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The group touting Proposition D, the so-called strong mayor initiative, have reported their donations and expenditures for the two months ended May 22. The election is June 8. The group is known as "San Diegans for Accountability at City Hall, Yes on D." For the year, more than $272,000 has been poured into this effort. (There is no organized opposition.) Here are some of the donors year to date: Ace Parking $5,000; Bridgepoint Education (see my column May 12 and blog item April 30) $16,000; Cox Communications (in donated air time) $38,920; Cricket Communications (Leap Wireless) $10,000; Irwin and Joan Jacobs $5,000 each; Oliver McMillan (real estate) $5,000; San Diego Association of Realtors $15,000; San Diego County Apartment Association $2,750; SeaWorld $1,500; Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek law firm $1,000; Sempra $10,000; Thomas Sudberry Jr. (real estate) $1,096; Sycuan Band (casino) $25,000, and Councilmember Carl DeMaio (slate mailer) $3,950.

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Comments

Anon92107 May 28, 2010 @ 2:21 p.m.

“San Diegans for Accountability at City Hall” is more appropriately known as “Elitists Who Want to Overthrow Democracy in San Diego” by perpetuating their rule with their personal Strong Mayor-Puppet like Sanders.

Sanders has been a disaster who keeps proving they want to perpetuate out of control destruction of San Diego by cutting funds to public health, fire and police safety, education, etc. to throw San Diego into chaos by overthrowing Democracy and the Rule of Law so they can continue commit larceny of public funds with impunity. Thus Sanders has earned nicknames such as "Nero", "Typhoid Jerry" and "Il Duce II"

The San Diego League of Women Voters has a longer list: http://www.lwvsandiego.org/

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SurfPuppy619 May 28, 2010 @ 3:11 p.m.

San Diego is so upside down from special interest money that I don't really think it matters who is in charge anymore-just more of the same.

Same for our state and nation.

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Visduh May 28, 2010 @ 4:01 p.m.

Why are Joan and Irwin Jacobs making contributions to things like this? They have been giving to the arts and other sorts of human welfare groups. This is just pure local politics, and I'd think it is time for those elders to eschew such campaigns.

Then there's the Indian money. When it suits their purposes, the tribes cite their sovereignty. Well, if they are sovereign and not part of the US exactly, they should not be allowed to put money or any other influence into elections outside the reservation. "Have your cake and eat it too" is the operating standard for the tribes in California. Just what does the Sycuan band figure to get out of this new power structure?

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Don Bauder May 28, 2010 @ 8:58 p.m.

Response to post #1: The "accountability" assertion is ridiculous. Under strong mayor, there will be less accountability, not more. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 28, 2010 @ 8:59 p.m.

Response to post #2: San Diego is a microcosm of the nation. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 28, 2010 @ 9:01 p.m.

Response to post #3: I checked to see if Irwin Jacobs is on the board of Leap, or a large investor. Couldn't determine that. Don't know why they are in the pot. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 28, 2010 @ 9:25 p.m.

Response to post #4: I like "Typhoid Jerry" myself. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell May 28, 2010 @ 11:27 p.m.

The Jacobs supposedly own a lot of real estate in San Diego, most likely anonymously though Delaware LLCs, just like John Moores. Do the Jacobs own a stake in the Padres? Nobody knows who actually owns the Padres. It's certainly possible that the Jacobs are owners. The Jacobs would certainly want a strong mayor The list of contributors may include the names of the investors who own the Padres.

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Burwell May 28, 2010 @ 11:49 p.m.

The Sycuan Development Corporation owns the US Grant Hotel and is involved in many real estate development projects. The Sycuan would certainly want a strong mayor to assist them with their real estate projects and any regulatory problems they might encounter. Under federal law and with the approval of Congress the Sycuan could legally annex the US Grant, or any other property outside their reservation, as Indian Tribal lands, and commence gambling operations. Allowing the Sycuan to turn the US Grant into a casino might be the only way to save downtown and fill the empty hotel rooms and condos with tourists.

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Don Bauder May 29, 2010 @ 6:40 a.m.

