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Citizen Voices

Catfish Club Fries up a Spicy Mayoral Debate

The Catfish Club along with the City Club of San Diego hosted a mayoral debate last Friday in Balboa Park's Hall of Champions that included five San Diego mayoral candidates: Eric Bidwell , Steve Francis , James Hart, Jerry Sanders , and Floyd Morrow . While enjoying fried catfish and lip-smacking delicious red beans and rice, this voter took in whatever nuanced speech, telling facial expressions, and outright mockery between candidates in order to divide who among these would best lead the city.

So, do we need another mayoral debate? There have been quite a few already. The night before, for instance, KUSI televised a debate which generated a bit of gossip from Mayor Sander's (former) campaign manager handing "revolutionary" candidate Eric Bidwell talking points (thus, the "former" moniker).   On Friday, May 30, KPBS will host their own mayoral debate.

Besides the staged drama, are these debates meeting voter's needs? Speaking for myself, I have been paying closer attention to the candidates' personal statements and their websites than to the debates, so this was helpful. 


Another question was whether voters have already chosen a candidate, with only a few weeks until the June 3 election.  The very friendly women sitting at my table had not made up their minds, or at least were not telling, and were there precisely to gather information. 

As all three readers of my posts may know, I've been talking about the mayoral race with mixed emotions and thoughts. In an earlier post, I admitted to " Reconsidering Steve Francis ." After seeing his performance on stage though, you couldn't pay me to vote for him now.

Dan Conaway
May 27, 2008 at 10:15 PM
Thanks for the insights. I too have had a hard time sizing up Mr. Francis behind the glossy ads and commercials. He seemed to have broadened his views and become less dogmatic, although I think his attacks on Mayor Sanders are often low blows. Now that you opine that his is just a show, that helps me understand him better. Dan

Ben Grage from San Diego, CA
May 27, 2008 at 10:49 PM
Anybody but Jerry Sanders. Sanders is the establishment candidate which is evidenced by the facts that he is a Republican and backed by the Union-Tribune. Sanders, like our current governor, inherited a dismal financial situation (Enron-by-the-Sea), but has done absolutely nothing to resolve the situation. Sanders, like our current governor, is waiting for the economy to get better or is hoping his term will end with no disasters. This is obviously not governance or leadership. Unfortunately, with San Diego's electorate, only an establishment candidate or a Republican can win office. The only positives are that Spanos will not be bailed out by taxpayers and that (keep your fingers crossed), no more giveaways for public employee pensions. But, of course, in keeping with this city's Republican tradition, the only giveaways will be to policemen and firemen. Batten down the hatches (or hatchets)!


Alma Sove from San Diego
June 01, 2008 at 12:12 AM
Hi Ben and Dan, Thanks for taking the time to comment. I'm not sure if I feel as strongly about Sanders as you do, Ben. But it's interesting to note your observations about "keeping w/this city's Republican traditions" in terms of benefits to firemen and cops. I was reminded at the mayoral debate that Sanders is ex-policeman, making any recommendations for retirees hard to separate from self interest. Granted, voters (especially here in my District 3) put law enforcement/crime prevention at the top of their issues so it might be easier for Sanders to make his arguments and sound more civic-minded than self-interested. Thanks again!