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The League of Women Voters will use arguments once advanced by quintessential establishment members when it asks the city council's rules committee this morning (Feb. 3) to extend the trial period on the so-called "strong mayor" concept. The corporate welfare crowd, particularly developers, would like the matter rushed on to the ballot and the system made permanent. Voters initially approved the idea in 2004; among many things, budgeting functions would be consolidated under the mayor, who would not be on the council. The league strongly believes the trial period should be extended to 2014. "Extending the trial period would simply maintain the status quo, while giving voters adequate time to monitor the strong mayor system, without any disruption to city business," says the league. It says it borrowed "appropriate ballot language" from the final report of the 2007 Charter Review Committee. Some of its members: John Davies, Alan Bersin, Donna Jones, Mike McDade, Vincent Mudd, Duane Roth -- the very heart of the corporate welfare clique. Touche.

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Comments

Visduh Feb. 3, 2010 @ 8:28 a.m.

It is no surprise that today's U-T has an editorial that excoriates the city council for its decision to "delay putting the question on the June 8 ballot." The editorial claims that the council is "legally required" to do so by Prop F, which passed in 2004. That is an interesting claim, because it appears as if the League doesn't share that certainty of what is legally required.

Certainly, the establishment wants to see this system made permanent, since it means that it only needs to own one local politician in order to get its way. That one pol would be the mayor. Don, can you elaborate on the actual legal standing of putting this question on the ballot now, as opposed to four years from now?

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Don Bauder Feb. 3, 2010 @ 9:56 a.m.

Response to post #1: Agreed: the problem with strong mayor is that there would be fewer people for the establishment to bribe. I will return to this subject today when we learn what happens to the league's proposal. I don't know whether I will be addressing the legal question you pose at that time. I am on deadline on something now. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 Feb. 3, 2010 @ 11:34 a.m.

Don, too bad about the League of Women Voters' betrayal of San Diego voters.

I once respected them greatly, and didn't realize SDLWV had gone Neocon on us.

But then their former President Susan Davis has failed to represent We The People so incompetently she might as well be a card carrying Neocon because she has watched and done nothing for a decade while Neocons have literally committed treason against American Democracy, our Military Heroes and Patriots, and our economy.

Again, my arguments against the Strong Mayor concept in general, and Sanders specifically:

"Strong Mayor” Sanders has proven beyond all doubt that he is worst case scenario example of why San Diego must never elect another strong Mayor.

Some of “Strong Mayor” Sanders more outrageous acts of criminal negligence, corruption and incompetence that threaten all children and families in San Diego include:

o 2007 Firestorms killed far too many innocent people and destroyed far too much property due to Sanders’ refusal to provide adequate resources after lessons learned from the 2003 Murphy Firestorms, and his failures in leadership to coordinate firefighting resources with other California and Federal firefighting agencies. However he did create every possible opportunity to be on TV during the firestorms.

o Sanders caused San Diego's drinking water to become the 9th worst among the 100 largest U.S. cities as reported by you, making San Diego water virtually unsafe for human consumption.

o Continuing decimation of firefighting, and other public safety and health resources while enriching his personal fortune, and those of other San Diego Republican Party special interests and leaders at the expense of all San Diego taxpayers causing deficits go further out of control to the point where public safety and health are ever more gravely threatened for all San Diego families farther and farther into the future as long as his deficits remain out of control.

It is a shame that SDLWV has gone Neocon on us and betrayed Democracy just like the San Diego Republican Establishment has been doing for far too long.

God Help Our Children.

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Don Bauder Feb. 3, 2010 @ 7:55 p.m.

Response to post #3: You misunderstood. The League of Women Voters wants the strong mayor experiment extended. It does not want it made permanent, as the establishment does. To make its point, it took statements made by corporate welfarists -- a kind of sarcasm, satirical in a sense. The league is battling the drive to make strong mayor permanent. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 3, 2010 @ 8:08 p.m.

