The Morning Report
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OK, couple of points:
- In case you hadn’t noticed, Will Carless and his editor Andrew Donohue are hosting Café San Diego today to talk about Carless’ investigative piece yesterday about the Southeastern Economic Development Corporation, or SEDC. If you haven’t read it yet, it was a blockbuster that prompted an immediate and terse memo from the mayor to SEDC’s chairman demanding a response to a list of questions Carless’ article raised.
It also prompted a slew of letters to us. Check them out. Carless and Donohue have investigated SEDC for a long time, and many of the points they raised in previous stories were as alarming as the story Tuesday. But controversies about the salaries and personal compensation of public officials resonate with people. And, as the mayor noted, these are very serious questions. Everyone is going to be waiting to see how they respond.
So stop by Café and get some of your own questions in about the story and redevelopment in San Diego.
- I saw that City Attorney Mike Aguirre received the endorsement of the San Diego County Democratic Party last night. That took him longer than he would have preferred. Both the county party and the San Diego Democratic Club rather surprisingly rebuffed the incumbent in the primary election. But they did that under considerable pressure from Aguirre’s liberal critics, who seem just as irate about him as his conservative opponents.
But those left-leaning detractors from the city attorney are backing off now with the absence of any Democratic alternative in the race. Republican Jan Goldsmith’s couldn’t have hoped for, or even wanted, the endorsement of the local party or its biggest club. But he certainly didn’t mind watching them sneer at Aguirre.
So what does it mean? Two things really. Aguirre’s only chance to overcome the significant drubbing he received in the primary is to consolidate support among what many believe will be an impressive Democratic turnout in the November. As young people and others flock to the polls in support of Barack Obama, the theory goes, Aguirre will benefit from people who recognize him as a Democrat and are less familiar with his less flattering reputation locally among forces on the left.
He’ll get to put the endorsement on his materials and on his website.
But, on the other hand, the Dem nod won’t have nearly the power of the Republican’s support of Goldsmith. Not only because the local Democratic Party is pathetic, but also because it will be through the Republican Party that big GOP donors will launder hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of Goldsmith. There are wealthy liberals and left-of-center San Diegans. But they do not give to the Democratic Party like that and they won’t in support of Aguirre.
So, Aguirre will need to advertise his new endorsements. That will take money. And that has always been the biggest question in the race: How much money does Aguirre have and how much will he spend on the race?
Without a significant personal investment, he won’t be able to get the message to less informed voters that he’s somehow the left’s choice for this election — which, like I said, is key to his success. And Goldsmith will not make it easy. If he keeps racking up endorsements from liberal Latinos, it’s going to get more difficult and confusing for voters.
Anyway, there’s lots to ponder today.
Update (11:48 a.m.): Our news partner, NBC 7/39, did a pretty good follow up about the SEDC story last night. Check it out below (you might have to click a couple of times):
It will be fascinating to see how the agency responds.
— SCOTT LEWIS