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Canceled Debate Between San Diego Mayoral Candidates Sparks War Of Words

A dispute broke out Thursday between the two San Diego mayoral campaigns over a debate scheduled for Thursday that was reduced to a pair of separate radio interviews.

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The debate was to take place at 11 a.m., but was canceled when Councilman David Alvarez learned the event would not be broadcast on CBS8, according to his campaign manager, Gabriel Solmer. She also contended that conservative KFMB radio host Mike Slater could not be a neutral moderator.

Alvarez and his opponent in the Feb. 11 runoff election, Councilman Kevin Faulconer, ended up being interviewed separately on the radio.

The cancellation of the debate set off a war of words between the two camps.

The Alvarez campaign accused Faulconer, a Republican on the technically nonpartisan City Council, of trying to "hijack" the fifth of six debates between the candidates. Alvarez is a Democrat.

"The bottom line is that Kevin Faulconer breached our agreement, trying to insert a moderator who's completely in-line with his right-wing conservative Republican values," Solmer said. "Just days ago, Slater called affordable housing a scam on his conservative shock-jock radio show."

She said Alvarez is not afraid of debating Faulconer, and did so more than 30 times in the primary campaign and four times before the runoff election.

From the other side, Faulconer's handlers sent reporters a copy of a Jan. 1 email from an Alvarez staffer to the Faulconer campaign that discussed the debate being on KFMB radio during Slater's 9 a.m. to noon show.

"For someone who claims he will be a mayor for all of us, it's unfortunate that David is picking and choosing which San Diegans he will speak with," Faulconer said. "I'm proud of my experience and record of being an independent voice for all San Diegans, and I'll continue speaking with San Diegans about my vision for our great city."

A Jan. 6 press release that announced the schedule listed both KFMB radio and CBS8 as hosts of Thursday's debate, though it made no mention of which station would broadcast the event, or whether both would, or who the moderator would be.

The final debate, scheduled for Friday, is still on, according to both campaigns.

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Avatar for user 'caljay52'

caljay52 | January 30, 2014 at 11:14 p.m. ― 3 years, 1 month ago

I dunno about the rest of you San Diegans but there is 1 real strong point that bothers me about Alvarez.............the guy has not been in public office all that long and has a short history of being a councilman and now he wants to be mayor of a city with 1.3 million people? Hmmm I dont think so.........personally I want someone in there with more experience and a little older than 33 years.....

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Avatar for user 'MaoTzu'

MaoTzu | January 31, 2014 at 9:25 a.m. ― 3 years, 1 month ago

Slater is a wingnut I'm surprised that Alvarez agreed to be on his show in the first place.

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Avatar for user 'mySDvoice'

mySDvoice | January 31, 2014 at 10:34 p.m. ― 3 years, 1 month ago

caijay52 - maybe you should examine both candidates with open eyes. While I agree that David Alvarez is young and a relative newcomer to public office, you also need to look at Kevin Faulconer's record as part of our city council since 2006. I do not look at the last 7 years as being stellar years for SD city, nor do I look at Kevin's contribution to be very productive. As an example - he supported ballot initiatives on 'pension reform' that have cost SD ~$200+ million without delivering a dime of savings. Any savings to pensions were based on non-ballot based efforts of now disgraced Mayor Filner. So, why was he supporting an initiative that cost hundreds of millions to SD while promoting this as a savings. Mainly, because he knew that most of the electorate would be attracted with the tagline of 'pensions that were out of control', so any measure that suggested reduction of pensions would be popular...even if it was a complete sham. The initiative was a fraud. The only real pension reform was for the mayor and city council to negotiate with good faith with the city employees and applicable unions. The last several mayors (Dick Young, Jerry Sanders) were terrible with negotiating with the unions...and the city council, including Kevin Faulconer, did not insist on better deals. Let's call this as it should be called - weak negotiating by the SD City and good negotiating by the unions. But, ultimately, the Republican Mayors did not stand up to the unions. So, recognize that Kevin does not have a proven backbone and will not be given any slack by the unions. Ironically, a Democratic Mayor probably has more negotiation leverage with the unions than a Republican. So, David does not have a lot of experience in public office within his 33 years, but maybe Faulconer's experience and extra 10 years on this planet do not represent a positive direction for SD - the city that we all love!

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Avatar for user 'mySDvoice'

mySDvoice | January 31, 2014 at 10:52 p.m. ― 3 years, 1 month ago

Correction: should have said former Mayor 'Dick Murphy' - there are disadvantages of being older as well as being younger...

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | February 1, 2014 at 12:35 a.m. ― 3 years, 1 month ago

Slater is the equivalent of Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, or Rush Limbaugh. Actually, he's a small-time small-market wannabe trying to become national like these psychos.

Someone of his ilk has no business "moderating" anything.

And this claim by Faulconer that he would lead as a moderate is horse excrement.

Faulconer is masquerading as a moderate but will lead to please the hard right-wing activists who are funneling money to his campaign.

It's vital that we elect Alvarez as our next mayor, Faulconer will turn our city into one big right-wing hate talk show.

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Avatar for user 'MaoTzu'

MaoTzu | February 1, 2014 at 5:27 a.m. ― 3 years, 1 month ago

Yeah Slater couldn't even keep his morning drive slot and was bumped for some outsiders who aren't very good themselves. It's looking like maybe that Teaparty radio's losing its base. Fingers crossed.

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