NOTE: The rules committee turned down the League of Women Voters's suggestion today and did not send to the city council the proposal that the voters be given a chance to vote on the extension of the strong mayor concept until 2014. A representative of the mayor chastised the league for purportedly trying to bring down the strong mayor concept and confuse the voters. Groups such as the Chamber of Commerce opposed the league's proposal. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard Feb. 4, 2010 @ 1:49 a.m.

The problem with debate about the "strong mayor" is that we have only seen weak divided government, and that was the backers intent, frightened as they were by a growing democratic consensus on the council, and in the city.

Instead of a strong mayor we have a very intelligent circus dog, that knows how to roll over, play dead, jump through hoops, and most importantly, cover his eyes with his paws. The public loves him, unsurprisingly.

We will get a strong mayor when we elect one.

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Don Bauder Feb. 4, 2010 @ 6:53 a.m.

Response to post #6: The backers of strong mayor are most enthusiastic about the 2/3rds override, which would make it almost impossible for the council to override a mayoral veto. What would happen if voters would elect a really strong mayor such as Donna Frye, who was not in the pockets of developers? The establishment would scramble to change the strong mayor concept. Best, Don Bauder

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a2zresource Feb. 4, 2010 @ 9:25 a.m.

RE #7:

Interesting... hadn't thought of that regarding someone like Ms. Frye! I assumed that she could not get elected unless there was some sort of real populist wave of political support that developers could not contain...

If such a wave did develop, knocking down a 2/3 veto provision once adopted might not be possible.

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Visduh Feb. 4, 2010 @ 12:11 p.m.

It is almost impossible to have any sort of grassroots or populist movement in San Diego due to voter apathy. Neither of the local newspapers would support it. It is also most unlikely that any of the broadcast media would like it either, except perhaps for talk radio. But it is not totally impossible. It would require a person with name recognition and of sterling reputation, and a crisis at city hall. The current mayor will make sure that any really bad news is hidden away until after his successor is chosen, lest a cascade of bad news bring out a real populist candidate.

This experiment in "strong mayor" with Sanders in the job proves nothing, because he isn't trying to run things for the good of the citizens. With the right person in the seat, it could be a means of getting right things done right. Each "reform" that the city of San Diego has undergone seems to have made the situation worse. First, they did away with city-wide elections of councilmen/women, and the council got even worse tunnel vision. Then came term limits, and things seemed to decline even more. Now there's this cockamamie "strong mayor" notion, and the city is nearing failure.

The League doesn't want to see this experiment made permanent for at least four more years. If it isn't stampeded through the electorate soon, its failings will become more obvious, and could actually fail at the ballot box in 2014. The current downward spiral of the city cannot be corrected by Sanders or anyone who just wants to do more of the same things that got it into this fix. Four more years, and the city will have crashed for sure.

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Don Bauder Feb. 4, 2010 @ 12:55 p.m.

Response to post #8: Remember, Donna Frye was elected mayor once. Then the establishment filed suit and a judge stole the election from her. Any mayoral candidate who actually stands up for the people will face such odds: first, he or she will be smeared by mainstream media, and second, a phony lawsuit could deprive the candidate of a victory. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 4, 2010 @ 12:58 p.m.

Response to post #9: Good points. The establishment will outspend any opposition by 100 to 1 or so -- the same ratio by which a mendicant owning a sports team outspends opposition to the taxpayer subsidy. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 Feb. 5, 2010 @ 2:20 p.m.

Response to post #4: "You misunderstood. The League of Women Voters wants the strong mayor experiment extended."

You misunderstood me Don, the "strong mayor experiment" MUST BE ENDED TODAY TO SAVE LIVES, HEALTH AND SAN DIEGO FROM FURTHER DESTRUCTION BY MAYOR SANDERS AND SAN DIEGO REPUBLICAN PARTY BETRAYALS.

The SDLWV is just as bad as the democrats in congress, they screw everything up regardless of what they want.

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Don Bauder Feb. 5, 2010 @ 9:51 p.m.

Response to post #12: My apologies. The league's desire to extend the experiment is vastly preferable to the establishment's desire to make it permanent in an upcoming election. Best, Don Bauder

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