I’ve was in meetings all morning and I came back to the office to a couple of emails (I refuse to get a Blackberry) from people who think I’m being unfair to the San Diego County Taxpayers Association – singling its board out for scrutiny on its vote on whether to endorse the airport measure or not.

Look, you shouldn’t take what I’ve done below as criticism of the taxpayers association. As I’ve said repeatedly, I am absolutely stunned that so much of the business community is either reluctant to endorse or downright hostile to the airport authority’s initiative. After all, it was the business community that set this whole thing in motion. It was the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC), ConVis and the Chamber of Commerce (which collectively represent thousands of local businesses) that formed ASAP 21. That group is the booster group supporting a new airport and the airport authority was the mechanism to get it done.

Yet, as of now, the chamber’s board barely got a majority to support Proposition A, as the measure to put a commercial airport at Miramar is known. The EDC’s board has still not voted on the measure. Who knows if ASAP 21 will be able to pull out an endorsement? As I keep saying, that’s a big deal.

And so I took the taxpayers association’s recent decision to oppose the Miramar vote as an opportunity to get these businesses on the record once and for all about whether they support the initiative to put a new commercial airport at Miramar or not.

Now, I actually have the representative of Cox Communications, one of the biggest businesses in town, on the record – in her official capacity – saying she opposes the push to put the airport at Miramar.

That, again, is newsworthy.

If a new airport is needed for economic reasons, then it only stands to reason that we should ask the people who think about the local economy every day – business leaders – what they think about this push to put the airport at Miramar or not.

We now have gotten a number of new responses from business leaders to that question and we’ll be calling all day.

As for the taxpayers association itself, I’ve always had respect for them. I respect that the vote of their board was private, and if the people I call don’t want to tell me how they stand on the airport issue, that’s fine. But that, in itself, is indicative of something. If they were really supportive of the measure, business leaders would be having joint news conferences, appearing in ads, doing all sorts of things to support the proposition other than “declining to comment.”

Stay tuned.


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