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Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2008 | I have been confused about who Judge Jan Goldsmith is ever since he made the cut to become the challenger to City Attorney Mike Aguirre.

First, and most obvious, is that Goldsmith is a professional politician; he was Poway’s mayor and a California assemblyman before his political career was ended by his unsuccessful bid to be California State Treasurer.

Like most failed but connected politicians with a law degree, he was awarded the consolation prize of an appointment as a Superior Court judge, a position that pays well and sounds interesting but ultimately is as boring as being a cosmetic surgeon.

Now Judge Goldsmith would have us believe he would be an apolitical city attorney in the style of former city attorney Casey Gwinn expecting us to embrace him.

Well, Gwinn cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars signing off on poorly written contracts. These include contracts with McMillin Companies that gave the developer all the profits from the development of the Navy Training Center and the city all its debts; and the ordinances that increased pensions for city workers without the City Council identifying a source of funding, an act that still threatens to bankrupt this city.

I want a city attorney who will work for the public good even if he gives the city council legal advice they don’t want to hear. I can’t imagine Goldsmith doing that. He is a card-carrying member of the “good ol’ boys” who have brought San Diego to its knees.

Aguirre has his good days and his bad days, but compared to Goldsmith, a conservative ideologue, he is a known quantity.

The choice of the future city attorney will determine whether we move forward or whether our tax money will continue to flow to the oligarchy of the developers, lawyers and movers and shakers who still control this town.

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