Because, ya know, all those Dems opposed to the Chargers’ downtown stadium plan are part of the conservative coalition

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San Diego Rostra Editorial

Yesterday, Voice of San Diego Editor in Chief Scott Lewis wrote of “conservative” plans to kill the San Diego Chargers’ proposal for a downtown stadium…

If you were wondering whether the city’s coalition of conservative business groups was open to supporting the Chargers’ plan for a new convadium in East Village, wonder no longer: It looks like a decision has been made to crush it.

Leaders of the hotel and visitor industry are now overtly advocating against it. Republican City Councilman Chris Cate and longtime activist April Boling have emerged as the leading voices against the Chargers’ plan. The Lincoln Club, a conservative political group, just launched a new committee supporting Republican City Council candidate Ray Ellis for the seat representing La Jolla and Carmel Valley. Its name is unambiguous: “Neighborhoods. Not Stadiums. A Political Action Committee in Support of Ray Ellis for Council 2016.”

And Ellis himself just dropped a case against the stadium.

Kudos to Cate, Boling, Ellis and others, some of them certainly described as “center right.”

Yet, here are some of the Democrats and liberals either outright rejecting the Chargers’ plan or at least the significant public subsidy involved…

  • Councilmembers David Alvarez and Marti Emerald
  • Mayor candidates Ed Harris and Lori Saldaña (running against Mayor Kevin Faulconer)
  • Barbara Bry, City Council candidate, District 1 (the same seat Ellis is seeking)
  • Anthony Bernal and Chris Ward, City Council candidates, District 3
  • Frank Tsimboukakis, City Council candidate, District 5
  • Justin DeCesare, City Council candidate, District 7
  • Ricardo Flores, Georgette Gomez and Sara Saez, City Council candidates, District 9
  • Mara Elliott, candidate for City Attorney

In the meantime, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce led by former Mayor Jerry Sanders (no doubt Voice and others would typically consider him part of a “conservative coalition”) hasn’t taken a position.

As one of the Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s important partners, the Chamber is signaling it is not going to get out in front of him, and is instead working to facilitate discussion rather than supporting or opposing what many clearly see as a massive taxpayer giveaway.

Voice does note that although Faulconer’s usual allies are lining up in opposition, the Mayor himself remains quiet at present.

But, we’re not sure a coalition of stores that doesn’t now include major anchors Faulconer and the Chamber’s Sanders can be accurately described as a conservative mall.

As well, the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, other than statements about facilitating some public discussions of various stadium options, remains silent on the Chargers’ plan. After much of the organization’s policy wonks have moved to other efforts in recent years, Taxpayers has been too silent for too long. But hope remains with new leadership at the top in the form of energetic CEO Haney Hong.

It would seem the Chargers’ huge public subsidy could be low-hanging fruit, or maybe more like a stationary pinata, no blindfold required, for a taxpayers group with a potentially large bat.

A number of independent voices of all parties coming to the same conclusion — the inappropriateness of the public footing a bill like this — does not a coalition make. No one is agreeing to work together to crush the Chargers. The team has simply lobbed out a bad plan. This is a natural reaction to it.

As well, despite Voice’s narrative of a conservative coalition forming against the downtown proposal by the Chargers, we count more Democratic and left-leaning leaders on record in opposition thus far.

With the question of an over 1 billion taxpayer-funded boondoggle at stake, we hope many more will come to the same conclusion.

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Comments 1

  1. Assuming this vote requires a 2/3 majority to pass, I think we’ve got a GREAT chance to defeat this measure, even with the HUGE campaign spending disparity (supposedly the Chargers alone are planning to spend $15 million on this project). It’s a battle I actually look forward to!

    Reminder — with the Charger ticket guarantee, the Chargers actually could make over 85% more NOT selling a ticket! It’s probably the best $35 million we taxpayers ever wasted — souring the electorate on this massive new subsidy.

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