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It has been an interesting two days of discussion on the District 5 race. There are several big reasons why Carl DeMaio emerges as the clear choice for District 5.

1. San Diego’s Watchdog: As he has been for many years, Carl DeMaio will be the taxpayer’s watchdog on the City Council to expose waste, fight corruption, and get city finances and services back on track.

2. A Record of Reform: Unlike most first-time candidates, DeMaio has racked up an impressive list of accomplishments in reforming San Diego City Hall—including the passage of Prop B (Pension Reform) and Prop C (Managed Competition) in 2006. He will continue to work within and outside the system to achieve real reform.

3. Real Solutions: DeMaio has articulated comprehensive solutions for the most pressing problems facing the City—including balancing the budget, reforming the pension, rebuilding city infrastructure, enhancing public safety, and restoring ethics and accountability to City Hall. We desperately need a leader at City Hall with bold solutions.

4. Deep Community Support: DeMaio has been walking the district for hours every day since July 1, 2007—and he’s reached over 13,000 homes. On his website, he has listed over 1,000 endorsements from District 5 residents. His campaign has some of the deepest grassroots support I have seen in a local race in a long time. With his commitment to have a district office and his grassroots style, he will continue the responsive and personal service District 5 deserves from their councilmember.

5. Courage and Independence: As he has done in the past, DeMaio is not afraid to speak truth to power. He has taken on big labor and big business in exposing corruption and sweetheart deals at the taxpayers’ expense. Take a look at what is happening in this campaign. By not bowing to the demands of the powerful municipal labor unions, DeMaio is taking heat. This is exactly the kind of courage and independence we want in a councilmember.

The Voice Cafe Debate Reveals the Biggest Contrast Between the Candidates

I guess the most important reason to vote for Carl DeMaio has been best made by the opposition itself over the past two days here at Cafe San Diego. My posts on Monday focused exclusively on DeMaio’s record as a government watchdog and his ideas for solving the city’s financial problems. Not a negative word was said about DeMaio’s opponent.

In stark contrast, George George’s union friends have savagely attacked DeMaio on a personal level on this blog and in scurrilous emails for weeks. The unions cannot compete with DeMaio’s record, his independence, or his solutions for the city’s problems. So they have resorted to unsubstantiated accusations, the kind of which would make Mike Aguirre proud! It leads to a key question: is this the sort of behavior George George will condone at City Hall?

The public is sick of in-fighting and unsubstantiated personal attacks. Indeed, the public craves leadership and a focus on solutions to the city’s pressing problems.

DeMaio’s response to the nasty attacks against him personally reveals something important about how he will tackle the city’s problems. Instead of getting distracted or caving in to pressure, he is doing what he always has done when the special interests have attacked him: He’s showing standing up for what is right. And he is staying focused on the issues that matter to San Diegans such as balancing the budget, reforming the pension, rebuilding our infrastructure, etc.

Put simply, DeMaio represents real leadership for change at City Hall. San Diego will benefit from DeMaio’s leadership and integrity as District 5’s next City Councilman—and as the Taxpayers’ Watchdog on the City Council!

—ALEX HOLSTEIN

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