• Scam Diego alerts

Attorney General Jerry Brown, whose office produced the openly political, cerebrally embarrassing report saying that Mayor Jerry Sanders wasn't corrupt in his Sunroad dealings, is quoted in this morning's Union-Tribune claiming that he didn't know an election was coming up in San Diego. (The election is June 3, and both Sanders and City Attorney Mike Aguirre, his accuser, are in tough races.) Brown must really think San Diegans are dumb. Gary Schons of the local AG's office said the report was released when it was finished. Did Schons not know an election was coming up? Puh-leeze. There is an even more frightening aspect of the goofy AG report. Katheryn Rhodes, a Point Loma activist who is volunteering for Aguirre, says the report states that in constructing the building that created air traffic hazards, Sunroad did not violate any laws -- a claim she disputes strongly. The upshot may be that the AG's office is saying that Sunroad should win its $40 million suit against the city, in which it claims that the building was properly permitted by the City. There have been discussions for months over whether Sanders will mollify Sunroad's owner, Aaron Feldman (a big Sanders donor) through that lawsuit.

  • Scam Diego alerts


Fred Williams May 23, 2008 @ 8:44 a.m.

Uh huh, former Governor Brown, son of former Governor Brown, didn't realize there is an election in a few weeks.

Pull the other one.

  • Why does he completely ignore Tom Story's illegal lobbying?

  • Why does he ignore Sanders' well-known criminal obstruction of justice when he and the police chief refused to honor a search warrant?

  • Why does he, in turn, then include an unverified accusation of a serious criminal act from the well-documented liar Fred Sainz?

  • Why didn't anyone sign the report?

Cover up doesn't begin to describe this blatantly political report that was designed to influence the election and whitewash over the truth.

The culture of corruption is thriving not only in San Diego, but in the California Attorney General's office too.


Burwell May 23, 2008 @ 11:15 p.m.

Before Sanders publically called for the investigation, he likely broached the investigation with Brown indirectly through an intermediary who wanted Sanders' assistance with a zoning variance, condemnation, or bargain purchase of city land. The intermediary was probably a wealthy Democrat in San Diego who contributes heavily to both Democrats and Republicans because he has extensive business interests to protect. The intermediary likely promised to find other donors who would pump millions into Brown's campaign coffers in exchange for a favorable AG report. I doubt Sanders would have requested the investigation in advance unless he was certain of the outcome. If the investigation had been placed in the hands of an agressive and able attorney, Sanders could have faced a grand jury indictment. By requesting the AG investigation Sanders effectively barred Aguirre from prosecuting him. The Reader should hit the AG with a California Public Records Act Request for Jerry Brown's E-Mails, correspondence, daily appointment calendars, etc and identify the intermediary who orchestrated the investigation that cleared Sanders of wrongdoing.


Don Bauder May 23, 2008 @ 10:31 a.m.

Response to post #1: Excellent questions, and the AG report didn't answer them because it was a blatantly political document, and a clumsy and doltish one at that. Did the AG and Sanders think that San Diegans would fall for this ruse? Apparently they did. Will San Diegans fall for it? If they do on June 3, you will know all you have to know about the city. Best, Don Bauder


paul May 23, 2008 @ 10:43 a.m.

To add to post #1: If the horrible act being investigated by the AG was the making of an accusation without enough corroborating evidence in an opinion piece, then how in the world does the AG, in an official report no less, make an equally serious charge based on the word of one of the people being investigated with no attempt whatsoever to find any evidence to corroborate the charge?

This smacks of typical San Diego dirty politics: Accuse the accuser of the crime you are accused with, rinse and repeat.

In the pension mess, it was Diane Shippione who was problem and needed to be arrested.

In the campaign for mayor, it was Donna Frye who was the insider to trying to block the publics right to know.

And on and on.


Don Bauder May 23, 2008 @ 9:31 p.m.

Response to post #14: In the Sunroad case, the developer did what most developers do. They just push ahead when they know they are in violation of the law. They figure that judges won't undo something that is done. This time, because of Aguirre, the stratagem did not work. Sanders was trying to get Sunroad off the hook. So was Waring, his former real estate czar. So were development services bureaucrats. The emails make that clear. Best, Don Bauder


Fred Williams May 23, 2008 @ 11:19 a.m.

