Corrupt business as usual?

Filner says Chargers will stay, convention center will be expanded

Incoming Mayor Robert Filner gave his inaugural speech today at the Balboa Club. According to sources who were there, Filner said "We are going to make sure the Chargers stay in San Diego." He also said, "We are going to expand our convention center to strengthen our visitor industry." Is Filner saying the City will subsidize a stadium for the Chargers? He has previously said that public funds would not go for that purpose. He can forget the Chargers or other private interests financing a stadium. It won't happen. The Coastal Commission still has to approve convention center expansion plans. Also, there is a pending lawsuit against the deal. "He [Filner] had previously said that he wanted it [the expansion] voted upon," says civic activist Mel Shapiro, who was at the speech. Shapiro is involved in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of hotels increasing taxes for the purpose of financing the expansion. Does Filner know how that lawsuit will turn out?

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Filner said "We are going to make sure the Chargers stay in San Diego."

Even Filner is in the pocket of the DT developer/Pro Sports team special just won't end.

SurfPup: There are ways San Diego could keep the Chargers without building them a new, heavily-subsidized stadium. Possibly repairs could be made to Qualcomm; I think it is a fine facility, ideally located, and if there are repairs that must be made, they could be made -- possibly -- relatively cheaply, and possibly partly at the team's expense. The NFL might not let the Chargers move to LA. In this blog item, I concentrated more on Filner's statement that the convention center expansion would be built. How does he know that, with a lawsuit pending and other hurdles still in the way? Best, Don Bauder

Don, Jack Murphy is one of the BEST stadiums in the NFL, Spanos is not going to stay, he will NOT accept it. If the City wants to expand the convention center do it through dedicated lease revenue bonds, paid back through the conventions, and have the DT hotels and restaurants back stop any short falls. The hotels are the ones who want this, let them build it and if the revenue does not pan out let them cover the shortfall.

SP: Look at it this way: if the additional hotel tax did not go into the convention center expansion, it could go into some local project that is truly needed. So the hoteliers and their customers really aren't paying for this thoroughly wasteful project: the taxpayers are. That's why there should be a vote on it. Best, Don Bauder

Don, I have a democrat friend from Illinois, where it appears that democratic politicians rule, and he says that democratic politicians can be just as corrupt as republicans. Maybe that's the biggest problem of all.

Anon: You don't have to tell me. I grew up in a suburb of Chicago in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. The late Mayor Richard J. Daley ran a thoroughly corrupt Democratic machine in Chicago. The mob was rampant. I was in a western suburb (Glen Ellyn), where a thoroughly corrupt DuPage County Republican machine ruled the roost. But we were very small compared to the Chicago machine. Now, I understand, the DuPage County machine has more puissance than it once had, only because Chicago is in such horrible economic shape. This is how old I am: Glen Ellyn was a bedroom commuters' community 22 miles from Chicago. There were farms between Glen Ellyn and Chicago. I'm sure my high school classmates got rich selling those family farms. I doubt there is a farm within 75 miles of Chicago now. Best, Don Bauder

Yes Don, that friend from Illinois is you, and no one knows better about political failures that San Diego (along with Sacramento and Washington) must overcome. Keep up the great work.

We need you and the READER to inform and incite us to protect ourselves from business as usual corruption we never seem to be able to eliminate, and at least keep it under control if human nature is truly incapable of eliminating greed.

Anon: One of the last (or last) elections I voted in in Illinois was a real beauty in the 1960s. The Democrat was Paul Powell, a downstate, sticky-fingered pol who made national headlines by having shoeboxes full of cash in his closet. (As I recall, the loot was found after he died, but I am not sure of that.) The Republican was Elmer Hoffman from my district. He started out as sheriff (for which he was ill-qualified) and finally made it to Congress. He had no understanding of any issue other than how to raise money. I don't remember who won. People can't understand why Illinois is broke. People who lived there -- no matter how many years ago -- know why. Best, Don Bauder

The San Diego Chargers belong in San Diego.

Perhaps they "belong" in SD--after all, SD taxpayers have subsidized the team for years. But the hand of the Spanos family does NOT belong in the taxpayers pocket. Oh, it never did, but in times like these, the welfare needs to stop, not increase.

Visduh: Very well stated. Subsidization of pro sports facilities is corporate welfare at its worst. Incidentally, see the New York Times stories running this week on how cities and states get fleeced to woo a company to the town; then the company leaves and the facility sits empty. I have been inveighing against these scams for decades. I was even permitted to blast them when I wrote for the U-T., although management was not happy about the columns. Best, Don Bauder

Sjtorres: I agree completely. The Chargers belong in San Diego. But they should pay for any new stadium themselves; there should be no taxpayer money involved in the construction of a stadium for a billionaire family's team -- in San Diego and anywhere else. If the Chargers want (or are forced) to stay in San Diego, they should chip in for the repairs supposedly needed at Qualcomm. Best, Don Bauder

First we must fire the Spanos family for looting public funds, and demand that our new Mayor end corporate welfare so he can balance the budget.

During the election Manchester's U-T proved that he is ready, willing and able to do anything by using his power of money to maximize his avarice regardless of the destructive consequences he is producing.

We must "fire" Manchester along with the Spanos family so San Diego can end that era of corruption.

