Mayor Jerry Sanders is hopscotching around the nation with his advisers, visiting cities that boast of fancy sports complexes in search of ways to build our own, but our Scott Lewis says we already know how the other cities did it. It takes just three letters: T-A-X.
“The three cities all have one thing in common: They each passed a special tax, or portfolio of tax hikes, to pay for their new facilities,” Lewis writes. “That’s how it’s done, folks. If you want a stadium, and you want to use hundreds of millions in public money to do it, then don’t be shy. Make the case for it, raise the money, invest it, and before you know it, the pain’s over.”
Can we do that here? One idea might be to invite other parts of the county bear the burden, which has worked elsewhere but hasn’t gained traction here.
There is a big hurdle here that the other cities didn’t face: State law doesn’t allow voters to pass this kind of tax unless more than two-thirds approve.
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Meanwhile, Sanders tells the Union-Tribune (which looks at his first stop, Kansas City) that he’s looking for lessons in preparation for a possible November 2012 stadium ballot measure.
“We have to have a financing plan before we even try to think about taking this to the voters, obviously,” he told the U-T. “That’s something we’ll be working very hard on for the rest of this year and early part of next year.”
By the way, Lewis notes that all three mayor-bound cities are home to bitter rivals of the Chargers. Things have sure changed. Back in my day, the Chargers had just one bitter rival, the Raiders. And we liked it! And did I mention that we watched games on analog televisions with antennas on the roof that the wind would blow down?
Rep. Bob Filner, the only leading Democratic candidate for mayor, is finally talking about his vision for the city and sending a few zingers hither and yon, even suggesting that the local GOP might kill off the campaign of the district attorney.
Filner lets loose in a lengthy interview with CityBeat. “In general, the leadership in this city, probably since Pete Wilson, has been very, very weak,” he said, referring to a mayor who came to power in the 1970s.
Filner criticizes both parties in Washington, says he wouldn’t have supported the debt ceiling bill (he voted against it) even if the president needed his vote.
Filner also shows off some of his trademark confidence. “In a way, I’ve already won the primary,” he said. “I mean, there’s no Democrat or Republican primary, but there’s probably going to be a Democrat and a Republican. So, I’ve already won the Democratic one, assuming I have any kind of campaign.”
Who will his opponent be? “The establishment, I think, when they look at it, will have to probably get one of them out,” he said of his GOP rivals. Which one? “It’s easier to get Bonnie (Dumanis, the county district attorney) out now.”
A Half Million to Let People Know What’s Going On
The school district that runs South Bay’s high school spent more than $520,000 last year alone on communications and outreach to explain to the community how it spent its bond money. That’s more than other districts that have passed bonds and enough to not please a taxpayer advocacy organization.
Getting the Names Right
Yesterday’s Morning Report misspelled the last name of Jeremy Henwood, the slain San Diego police officer. Please accept my apologies.
Paper Attacks Issa over Alleged Conflicts
“It’s impossible to know when Issa’s official actions are intended to benefit the American people, his constituents or his own narrow self-interest,” writes the Sacramento Bee in an editorial that bashes Rep. Darrell Issa in light of a newspaper article chronicling the connections between congressional decisions and his businesses.
Through his office, Issa — who represents part of North County — has criticized the New York Times article as error-filled.
Never mind, the Bee writes: “The larger substance of the article has not been challenged. That is — Issa continues to run his expansive business empire while also serving as a member of Congress. Other congressmen with similar wealth have put their holdings into blind trusts to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Issa has not. That raises obvious questions of conflict.”
The Bee adds: “In addition, given the extent of his involvement in his private business, his ability to devote sufficient attention or energy to his congressional duties is called into question.”
Preschool Is Awesome, Right? Prove It, Say Readers
The state is cutting a big chunk of its funding for preschool and other child-care services, leaving 25,000 kids behind. Our readers are weighing in. Kelly Donivan says “preschool can be equated with preventative medicine!,” while Michael Robertson questions the data: “Overrated: Preschool. Plenty of research shows no long term positive effect.”
American Gothic, San Diego Style
Our photographer recreates a famous American painting with the help of a local couple who raise chickens.
• The Middle Class Taxpayer’s Association and one of its board members, Murtaza Baxamusa (an occasional blogger and op-ed writer for voiceofsandiego.org), is profiled by CityBeat. The staff-written piece calls the organization “a welcome second opinion on economic issues that come before elected officials and the voters.”
• We’ve found out what people think about the San Diego Symphony, its changes over the years and how they think it should change in the future.
• The Watchdog Institute reports more parents than ever are signing personal belief waivers in order to skip required immunizations for their children.
• Something smells in San Diego — literally, not figuratively — and officials haven’t found the source. (NBC7 San Diego)
Billionaire May Get Trumped In Court
Donald Trump was in town last week to attend a settlement conference in a class-action suit brought by local students who attended “Trump University” real estate courses and allege they didn’t get the services they paid for, the U-T reports.
The settlement talks failed and the case will go to trial, the U-T says. If the case gets stuck in a judicial morass, we can say this to Trump the next time he’s in town: “You’re mired!” Or we could offer to accompany him to a party: “You’re squired!” Or… eh, maybe I’ll stop now before I get, um, you know.