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Nancy Graham, former head of Centre City Development Corp. now under investigation by the Ethics Commission, claimed yesterday that "I had a spotless record" before coming to San Diego. The Union-Tribune printed her assertion apparently without searching the record. I did a Reader column on Graham Nov. 23, 2005, just before she took the job in San Diego. Graham had been mayor of West Palm Beach, Florida. She was out of office when her successor, Lois Frankel, a former political ally, charged that Graham "had a conflict or an appearance of a conflict" between her public and private real estate deals. Frankel charged that Graham was too cozy with developer Related Group. George Bennett of the Palm Beach Post noted back in 2005 that Graham "raised eyebrows when she left office by taking a job leading the Palm Beach County division" of a major real estate developer. Then she formed a development consulting firm with her husband (now ex-husband). During the same period, she headed the Downtown Development Authority. After she got to CCDC in San Diego, there was an investigation into whether she had used her influence to get the same developer, Related Group, get a fat contract downtown.

While mayor of West Palm Beach, her signature contract was done by Related. Then, in the private sector, she did a Related project with her then-husband. In my column of November, 2005, I ruminated that Graham would be perfect for San Diego because "she thinks her snug relationship with developers is an asset."

Just recently, Jose Lambiet, a columnist for the Palm Beach Post, discussed the Ethics Commission investigation: " Former West Palm Beach Mayor Nancy Graham is likely to be fined a whopping $170,000 for exporting to San Diego our area's special brand of corruption."

I continue to believe that Graham was hired in San Diego BECAUSE of her cozy relationships with developers, and her refusal to acknowledge that they constitute conflicts. Don't expect the Ethics Commission to look into that.

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Comments

David Dodd May 21, 2010 @ 9:03 a.m.

"The Union-Tribune printed her assertion apparently without searching the record."

Shocking. I can't imagine the Union-Tribune not being thorough in its investigative reporting in the last decade or so, otherwise they wouldn't be as successful as they now are.

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Don Bauder May 21, 2010 @ 9:42 a.m.

Response to post #1: Pat, about four years ago, as I recall, you had an item about all the trouble she had gotten into in Florida. It's like Doris Day: we knew her before she was a virgin. Do you agree with me that she was hired by CCDC BECAUSE of her disdain for conflict of interest rules in Florida? The CCDC claimed it checked her out completely. I believe it did, and found her shabby past perfect for San Diego. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 21, 2010 @ 9:48 a.m.

Response to post #2: I have to say 3 things as devil's advocate for the U-T: 1. With all the cutbacks, reporters often don't have time to check the files; 2. In the emphasis on hiring people who will take low salaries, some inexperienced people are doing the reporting and editing; 3. Often, you can't blame the reporter. It's an editor who is leaving out important information to suck up to his/her boss. Best, Don Bauder

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nativesd May 21, 2010 @ 10:06 a.m.

Don, if I'm not mistaken, the U-T at one point reported Graham's controversial actions from Florida. So all a reporter had to do is check the paper's own archives. Is that too much to ask? (rhetorical) But the overall historical amnesia about so many San Diego issues that now pervades U-T reporting shouldn't be a surprise, given the editor himself is an interloper from Orange County with no knowledge at all about the SD region. It's too bad that you can't physically pick up a copy of the paper in Colorado but have to rely on electronics: Only the paper product can reveal the incredible "gee-whiz" quality of the stories put out on the front page. Real news is too often now dumped inside or into the B section, be it local or non-local.

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Don Bauder May 21, 2010 @ 10:21 a.m.

Response to post #5: Before I wrote the item, I quickly checked who had written about Graham's Florida antics. Pat Flannery had done so -- not surprisingly; he's very good. It seems to me that the Voice had written about her Florida past, too. You may be right that the U-T had written about it. With all humility, I must take a bow: I wrote about her shabby Florida adventures before she even got to San Diego. In any case, the U-T reporter should have checked the files or perhaps the paper's own archives. This neglect of local history is greatly a reflection of the factors I discuss above, in my opinion: 1. lack of time because of the layoffs; 2. inexperience; 3. editors afraid to ruffle the feathers of bosses. Best, Don Bauder

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patflannery May 21, 2010 @ 1:07 p.m.

Don: read my blog about Nancy Fay of The Reader and a key email exchange between Nancy Graham and CCDC Director Kim Kilkenny. http://www.blogofsandiego.com/BlogArchives/2008-3rd-Quarter.htm#08/31/08

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Don Bauder May 21, 2010 @ 3:12 p.m.

Response to post #7: This is must reading, because it tells so much about San Diego. I think your question tells it all: Did Nancy Graham bring Related to San Diego or did Related bring Nancy Graham to San Diego? Best, Don Bauder

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MURPHYJUNK May 22, 2010 @ 8:44 a.m.

"once a whore, always a whore" pretty much deifies her ( and most politicians IMHO)

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SurfPuppy619 May 22, 2010 @ 1:22 p.m.

