Mayor Faulconer's folly

Budget analyst says "the city does not have enough resources"

Kevin Faulconer
  • Kevin Faulconer

In his state of the city address yesterday evening (January 14), mayor Kevin Faulconer said he wants to repair long-neglected infrastructure, take action on expansion of the convention center, and build a stadium for the Chargers that, he claims, will be fair to taxpayers.

It's not unusual for politicians to present ideas that economically can't happen: dealing with the infrastructure is all the city can afford — if that.

Los Angeles is talking about building a stadium without taxpayer money, but nothing similar will happen in San Diego, particularly since the Spanos family will only put in $200 million. Any stadium will cost $1 billion, and one with a retractable dome, which will supposedly serve as a convention-center expansion, would cost at least $1.5 billion.

Judith Grant Long

Judith Grant Long

The Spanos family's $200 million will most likely include naming and advertising rights; the actual cash outlay could be less than $100 million. An exhaustive study by Judith Grant Long while she was at Harvard showed that the costs of land, infrastructure, operations, and lost property taxes normally add 25 percent to the taxpayers' bill. These costs are generally underestimated by the team and the city. On average, taxpayers pick up 78 percent of the cost, she calculated.

Andrea Tevlin

Andrea Tevlin

San Diego does not have that kind of money unless taxes are raised sharply or pension benefits of city workers are cut. Independent budget analyst Andrea Tevlin, studying the mayor's financial outlook for 2016–2020, said "the city does not have enough resources to meet all the needs of the community." And she was not assessing costs of a stadium or convention center expansion.

Faulconer said he favors building a stadium at the current Mission Valley site or building one downtown that would double as a convention-center expansion. But there are multiple problems with the Mission Valley site, including the current overcrowding of Mission Valley itself, as well as environmental questions. The hotel industry is split on whether a convention-center expansion should be distant from the current facility. Most hoteliers seem to prefer a structure contiguous to the current center.

Jerry Sanders

Jerry Sanders

Also, both Tevlin (in her December report) and Faulconer are counting on an improving economy. However, this year's volatile stock market and the plunge of key commodity prices such as in oil and copper do not portend a robust American economy. Economists generally predict recessions for Europe, Japan, Russia, and oil-exporting nations.

Faulconer says he will name a group of civic leaders to develop a plan to build a stadium. If past is prologue, those leaders will almost unanimously come from the corporate-welfare crowd that dominated committees named by Faulconer's predecessor, Jerry Sanders.

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After watching that pension crisis unfold, and seeing how the city's finances were held together by "baling wire and chewing gum", it was obvious that the city has never been flush. It didn't have the bucks to build the current stadium, and had a money-loser on its hands for most of its existence. Then it doubled down on foolishness by remodeling the place into an inhospitable facility that was a turn-off to baseball fans. I'm not surprised to learn that Andrea Tevlin says that the city lacks the funds to meet its basic obligations. So, there's no possible justification for spending a penny on a stadium until those basics are being met. Oh, a close reading of her opinion would likely reveal that she's not talking about being able to bring all those infrastructure needs up to date by 2020. I'd expect that she means that the city will fall further behind on streets, water distribution, sewage, etc. during the coming six years. Kev was talking about street repair and maintenance during the campaign, but once he took office, fell silent on that. What has he been waiting for? Has anyone seen any improvement in the condition of the city's streets since he assumed the seat? I haven't. In fact, the difference between what I see in neighboring cities and in SD is stark.

The fault doesn't rest with the local tax-averse residents. If I still resided in that city (thank Heaven I don't) I'd be adamantly opposed to any more taxes being levied in any way. Fools as those San Diegans can be, a majority know that more tax revenue handed to the city government will not go to improving the infrastructure. The biggest parts of any increase would go to greater inefficiency, higher pay for already-overcompensated city employees, and foolish projects intended to benefit the few.

