San Diego Republicans Coalesce Around OB’s Councilman Kevin Faulconer for Mayor

by on September 4, 2013 · 17 comments

in Election, Ocean Beach, Politics, San Diego

Kevin Faulconer1It 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?

Before the Filner scandal broke, Faulconer wrote a July 5th Op-Ed piece at the U-T San Diego, entitled “Leadership Must Put People Before Politics”. As I noted then,

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.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

JuanCarolos September 4, 2013 at 3:00 pm

All in all, it seems that Kevin is exactly what San Diego needs.


Dana Levy September 5, 2013 at 8:22 am

Been there, done that. The last 20 years speak for themselves. San Diego needs to remain on the path set out by Filner, minus the shenanigans, and actually move forward. I don’t think San Diego needs to go anywhere near the return path towards stagnation that Faulkner represents. With him and his cronies in, it will again set us up for mediocrity at best and decadent financial squandering at least. Should the Dems get a candidate who shows a propensity to hold the course true to our vision, it would be a refreshing affirmation that we can do better and now is the time.


J. Stone September 4, 2013 at 3:05 pm

I have no idea what a centrist Republican is. Does that mean he’s against destroying women’s health care, & cutting social services for San Diego citizens? Does it mean he will just tone down the rightwing rhetoric just enough to get elected? Or will he simply follow the rest of the Republican philosophy, and just flat out lie when it suits the situation. Voters beware, a centrist Republican is still a Republican, even if he’s wearing a new mask.


Gregory May September 4, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Bruce Coons is running!


zebragnome September 4, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Bruce Coons is what San Diego needs. He’s got my vote.


john eisenhart September 4, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Bruce is a winner……He is a trusted soul with a genuine heart. Everyone trust yourselves….and vote for Bruce!


Judy Swink September 5, 2013 at 9:17 am

I agree with others who express support for Bruce Coons. For those who know little about him beyond a few controversial historic preservation issues that received a lot of press, read Bruce’s biography at his campaign website – you’ll be surprised.


Steve Zivolich September 5, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Sorry to see a return to the “same old boss” republican candidate.
After 12 years of a progressive majority here in Irvine, we are now trying to survive a new conservative majority…that is planning to cut services, payrolls etc.,; after inheriting a surplus budget.
We should be “taking care of our own, wherever our flag flies”.


Frances O'Neill Zimmerman September 5, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Where is the information on the estimable Bruce Coons’ campaign for Mayor of San Diego? He needs money and organization. Where do people sign on? Where are the bumper stickers? Lots of folks want to know.


bob dorn September 5, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Bruce Coons’ SOHO killed the proposed and outrageous decimation of San Diego’s historic Balboa Park Bridge. SOHO did it by working hard and with effect on the net, so he has that organization to help him off to a quick start.
Also, Coons will easily be able to cross the party lines because there are some preservationists (conservatives, after all) amongst the Republicans, and he’ll be able to do it more easily now that Fletcher Nathan made clear that parties are sorta meaningless as he made his journey in search of new principles and became a Democrat In Name Only.


JuanCarolos September 5, 2013 at 3:36 pm

I loved that Kevin Faulcner announced his candidacy in Spanish, as well as English. He has my vote!


Woody Deck September 5, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Kevin Faulconer was a key player in making the Operation G-Sting happen.

IIRC, one of the key people in the FBI bringing the case together was none other than a fraternity brother at SDSU. Worse, when 6 or so of the city council was indicted for taking money from Jack Galardi’s people, Faulconer was completely overlooked despite him taking money from some of the same people. I wonder why? Why was the investigation targeting Democrats exclusively? That’s how San Diego politics work.

Kevin Faulconer helped DESTROY Michael Zucchet, a 100% categorically innocent man. Convicted for some of the deeds Kevin Faulconer in my opinion was completely guilty off himself. Let’s never forget that.

One more thing, my recollection is a bit hazy, but I remember Kevin Faulconer in one debate going on in a debate about how he plied his future wife with alcohol on the beach on the night they first did it. I can’t remember if coitus took place on the beach or not, but it was certainly inappropriate for him to tell this story, not that it was some great crime or anything. I believe it was brought up in reference to the then discussed beach alcohol ban. He was telling a brag, and admitting to getting drunk on the beach. He has a bit of an ego issue.

From all the stories I heard about this guy at SDSU, if you redacted all the names from the Filner scandal, I would have sworn AND BET MY LIFE, that it was Kevin Faulconer the stories were about.

There are many more rumours about Kevin Faulconer and his ties to Corky MicMillan, but that is obvious to the lay person what is probably going on. Kevin Faulconer is a scandal waiting to happen and I can’t wait to see the day he gets his comeuppance. This man will do anything for a vote. If you are a Republican like me, then you are probably better off sitting this election out. There’s no point in voting for someone actually worse than Filner.


Nate Poole October 17, 2013 at 8:31 pm

So, do you actually possess any first hand knowledge . . . about anything?


rheftmann September 5, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Mr Coons resume should be closely scrutinized. Protection of choice properties and running a city are very different jobs. A mayor needs a wide range of experience and cannot choose his issues. Being a development consultant while leading an organization with power (mostly limiting narrowly defined projects) is incompatible and inconsistent with the ability to facilitate progress on a comprehensive (political, environmental, economic, social) regional basis for a large and highly diverse border city. You may like what his organization did in Balboa Park but what happened to Old Town, for example? Mayor Filner’s ouster has left us with a miserable roster of pretenders to power and very little to go on for making a decision for his replacement. Let’s be careful.


Judy Swink September 6, 2013 at 2:49 pm

rheftmann & others – read Bruce Coons” biography at his campaign website to see the extensive for-profit business experience he has brought to his role as Executive Director of SOHO:

Calling Bruce a “development consultant” is completely inaccurate. He has been retained by numerous property owners seeking guidance on how to obtain historic designation for their properties, a role completely consistent with and informed by his job at SOHO. Of course he’s paid well but he isn’t doing either type of job for the money but for love of historic preservation.

Bruce has taken SOHO from an almost solely volunteer organization to a non-profit with employees who assist SOHO in the management of a number of publicly-owned historic properties: Whaley House & attendant historic structures; the Marston House in Balboa Park (yes, it’s part of Balboa Park and is owned by the City of SD); and most recently, the Warner-Carillo Ranch House (owned by the Vista Irrigation System, I think it is). Monies raised through fundraisers (historic home tours, for instance) and rental of the Marston House grounds for weddings and other special events pay for restoration, maintenance & operation of the historic properties and has made it possible for SOHO to purchase the Santa Ysabel General Store. Both the Warner-Carillo Ranch House and the Santa Ysabel Genera Store required extensive restoration before opening for the public to visit. Visits to the general store are free and a nominal fee requested from visitors to the Ranch House (on S-2 about a mile south of the intersection with SR79). SOHO also prepares and facilitates workshops and educational programs about historic preservation and the important roles (including increased property values/taxes) that historic properties often bring to a neighborhood.


rheftmann September 7, 2013 at 12:17 am

Judy Swink: Your defense of Mr Coons is clearly heartfelt, but only confirms my contention. You don’t say how you know, but it doesn’t matter if he does it for love or money or both, although I can see that being “well paid” does make the work more lovable for him and more problematic for anyone trying to get something done in San Diego that may have a historical aspect.
Of course there’s a problem with being a consultant while having power over a certain project. That is a pay or pay proposition, not urban or regional planning and development, which San Diego has gotten so wrong for so long.
And as precious as any of these historic projects may be, his record is extremely limited relative to the demands of leading San Diego forward.


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