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I support Bob Brewer for district attorney

I am supporting Bob Brewer for election to the office of San Diego County District Attorney because he is the most qualified of the three candidates running.

It is simply time for a change in that office.

Bonnie Dumanis really doesn’t want the job. We know because upon re-election, she almost immediately announced and did run for mayor of the city of San Diego.

Dumanis has become entangled in likely the biggest political scandal ever to hit San Diego, and we have had more than our fair share.

Dumanis admits that she accepted substantial illegal campaign contributions from a Mexican national bent on morphing our pristine community into California’s version of Miami Beach by turning San Diego into the Ribald Riviera.

Dumanis, of course, denies any knowledge that the money was illegal.

Sorry, but that doesn’t wash with me. As a veteran politician myself, one knows the source of contributions and the motivation for giving them, or one finds out.

No candidate should accept contributions without understanding their source.

Whether she knew the funds were illegal or not, it is a huge distraction to have the boss under investigation by the United States attorney.

These are the kinds of situations that come up when the incumbent has been in office too long.

One need not have a long memory to recall that the late and universally respected former District Attorney Ed Miller was turned out of the same office because his lack of attention allowed subordinates to undertake the prosecution of Dale Akiki based solely on the fact that he looked odd and the blatantly phantasmagorical testimony of little children.

Operating on the same obtuse logic, Miller’s office prosecuted the otherwise honorable U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer James Wade, claiming he raped his own daughter though she testified repeatedly that the molester came through the window, the same M.O. as other rapes in the faulty-designed Navy housing, which the police were already investigating.

Miller’s inattentiveness, no doubt brought on by being too long in the office, allowed his deputies to wreck the lives of CPO Wade and his family.

Based on the DA’s actions, the Wades’ 8-year-old daughter was not only raped by a stranger, but nearly adopted out to strangers.

The experiences of both the good-hearted Miller and now Dumanis’ current legal troubles militate for regular changes of leadership in the office, which gets taken for granted by long-time incumbents.

Brewer’s professional experience is unmatched even by that of long-time incumbent District Attorney Dumanis.

Dumanis was a deputy district attorney herself and also a local judge.

She is an outstanding politician and a long-time personal friend who helped me in my own career, for which I was and am grateful.

But there comes a time when friendship has to take a back seat to the public good.

Brewer is a veteran civil attorney with decades of private practice.

Before civil practice, he served several years as a deputy district attorney, where his outstanding skills got him recruited by the U.S. attorney’s office to serve as a prosecutor for the U.S. government, handling all federal cases.

I met Brewer when we were both serving as Army officers in the 12th Special Forces (Green Berets) Group of the Army Reserves based at Admiral Baker Field.

We had both just come off active duty and returned to our beloved San Diego and were attending law school.

Brewer’s personal story is straight out of Horatio Alger. His father died while he was a freshman in college. He worked his way through college primarily on an ROTC scholarship, graduating as the Distinguished Military Graduate (DMG).

Attaining DMG status provides distinct benefits: a Regular Army rather than Reserve commission and the right to choose any assignment at any location.

Instead of choosing the cushy and riskless Engineer Corps, where he could have sat out any war measuring the rise and fall of the Mississippi River and then make a lot of money once off active duty, Brewer chose the Infantry and opted for both Airborne Training at Fort Benning followed up by Ranger school.

Though much of U.S. Army infantry training is in Georgia, a Southern state, one should not be fooled. Being in the South does not mean that it is warm in the winter. Far from it. Of the three phases of Ranger school, one is in the mountains around Dahlonega. It is cold even in Southern mountains in the winter.

Of all Ranger training cycles, the “Winter Ranger” is the toughest cycle, where typically 50 percent of the students wash out due to endurance or frostbite problems.

Brewer, along with highly respected local Judge Roger Krauel, is a successful “Winter Ranger,” which is just one indicator of his character.

After successful completion of Ranger school, Brewer was selected as a company commander, a highly unusual assignment for a brand new second lieutenant just out of college.

After a year, he was ordered to South Vietnam, where he became an “adviser” to a South Vietnamese Airborne Battalion that for the entire time he was assigned to it was in daily combat often three times a day, every day.

The term “adviser” is not quite correct. The American so attached becomes the contact or liaison between the foreign troops and the U.S. support both logistical and aircraft support for the ground troops.