Visduh: Excellent points. San Diego has huge pension and infrastructure deficits. Logically, a discussion of spending money on a Chargers stadium or convention center expansion should not even be on the table. But rabid football fans are a powerful political bloc, and so are hoteliers, whose money goes into the pockets of local politicians. No reasonable business executive would look at the massive national glut in convention center space -- leading to huge price slashes, including in San Diego -- and put his or her own money into an expansion. But this is OPM -- Other People's (taxpayers') Money. Similarly, private investors will not put money into a football stadium used ten times a year (more if there are playoff games). Stadiums are losers, and that's why owners get money from taxpayers.

Did you notice that, in essence, Faulconer put infrastructure first? But the headline in the U-T put the Chargers first? It's this kind of media dishonesty that will obfuscate the debate on spending priorities. Best, Don Bauder

Headlines in the Mill are often slanted more than the stories they announce. I've learned to discount their headlines. I'd guess that even if Faulconer had the stadium tenth on a list of ten things, the rag would have mentioned it first. Does the Mill really know that its readership is heavily skewed toward those rabid football fans? Is it skewed that way now? There was a time when many males who bought the paper looked only at the sports section and discarded all the rest. I'm not so sure that any paper now has to pander to the sports-loving crowd to succeed. It may be that old habits die hard.

Visduh: You are right: If Faulconer had put the stadium last on the list, the U-T headline writer would have put it first. The journalists on the staff are concerned about their jobs. Best, Don Bauder

Actually, I believe they did have the funds to build the original stadium, and maybe even the money for the 1st expansion. But the last expansion--the so-called $78 mil expansion--the city still owes 10's of millions on, and it won't be paid off until after either the Chargers leave or a new stadium is built (which the annual costs on will dwarf what is owed on the current stadium). I see that Katheryn Rhodes (if the name is spelled incorrectly, I apologize) has stated in other posts that the city is trying to find ways to rescind City Charter Section 221, which currently requires voters to approve any sale of city lands over 80 acres in size. It appears the shenanigans have officially begun to exclude the voters from deciding whether or not they should be involved in the decision of whether the city should build a new stadium.

aardvark: The city may succeed in excluding voters from voting on sale of lands of a certain acreage. But it won't succeed in banning citizens from voting on building a taxpayer-financed stadium on that property. Best, Don Bauder

Don: Will the city try to do the same thing they did with Petco Park--saying it is a redevelopment of the area, or whatever trick they pulled to avoid a 2/3 super majority.

aardvark: Good question. The Chargers are not planning any development tied to a stadium, to my knowledge, although it could claim that a combined stadium/convention center expansion might be called redevelopment, and the Chargers could be involved in redevelopment around the site of Qualcomm. Best, Don Bauder

The Mayor speaks as if the Chargers were a city asset. They are not. They can move at will at this point.

MichaelValentine: Good point. Any team is not a city asset the team is free to leave. A team is hardly a fixed asset if it even threatens to leave if it doesn't get its subsidies. Best, Don Bauder

One thing to consider about a stadium is what a small percentage of local residents actually use it: I've seen numbers showing Charger season ticket holders at 40-60 thousand over the past decade or so: that would be, what, in the neighborhood of 1.5 percent of the county's population? We could assume that those, say, 50,000 seats are generally filled by the same people each game (acknowledging that some season tickets holders do let others use their seats). The remainder of the seats we could assume are filled by a rotating group of fans, but with the $466.20 average cost for a family of four to attend a Chargers games we can also assume that the non-season seats are generally being filled by folk from the upper economic strata or lower-income folk are willing to skip a car payment to see the NFL live (or dad goes by himseld and leaves the family at home).

The bottom line is that a football stadium caters to a very small elite (not including the owners and players).

You're correct. The current stadium, which is just fine for many other uses, does draw in spectators for many other things, not the least of which is SDSU Aztec games. There are plenty of local viewers to the two college bowl games, too. Having said that, probably no more than about 5% of the local residents use the stadium in any year. The rabid football fans, most of whom cannot afford to attend a Chargers game and hence never do, could easily adopt some other favorite team in the NFL. Their viewing of games, courtesy of ESPN and other networks, would be as good or better than they get of Charger games. (No danger of blackouts.) The odious Raiders of Oakland-LA-Oakland fame have done that with their menacing "Raider Nation" decals, shirts, jackets, jerseys, flags, etc. Any thug anywhere in the US can join for the price of buying a piece of licensed merchandise and displaying it. It is emphatically not necessary for fanship to live in the city hosting the team.

