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Roundtable: Tactics, Turnout And Money In San Diego Mayor’s Race

KPBS Roundtable

Roundtable: Tactics, Turnout And Money In San Diego Mayor's Race

Audio

Aired 2/7/14

HOST:

Mark Sauer

GUESTS:

David Rolland, San Diego CityBeat

Sandhya Dirks, KPBS News

Claire Trageser, KPBS News

Transcript

Iffy Polls, Dog Whistles and Neighborhoods

A recent UT/10News poll shows Kevin Faulconer leading the San Diego race for mayor by a comfortable margin. But zip on over to the Democratic Party poll, and David Alvarez is ever-so-slightly ahead. Say, what?

The difference depends on where the polling was done, how the questions were asked, and, some say, on who commissioned it.

Funding has not been a problem for either candidate, with PACS on both sides spending big and spending often, spreading around much more than $1 million.

Some Alvarez supporters have labeled an anti-Alvarez mailer sent by the conservative Lincoln Club of San Diego as “dog whistle racism” (subtle, aimed at those receptive to such tactics), which the club denies. The mailer either does or does not show Alvarez making gang signals with his hands.

Both candidates bill themselves as neighborhood-friendly, rather than downtown-centric, and both conscientiously reiterate that they want to be the mayor of "all of San Diego" whenever they get the chance.

Faulconer has a reputation and recent voting record as a moderate Republican, while Alvarez is a dyed-in-the (blue)-wool progressive. Some political observers say San Diego is in the process of becoming a blue city. Others say the transformation from Republican red is already completed. In theory, a blue or even purple tinge to the electorate should help put a Latino candidate like Alvarez in the mayor’s office. But that will depend on geography: whether voters south of I-8 turn out to vote in significant numbers.

Personal Finances Paint Personal Pictures Of Candidates

David Alvarez and Kevin Faulconer are both paid $75,000 per year as San Diego City Council members, but their personal finances are quite different. The jobs they held before going into politics, their current family income, even the size of the mortgages on their homes reflect the background of each candidate. KPBS and iNewsource dug into their finances to find out how closely these differences tally with their public image.

in 2012, the Faulconer family income was $249,000, while the Alvarezes declared $95,000 in 2012 income. The difference came from Katherine Faulconer's relatively high-paying job. The Alvarez family lives in a Barrio Logan house they bought in 2008 for $249,000. The Faulconers bought their Point Loma home in 1999 for $385,000. The Faulconers' currently owe $546,250 on the house, which is said to be worth nearly $1 million.

Voice of Average Citizen Becoming Tool of the Powerful

At the turn of the last century when California was controlled by oligarchs, a progressive movement took shape and began to look for ways to give ordinary citizens a voice in Sacramento. Thus were born the referendum, initiative and recall.

These tools offered ordinary citizens the opportunity to overturn a law, initiate a law or throw out an elected politician if they could gather enough signatures to get the proposal on the ballot.

Fast forward to the 21st century and these processes have been turned on their heads. The powerful are now using the referendum to try to overturn laws and regulations not in their interests. Most recently in San Diego theBarrio Logan Community Plan Update, passed by the San Diego City Council, has been the subject of a referendum campaign. So has another council-approved law, a plan to finance affordable housing via a developers’ fee.

Comments

Avatar for user 'jelula'

jelula | February 7, 2014 at 11:06 p.m. ― 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I thought each topic discussed in tonight's Roundtable was interesting and informative *except* that I was irritated to hear Sandhya Dirks continued references to the promoters of the Barrio Logan referendums as "the Port".

It isn't "the Port" that is objecting to the Barrio Logan Community Plan, it's the shipbuilding and ship repair companies that lease that land from the SD Unified Port District, and it's these companies that object to the very small part of the community plan that imposes *future* constraints on the support businesses across Harbor Drive from the shipbuilding/ship repair yards. The Community Plan does not apply to the Port District properties across Harbor Drive from the Barrio.

Because the greater part of the program tonight focused on the upcoming election, less time was spent discussing the referendums; I'd like to hear more discussion about the actual details of the objections and arguments relating to the Community Plan as the basis of these referendum petitions.

I'd also like Mark Sauer to cut back substantially on his frequent references to Bob Filner and the issues that brought about Filner's resignation. Enough already!! Anyone who watches the Roundtable already knows that history, we don't need you wasting valuable minutes of the roundtable rehashing it.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'jelula'

jelula | February 7, 2014 at 11:08 p.m. ― 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I thought each topic discussed in tonight's Roundtable was interesting and informative *except* that I was irritated to hear Sandhya Dirks continued references to the promoters of the Barrio Logan referendums as "the Port".

It isn't "the Port" that is objecting to the Barrio Logan Community Plan, it's the shipbuilding and ship repair companies that lease that land from the SD Unified Port District, and it's these companies that object to the very small part of the community plan that imposes *future* constraints on the support businesses across Harbor Drive from the shipbuilding/ship repair yards. The Community Plan does not apply to the Port District properties across Harbor Drive from the Barrio.

Because the greater part of the program tonight focused on the upcoming election, less time was spent discussing the referendums; I'd like to hear more discussion about the actual details of the objections and arguments relating to the Community Plan as the basis of these referendum petitions.

I'd also appreciate it if Mark Sauer would cut back substantially on his frequent references to Bob Filner and the issues that brought about Filner's resignation. Enough already!! Anyone who watches the Roundtable already knows that history, we don't need you wasting valuable minutes of the roundtable rehashing it.

( | suggest removal )