Paul, there is a positive side to this sordid situation.

I'm out walking precincts and talking to voters face to face. They mostly know that they're being lied to.

A lot of voters agree that Aguirre is on our side, and that Sanders and the Council have done little or nothing to improve the city's situation.

So it looks like, in spite of the orchestrated smear campaigns, most voters are able to see through the lies.

  • Aguirre will come out as the top vote-getter in the primary

  • Donna Frye remains the most popular and trusted politician in the city

  • Voters are seriously pissed-off at our situation

  • Citizens of all sorts simply distrust the UT, knowing that it's been lying to us all for years

  • Online forums like this one are becoming more popular every day, while the UT continues to decline

So there's still hope for us. If current trends continue, we'll see a whole new administration next year, and maybe these serious issues will finally be addressed and our city can begin to recover from the culture of corruption.


Fred Williams


JohnnyVegas May 23, 2008 @ 11:36 a.m.

The bogus AG report won't hurt Mike at all.

Let's face facts, the voting public are pretty smart-they know a rat when they smell one. This hater campaign against Mike by the UT and others has been raging for 3 years now-yet Mike STILL has a 2 to 1 lead over his NEAREST opponent-Goldsmith.

There is no amount of UT, or AG, or other press that is going to derail Mike or his attack on these dirtbags.

The public is onto the scam, and we are not going to be had again.

Mike will be re elected and I am not worried about this nonsense one bit. Neither should Mike or McGrath or anyone else.


Don Bauder May 23, 2008 @ 12:09 p.m.

Response to post #3: You are so right. The AG accepted the word of Sanders propagandists that Aguirre and his assistant, McGrath, had said they would tone down the Sunroad rhetoric if the mayor wouldn't cut jobs out of the department. There was no corroborating evidence whatever. But the report made such a charge. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder May 23, 2008 @ 12:12 p.m.

Response to post #4: I hope your anecdotal evidence is indicative of a trend -- that San Diegans are waking up to the corruption, media manipulation, and plundering of the local treasury pulled off by the establishment and the politicians in its pocket. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder May 23, 2008 @ 12:15 p.m.

Response to post #5: Hopefully, the AG's report will help Aguirre and sink Sanders, who was complicit in its origination and, no doubt, its preparation and timing. Best, Don Bauder


SimplyCommonSense May 23, 2008 @ 12:36 p.m.

Amazing -

The AG hands Aguirre a wide open avenue to bring out everything he wants to about Sunroad, and he repeatedly leaves them hanging.

But he is right on one thing - there IS a large conspiracy against him ... the citizens who want an effective City Attorney who actually accomplishes something FOR the City AND it's taxpayers.


Fred Williams May 23, 2008 @ 12:53 p.m.


I agree with you that Aguirre might have cooperated with the investigation, and as a consequence the report may have been more balanced and truthful.

As to getting an effective City Attorney who represents the citiznes, who do you suggest?

You cannot mean Scott "Million Gallon Man" Peters, who was more than negligent in the pension scandal and has contributed greatly to the culture of corruption.

Certainly you don't mean BabyFace Maienshein, who single-handedly battled wild fires, saving the whole city from the flames ALL BY HIMSELF.

What about Judge Goldsmith? He seems level-headed, but he seems unlikely to do much to change the situation for the better.

April? I doubt she'll get more than 5% of the vote.

So that leaves us with City Attorney Mike Aguirre, who might be a jerk, but at least is on our side.




SimplyCommonSense May 23, 2008 @ 1:15 p.m.


"What about Judge Goldsmith? He seems level-headed, but he seems unlikely to do much to change the situation for the better."

Even if I were to accept your premise - unlikely to change for the better - is a LOT more attactive then someone with a penchant for making things worse.

"Everyone run for Arizona ! " "Tell me how the City is responsible for your house sliding downhill" "Don't poison those poor little squirrels ! "

... and his classic response when chastized for not providing timely information to the City Council ... basically - "you know you wouldn't have used it anyway."

