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In the now-infamous email of September 7, 2007, mayoral flack Fred Sainz sent some naughty words to his close associate, Union-Tribune editorial writer Bob Kittle. Here are some of the words that Sainz put in the email to Kittle: "bullst," "hell," "hell-bent," "fks," "fking," "fk." Sainz shouldn't have put them in an email; maybe even he understands that now. My mother was an English teacher from a Victorian family of school teachers and poets. She married a stockbroker who used salty language, to put it euphemistically. So the family compromised: earthy language was OK, as long as the grammar was correct. In that context, Sainz's letter offends me. He uses the spelling "farsical." Ugh! It's "farcical." He uses the spelling "hair-brained." Double ugh! It's "harebrained." I will forgive him "elelected." It's a typo. Tsk, tsk.

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JohnnyVegas May 2, 2008 @ 11:16 a.m.


Sainz should have been fired long ago!

I also use some pretty salty language-but never in public and never in front of people I do not know or who may be offended-including emails.


Don Bauder May 2, 2008 @ 11:28 a.m.

Response to post #1: Emails get passed on to others. Also, people in high-profile government positions should know that their emails will one day become public. Best, Don Bauder


DavidGUrban May 2, 2008 @ 11:46 a.m.


Sometimes I get so angry at what I see written by the reporters at the Union I have to speak out. It's a shame, because there are some good ones I have corresponded with in the past, but the political bias I see creeping in bothers me more and more. I sent the following letter to Matthew Hall today:

Mr. Hall,

Your May 2, 2008 article, "City releases staffer’s e-mail with swear words", was an embarrassment to journalism. You ignored the real issues involved and gave your story a “tempest in a teapot” tone, as though the furor was simply over a few swear words. Then you implied that Rick Reynolds’ wrongful termination lawsuit was connected to his being a supporter of Steve Francis.

Are you a journalist or just a paid hack?

You know as well as I do the real issue was not about a few swear words. The issue here concerns several possible ethics violations—of which the e-mail plays only a small part— and whether an employee, Rick Reynolds, was fired for pointing them out.

Considering that Mayor Sanders has made the Office of Ethics and Integrity a cornerstone of his administration, supposedly, this story is an important one for San Diego.

You mentioned nothing about this in your article. What you did state, oddly, was, “Reynolds is a campaign supporter of businessman Steve Francis…” This had nothing to do with the story, and you know full well Reynolds was fired months before Francis even announced his candidacy for mayor.

What’s going on here, Mr. Hall? Is somebody behind the scenes directing what you will and will not write about these types of stories? If so, maybe you ought to consider growing a backbone. If not, maybe a refresher course in honest journalism is in order.

Best Regards,

David G. Urban


Don Bauder May 2, 2008 @ 11:53 a.m.

Response to post #3: Excellent letter. The story was a disgrace, although editors may have emasculated Hall's original story. Sometimes the author is not to blame for garbage that prints in a newspaper. Another person who submits regularly to this blog wrote a good letter to Hall, too. He sent a copy to me personally by email this morning. I would like to see him put that letter on this blog. Best, Don Bauder


paul May 2, 2008 @ 12:21 p.m.

Yeah, I agree with David. The mayor and Sainz (and by extension the UT) is trying hard to play this as another couple of swear words brought up by Francis or a supporter, while deflecting attention away from the real charge.

The truth, of course, is that Sanders hired Reynolds in the first place so he was a member of the Sanders team (not a Francis flunky), and the most serious issue was Sainz trying to get the City Attorney IP addresses to give to the UT.

The Sainz email is supporting info that he had an overly cozy relationship with the UT and was conspiring with them against the CA. That adds credibility to Reynolds main charge, rather than being the main charge itself.


DavidGUrban May 2, 2008 @ 12:29 p.m.

Yes, I realize a journalist sometimes has little control over the final output. It's a shame, too.

I have ambivalent feelings about the Union-Tribune reporters. They are capable of great writing. The Alex Roth series on the Gina-Lisa fishing boat mystery was outstanding; Jeff McDonald, Ruth McKinnie, and Susan Braun have all written excellent articles. And also Liz Neely, Evan McLaughlin, and Ann Cearley (before she left).

I haven't always agreed with them, or rather, I have sometimes disagreed with the slant or tone of the story, or the omission of facts I thought were relevant, but I usually thought the overall attempt was trustworthy, and no deliberate attempt was being made to mislead.

