A little fun with a dialogue transcript again: Yesterday, City Attorney Mike Aguirre made his regular appearance on KUSI’s morning show “Good Morning San Diego.”
Immediately the hosts of the show — Bridget Naso and Dan Plante — were pressing him on the somewhat surprising revelation the other day that Aguirre was investigating KPBS and its decision making. He claims to be acting on a complaint from a supporter of KPBS who gave money to the station specifically to support the show.
I think a lot of us are curious how KPBS can be cutting offerings to its supporters at the same time its budget rises. But, as always, Aguirre jumps onto the stage of the community conversation and starts swinging.
So what is he investigating? He has prosecutorial power, but just over misdemeanors that might have been committed in city limits. Is KPBS’s decision to kill Full Focus kind of, like, disorderly conduct or something?
The KUSI anchors wanted to know. Aguirre didn’t want to answer the question. It was not something he could talk about, he said:
Aguirre: … what I can talk about is the tremendous water problem …
Plante:We want to know why you would be interested in this (the KPBS controversy), at all.
I can’t talk about that because that’s something that’s being looked into by our office. There’s an investigation …
Naso: Does the city contribute any money at all to KPBS?
We don’t contribute any money, to anybody hardly that we look into or investigate. And therefore that’s really not the criteria for our investigations. It’s whether laws were violated. It’s whether inappropriate behavior took place. I don’t want to discuss this …
What laws would be violated by KPBS for choosing to cancel a program?
What possible laws?
Anti-trust laws and consumer protection laws people who raise money saying that they were going to have certain programming that they didn’t. So I don’t want to get into it any further than that.
So you’re saying that because it’s state-funded money because part of it comes from San Diego State and part of it comes from the federal government and part of it comes from donations. None from the city though.
The city’s jurisdiction isn’t about where we place our money the city attorney’s jurisdiction has to deal with where the laws apply anything that occurs within the city of San Diego is subject to the jurisdiction. But I really don’t want to talk about that but I will at the appropriate time — as soon as we get the information in and if there’s something there that’s appropriate for us to discuss, we will. What I would like to talk about is last week on your show, you had the mayor on and the mayor was talking about legislation to do away with the law that protects the Delta Smelt …
Ahh … antitrust laws. Naturally. I was thinking more along the lines of possible violations of the Espionage Act or Davis-Bacon, but antitrust is a much better angle.