Jerry Sander Shows

So what have we learned about Jerry Sanders over the last several weeks?

Jerry is a dreamer/optimist. Just look at his budget. With no new taxes (just read his lips, I dare you–sewer rate fee increases, and hotel occupancy tax increases, of course, not included) reductions in staff and increases in overall spending, Gentlemen Jerry promises to move towards a balanced city budget, no reduction in overall services and a closing of the pension funding gap. (Of course calling the current underfunding of our pension a gap is like calling the Grand Canyon a ditch.) Perhaps his Honor might next show San Diegans how they can eat all the Ben and Jerry’s they want, exercise not a wit and still lose weight.

On Friday the City’s Reality Fairy (aka independent budget analyst Andrea Tevlin) will release her take on the Mayor’s wish list. Given that the Mayor’s budget is well below the over quarter billion in additional cuts Tevlin has already called for, I expect she will be popping a few of the mayor’s fiscal fantasy balloons.

Which leads to observation number two:

Jerry is just another politician after all.

Part of former top cop Sanders appeal during the 2005 election was the fact he wasn’t just another downtown politician. As a former police officer he seemed almost Colin Powellesque: above petty politics, dedicated to public service. Now we know better. Politicians from 202 C street to Pennsylvania Avenue have been selling American voters the same “have your government services cake and let others eat the taxes” line since Ronny Raygun blasted his way onto the national stage. Why should Jerry be any different?

And he’s not.

Donna Frye lost her bid for mayor in no small part because she was willing to state the obvious: San Diegans either have to face higher taxes (or fees, surcharges or whatever euphemism you like) or reduced services or both. Being honest did her about as much good as it did Paul “I am not Santa Claus” Tsongas running against Bill Clinton in the 1992 Democratic primaries. Given the choice between reality and political promises the voters always go for the latter. Jerry understood that in 2005 and still understands it in the run up to 2008. The truth about San Diego finances? Jerry’s decided the voters can’t handle the truth.

Jerry as politician takes us to observation number three:

Jerry the politician is off the fence on Aguirre. And he’s not on Aguirre’s side.

Police Chief Lansdowne politicized his office to an unprecedented extent when he not only refused to serve a lawful warrant (something even former DA Ed Miller reportedly felt was way out of bounds) but then went behind the City Attorney’s back to his Honorable Jerry. That Lansdowne would go the extra yard to stick it to Mike Aguirre is hardly surprising. Just look at the Chief’s participation in the misdemeanor melee in which he, the County Sheriff and Bonnie “My Turf” Dumanis carried out a coup d’etat fait accompli, stripping Mikey of his M powers. But the audacity of Lansdowne’s role in what is sure to become Sunroadgate was, well, audacious. That Jerry would then leak the whole thing to the ultimately stabilizer of the San Diego status quo – the UT—is simply unbelievable and inexplicable.

Unless, that is, you accept that Jerry has thrown in his lot with said status quo – the one in which connected developers continue to get sweetheart deals at the public expense thanks to the politicians they put and keep in elected office, in case you were wondering—selling out his independent-man-of-the-people personae for the political support he seems to think he’ll need in 2008. One minute he’s supporting the Miamization of Pacific Beach through the lifting of coastal height limits, next he’s going around the City Attorney’s back to derail an investigation of a developer who played fast and loose with the FAA and the City (not to mention the public) in pursuit of profits at the cost of public safety. What other conclusion can one reach?

Over the last month the Jerry Sanders Show has shown us the real Jerry Sanders. Jerry is starting to look a lot more like Susan Golding and Dick Murphy and a lot less like the .Vox Populi Jerry of the 2005 campaign. He might keep that in mind while he contemplates his chances for a second term.

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4 Responses to “Jerry Sander Shows”

  1. Jeffrey Davis Says:

    Regarding the false promises, I’d say that besides being another politician, which he shouldn’t deny, he’s really failed to lead. As you say, Sanders understands that voters choose promises over reality, but real leadership asks better of us. Sanders could have led during the campaign or at any time since. Instead, he has only served to make the free lunch illusion more deeply ingrained here. Sure, we’ll kick and scream about having to make hard choices (the anti-tax mau-maus especially), but it’s the only way to stop making the same mistakes over and over again.

    There are alternatives, but one vision of leadership for SD would say “look, for years San Diego left taxes and fees alone and kept right on spending as costs went up. Now we owe a whole lot of money. So we’re gonna pay it off. We’ll use taxes and fees and it’ll cost all of us, but we’ll do it, and in no time we’ll be fiscally sound and square and can put this behind us.” Not as easy as it sounds, but that’s why they call it leadership.

  2. mlaiuppa Says:

    I didn’t choose promises over reality.

    And I didn’t vote for Jerry Sanders.

    And I won’t be voting for Jerry Sanders.

    I did vote for Mike Aguirre. And I will again. At least Mike is attempting to do his job.

  3. sunburned Says:

    Just catching up on older posts, so I wanted to chime in here: something Gerry Braun wrote recently inspired a comment concerning Frye’s campaign, i.e., that during the campaign Frye didn’t develop the assertions she made about Sanders being the same old boys’ club candidate.

    It was true what she said, but she never showed how it would work to our disadvantage. That’s important, because on the surface, there is nothing wrong with being connected. We’d all like it, if it didn’t co-opt us or CORRUPT us. We want to believe that there is an advantage to being connected, and that it will be to our advantage to have leaders who are connected.

    So Carl, since you already have a website and have clearly stated what is all too true about Sanders’ pathetic inability to lead, why not post this picture at the top of every colomn you write from now on:

    http://www.directorsforum.com/events/event_10_30_03_photos.htm

    And, below the picture, Senor Luna, why not use your expertise on these things and show how the background from which Sanders came, with his made-up CEO-ness and the grooming he got from the boys who put him up as mayoral candidate, would inevitably NOT lead to his being capable of really leading or being a creative thinker or self-starter? There’s a good bit of data available on Sanders’ phony roles at VCC and Willow Creek Partners (he’s still listed on the Board on WC’s website), and Sanders can make absolutely no claim of accomplishments (that I know of) at those companies. But the men involved with those businesses do actually educational/business backgrounds and expertise: Tom Stickel, Les Barkley, David Porreca, and Mark Wolfenberger, among others. Some of these guys put up Sanders as their candidate, but he doesn’t have their savvy. When they can get him to act dangerously and corruptly to further their interests, he just isn’t sharp enough to pull it off, or better yet, best them, and eventually they’ll throw him aside for the next flunky if he can’t cut it.

    That’s the real story. But it needs telling.


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