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Democratic California Lt. Gov Gavin Newsom has fired off a letter to San Diego architect and state Historic Preservation Officer Mildford Wayne Donaldson, criticizing Donaldson for questioning the Plaza de Panama plan, that controversial traffic and parking makeover of Balboa Park.

In the letter, dated February 15, Newsom says, "After a recent visit to San Diego, I became aware of the proposed Plaza de Panama project."

He lauds the plan as "a shining example of what we can do to improve our communities when private and public parties come together with the shared goal of preserving California's history."

Turning to Donaldson, Newsom says, "this is a project with broad local political, philanthropic and community support so it may be more productive to work in collaboration with the project development team to achieve your goal of preserving this historical open-space.

"As the State Historic Preservation Officer I hope that you will consider these arguments, withdraw your comments, and begin to work in collaboration with the leaders of the Plaza dePanama project."

"Should you need help making contact with the project team I stand ready to assist."

Of course, Newsom, who has his eye on the governorship, which will require millions of dollars in campaign donations to obtain, may not be the most unbiased observer.

In September of last year, according to an account in the Daily Californian, he announced "creation of a work group designed to discuss funding for students throughout California’s higher education system."

Top "private sector" member: Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs, who is also the money and political clout behind the Balboa Park plan critiqued by Donaldson.

And, though Newsom doesn't mention Jacobs in the letter, the La Jolla billionaire gave $5,000 to the then San Francisco mayor's campaign for lieutenant governor in October 2010.

The missive came to light after a link to it was tweeted late this afternoon by a representative of the press office of the mayor, which is promoting the park makeover plan.

Pictured: Gavin Newsom

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Comments

InOmbra March 2, 2012 @ 6:43 p.m.

"a link to it was tweeted late this afternoon by a representative of the press office of the mayor" That would be Rachel Laing, deputy press secretary to Sanders,who is paid by the taxpayers of this city supposedly to do SOMETHING of use, but who instead spends a large part of her workday tweeting useless personal comments to her friends.

Glad she was of some use in exposing yet another person in Jacobs' pocket. Stick to your guns, Mildford!

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Hardcover March 2, 2012 @ 8:27 p.m.

Who told him that this project had popular public support? Probably the same guy that gave him $5000, I can't imagine anyone else so delusional as to believe that.

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Activist March 3, 2012 @ 12:39 a.m.

Newsome wants to run for governor and doesn't know that 80% of the San Diego public oppose Jacobs/Sanders bypass bridge? I do concede he is another politician who will sell himself to campaign donors like Irwin Jacobs. By attacking Wayne Donaldson, Newsome obviously knows nothing about the Department of Interiors Guidelines for historical preservation as applicable to the Western entrance to Balboa Park.

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Twister March 3, 2012 @ 6:01 a.m.

"Nine-tenths of the hell being raised in this world is well-intentioned." --Anonymous

People who are above the grit of everyday life, who enjoy such a degree of freedom from want, that they can afford to indulge themselves in all sorts of fantasies--beginning with the illusion of themselves as Great Benefactors (GB's). They really do BELIEVE their own echoes, their own image of themselves as omniscient gifts of God. They know that what is mere pocket change to them is an unfathomable largess to the rest of us, the Great Unwashed Untouchables (GUU's), the masses which they suffer to come unto them. They can buy lackeys cheap, and goons even cheaper. This is the very NATURE OF POWER!

How DARE we, the GUU, express anything but adulation and supplicant gratitude for the generous offer of the GB's? Can't we see the brassy dedication plaque now, engraved and sculpted with grand words of gratitude and the image of the generous donor, willing to "give back" to the community, not shelter for the homeless, not even a few seedy bunks that would bring shame upon the prison system in a temporary tent proffered well after first frost? No, this timeless gift of supreme generosity will last for generations after the benefactor is dead, dead, dead (as Judge Roy Bean would say). Just what form of pfantasy, from Pharaoh to philanthropist, really believes that the grander the monument the grander the benefactor?

Look, folks, you just don't understand. These folks, the filthy rich and their lackeys and goons who envision that they, too, by rubbing elbows at court, and thus transformed into "greatness," rather than serve, in the view of their GB, as expedient fronts for the GB's dirty work passed off as "civic" duty. No, they really, really BELIEVE that there is no picture of themselves behind some curtain that reflects the nature of their sold souls. (Thanks to Oscar Wilde, who saw this phenomenon in the 19th century.)