Response to post #9: I don't specifically know of real estate owned by Irwin Mark Jacobs and his wife. Nor do I know whether they have a piece of the Padres. Neither would surprise me. As you say, there are many reasons why this couple would want the strong mayor concept. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 29, 2010 @ 6:52 a.m.

Response to post #10: For several years I have suspected there would be some kind of maneuvering to put a casino downtown. It may be going on now. And what you cite will be the reason given: gambling will throw off taxes and save the hotels downtown. That same argument is hauled out for most corporate welfare: if a town or city is considering subsidizing a shopping center or a Wal-Mart or a hotel, for example, the promoters claim it will pay for itself through tax receipts. Look at the fatuous arguments the Chargers are using to get their $600 million-$800 million subsidy. In the more distant future, I believe, you will be able to go to a Padres or Chargers game and place a bet on the outcome at a window inside the stadium. Best, Don Bauder

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Grasca May 29, 2010 @ 7:29 a.m.

If you have the inside track with the Mayor, you want him to stay strong. Considering that no one has an exact accounting of the Mayor's staff and their salaries, the Mayor is also very private. The city used to have a directory of employees but that has not been published for years supposedly because of budget issues. I do recall that a UT refugee was hired by the Mayor to the tune of $140,000 to manage a newly created office of Special Projects. The connection between the Colonel (as in Sanders) and the UT would be an interesting one to explore.

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SurfPuppy619 May 29, 2010 @ 8:28 a.m.

The Sycuan Development Corporation owns the US Grant Hotel and is involved in many real estate development projects. The Sycuan would certainly want a strong mayor to assist them with their real estate projects and any regulatory problems they might encounter. Under federal law and with the approval of Congress the Sycuan could legally annex the US Grant, or any other property outside their reservation, as Indian Tribal lands, and commence gambling operations.

Hmmm...I didn't know Sycuan bought the US Grant... Amazing.

But they could not annex the Grant, and they certainly could not open a gambling den even if they did somehow annex the Grant.

This exact scenario played out in the teeny tiny Nor Cal town of San Pablo about 4 years ago, when some rinky dink "tribe" that had NO reservation and just (literally) a handful of members, tried to "annex" a small nickel and dime San Pablo "card club" and open the biggest urban casino in the nation. Needless to say, the plan was canned faster than a tuna factory operating at full capacity.

The public is onto the Native Anmerican (Vegas/NJ) gambling jig, and it is not healthy for the people who get caught up in it nor the surrounding areas that have to deal with the fallout of the financial losses of the residents through higher state social services. If anyone needs to know the dangers of gambling just look no further than this clown;

"Judge refuses to unfreeze Alfred Villalobos' assets"

A history of high-stakes gambling losses is cited as the main reason.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-0529-calpers-villalobos-20100529,0,1146300.story

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CuddleFish May 29, 2010 @ 10:57 a.m.

Don't know about being on to them, SurfPup, as the last ballot measure was approved by the voters, this despite the fact that they kicked all African Americans of Indian descent out of their tribes in order to keep casino money to themselves.

My understanding is the Jacobs own quite a lot of land in my community and are behind SEDC's latest push on redevelopment in the Imperial Dells study area.

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SurfPuppy619 May 29, 2010 @ 12:51 p.m.

this despite the fact that they kicked all African Americans of Indian descent out of their tribes in order to keep casino money to themselves.

This is really a sad sign, when the Indians get to the point that they are booting their own out of their tribe over nothing but money-their ancestors are probably rolling over in their graves right now.

At odds with a tribe I saw on TV who had their land stolen back in the 1800's (all of them had their land stolen) as the west was settled, and the USA paid them some money, in the millions, and the tribe refused to take the money, they wanted their land. Now, till this day over 100 years later, this tribe STILL hasn't taken the money.

I think it was the Sioux, but will have to look into it.

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jv333 May 29, 2010 @ 5:03 p.m.

the Mayor needs to be back on the City Council...and we need a sharp, honest, accessible financial administrator with enhanced transparency and accountability. (or am i dreaming?)

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CuddleFish May 29, 2010 @ 5:38 p.m.

Well you just hit on my sentiments exactly, jv333. (How soon they forget what happened under McGrory.) BOTH systems are flawed. And I think the Strong Mayor idea was a good one in theory, but in practice, had its good and bad points. It was used as it was supposed to be used, but also as it was not supposed to be used. On balance, seems like it's a wash.