Shocking. I can't imagine the Union-Tribune not being thorough in its investigative reporting in the last decade or so, otherwise they wouldn't be as successful as they now are.

By refriedgringo

hahhahaha......I think they did indeed check the record- but left out some key pieces of that search :)

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Visduh May 22, 2010 @ 1:31 p.m.

The failure to vet out-of-town candidates for the biggest jobs in the area isn't limited to the city of San Diego, nor the CCDC and other such agencies. The failure to investigate and report on these interlopers by the newspapers and other media is epidemic. How many of the carpet-bagger school superintendents have ever been checked out prior to their being hired? Painfully few. One reason for all the turnover in those positions is that school boards find out they've hired a snake instead of a savior. But there is little learning taking place, and the desire to hire after an expensive "national search" continues unabated. In recent years not only the San Diego city schools have made such a mistake, but so have Oceanside and Vista and a host of others. So, why do these boards keep screwing this up? Laziness and a desire to let some search firm do the dirty work. Only the search firms don't do the dirty work--they leave it undone. And the newspapers don't go looking for something bad to say about a candidate.

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Don Bauder May 22, 2010 @ 3:29 p.m.

Response to post #9: You surely must not have meant "deifies." You must have meant "defines." Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 22, 2010 @ 3:31 p.m.

Response to post #10: Somebody wrote in and said that even the U-T had written a story referring to her dubious past in Florida. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 22, 2010 @ 3:36 p.m.

Response to post #11: Good points. But I must repeat: CCDC insisted it did a thorough search. If so, it is impossible that it did not come up with the charges of conflict of interest against her in Florida. They were all over the papers in 2005. I stick by what I have said: the CCDC saw that she was a loose lady on conflict of interest questions and figured that she would be perfect for San Diego. Why isn't somebody investigating CCDC on its search? You know why. Best, Don Bauder

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MURPHYJUNK May 24, 2010 @ 8:27 a.m.

Response to post #12

don't they all think they are little gods?

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Don Bauder May 24, 2010 @ 9:15 a.m.

Response to post #15: Good point. Maybe "deifies" was the intended word -- and the right one. Best, Don Bauder

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Grasca May 24, 2010 @ 10:08 a.m.

Lady Macbeth has a similar problem with spot and spotlessness.

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Grasca May 24, 2010 @ 10:10 a.m.

Is the UT "successful" as one reader asserts ... tongue in cheek of course. Even my fish refuse to be wrapped in UT paper so I cancelled my subscription years ago.

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Don Bauder May 24, 2010 @ 10:24 a.m.

Response to post #17: Lady Macbeth and her husband were ambitious, Machiavellian, and in a hurry to achieve their goals. Would CCDC have hired them? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 24, 2010 @ 10:26 a.m.

Response to post #18: Did your canaries refuse to use it, too? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 24, 2010 @ 10:27 a.m.

Response to post #19: Not you, Cuddles. Best, Don Bauder

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Grasca May 24, 2010 @ 10:34 a.m.

The former Border Czar is being considered for an important position so I suppose if Lord and Lady Macbeth were around to apply for a government job, their resumes would be spotless and earn them a top spot. I sent my canaries to City hall for a Council meeting and they never came back. I heard it was the gas that got them.

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CuddleFish May 24, 2010 @ 12:24 p.m.

Oooh Grasca, you pinched that from me! ;)

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Grasca May 24, 2010 @ 2:17 p.m.

The noxious gas metaphor was so apt that I must confess a fish led me to it. I do envision the council members perched on 3 legged stools letting the fumes (perhaps not gas) rise upwards and helping the dears make decisions. The mayor, no doubt, has the executive 3 legged stool model in his chambers because he is strong and possesses a hearty girth.

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Don Bauder May 24, 2010 @ 9:28 p.m.

Response to post #23: That's why they lower canaries into coal mines. Can you imagine the dead canaries in Congress? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 24, 2010 @ 9:29 p.m.

Response to poset #24: One of the hazards of being cuddly is getting pinched. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 24, 2010 @ 9:32 p.m.

Response to post #25: I am not sure a three-legged stool would hold hizzoner. Best, Don Bauder

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Grasca May 24, 2010 @ 10:38 p.m.

Perhaps a Special Edition Lazy Boy chair might be adequate for the task at hand ?

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CuddleFish May 24, 2010 @ 10:54 p.m.

Response to poset #24: One of the hazards of being cuddly is getting pinched. Best, Don Bauder

By dbauder 9:29 p.m., May 24, 2010

Ooooooh, Don, how you do go on!

fluttering eyelashes

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Don Bauder May 25, 2010 @ 6:19 a.m.

Response to post #29: I suggest a chair wired to give him an electric shock every so often, to remind him of San Diego's fiscal condition. Or, I should say, INFORM him, not remind him. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 25, 2010 @ 6:21 a.m.

Response to post #30: Bat those fluttering eyelashes again. I fall for them every time. Best, Don Bauder

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Grasca May 25, 2010 @ 8:06 a.m.