Visduh: The Chargers themselves have stated that they get a large percentage of their support from the Los Angeles area. So yes -- San Diegans could root for a team without living in the team's city.

The bottom line is that television is more important to fans, and more remunerative to teams, than the stadium is. Best, Don Bauder

Bob_Hudson: You are correct. A small number of persons actually attends Chargers and Padres games. However, many do watch those games on TV, or listen on radio, and that's where the voting power comes from.

With the stiff prices charged, particularly for football, the poor and much of the middle class are priced out of the games. That's a major reason why teams and leagues put such a huge emphasis on luxury suites and club seats. So taxpayers cough up the money to build a stadium that they won't be able to afford. Best, Don Bauder

Channel 10 TV "news" reporting constantly hypes a new stadium now.

So does KOGO radio--their afternoon talk show guy and their news director. They promote a new football stadium as an economic benefit to the city. Makes me want to vomit. This is especially problematic, because I listen to KOGO, when I am driving my car.

Yeah, I just refuse to listen to "Sully." He gets some things right, but too much of his commentary is moronic.

Visduh: I don't know who Sully is, but I suspect you are absolutely right. Best, Don Bauder

Brian Peterson: Economists who are not in the pockets of teams or leagues invariably conclude that sports stadiums do not bring economic growth. Subsidizing a pro sports team is economic folly. But radio talk show hosts don't read economic studies. Most are still reading "See Spot Run." Best, Don Bauder

Right. Like Stanford professor Roger Noll. Has "Sully" read his work? Does he know who he is? This is especially aggravating, because this talk show host presents himself as a financial expert.

Brian Peterson: Yes, Noll is now retired, but still works at the university, and is glad to help those who call in with questions on sports economics. He is one of the best. Best, Don Bauder

You're right, he does claim financial expertise. And he may have some, but those radio types know which side of the slice of bread gets buttered, and that's the sports side.

Visduh: Absolutely. Radio talk show hosts know where their bread is buttered. At one point, John Coleman had a radio talk show as well as his weather gig on KUSI. On radio, he told both sides of the stadium controversy. It is my understanding that KUSI warned him not to do so. He stopped. Hedgecock made a switcheroo on the stadium issue, too. Best, Don Bauder

shirleyberan: Oh yes. Local television is as blatant as the U-T. After all, the media make so much money off of sports. So they are all for taxpayers paying for new stadiums. Best, Don Bauder

shirleyberan: Are you surprised that Channel 10 hypes a new stadium? Sports advertising is very remunerative to media. Best, Don Bauder

Who will write the book on corruption and media manipulation here before we're worse off than we already are? Laplayaheritage has some important knowledge about the capability and reason they will steal the property where the currant stadium stands. Chargers, get out of town!

shirleyberan: A couple of years ago, the Chargers tried to work out a deal in L.A., but couldn't pull it off. AEG, the Anschutz-owned company trying to develop something in downtown L.A., wants to own control of a team. That may have been the hangup.

The Chargers are said to be worth $900 million. But they may be worth much more than that. After all, the Los Angeles Clippers, a historically poor-performing team in a lesser league (the National Basketball Association, or NBA), were sold for $2 billion. If that team is worth $2 billion, what are the Chargers actually worth on the market? $3 billion? Best, Don Bauder

