Democrat Aguirre endorses Republican Faulconer

Former city attorney is leery of Alvarez backers

Michael Aguirre and Kevin Faulconer
  • Michael Aguirre and Kevin Faulconer

Former city attorney Michael Aguirre was scheduled to hold a press conference at the park at Harbor Island at 11 a.m. this morning (Feb. 5) to endorse Kevin Faulconer for mayor.

In an interview earlier this morning, Aguirre explained that when he was city attorney, he and Faulconer worked well together.

But a Chargers stadium cannot be built without a multimillion dollar subsidy — something Aguirre has vehemently opposed. And Faulconer rakes in money from big business and generally favors corporate-welfare projects downtown, despite his claim that he is interested in neighborhoods.

Apparently, Aguirre is annoyed at Faulconer's opponent, David Alvarez, for taking money from labor unions and taking a stand on the pension problem that Aguirre doesn't like.

"The people battling me on San Onofre are backing Alvarez," Aguirre said. He also said he believes people who have been close to organized labor will be Alvarez insiders. He names Michael Zucchet and Lorena Gonzalez as people that he doesn't think will help the city.

"Everything is being run by the public [employee] unions," Aguirre said, and that will worsen under Alvarez. "Environmentalists are not serious social-change agents" in San Diego; Aguirre said they are prime Alvarez backers.

Aguirre said he doubts Faulconer will win but if he does, he will have to work with Democrats.

Faulconer "called me and asked for my support, which is more than Alvarez did."

Finally, Aguirre said, "This will seal my fate with the Democrats."

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Well, at least he is truly independent. These races are supposed to be non-partisan, and such endorsements are unexpected but not impossible. The sad reality is that in this election, neither candidate will have any resources or energy to put into the neighborhoods; they have their supporters to take care of first. When that's done, nothing much will be left over.

Visduh: I am afraid you have a point. Neither candidate will do anything about the infrastructure, the biggest San Diego problem, ignored for years. Faulconer will have to pay off his corporate welfare backers by going ahead with a Chargers stadium financed by taxpayers. Alvarez will get similar pressure from the construction unions and might cave on a stadium. Similarly, I suspect neither will tackle the pension problem. Best, Don Bauder

KLoEditor: Neither candidate will do what Filner tried to do: make the corporate welfare crowd pay its own way, and steer construction to the infrastructure. But even Filner was backing down at the end: he came out for the convention center expansion, which he knew to be a colossal waste of money, and was supposedly at least talking with the Chargers on a subsidized stadium. Best, Don Bauder

I agreed with him about the expansion. As for the stadium, just because he was in talks with them doesn't mean that it was going to happen, or that he wasn't going to get a good deal; all speculation now.

I don't call either of those things backing down. Bob had the ability to take bad things and make them good. Rare ability that had to do with his lack of ego, bigger picture clarity, and understanding of overall goal.

KloEditor: I believe the only one who said the Chargers were making headway with Filner was Fabiani. So who knows if it was true? Best, Don Bauder

This is definitive proof that Mike Aguirre either has gone off the deep end or that he has become so politically irrelevant that he would resort to shock tactics. Shame on him.

monaghan: He did get a tiny percentage of the vote in the first mayoralty election. He offended business by taking many tough positions and offended labor because he wanted pension reform.

In her run against Sanders, Frye was hurt because she had wanted pension reform and lost some labor support. And we must always keep in mind that many unions, not just the construction ones, want the corporate welfare projects such as the Chargers stadium. Best, Don Bauder

Visduh, haven't you said you don't even live in San Diego?

You are dead-wrong in your assessment of David Alvarez as someone who will indiscriminately "take care" of labor interests in a political quid pro quo just because Labor contributed to his mayoral campaign. Running for public office these days requires more money than ordinary people can provide, and principled candidates are grateful to their contributors but not beholden. David Alvarez is that kind of principled man.

David was born, raised, educated and now is settled here with his own family. He is intelligent, thoughtful, well-spoken, and experienced on City Council. He is in this race to serve the needs of regular people in the neighborhoods where they live. That would be all of us who have been ignored for years by a system that's geared to the interests of downtown movers and shakers. We need a mayor like David Alvarez who has the capacity to rebalance the resources of this city to serve its residents in many communities.

Kevin Faulconer is a decent-enough man, but he is inextricably tied to the development, banking and Chamber of Commerce regulars who have controlled San Diego for half a century or more. They have called the shots, enjoyed the status quo and profited handsomely from it. Even Faulconer's wife benefits from the way business is done at City Hall, as reported in the Reader this week by Matt Potter. Enough already. It's past time for a change.

monaghan: Yes, Matt Potter did an excellent story showing how Faulconer's wife, who runs an outfit named Restaurant Events, depends on City Hall insiders to set up large corporate block parties. Best, Don Bauder

monahan, if Alvarez wins, we will soon see just what he does with the strong mayor office. Note that I didn't have anything better to say about the opponent. Both candidates may be "decent" men, but after decades of mismanagement, the city needs more than decency. It needs leadership to get out of the hole that it is in, both financially and infrastructurally (if I may invent a term.)