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a2zresource May 29, 2010 @ 6:41 p.m.

Ouch... somebody mentioned SEDC... probably a good thing that their 5-year plan ran into a roadblock, even if only temporary.

The strong mayor elements of Prop. D would have been more palatable if the powers-that-be had split the question into two separate ballot issues. There's no way I'm voting to add another council seat. The developers ought to consider that a favor, as there would be less campaign contributions for them to make.

Personally, I think we could get by with a city council of one, somebody to spin the wheel of fate...

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Don Bauder May 29, 2010 @ 7:38 p.m.

Response to post #13: It was Gerry Braun who left the UT and took a $140,000 a year post with an amorphous job description with the mayor. Braun was a very good columnist, writer, and reporter -- one of the few at the UT. I hated to see him go to the dark side as a flack for a thoroughly dishonest mayor. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 29, 2010 @ 7:41 p.m.

Response to post #14: I thought that tribe got away with the caper near SF. Maybe I was misinformed. If it didn't work, I'm glad. But wait: you will see casino gambling in downtown San Diego, although not right away. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 29, 2010 @ 7:43 p.m.

Response to post #15: I am not aware of that alleged real estate ownership in your area. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 29, 2010 @ 7:47 p.m.

Response to post #16: The casinos have lifted many Native Americans out of poverty, but lowered them to our status: greedy. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 29, 2010 @ 7:48 p.m.

Response to post #17: You're dreaming. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 29, 2010 @ 7:49 p.m.

Response to post #18: Strong mayor is not a wash. It's a slough. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 29, 2010 @ 7:53 p.m.

Response to post #13: With strong mayor, you not only get a new council district for a million dollars a year, you get a 2/3rds vote needed to override a mayor's veto. This means the downtown real estate barons, who control the politicians already, will have even more control, and San Diego will continue to go in exactly the wrong direction. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 May 29, 2010 @ 8:24 p.m.

the Mayor needs to be back on the City Council...and we need a sharp, honest, accessible financial administrator with enhanced transparency and accountability. (or am i dreaming?)

You're dreaming....

Let's just hope you don't dream of Jack McGrory, b/c that is a nightmare.

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David Dodd May 29, 2010 @ 10:08 p.m.

My understanding of Prop. D is that in opposing it, the strong-Mayor isn't overturned, it's simply not necessarily permanent. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with a strong-Mayor system, so long as the City Council has a reasonably easy way to override the Mayor's veto and limit his/her power. The McGrory years were bad, it simply took the power from the Mayor and put it in the hands of the City Manager. I would vote no on D and recommend rather than a new Council district be invented, that perhaps they combine some of them. Less Government equals less taxpayer expense and less City debt.

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Don Bauder May 29, 2010 @ 11:06 p.m.

Response to post #27: McGrory was bad, but I think the financial side of the City now may be worse. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 29, 2010 @ 11:12 p.m.

Response to post #28: With a new council district, it would take 2/3rds to override a mayoral veto. So it would not be easy to override the veto. I don't know that combining districts would lead to less government. It would depend on the predilections of the remaining councilmembers. Also, the possibility of mischief in drawing the new districts bothers me. Gerrymandering could cause grave problems. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 May 30, 2010 @ 8:20 a.m.

McGrory was bad, but I think the financial side of the City now may be worse.

Yes the City is worse off today-as a direct and proximate result of McGrory's pension increases.

ALL of our troubles flow from Jack and his magic beans (aka free pension money paid out in the future after Jack is long gone)

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Don Bauder May 30, 2010 @ 6:36 p.m.

Response to post #31: McGrory now lives in luxury. Last I checked, it was Rancho Santa Fe. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 May 31, 2010 @ 8:26 a.m.

McGrory now lives in luxury.

Makes you sick to your stomach, doesn't it.

Here is a loser who single handedly (with help from one or two others) essentially bankrupted a major metro city, and then "retires" with a close to $200K/year pension, goes to work for one of his crony buddies making probably more than his pension- and now lives in one of the most expensive zip codes (top 5) in the entire U.S.

