Mayor’s Race: Booorrring

Erica Holloway Erica Holloway 33 Comments


WARNING: This blog contains a large dose of snark.

2012 Mayor’s Race: Booorrring.

Ya, I said it. And I meant it.

All the hype around early races kills the enthusiasm with saturation.

In this case, it’s been just sheer overload.

In December, I traded calls with all the muckety mucks, reviewed all the uber early, virtually meaningless polls, gobbled up all the Albondigas straw polling and talked in circles with all the would-be Republican faces in the race (would more people declare already, really?).

And just five months later, I’m all done in.

It’s time for a good old-fashioned scandal. Or somebody at least throw jabs and I don’t mean just at Councilman Carl DeMaio – that’s also become a very tired game.

Alright, get to it. Stir the pot. Start some shenanigans. Isn’t this the same city that gave us Dick Murphy? Really, folks. Disappointed.

– Follow me @erica_holloway.


Comments 33

  1. Erica – I laugh at the Murphy reference.

    An old hate that has followed San Diego Mayoral races said something to me recently that was very very wise:

    “San Diego elects ‘safe’ Mayors. If you are not seen as safe, good luck.”

    Indeed, one might argue, in a quantum-mechanics-meets-Fringe-sort-of-way, the more BORING the Mayor’s race seems, the more exciting it actually is. Winner will be the one that is the most bland, superficial and least controversial. 😉

  2. Perhaps the potential candidates are waiting to make sure their homes aren’t drawn out of the city limits and into the city of Los Angeles by Carlos Marquez and Midori Wong.

    Carl De Maio is running? I hadn’t heard that.

    Maybe Marco “No Fireworks” Gonzales should run. I see he’s so wacky he even ticked off Marti “Labor Can Do No Wrong” Emerald at yesterday’s city council meeting by trying to extort money from the city. Marti seems to have no problem when his sister does it.

  3. Syntax error on the Murphy reference.

    Did the author find Mr. Murphy’s personality especially exciting? Or, is the author referencing the Mr. Murphy’s waffling?

    For my money, Dick Murphy makes Mister Rogers look like Charlie Sheen.

  4. Thor’s Trusty Assistant –

    I think that is a safe bet. Take a short out on DLC and bank the profits.

    But in all seriousness a preference for “boring over doing” is Carl’s biggest challenge – or in other words convincing the high propensity voters that elected Susan G. and Dick Murphy that he is “safe” enough to be handed the keys.

    Voters are clearly still Mad as Hell at the City. But history matters when trying to understand San Diego – and Carl and his campaign would be wise to learn from it. Balance the watchdog tenacity with some “downtown rotary” feel good things.

    A preference for safe over unsafe helps explain how the community elected folks like Harry M., Dick Murph (twice), Barbara Warden, Brian M., Byron Wear, Jim Madaffer, Scott Peters? The list goes on and on and, as just a safe rule for thumb, pick BORING and you will usually be right.

    Firebrands like Abbie W. or George S in District 5 occasionally rise to the surface but they are rare. Maureen O Connor MIGHT be as close as we have ever come in the Mayor’s race…but she was this unique candidate that had grass roots moxie but was best friends with Helen C. and Joan Kroc so even SHE looked safe in the aftermath of the Dominelli scandal.

  5. Post


    Well, who of the current slate are boring enough to win?

    Wait, are you saying Mayor Sanders is bland, superficial and the least controversial?



  6. Post

    D7 Voter:

    Really liking that Marco Gonzalez idea. He could run on the “taking candy from children” platform.

    Let’s make it happen.

    Best, Erica

  7. Post
  8. Hello there Thor’s Assistant.

    Indeed, I read the snark alert and I don’t understand the author’s directive at the end of the piece.

    The author is bored already with the 2012 mayoral race. The author longs a federal raid, or an smoking e-mail that details the deliberate underfunding of the city’s pension fund or, perhaps mysterious donors propping up the firm of a candidate’s campaign manager a la Roger Hedgecock.

    The author begs: “Stir the pot. Start some shenanigans. Isn’t this the same city that gave us Dick Murphy?”

    Am I to take it that this constitutes snark? It’s not irony. It’s not satire. I suppose one could argue that it’s sarcastic. However, the directive would then seem to peter out… not unlike Scott Peters’s 2008 bid for City Attorney, come to think of it.

    Once again, I implore the author to declare whether she finds Mr. Murphy boring. I find myself yawning as I type his name.

  9. If Marco and Sheen got in the race it definitely would no longer be boring. And Sheen already has his slogan, “Winning!”

  10. The real Fred Rogers would have made a superb Mayor
    in any town (including his home in Pittsburgh, PA).

    Successful mayors need to get people to cooperate
    with each other. Rogers’ approach would still work
    today. RIP to an truly inspiring American icon.

  11. We read the Murphy reference as sarcastic. Maybe snarkily so. Funny, too.

    Kind of like, “We need the GOP to bring us a candidate of true moral fiber. Like Arnold, for instance.”

    To each his own, we guess. Erica can speak for herself, but we think she already has.

  12. To all (save Sandy):

    You get me. I love you all. Let’s board that crazytrain tonight.



  13. Re Erik’s point, it sounds like successful San Diego mayoral candidates don’t ever get on the crazytrain. They aren’t even allowed. One of them tried to get on once, but he was tossed off. You may have seen the movie, “Throw Murphy from the Train.”

  14. Barry:

    Thank you. Coining a phrase like, “Throw Murphy from the Train” infinitely raised the cool factor of this thread.

    My hero.



  15. WHAT? I get no love from the author!! I’m broken up and reaching for the George Jones albums.

    Hey, I liked the piece! And, totally agree the current crop of mayoral wannabes lack that certain “je ne sais Rham Emanuel.”

