“Are You Ready to make San Diego the ‘Wisconsin of the West’?” — Pension Reform battle cry at Monday’s SD Republican Party meeting

Jim Sills Jim Sills


It was Unity Night at the Republican Party of San Diego on Monday, and “director’ Tony Krvaric gave the spotlight to three major heroes.   Carl DeMaio was the firebrand, asking, “Are you ready to make San Diego the Wisconsin of the West?”… Kevin Faulconer was the calm older brother, praising everyone for their hard work.  And Jerry Sanders explained himself to the GOP crowd as “that wayward spouse, that always comes back.  I wander some times…but  I was a Republican before most of you were born.”  (When the Mayor deadpanned that last line, a woman near  me murmured, “Spencer Tracy” with admiration.)

A crowd of 250 cheered these unity speeches and cheered again when talk host  Mike Slater of KFMB Radio (am-760) promised, “We will be the Pension Reform station,  so as many signatures as you need, we’ll be there! ”  (Slater’s enthusiasm and optimism were decidedly contagious,  reminiscent of Ronald Reagan.  His show is heard daily from 6 to 9  a.m.)

If this sounds like a Family Reunion, in which everyone is reconciled (with faint vibrations of past conflict), well, that’s what it was.  But San Diego’s Elephants are finally stampeding in the same direction…and for that Tony Krvaric,  Barrett Tetlow, T.J. Zane of the Lincoln Club and Lani Lutar of the Taxpayers Association  deserve both our thanks, and also our frank astonishment.

……….Let’s  Have  the  Details  Already

OK…there aren’t 5 council votes to put the pension reform plan  on the ballot, so a petition drive will launch to qualify a voter initiative for the June 2012 election.  The City Charter requires a 15% petition for  Charter amendments, which works out to 94,346 valid signatures. That’s why Mike Slater’s impromptu radio pledge riveted the assembled Rep. delegates and put them on their feet.

Mayor Sanders predicted record campaign spending by Reform opponents.  He added this type of Reform plan has not been tried anywhere else in the country. Carl DeMaio returned to the unity theme, dismissing the word “compromise,” saying what the process finally produced is more accurately called a “Consensus to do the Right thing.”

T.J. Zane highlighted the efforts of April Boling, who co-signed the Notice of Intent to circulate the Petition,  and also thanked Lani Lutar of the SD County Taxpayers Association.

………..Thinking  Ahead  on this  Reform  Competition

It looks like this contest will be a 14-month-long rodeo until next June, so stay tuned to SD Rostra for further fascinating developments.  If last night’s gathering at the Kona Kai is any indication, there will be no dull moments on this cruise.