The Weekender for July 28, 2018

This story first appeared in inewsource’s weekend newsletter. Sign up for it here.

Meet inewsource reporter and photographer Megan Wood.

inewsource reporter and videographer Megan Wood

How long have you been with inewsource and what is it you do?

I’ve been with inewsource since 2015. I started as an intern while finishing my journalism degree at San Diego State University. My position is pretty unique — I get to write stories about education, both K-12 and higher ed, and I get to tag along on interviews with other inewsource reporters to shoot photos and video for their stories. It’s really the best of both worlds.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

I have dual citizenship, both here and in the UK. My parents grew up in England and most of our family still lives there. Before you wonder: I’ve never had a British accent, unfortunately. My parents still have theirs, and it’s great.

Any favorite podcasts?

I love The Daily by The New York Times for a quick listen at the gym (fun fact: our data director’s sister is a producer on the show) and WNYC’s Radiolab when I have more time.

Follow Meg on Twitter (@megnwd), reach her by email (meganwood@inewsource.org) or give her a call (619-948-6777).

Have a great weekend, and thanks for reading.

– Shyla Nott, inewsource

How Democrats spent almost $1 million on Nathan Fletcher

The San Diego County Democratic Party has spent nearly $1 million backing Nathan Fletcher for District 4 county supervisor. That’s 37 times more than a contribution limit that says political parties can only give supervisor candidates $25,950.

So how did this happen?

The Democrats funneled the money into what’s called “member communications.” They didn’t directly give to Fletcher. Republicans use this method all the time, too, to get around the contribution limit. And it’s completely legal.

The decades-old campaign finance law allows California’s political parties to spend unlimited amounts of money telling people who they should vote for, just as long as they’re only communicating with members of their own party.

Fletcher’s case stands out, in part, because the largest donor to the county Democratic Party is his wife, state Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher. So far she’s contributed $370,000 to the party.

On the Republican side, the party has spent $167,000 supporting their candidate, former District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. That’s six times the contribution limit — and it was almost entirely through member communications.

What does this all mean? Look for a lot more spending as the Democrats try to win a seat on the all-Republican Board of Supervisors. And expect the Republicans to step up spending, too, as they try to continue to hold on to every seat on the board.

See a break down of all the money spent

Read our methodology (how we crunched the numbers)

Search Democratic and Republican party spending since 2011

District Attorney’s Office sued over sexual harassment records

An open-government advocacy group sued the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office on Friday for records of sexual harassment and misconduct allegations within the department.

The lawsuit stems from an effort by the nonprofit First Amendment Coalition to gather similar records from the seven largest district attorney offices in the state. It was not prompted by any one incident or tip.

Executive Director David Snyder told inewsource San Diego’s response to their records request was “unusual and troubling.”

The reason? The DA’s office provided summaries of six incidents involving employees, but not the records themselves.

Snyder called the summarized responses “untenable under the California Public Records Act, and frankly dangerous.”

Read about the six incidents

See the lawsuit

Answering your questions

This month we launched The Weekly Ask – one short video each week that poses questions to you, our audience. This week’s question was:

What’s one thing you want to know about the news business?

Many of you sent in great questions asking how journalism works, and we assigned a different person on our staff to answer each (plus a bonus guest appearance).

See the questions and answers

This week’s question is:

What is the most underreported issue in San Diego? 

Let us know here!

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About Shyla Nott:

Shyla Nott
Shyla Nott is a social media web producer for inewsource. To contact her with tips, suggestions or corrections, please email shylanott [at] inewsource [dot] org.