My issue is with reporters such as Ron Powell who insisted to me that there was absolutely no connection between Reynolds' firing and his objection over the IP address request, and who refused to dig into it. Powell has written some fine articles, but, jeesh, come on, when there is a story needing to be uncovered a good journalist goes after it, hard.

I am missing that with the Union-Tribune. I want the paper to tear things up around here. After all, there is no shortage of material. Instead, we are being fed (in my opinion) the party line time after time.

Maybe I'm just getting old.


paul May 2, 2008 @ 12:32 p.m.

Also, am I the only one that finds it absolutely hysterical that the UT prints a ridiculous editorial lambasting Aguirre on the very same day they print a story about Sainz email where Sainz feeds negative information to the UT editors to print about Aguirre?

The editorial itself was classic Kittle.

The piece says that "In the eyes of the law and any fair-minded person, Story is an innocent man.", yet the Mayor's own whitewash report said otherwise.

The piece tries hard to imply that the judge dismissed the case for lack of merit, when in fact it was dismissed because the court would not allow the CA office to prosecute it and the DA and the AG refused to step in.

The mayors office played politics and tried to poach $250K from the CA budget for a special prosecutor rather than pass it to the ethics commission as requested by the city council.

I am still waiting for the mayors explanation for why the ethics commission hasn't fined Story. Think I'll get an answer soon? ;)


Russ Lewis May 2, 2008 @ 12:46 p.m.


He probably wrote "hair-brained" because he can't spell, but he might have misspelled his cuss words because he didn't want his mail to get spam-filtered. He deserves the benefit of the doubt here.


JohnnyVegas May 2, 2008 @ 1:08 p.m.

He probably wrote "hair-brained" because he can't spell, but he might have misspelled his cuss words because he didn't want his mail to get spam-filtered. He deserves the benefit of the doubt here.

Benefit of the doubt....surely you jest!.....good one.....!

Sainz has less brain power than a trained circus chimp.


Don Bauder May 2, 2008 @ 1:46 p.m.

Response to post #5: Agreed: the swear words are not important, other than to illustrate Sainz's poor judgment in sending them by email. The U-T's attempt to pretend that the cursing is the main story is disingenous -- another attempt to hoodwink its dwindling readership. The real issue is Sainz's very cozy relationship with Bob Kittle of the U-T, as well as others on the staff. Sainz tried to sell hate-Aguirre pieces to other publications such as Voice of San Diego, and seemed to have a cozy relationship with them, too. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder May 2, 2008 @ 1:55 p.m.

Response to post #6: The Union-Tribune is not going to "tear things up around here." It is institutionally incapable of that. It has always been, and probably always will be, a tool of the establishment. It will do some good stories, such as the Duke Cunningham series, but it will never be a watchdog as some papers are, unless it changes ownership. (Remember, Duke Cunningham was on the real estate industry's hit list before the U-T went after him. He was on the hit list because he wanted to preserve military bases in the community. Developers were lustily but secretly eyeing those bases.) Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder May 2, 2008 @ 2:04 p.m.

Response to post #7: The Tom Story disgrace was foreordained in San Diego. Law enforcement and the judiciary would simply not permit his case to be pursued, and that was obvious from the beginning. The Wellington decision banning Aguirre from prosecuting him was ridiculous. The DA's refusal to touch the case was a matter of money and politics. The AG was not going to touch it for similar reasons. Tom Story was a former high-level bureaucrat who went to work for a developer (Sunroad), whose owner was very close to Mayor Jerry Sanders. From the outset, Tom Story was free to break the rules barring him from influencing his former employees, would not be prosecuted, and the city's major newspaper was never going to report the matter accurately. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder May 2, 2008 @ 2:09 p.m.

Response to post #8: To my knowledge, he didn't misspell the cuss words. I tried to type them in as he supposedly wrote them, and the Reader's system wouldn't take them. So I took out some of the letters myself, figuring it would be obvious what the words were. I took his letter from the U-T. Its system apparently takes cuss words. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder May 2, 2008 @ 2:12 p.m.

Response to post #9: Don't denigrate chimps. After all, we evolved from common ancestors similar to or related to chimps. Show some respect. Best, Don Bauder


Russ Lewis May 2, 2008 @ 2:27 p.m.

re #13: Well then he was an idiot. Even if you use cuss words in an e-mail to someone you're friendly with, the cuss words can still get your mail spam-filtered right out of the person's in-box. It's only smart to disguise them for that very reason.


Ponzi May 2, 2008 @ 4:24 p.m.