Don Bauder Prior to the beginning of the 2014 season, Forbes valued the Chargers at $995 million. Of that, a mere $99 million, 9.9%, was derived from the value of playing in Qualcom. Contrast that with the Dallas Cowboys, whose $3.2 BILLION in valuation includes $860 million, 26.3%, from their stadium. Imagine that. The Dallas Cowboys play in a stadium that is worth more than 85% of the Chargers total value. A point on the Clippers. The fact that the Steve Ballmer paid $2 billion for the Clippers doesn't mean they are worth $2 Billion. If you placed a valuation on the other NBA teams using same multiple as the Clippers' sale price, then the Clippers would not even be in the top 10 and both the Knicks and the Lakers would be valued at nearly $5 BILLION. The simple truth is that Ballmer payed way more than the Clippers were worth. Except for one thing; he's worth $20+ billion and he wanted to own an NBA team and was willing to severely over pay to get them. Remember, Balmer was willing to pay to keep the Sonics in Seattle, before they moved, tried to buy them back a couple of yrs later and 2 yrs ago tried to buy the Kings from the Maloof family and them to back to Seattle. It wasn't the team that made the Clippers so expensive to buy, it was the guy who wanted to own an NBA team for many years and when he finally had a legit shot to get one, was willing to pay whatever it cost to get them. Not too many people with that kind of money to throw around just because they "want" something.

danfogel: Interesting info. Texas taxpayers who paid for a big slug of that Arlington stadium should be demanding ownership of a piece of the Dallas Cowboys. (Just kidding; it won't happen.)

But it does raise a point. Why should taxpayers, on average, pay for 78 percent of a stadium or arena and get no share of the team or its profits? I have often wondered why, when the taxpayers are paying for the bulk of a stadium, does the team count the naming and advertising rights as its own contribution? Why shouldn't the city count those rights as part of its contribution?

In re Ballmer: he was a lousy CEO at Microsoft. Will he be a good owner of the Clippers? I question that the price Ballmer paid for that team was that much of an aberration. There must have been bidding. With massive TV revenue coming in, potential buyers were possibly looking at downstream revenues. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder My recollection is that Arlington contributed about $350 million, the NFL another $150 million and Jones was responsible for the rest. You would have to ask those that negotiate these satadiums why they don't get more revenue from the teams. As for the naming rights, let me play devils advocate. The reason AT&T was built was as a home for the Cowboys. If not for them, there would be no stadium and thus no $17-$19 million per year in naming rights fees. In other words, AT&T is paying that much BECAUSE it's the Cowboys. NO Cowboys, no naming rights/advertising fees. Everything I have read and heard has been that the next highest bid was by David Geffen's group, who bid $1.6 Billion.

danfogel: I can tell you why cities get the short end of the stick in negotiations with teams. One reason is that city-employed lawyers are nowhere near as shrewd as big law firms hired by teams. Another is that politicians, under the thumb of team owners, tell the city lawyers to cave. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder Aren't those to statements sort of contradictory? I mean, if the politicians, are under the thumb of team owners, and they tell the city lawyers to cave, then the ability of the city-employed lawyers would be rendered mute. I might be somewhat cynical in some ways, but I am no where near as jaded as you are. I don't think that all politicians are "under the thumb" of pro sports team owners, as you do. But on the other hand, if they wanted to they could indeed hire more competent legal council for those negotiations.

danfogel: Here is an example of what I am talking about. In negotiations for the Padres ballpark, the city DID hire some competent experts to represent San Diego's side. John Moores demanded that they be removed. They were removed. Best, Don Bauder

Steve Ballmer paid $2 billion dollars for the Clippers. No one put a gun to his head. Therefore, they are worth approximately $2 billion. At least to Steve Ballmer.

"Therefore, they are worth approximately $2 billion. At least to Steve Ballmer." Exactly what I said.

I think you are saying the Clippers are not worth $2B.

I am saying the Clippers ARE worth $2B because that what's someone bought them for.

I believe the value of any asset is what someone is willing to pay for it. I'm not sure if you agree with that or not at least in this context.

The true way to establish market value is at auction. If the Clippers had been auctioned in public, the selling price (minus commission) would be the value. Ballmer made a hard-to-refuse offer and it was accepted, under some very tense circumstances. Not everyone is unloading an NBA team, from a racist.

