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Faulconer bails, mayoral debate canceled

Last-minute back-out unexplained; city finance questions won't be asked

Kevin Faulconer, Jerry Sanders
Kevin Faulconer, Jerry Sanders

There was to have been a debate among three of the leading mayoral candidates tonight (Nov. 12), sponsored by the League of Women Voters and televised by UT-TV.

Some time ago, Nathan Fletcher said he could not come, but the debate was still going forward. "Yesterday morning I heard from [Kevin] Faulconer," who said he couldn't come, says Kay Ragan, co-president of the league. "Faulconer didn't give any reason; his office said something had come up."

The debate was to include "three or four questions about finance — I don't know how you could have a forum without talking about city finances," says Ragan. "I am very disappointed that these two men [Faulconer and Fletcher] didn't see a grassroots organization, non-partisan, important enough" for their participation.

The league and UT-TV jointly decided that two candidates (Mike Aguirre and David Alvarez) would not be enough and canceled the debate.

Charles Langley, communications director for Aguirre's campaign, says that one of the questions certainly would have dealt with the claim of Faulconer and former mayor Jerry Sanders that pension changes would free up a billion dollars for infrastructure improvement. But even the U-T, which backs Faulconer, said the claim was "flawed."

Aguirre has pointed out that there is an $8 billion deficit in the pension system. Canceling of the debate (and a previous debate that was abruptly canceled) "is handing the election to Faulconer, stifling a meaningful debate on finances," says Langley.

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Kevin Faulconer, Jerry Sanders
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There was to have been a debate among three of the leading mayoral candidates tonight (Nov. 12), sponsored by the League of Women Voters and televised by UT-TV.

Some time ago, Nathan Fletcher said he could not come, but the debate was still going forward. "Yesterday morning I heard from [Kevin] Faulconer," who said he couldn't come, says Kay Ragan, co-president of the league. "Faulconer didn't give any reason; his office said something had come up."

The debate was to include "three or four questions about finance — I don't know how you could have a forum without talking about city finances," says Ragan. "I am very disappointed that these two men [Faulconer and Fletcher] didn't see a grassroots organization, non-partisan, important enough" for their participation.

The league and UT-TV jointly decided that two candidates (Mike Aguirre and David Alvarez) would not be enough and canceled the debate.

Charles Langley, communications director for Aguirre's campaign, says that one of the questions certainly would have dealt with the claim of Faulconer and former mayor Jerry Sanders that pension changes would free up a billion dollars for infrastructure improvement. But even the U-T, which backs Faulconer, said the claim was "flawed."

Aguirre has pointed out that there is an $8 billion deficit in the pension system. Canceling of the debate (and a previous debate that was abruptly canceled) "is handing the election to Faulconer, stifling a meaningful debate on finances," says Langley.

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Comments
28

In some sports, that's called a "forfeit." They were invited to play; they declined, hence they lose. What's so hard to understand about that? That this was a joint decision by the League and UT-TV is the mysterious part. Why not just go ahead and hold the "debate" or whatever the heck it is, and let the chips fall? Oh, the UT wants it this way, but must the League of Women Voters just meekly go along?

Questions, questions, questions. Answers? Nah, nevahappen.

Nov. 12, 2013

Visduh: The U-T has now canceled three debates -- one by the chamber of commerce, another by a veterans group, and this one by the League of Women Voters. Aguirre was to go on Channel 7 last Friday to explain the City's financial problems and that was abruptly canceled.

Meanwhile, the fraudulent ad in which ex-Mayor Sanders claims there is a billion dollars for infrastructure improvements, which the U-T itself said is not true, continues to run on U-T TV, as San Diego voters are deliberately shielded from information about the City's finances...in fact, deliberately misinformed. (Even the U-T said the City's finances are shaky.) Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 12, 2013

Don, can the UT by either commission or omission determine the results of this election? The readership is lower than the belly of a snake, the credibility of Dougie and Johnnie is a joke, and the TV experiment is just getting started. I'd be more interested in knowing what the four large local TV stations are saying in their news broadcasts. We know that they are completely impartial and have in-depth reporting (yuk, yuk) and will tell the truth. So what are they telling the voters?

Nov. 12, 2013

Visduh: You are right that the U-T has less influence than it has ever had, greatly because of ownership antics and ineptitude. The TV stations are as biased. And the media now have tie-ins in which they share information, predilections, and prejudices. The people only get one story -- a highly slanted one. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 12, 2013

Gee--I guess if they don't talk about the multi-billion dollar pension deficit, it doesn't really exist.

Nov. 12, 2013

aardvark: The U-T covered its rear end by running that short story revealing that the Sanders/Faulconer claims are phony, and the City's finances are shaky, but the paper continues to misinform the public. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 12, 2013

Don: Wouldn't "shaky" be a bit of an understatement?

Nov. 12, 2013

Not only is "shaky" an understatement re the finances, but "misinform" is an understatement re what the U-T prints.

