San Diego chooses Faulconer for mayor

San Diego has a new mayor: Kevin Faulconer

Photo by Tim Forkes

The San Diego Convention Center can be seen from San Diego Bay, in front of Downtown San Diego.
Photo by Tim Forkes

disgraced former Mayor Bob Filner, from a YouTube video of an interview he did with a local CBS TV station.

Disgraced former Mayor Bob Filner, from a YouTube video of an interview he did with a local CBS TV station.

Mayor Bob Filner — former Mayor Bob Filner. Nah, scratch that: disgraced former Mayor Bob Filner. He was sentenced a few months ago to house arrest, for want of an easier term. He took a plea deal to avoid jail time, which, at his age (71), would probably mean a death sentence.

He can’t leave his apartment complex, except to go for medical appointments (including therapy), lawyer appointments, church and of course appointments with his probation officer and other corrections-related meetings.

Filner, as readers may recall, was duly elected mayor of San Diego, the first Democrat to hold the office in 20-plus years. Lefties were excited — I was excited! Sandy Effin’ Eggo was turning a political corner!

And then … what a douchebag he turned out to be.

Women started coming forward with stories of Filner attacking them, sticking his hands down their pants, up their blouses and his tongue down their throats. Honestly, none of this is exaggeration.

At first you think, “This is some sick, political attack from the right,” because, well, they do these types of things. Not a lot, not characteristically, but from time-to-time — like Governor Chris Christie did back in the 1990s when he was running for dog catcher or something. Christie eventually apologized for slandering his opponent’s name, lost his re-election and voila! He’s the governor of the state of New Jersey and directing his minkies to go out and make mischief on the GW Bridge

OK, at this point, if you still don’t believe Governor Christie took part in, had any knowledge of, closing off the lanes and blocking traffic for four days … I admire your sunny outlook on life.

Pundits on TV and online have noted: if Joe and Mika have turned against Governor Christie on this then he has no supporters outside his shrinking band of confidants. “Joe and Mika,” for those who might not know (and there are a few who don’t), are the anchors, the co-hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe: Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough. The way it lays out is: she’s the Leftie and he’s the rightie, but to be honest they’re both quite centrist with some variance on some issues that would lead you to believe Brzezinski is a Leftie and Scarborough is a Rightie.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at his recent press conference about the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge. (Photo is a YouTube screen shot)

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at his recent press conference about the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge.
(Photo is a YouTube screen shot)

Getting back to the original point: it isn’t beyond the realm of reality to think a right-wing cabal would create an entirely bogus scenario, paying women — or men — to smear a good politician’s name for the sake of political retaliation. It’s been done.

So, when the accusations against Filner first popped up, many of his supporters, a few of them very prominent San Diego women, went, “Whaaa?”

Then the evidence and witnesses began to follow and it became quite clear this wasn’t any political cheap trick — Filner even admitted to some of the behavior and voluntarily went in for two weeks of therapy. But he wasn’t going to step down as mayor. Nosiree, you bunch of lynch mobbing scandalmongers. Yes, in the beginning Filner claimed he was the target of a lynch mob.

No Bob, not actually or figuratively. You were the target of an ever-growing investigation into your serial sexual harassment behavior going back at least 25 years.

Let’s hope Filner doesn’t take the Pete Rose method of confession and rehabilitation with his crimes and misdemeanors.  Admit to so much and the say, “But I didn’t do anything else!”

And then a little while later, “Well okay, I did this, this and this, but I didn’t do that!”

A little while later, “OK, I did all of those things, but not this!”

And then a little while later, “STFU Bob, you got your house arrest, now go quietly into that good night and let us forget you ever existed.”

Which seems to be the high road Filner is taking in the low valley his life and career have tumbled.

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

San Diego City Council member David Alvarez. Photo is a screen shot from a YouTube video of an interview he did with the local PBS station KPBS for the special election this past November.,

San Diego City Council member David Alvarez. Photo is a screen shot from a YouTube video of an interview he did with the local PBS station KPBS for the special election this past November.,

Except of course we have to remember Bob Filner at least one more time because he eventually stepped down in disgrace and his empty office needed to be filled by special elections. So, we are reminded of what Bob Filner did to those 19 women because on November 19, 2013 San Diego had a special election to hopefully find a new mayor.