Just because I pay $5 million for a home that was appraised at $1 million, does that make it worth $5 million. Because I cannot turn around and sell it for near that. And even the tax assessor would have to blush to set its tax rate at the $5 million sale price.

Of course Randy Cunninghame would disagree with my real estate analogy.

Ponzi: Good analogy. Cunningham was being vastly overpaid for property he owned. Prosecutors said that was, in effect, a bribe. By the way, is Cunningham out of prison? Best, Don Bauder

Supposedly he is out of prison and living in Louisiana on a limited budget.

The Clippers more or less were auctioned off to the highest bidder - although in private negotiations and in a certainly bizarre set of circumstances. Ballmer may have been motivated to over-pay by the strong desire to own a team and to be seen as a hero in a bad chapter of the NBA.

But overall I disagree with what I think Ponzi and danfogel are saying.

The economic theory I would subscribe to is that in a free market a legal transfer of ownership reflects the value of an asset.

The value of something is what someone is willing to pay for it. Period end of story. That's my opinion.

Let me clarify. Yes the clippers are worth $2 billion to Steve Ballmer, but apparently not anyone else. I guess it's a matter of semantics... and I'm always up for some antics. But seriously. Personally, I place different meanings on value and worth. Worth of the Clippers is $2billion, according to Ballmer. But are they valued at that? Did everything that makes up the Clippers, the sport, the market, the arena , the brand, almost 4 fold just because Ballmer paid $2 billion to call him self the owner? If that is the case, then What arre the Lakers worth? By that metric, it would be a valuation of nearly $5 billion. Let me give you a better example, a personal one. One of my most prized possessions is a vintage 1969 Rolex Submariner. That was Steve McQueen's go to watch. I have always been a HUGE Steve McQueen fan. They were sold only in the UK, but my wife managed to find one somehow, somewhere and gave it too me on my 40th birthday. I have seen Rolex Submariners of that vintage, late '50's thru late '70's, sell for as much as $45k. I don't know how much my wife paid for the one she gave me. It may be worth $45K to someone, but to me, it's value is incalculable. As I said, worth and value, to me two different things.

Yeah, I don't want to fight with you to much over minor semantics. Sometimes it can be hard to really nail down the value and worth of something and exactly what those things mean might be different to different people.

Steve Ballmer doesn't always seem like most rational person, as seen in this clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvsboPUjrGc so it's possible he just went nuts with the Clipper purchase.

Wearing a Rolex someday would be really nice - they are beautiful and well-made watches (for now I will make do with my Timex however!)

ImJustABill: I repeat: since the owner of the Clippers was being forced to sell because of his bigotry, there must have been competitive bidding for the team. I can't imagine that, say, Ballmer bid $2 billion and the next highest bid was $500,000. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder, If you read my post above, you would see that the next highest bid was reportedly $1.6 billion, by a group headed by David Geffin. This was not a traditional auction. Those interested were invited to make a bid, their best bid, and Shelley Sterling made her choice from those bids; there was no "compitetive bidding" in the traditional sense. You don't really follow these type of things so you're probably not aware of all of the circumstances. There was a deadline of June 3rd to sell. On that day, The NBA was to meet with the other owners who would vote on stripping control of the team from both of the Sterlings, and taking over control of the team and of the sale. At that point, the NBA would decide when, to whom and for how much the Clippers would be sold. Several interested parties were said to have met with Shelley Sterling and then made their bids, I have read that it was 5 or 6 bids that were submitted and she chose Ballmer's bid.

ImJustABill: Realistically, the Clippers are worth $2 billion if Ballmer was bidding against others, and believed he had to go that high to get the team. The Dodgers went for a ridiculous price; I have forgotten what it was. But I assume that others were in on the bidding, or at least showing interest. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder Forbes just released their latest NBA valuations this morning. Despite the fact that Ballmer paid $2billion, they listed the Clippers with a valuation in a mere$1.6 billion, saying "Ballmer would likely be hard-pressed to get $2 billion on the open market". The Lakers lead the way with a $2.6 billion valuation.