There is no appropriate use of profanity by a public figure or a public employee. To blurt it out in frustration or pain is one thing, but to purposefully include it in a written memo or letter is tasteless.


Don Bauder May 2, 2008 @ 5:39 p.m.

Response to post #15: Good advice. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder May 2, 2008 @ 5:40 p.m.

Response to post #16: Maybe Sainz was just emulating Dick Cheney. On the floor of the Senate, as I recall, he told a senator to engage in self-fornication, although he expressed the thought in earthier words. Best, Don Bauder


paul May 2, 2008 @ 10:31 p.m.

Profanity filters are funny things. The UT forums profanity filter will not let you write the name "Hedgecock". It changes the offending word to "Hedge****".

I find it strangely amusing that the UT forums profanity filter thinks the name of our former mayor is too vulgar to allow in print. It equally amuses me that it allows other forms, such as "Hedgepenis", with nary a complaint.


Fred Williams May 3, 2008 @ 6:33 a.m.

Actually, I feel a little sheepish...we're falling into the trap that Matthew Hall has laid.

Let's everyone talk about profanity. Yep, that's funny.

Meanwhile, we'll just forget the underlying story...the Mayor's office tells the UT what to cover and how to spin it.

Whoops, forget that serious stuff...I saw a cock and some hens near that bitch in the kennel braying like an ass, butt it wasn't funny.



Fred Williams May 2, 2008 @ 6:04 p.m.


I recommend using the asterix instead of dropping letters when cursing online. Seems to get right past the Reader's filters and it makes for smoother reading.

Now personally, I've damned well earned the right to use any and all invective in any language I can speak. Two WestPac/Indian Ocean deployments and a Shellback certificate, (not to mention the f**ing First Amendment!) allow me to swear away.

Now if Kittle's bttboy Fred Sainz can show his Shellback card, I'll give him a pass for his bad language...but he should still learn to spell for f**'s sake.

As my old navy master chief used to say, "I guaran-godd*mn-doubledy-dog-f-tee" that shead Sainz is gonna be "spending more time with his family" soon.




Don Bauder May 3, 2008 @ 6:49 a.m.

Response to post #28: Yes, the episode is another example of the egomania of San Diego's ruling class. But the swear words don't intensify that. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder May 3, 2008 @ 6:58 a.m.

Response to post #29: Very well said: the mayor's office tells the U-T what to cover and how to spin it. It is pathetically obvious to anybody who knows journalism and politics. In re your amusing last paragraph: there is that old joke that goes, "Hold my cock and pullet while I chase after my ass." Best, Don Bauder


JohnnyVegas May 3, 2008 @ 8:39 a.m.

Not only does Sanders deserve to loose his job, so do you Matthew Hall.

No wonder this city is so f***ed up.

There is no way Sanders is going to be re elected.

If he is then this City deserves everything that comes from him.

Sanders promised the moon and has delievered NOTHING.

All that talk about sitting down and negotiating away those public employee pension and benefit abuses/scams-never happened and it won'thappen in the future either.

Someone needs to cancel the public employee pension and benefit abuses-or nothing is going to change, just more of the same.


Fred Williams May 3, 2008 @ 7:10 a.m.

UT writer and Fred Sainz dear friend Matthew Hall's unbelievable spin continues:

From: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20080503-9999-1m3b2briefs.html

“You know, Fred shouldn't talk naughty in e-mails, and I've told him that,” Sanders said.


Aguirre held a news conference yesterday to denounce the communication as an example of “superficial politics at its worst.” –M.T.H.

Uh, huh. It's just about talking naughty, right Mr. Matthew T. Hall? It's nothing to do with the Mayor's office telling you what and how to write the "news"?

Well, have a look at all those incestuous emails between you and Sainz. Looks to me like the problem is that you are superficially political, which is what Aguirre has been saying for ages now.

Not only does Sanders deserve to loose his job, so do you Matthew Hall.

No wonder this city is so f***ed up.


Don Bauder May 3, 2008 @ 9:30 a.m.

Response to post #35: I agree that Sanders promised to clean things up -- particularly reining in labor union abuses -- and then reneged. However, how will San Diegans know that if the Union-Tribune refuses to reveal it? Best, Don Bauder


Russ Lewis May 2, 2008 @ 7:20 p.m.

Mr. Williams,

Swear all you want (you're entitled to), but the Reader requires that you disguise it a little better (see your revised comments), and Don's mom requires that you express it grammatically and with proper spelling and punctuation. To wit:

--"it's" has an apostrophe only when it's a contraction.

