David Dodd 2:33 a.m., May 19
Did Sanders trade his DeMaio support for chamber job?
It's now strictly a rumor that Sanders got top chamber post as payoff for DeMaio endorsement
Eyebrows are arching and tongues wagging over Mayor Jerry Sanders's belated endorsement of Carl DeMaio for mayor, followed by Sanders being named head of the Chamber of Commerce. Remember, at this point this is only rumor, although I have reliable indirect sources. The story making the rounds is that the Lincoln Club and other Republican groups, which wanted DeMaio badly, gave millions to his campaign, expecting that Sanders would give him a last-minute endorsement, despite Sanders's known dislike of DeMaio. Ruben Barrales announced in September that he would step down as the chamber head. This may or may not toss water on the rumor. Two key questions: 1. Did Sanders endorse DeMaio, the election loser, before or after he had cut the deal with the chamber? 2. Why was Sanders's endorsement so coveted? He had backed Bonnie Dumanis in the mayoral primary, and she came in fourth. Whether or not the rumor is true, replacing Barrales with Sanders appears in retrospect to be a bad move. Latinos and labor elected Filner. Now the chamber will be headed by a downtown-obsessed white male -- the very group that was the big loser in the election. It is a slap at Mayor-elect Bob Filner, who has pledged to steer money toward neighborhoods and infrastructure and away from downtown corporate welfare projects. If the rumor is true, the chamber and business community may regret the move.