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Scott Lewis on Politics is in Washington D.C. for two days. I’m visiting the National Academy of

Sciences to listen to worries and thoughts (and hopefully optimism) about what’s happening to the news industry and to talk a bit about what we’re doing.

I had a few minutes to kill yesterday so I decided rather than get nervous, I would venture out and visit the Lincoln Memorial and maybe let the insights flow.

It worked and I was bubbling over with observations and inspiration after I read over Lincoln’s Second Inaugural in those big block letters.

So I walked over and tried to share some of those gems with this chap:

He lost interest pretty quick. A lot of people (and ducks) aren’t really following what’s happening to journalism today (which itself says something — anybody have good analytics on Anitidae reading habits?) I walked to the White House and nobody, apparently, recognized who I was.

I made it to a bar, watched most of the basketball game and figured it was a done deal for Cleveland so I left (of course it turned out to be a riveting last-minute upset by Orlando).

Anyway, I hope to be back in time Friday morning to record our radio show — which airs on AM 600 KOGO Sunday at noon, by the way. If you missed last week’s show, I thought my friend Andrew Donohue‘s conversation with Chargers point man and high-flying politico Mark Fabiani was very interesting. You can play it on the right side of this page or sign up for the podcast.

If you somehow missed Rani Gupta‘s engrossing rundown of the politics, intrigue and importance of the newest battle for a seat on the port commission, give it a read here. It’s the kind of story with so much good context and depth that it has the possibility of making a topic interesting to people who might not have had any interest in it.

The port may very well be the most important local government body over coming years as its unelected overseers decide everything from how Chula Vista’s bay front will be developed to whether the Chargers ever achieve their dream of building a new stadium at the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal.

The three candidates for the job — the director of the Environmental Health Coalition, Diane Takvorian; hotelier and uber-insider Bill Evans; and inventor, crooner and businessman Marshall Merrifield — are an interesting bunch.

Of course, the one guy — Merrifield — who doesn’t represent a special interest with an agenda for the port, and who doesn’t have any particular business interest (except his own political ambitions), is the one without any support other than the nomination from his one-time rival for City Council, Sherri Lightner.

Gupta made a point that the person to watch is the so-called leader of the City Council, Ben Hueso. He may be a lame duck already with his decision to run for Assembly, but he still muscled his way into the role of council prez so he has a duty to lead it. Yet it seems with most tough decisions he decides to meekly avoid it until registering his decision.

And his apparent inability to decide who he supports does speak volumes, like Takvorian says in the article. Local labor leaders are adamant in their support for Takvorian. Yet Evans is a prolific fundraiser. Hueso might have another candidate in mind (it’s almost certainly not Marshall though).

You’ll want to watch to see what he does. I’ll be back in San Diego soon and we’ll keep talking about whether to merge the Chamber of Commerce, the EDC and Connect.

I’ve enjoyed the comments so far (though I’m not sure why the status quo is something that Frances O’Neill Zimmerman is so adamant about protecting). I thought Marcela Escobar Eck made a good point.

But the best comment so far is this one from Bob:

My interest is seeing SD continue to grow beyond its military roots. If this, or any related agglomeration, can incubate, attract or advocate for more locally-based Qualcomm-like enterprises in terms of wealth generation, employee base, generosity and imagination, it will do far more for the long term health and marketability of SD then the addition of another air wing or aircraft carrier.

Amen. Tourism and the military both bring enormous benefits to the region and we should keep that in mind. But they are not long-term economic drivers that we can just idly assume will provide the kind of jobs our children and grandchildren want. The former is subject to the whims of hysteria (“Run for your lives! Swine Flu!”) and it produces few high-paying jobs. The latter is beholden to the vacillation of politicians and an unsustainable level of spending by a government with no more money.

Any new business entity must have, at its core, a passionate pursuit of the kind of investment in innovation and business that really does improve the local economy making it a factory for high-paying jobs that do nothing more than create other good jobs.

Shoot! I got to go.

SCOTT LEWIS

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