Damn it, currEnt. Don, throw some shit into a fan.

shirleyberan: I prefer to think I am stirring the pot, not tossing feces into the fan. Best, Don Bauder

Lots of pro stadium hype on XTRA 1360 loose cannon show right now. Among their talking points today (have fun with these)

  1. The 2016 MLB allstar game will bring $85-100M to SD.

  2. Steve Cushman and Bruce Henderson are motivated by politics and special interests to block stadium efforts.

  3. There is a lack of political will to get the stadium built. Hotel industry is strongly against stadium.

ImJusetABill: An All-Star game bringing in $85 million to $100 million is ridiculous -- almost as ridiculous as a Super Bowl bringing in $600 million or more. Such claims are scams. I don't know Steve Cushman's position on the stadium now, but he was a power pushing for the ballpark. Bruce Henderson is not involved in this at all. I hope there is a lack of political will to build the stadium. Probably a majority of hoteliers are opposed to a combined stadium/convention center expansion at a location several blocks from the existing center. But the hotel industry probably favors a stadium. Best, Don Bauder

Mark Fabiani got interviewed by the loose cannons on XTRA this afternoon - I listened for a while. Fabiani seemed to think Steve Cushman is the devil. So I'm guessing Cushman isn't a Charger stadium supporter.

ImJustABill: Remarks by Fabiani about Cushman and the mayor have a good chance of ending the debate about the Chargers. It is possible they are done in San Diego. Fabiani claimed in a statement on the Chargers website that the team told Faulconer the one thing it wanted is NOT to have Steve Cushman on any stadium committee. Faulconer named Cushman to head a group devising a financing plan for a stadium. Fabiani then went ballistic -- or pretended to.

There has been a theory that Fabiani's assignment for the Chargers has been to alienate the community so thoroughly that the team could sneak out of town without much grumbling. This theory has been based on the fact that over 13 years, the Chargers have never come up with a serious plan to stay in San Diego. Each proposal has been dumber than the last. (Remember the housing complex in Mission Valley for which the Chargers forgot about parking for residents?) Certainly, Fabiani has succeeded in alienating San Diegans. His arrogance smacks of fingernails scratching a blackboard.

I have always thought, and still think, that the Chargers are running down two tracks. They want to get out of town, but want San Diego as an option in case they can't vamoose. Fabiani's statement may -- repeat, MAY -- suggest the Charger have lined up another home and want Fabiani to step up his alienation campaign.

I am not sure of that because the Chargers may not have the money to move unless it gets a stadium free. Forbes says the Chargers are worth just short of a billion dollars and the Spanos family is worth $1.2 billion. The family's main asset is the team. The A.G. Spanos real estate business, much of it in Vegas, took some losses but the value of the team has risen. (The Spanos family has a controlling stake in the team.)

One possibility is St. Louis. If Kroenke, who with his wife is worth about $11 billion, moves the Rams to L.A., the indoor St. Louis stadium, built in the mid-1990s, might be available for nothing.

In any case, the offensive, abrasive statements of Fabiani yesterday may not mean the Chargers are playing hardball. Perhaps they are saying bye-bye. Best, Don Bauder

I was listening to the Loose Cannon show today again. They did not seem optimistic at all about the Chargers staying They weren't even certain that building a stadium would guarantee that the Chargers will stay.

The thought process they had is that even if a vote for the stadium passed then that whole process would take too long.

I listened to some of the callers - most were supportive of the stadium effort but a significant number tended to be opposed for some of the reasons we believe are true - not trusting the economic impact numbers, frustration with having to pay money to millionaires and billionaires, and the fact that ticket prices won't be going down even after the big taxpayer handout.

I would be a shame to see the Chargers go but I am appalled at the idea of paying a tax ransom to keep them here.

ImJustABill: If San Diego were to build a stadium, the city would have to get a guarantee from the Chargers to stay for a certain amount of years. San Diego bureaucrats can't possibly be dumb enough not to demand that the team stay for a good spell. Can they? Hmmm. Best, Don Bauder

Of course they couldn't be that dumb. Susan Golding said they would stay until 2020 so it must be true. Bruce Henderson was an obstructionist for trying to claim the Chargers could leave before 2020.