It didn’t happen. None of the candidates received a majority of the votes so the top two candidates were set up for a runoff election that took place Tuesday, February 11 with Republican Kevin Faulconer facing Democrat David Alvarez.

Okay, by California Constitution law, politicians for local offices cannot have party affiliations — officially. But, and really, this isn’t a loophole in the law — it’s an Eisenhower Tunnel — the candidates can express their political leanings any and all the time.

So, here’s how to tell Kevin Faulconer is a Republican and David Alvarez is a Democrat: 1) Faulconer accused Alvarez of being supported by those evil labor unions (and he was) and Alvarez accused Faulconer of being supported by those evil downtown developers (and he was). 2) Both Alvarez and Faulconer publicly told us what their political affiliations were, as if we needed to be reminded.

The Eisenhower (R) and the Johnson (L) Tunnels that cut through the Colorado Rockies for Interstate 70. (Photo via Wikipedia)

The Eisenhower (R) and the Johnson (L) Tunnels that cut through the Colorado Rockies for Interstate 70.
(Photo via Wikipedia)

There’s no point in changing the California Constitution to eliminate this “ban” on political affiliations for mayors and mayoral candidates, it’s easy enough to get around and we cannot foresee all the unintended consequences of altering the Constitution until it’s too late.

Twenty years ago most people in California thought the “Three Strikes Law” was a great idea: Democrats, Republicans, Independents — surfers — nearly everyone. Now, the legislature is looking for ways around that law because it is bankrupting the state.

It isn’t an easy task because “Three Strikes” made it into law by way of the ballot initiative so it can only be repealed by a vote from the people … and most politicians, left and right, don’t think that is possible.

This is why I do not sign petitions to get any initiatives on the ballot: we never hear about the consequences of doing these things. As former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld put it so un-eloquently almost exactly 12 years ago, “… as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don’t know.”

Man, it’s hard to believe, painful to admit: I’m not only understanding Donald Rumsfeld, I’m agreeing with him too. Will I have to turn in my membership card to the Commie-Sutra? I do not know, nor am I sure I know, about everything I do not know …

So, let’s not change the California Constitution to accommodate mayoral candidates. We all know their political ties, it’s never any secret!

In 1996 then San Diego Mayor Susan Golding opened up the Republican National Convention to rousing cheers and standing ovations. Was there really any question which side she was on? Good for Golding, it was good for the City of San Diego and darn good television. The Convention Center is right on San Diego Bay so the visuals were spectacular. It presented the city in a very flattering light. We actually got the impression Bob Dole could win the election!

The author at Ocean Beach, one of the many beach communities of San Diego, (Photo provided by Tim Forkes)

The author at Ocean Beach, one of the many beach communities of San Diego,
(Photo provided by Tim Forkes)

Optics can only go so far.

At any rate, three days before Valentine’s Day San Diego residents went to the polls to pick a new mayor to replace that degenerate a-hole Bob Filner. And we were reminded once again what Bob Filner did to cause this runoff election.

Could San Diego elect another Democrat to the office? Would voters do it again, “give it to me baby one more time?” To quote Britney Spears.

David Alvarez is not Bob Filner. He’s a bright, optimistic family man from San Diego, raised in the South Bay area, specifically Barrio Logan. He was a community activist after graduating from San Diego State University. In 2010 Alvarez was elected to the City Council, representing his home and several other low to medium-income neighborhoods.

And that’s probably the main reason Alvarez didn’t win the election: experience. He’d only been a member of the City Council for three years when voters went to the polls. No Obama bump for you, young man.

Part of the San Diego skyline, as seen from the Downtown ballpark Petco Park, where the San Diego Padres play in the MLB National League West. (Photo by Tim Forkes)

Part of the San Diego skyline, as seen from the Downtown ballpark Petco Park, where the San Diego Padres play in the MLB National League West.
(Photo by Tim Forkes)

Faulconer was first elected to the City Council in a runoff election in 2005. Faulconer is 13 years older than Alvarez and has five more years of city government experience under his belt and by golly, San Diego residents, at least the ones who bothered to vote, picked Faulconer to be mayor.