The SPCA might object to the hot wired Easy Boy chair.

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Don Bauder May 25, 2010 @ 8:34 a.m.

Response to post #33: The SPCA doesn't object to euthanasia, neutering, or spaying. Why should it object to an occasional electric jolt to a politician who wants to avoid all problems until he gets out of office? Best, Don Bauder

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Grasca May 25, 2010 @ 8:47 a.m.

The porcine politico might seek further compensation if he were disabled in any discernible fashion by the electric shock. Then the taxpayers would foot the bill for a special election and need an interim strong mayor. Enter Ms. Graham who comes with credentials or so I hear.

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CuddleFish May 25, 2010 @ 9:52 a.m.

"Reader Steals, our daily online certificates - the easiest way to support the Reader website.

Thursday glam it up with $99 for $240 Eyelash Extensions at Kailani Blue."

I should take advantage of this Reader Steal Deal! Make the fluttering eyelash trick even more effective!

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Don Bauder May 25, 2010 @ 11:27 a.m.

Response to post #35: I hadn't thought of that. Make Nancy Graham mayor. She would fit right in with ones from the recent past. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 25, 2010 @ 11:31 a.m.

Response to post #37: By all means, take advantage of Reader Steals. Best, Don Bauder

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nan shartel May 25, 2010 @ 12:14 p.m.

ya know all this makes me long for the Machiavelli era

specially that part about ABSOLUTE POWER

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Don Bauder May 25, 2010 @ 1:49 p.m.

Response to post #41: Isn't EVERY era a Machiavelli era? In "The Prince," Machiavelli eloquently stated some truths that had been in effect for centuries before, remain in effect today, and will be in effect many centuries from now. Best, Don Bauder

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nan shartel May 27, 2010 @ 5:33 a.m.

42

that's why i cling to Pooh Don

and just think..we enter this world as innocent guileless creatures and receive all the homey educations about values and such~~sigh~~i'll be spending my time in the thousand acre woods today

cheerie bye

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Don Bauder May 27, 2010 @ 7:12 a.m.

Response to post #43: Yes, our parents and teachers tell us that if we are honest and work hard, we will succeed. As young adults, we figure out that it's just the reverse: those who make it big figure out how crooked the system is, and go along with it. They learn that licking boots is far more important than working hard. Once we understand how the world really works, we then have to make the decision: do we join the crooks or do we fight them? Best, Don Bauder

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a2zresource May 27, 2010 @ 10:37 a.m.

RE #7 linked material:

"Some time before April 9, 2008 a person called 'Joe' wrote a long email to Tim McClain, Editor of San Diego Metropolitan Magazine, attaching lengthy cuttings from various newspapers in Miami, Las Vegas and LA."

"Obviously 'Joe' is a little naive about how San Diego's establishment works. Instead of investigating it McLain forwarded the email to William Jones, the San Diego developer at the center of the scandal. Jones passed it on to Graham who shared it with CCDC Board members. Nice work McLain. That's why the establishment loves you. You're their guy."


Ouch.

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Visduh May 27, 2010 @ 12:27 p.m.

San Diego is indeed a strange city. People are hired to run things, not in spite of their crookedness, but because of it. At least when Chicago ran that way, the voters knew who was really in charge. (For those who are too young to remember it, that was the "strong" mayor, Richard Daley, or his predecessors, or his successors.) Here in SD, few residents, even lifelong residents, really understand who is running the show. Those innocents still think their votes for mayor, city council, and such offices make a difference. Poor fools.

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nan shartel May 27, 2010 @ 12:58 p.m.

44

there's one other choice Don...a romp thru 100 acre woods with Pooh and i

lace up those Nike's fella and i'll meet ya at piglet's house

we can plan the overthrow of the corrupt culture there...or just drink beer

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Don Bauder May 27, 2010 @ 1:46 p.m.

Response to post #45: That is so typically San Diego. It seems to me that McClain was, or is, a regular on the KPBS radio show Editor's Roundtable. Another was Bob Kittle. All the purported editors were (are) basically establishment lackeys. Pathetic. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 27, 2010 @ 1:52 p.m.

Response to post #46: Some local journalist -- I don't remember who -- was complaining recently that there was no official opposition to Prop. D. Of course. Anyone who opposes establishment thievery (Frye, Aguirre, Henderson, Shipione, Shea to name a few) gets smeared. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 27, 2010 @ 1:54 p.m.

Response to post #47: I'd rather hop through the copse on Kanga's back. Best, Don Bauder

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nan shartel May 27, 2010 @ 2:42 p.m.

ur way to big for lil Kanga u silly sycophant...not to be confused with a comical heffalump...u just need that soft place to travel in huh

just like a man!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRGipeCSyJ4

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Don Bauder May 27, 2010 @ 4:47 p.m.

Response to post #52: Is Tigger big enough to support me? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 27, 2010 @ 4:49 p.m.

Response to post #52: You can't speel but you can spiel. Best, Don Bauder

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