Cry Demagogic/Schizophrenic and Release the Dogs of War

Sanders calls Aguirre a demagogue, Aguirre calls Sanders, politically speaking, nuts. And any pretense of even the coolest collegiality between San Diego’s bombastic embattled City Attorney and its Strong Mayor In Name Only is now so much polluted bay water flowing under the Coronado Bridge. Admittedly, things have been heating toward the boiling point in the two men’s relationship ever since the accusations of incompetence and corruption were being hurled by the two over the Sunroad debacle. And now it’s open war, with any sign of a truce or détente not to be seen.

Now Aguirre could arguably have been said to have fired the first shot of this conflict on September 7th when he posted his equivalent of Luther’s ninety-five theses on the Mayor’s and Council’s door: a short list of fourteen remedial steps the City still needed to take to return its financial house to order and reenter the bonds markets. While many of Aguirre’s proposed steps make sense even to the Mayor, Aguirre’s blasting of the Mayor and Council for not taking more decisive actions over the last two years was a guaranteed hackle raiser. But, by my reading, the Mayor’s September 28th response to Aguirre’s proposals was, if anything, more personally directed and personally critical than anything in Aguirre’s maligned missive. But, bottom line, there was more bonhomie and collegiality at this week’s meeting between North and South Korea than in the Aguirre/Sanders memos combined.

The timing of this war is somewhat interesting to me. Sanders staff probably started on the Mayor’s response to Aguirre within days of receiving it, so this letter has been in the works for a couple of weeks now. But it was just a week and a half ago that Jerry got caught up in his gay fray over gay marriage. Since then he has sustained continuing derision from his party’s right wing for betraying a core party value and now faces a much more plausible challenge from Steve Francis in the 2008 primary race. September was a tough month for Jerry Sanders.

So what do the tough do when the going get’s tough? In San Diego, it seems, you dump on Mike Aguirre. Most certainly, the Mayor was going to respond to—and reject—most of Aguirre’s September 7th proposals. But I have a feeling the response would have been a tad less personal and aggressive but for the political events of September. It looks like Gentleman Jerry is planning to run his 2008 campaign of “It’s All Aguirre’s Fault” (as if Mike alone is responsible for the City being four years out of the bonds markets.) Now the battle is for the hearts and minds of the voters of San Diego between Sanders and Aguirre. Which may not play out for the Mayor and his supporters as they hope. My 86 year old always—votes mother still says Aguirre is the only one trying to make anything change at City Hall. She’s the vox populi of the grey-haired contingent, as far as I’m concerned—having voted for the winner in just about every city race in the last three decades. Jerry, if you want to beat Aguirre, you’ve gotta win over Mom. And it’s gonna be a hard sale.

Yep, looks like full scale war has erupted at City Hall. And, like most wars, this one’s not gonna do most people a whole lotta good. Don’t look for much to change between now and December, 2008, when the new Mayor and half the council are sworn in. And, my bet, don’t look for San Diego to be back in the bonds markets by then, either. More than likely, we’re not out of the civic hurricane we’ve been in since 2002. The last year may well have been the eye of the storm.

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4 Responses to “Cry Demagogic/Schizophrenic and Release the Dogs of War”

  1. mlaiuppa Says:

    Well, *I* know it isn’t all Mike Aguirre’s fault. In fact, very little of it is Mike Aguirre’s fault. He may be abrasive and obnoxious. He may tick people off by pointing out the obvious shortcomings regarding the true nature of “public service”. He may not work and play well with others. But at least he is doing his job. Which is more than I can say for our “strong” Mayor.

    At least Mike Aguirre is looking out for *my* interests. I’m glad someone is. Rather refreshing that someone in City Hall is. (I wish Christine Kehoe would come back.)

    When Mike Aguirre runs, I’ll vote for him. AGAIN.

    And no, Jerry, I won’t be voting for you. (again.) I’d rather vote for the whack job environmentalist nut that runs in every election. At least I might get some clean water out of the deal.

  2. Marnie Says:

    I am amazed that some people continue to be taken in by the sociopathic Mike Aguirre. Was Mike looking out for your interests when he gave raises to dozens of deputies in his office even though he had told the mayor and city council that giving raises to police officers was illegal? Was he looking out for your interests when he blocked enactment of an ordinr

  3. Marnie Says:

    Ooops! Sorry about the unfinished e-mail.
    I am amazed that some people continue to be taken in by the sociopathic Mike Aguirre. Was Mike looking out for your interests when he gave raises to dozens of deputies in his office even though he had told the mayor and city council that giving raises to police officers was illegal? Was he looking out for your interests when he blocked an ordinance that would have cut off “illegal” benefits for city workers because he thought that its enactment would harm his pension lawsuit? Was he looking out for your interests when he spent thousands and thousands of your dollars litigating an issue that any competent attorney would have known was a lost cause? Was he looking out for your interests when his treatment of employees has been so bad that the city is having to defend lawsuits against him? Is he looking out for your interests when he continues to spend millions of your dollars on outside counsel while not fulfilling his charter-mandated duties as city attorney? If your answer is yes, you must be a masochist.

  4. mlaiuppa Says:

    Was Mayor Jerry looking out for my interests when he was trying to negotiate allowing Sunroad to keep those top two stories?

    Who looked out for my interests when the Naval Training Center was given away for pennies on the dollar?

    And who allowed millions to go down the tubes with still no audit in sight?

    Mike’s litigations are a result of no one else doing their job. So he’s using the tools he has to try to force action. Any action.

    It’s Mayor Jerry that’s giving the Police all of the raises while cutting everywhere else. Ex-police chief. Big surprise there.

    Sorry, but when it comes to my interests I’ll take Mike over Jerry every time.


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