--"s for brains" is a compound modifier that precedes the noun that it modifies and therefore requires hyphens ("s-for-brains").

--commas do not precede parentheses.

--the plural is "asterisks," not "asterix."

We have standards to maintain.

Thank you for your continued participation in this forum.

--the mgmt


Fred Williams May 2, 2008 @ 5:50 p.m.

Here's another fing letter to the God d*mned Union fing Tribune, and it's a-licking s for brains writer, (and Fred Sainz's personal btch) Matthew Hall.

Dear Mr. Hall,

I took the time to read all the emails from Sainz to you in August, September, and October of last year.

Now I just read your article this morning, and I think you've got some serious explaining to do. It's clear that your long-term relationship with Fred Sainz goes far beyond cozy...perhaps to the level of incestuous.

It's no problem to have a healthy communicative relationship with government officials, as long as it doesn't affect your objectivity in reporting the news. But your article this morning is further proof that you've crossed that line.

Voice of San Diego has been reporting this story, and publicly advanced the legal theory you credit to Julie Dubick. She had the exact opposite "view" until she was shamed into changing it by VOSD's postings.

In contrast, you have ignored this story, and are now spinning it in a very odd way...and it's clear why, considering your close relationship with Fred Sainz. Your lead into the story says this is part of the mayoral campaign.

It's not, and you know it. At issue is a wrongful termination suit, intentional withholding of exactly the email that was the subject of the original Public Records Act request, (which DIDN'T come from you or your organization), and the clearly vulgar and unprofessional conduct of highly paid city employee Fred Sainz. Why didn't you interview Mr. Reynolds? Instead you interview...well, Fred Sainz. Why didn't you point out that Dubick tried to cover this up, but was so obviously flouting the law and the public interest that she was eventually shamed into releasing the email.

You take pains in your article to claim your newsroom is separate from the editorial department of the UT. We both know this is hogwash. Your unprofessional "reporting" is further evidence of this. You didn't report this story. Instead, you covered the ass of your good buddy Fred Sainz, intentionally misleading in the way you packaged the information. If you worked for me as a writer, you'd be fired.

You owe your readers an apology.


Fred Williams


JohnnyVegas May 2, 2008 @ 8:45 p.m.

russl know his English!

Please don't rag on my typos!


Don Bauder May 2, 2008 @ 9:02 p.m.

Response to post #19: That is a very good letter. If you get a response from Hall, I hope you will share it with us. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder May 2, 2008 @ 9:09 p.m.

Response to post #20: Here's what happened: I typed the entry and used the actual words. I clicked it to post and the Reader computer told me I couldn't use two words -- one meaning feces and the other meaning copulation. So I did put in the asterisks, but the computer left them out, as in "fk." I figured people would know what word I was referring to, so I didn't call anyone for help. So I actually tried to put in the asterisks but was rejected. Being rejected is the story of my life. Being brave enough to subject my * is not, however; I am a coward. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder May 2, 2008 @ 9:12 p.m.

Response to post #21: Russl is a genius, as I said earlier. He knows Balzac, English grammar and computers. Can't beat that combination. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder May 2, 2008 @ 9:14 p.m.

Response to post #22: Johnny, in the main, your mistakes come from typing too fast. Best, Don Bauder


Anon92107 May 3, 2008 @ 2:05 a.m.

Response to post #10: Re “Agreed: the swear words are not important, other than to illustrate Sainz's poor judgment in sending them by email.”

Actually Don, it’s more than poor judgment, it characterizes the mental stability and despotic nature of the entire U-T/Davies/Sanders/Dumanis/San Diego Justice System machine politics. They all act like Nero everytime another firestorm gets out of control as a direct consequence of their corruption.


Don Bauder May 3, 2008 @ 6:45 a.m.

Response to post #27: Would the U-T filters make it, "Who killed * robin?" Or * a doodle doo? It appears the U-T definitely does not have a thinking man's filter. (Many may be too young to remember the cigarette ad trumpeting the thinking man's filter. It goes back to the 1950s.) Best, Don Bauder


Fred Williams May 3, 2008 @ 6:52 a.m.


Will you be my editor? I need one. We can sit together writing grammatically perfect blog posts on those lonely Friday nights while all the cool kids are out having fun.

As to great fortunes and great crimes, see:


I wonder who was first responsible for the compact paraphrasing that we attribute to Balzac, who actually wrote something somewhat different.

Still, when it comes to Peregrine/Padres crook John Moores, his great fortune did come from great crimes.

