From the Reporter
Why Did We Have So Many Mayoral Debates?
The answer’s pretty simple: Bob Filner wanted to; Carl DeMaio needed to. Filner prides himself on showing up at neighborhood and community events. DeMaio needed to make the case he had evolved into a moderate leader.
Did The Debates Benefit Neighborhoods?
Yes. Organizations and interest groups heard the candidates speak to them directly and squeezed promises out of them.
Did The Debates Benefit the Candidates?
Yes and no. DeMaio used the debates to make the case he had a different message and a different style. DeMaio also used Filner’s gaffes, perceived or otherwise, against him.
Was There A Better Way?
The almost 30 debates often turned into the same superficial policy arguments and rote digs from each candidate about the other’s “special interest” supporters. A few televised debates on citywide issues and a few others debates in neighborhoods on local concerns could be a better alternative.

Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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