Politics & Media Mashup: your weekend news aggregator leads off with big budget news from San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders. Also included: Links to some of the week’s best stories about local, state and national politics as well as social and traditional media.
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders dominated the news cycle late this week with his announcement that he had finally solved the City’s budget problems.
A Google search brought up 10 stories from Sanders’ Thursday news conference. The U-T San Diego ran its story on Friday’s front page. Over at voiceofsandiego.org, the story was splashed across the homepage. Several TV stations carried the news, including FOX 5 San Diego, which broadcast a story that ran for 3 minutes and 21 seconds.
That’s a lot of air time. Reporters, editors and producers obviously liked this story. It was nice to hear some good budget news for a change.
“After years of cutbacks, we see the light at the end of what has been a very long and dark tunnel,” Sanders said in the U-T’s story. “Today, I’m pleased to report that the city’s decades-long structural budget deficit is history.”
From the Voice story:
For each of the past 10 years, the city of San Diego has faced an unfortunate reality: The amount of money it planned to collect in taxes didn’t match the amount it needed to spend. For each of the past 10 years, the city has dug into the equivalent of its couch cushions to find piles of money to paper over the deficit and has been forced to curtail services to the public.
In next year’s budget, the last in his tenure, Sanders declared San Diego won’t need gimmicks any longer. And to double down on that promise, he announced Thursday he was restoring some of the worst cuts the city has had to make. Branch libraries and recreation centers will be open longer. More cops will be on the street.
“I don’t know that I thought I was going to see this day,” the mayor said. “It’s one of those where you’re almost reluctant to say anything now because we’ve been under the cloud for so long.”
Not surprisingly, not everyone lined up to congratulate Sanders.
“How can the budget be balanced if maintenance of streets, others is underfunded and gets worse?” tweeted Vladimir Kogan, who teaches Political Science at UC San Diego.
Councilman and mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio tweeted: “You know REFORM has momentum when city insiders want to declare an end to the fiscal problems. Taxpayers know better.”
DeMaio’s tweet drew this response from left-leaning political strategist and blogger Lucas O’Connor: “Since @carldemaio all but called the mayor a liar earlier, are extra rec center and library hours, police cadets, and fire system also fake?”
Sacramento Bee: Fletcher is GOP’s Best Hope
A story in Friday’s Sacramento Bee caught my attention. The story says the Republican bench in California is thin, so thin that there “is almost no noise from Republicans about candidates for the gubernatorial election and other statewide races in 2014.” It then says the party’s brightest prospect for statewide office is Assemblyman and San Diego Mayoral Candidate Nathan Fletcher.
“Fletcher … is thought moderate enough by some Republican strategists to appeal to independent voters in a statewide election. He is also handsome, ambitious and only 35 years old,” the story says.
Here is a roundup of some of other top stories of the week: