re fact-based, data-driven and independent.

Check out our tip sheet for spotting fake news.

Lorie was also joined by our new donor engagement manager Ashley Rodriguez, who kicked off her first week with us.


We’ll let you know when big things happen.

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Shyla NottDigital Content Manager

Shyla Nott was the digital content manager at inewsource. While at her role, she ran the website, social media accounts, and curated The Weekender newsletter. She came to inewsource by way of the Midwest where she was the producer for All Sides with Ann Fisher, a daily live public-affairs...