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Newly-elected City Attorney Jan Goldsmith is stepping up his political potshots even after being elected by a landslide, and even after being criticized for the practice by media who would normally be friendly. Goldsmith is doing so on the City website. Next to his picture he states, "During the past four years of turmoil, 125 experienced lawyers left the office...[which is] already over budget by $1.8 million; the office has been run more as a political operation than a law firm. The City has been harmed by withdrawal of legal advice as City staff has often had to guess or call friends for guidance. Those days are over." The posting of such gratuitous (and untrue) statements calls Goldsmith's intelligence -- not to mention his class -- into question. His predecessor, Mike Aguirre, certainly made mistakes, but he WAS trying to reform a thoroughly corrupt city. Throughout his campaign, Goldsmith let it be known that he will be friendly to the business establishment and municipal unions that poured money into his election. An intelligent person knows that Aguirre's problem was not that he was political; it was just the reverse. He took on both business and labor -- something almost no politicians do -- so they ganged up on him, along with fact-twisters and blatant liars at the Union-Tribune. By his own stupidity and hamhandedness, Goldsmith has destroyed his own honeymoon period already.

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Comments

JustWondering Dec. 10, 2008 @ 8:43 p.m.

One man's truth is another man's poison eh Don?

While Mr. Goldsmith may not have demonstrated the best interpersonal skills, I think we should give him some time to settle in before writing him off so quickly.

Sure it's may be true we'd like to see and hear more civil behavior but, the actually practice law in a competent, thoughtful and productive manner is the goal.

At this juncture in the city's history Mr. Goldsmith will have his opportunity to reveal what's behind the curtain soon. But let's all remember, the man has been in office for two, going on three days now. Even God took six days to create the earth and heavens and God didn't have to deal the with the devastation caused by Mr. Aguirre.

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Don Bauder Dec. 10, 2008 @ 8:52 p.m.

Response to post #1: Aguirre caused devastation among people who deserved it: city employees getting excessive salaries and benefits, and corporate welfare addicts sucking the city dry. Both sets of crooks have not gotten their just deserts, but I believe they will. Best, Don Bauder

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JohnnyVegas Dec. 10, 2008 @ 9:56 p.m.

While Mr. Goldsmith may not have demonstrated the best interpersonal skills, I think we should give him some time to settle in before writing him off so quickly.

Sorry, I knew all I need to know about Squirrel Head months ago.

He will be Casey Gwinn the second.

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Don Bauder Dec. 11, 2008 @ 6:58 a.m.

Response to post #3: He raked in funds from the Lincoln Club, Republican Party, developers and Big Labor, and got Union-Tribune support and succor, specifically to be Casey Gwinn II. He won't disappoint the crooks who put him in office. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering Dec. 11, 2008 @ 7:05 a.m.

"Response to post #1: Aguirre caused devastation among people who deserved it: city employees..."

Well if you are referring to the attorneys working in his office you're correct. Mr. Aguirre's one term legacy will read: he devastated his professional staff with intimidation, demoralized them with his rants and neutered the office's professional experience to the point where his successes were handled by outside counsel at considerable expense to the taxpayers.

I might even partially agree with prolific poster, Johnny Vegas, regarding Mr. Gwinn's focus and leadership during his two terms in office it was unacceptable and a major contributor to the conditions present today.

Let's hope the citizens of San Diego can rely on watchdogs like you, the Reader, the Voice of SD can keep us informed of the working of our new City Attorney.

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mythusmage Dec. 11, 2008 @ 9:31 a.m.

Things are coming to a head in San Diego. With the collapse of the housing market you will see a lot of construction projects being sold at a loss, where they're not abandoned out right. This means a loss of tax revenue, further degradation of our infrastructure, which will, in turn, mean a loss of industry and business. This leading to an overall decline in the quality of life, and a subsequent loss of population as people move out in search of a better life. To be honest with you, the only hope San Diego has is deflation. For housing in this town to gain any value prices overall have to fall.

