Quick hits:

  • The Union-Tribune followed up our discussion from last week about that whacky poll that Chula Vista taxpayers funded. It, of course, showed that 66 percent of the voters supported an emergency sales-tax increase when it later turned out that 67 percent of voters rejected the measure.

    From the U-T:

    CHULA VISTA — Proposition A, the proposed sales tax rate increase that Chula Vista voters rejected in May, left taxpayers footing the bill for several expenses. It also cost an employee union $330, after officials discovered workers were campaigning for the ballot measure from a city building.

    The city paid $19,800 to a consulting firm for a phone survey — which was never publicized — that showed voters would support a tax increase. It also paid $255,000 to the county’s registrar of voters to conduct the special May 5 mail ballot election.

    Was never publicized? I believe Chula Vista’s City Council got a full public briefing on the results of the poll. But they probably didn’t talk all that long into the night about how much it cost. They heard that more than two-thirds of the public would vote yes. And that’s all they needed.

    But then the U-T quotes City Councilman John McCann:

    This will go down as the biggest boondoggle and waste of taxpayer money in Chula Vista history,” said Councilman John McCann, who opposed the measure.

    Actually, the biggest boondoggle of taxpayer money in Chula Vista is simply the way the city’s been run over the last decade. It borrowed more money than it could ever hope to pay off unless the housing mania continued. Until they just deal with those debts, everything else is a distraction.

    In case you missed it, John Nienstedt, the pollster who brought that ludicrous poll to my attention, had a follow-up letter posted here.

  • It is well known that the business of newspapers is falling apart not the least because of the near complete desertion of the medium by those who used to pay for classified ads. Craigslist won and newspapers lost — at least for now. So I was surprised the other day when my wife, who’s starting a business, called around to place a fictitious business name ad, as is required.

    None of the papers called her back.

    But then, finally, the Business Journal did. So kudos to them. There might not be as much money out there as before, but at least someone’s still working for it.

  • Finally a bit of the lighter side gone awry: Little Italy Realtor extraordinaire Anthony Napoli, is Italian. And so are many of his friends (full disclosure: my mother is a pure-bred Italian). Napoli called Monday with a gripe about City Councilman Carl DeMaio.

    Seems that DeMaio — who has a much more Italian name than I do, but not nearly the eyebrows — upset some at the annual big event of the Italian-American Association, Unico San Diego, which was held Sunday.

    DeMaio was the keynote speaker at the event. Napoli said the councilman ended his speech with a deadpan about his ancestry (this is Napoli’s memory of the quote): “Two of the most important things in my life are the Catholic Church and the Mafia.”

    That’s one of the less funny things you could say at a Unico meeting. The organization’s very existence is a result of hard-working paisanos upset by jokes and stereotypes like that.

    Napoli said the people in the room were stunned and that DeMaio left rapidly without going back to his seat.

    “Why at a black-tie affair of Italian Americans why would you use the word mafia?” Napoli asked.


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