Now, if that does not show how upside down gov employment/managment is, then nothing does.

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MURPHYJUNK May 31, 2010 @ 9:29 a.m.

just goes to show the "good o'l boy system) is alive and well, and has lots of backing by its members

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Don Bauder May 31, 2010 @ 6:58 p.m.

Response to post #33: He went with Sol Price, working for several of the Price enterprises. It's my understanding he left the board of PriceSmart last summer. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 31, 2010 @ 6:59 p.m.

Response to post #34: Alive, yes. Well? No. At least not mentally well. Best, Don Bauder

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historymatters May 31, 2010 @ 11:47 p.m.

You are awesome Don! You totally nailed it on this one. And as a side note how in the world can we trust a mayor that was (maybe still is) on a consulting firm for Blackwater...Willows LLC.

If people dont get the MAJOR developer connection w/ the mayor then at least get the part where he is super cozy w/ Blackwater. How scary to have a Strong Mayor that supports Blackwater and all their plans to build training facilities here.

Don Id like to see you look into th Redevelopment agencies and their special powers. It is the cities latest and probably greates scam. All they have to do is say a project is in a redevelopment agency and bam they get to take the property tax revenues and literally hand them to developers to build housing (as long as they put some benevolent sounding word on it like "AFFORDABLE HOUSING" OR SENIOR HOUSING ETC.)

Look at the latest project planned on El Cajon and Alabama street. They are getting 5 million dollars of tax money to build a 5 story giant building. HUGE profits.

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historymatters May 31, 2010 @ 11:54 p.m.

I wrote about the North Park Redevelopment Agency last week because they are about to slaughter another block of craftsmans w/ our money. 12 craftsmans were destroyed on Florida street for another HUGE affordable housing project. the developers got 3.8 million in property tax revenues to do it.

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/ive-got-issues/2010/may/16/eminent-domain-your-tax-dollars-slated-to-demolish/

Anyway, please keep up the blogging on D. You are so right on and its a shame to see so many papers like Citybeat selling out to developers, but then again they always have.

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CuddleFish June 1, 2010 @ 12:03 a.m.

Or maybe they just aren't as paranoid. ;)

By the way, my understanding is the Redevelopment Corporations are corporations, not agencies. Only the City Council is a Redevelopment Agency.

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Don Bauder June 1, 2010 @ 6:18 a.m.

Response to post #37: I have written for several years that redevelopment is grossly abused, redevelopment areas are often NOT blighted, CCDC should be abolished, the downtown real estate industry runs the politicians and keeps redevelopment abuse going at the expense of the rest of the city, etc, etc. Yes, maybe I should do more. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 1, 2010 @ 6:23 a.m.

Second response to post #37: Please send more on Willows LLC and Blackwater. Matt Potter and I wrote about Willows several years ago. I, for one, did not know a Blackwater connection. Please email me at don.bauder@mac.com. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 1, 2010 @ 6:26 a.m.

Response to post #38: Craftsman homes are beautiful. San Jose, for one, is lined with them. Why tear them down for development? Answer: to line the pockets of developers, who control this feckless, clueless mayor. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 1, 2010 @ 6:28 a.m.

Response to post #39: The redevelopment agency is the city council. CCDC is supposed to report to it. But CCDC has always resembled a rogue operation. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard June 1, 2010 @ 11:49 a.m.

This "Strong Mayor" proposal actually hamstrings our city government by bureaucratic boondoggle. The deck chairs on the Titanic cliche' would be apt, except some are actively helping the city to sink into bankruptcy to serve their personal goals, purchases at depressed prices of the cities precious real estate portfolio.

Comparisons with Nero and Il Duce' are not apt, these flawed but epic figures were nobody's stooge. Jerry Sanders is mayor because he is weak, and the city will go bankrupt for the same reason so many died in the San Ysidro massacre, where Sanders misdirected, dithering in the face of obvious disaster.

We need a consensus and strong leadership to confront the city's problems, the "Strong Mayor" proposal divides and weakens our city government, adding bureaucrats when public bathrooms are closed from lack of money, and our sewer lines are at constant risk. The smell of bad government is real.

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Don Bauder June 1, 2010 @ 12:40 p.m.

