San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith was wrong on two counts when he introduced Ted Cruz in San Diego last week by saying that Democrats don’t believe in jobs, freedom and security. First, he harmed the office of city attorney and by extension our city by engaging in partisan politics of the worst kind – the kind peddled by national politicians and media pundits who care only about exploiting our differences for personal gain and power. Second, he was just flat wrong on the substance. It’s utter nonsense to categorically state that Democrats don’t believe in jobs, freedom and security.

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Goldsmith’s comments reflect the kind of politics that San Diego leaders do not easily tolerate, and for that I have always been grateful. His enthusiastic embrace of such lame rhetoric is therefore especially disappointing. And I’m disappointed not just because I am a proud San Diegan who believes that our city is above the moronic national partisan debate that crowds the airwaves without mercy, but because I am also a candidate to become our next city attorney.

On the campaign trail I regularly assure skeptical and cynical San Diegans that if elected I will represent the city without a political agenda, and that professional integrity and zealous advocacy of what is in the best interest of the taxpayer is my No. 1 concern. This, of course, is the same thing that Goldsmith has been telling all of us for years, yet the political fangs he just bared show us something different. No wonder people can’t stand politics and politicians.

As far as jobs, freedom, and security go, tens of millions of Democrats have throughout this country’s history built businesses, created jobs, worked jobs, created profits for businesses by working those jobs, served in our armed forces and otherwise ensured the freedom and security of all Americans by contributing to and defending our way of life – a way of life that is envied and dreamt about around the world and one that people risk their lives and families to have a shot at one day. The American Dream.

Thanks, Jan. Just when I thought that our local San Diego leadership was, for all its challenges, at least better than the national circus invading every TV and smartphone screen this election cycle, you somehow managed to prove me wrong. San Diego will, however, always prove you wrong.

Rafael Castellanos is an attorney, port commissioner and candidate for city attorney.


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