To reiterate my earlier comments, Phil Thalheimer has consistently demonstrated leadership on difficult issues against great odds. Agree or disagree with his positions, you always know where Phil stands, and you can be certain he’ll fight for his beliefs, even at a high political cost. This trait is far more characteristic of Phil than of his rivals, and, fundamentally, it’s why he’s the best candidate.

One issue that Phil is fighting steadfastly for is ethics reform and mending the moral fabric at City Hall. He believes strongly in accountability, in minimizing closed-door sessions of the Council, and in restoring our faith in our elected officials. Unfortunately, some critics (e.g. “Daring you to answer”) have raised questions about Phil’s decision to repay loans he made to his 2004 campaign. As “Weak” responded, retiring campaign debt is a perfectly legitimate practice (and loaning funds to campaigns was only recently, and not retroactively, banned), and one that Phil openly acknowledged to voiceofsandiego.org, as Scott Lewis pointed out earlier this month.

It’s too bad that some readers mistook my sincere admiration for Phil, and my seasonal analogy of his campaign to themes from a Jewish holiday, as “self-righteousness” or an inappropriate injection of “religion” into the public sphere. They are, of course, entitled to their opinion, but they should also appreciate that Phil is the only candidate who has been asking tough questions for years, who hasn’t been stuck inside an echo chamber, and who has scored significant successes in the public realm.

This is praise, not righteousness, and it’s well-deserved.

I would be happy to continue the conversation with anyone who wishes to. Write me at michaelmrosen@yahoo.com.

— MICHAEL ROSEN

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