Mike Madriaga 11:30 a.m., July 22
The current Sunroad blowup shows rank hypocrisy
Those who lauded Sanders's sleazy actions denounce Filner's bumbling ones.
The flap over Mayor Bob Filner's mishandling of the Sunroad Enterprise matter brings to mind another scandal regarding that company back in the 2007-2008 time period. Comparison of these two scandals shows the staggering hypocrisy of the San Diego establishment and its mouthpiece, the Union-Tribune.
Back in the 2007-2008 period, Sunroad built a 12-story structure near Montgomery Field; both the Federal Aviation Administration and the California Department of Transportation said it was too high, and therefore unsafe for a building this close to an airport. Then-City Attorney Mike Aguirre sued and the federal and state agencies joined the suit. A number of ugly things happened: Police Chief William Lansdowne refused to serve a subpoena to a Sunroad vice president, although the subpoena had been approved by a respected judge. Elected officials such as Bonnie Dumanis and Bill Kolender collectively denounced Aguirre. Mayor Jerry Sanders huddled with aides to figure out how to get Sunroad off the hook. Why? Well, a major reason was that Sunroad had given thousands of dollars to Sanders's campaign. Another reason is that Sunroad is a real estate developer, and that element then ran City Hall. The Union-Tribune's pathetic editorial page wrote one screed after another, claiming that Aguirre was smearing the Sunroad executive, acting irresponsibly, ad nauseam.
Now Sunroad is at it again. It wanted an easement, and to do so, paid $100,000 to the City -- repeat, to THE CITY, not, as far as can be determined, to the mayor. There appears to be no doubt that the payment was a quid pro quo; Filner was stupid to accept it for City projects. His explanations of how it all happened are shaky. It does not appear that he was massaging a donor, or putting any of the money in his pockets. But the U-T, which takes delight in smearing Filner, is on the attack, questioning his trustworthiness and integrity...blah, blah, blah.
The same establishment that fought to protect Sanders and Sunroad has now done a backflip over a much less serious issue. Do things ever change?