... pretty much the same response to the AG.


paul May 23, 2008 @ 1:39 p.m.


The AG just stated in an official report that Sunroad did everything legally correct. They weren't asked for that opinion and they didn't do any investigation to come up with that opinion, but that opinion will help San Diego lose a $40 million dollar lawsuit.

You seem so tickled that Aguirre was scolded that you are completely losing sight of what this stunt by the local AG office will cost the city.


SimplyCommonSense May 23, 2008 @ 2:35 p.m.


"You seem so tickled that Aguirre was scolded ..."

Nope - I would much rather have had Aguirre simply do his job and respond to the AG's repeated requests for information.


Burwell May 23, 2008 @ 11:33 p.m.

If I was the Reader I would also file a California Public Records Act Request for time reports prepared by the AG lawyers and investigators who worked on the investigation. The time reports will show the number of hours and the dates the hours were charged to the investigation. I would be interested in knowing the number of criminal investigators who were assigned to the case and the number of hours they charged to the investigation. If the time reports show that no AG criminal investigators were assigned to the case, or they charged minimal hours, this would be a tip off that there was no real investigation of the charges against Sanders. I would also like to know if the attorneys who wrote the investigation report were political appointees beholden to Brown or career civil servants. I would also request all memos and E-Mails between the attorneys and investigators assigned to the investigation and the top brass in the AG office to determine whether the AG attorneys were pressured to clear Sanders.


Don Bauder May 24, 2008 @ 6:23 a.m.

Response to post #23: Again, you make excellent points. There were no criminal charges. There should have been criminal charges against Sanders and Lansdowne, at the very least, and possibly against one or two persons in the AG's office. I doubt that a criminal investigator was even assigned to this one. It was a setup from the beginning -- strictly motivated by political machinations and sticky fingers. This is quintessential San Diego. Watch while the mainstream media drop this one like a hot potato. Best, Don Bauder


JohnnyVegas May 23, 2008 @ 3:29 p.m.

The AG just stated in an official report that Sunroad did everything legally correct.

Well if the AG said it, then it MUST be true.

Get serious.

Sunroad violated FAA and City law. Plain and simple, and that is a known fact. Why do you think Sunroad TORE OFF THE TOP 2 STORIES-because they were RIGHT????

$40 million dollar lawsuit!!! Again, get serious, the entire value of the bulding itself is not even worth $20 million. Sort of like me suing the City and asking for $40 million because I tripped on a sidewalk and fell scrapping my knee.........not happening.


paul May 23, 2008 @ 3:45 p.m.

SimplyCommonSense said: "I would much rather have had Aguirre simply do his job and respond to the AG's repeated requests for information."

Funny, but I don't believe you. I say that because you are not equally criticizing the AG for ignoring the City Attorney and failing to investigate Tom Story and Sunroad. That would have been in their job description. Writing an investigative report over petty name calling is not.

Sanders feels free to swear at Francis, but when he receives a little criticism for the very dubious actions the city took relating to Sunroad, he runs crying to the AG.


Don Bauder May 23, 2008 @ 9:09 p.m.

Response to post #9: You're wrong. Aguirre has attacked excesses of both the business establishment and big labor. Hence, they are working to get him out of the way, so San Diego can continue on its corrupt path. The AG is their tool. There is money in it for Brown. I hope San Diego sees through it. Early evidence suggests people have figured it out. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder May 23, 2008 @ 9:13 p.m.

Response to post #10: I can understand why Aguirre didn't cooperate. He knew it was rigged from the outset. Anyone who was following the blowup in summer of 2007 knew that. Also, keep in mind that Maienschein knew that San Diego was falsifying information in bond prospectuses. It wasn't just Peters. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder May 23, 2008 @ 9:19 p.m.

