Comments by Bob_Hudson

Pete Wilson maxes out late to Faulconer

Prop 187 was not anti-immgrant - it was aimed at forcing the federal government to pick up the considerable social costs of its failed immigration policies, instead of making Californians pay for them. If the Senators and Congressional representatives from New York, Missouri, Virginia, etc. are going to approve legislation that results in the flow of millions of dirt poor immigrants to the US, then it is the responsibility of the US government - not the states - to pay for the impacts of that policy. Wilson certainly did lose the spin war on 187. His communications guru Otto Bos died not long after Wilson became governor and the Wilson organization's communications efforts were ham-handed at best after that, especially against that well organized anti-187 campaign. I worked for a Mexican radio station company with offices in Chula Vista and I saw first hand the faxes coming from the Mexican Consulate with guidelines and strategies for the anti-187 campaign. Mexico was having big internal problems at the time and 187 gave the government a chance to once again trump up anti-American sentiment to divert attention from the turmoil at home. It was a successful campaign that killed 187 and kept Californians on the hook for the huge social costs of a failed federal immigration policy. I spent many hundreds of hours traveling throughout California with Pete Wilson as a senior aide and never, ever was than any indication that he considered San Diego an unsuitable backwater. But, when he retired from public service, the kind of work available to someone with his background pretty much necessitates being in a large city, which we can all agree San Diego is not. As for Wilson's campaign contribution being the potential source of negative campaign fodder? I can't even begin to fathom what would support such a supposition. Latinos generally did not vote for Republicans long before Pete became mayor, Senator or Governor and a contribution from someone who hasn't held office for 15 years certainly is not going to impact the Latino vote in a local special election.
— February 12, 2014 10:05 a.m.

Neil Morgan dead at 89

This discussion once again calls attention to the myth of journalistic neutrality with the belief that there really were newspapers, editors and reporters with no bias, driven only by the common good. Neil's bias for San Diego was no secret, but it generally manifested itself in his column and on the editorial page, which are places where bias and opinion was expected and allowed in newspapers. Nowadays, though, electronic media (TV, internet), especially, have so blurred the lines that news consumers accept personal opinion as factual news. Neil thrived as a newspaper person in the era when, as a 2000 Harvard study noted, newspapers had a "concentration of readership among the more educated and affluent sections of society." He certainly moved comfortably among that group, and in San Diego, as in large percentage of medium and major markets, it was generally a conservative group. I only met Neil a couple of times while he was editor of the Trib, but based on that and my work in politics and public affairs, my impression was that personally he was more comfortable among the more liberal members of cafe society. Of course, I knew many Union and Tribune reporters of that day who I perceived as much more liberal than Neil. If there was a balance in the news it happened because their personal bias was tempered by their editor's balance which in turn was tempered by the Copley corporate bias. The journalistic stew that was Copley Press in its heyday gets a lot of bashing now, but it did what other newspapers did: reflected the prevailing local mindset. In DC the Post reflected the fact the local industry was government thinking it could solve all problems, the NY Times mirrored Wall Street and the arts. The LA Times might have stayed a bit more neutral than the others because of the vast economic and cultural diversity of what has been called "72 of suburbs in search of a city." Neil served his community as well as those Times and Post editors served theirs, and based on the crap that came out of Wall Street in recent years and the Federal government mess in DC, maybe San Diego fared a little better.
— February 3, 2014 10:29 a.m.

Super-rich buy newspapers, but...

"For some of these buyers...there are huge political and egotistical motivations that make controlling local news so attractive." Hasn't that pretty much ALWAYS been a key motivator for publishers, going back to the first newspapers? Certainly Bezos, in buying the Post, had to have been quite excited about becoming an instant power player in Washington. He surely didn't do it for the money. I would bet that a study of newspaper history would show that all the big newspapers were built by men (yes, it was men only in those days) with strong political views and even bigger egos. At some point the bean counters began to take over, but now that the papers aren't worth beans, they're being picked up people with an agenda other than profits. "Balanced reporting" is a bit of a myth and an oxymoron. Newspapers have agendas, editors have agendas, reporters have agendas and all of that plays into what stories are covered and they are covered. I was a newspaper junkie back in the days when you could visit most large cities and buy two or three daily newspapers, I edited and reported for papers, scrutinized their editorial policies as a political flak, and I can't see anything in the current UT that isn't pretty consistent with what I've seen in papers from coast-to-coast. The difference now is that San Diego has a vocal liberal community now and they have voices such as the Reader, Voice of San Diego and City Beat where they can feign surprise at their realization the daily newspaper has an editorial spin!
— November 6, 2013 5 p.m.

Land owner Stuck in the Rough puts up fencing in Escondido

"I have for many years heard of a legal doctrine called "hostile and flagrant occupancy" which recognizes that if one person is using and/or occupying the property of another for a long time and without trying to hide it, he gains the rights to the property… Stuck has no right to complain, nor to put the fence where those encroachments are located. Is some attorney able to further explore that idea?" The whole purpose of "Stuck" going to court is to get an impartial decision. They have every right to file a legal complaint and I'm sure their attorney knows that in some instances what they thought was theirs may no longer be theirs after if goes to court. As for, "Since all the land use issues will be decided in the courts, it's totally gratuitous to harass the local home owners..." the way it gets to the courts is for each side to file complaints on the issues they feel need to be adjudicated. Each side in a dispute has the right to find their own attorneys who are able to further explore" the issues and then present them to a judge or jury to decide who is right. What I am surprised is that the residents have not yet formed a group to try to buy the golf course, instead of just spending money on legal actions that in the end will not gain them rights to control property which is clearly not theirs, i.e. most of the golf course. The chain link fence and brown ex-golf course have already had a major impact on property values, but their attorneys probably have not advised them there's little if any precedent in the law for a court to order the golf course reopened, the sprinklers turned back on and the maintenance crews rehired. But, there's less money to be made for the attorneys by advising a sensible course, as opposed to the hourly fees that will accumulate in a long dragged-out court fight to try to gain control of property they don't own and are unwilling to purchase. At the end of the day, the only guaranteed winners are the lawyers. San Diego County is over-built with golf courses and I suspect this kind of land use issue will crop up elsewhere. In the far eastern part of the county we already have the once notable Rams Hills Golf Course in Borrego Springs sitting brown and decaying. I don't expect though that residents would try to buy the Stuck property as the vast majority could not even be bothered to become residents of the country club they now feel is essential to their home's value. I don’t blame them, as golf courses have fallen on hard times and closed throughout the country: if the residents tried to borrow money to buy the course, the lenders would advise on why it's a bad investment. Meanwhile I’m going to retain the homeowner's attorneys. When I look out my window there’s a fabulous vista of an undeveloped hillside. I don't know who owns it, but they should not have the right to build on it since that would harm my view and maybe make my house worth less than it is with a great view.
— October 28, 2013 10:45 a.m.

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