As a California native of 66 years and in San Diego since the mid-1970s, I am deeply concerned about our failing state government. Now I am fearful that the city of San Diego will head down the same path if we elect the wrong mayor on Nov. 6. I find it hard to get excited about Carl DeMaio. However, it is easy for me to get worked up about the possible election of Bob Filner.

Why should I vote for a long-time member of Congress with no executive experience who, over a long period of time, voted for the out-of-control spending that has the country on the brink of fiscal destruction? He voted for Obamacare without reading it. I remember our City Council voting for the Charger ticket guarantee without reading it as well. Bob Filner is also a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus founded by the only admitted socialist in Congress, Bernie Sanders. This caucus has about 70 members including such radicals as Barney Frank, Pete Stark, Jerrold Nadler, Jim McDermott, Dennis Kucinich and Maxine Waters. Is Filner a socialist?

Recently he came out in opposition to Proposition 32 which would limit the influence of unions in elections. I cannot believe anyone would think that he would do anything to limit pensions and other union benefits in the city of San Diego. He is already eligible for a city pension after serving for only five years on the City Council (1987-92). I suspect that any thought of outsourcing to save money would also be lost if he is elected. It is not an accident that he does little campaigning but receives numerous union endorsements and money. I can only imagine him as the leader in the next round of negotiations with the city’s unions.

What about DeMaio? I frequently hear from folks who feel he is another Mike Aguirre (former city attorney). In some ways I feel there is some validity to this point of view; however, I think the way to really get things changed is to shake them up. This is what is done in the private sector with the infusion of a change agent CEO who is sent packing a few years after the changes are put in place. I see DeMaio as that person and would give him a term to make the necessary changes and hopefully we would see a valid replacement in 2016.

Most other cities that are controlled by unions are in deep financial trouble. Washington is a mess. Electing someone who has spent such a long time in that environment would be a setback for the city of San Diego. We do not have to join the other failing cities controlled by governmental unions by electing a union-controlled member of Congress. We cannot afford Bob Filner as mayor. We have a choice and that is Carl DeMaio

Larry S. Westfall lives in North Park.

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