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Citizen Voices

Has your first impression of someone ever turned out to be wrong? 

I hate admitting such things -- like the time in high school I misjudged an intelligent and well-connected scion for a nerd with nothing interesting to say.

It may be time to say again, I was wrong. After reading Chuck's post about Steve Francis -- the independently wealthy mayoral candidate funding his own campaign -- I thought, "Why does this man (Steve, not Chuck) think he can step into the public sector and do well?" 

It drives me kind of nutty when successful businesspeople try to impress voters with their cash and business acumen. 

Admitting I wrote off Steve Francis may not be the same as admitting I was a near-sighted fool in high school. Then again, it may be better to slow down and give some credit where it's due.

Richard Miller from North Park
May 15, 2008 at 06:27 PM
Alma, Heard your remarks this AM on KPBS. I am glad you are considering Steve Francis, I urge you to continue looking at his candidacy. On the show you mentioned that you liked the actions of the Mayor at attempting to be transparent concerning city actions. Transparent? Hardly. The only time Sanders gets "transparent" is when he needs to! Look at the record. Donna Frye continues to rap the Mayor over her inability to get information. Requests for information made by many citizens go unanswered - and ignored. While I applaud Sanders on his support for his lesbian daughter, what has been the real progress? I can applaud Dick Cheny too, but that doesn't mean I would consider him just beacuse he supports his own flesh and blood. Where is the leadership? I too have come to the same conclusions regarding your assesment of Mr. Morrow. But I have also concluded that Steve Francis is our only hope for change in a city run by downtown interests, Sempra Energy and developers lobbiests. The Status quo cannot continue. Sunrise Powerlink. At the EarthFair Mayoral debate, Sanders stated that he was meeting that week with experts opposed to the project. Yet as of Monday this week, no such meeting has taken place. Maybe he met with SDG&E;. Sanders came out in support of the project as soon as SDG&E;announced it. He continues to back this bad project over much better and less expensive alternatives that will actaully reduce global warming. Francis has publically stated that electeds should not support or oppose projects until the Environmental Impact Report is issued. Francis also said that he has grave concerns that the project can or will meet its stated goals. Certainly something that SDG&E;didn't want to hear. At least Francis has a vision and a plan to protect the environment. What has Sanders offered? Oh, Sanders did accept an invitation from enviro's to visit Rose Canyon, but turned down the offer to actually go into the canyon. Francis hiked into it and really came to understand that this was a bad proposal. Richard Miller Chair, San Diego Sierra Club



Trina Boice
May 16, 2008 at 03:25 AM
Hi Alma, It was great fun talking with you this morning on "These Days" at KPBS! For those of you who haven't seen Alma in person you may not know that she's expecting a baby this fall! Congrats! She was all aglow today. Because I live in Carlsbad I won't be voting on the mayoral race in San Diego, so the following question is more general and not specifically about Steve Francis. You mentioned that it drives you nuts when candidates claim business acumen and success as a viable strength as a political leader. Why? I actually AM impressed by that. That's one thing I really liked about Mitt Romney. He used his business experience and skills to pull Massachussetts out of a hole. Politics as usual seems to increase budget problems. You mentioned on air that government isn't run like business, but I'm thinking maybe it should be. I mean, if a business paid $246 for a hammer the business would go belly up pretty fast or lose its competitve edge at the very least, right? Maybe some cities and even states are facing budget crisis because their leaders don't understand how to effectively manage dollars and cents. (Sometimes sense too.) I think business skills ARE important in running a city or state or country. To put it another way, if a candidate were a terrible businessman I would imagine that no one would have confidence that he could run a city either. Just food for thought here.

michael valentine from Spring Valley
May 21, 2008 at 05:00 PM
Government and business, apples and oranges. While there are common elements to these organizational models, their ends are two entirely different. In business the end is to make money. In government the ends the organization is unification of people in a given geographic location. The United States of America, The State of California, San Diego County, The City of San Diego, all are levels of governments given different responsibilities to the people of their prospectively smaller geographic areas. Here in America we pretty much been committed, at least in civics class, to the rights (of the people) of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as expressed by the Declaration of Independence. In the enterprise of commercial business the end goal is the bottom line, profit. In the enterprise of government (in America, at least I was taught) the end goal is a people who are free and safe in their homes and in their communities. This would include National Defense, garbage collection, fire and police protection, public health, transportation safety and public education to just name a few. We as a people have decided that these goals of government are just and fair. These two enterprises, business and government, apples and oranges. Government is the over arching structure of society, every other enterprise is subservient to and exist at the pleasure of the government. This is why business is regulated, to ensure that the people are protected from dishonest business's who only have a profit motive. Religion is another matter that, here in America, we have tried to keep out of our government and our government out of our religion. Still trying too.

SimplyCommonSense from San Diego
May 23, 2008 at 05:58 AM
Richard Miller - "Donna Frye continues to rap the Mayor over her inability to get information. " Frye's claims of an inability to get information has served her well in the past ... If you watch the video of the City Council the day of her off-praised vote against the pension underfunding, she did not vote NO because she understood what the underfunding was about, she voted NO because she had no clue what was going on. While I would prefer that our Council members abtain from voting on subjects they are ignorant of, her no vote in her most famous instance was correct for the wrong reason. Since the City Councils docket is known in advance, perhaps she could note on her website which items she will not be voting on because of lack of information and who she sought to obtain it from.

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