Wow. I’ve got a lot on my plate today. I’ve been bombarded by great assignments from the readers. Right now, I’m digging into the interesting election controversy brewing at the Peninsula Community Planning Board.

But it’s going to take a little bit. I feel like I owe you something, though, before I come up with a full post on the peninsula voting controversy. (I’m also editing today and trying to get my new phone to retrieve e-mails, too, so bear with me.)

Here are some quick responses to some of the early inquiries (the reader questions are in bold, my responses follow):

  • Is it plausible that the Bush Administration encouraged the FBI and Carol Lam to investigate three San Diego City Councilmembers because of their party affiliation?? Just as San Diego City was becoming blue, along came the FBI and Carol Lam.. Food for thought.

There’s no evidence that this is the case. Remember, congressional testimony has revealed that Lam was pushed out of her job for not being a “loyal Bushie,” so the idea that she was taking her marching orders directly from Washington doesn’t sound very plausible. She also prosecuted Republicans. And a jury concurred with her office’s belief that a crime occurred in the Strippergate case referenced.

  • Why haven’t any former or current city council members/politicians been federally indicted in the pension underfunding?

This is a question we hear a lot. I think people really expected the prosecutions to stretch higher than they did because of the length of the federal probe into City Hall, and its publicity.

The law the U.S. attorney has used in these sorts of cases — honest services fraud — is very broad and somewhat nebulous. Basically, if you’re a public official, you have to always be serving the public, not yourself. It’s the law that’s used in the pension prosecution and Strippergate.

Elected officials did vote on the pension deal that resulted in the indictment of five pension officials, which is exactly why so many people were waiting for the shoe to drop on the former mayor or council members.

I know that doesn’t directly answer the question, but anything more would be speculation. It does, however, appear that that investigation has shut down.

  • Hi Andy, would love to know how much salaries have increased for the Mayor’s main handlers, Kris Michel and Fred Sainz. All this talk of raises based on market conditions is a bunch of hooey and I bet the Mayor doesn’t follow his policy with his own staff.

The Mayor’s Office says neither Michell nor Sainz has received a raise since the mayor took office. Michell makes $150,000 a year, and Sainz makes $125,000.

  • Here’s an interesting situation….how would the City Attorney and others react if there was a cross on top of the Sunroad building near Montgomery Field?

I’m plugging that into our new X185 Hypothetical Predictor Machine. Expect a response shortly.

There’s a few more I didn’t get to that I’ll post later this afternoon as I’m combing through the peninsula stuff. Keep the requests coming.

ANDREW DONOHUE

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