ImJustABill: You are correct. The Chargers said they would stay until 2020 if the stadium would be altered to their specifications. It was. Almost immediately, Alex Spanos began whining for a new stadium. John Moores got one; why couldn't he? Best, Don Bauder

Kevin Faulconer is starting to flip-flop already? Not surprising. At least the stadium has to be approved by a public vote.

This will be a busy year for Manchester & Co. scribes, what all with promoting the release of Romneybot Ver. 3.0 and a new Charger stadium.

Ponzi: With a little bit of luck, the possibility of a stadium will have as much chance of happening as Romney winning the presidency. Best, Don Bauder

I'm not a big sports fan but I think it'd be nice to have a local team we could be proud of. I'm sure the parents and communities at Hoover High and San Diego High, etc are proud of their sports teams.

By the way, how many San Diegans play for the Chargers? Any San Diegans among the owners, management, cheerleaders? Show me what they offer that our community can rally 'round. Should we pay homage (and $$$) to millionaires brought in from god-knows-where to play a children's game for some out-of-town billionaire?

keep on mind high school football is a sport, major league football is just entertainment for money ( and IMHO controlled to bring in the most money,)

(( dare I say rigged ?))

Murphyjunk: You may indeed say "rigged." The most famous fixed game was that Super Bowl when Namath and the Jets beat the Colts. I have been told by ex-NFL players that points are shaved with some frequency. That was several decades ago; maybe it isn't as prevalent now. Best, Don Bauder

I think most, not all, the Charger Girls are local. Beyond that, fuhgedabouddit.

Visduh: I would think all or almost all Charger Girls are local. Best, Don Bauder

swell: Good points. My guess is that most of the cheerleaders live in San Diego. Some in management may. Best, Don Bauder

Obviously Fabiani is ordering their MayorPuppet to shut up, do what he has been ordered to do and build the stadium immediately, threatening to do to him what they did to Filner.

If Faulconer doesn't tell them to go to hell and take their stadium with them today, after Fabiani's threats yesterday, it will prove beyond all doubt that Faulconer really must be kicked out of office immediately for betraying the people of San Diego.

Anon92107: Alas, Faulconer is too much of a politician to do that. But I agree that Chargers brass deserve to roast in hell. I wouldn't dispatch the stadium to Hades, though. It's not the stadium's fault. Best, Don Bauder

Mayor Mush has spoken . . . sort of.

Twister: Maybe Faulconer is more clever than I thought. And maybe he really does care about infrastructure. And maybe he is NOT in Manchester's pocket. Best, Don Bauder

Huh? I got a (structurally deficient) platform that could span the bay to sell ya.

Twister: That's why they call me Little Mary Sunshine. Best, Don Bauder

Oh, what a tangled web they weave . . . I thought I heard Faulconer's Gloriaous lapdog crying (crock-a-dial) tears because the budget for infrastructure falls far short. I musta been dreamin'. More window dressing or just a cynical feint?

I are confused. Zounds! Manipulated again!

Twister: The budget for infrastructure does fall short. But some powerful people want a subsidized stadium and an expanded convention center. Then there will be no money whatsoever for infrastructure -- or in the best case, pitifully little. Best, Don Bauder

A man advertised a million dollar dog for sale, and when he sold him, I asked him if he got full price. He replied, "Yes, I traded him for two five hundred thousand dollar cats.". The Clipper sale, in trade for sale restricted Microsoft stock, is something like that. Both assets are based on licenses and copyrights on other's work, and are likely overvalued, but who knows? If someone rich enough to buy the dog want's it, it sells.

Psycholizard: It reminds me of the two penny stock touts who put out an IPO for a dollar. Then they trade it between themselves at ever-higher prices. Finally, it gets to $50 a share. One says, "Sell." The other says, "To whom?" Best, Don Bauder

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