And yes, every day when I waken, I give thanks that I don't live in the city of San Diego. The smaller cities in the county are seldom paragons of good governance, but they are at least small enough for their residents to understand. We have our own pack of village idiots (city council), but their ability to do harm is limited.

Visduh: You are so right. Sanders had a big deficit. So he ignored maintenance, let the infrastructure rot, slashed firefighting spending in a county that is frightfully fire-prone, and then proudly claimed he had slashed the deficit. Such disingenuousness. Yet citizens swallowed it.

Golding stole from the pension fund, and then gave employees a huge pension boost that is still straining city finances. The list goes on and on. Best, Don Bauder

shirleyberan: I assume that WTF means "What the folk?" or something similar. Apt reaction. Maybe Faulconer has promised him something. Best, Don Bauder

Of course that's what I meant. Not that those two don't have anything in common except a need for a dollar somehow. That explains odd alliances, don't it!?

shirleyberan: The Democrats have done no favors for Aguirre. He is correctly concerned about the pension deficit. He thinks Faulconer may solve it. But Faulconer won't, any more than Sanders did. Wait and see. Best, Don Bauder

Do we really need a Mayor? It appears that Todd Gloria and the Council are running things better than when Bob Filner was there. It upsets me to watch the media mudslinging between Alvarez and Faulconer. We as voters are supposed to sift through that mud and some how come up happy about our decision? Todd Gloria is the "Interim Mayor" until we vote in a new one. He has stated that he had no interest in becoming Mayor. Why? Todd Gloria is turning down a $235K/year salary? Why? I think I know the answer... ACCOUNTABILITY! You see, San Diego needs someone we can point a finger at when things turn ugly (Filner?, Filner?, Anyone?). Regardless of who is voted in, he cannot make everyone happy. Todd Gloria and the Council know this. Accusations of downtown businesses or Union money being funneled through to the new mayor are going to be flying faster than the Mayor's soft leather chair has had time to cool off. So I ask once more. Do we really need a mayor? Do we, really?

ChuckG: San Diego could go back to having a weak mayor and a strong non-elected manager. I'm not sure it would work. The strong mayor concept was dreamed up by the corporate welfare crowd. Then they panicked when they got a mayoral candidate, Frye, and a mayor, Filner, who was not in their pockets.

The election was stolen from Frye and Filner was drummed out on dubious sexual harassment charges. The next mayor must have learned something from those two actions. So the minority, which happens to have the money, rules again. Best, Don Bauder

No the election wasn't stolen from Frye; she almost won in a special election where the voters didn't get a chance to find out who and what she really was; if she believed she could win, she would have run again.

KLoEditor: When she was a write-in candidate, an out-of-town judge stole the election from her. Best, Don Bauder

And I'm saying, if she really believed that, she would have run again.

I'm not discounting her position, that if her supporters knew how to spell her name, she may have had the votes to win, and I wrote a letter to the U-T which they accepted saying that Mayor Murphy had to admit and consider that he had only won on a technicality. Still, the rule of law is what it is, and the election wasn't stolen.

But again, she ran in an election where she knew her ideas wouldn't be tested in the same way as in a regular election cycle (same strategy as David), and she chose not to run again. That tells you pretty much all you need to know.

I give the new mayor less than a year before the voters turn on him.

Murphyjunk: If Alvarez wins, it will be only a few months before the corporate welfare crowd figures out how to smear him. Best, Don Bauder

Maybe Manchester will bring back the evening paper. That way he can spread his lies twice a day.

Ponzi: The evening paper is dead. Even Manchester won't think of bringing it back. Best, Don Bauder

I think that's exactly what's going to happen. I think the U-T's got stuff on David, and they're waiting to either get him to play along or sling it and cripple him, or bring him down. This is the new Republican game plan; if you can't win legitimately, then hamstring by manufactured scandal.

Monahan - Yes Alvarez is principled, but not all of his principles serve ordinary little-people community residents. Particularly in his council-district neighborhoods he has sometimes failed to foster loyalty among long-time residents, for reasons that are well-documented and that have evolved in local battles for many years (e.g., "Villa" Logan). Important to remember is that District 8 property has been and is a target of many of the "downtown movers and shakers," as they widen their circles of interest and profit beyond downtown and East Village.

I'm guessing that you live outside the concentric rings of urban neighborhoods in which the collective of developers, architects, and urban planners now plan to profit. Thus you may not feel the helplessness that urban-core residents feel as their neighborhoods are altered for the worse, and as they are forced to pay assessments controlled by business groups who vow to "improve the quality of their lives."

Urban infill, empowered business groups, and business-friendly regulations and legislation are described in current forward-looking City of San Diego Economic Development Strategy documents. These issues are also endlessly discussed at ULI meetings, using a myriad of double-speak vocabulary terms, and comprise a major city plan that Alvarez apparently endorses. Alvarez' principles in this regard have been fully demonstrated in the community in which he lives. I believe that he is beholden to these principles because they are in line with his personal vision for the near-downtown urban communities. Faulconer could care less about urban infill, except that it enriches his cronies, but Alvarez really believes in it. That's what I find most jarring about Alvarez.

