A Survey USA poll released yesterday by TV 10News indicates Congressman Bob Filner is widening his lead over City Councilman Carl DeMaio in the race for San Diego’s top spot. Voters reached by telephone for the survey favored Filner over DeMaio by a 12 point margin, 50 to 38%, with the Congressman showing significant gains among women, Hispanic and white voters over the past month. The poll says that 12 percent of voters remain undecided and that those who formerly supported candidate Nathan Fletcher now support Filner by a 2 to 1 margin..
It’s worth noting, however, that DeMaio’s intensive television advertising campaign has yet to kick in, and an ‘independent’ group has just starting airing commercials that portray the Congressman in a negative manner. Filner’s campaign is counting on a strong ground effort to build momentum.
Birds of a Feather Flock Together; Sanders Endorses DeMaio
Mayoral candidate DeMaio continues to consolidate his support among the downtown business types that he campaigned against during the primary. The ‘reformer’ who was going to take on the ‘entrenched interests’ in San Diego is now actively courting the Chamber of Commerce types. So it came as no big surprise yesterday when current Mayor Jerry Sanders swallowed his pride and appeared before the press to bless DeMaio’s candidacy.
The two men clashed repeatedly last year over budgetary questions and it certainly appeared that tensions reached the stage where it went beyond policy differences and into the realm of personal distain, as the video below demonstrates. And then there’s this quote from Sanders: “I respect Carl. But I like beer.”
More Birds of a Feather…
The San Diego City Council voted 6-1 yesterday to pay the legal costs incurred by Mayor Sanders. City Councilman Kevin Falconer and other city officials in their legal battle to defend Proposition B — an initiative on the June ballot revamping the city’s pension system. This representation will cost taxpayers at least $35,000, and possibly as much as $50,000, according to the Council resolution.
The California Public Employment Relations Board is investigating grievances filed by city employee unions that assert Sanders, et. al., may have violated state labor law with their active support of the measure. The unions maintain that Sanders’ role as the city’s lead negotiator legally required him to negotiate changes in the pension system. The mayor says those negotiations weren’t needed because he was acting as a “private citizen” in his support of the initiative.
Even More Just Unbelievable Stuff from City Hall
The City Council okayed the not just one, but two non-tax taxes yesterday. A two percent tax added to hotel room fees magically became an ‘assessment’ extending over the next 40 years. Hotel owners–but not the public–will get to vote on this measure, which is then used to pay for advertising and promotions in tourism. So it’s not a “tax” if it can’t be used for stuff like paying cops or fixing potholes.
And, while they were at it, the City Council approved a “Marketing District” downtown, via another “assessment”. Earlier stories about plans for creating another “Times Square” glitz and buzz were downplayed in favor of the more politically palatable “disorder and nuisance abatement” and “marketing” descriptions of the plans, which are supported by owners of 55 large properties north and east of the Gaslamp district. San Diegans for Open Government has vowed to take this matter to court. Again, it’s not a tax. So, move along people, nothing to see here.
Wait! There’s More! Council Turns Down Offer to Settle on Fireworks Lawsuit
Although the City of San Diego has lost three significant legal battles connected to its failure to account for the environmental impact of the annual Fourth of July La Jolla fireworks display, yesterday the City Council rejected an offer to settle the issue out of court.
This action means that the San Diego will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to retain an outside law firm to fight Judge William Date’s June ruling finding that the city erred by not conducting an environmental review of the fireworks to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA.
Environmental activist/attorney Marco Gonzalez had offered to end the legal battles on the condition that the city would conduct an environmental study for the La Jolla fireworks show with monies proposed for retaining an outside law firm and using the remainder towards paying his legal fees. Should the city ultimately lose in court it’s possible that they’ll end up pay Gonzalez’s legal fees anyway.
KPBS Airs Story Detailing Newspaper’s Owners Local Power Plays
I-Newsource and KPBS reporter Brook Williams have been doing some serious digging into the wheelings and dealings of UT-San Diego Publisher Doug Manchester and CEO John Lynch. Much of their investigation centers on plans by the newly minted media moguls to redevelop the 10th Avenue Port Terminal into a football stadium.