Prices must fall, credit standards must be toughened, the emphasis in production must switch from quantity to quality, or the current mess will be repeated again and again. We either clear the brush from around the house, or the fire will burn it all to the ground. And the fire will come, that can't be avoided.

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Don Bauder Dec. 11, 2008 @ 9:55 a.m.

Response to post #5: Did you expect lawyers in the office to be happy? Aguirre was trying to get excessive city worker benefits -- that he believed had been granted illegally -- removed. Very few in city government were happy about that. Also, the lawyers he inherited were holdovers from the Gwinn regime. They could hardly work with a reformer. Similarly, my guess is that as many lawyers will leave under Goldsmith as left under Aguirre. Many of the Aguirre lawyers were at heart reformers; they will not be welcome under Goldsmith, who is returning the office to its traditional role as lackey to the real estate development industry and the politicians in its pocket. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Dec. 11, 2008 @ 9:58 a.m.

Response to post #6: The quality of life in San Diego is already declining severely. Look at the streets, sewers, libraries, etc. Services and the infrastructure are being sacrificed to pay down the pension debt, which resulted from corruption. Best, Don Bauder

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concernedcitizen77 Dec. 11, 2008 @ 12:50 p.m.

Goldsmith appears to be the handpicked candidate of the downtown establishment.

San Diego badly needs a "watchdog" who can keep the local and county officials and their wealthy sponsors ethical and legal.

Looks like all we have right now are Donna Frye and Don Bauder.

Maybe Don will consent to moving back to San Diego to run for Mayor!

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concernedcitizen77 Dec. 11, 2008 @ 1:06 p.m.

Could not find the blog on the local deficit and reform issues

Reforms?

Why are you giving this guy a free pass?

Didn't Carl DeMaio make millions of dollars on "no bid insider government consulting contracts" from the Bush Administration and then "sell his consulting business for millions to a high rolling Republican" who expects something in return for it?

Also, the so called "consulting contracts" are just recycled ideas that have been around for decades that he charged the Federal government and some Orange County governments millions for?

It is like charging the government and doing a report stating that they have a budget deficit and they better cut services or raise taxes.

We should outsource or have managed competition?

Really? No S**T Batman. We all know that already. Thank you for those very 1970's ideas Einstein!

What is this invoice for a few million dollars for?

"You are doing a great job Brownie".

If this guy is a reformer, then I'm Bono

Oh, and he parachuted in from Orange County and knows nothing about San Diego, but he believes he is an "expert" on San Diego too!

Please! Give us all a break!

I have solutions to balance the City budget deficits that will never see the light of day with Sanders, Goldsmith and company running the City.

Re open the contract negotiated under "conflict of interest" with the Padres John Moores (Petco Park) and with Qualcomm for the naming rights to Jack Murphy Stadium.

1)Padres should be paying the bond note of 15m-20m per year on Petco Park(there is no free lunch).

1a)If Moores needs cash or can't pay on the land that the City gifted to him, then deed it back to the City and resell it in 5 years when the market returns. (apply appreciation funds it to the pension deficit)

2)Qualcomm needs to pay "market value" for the naming rights to the football stadium which would raise an additional 20 million per year.

(18M for naming rights to a major stadium in a major city is a "gift" to Qualcomm that needs to be straightened out.

Ask the former Mayor Golding if that deal was a "pay to play deal"? She is over at Qualcomm as a VP.

3)Charge wealthy golfers at Rancho Sante Fe "market rates" for use of the City owned golf course plus any membership fees that are customary.

I am seeing at least 40-50 Million short term and perhaps much more long term just on these 3 items.

Give me a copy of the City budget and I will find lots more savings

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JF Dec. 11, 2008 @ 3:04 p.m.

Concerned, http://www.sandiego.gov/fm/annual/

And you're right about DeMaio. He bought houses in four different council districts just so he could pick a district he could win in. Wonder why he did that for a $75,000/year job?

