continued What's really amazing is the sportscasters, like Billy Ray Smith, who prides himself on apparently making fun of Bruce Henderson. When he has the ability to sit down in front of the audience and make snide remarks and all of that. The media has to ask themselves, you know, when they showed such glee after the verdict, everyone was smiling and happy like it was a great day. Is that really professional the way that they slanted so much of the television? - and I don't mean everybody - Is that really a professional approach? And shouldn't we have more faith in objectivity?
Should professional journalism be relegated only to the alternative media in town? Or should it be - isn't it going to be a better, more sophisticated community if we all are more professional in the way we do things? Sponsoring the rally for the Chargers? I mean, all the media in one form or another was involved in that. Talk about taking sides. And these are important issues, and this is not how it is being handled in cities like New York, San Francisco, or Los Angeles - there's more balance. To me it is even more important that we develop a more professional approach in our community than if we even have a football team.
What we are really measuring in San Diego are not the things that really matter. The things that really matter are the quality of life for families, what kind of schools do our kids go to, how safe is it here, what's the quality of our air, the quality of our ocean and the water - what's the nature of civility in our discussions with each other, how healthy is our democracy, what's our library like? These are the things that really matter.
And what we are tending to do is use false substitutes for the things that really matter. I think that this is not over yet; there is much more involved here than just the stadium. Maybe the thing that has happened here is that the stadium has surfaced as a problem, and it has drawn everybody together on it as an issue, and people have shown some of their bad side. Upon reflection they will probably have some second thoughts about it. And maybe once we get past all that, we can evolve into a more sophisticated and refined place.
We also need to have a much more direct involvement by the citizens in the city council because there has been a lovefest going on down there while a lot of bad things have been going on. Everyone has been applauding, 'Isn't it great that everybody gets along and there is consensus and everything?' When you look at it, though, the result is not so good. It's not good to have that kind of common denominator consensus that really isn't compromising between hard interests.
Any reaction to Padres' owner John Moores's comment that the sponsors of the referendum ought to apologize?
You know, Mr. Moores had done such a good job. I really admired him for holding his cool, but I think that...he really managed in one statement to shoot himself major league in the foot. I think he set back any prospect that he has for a new stadium tremendously by alienating the people who were our supporters. And I think that - I know that what he wanted to do was to try to knock us out because he knows that that battle is looming, and this is all part of the behind-the-scenes deal-making that is taking place. Where now we are going to have to build him a stadium so that he can make lots of money for the Padres. We are going to see the same thing - they are going to have the same drum and bugle corps out pushing everyone aside who wants to question why we want to make millionaires richer.
Why can't we just enjoy the game? Why do we have to make so much money from it, and why do we just have to unleash the greed factor? I think this was his first move to try and quell the opponents to the second chapter of the overall plan. The first part of it - again, without much candor from the mayor - was to force through the grandiose changes for the stadium to accommodate the Chargers, and then the second phase is going to be millions more for a new facility for the Padres. And the thing I can't understand is, I went to most of the Charger games last year, and I went to a lot of the Padres games, and I still don't understand why the stadium couldn't accommodate for several more years the Chargers and the Padres.
So what about a remedy? The opponents do a referendum and the City says no, this is not our interpretation, they give it to the judge, and he looks at it very narrowly and says, 'Sorry, I am not going to give you a remedy here.' So isn't that the end of it?
Well, I think that that takes us to another important aspect of direct democracy, which is the recall. The City started to do damage by trying to interfere with the referendum, gathering of signatures, the use of investigators by the city attorney's office - the city attorney representing the vested interest against the people and their right to vote. It will always be remembered that the city attorney, when faced with a choice between supporting the right to vote and supporting the vested interests - supported the vested interests. So he's the attorney for the vested interest. And then going through this whole thing of making a mockery of the referendum - that we repeal it, and they go ahead and do it anyway because of the cost overrun provision. And now if they are going to come up with a new plan - if they took the literal reading of the judge's approach, they probably wouldn't have to come up with a new plan - but if they come up with a new plan, and then they don't put it on the ballot - you see, these things are related to each other; you have to keep your attention. It's like follow the bouncing ball - we think that the best way to do it now is to recall.
The mayor, the members of the city council, the city attorney, I think we need to clean them all out - fire the city attorney - my choice for city attorney is Chuck Abdelnour. He has proven himself to be someone that can be trusted. And bring in a whole new city council and a new mayor and a new city attorney. I think if that could happen, then this terrible experience with the Chargers would certainly be better.