As such, especially when it comes to air support during a firefight, the competence of the adviser may mean life for death.

For his months under fire, Brewer earned the Bronze Star with “V” device which stands for “valor.” (The Bronze Star can also be awarded for “merit” but it will not display the V device.)

But then one terrible day, all of Brewer’s training and courage and competence were put to the test.

Surrounded on all sides by enemy for more than 24 hours, Brewer coordinated the defense of a Vietnamese unit.

During the night, when air strikes are no longer available, the North Vietnamese offered the South Vietnamese soldiers under fire the opportunity to go free if they would just give up the American.

Such was Brewer’s leadership that the South Vietnamese soldiers did not falter for a moment.

When the sun rose after the long night, and air support was available, the little unit survived, not without casualties, but thanks for Brewer’s courage and leadership, they lived to fight another day.

For that heroism, Brewer was awarded the Silver Star.

I believe that Brewer will put up that same kind of fight on our behalf as our district attorney.

It's time for a change.

Stirling, a former U.S. Army officer, has been elected to the San Diego City Council, state Assembly and state Senate. He also served as a municipal and superior court judge in San Diego. Send comments to larry.stirling@sddt.com. Comments may be published as Letters to the Editor.

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User Response
8 UserComments
Greg Bean 10:46pm April 5, 2014

Larry, do you think that Brewer knew his wife made a $10K contribution to an independent expenditure on his behalf. Your reasoning suggests that Brewer knew? If so, wouldn't that be illegal?

Swift Justice 10:34am April 3, 2014

Yes! Larry Stirling thinks I'm a coward! That's a VERY high compliment coming from a guy who opposes Chicano Park, defends assault weapons, praises the same lunatic judge demanding to see Obama's birth certificate and who said paying taxes was comparable to "slavery." Ah, white people are so funny. Brewer is foolish for letting an extremist like Stirling pen this tome in support of him and also for promoting it. San Diegans ain't fallin' for Wing Nut Nation in June.

Denise Swafford 2:13pm April 1, 2014

Even if you were to set aside her hidden political agenda, questionable campaign practices, and tired record described in Mr. Stirling's article. And, if you were to ignore the weakness in character she demonstrated recently by her accucations against Mr. Brewer in the UT about his own campaign contribution from a former client, toe-to-toe, Bob is clearly a far more superior candidate for the position of District Attorney than Ms. Dumanis. He not only deserves this position but San Diego deserves him -- a prosecutor with courage, wisdom, strength of character, and skill running the office. It will be a different office and a much better office under his leadership.

Craig 11:03pm March 28, 2014

Brewer was a prosecutor for about 10 years - his public service is beyond reproach (he's a decorated combat veteran, see: http://robertbrewerforda.com/). Yes, "Swift Justice" is a coward and the crowd against Dumanis grows, drowning out those little voices of support. The cops refuse to support Dumanis. She has myriad problems (see, http://istandwithbobbrewer.blogspot.com/). I've personally suffered at her hiring practices: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lz2jJCar7LQ. Vote Brewer - Dumanis simply must go.

C. Logan McKechnie 12:58pm March 28, 2014

Having worked for Ed Miller, having had Bonnie Dumanis work for me and having worked with her, having had Larry Stirling as my law partner, and having met and worked with Bob Brewer in his early practice, I suspect I see this article in different colors than most readers. But, even if I view the article a bit differently I come to the same conclusions as the Honorable Stirling: Brewer will be a great District Attorney and it is time for a change.

Larry Stirling 5:30pm March 27, 2014

"Swift Justice" is a coward for not using his name. I am not wrong about that. Larry Stirling

Swift Justice 11:02am March 27, 2014

There are a couple of seriously problematic arguments here. The most alarming: arguing that a civil attorney who hasn't prosecuted a criminal case in 30 years is qualified to be DA. Managing prosecutors takes a prosecutor. This guy was a prosecutor for as long as a cup of coffee. Additionally, Stirling claims Dumanis is "under investigation" for the foreign contribution affair. That's not what the US attorney assigned to the case said and it's simply not true. It's just Larry being Larry...frequently wrong but never in doubt.

Craig 2:55pm March 26, 2014

It's time for change. Dumanis must go. Brewer is a leader.