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Don Bauder Dec. 11, 2008 @ 3:23 p.m.

Response to post #9: The city badly needs a watchdog but its citizens don't want one. As I said earlier, gullibility is ubiquitous in San Diego. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Dec. 11, 2008 @ 3:28 p.m.

Response to post #10: You have good ideas, but remember, in both the Chargers and Padres deals, the City got pitifully outlawyered. Casey Gwinn and his minions were no match for the law firms hired by Moores and Spanos. Their depredations are locked into airtight contracts. Neither would voluntarily give up a cent for San Diego. In fact, Moores has already vamoosed. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Dec. 11, 2008 @ 3:30 p.m.

Response to post #11: The next smear target of city employees with excessive pay and fringes will be DeMaio. You can see it coming. Best, Don Bauder

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JohnnyVegas Dec. 12, 2008 @ 8:47 a.m.

concernedcitizen77 = Government employee welfare queen.

BTW-although some of your "ideas" hold water most don't.

The Quaalcom naming rights deal was ABOVE MARKET rate when it was entered into in 1997-a 20 year deal (more than half way through now).

18 MILLION!! was the going rate back then for naming rights-but paying it ALL UPFRONT was not, so by paying upfront the deal was far above market.

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Visduh Dec. 12, 2008 @ 10:05 a.m.

In elaboration of Post #15:

There has been a high correlation between corporations failing, or at least delivering extremely disappointing results, shortly after they bought naming rights to a stadium, arena, or ballpark. (Something about "pride goeth before the fall".) When Qualcomm (the corporation) bought those rights, I got nervous.

Then when Irwin Jacobs arranged for his son to succeed him as the head of that corporation, I became even more concerned, and unloaded my stock. Let's watch Qualcomm (the corporation) for a couple more years to see if my concern was well founded.

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Don Bauder Dec. 12, 2008 @ 4:34 p.m.

Response to post #15: Let's give concernedcitizen77 a chance to go over that budget and find savings. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Dec. 12, 2008 @ 4:42 p.m.

Response to post #16: Yes, I have written lots on the corporations that buy naming rights and then go into the tank. Look at all these financial institutions. I wrote about that possibly 2 or 3 months ago. Now the government is pumping funds into many of these banks -- Citigroup, in particular -- that have bought naming rights. Taxpayers should be seething. By and large, naming rights are not an efficient advertising buy. The audience tends to be male and often redneck male. How many companies want to reach that market? Companies that spend big bucks on naming rights often have an ego problem; it's not an efficient marketing buy, but the real motivation is to rub shoulders with jocks and get the corporate name on the sports pages. Consider Petco. It's generally women who buy pet food and supplies. The Padres naming rights are a bad buy. Same is true with Minute Maid. And, of course, banks. Best, Don Bauder

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SanDiegan Dec. 13, 2008 @ 12:36 p.m.

Response to Don on #13: Slight disagreement re Casey Gwinn: while it's true only morons like OJ and I guess Jesse Jr. would hire Gwinn for anything, AND he undoubtedly was in fact legally "overmatched" in the stadium fiasco giveaway negotiations, my belief is that he did exactly what Mayor Susan and city manager Jack and the rest of the Republican cartel directed him to do - do whatever was The best for Moores and the sports/builders/business interests - City's best financial interests played no part in the "negotiations". Guess we were lucky Gwinn wasn't arround to expedite the public financing of a new stadium for the Spanos Cartel - but hey, we've got Judge Jan now to roll that one over us taxpayer fools. Best....

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JohnnyVegas Dec. 13, 2008 @ 3:18 p.m.

I agree with SanDiegan 100%.

I have said it before-those stadium deals could have never gone through the way they did unless someone was pulling strings.

A first year, no- make that a first semester, law student in Contracts I could have done a better job than what Casey Gwinn did.

The "naming" rights to Petco was 150 million and the Padres got ALL of it. Don't tell me that was not fixed.

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