Although he’s claimed to have no financial stake in these plans, the KPBS investigation demonstrates that Manchester holds tens of millions of dollars in stock and operating partnership units in the companies that purchased his developments near the proposed stadium.
A recording of a speech acquired by KPBS by the UT-SD CEO to the Harvard Business Club last month has Lynch referring to behind the scenes efforts with “concrete meetings” among “hopefully the right people,” but they’ve “tried to keep it down low.” He reportedly boasted of “significant progress” in promoting the stadium idea with “one of the mayoral candidates.”
Both mayoral candidates denied supporting the stadium plans when asked about Lynch’s comment. However, the KBPS investigation revealed long-standing financial ties between Manchester and Lynch to Carl DeMaio, going back to 2004, when they were the sole outside funders for San Diego Citizens for Accountable Government, a tax exempt political advocacy group.
DeMaio used $150,000 from Manchester and his companies along with $38,400 of free airtime donated by Lynch’s radio stations to the Accountable Government group to oppose a hotel tax and to for campaign materials supporting Supervisor Ron Robert’s failed campaign for Mayor of San Diego.
The “Stench” Trends on Twitter
I gain a lot of insight by following Twitter; it’s a valuable tool for following both local and national developments before they’re digested and regurgitated by the mainstream media. But last night I was befuddled about conversations (remember, Twitter limits comments to 140 characters) referencing the “stench”. Finally, I could stand it no more and went to my crack research team, also known as the “Google”.
Here’s an excerpt from the story at Politico by Roger Simon that had all those tongues a waggin’:
Paul Ryan has gone rogue. He is unleashed, unchained, off the hook.
“I hate to say this, but if Ryan wants to run for national office again, he’ll probably have to wash the stench of Romney off of him,” Craig Robinson, a former political director of the Republican Party of Iowa, told The New York Times on Sunday. Coming from a resident of Iowa, a state where people are polite even to soybeans, this was a powerful condemnation of the Republican nominee.
Though Ryan had already decided to distance himself from the floundering Romney campaign, he now feels totally uninhibited. Reportedly, he has been marching around his campaign bus, saying things like, “If Stench calls, take a message” and “Tell Stench I’m having finger sandwiches with Peggy Noonan and will text him later.”
I guess things are better now. Ryan and Romney are campaigning together today in Ohio.
Beating Up Zebras and Baby Seals
For those of you who don’t read the UT-San Diego, I have to tell you about the hilarious Front Page column they ran today defending the National Football League’s lockout of the referees. We’re supposed to get all outraged about the guys wearing zebra stripes get paid $150K annually in an entertainment venue that brings in billions because, after all, the refs are UNION goons. BFD. I understand that Manchester’s minions are currently hard at work photoshopping pictures of Labor Council leader Lorena Gonzalez beating baby seals for Sunday’s paper.
Tweet of the Day:
The Sanders endorsement will be as significant in the General as it was in the Primary. Reminder: Dumanis finished with 13%.
— Jess Durfee (@ChairJessDurfee) September 25, 2012
On This Day: In 1908 Ed Eulbach of the Chicago Cubs became the first baseball player to pitch both games of a doubleheader and win both with shutouts. In 1957 the musical “West Side Story” opened at the Winter Garden Theatre. In 1960 the first televised debate between presidential candidates Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy took place in Chicago, IL.
Eat Fresh! Today’s Farmers’ Markets: Carlsbad (Roosevelt St. btw Grand Ave. & Carlsbad Village Dr.) 1 – 5 pm, Encinitas Station (Corner of E Street & Vulcan in parking lot B) 5 – 8 pm, Mission Hills (Falcon St. btw West Washington & Ft. Stockton) 3 – 7 pm, North San Diego at Sikes Adobe Farmstead (I-15 at Via Rancho Parkway. 12655 Sunset Dr., Escondido.) 11 am – 2 pm, Ocean Beach (4900 block of Newport Ave. btw Cable & Bacon Sts.) 4 – 8 pm, San Marcos – Cal State San Marcos (333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Rd., Parking Lot B) 3 – 7 pm,Santee (10445 Mission Gorge Rd. abandoned school parking lot) 3 –7 pm, Temecula (40820 Winchester Rd. Promenade Mall, parking lot btw Macy’s & Penny’s) 9 am – 1 pm
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