From San Diego Free Press / June 4, 2012
In Under the Perfect Sun, Mike Davis, Kelly Mayhew and I observe that San Diego is a city that “many conservatives extol as a utopia of patriotism and free enterprise.” Indeed it was Nixon’s “lucky city” but, as we note, “San Diego has too frequently been a town wide open to greed but closed to social justice.
Like its Sunbelt siblings—Orange County, Phoenix, and Dallas—it has a long history of weak and venal city halls dominated by powerful groups of capitalist insiders. ‘Private Government’ has long overshadowed public politics.” More recently in Paradise Plundered: Fiscal Crisis and Governance Failure in San Diego, Steve Erie, Vladimir Kogan, and Scott MacKenzie similarly illustrate how San Diego’s political and business elite have done a fantastic job of “using public resources to maximize private profit” with little to no oversight from our “shadow governments.”
If you look at the field of candidates for mayor you can see who San Diego’s moneyed elite support with right-wing front-runner Carl DeMaio leading the pack taking in $1.8 million in donations from conservative PACS, the Republican Party, downtown business interests, and developers. DeMaio is also getting a lot of help from his biggest fan, Carl DeMaio, who has poured nearly half a million dollars of his own money into his corporate jihad.
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