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Monday, April 9, 2007 | Like a moth drawn to flame (and with apologies to Charles Kratz who counsels me to forget), I wish to comment on voice reporter Rob Davis‘ interview with ex-school superintendent/now-airport authority chairman Alan Bersin.
1) Regarding Bersin’s self-described lack of skill and distaste for fund-raising which would be required if he ran for elected office: Bersin was appointed U.S. Attorney here because he had been a prodigious local fund-raiser for Bill Clinton. Bersin also managed to raise almost a million dollars from men like Malin Burnham, John Moores, Irwin Jacobs and L.A. mogul Eli Broad in an unsuccessful attempt to defeat me in the Y 2000 school board race.
2) Regarding Bersin’s “massive miscalculation” concerning what he calls the “school board situation:” Bersin believed the “five Democrats” on the Board of Education would give him a rubber-stamp appointment, but he took the job on a split 3-2 vote anyway — an unprecedented act of hubris and the source of years of subsequent turmoil.
3) It is absolutely false for Alan Bersin, who always plays self-aggrandizing political hardball, to characterize himself as a healer who could not bridge the “labor management chasm” which he claims divided him from the board and the education community of parents, students, teachers and school district employees. Damage done in the Bersin years has not yet been repaired.
Finally, not mentioned in the interview are special circumstances that apply only to San Diego’s Airport Authority. According to a radio interview with State Senator Christine Kehoe, no other California airport authority pays its members a salary (Bersin is one of three here making $171,000 a year — a rate tied to the salaries of superior court judges, a group that includes Bersin’s wife, Lisa Foster.) And no other California airport authority except San Diego has appointees made by the county sheriff and the governor, namely Bill Kolender and Arnold Schwarzenegger.