Sunday, July 1, 2007 | As I’ve talked about since announcing my candidacy in District 3, a few cynical people out there have questioned my motives. I expected it, I can handle it, and I expect much more of the name-calling to continue in the months ahead. In fact, I’ve developed a healthy sense of humor about it.

Now similar slings and arrows are flying in the direction of another all-but-announced candidate: Marti Emerald, a 10 News television reporter, who seems likely to run in City Council District 7. Yes, her position as a working, professional journalist does indeed raise very legitimate questions about how far she can go in her community involvement and activism before she crosses a threshold where her activities become “too political”. And no, it’s not irresponsible for voters and citizens to question how far she must go to keep a wall of separation between ‘Marti the journalist’ and ‘Marti the political candidate’.

Regrettably, though, the criticism and sniping will go far beyond that fundamental and fair question. There is, indeed, very much at stake in the future of the city of San Diego, and that anxiety explains some of the hyperbole. But I wonder how much of the questioning of candidates’ motives is genuinely to be expected, and how much is just plain nastiness.

It will be interesting, to put it mildly, to see how bad it gets as I and other city candidates proceed with our campaigns in the months ahead. To the other candidates: Given the challenges that San Diego faces, take your campaign seriously. Just not too seriously.

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