Now here, today, we have Matt Potter, in the spirit of the lad who pointed out that the Emperor's golden raiments were illusionary, and the Emperors really was naked.

Continued . . .

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Twister March 3, 2012 @ 6:04 a.m.

Continued . . .

When you're the Emperor, with Great Excesses at your command, you tend to be careless with "little" things like optimal allocation of scarce resources, and imagine yourself as a "visionary." No--hell no--you envision yourself as THE visionary.

That the vision you had while taking a crap or something, the vision that sprang into your head like a message from a burning bush, needn't be fettered by details such as feasibility, collateral effects/damage, certain cost overruns that are standard issue for all such projects and will have to be made up out of taxpayer pockets, and maintenance and operation costs for the life of the project that will likewise have to be shouldered by the Middle-Class (now, at best, a shrunken hulk of its former self).

Twister

PS: If there needs to be a bridge, should it not REPLACE the crumbling century old existing structure entirely? Put THAT in your cost "projection" pipe and smoke it! Will parking garages solve the personal transportation, delivery, and other vital functions of the Balboa Park complex? Uh, uh. Sorry, not at all.

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Burwell March 3, 2012 @ 10:12 a.m.

Jacobs wants to build a monument to himself, similar to an Egyptian pyramid, so we don't forget him after he expires. He wants to build a huge museum in the center of Balboa Park named after himself, and has likely provided for construction costs in his will. Once he builds the parking structure in the center of the park, the battle is over. If the parking lot is built then you might as well build the museum. This is why he is fixated on the parking lot: no parking lot, no museum. Jacobs does not care about San Diego. He has no memories of Balboa Park as a child to preserve. Jacobs is from Slobsville (Boston). He is about naked greed, a lust for money and power, and imposing his will on Christians. Jacobs is a one percenter trying to rape public park land for the benefit of his inflated ego.

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Visduh March 6, 2012 @ 12:10 p.m.

If Jacobs the elder and Jacobs the younger keep on the path they are following, there will be no legacy or monument to protect. The elder will be remembered as an old guy who bought himself a vision of the park and what it should contain, namely a monument to his ego. If the younger keeps abusing the H-1b visa program to being indentured foreigners to town and displace local workers who also happen to be US citizens, the name of Qualcomm will be mud. And they will have nobody but themselves to blame.

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sarez March 3, 2012 @ 11 a.m.

What nerve! To lecture Donaldson in this way. I have lost respect for Gavin Newsom. What pandering! He has lost my vote.

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Twister March 3, 2012 @ 5:40 p.m.

People with all the answers don't ask the right questions. Hell, they don't ask any questions at all. "Studies" are mainly a way of paying off "supporters." They're called political plums. EXPENSIVE political plums.

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InOmbra March 3, 2012 @ 6:18 p.m.

I don't see any "cc" on this letter. How did a personal letter from the Lt Gov to the State Historic Preservation Officer get into the hands of Sanders and his twittering PR gal?

I'm a loyal Democrat, but not blindly loyal. Newsom will never get any support from me. No votes. No money. We have enough so-called registered Dems in San Diego that look, act, walk, and talk like Republican or Libertarian flunkies. Stay in your own turf, Newwwwwwsommmm. Hmmm. "Newsom" is taking on the resonance of Seinfeld's "Newwwwwmannnnn."

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Visduh March 5, 2012 @ 10:02 p.m.

I wouldn't get too worried about Newsome. Remember that we've had more than a few lieutenant governors who had high political ambitions, and whose political careers peaked in that understudy seat. Many of them have wanted to ultimately become governor, none have pulled it off. How many previous lt govs can you name? Remember Mike "Congregation" Curb, Leo "The Lip" McCarthy, or Mervyn "Slimy" Dymally? All were in that office and all are forgotten, or should be.

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Burwell March 5, 2012 @ 10:57 p.m.

Newsome is a sinner and a fornicator who coveted his best friend's wife. He is a moral degenerate and is unfit to hold public office.

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SurfPuppy619 March 6, 2012 @ 12:33 p.m.

I agree 100%.

Anyone that would cheat on his best friend's wife is unfit to hold any office and I would never want such a person as a friend.

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villageram March 7, 2012 @ 11:50 a.m.

If I had to make a choice between the friend and the cheating wife give me "the friend."

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