by Joe Exasperated
To anyone who has been keeping track or even reads the Union-Tribune, they know that San Diego’s only daily newspaper has been gunning for Michael Aguirre, San Diego’s City Attorney. Just about everyday there is an article dissing Aguirre. Why? The primary theory is that Aguirre has simply ruffled the feathers too many times of San Diego’s “ol’ boy network”; he has refused to go along with the smiley-faces about the state of the City’s economy and status. And anyone who has read the paper twice, understands that its editorial pages sound just this side of Ghengis Khan. Right-wing to the max. (No wonder the paper is having financial difficulties – it keeps Bob Kittle around; it continues to let Robert Caldwell spew his reactionary dribble every Sunday.)
As the City Attorney race heats up, we’re certain to see the sparks fly, as they did the other day on Feb.19th when Michael Aguirre held a news conference out in Presidio Park. U-T reporter Alex Roth began asking him questions about the State Bar probe into his conduct as chief lawyer for America’s favorite sunshine town. Aguirre called Roth on the carpet about his and his paper’s bias because Roth was asking him questions on an issue that he couldn’t comment on. Their conversation was within earshot of a tape recorder. And a transcript was made available on City Beat’s blog spot. Upon reading Aguirre’s comments, our eyebrows were definitely raised. Was that Aguirre dissing unions? Not just the unions that represent city employees, but all unions.
Here’s the beginning of the transcript:
Aguirre – You know there’s nothing I can do to talk about it. You’re just embarrassing me for whatever reason.
Roth – I’m not trying to embarrass you. I’m trying to… I’m writing a story about this.
A – Well, good. I’m sure it will be good.
R – …just the limited issue of the state Bar….
A – I have nothing to say. You know I can’t comment on anything like that. That’s a perfect example of what I’m talking about. You just did that, not to be a reporter, but you did that because you have a personal ax to grind. And I think if you examine your own conscience you can see that.
R – Let’s just step to the side and I’ll ask you quietly, without anybody there, just some limited questions that I need to ask for my article.
A – OK, fine. I’ll be glad to answer anything, but Alex I think at some point hopefully we’ll have a chance at some point. You don’t have to worry about living by any, you’re like a union. You don’t have to live by any ethical rules at the paper because you’re not in any way governed by them. And you’ve become part of the campaign. You and your paper have become part of the campaign. And I think it’s unfortunate. You’ve crossed… you’ve damaged the reputation of the paper so dramatically because you’ve crossed over the line so far. You’re an advocate, you’re an obvious advocate. And you’ve relied on a lot of stuff that just isn’t correct, isn’t true. And you know part of being a reporter is to actually check out the facts. Not just have somebody say something and then basically repeat that and then have the other person prove it’s not true, OK?
So, here is Michael Aguirre, darling of the gadflys and some environmentalists and some neighborhood activists, telling the U-T reporter that because he is “like a union”, he doesn’t “have to live by any ethical rules…” What is this nonsense?!
I’m sorry, we know the politics of the U-T. But now Aguirre is showing his anti-union stance. We know he and the City worker unions have had their run-ins around pension issues, but why is he throwing all unions into the fat to be burned? So, this is an area where both Aguirre and the newspaper have unity: THEY ARE BOTH ANTI-UNION.
This is a universe away of any endorsement of any candidate for City Attorney. No, we’re not backing Scott Peters, the other mainstream “Democrat”. But we can’t stomach the continued degradation of unions – you know the folks who are responsible for the 8-hour work day, for the 40-hour work week, you know, stuff like that. So, in conclusion, U-T, Michael Aguirre…
A POX ON BOTH YOUR HOUSES!