He’s one of the guys that think all of San Diego’s financial woes can be blamed on those infernal city employee unions and the pay and benefits packages they’ve negotiated for and received in years past. Apparently the shrinking tax base has little to do with it and what the hey, he’s a Republican so he likes lower taxes anyway.

Will he get the potholes fixed? Faulconer has said city infrastructure is his top priority. Well Kevin, how about expanding the bus service into unserved neighborhoods like Scripps Ranch and expanding the very popular trolley system to neighborhoods north of Interstate 8? And fix the potholes.

Can he expand the Convention Center without destroying the Downtown bay front? This is important because we want to keep Comic-Con in San Diego. Seriously, if you think I’m joking: keeping the biggest convention in the world located on San Diego Bay is a big deal. If Comic-Con had the room, they could add tens of thousands more attendees — and still sell out the tickets as fast as they do now.

  • My friend Vicki already scored two four-day passes for her and her daughter. Lucky.

These are just some of the issues facing the new mayor. The expansion of the shipyards in the South Bay will get big real soon, as will building a stadium for the San Diego Chargers football team. The Spanos Family, owners of the Chargers, are insisting on a Downtown stadium (but Mission Valley is so much nicer and easier for traffic especially).

Jeez, thinking about that little issue, maybe Alvarez is lucky Faulconer won. The challenges are big and a Chargers stadium is really small potatoes — although it will loom large when the time comes.

San Diego Mayor-Elect Kevin Faulcenor. One of the various problems of electing Faulconer is catching your computer’s "auto-correct”  function when it wants to spell his last name “Falconer.” That's probably the least of the issues the new mayor will be facing when he's sworn into office in March. Photo is a screen shot from a YouTube video of an interview Faulconer did with local PBS affiliate, KPBS.

San Diego Mayor-Elect Kevin Faulcenor. One of the various problems of electing Faulconer is catching your computer’s “auto-correct” function when it wants to spell his last name “Falconer.” That’s probably the least of the issues the new mayor will be facing when he’s sworn into office in March.
Photo is a screen shot from a YouTube video of an interview Faulconer did with local PBS affiliate, KPBS.

Putting aside the usual dread I feel every time a Republican gets elected to an office the effects me personally, I’ll take a wait and see attitude to Kevin Faulconer. He does have the City Council to contend with and that will force the new mayor to deal with his political opponents. It’s something he’s done while a member of the City Council so … maybe it will be just the same-old same-old.

Faulconer was backed by the powerful developers and the city’s only major daily newspaper, the U-T San Diego, formerly the San Diego Union-Tribune, which is owned by one of those Downtown developers. It’s nice to have the press in your pocket … or maybe Doug Manchester and John Lynch, the real estate developers who own the U-T San Diego, have Kevin Faulconer in their pocket. When Manchester and Lynch bought the “U-T” they were adamant about using the paper to promote their developments and political causes.

Who knows? We do know what we know and we know some of what we don’t know, but it’s the unknonwns that are unknown that’ll get you every time.

Just ask Donald Rumsfeld.


About the author

Tim Forkes

Tim Forkes started as a writer on a small alternative college newspaper in Milwaukee called the Crazy Shepherd. Writing about entertainment issues, he had the opportunity to speak with many people in show business, from the very famous to the people struggling to find an audience. In 1992 Tim moved to San Diego, CA and pursued other interests, but remained a freelance writer. Upon arrival in Southern California he was struck by how the business of government and business was so intertwined, far more so than he had witnessed in Wisconsin. His interest in entertainment began to wane and the business of politics took its place. He had always been interested in politics, his mother had been a Democratic Party official in Milwaukee, WI, so he sat down to dinner with many of Wisconsin’s greatest political names of the 20th Century: William Proxmire and Clem Zablocki chief among them. As a Marine Corps veteran, Tim has a great interest in veteran affairs, primarily as they relate to the men and women serving and their families. As far as Tim is concerned, the military-industrial complex has enough support. How the men and women who serve are treated is reprehensible, while in the military and especially once they become veterans. Tim would like to help change that reality. Contact the author.
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