I expected very little from Todd Gloria when he took office. I still remember him pulling me aside at the Hillcrest Town Council debate after my public criticism of his overwhelming contributions from developers and lobbysists and his refusal to return any of even the sleaziest of contributions (ie Perry Dealy, Manchester CEO and Lou Wolfsheimer, Walmart lobbysist under Federal investigation in the strip club scandal), and saying to me....
"I would NEVER sell my soul for a few $300 contributions...I can assure you".
I knew that was a lie at the time because anyone that wasn't going to sell their soul would not have taken the money to begin with.
At any rate, he has been in office for 4 months and has already done precisely what community activists like myself were concerned about.
First, in a HUGE show of insincerity and duplicity he nominates Ben Hueso for City Council president over the widely popular and loved Donna Frye. I go into this further in my blog "Gloria Doesn't Waste Anytime Repaying Lobbyists".
Hueso received an extremely anemic 6408 votes in his Council race in 2006 (http://www.co.san-diego.ca.us/voters/Eng/archive/200601bull.pdf">http://www.co.san-diego.ca.us/voters/Eng/archive/200601bull.pdf while Donna, as we all remember, actually won the race for mayor in 2005 receiving 43% of the vote, placing well ahead of 10 other candidates in the infamous write-in scandal. In case anyone remembers she placed way ahead of now mayor Jerry Sanders who received 27% of the vote.
Everyone loves Donna! well everyone except the unions and the developers. And Todd has been well compensated by both. Here are the facts on that... http://www.developeralert.org/INDEXGloria.html">http://www.developeralert.org/INDEXGloria.html
And in case anyone is wondering why being Council President is such a big deal... well the President gets to decide what issues get on the agenda. If it doesn't get docketed, the public never has the chance to weigh in and a council vote can never happen. How's that for power?
His next major betrayal came in his refusal to support DeMaio and Frye's concerted effort to reform city hall and ensure that the minority voice (and when I say minority, I mean any voice that isn't Hueso"s) could be heard and items Hueso doesnt want docketed on the agenda could still be docketed.
This is a quote from the Voice of San Diego... The proposal from DeMaio, one of two Republicans on the council, and Councilwoman Donna Frye failed on a 5-3 vote. Councilwoman Sherri Lightner joined the duo in support of the item, which would've allowed an item to be placed on the council agenda as long as three members agreed, instead of the current four. The proposed change was part of a package of reforms proposed by DeMaio and Frye.
And the third major (and I say major because I am quite certain Todd betrays the constituents daily) was his defense of David Wescoe who presented his update on the San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System (SDCERS) to the City Council on Monday.
And let me express my sincere gratitude and appreciation of Pat Flannery who has done an exceptional job keeping track of all the intricacies of the city's corrupt political system. He has way more patience than I do and has taken the time to cover this story extensively. http://www.blogofsandiego.com/">http://www.blogofsandiego.com/
You recall the city has been in the news lately for the unprecedented number of 6 figure salaries and bloated pensions. DeMaio brought this to our attention and interrogated Wescoe on behalf of the citizens.. http://weblog.signonsandiego.com/news/breaking/demaio.pension.pdf">http://weblog.signonsandiego.com/news/breaking/demaio.pension.pdf Pat says this... "Mr. DeMaio pointed out that over one quarter of Wescoe's staff earn more than $100,000. He requested that Wescoe present a plan to the City to cut his admin costs by 10% to 15%, as is being asked of all City departments."
"Todd Gloria then came to Wescoe's rescue. Each point Mr. DeMaio had made, Gloria demolished. Is there a little tension between these two? Or is Gloria just a doctrinaire defender of public pensions no matter what? His questioning of Wescoe was like an attorney questioning his own client to make him look good. I was very surprised at the blatancy of Gloria's deference to Wescoe. "
Well Pat may have been surprised but I certainly am not. I expected very little from Todd and he is living up to all my expectations.