    All I’m asking is for clarification on that charismatic showman that was Dick Murphy. Either the author was kidding that he was a real dynamo. Or, there is some dynamo story I’m not aware of. Or, waffling is what passes for wild here in Rostraville?

    Barry Jantz gets to write that Murphy tried to board the crazytrain, thereby inferring that Murphy had spunk. He gets a second date with the author!

    Yes, when I question what exactly it was that made Murphy less boring than Ishtar, I get the big middle finger special in the author’s next salutation?

    Inquiring minds need to know: is there a flavor more vanilla than vanilla and, if so, is that flavor Dick Murphy?

    If not, I want to hear about Barry Jantz’s ride on the crazytrain with the former mayor. I am hoping for showgirls and chickens and a missing tooth.

  16. I disagree with labeling this race boring – I am quite intrigued by what is going on. I view the Republican side of the primary ticket to be very interesting. You have three (3) formidable candidates in that they are all incumbents and lay claim to some – if not varying political base(s). They are: Dumanis, DeMaio and Fletcher. That being said, there are three rails to republican politics, they are: fiscal conservatism, social conservatism and the establishment (pro business) base of the party. Two out of the three (Dumanis & Fletcher) aforementioned candidates are vying for ownership of the establishment support and vote and assume the base that Jerry Sanders has going into a general election. What makes this interesting is that DeMaio (believe me, I am no big fan of his) has laid claim to the fiscal conservative agenda as well as Fletcher with his refusal (so far anyway) to support a tax extension in the state legislature despite polling that at least would support a vote on the issue. If Fletcher makes it out of the primary by laying claim to be emblematic of ALL of these political rails, I still can envision a game-plan to beat him, as I do DeMaio, who can claim only one and hope it is enough. You see, the trick is for Republicans to own ALL three of the republican rails to win, not just one. George W. Bush proved that fact numerous times. Let’s see which candidate can pull that off.

  17. To keep this not-so-boooring discussion going, a couple of points…

    No mention of Faulconer?

    It is said by some that the three rails at the national level are far different than what is needed in the City of SD, with social conservatism not even existing as a rail. Thoughts, anyone?

    How does Fletcher lay claim to the rail of social conservatism?

  18. The third rail of San Diego politics has been land use. Just ask Barbara Warden who, when she decided to listen to some constituent pressures and voted against 4S, had a difficult time getting back into good graces with builders and the real estate industry. Or give Scott Peters a call and ask him about the fall out from regents road bridge and voting for the Barrett project in Bird Rock. Or Carl – who gave a nod to the fiscal conservatives but by opposing City Hall, CCDC’s broader agenda and Chargers stadium ideas hasn’t won fans int he downtown crowd.

    One of the advantages that Dumanis and Fletcher have in this race is that they haven’t had to cast votes on these sorts of issues.

    Believe it or not, one of the disadvantages that both Kehoe and Filner have, even though votes are 10+ years ago (20 in Bob’s case) is that they surely pulled the lever on some land use vote that, even 2 decades later, will not be fondly remembered. This is especially an issue in the primary, as candidates are sure to remind voters about some project their opponent said “yes” to which turned out less than ideal (or a no vote for a now popular project).

  19. Faulconer and Loch David Crane will fight for the OB vote. Kevin’s got the library supporters, and Crane the crowd at Lucy’s Tavern.

  20. The GOP “rails” are about their voters and they are not different given national or local races — the issues are different. However, no matter the issues these are the three lenses (rails) that GOP voters view their candidates through. Anyway, that’s my progressive take on it.

  21. Sandy:

    No intention to offend. Mostly, I referred to Mayor Murphy for his oh so memorable early exit from office, which was pretty spectacular to watch.


    It’s bored me to tears because it’s been talked and analyzed to death already. We have a long way to go and, as Thor’s Assistant’s rightly pointed out about Councilman Faulconer, we don’t know the final cast of characters. All the early hype’s getting tiresome.


    Brilliant logic aside, people vote for a person they like enough to be their mayor. Somebody they could see themselves having a beer with as much as trusting enough with their tax money. Getting to the finish line in this race comes down to popularity – some of those GOPers are very likeable and capable. If asked, I imagine an average voter’s more apt to remember that Filner went bananas at an airport than how he voted on land use. Personality goes a long way.


    Lucy’s Tavern? You win. That’s funnier than anything else in this thread. Take a bow, friend.

    Best to all,


  22. Thor’s Assistant: I’m not sure LDC would want the valet guy at GB parking his beloved 3-wheel bike.

  23. Erica – thus my default – Boring. Not boring that you don’t want to have a beer with them but boring in that they are not scary.

    Contrast that to Chicago (for example). Rohm is most decidedly NOT someone that most Chicagoans would want to have a beer with. Ditto NY and Bloomberg. Or SF and Gavin. Or LA and Antonio. But San Diego retains its “midwest” charm as Cedar Rapids on the Pacific – and thus boring/not scary is the number 1 criteria. Number 2 is that you have skillfully avoided being forced to make land use votes.

  24. For the record, my late father Harry Falkenthal, OB native and well-known, wickedly good motorcycle customizer, did a lot of the work on the infamous “Star Trike” as it is known. I believe that baby has been around since the early 1980s.

    Yes, this makes me the daughter of an Ocean Beach biker, albeit one who was also a successful small business owner. It explains a whole hell of a lot, doesn’t it?

  25. My final comment on this subject: I actually voted for Loch David Crane once. I don’t remember which election it was, but I was dissatisfied, bored some might say, with the other candidates.

  26. Never seen LDC at Lucy’s, but I’ve talked to him at the Catalina Lounge once or twice.

    What’s his platform anyway?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.