San Diego Deserves a Real Mayoral Debate: KPBS Should Make it Happen

by on October 14, 2020 · 2 comments

in Election, Ocean Beach, San Diego

By Colleen O’Connor

The current Mayoral election will determine more than just a winner. It will determine the post-pandemic future of this City.

Having “remote” virtual forums is not enough. Having massive, expensive, often deceitful mailings is not enough. And Having no way to view the character of the two challengers (alongside each other) is definitely not enough.

Yes.  Character.

That is the most important trait in any leader.  And San Diego is about to choose a leader for the 68h largest city in the nation; with 1. 4 million residents.

How can we judge their character unless it is under pressure? Easy to be clever and even appear honest when not challenged. Easier still to hide behind anonymous political action committees who commit falsehoods on a candidate’s behalf.

San Diego deserves better.  Let’s see the two leading candidates “duke it out;” with explanations; rebuttals; and strengths and weaknesses. Can we just slough off this Mayoral election with remote viewings?  And clever slogans?

The 8th largest city, with 1.4 million residents, deserves better.

Why can’t KPBS (a public broadcasting service) host a safe debate, using the same format as the Harris/ Pence debate? Easy to pick moderators; find a space; no audience needed. Surely, the plastic shields and non-audience is not an expensive format to replicate.

And, surely, neither Barbara Bry nor Todd Gloria are afraid of such a format.

San Diego’s future in a post-pandemic, rather upended world, seriously at-risk economy, is at stake. Let the voters assess the character of each candidate for themselves.

KPBS: Sponsor a Mayoral debate.  It is not too late.


Thanks to Ocean Beach Town Council for their image.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

thequeenisalizard October 17, 2020 at 5:06 pm

This is a joke right? Because we all know that they both will only tell the truth and never exaggerate or mis-lead. It’s a waste of funds for KPBS. There are much better things to spend limited money on.


melpomene October 17, 2020 at 7:00 pm

What? KPBS *did* host a mayoral debate… a week before this OB Rag post was published. Are you aware of that?

It was held on October 8. Here’s the event info:

Here’s where you can see a video of the entire broadcast if you missed it on live TV:

I’m not sure why you object to the virtual format, if that’s what you’re referring to when you say above that “[h]aving ‘remote’ virtual forums is not enough.” This was a regular debate where the candidates argued issued and responded to one another. It was as much a debate as the in-person VP debate. I found it enlightening and it helped cement my vote.


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