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In all but a few daily newspapers, such as the New York Times, obituaries tend to gloss over or not even mention news that a community doesn't want to recall. So it is with the Union-Tribune's report today (March 4) on the death of former U.S. Attorney and District Attorney Ed Miller, one of San Diego's true battlers against entrenched corruption. Back in the 1950s, 1960s and into the 1970s, San Diego was essentially controlled by banker/congomerateur C. Arnholt Smith and his close associate, bookmaker John Alessio, whose family owned major slugs of Smith's empire. Indeed, the federal government said Smith's bank was a riot of self-dealing. Much of those intertwining transactions were with Alessio and his family. When Miller was U.S. Attorney, one of the Alessio family members was convicted of interstate gambling in support of racketeering. Smith was very close to Richard Nixon. When Nixon won the presidency, he replaced Miller with one of Smith's cronies. Miller later ran for D.A. and defeated another Smith crony. Federal prosecutors sent John and Angelo Alessio to prison, but were not able to put Smith away, despite his obvious financial crimes. As D.A., Miller took the case and was able to get Smith on tax evasion. He finally got eight months. The U-T did not relate any of this story. Thanks to Matt Potter for pointing out the U-T's deficiencies. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh March 4, 2013 @ 7:37 p.m.

This is all very interesting, Don, in that I have my copy of the Mill dated today, March 4, in front of me and I cannot find anything about the death of Ed Miller. I've visited the UT website and nothing comes up, even when I search. Oddly enough, Yahoo gets me to an obit in the San Francisco Chronicle on Miller. But nothing, nada, that I can find locally. Whazzup?


Visduh March 4, 2013 @ 8:01 p.m.

Well, I finally found the piece on the website. Finding an obituary on that site is like looking for nits on a scalp. Little was really said, except for his utterly wrongheaded prosecutions of Akiki and Wade, which it insinuated he still thought were justified. Let us hope that in his case Euripides was right, "When good men die their goodness does not perish, But lives though they are gone. As for the bad, All that was theirs dies and is buried with them." RIP


Don Bauder March 5, 2013 @ 7:40 a.m.

Visduh: The Akiki prosecution undid Miller. The case was very badly handled. Since he was the boss, he had to take the hit. But he did so much that was good; he actually fought business corruption. He was taking on big enchiladas: both Smith and Alessio had been given "Mr. San Diego" awards by the Rotary and Smith had been dubbed "Mr. San Diego of the Century" by a San Diego Union writer. Smith and Alessio basically ran San Diego, with great assistance and encouragement from Jim Copley, owner of the Copley empire. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder March 5, 2013 @ 7:30 a.m.

Visduh: Don't know the problem. It was there. Best, Don Bauder


vitalinfo March 4, 2013 @ 8:55 p.m.

A heartfelt salute to Mr. Miller and condolences to his family.


Don Bauder March 5, 2013 @ 7:45 a.m.

vitalinfo: Years after he had left the DA's office, the San Diego (So-Called) Ethics Commission found a nitpicking reason not to let Ed Miller serve on it. That tale tells a lot about San Diego. Best, Don Bauder


sbillinghurst March 5, 2013 @ 7:30 a.m.

Don't miss this story: http://www.scribd.com/doc/118085315/LOCAL-12-OPERATING-ENGINEERS-LAWSUIT-12-07-12 This suit reflects ongoing control of the entire region, this time of the Operating Enginneers Local 12, with tens off thousands of members.

Please, do not imagine that as we went forward from the days of Nixon and C. Arnholdt Smith that we stopped corruption. Today, these members, including me, may easily lose all the benefits they paid into the union, because the union bailed out a bank, called the Amalgamated Bank of New York. In other words, a talented CEO dedicated to looting an organization targets every dime and is very systematic. Given forty years to operate, nothing is likely to be left.
By the way and in my opinion, Nixon set up HMOs which continue to kill people today. He set up the drug war. A tape reveals him discussing bombing dikes in North Vietnam. Kissinger says it'll kill 200,000 people. That tape is public because the tape of Nixon ordering a nuclear strike on North Vietnam actually exists. He would do it and call the bombers back. Please don't be blind, or bewitched because of what is proved in black-and-white.

It's almost futile to try to get justice against racketeers. We seem to wait until the damage is done. I joined the union in 2000 and always knew what scum ran it. Look at pictures of union officials. They appear the same as mafia members.


Don Bauder March 5, 2013 @ 7:54 a.m.

sbillinghurst: Unfortunately, I don't have time to read the suit now, but it does look interesting. Incidentally, I do not believe we have gone forward from the days of Nixon, C. Arnholt Smith, and John Alessio. Corruption still reigns. But I do think that Bob Filner won the mayoralty with the right philosophy: break up the downtown corporate welfarists who suck up the public money and start building up the neighborhoods and the infrastructure. Best, Don Bauder


Psycholizard March 5, 2013 @ 7:33 p.m.

Though the Akiki case was a scandal, it was not corruption. Akiki and Miller were victims of the Pentecostal movement, which was presenting pseudo documentaries about satanism to church members. Miller fell because his staff believed their minister and church doctrine, and that same doctrine perverted the minds of children into false accusations. Sometimes the straight arrow finds the wrong target. Smith and Alessio were the true measure of the man. Ed Miller took on the most powerful men in town, men who could get the president to pick up the phone, and brought them to justice. His family should be proud.


Don Bauder March 6, 2013 @ 7:02 a.m.

Psycholizard: I agree. The Akiki case was not corruption. It was a case of religious fanatacism. Also, one of the most powerful executives in town was pushing Miller and his staff to prosecute. It is disappointing to hear that long after the case was over, Miller was not admitting his gross error. But Miller's overall record was excellent; few people before or since have taken on the establishment in the way that he did. Best, Don Bauder


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