Monday, April 25, 2005 | Gee, about the time I figure folks over at San Diego City Hall have the market cornered on feeding nonsense to the gullible, along comes proof that other parts of San Diego County can give those folks over on C Street a run for their money. What a place to live – something new to swallow every day!
Take this morning. My reverie was broken when someone tossed a copy of the South Bay edition of our city’s other major daily into the old dumpster. “Oh great,” I thought. “Why doesn’t someone toss the regular edition in here. What can happen in South Bay that is interesting?”
Turns out quite a bit, according to a story so convoluted that City Attorney Mike Aguirre and Mayor Dick Murphy would have each claimed it was a conspiracy by the other. Convoluted yes, but interesting, so much so I wondered why it was restricted to the South Bay edition. I have to figure it doesn’t have the impact of someone’s losing a billion or so dollars, then expressing confidence that that amount of money can be replaced painlessly.
Still this story was a wowser and it involved a familiar name. If you want to keep up with our area’s varying scandals, don’t be surprised if you see the name “Inzunza” pop up.
While $120,000 is small spuds compared with $1.35 billion it seemed like a lot to spend on one edition of a high school newspaper. That’s what a school employee named Michael Inzunza spent last year to put out one edition of Blurb, a Sweetwater Union High School District newspaper.
For the first two years of its short life, Blurb did in fact do much better than that. It actually broke even its first year. In 2002, Inzunza raised enough money to offset the donation of the taxpayers. Surely this was a win/win situation which could have been used in economics classes as an example of a good capitalistic solution to a government problem.
Then, last May, Inzunza started South Bay Review, a commercial paper. It is devoted, some imply, to keeping his brothers, relatives and friends in office. Just among the relatives one brother is the mayor of National City, another a San Diego city councilman and an uncle is a member of the South Bay Union school district. The Review’s editorials praised them and trashed opponents as well as those who might become opponents. And for a touch of scandal, advertisements which had appeared in Blurb ended up in the South Bay Review.
Then Blurb disappeared. We might expect that Inzunza would also except those two years putting out a paper also were done under the aegis of being a teacher. He didn’t get near a classroom. All he did was run the paper, maybe two of them. Still that meant he has his two years tenure and making tenured teachers disappear is a difficult job.
A student of San Diego politics should keep an eye on Michael Inzunza. He’s bound to be a major player in local government for years to come. San Diego taxpayers ought to keep an eye on him for their own reasons.
Dipsey also writes under his pseudonym Keith Taylor. Both can be reached at