Highlights of “Pay to Play” San Diego Mayoral Debate

by on January 16, 2012 · 7 comments

in Civil Rights, Election, Politics, San Diego

Mayoral candidates, from left. Carl DeMaio, Bonnie Dumanis, Bob Filner and Nathan Fletcher during a debate at the downtown U.S. Grant Hotel Friday. Photo by Earnie Grafton

Candidates differ on treating Occupy protesters and whether they’d retain Police Chief Lansdowne.

Editor: Last Friday the 13th of January, the four major candidates for San Diego mayor held a debate.  It was the very first time that all four major candidates appeared on the stage together as Bonnie Dumanis and DeMaio had been avoiding earlier debate opportunities (they both declined to attend the debate held by the San Diego Labor Council in November of 2011). But it was a debate – held at the Grant Hotel – that was a ‘pay to play’ debate, as it charged an entry fee.  This meant, of course, that ordinary San Diego citizens and voters weren’t there.

So, to remedy that, here are two versions of the debate to consider, the first from the Daily Transcript and the other from the U-T:

Four mayoral candidates spar over plans and policies

By Claire Trageser /  The Daily Transcript /  January 14, 2012

All four major San Diego mayoral candidates squared off in a debate for the first time Friday, answering pointed questions from members of the local media about their plans and policies.

Candidates were questioned on their plans for pension reform, redevelopment funding and a new Chargers stadium, as well as their positions on the failed tax increase measure Proposition D, the arrest of Occupy protestors at Mayor Jerry Sanders’ final “State of the City” speech and whether they would keep Chief of Police Bill Lansdowne.

Mostly civil in their responses and rebuttals, the candidates only threw occasional barbs at each other.

In reference to District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’ recent announcement that she would donate her entire mayoral salary to education, state Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher joked that he would give up his entire salary as mayor to the charity of Dumanis’ choice if she would also donate her pension.  Dumanis will earn $249,600 a year in pension from her tenure as district attorney, the news organization Voice of San Diego has previously supported.

Congressman Bob Filner joked that Fletcher was so supportive of building a joint sports and entertainment facility instead of a football stadium for the Chargers that when he’s elected mayor, he’ll appoint Fletcher as czar of the sports and entertainment center.

For the remainder of this article, please go here.


Mayoral debate includes pension humor

By Craig Gustafson / U-T San Diego / Jan. 13, 2011

On the stage together for the first time, the four major contenders for San Diego mayor sparred Friday over public employee pensions and redevelopment as they offered starkly different visions for the city’s future.

The candidates — City Councilman Carl DeMaio, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, Rep. Bob Filner and Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher — stuck close to the scripts they’ve laid out on the campaign trail during the debate but occasionally took jabs at each other and elicited laughs from a crowd of political insiders at the U.S. Grant Hotel.

Not surprisingly, the first question from the media panel was about a proposed initiative headed for the June ballot that would eliminate guaranteed pensions for all new city hires except police officers and give them a 401(k)-style plan instead. Mayor Jerry Sanders crafted it with DeMaio, and it is supported by Dumanis and Fletcher, all of whom are Republicans. Filner, the lone Democrat, opposes it.

For the remainder of this article, please go here.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna Daniels January 16, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Why are entry fees charged to mayoral debates????? Who sponsored the event?


steven greenwald January 16, 2012 at 5:05 pm

fees were charged to put cash in the 3 sponsors pockets


Hooligan. March 5, 2012 at 1:02 am

Fees were charged to keep rif-raf like you and me OUT. They wouldn’t want us to ask any “inconvenient” questions.


steven greenwald January 16, 2012 at 5:03 pm

well said anna this was a promotion for the 3 sponsors to put cash in their bank accounts!!!A PROMTION like that for wresling or boxing ..this was a circus to make money for the sponsors.. whu was this not held at liberty station like the politifest with FREE ADMISSION..WHY WAS I AND OTHERS NOT ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE!!THE 4 WERE PROMOTED AT THE EXCLUSION OF ALL OTHER LEGITAMITE CANDIDATE..main issues were not discussed !!questions xall 6193007229 steve greenwald for mayor a name you can trust


Frank Gormlie January 16, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Steven, you might have mentioned to Anna and others that you yourself are a mayoral candidate.


Abreaham January 16, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Eric Bidwell is another candidate not mentioned.


steven greenwald March 4, 2012 at 9:48 pm

sorry Frank i am a legitamite candidate for mayor.. lets create jobs jobs and more jobs ..increase the GNP of our state and decrease the cost of college tuition and provide monies for the SDUSD, k through 12 education


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