Wednesday, September 26, 2012
An email thread about a proposal to locate an NFL stadium at the site of the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal stirred up the San Diego mayoral race today.
In the emails obtained and published online by KPBS, U-T San Diego CEO John Lynch told Scott Peters -- a commissioner with the Port of San Diego, which operates the cargo shipping facility -- that he has made "significant progress'' in pushing for the port site with various entities, including "one of the mayoral candidates.''
DeMaio’s opponent, Congressman Bob Filner had a strong reaction to the investigation. He called a news conference where he said if DeMaio is elected, U-T San Diego owner Doug Manchester and Lynch will try to use DeMaio to get various development deals through. Filner said he wants to know more about their relationship.
"I’m calling on Mr. DeMaio, I’m calling on Doug Manchester, I’m calling on John Lynch to immediately disclose all their email communication and all the meetings that they have had regarding this 10th Avenue Marine Terminal and the proposed stadium, which only the U-T has tried to propose," Filner said. "Failure to provide this information will leave voters in the position of having to assume the worst regarding these clandestine dealings."
Filner says he believes Manchester and Lynch have a well-organized plan to take over the city government.
U-T San Diego in January ran a front-page editorial suggesting a massive development project for the area that would include a new playing facility for the Chargers, an indoor arena and other improvements. The city has been working for a couple of years to locate a new stadium in the East Village, about a mile away from the cargo shipping facility.
"Today's revelation by KPBS that Doug Manchester and John Lynch have 'made significant progress' in promoting their plan to develop the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal 'with one of the mayoral candidates' shines a spotlight on the key issue in this mayoral race,'' Filner said.
The newspaper has endorsed DeMaio since the primary campaign. A spokesman for his campaign did not specifically state whether he would release the information.
"Instead of focusing on ideas to create jobs, Congressman Filner chooses to issue yet another wild conspiracy theory,'' said K.B. Forbes of the DeMaio campaign. "As the congressman knows, Carl DeMaio has never supported the waterfront stadium proposal.''
A call to the executive offices of U-T San Diego for a response from Lynch or Manchester was not immediately returned.
Lynch said in his email correspondence with Peters that the city's site is too small to work.
Peters, who is running for Congress, wrote that the U-T San Diego plan would have to overcome "enormous'' obstacles in public opposition and government permits. Produce supplier Dole recently signed a long-term lease at the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal, but Peters said the port could exercise eminent domain to clear the way for a stadium.