Spanos won't get a new stadium ONLY because SD is bankrupt, if we even had a few million left Filner/Sanders/Demaio/whoever would be funneling i into Spanos back pocket right now, and not give it a second thought.

Anon: Alas, San Diegans can't fire Spanos or Manchester. The only thing one could do is stop attending Chargers games and watching broadcasts and canceling the paper. But those moves wouldn't be enough. Best, Don Bauder

SurfPup: San Diego does not have the money to subsidize a Chargers stadium. But the City could close all libraries, suspend road and building maintenance and infrastructure programs completely, let neighborhoods rot, shut down all school-related and recreation programs, close all parks, and stop maintaining beaches, and there might be enough money to subsidize the Chargers. You would be surprised how many locals would go along with such a program. Bes, Don Bauder

Sounds like what I've been saying for years.

Actually, with all the problems that Mission Valley site has, keeping it for the stadium known as Qualcomm is the highest use. It is hard to imagine another spot that has such a central location within the county, freeway access, and ample parking. Fixing it up and bringing it to current standards would be relatively cheap. Unfortunately, no matter how "cheap", the Chargers would be willing to pay exactly nothing, Well, unless the club got to use it rent-free for fifty years.

Visduh: I fear you are right; in San Diego there is no give and take. The Chargers want to take and don't want to give anything. But if the NFL won't let them move to LA, and doesn't want a team in Vegas, what city would give the Chargers a huge subsidy? Not many, if any. So the City of San Diego might have a bargaining chip in getting the team to help pay for Qualcomm repairs, if any are needed. Best, Don Bauder

The San Diego Chargers are once again OUT of the playoff pic, and will have a losing season, unless they run the tables on the last 5 games and that is NOT happening.

I expect Turner to get canned after Game 16, and Rivers is on the bottom half of his career.

SP: I understand that if the Chargers win the rest of their games they have a slim outside chance to get into the playoffs. But it is a long, long shot. Best, Don Bauder

JUST IN- TURNER IS GETTING CANNED - at the end of the season.

I called it 2 days ago :)

SP: I understand U-T just reported it. GM may be out, too, at season's end. Best, Don Bauder

"I called it 2 days ago :)" Yeah, right surfpuppy619. Anybody who follows the NFL knows Norval was done 2 weeks ago.

I guess I must bow before you because truly you are a your own mind!!!!! LOL

I do hope that Bob will do the right thing and marry his Civil War Bride before he retires from Congress. With the 22 year age difference she's going to need a survivor's annuity. She'll be 68 when Bob's 90. If Bob goes at 75 she could easily collect on his government pension for another 25 years. Ray Lucia couldn't create a rate of return like that.

Burwell: Great message, but I have to plead ignorance on this one. I didn't even know Filner had a girlfriend until I saw her picture in one of the post-election celebration photos. She does look a lot younger than he does. Could there be a pre-nup that would keep her from cleaning up? Best, Don Bauder

I need the GF 411......B, spill the beans.

SP: You will have to explain your message to this old man. Best, Don Bauder

GF= Girl Friend

411= Want Information (old telephone assistance for phone numbers, dial 411)


"Spill the beans"= Tell me what you know.

OK Don!

Awesome interview, and I am very impressed with her, and Filner too.

I think Filner will do a better job than Sanders (not saying much) and hopefully much better. I do have confidence in him.

Filner told the Voice of San Diego that marriage stinks, that his last wife took all his money and property. That's why Bronwyn should insist that she and Filner go to Vegas and get married, before he puts his pension papers in. If Filner activates his pension before the wedding Bronwyn may lack legal claims on his pension or entitlement to a survivors annuity. She's taking a risk marrying an elderly guy like Filner, financially and otherwise. If Filner's prostate goes out Viagara won't help him.

Filner has already said publicly this week that they plan on getting married by next October.

If Filner activates his pension before the wedding Bronwyn may lack legal claims on his pension or entitlement to a survivors annuity. She's taking a risk marrying an elderly guy like Filner, financially and otherwise. If Filner's prostate goes out Viagara won't help him.

Burwell, this is why I love your comments-funny as hell! I am shocked she is 48 y/o as she looks much younger, she could pass for late 20's to me.

At age 70 sex is not going to be the priority it would have been at age 20, 30, 40 or even 50.

One of the HUGE problems with muni pensions is the survivor benefits go to the wife, no matter when they were married, as long as they are married before the pensions starts. Example,gov employee is working gov job, marries a 19 y/o trophy wife in year 31 of job, and then quits in year 32, and then dies in year 33- the now 21 y/o wife has a pension for the rest of her natural life- this happened somewhere recently but I can't recall the specifics.

So, what is this? Filner's third go-round? I was sure this now ex-wife was his second one, and he had her on his campaign payroll for years at a six-figure salary. What did she want? What did he want? What goes with him anyway?

Excuse me, I've gotta go. Seems I'm almost as old as Bob and if I'm gonna ever get a trophy wife in her 40's I better do it now. Sex/Viagra/Cialis/Levitra be damned, it's the money that brings those young(er) women in.

Seems I'm almost as old as Bob and if I'm gonna ever get a trophy wife in her 40's I better do it now.

You do NOT want a trophy wife, even with an iron clad prenup- it is just not worth the brain damage.

Sigh. I know. But it was fun to contemplate for a few minutes.

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