The League of California Cities, operating out of a posh Sacramento office, is funded by cities with taxpayer dollars to lobby for legislation dear to the hearts of city councils throughout the state. The group is staunchly opposed to strict limits on eminent domain because they would crimp the ability of cities to condemn land for redevelopment projects, such as stadiums, shopping malls, and other “civic improvements” that just happen to result in campaign contributions from developers. (The league also argues that the measure, Prop. 98, is actually intended by its sponsors to abolish rent controls imposed by some California cities and that it would interfere with municipal water projects and therefore inhibit development. “No Water = No Growth” is one of the league's campaign slogans.) Though it portrays itself as having the public’s interest at heart, the league, presided over this year by San Diego city councilman Jim Madaffer, is actually a full-blown political operation and has set up a committee to raise campaign funds from the very special interests that are dependent on favorable actions by local government. Called CITIPAC, the committee raked in about $100,000 in 2007 and is on track to bring in a record sum during this year’s election season.

San Diego County–based contributors include utility giant Sempra Energy, which gave $2000; EDCO Waste and Recycling ($1500); BIOCOM PAC, a biotech industry group ($1000); and Public Policy Strategies, the outfit run by Tom Shepard, consultant to San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders ($120). All the money raised so far this year has gone to pay for a $250,000 contribution to the campaign opposing Prop. 98, the anti-condemnation measure, and supporting Prop. 99, a watered-down limitation.

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Comments

Fred Williams May 22, 2008 @ 7:57 a.m.

Has Jim Madaffer ever had any job in his lifetime other than in the government?

He was Judy McCarty's staffer before inheriting the seat. He's been behind some of the worst deals in city history, including the Republican Convention (we STILL don't know how much that cost us!) the stadium conversion and ticket guarantee, the ballpork fraud, underfunding of pensions, water-rate lawbreaking ("let them sue us!" he said), the $20 million Kroll copy/paste whitewash...and so on.

He'll be richly rewarded for his greed and subversion of the public good into his private friend's profits. He's already "earned" a city pension so rich it would make Midas blush.

If, by some miracle, he doesn't golden-parachute right into another government job next year, look for him to be hired by Peregrine/Padres fraudster John Moores.

So long as smirking Jim Madaffer remains in San Diego, look for us to continue to be screwed.

The record of his misdeeds is all public. In addition, back in 1993, he openly bragged about putting his "community newspaper" into his wife's name so he could get free money from the city. He refused to pay his own water bill, and illegally tampered with the city's meter.

Where is the so-called "ethics commission" or the District Attorney? They're too busy "investigating" Aguirre and prosecuting Castaneda, all the while turning a willfully blind eye to Diamond Jim's behavior.

Time to Change San Diego before it's too late. Feel free to add your own insights to www.changesandiego.org.

Best,

Fred Williams

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Brian_T_Peterson_DVM May 23, 2008 @ 7:46 a.m.

Last month, as secretly as possible, the City Council unanimously approved a consent agenda item that changes the Municipal Code to allow sitting elected officials to influence their prospects for future employment with a public agency. Concurrent with this change in the Municipal Code, Councilmembers Peters and Madaffer are pushing through a restructuring of the Redevelopment Agency to create the new levels of bureaucracy of Executive Director and Advisory Committee—both appointed by the Mayor—while allowing the Redevelopment Agency to hire its own staff. They are trying to have this completed before January, 2009. The “F.E.A.R.” is that Mr. Madaffer will finagle for himself an appointment to one of the new Redevelopment Agency positions, possibly even Executive Director. This is one reason why it is better to keep the Redevelopment Agency structure as it is. And with elections coming, it is important to not vote for candidates who will rubberstamp his appointment. www.GrantvilleActionGroup.com

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Fred Williams May 23, 2008 @ 11:09 a.m.

Great post Brian.

Which District 7 candidate is less likely to perpetrate mad-dog Madaffer's malodorous misbehaviors?

I guess April Boling, long-time treasurer to just about every Republican in San Diego is a buddy of Diamond Jim. But I've also heard from a reliable source in the media that she has been the one quietly leaking reports on the true financial state of the city, so maybe she's a good egg...just not brave enough to come out and tell the facts in public.

Emerald is well known as a television "troubleshooter" and might be able to set things right. But Marti Emerald also wants to subsidize the Chargers (again!) and might not have the financial smarts to see through the bad deals.

Who should we support to Change San Diego?

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Linda_J_Wilson May 23, 2008 @ 12:02 p.m.

It seems like every time I turn around I read a story about how my own tax dollars are being used by politicians to screw me over. The fact that Madaffer is president of the League of Cities speaks volumes about their agenda. Prop 99 is being pushed by Madaffer, the League of Cities, and every other sneaky opportunist who feels they have a right to what you have worked hard to get, mainly your property. Prop 99 does not protect you from them. Vote for real protection and reform. Vote Yes on 98 and No on 99 to put an end to rape and pillage by Madaffer and those like him.

To Fred Williams: April won't help you. She is very much in line with the status quo and kept silent when he findings of the Blue Ribbon committee was suprressed. No room for cowards when change is needed. Vote for Marti.

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Fred Williams May 23, 2008 @ 12:07 p.m.

Hi Linda,

(Good to see another person with the guts to use their real name.)

We certainly need to Change San Diego.

Please add your information about Prop. 98/99 to www.changesandiego.org. It's a wiki, so just go to the issues page and click edit.

Thanks,

Fred

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Brian_T_Peterson_DVM May 23, 2008 @ 2:03 p.m.

There’s no doubt that April is a smart lady, knows her District and would do a fine job as a city councilmember. That said, there’s also no doubt that she is also a City Hall insider (mainly through her association with Dick Murphy); no matter how fast she tries to run from that label.

Marti Emerald is a Grantville Action Group supporter, and she has stated that she opposes the Grantville redevelopment project and all that entails. I am encouraging our group to support the candidates who support us. What I recall her saying about subsidies for sports teams at our GAG meeting in November is that she considered John Moores and Alex Spanos friends, but she would not support public subsidies for their ventures. (One of our objections to redevelopment is that it amounts to public subsidies for big business.)

My wife and I have donated to, and campaigned for, Marti. April does not support our group. As part of the status quo, she can’t. The status quo and the well-connected are who got the City into this mess. It’s time to give someone outside of the system a chance in D-7.

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Fred Williams May 24, 2008 @ 7:06 a.m.

Thanks Brian,

I've followed the work you've done with GAG over the last few years (even with a broken leg!) and you're a local hero.

I wish you were a candidate.

So, in spite of the fact that Marti Emerald doesn't answer email (but does send me email asking for a campaign contribution) I'll still vote for her. District 7 certainly needs a bit of leadership after all the damage Madaffer has done.

(But how can anyone who loves San Diego be "friends" with crooks like Spanos and Moores?)

Best,

Fred Williams

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