San Diego's welfare plan for hotel owners

Don: When the last expansion was approved for the waterfront (the Phase 2 expansion), the city and port and convention-center boosters promised that the next expansion (the current Phase 3 expansion) would occur on Tailgate Park. To that end, the port built a bridge across Harbor Drive, south of the existing convention center, over to what is known today as Tailgate Park. The port also purchased Tailgate Park -- yes, the port owned it before the city did and sold it to the city to facilitate Petco Park -- to further demonstrate its commitment to no further expansions on the waterfront. CCDC (what is now Civic San Diego) and the convention center had committees evaluate the Phase 3 expansion back in the early 2000's, and those committees concluded that Tailgate Park would be the best location for the expansion. When my client opposed the current, contiguous proposal before the Coastal Commission in October 2013, we gave the commissioners copies of the committee documents -- the existence of which the port had conveniently been denying when staff at the Commission asked about them. So when people claim that a non-contiguous expansion will not work, be sure to ask them: (1) why it would have worked in the minds of the city, the port, and the convention-center boosters until about 2004; (2) why those people spent roughly $27 million to build a bridge over to Tailgate Park; (3) why the port bought Tailgate Park, a piece of property outside its jurisdiction, in the 1990s if not to facilitate a non-contiguous expansion; and (4) why, given that their own expert said last year that the return on investment for contiguous vs. non-contiguous is about the same, taxpayers should support the more expensive contiguous expansion?
— May 2, 2016 7:07 a.m.

City Attorney's one-eighty on Sunroad. Office calls Sunroad lawsuit a "sham"

2 of 2: The best example, in my mind, is the false story about Filner telling Andrew Jones to sit in the back of the room during a closed-session meeting of the city council last March/April. If you two knew anything, you'd know that my client (the same one who sued over Sunroad) has sued the city to obtain a copy of the transcript at which the alleged statement was made. City rules require the presence of a court reporter during closed-session meetings and require a transcription of the discussions that take place during such meetings. Goldsmith's office released the transcript from the June 18 Filner-Jones incident because comments about where a staffer sits are not subject to Brown Act confidentiality; the transcript was released in record time because Goldsmith wanted to use it to shame Filner. By the same reasoning, Filner's alleged statement to Jones about where to sit in the room would also be beyond Brown Act confidentiality. When my client asked for a redacted transcript showing only the Filner statement to Jones about where to sit in the room, however, Goldsmith's office denied the existence of any such transcript; that is to say, there is no transcript in existence with any statement by Filner to Jones about where the latter should be sitting during a closed-session meeting. Translation: the statement that Filner allegedly made was never made. Either Goldsmith's covering that up, which will come out during the course of the lawsuit, or he's illegally withholding public information. So not only is there a lawsuit over Filner's credibility (i.e., Sunroad), but there's one over Goldsmith's credibility (i.e., withholding public records). One must be crazy to think that co-conspirators in this so-called "palace coup" would reward each other with lawsuits--at least any co-conspiracy that I'd ever be involved in. (Since I do not know what a "subtrifuge" is, I admit that Diogenes might be right that I'm involved in one.) As I have said to many folks who've taken it upon themselves to publicly state things about my clients and me that they (the folks) know nothing about, before you go off saying false things you should call me. I'm happy to help you make an informed contribution to the important debate that the public's having over the many problems at city hall. Armed with the facts, you just might make a valuable contribution to the discussion. Armed with fiction, at best you provide comic relief. Thanks for the laughs.
— August 21, 2013 9:20 a.m.

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