Nov. 12, 2013

Matt101: Yes, I used the term "misinform" and it was a euphemism. The truth is more like "deliberately lie to." Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 13, 2013

aardvark: Yes, "shaky" is understating the problem. It is remarkable how this structural deficit was covered up. Sanders as mayor simply stopped putting adequate money into infrastructure, then bragged about a balanced budget. Now he is claiming he solved the pension problem -- DeMaio is claiming the same thing -- so the City can go back and fix the infrastructure that was ignored.

Every time your car goes over a bump or hits a pothole, keep in mind who gave you this: Sanders. And keep in mind who is telling fibs, claiming there is money to fix it: Faulconer. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 13, 2013

I think it's obvious at this point that Faulconer cannot win. David Alvarez is going to get out of the race and shift his support to Fletcher and put him over the top. In exchange, Fletcher will have to agree to appoint a lot of Hispanics to important positions and support living wage and rent control. Faulconer is too dumb to be Mayor. His college grades were atrocious even though he took light weight classes. He has a history of incompletes, unauthorized withdrawals, and no credits which are really failing grades. This shows he has no discipline and could not complete his courses. He may have drank his way through college. With his academic record he could never be admitted to the USD law school or a decent graduate school. I don't see how he ever got a job in public relations with his grades.

http://www.utsandiego.com/documents/2013/oct/28/kevin-faulconers-sdsu-transcripts/

Nov. 12, 2013

Burwell: Those grades look pretty good to me, although I was in college in the 1950s, when grades meant something. That was before grade inflation. Note he got a A in karate. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 13, 2013

Perhaps you're not paying attention. Don has disclosed his actual age on numerous occasions in his posts, most recently two (2) days ago!

Nov. 15, 2013

chickened out?

Nov. 13, 2013

Murphyjunk: I hardly think of public relations as a field for intellectual giants. And I was in PR and advertising for four years. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 13, 2013

This is ridiculous. The candidates who are willing to show up should be given a forum to advocate their viewpoints and raise issues. Major candidates not willing to show up should have empty podiums with their names on them.

Nov. 13, 2013

ImJustABill: I agree. There should have been a debate between Aguirre and Alvarez. It would have been interesting and lively. And the Fletcher and Faulconer empty chairs should have been in plain view. Faulconer and Fletcher are trying to take advantage of the short election cycle and keep their heads out of sight. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 13, 2013

Maybe they can bring in Clint Eastwood to debate empty chairs with Fletcher's and Faulconer's names on them.

Nov. 13, 2013

ImJustABill: Fletcher and Faulconer put on shows that are every bit as good as Eastwood's. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 13, 2013

From what I understand Clint was a pretty good mayor of Carmel.

Nov. 13, 2013

ImJustABill: Some say he was (is?) a good actor. I wouldn't know because I don't remember ever having seen a movie with him in it. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 14, 2013

Wow - whether or not you like his politics I think he's had an incredible movie career from the iconic Western and Dirty Harry roles to his brilliant (IMO) directing in several movies in the last 10-15 years.

Nov. 14, 2013

ImJustABill: I'm not arguing with your assessment. He may be a great actor. It's just that I see very few movies a year -- maybe a couple or three in a year. Incidentally, our oldest son is named Clinton. He was born in 1967. People asked us if he was named after Clint Eastwood. At that time, we had never heard of Eastwood. The name Clinton has been on my father's side of the family for around 200 years. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 14, 2013

Clinton seems like a classic name that's stood the test of time. Cool 200 yrs ago; still cool.

Nov. 14, 2013

ImJustABill: My father's side came to the U.S. in the 1730s to upstate New York. DeWitt Clinton was a New York governor and senator who was considered the father of the Erie Canal. So DeWitt and Clinton have both been used as first and middle names in the family for a very long time. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 14, 2013

Once again the GOP doesn't get the importance of the female vote.

Nov. 14, 2013

Emory_Kendrick: Only the non-Tea Partiers understand the importance of the female vote. And they don't run the party. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 14, 2013

HERE ARE THE QUESTIONS LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS WOULD HAVE PUT TO FAULCONER. Candidate Mike Aguirre made a brief appearance after a Faulconer/Sanders show this afternoon.

According to Aguirre, these are the questions the League of Women Voters intended to ask Faulconer in the debate that was abruptly canceled when Faulconer backed out: 1. What is the real financial status of the City at the present time...are we in the red or black? 2. What are your plans to stop deferring normal operating maintenance and cover such costs within the City's annual operating budget? What services should be cut back to stay within the budget?

  1. How do you think we can best address San Diego's large infrastructure deficit? 4. Do you support the City funding a homeless shelter year-around. How will you pay for it? 5. What an be done to address the City's affordable housing needs beyond the affordable housing fee which was just adopted? 6. If elected, will you agree to include all future city obligations, including contributions for health and pension obligations, their actual funding or underfunding status, and the actuarial assumptions in one budget document that may be understood by voters?

Understood by voters? No wonder Faulconer chickened out. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 14, 2013

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