Response to post #44: SEDC should be reformed or closed because of corruption. But it doesn't have the raw clout and arrogance of CCDC. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 1, 2010 @ 12:44 p.m.

Response to post #45: Agreed. Strong mayor divides and weakens city government. It gives the downtown real estate establishment even more power. Under strong mayor, San Diego will continue to go in the wrong direction (unless you think that cutting back on fire protection to accommodate a $700 million or $800 million subsidy to the Chargers is acceptable.) Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 June 1, 2010 @ 9:04 p.m.

What is your opinion of SEDC?

LOL....... :)...... About the same as the CCDC, our public employee pensions and KFC Sanders :)

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SurfPuppy619 June 1, 2010 @ 9:12 p.m.

RE: strong mayor.

I don't think it will make any difference. Special interest money so permeates the Cities management and processes that it makes little to no difference.

To fix gov we need to control the amount of $$$$ going in to the officials. $$$$ buys undue influence, and undue influence makes for bad government.

This is the very reason I was so upset with the SCOTUS and the recent Citizens United decision (Citizens United and Kelo v New London are IMO the two worst SCOTUS decisions in the last 40 or 50 years).

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SurfPuppy619 June 1, 2010 @ 9:13 p.m.

Hey-did anyone know we can now EDIT our posts!!!!

Just noticed that!

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Don Bauder June 1, 2010 @ 9:30 p.m.

Response to post #48: The difference between SEDC and CCDC is that SEDC got caught. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 1, 2010 @ 9:33 p.m.

Response to post #49: Yes, the New London decision was very bad. Let me toss this out: in an even worse decision, SCOTUS ruled that corporations have First Amendment rights, like people. OK. So let's throw the top brass of BP -- all people -- in prison on that basis. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 1, 2010 @ 9:34 p.m.

Response to post #50: Shhhh. I just let my typos go unless they are in a headline or change the meaning of a sentence. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 June 1, 2010 @ 10:27 p.m.

SCOTUS ruled that corporations have First Amendment rights, like people. OK. So let's throw the top brass of BP -- all people -- in prison on that basis.

Oh, I agree 100%.

Corporations are not people and should NOT have the same rights as people-they are artificial entities and that should never be forgotten. Citizens United is really just an expansion of that very concept.

I interviewed trial attorney Gerry Spence when I was in law school (for the law school newspaper), and he too said that decision was one of the worst decisions from the SCOTUS in recent times. So you’re in good company with that view. I don’t recall the case off hand, but think it was when Douglas was on the court in the 50’s…….

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Don Bauder June 2, 2010 @ 6:43 a.m.

Response to post #54: I was alluding to the recent decision giving corporations human rights in political fundraising. I did not know that there was an antecedent case. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard June 2, 2010 @ 10:04 a.m.

The money trail might lead us to despair, but despair is not American so close to an election. This blog seems agreed on the strong smelling mayor proposal, and a close vote on this issue could send a message. More importantly perhaps, there are council races. I like Steve Hadley, he knows that the city faces real money problems.

Who else? Will any other council candidate do arithmetic?

Apathy, not money, is the real enemy. Turnout for our city elections is shockingly low. Those who think their vote is worthless should reflect that millions are spent on negative ads designed to keep them home. When we don't vote the millionaires who buy these negative ads win.

Vote. Nothing else can save this city.

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CuddleFish June 2, 2010 @ 4:14 p.m.

Response to post #48: The difference between SEDC and CCDC is that SEDC got caught. Best, Don Bauder

By dbauder 9:30 p.m., Jun 1, 2010

Don't you mean their chief executives were caught? Do you believe that the entire organization is corrupt? SEDC claims to have changed their culture, acknowledges mistakes were made. Do you think that's just lip service, or have they actually changed in their self-interest? My understanding is the current interim President, Trotier, won't get hired because he clashes too often with the City. There are people at SEDC who are progressive.

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Don Bauder June 3, 2010 @ 6:15 a.m.

Response to post #56: Agreed. People should vote. And vote against Prop D, or the city will continue headed in exactly the wrong direction -- the money will be steered downtown and toward housing development while the infrastructure rots, neighborhoods are neglected, services (including fire protection) wilt. Best, Don Bauder

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