If you know, has Alvarez spoken on the city's urban-infill plans?

HonestGovernment: I don't know if Alvarez has spoken about urban in-fill plans. If he had, while Faulconer has not, the developers would have poured money into Alvarez's campaign. I have not seen evidence that they have. The developers appear to me to be part of the corporate welfare clan pouring money into Faulconer's campaign.

And that brings up a more important point. Faulconer is claiming he is really an independent, and he cares for the neighborhoods. Both are blatant lies. He is a tool of the downtown corporate welfare crowd and always has been.

Matt Potter has a good item today (Feb. 6) about all the restaurant money pouring into Faulconer's campaign. But there doesn't seem to be much restaurant labor money going to Alvarez.

The bottom line is that Faulconer's campaign is fraudulent. Best, Don Bauder

Honest Gov, where i live has its own runaway development and "infill", plus lousy roads, dark street lights, crumbling curbs and heaving sidewalks.

But I hear you: Barrio Logan is unrecognizable for all the shocking gentrification. I honestly don't know about Alvarez's position on all this -- but it sounds to me more like Kevin Faulconer and Todd Gloria's cup of tea.

You may be right, but for the moment I am supporting David Alvarez and hoping he will be elected Mayor next Tuesday.

monaghan: If you have lousy roads, dark street lights, crumbling curbs and heaving sidewalks, along with runaway development, you are no different from most San Diegans. Best, Don Bauder

In response to Monaghan's post assessing David, up top: "David Alvarez is that kind of principled man.

"David was born, raised, educated and now is settled here with his own family. He is intelligent, thoughtful, well-spoken, and experienced on City Council. He is in this race to serve the needs of regular people in the neighborhoods where they live. That would be all of us who have been ignored for years by a system that's geared to the interests of downtown movers and shakers. We need a mayor like David Alvarez who has the capacity to rebalance the resources of this city to serve its residents in many communities."

I think "a principled man" "serving the needs of regular people in the neighborhoods where they live" might sound just a tad strained to the people and neighborhoods of District 8. A guy who didn't serve even one full term on the council can hardly be said to be committed to the people and neighborhoods in his district. A guy who backstabbed his people down in Barrio Logan on the community plan amendment in order to concede ground to the maritime industry at the last minute doesn't seem like the sort of guy who is committed to or concerned about the residents most affected by that industry. A guy who supported WalMart coming into a number of locations in the community when most of the vocal opposition to WalMart has come out of District 8. A guy who had to have been fully aware of what the Jacobs Plan would have meant to the working class people of his district, impacting them hardest of all, voted in favor of it.

I agree that David talks a good game. He says all the right things, and maybe he even believes them. But frankly, with his lack of experience, lack of leadership and bad decisions as demonstrated in his short time on the council, and what seems to be an altogether too cozy relationship with certain people and groups in this city, it is difficult to see that he would be able to move this city along in the direction Mayor Bob Filner was going.

I think we are looking at two bad choices, and I say that as a Democrat. Kev is the worse choice, but David may end up being a puppet just because of his weak support and lack of abilities. He may surprise us; I hope he does. I wish him well, if he wins. If the past is any indication of the future, I think we need to be very wary, very skeptical.

KLoEditor: Have you ever known an election on any level in which voters did NOT have to "be very wary, very skeptical?" I can't remember such an election. Best, Don Bauder

I can't speak for anyone else. But I can honestly say I personally was never wary or skeptical when Bob Filner was elected. I slept very good at night because I didn't have to worry he would do the wrong thing for the wrong reasons. Even knowing what I know now about his Pepe LePew issues, I still think he was a damn fine mayor, the best this godforsaken city has ever had, or at least in a very very long time.

"two bad choices," Yep

"and I say that as a Democrat." Yep

" Kev is the worse choice," Yep

"but David may end up being a puppet" "May" is not operative: He has already demonstrated this. Would that it were not true. It was not necessary to his success to allow himself to be used, so it's difficult to understand why he has done some of the things he did. Didn't have to be that way. It bodes ill.

HonestGovernment: Alvarez may become a puppet. True. But Faulconer is already a puppet of the downtown establishment. Best, Don Bauder

Honest Government, you touched right on the very nerve of the matter, for me: his record so far does bode ill on a number of levels. It's very worrisome. All we can do is hope that this creepy feeling down my spine goes away.

Oh and by the way, Don, maybe now you'll believe me about Aguirre, lol.

KLoEditor: I was very disappointed by Aguirre's choice of Faulconer. He knows better. But he despises the city employee unions so intensely that he couldn't help himself. Those unions are throwing big bucks at Alvarez, and anyone can make a good case that he will do nothing about the pension problem. But neither would Faulconer. Best, Don Bauder

Pick your poison. A corrupt mayor helping corrupt public employee unions or a corrupt mayor helping corrupt corporate interests.

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