By Helen Villines / June 27, 2011
“Why run for a political office, when you don’t even intend to vote for yourself,” Rocky Neptun asked a recent gathering of the San Diego Renters Union. In announcing his withdrawal from the race for mayor of San Diego next year, he told the tenant group that “we have the first opportunity in many decades to elect a progressive candidate in Congressman Bob Filner, who will take back our city from the special interests and their wealth based politics.”
Meeting in City Heights last Saturday, June 25, 90 city residents heard Neptun blast his fellow LGBT candidate District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis as representing what is “broken and dishonest” about the present political system. “Her arrogance, her prosecution abuse against political opponents and non-cooperative judges, her shady associations with wealthy developers, her jihad against medical patients and their medicine, her power based politics; all represent an ominous and precarious future for all of us middle-class and working folks” he said. Neptun’s book, 1st City of Empire, to be published in October, devotes an entire chapter to Dumanis and what he calls “her betrayal of the LGBT movement and its civil libertarian values.”
“Many friends and fellow tenants have urged me to stay in the race, to raise the issues which will not be mentioned by the candidates or the corporate media – like the need to implement a tough global warming mitigation agenda for our children’s future, sustainable power and water on a local level, the closing of the San Onofre nuclear power plant, the need for rent control and free public transportation to make San Diego affordable,” Neptun asserted, “but I believe that Bob Filner, as a national leader, not mired in the myopic interests of local politics, not controlled by developer lobbyists, affluent lawyers and heavy-handed corporate interests, all sipping at the public trough, will not allow himself to be drawn into the smokescreen squabbles over pension reform and create a grand vision which will force the wealthy and powerful contractors to pay their fair share of taxes and fees to fund city improvements and services.”
“The corporate media will gnaw, chew and spit out personal rubbish about Filner, (temperament, thin skinned, pure junk, tabloid reporting) like they have with any outside challenger to the system – from Peter Navarro to Steve Francis to Donna Fry – and as they will with Carl DiMiao, who’s politics are all wrong but who is at least honest and has the people of this city at heart; yet, Bob must run a progressive campaign to fight the selling off of our city’s services and assets to the highest bidder, oppose the campaign to replace city employees with low-wage workers from Tijuana and protect the interests of all of us average citizens from the lobbyists and political opportunists who now dominate city government,” Neptun told the gathering.
“Like Monty Hall, in his “Let’s Make a Deal” days; Dumanis is offering every local Democrat of any stature, who can gain media coverage, possible city employment and municipal contracts for their associates, if they jump ship and abandon their party,” Neptun announced. “My LGBT friends in the DA’s office have told me that she has made a special high level city appointment overture to State Senator Christine Kehoe, who is being termed out of office, to run against her and split the Democratic vote.”
Neptun, who is openly Gay and a member of the LGBT community’s San Diego Democratic Club (soon to be the Stonewall Democratic Club) as is Kehoe, urged her not to run for mayor and support Bob Filner. “Besides,” he said, “if Kehoe runs and I run, with LGBT members Dumanis, Carl DeMaio and Nathan Fletcher all running, each debate forum will be more like a traveling gay pride event than a reflection of the real diversity in our city.”
“No one should vote for or against a person simply because they are Gay,” Neptun said. “But what we have here, in the 2012 election for mayor, is the downtown power establishment, the city’s wealthy oligarchy of developers, anointing Dumanis as the heir apparent to the lackluster Jerry Sanders – who was more a corporate water boy than a leader.”
“They – the city’s elite – would run Shamu the whale if they thought he would continue their domination of municipal government and never bat an eye over Shamu’s sexual orientation,” he said. “Only Bob Filner as a real outsider can clean up the mess at city hall, un-beholden to the fat cats and political supplicants who routinely elect a string of Republican mayors who have, in turn, run our great city into bankruptcy and disrespect, while making the bureaucrats and politicians very rich. Dumanis herself will retire with a quarter of a million dollar pension.”
He reminded the gathered tenants that both Christine Kehoe and Scott Peters, another potential Democratic ally of Dumanis, are both former city council members who voted for “the lies and cover-up” of the city’s financial disaster in the making. They both draw huge city pensions, while librarians, life-guards and other hard-working city employees are attacked for their meager benefits.”
Neptun, who is director of the San Diego Renters Union, told the renters’ gathering that the $30,000 raised by the group for his campaign could possibly be used to finance a local ballot initiative for rent control and/or free public transportation in San Diego. He also announced that the renters union board had agreed to go ahead with a campaign to close down “the aging and unsafe” San Onofre nuclear power plant.
“We must never lose sight of the most important focus of our exploratory campaign,” he urged the assembly of tenants, “to create a holistic approach to government – to make our city more fair and equitable rather than a playground for the corporate elite and to challenge local citizens to be part of the global movement for sustainability and a safe environment, to actually put our children’s future jobs and health above corporate profit.”
“Let us challenge and help Congressman Bob Filner as Mayor of San Diego to create a vision for all of us who struggle to continue to live and work in this little corner of Earth’s splendor,” Neptun urged.