I suspect the Wise and Venerable Doctor Dre might say, "dat muthafuka be a gangsta too, but now he be all actin legit n s***", or words to that effect.


Fred (not Sainz)

(BTW: I thought parentheses are preceded by a comma as subordinate clauses, (unless they are non-sequitors which need commas neither fore nor aft), which need a little pause...but it's really my elipsis abuse that is (just kidding) inexcusable...don't you agree?)


Don Bauder May 3, 2008 @ 9:28 a.m.

Response to post #34: Those emails between Sainz and his bosom buddies in the mainstream media are indeed revealing. They show graphically how the media are manipulated in this city. We should get more of those Sainz letters. Best, Don Bauder


Anon92107 May 4, 2008 @ 4:27 a.m.

Response to post #31:

Don, have you ever considered updating Machiavelli’s “The Prince” v.U-T Ruling Class?


Don Bauder May 4, 2008 @ 6:59 a.m.

Response to post #31: Machiavelli's book was a classic, written by a genius. I ain't no genius. It would be sacrilege for me or anybody else to try to update The Prince. But you make an excellent point: San Diegans should read The Prince to understand the local mess. Best, Don Bauder


Anon92107 May 4, 2008 @ 12:50 p.m.

Response to post #39:

OK then, how about it's time for another American Revolution, this time to give us a whole new kind of term limit:


This is because the over 40 generations have screwed things up so badly that they can no longer be trusted under any circumstances.


Don Bauder May 4, 2008 @ 1:02 p.m.

Response to post #41: But what do we do about the presidency this year? Obama is in his mid-40s, Clinton is 60 and McCain is about as old as I am (72), and believe me, when you get that old, you have too many senior moments to be president. If I got that phone call at 3 a.m., I would probably say, "Deliver a large sausage and mushroom pizza." Then I would hang up. Best, Don Bauder


JohnnyVegas May 4, 2008 @ 5:29 p.m.


Hey, Im over 40, and I can GUARANTEE YOU I could get the City's financial house in order!


Russ Lewis May 4, 2008 @ 6:06 p.m.

Before he died, Abbie Hoffman said that "today's" college students had "designer brains" and that he wouldn't trust anyone under 30. He retracted that though.


Don Bauder May 4, 2008 @ 7:23 p.m.

Response to post #42: If you can guarantee that you can make sense of a mare's nest, we don't care how old you are. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder May 4, 2008 @ 7:26 p.m.

Response to post #43: I suppose he retracted it when he turned 30. Best, Don Bauder


Anon92107 May 5, 2008 @ 2:48 a.m.

Response to post #41-45: Sorry if I upset anyone “over 40” but facts are facts. We have watched and done nothing while our local, state and federal governments have screwed up everything for the under 40 generations in perpetuity unless we enable them decide their own future for a change.

I was at Berkeley during the Free Speech Movement era where that quote was supposed to have originated, since then it has also been attributed to Jack Weinberg, Jerry Rubin, The Beatles et al. I believed it then, and raised the bar to 40 because my own kids are now over 30 and I wanted to give them one more chance.

Needless to say, failing to heed “Never Trust Anyone Over 30” has turned out to be most hideously true. So for those of us who are in denial, it’s time to wake up and make the right things happen while we still have time.

Fortunately we now have The Reader and Don Bauder to make the right things happen during the 2008 elections.


Don Bauder May 5, 2008 @ 5:48 a.m.

Response to post #46: But look at it this way: Don Bauder will be 72 this month. That's well over 40. Best, Don Bauder


Anon92107 May 5, 2008 @ 11:17 a.m.


Thanks for sticking around, you can't retire until you and The Reader have ended the U-T era of corruption.


Don Bauder May 6, 2008 @ 2:59 p.m.

Response to post #48: C'mon. Don't push an old man. One of our sons is over 40 and the other is pushing that threshold. And you expect their elderly father to stay around until San Diego corruption is cleaned up? Man is mortal. You have said so yourself. Best, Don Bauder


Anon92107 May 7, 2008 @ 2:05 a.m.

Response to post #49:

Yes Mr. Bauder, you are most certainly a humble man, but we still need you.

It is your dedication to integrity in journalism that makes “Freedom of the Press” work for We The People. Whereas it is the corrupt culture of the U-T that has overthrown democracies over the millennia.

We cannot win the Battle of San Diego without you.


Don Bauder May 7, 2008 @ 6:43 a.m.

Response to post #50: I will do my best -- I promise. Best, Don Bauder


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