It is very clear by now, that San Diego’s Republicans have chosen Councilman Kevin Faulconer to be their standard bearer for November’s Special Election for mayor. Faulconer has represented District 2 – the district for Ocean Beach, Point Loma and much of the beach area in this neck of the woods.
Now, with the withdrawals from the race by Republicans Carl DeMaio and Ron Roberts, there are no more major GOP candidates still standing. And Kevin made it official today with his announcement that he was in the race. Wow! What a surprise.
What was somewhat of a surprise was the additional withdrawal of Democrat Todd Gloria, the current acting mayor of the city.
There’s still a number of name Democrats who are pondering a campaign: Lori Saldana, David Alvarez, and former City Attorney Mike Aguirre. And of course, newly-made Democrat Nathan Fletcher has already made his intention of running awhile ago. Bruce Coons of Save Our San Diego Heritage has also announced. Some are also pushing for Marti Emerald to throw her large hat into the ring as well.
But the GOP mainstream has cleared the deck for Faulconer. Tony Krvaric, head of the County GOP is pushing the party’s new narrative, that Kevin Faulconer is a “centrist” politically. He told the media:
“We are pleased that Councilman Kevin Faulconer is considering running for Mayor. He is a centrist leader in proud San Diego tradition with broad appeal and an established track record of service to our city. He would be a great mayor.” (Our emphasis.)
But Faulconer is hardly a “centrist”. Besides being a huge voice over the years for “managed competition”, the competitive bidding program championed by Republicans like him which is supposed to create a leaner city government, Faulconer also opposed California doing away with all the state’s and our city’s redevelopment agencies. In years past, District 2 – Faulconer’s current district – included downtown San Diego. Which meant that Faulconer was and is beholden to those downtown interests who for decades have been “re-newing” downtown – the Convention Center, the Padres’ ballpark, the Gaslamp District, etc., – to the detriment of San Diego’s neighborhoods.
It is true that Kevin Faulconer was accessible on certain issues – for OB, that meant the closing of the library branch – which he did oppose, the pulling of the beach fire rings – he also opposed and helped finagle private funding for the ubiquitous symbols of beach life. And as deputy mayor in 2012, he opened the city-built Mike Gotch memorial pedestrian bridge in Mission Bay.
Yet Faulconer was part and parcel of the same party as then Mayor Jerry Sanders was, and Sanders led the gutting of city services and resources during his time in office. Faulconer had joined Sanders many times in touting the wondrous success of managed competition. Plus he joined Sanders and other GOP’ers on a number of their priorities – which now that he has formally entered the race, will come to public attention again.
Much more recently, Kevin was one of the first to mount the recall Filner campaign, and as senior Republican on the City Council, he was a member of the “negotiating team” that constructed Filner’s resignation. The hypocrisy of someone who was an architect of this endeavor then turns around and demonstrates his own interest and ambitions days later by entering the race lays out a clear conflict of interest in his role. This was Faulconer.
Also, some question Faulconer’s role in the current Sunroad “controversy” because when the story first broke it was made known that SunRoad had emailed Councilman Kevin Faulconer with a statement about “the money has been paid”.
Why Faulconer’s office was contacted by SunRoad to announce that they had paid $100,000, which was put in the general fund, we’ll probably never know. But immediately following this disclosure, Kevin made the rounds of KUSI and other morning news shows bringing it to everybody’s attention. Was this part of the scam to make Filner look like he was taking a bribe to do a favor for a developer?
Faulconer takes Filner to task for ignoring the people’s business, putting politics in front of road repair, neighborhood services, government waste, blah blah blah, declaring that “Filner’s bizarre actions and combative personality now stand in the way of San Diegans getting the government they deserve.”
Claiming that “this isn’t about politics”, and he doesn’t “have a feud with Mayor Filner”, that he’s given Filner the benefit of the doubt,” Faulconer says he can’t stand by any longer and watch “Filner’s antics” breed “political dysfunction and disregard for common sense that ruined our city’s reputation a decade ago”….
Faulconer then lists a litany of issues – that he and the other Republicans around City Hall are now using as their mantra against Filner, the most liberal mayor in San Diego’s history, which include the closed door meeting where Filner’s police escort escorted a deputy City Attorney out of the meeting for being disruptive. The list also includes “forced budget cuts on neighborhood prosecutors”, that Filner “put San Diego jobs at risk”, “spent thousands of taxpayer dollars on an unannounced junket” to France, that Mayor Bob is “eroding San Diego’s integrity.”
Of course, Faulconer doesn’t mention that while he – a city councilman – and his good buddy Mayor Jerry Sanders – were cutting library and recreation center hours, they exempted the City Attorney’s office when using the cutting knife. And now, here comes Filner, who attempts to remove the “exemption” that the Republicans had placed around certain programs, like the City Attorney’s budget.
We’re absolutely certain that Doug Manchester and his U-T will solidly back Faulconer during the upcoming mayoral campaign, with daily tributes, juxtaposed to “exposes” of his opponents.
And we’re also absolutely certain that Kevin will soon be awash in campaign money. He’s got some big friends around town.