Response to post #11: You are apparently reading the Union-Tribune and making the mistake of believing it. Aguirre didn't call for a mass evacuation of the city, as the U-T and Sanders said. Anybody who read his memo should have known that. What he did at the La Jolla landslides was inexcusable in Sanders's mind: Aguirre told the residents the truth. I realize that this is a sin in San Diego politics, but it is admirable in other sectors of society. The squirrels? It was a minuscule issue. Aguirre's critics should look at the big picture: he has done some things that looked stupid, but in the main, as other posters say, he has tried to clean up the city. No other city attorney in recent history can say that. The DA is trying to protect the corrupt. Ditto for the AG's office. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder May 23, 2008 @ 9:22 p.m.

Response to post #12: Right on. And the city won't give Sunroad $40 million while Aguirre is in office. That is why Sanders, the AG, DA, the establishment are trying so hard to get rid of him. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder May 23, 2008 @ 9:25 p.m.

Response to post #13: Aguirre knew immediately that the AG was going to do a whitewash of Sanders and Sunroad. No matter what information he would have given the AG's office, it would have been twisted; the conclusion was foreordained. As I said before, anybody who was following the issue in the summer of 2007 knew that this was rigged. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder May 24, 2008 @ 6:18 a.m.

Response to post #22: Your theory is an intriguing one. It makes sense. Sanders would never have called for the investigation unless he had known the outcome in advance. A Democrat who gives to both parties may well have been behind it -- not only to protect his investments, but also to smear Aguirre, whom he despises. Your suggestion about a public records request is a good one, but the request shouldn't be limited to Brown. The whole thing should be investigated. Best, Don Bauder


Fred Williams May 24, 2008 @ 7:01 a.m.

Burwell, you make a lot of sense.

Who could that wealthy Democrat who gives to both parties be?

Uh, just guessing, but how about John Moores? He wouldn't even have to do it himself, just tell his well-paid political puppet Steve Peace to get Jerry on the phone.

Again, how could the AG completely ignore such blatant obstruction of justice? That was a legal search warrant. It was intercepted by the chief, brought to the mayor, and never served.

On the contrary, the mayor told the subject of the warrant to hide evidence of any crimes, including the breaking of city lobbying laws.

These aren't "allegations" but well-documented public facts known to anyone who reads even the UT, much less the Reader, CityBeat, or VOSD.

What a farce!

Time for a real investigation, but this time have a look at REAL criminal activities, rather than trumped up allegations from a habitual liar like Fred Sainz.


paul May 24, 2008 @ 7:30 a.m.

Everyone can rest easy. The sole ethical breech in the mighty fortress of integrity that is the Sanders administration has been plugged. It turns it was MacSweeney who was responsible for it all. As Sanders was taught to say long ago: "Nothing to see here people, move along, nothing to see."

BTW, I thought Sanders' reactions to Bidwell were priceless in the clip on Flannery's blog. He goes to the water glass each time he is accused of dishonesty, and cocks his head and goes for his water when MacSweeney is mentioned, in a manner that sure looks like he knew exactly what was coming. Pretty hard to believe he didn't know about it beforehand.


Don Bauder May 24, 2008 @ 9:20 a.m.

Response to post #27: McSweeney is the scapegoat, hanging there, twisting slowly in the wind, atoning for everybody else's sins. What a joke. The McSweeney caper is a burp in a hurricane compared to the other scams the Sanders administration has pulled. Best, Don Bauder


H8MyWife May 25, 2008 @ 4:17 p.m.

To Mayor Sanders, via his official website, Just in case you think you got away with this one, you didn't. Jerry Brown did you a disservice, and the Attorney General's office is forever tarnished by his false report. It is breathtaking in its dishonesty and amateur in the way it was handled. How can anyone think of this city in a positive light ? You will soon see what the voters already know. In spite of the attacks on Mike Aguirre, you and the Union Tribune will be shocked to see how intelligent the people of San Diego are. We have been snowed for so long and sold out by so many city officials, that we know what rotten garbage smells like. Aguirre is a breath of fresh air, and although the people know he is clumsy at best, he is on our side and eventually will get to the bottom of your mess and expose your corruption, whether or not he is in office.


JohnnyVegas May 25, 2008 @ 6:46 p.m.

In spite of the attacks on Mike Aguirre, you and the Union Tribune will be shocked to see how intelligent the people of San Diego are.

That's right, the majority of the people are onto the scams. They are OVER.



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