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— Dalnodar reported that lssi "had recently submitted a preliminary proposal to operate the county library's technical services but has yet to receive a response." Then she quoted Crouch as saying "the library's major challenge is infrastructure, which is too big a problem to be solved by privatization. 'All those things are good, but they don't solve our infrastructure right now,' Crouch said. 'We need a jump start before we really move forward.' "

LOSER: Peter Rowe, Union-Tribune columnist, whose peculiar brand of up-close-and-personal insults and attacks diminished his own pro-library arguments and may have backfired to the benefit of anti-L campaigner Richard Rider, whom Rowe disparagingly called "a local Libertarian and chairman-for-life of the Vote No! on Prop. Whatever."

WINNER: Richard Rider

The unrepentant Libertarian, for years ground zero for ad hominem attacks launched by Union-Tribune editorial writers ("The cynical obstructionism peddled by Bruce Henderson, Richard Rider and others is a dead end"; "Libertarian activist Richard Rider, a gadfly who has made a name for himself by opposing major civic projects"; "Richard Rider, our local litigious Libertarian"), finally managed to find a time and issue that resonated with voters.

Long on the losing side of court battles and lopsided election campaigns like the convention center expansion, the Chargers ticket guarantee, and the Padres baseball stadium, Rider used his appearances at 25 community forums, various debates, TV news interviews, his e-mail distribution network, and radio appearances to sell his vision of privatization and counter the Prop L campaign's assertion that local libraries were underfunded compared to national averages.

LOSERS: Library backers, including various Friends of the Library groups across the county, who failed to get involved earlier in the political process of financial-priority setting that actually had begun in 1995 with the Charger ticket guarantee and stadium expansion. As the city council piled up a mountain of debt building the new stadium, convention center expansion, and Padres baseball stadium, many library advocates sat on their hands, failing to raise the mildest question as to whether those mammoth expenditures for sports and tourism were really going to be "free" to taxpayers, as the Union-Tribune contended. Instead, they stood by and watched the Padres get voter approval of a "taxless" stadium that will be supported by the city's general (read library) funds; when it came their turn on the ballot, library backers had to ask voters for two-thirds approval of a sales-tax hike, as it turned out, a losing proposition.

WINNERS: Padres owners John Moores and Larry Lucchino

Moores gave the pro-L forces more than $70,000. The team itself gave another $5000 and co-owner Larry Lucchino, $2500. Malin Burnham, whose namesake company, John Burnham, is now in partners with Moores on the downtown baseball stadium project, gave $25,000. Though Prop L lost, the two multi-millionaires are unlikely to blink an eye. With voter approval of their own project in November, and the Union-Tribune pledging to bring the library tax proposal back sometime soon, Moores and Lucchino are on the verge of harvesting hundreds of millions of dollars of public subsidy for their downtown baseball park and mega real estate development.


More than $650,000, much of it from large corporations and individuals known to have an agenda not limited to libraries, poured into the Yes on L campaign in the months before the election. Helen Copley gave $10,000. Sol Price, $15,000, and his son Robert, $10,000. Cox Communications, which has a lucrative city-controlled cable TV franchise, kicked in $50,000. Lennar Homes of Irvine gave $24,800; Sempra Energy, $15,000; Solar Turbines, $15,000; and an outfit called Otay Project, llc out of Irvine, $5000.

Sea World and its parent, Busch Entertainment, which recently won its own electoral battle to exceed the city's coastal height limit, gave a total of $20,000. Catellus Development, which is seeking to have the city of San Diego build a central library on its downtown property near the Santa Fe Depot, kicked in $10,000.

Others whose motives in giving to Prop L might not have been all bookish included Donald Swortwood, the Yellow Cab owner, who gave $10,000. The City of San Diego controls the valuable cab medallions that allow his taxis to operate on city streets and has been considering pleas from other cabbies to issue more medallions and therefore create more competition. Many of Swortwood's cabs carried "Yes on L" bumper stickers, as they had earlier borne "Yes on C" and "Yes on A," for the baseball stadium and convention center expansion. The Chargers football company, still seeking to expand Super Bowl seating at the stadium and recipient of the generous ticket-guarantee subsidy, gave $10,000.

Perhaps the most intriguing of the donations came from EDS, the giant Texas computer company founded by H. Ross Perot. EDS, which is bidding on the county's mammoth data-processing privatization project, provided the pro-L forces $5400. SAIC, the giant high-tech consulting conglomerate from La Jolla, is also bidding on the contract and gave $50,000. The co-chairman of the Yes on L committee, county supervisor Pam Slater, who will provide one of five deciding votes on the contract, reportedly leaned hard on her financial angels to generate cash for the pro-L campaign.

WINNER: Little Money

Disclosure statements show the opponents of Prop L raised less than $5000, which was spent on a last-minute radio advertising campaign. Funds came from Assemblymen Howard Kaloogian and Steve Baldwin and from Reader publisher James Holman, who gave $1000.

WINNER: Roger Hedgecock

The ex-mayor, a rabid supporter of the convention center expansion and downtown baseball stadium, said no to the library tax, though not as vehemently as he had pushed the two earlier measures. Hedgecock can claim he was consistently against new taxes, in that the baseball stadium and convention center measures were said to be "tax free." Now his predictions will be tested: will taxes from tourists and downtown real estate development generated by the baseball stadium will be adequate to fund those projects?

LOSER: Christine Kehoe

The San Diego city councilwoman who nearly beat Republican congressman Brian Bilbray last year hasn't been doing as well lately. She suddenly found herself nudged out of next year's race for Bilbray's seat by Democratic kingmakers who told her instead to run for the assembly seat now occupied by Susan Davis. Then she dodged (and then denied dodging) questions about her position on the city's practice of putting pro-library bumper stickers on city-owned vehicles in the middle of the Prop L campaign. A mixed message at best.

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