The Filner-Fletcher Letter

Thor's Assistant Rostra Administrator (Thor's Assistant) 23 Comments


Bob Filner for Mayor 2012
1850 5th Avenue Suite 6
San Diego, CA 92101

Fletcher for Mayor 2012
4079 Governor Drive #329
San Diego, CA 92122

August 18, 2011

Carl DeMaio for San Diego Mayor 2012
PO Box 27227
San Diego, CA 92198

Bonnie Dumanis for Mayor 2012
110 West C Street Suite 1300
San Diego, CA 92101

Councilman Carl DeMaio and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis,

We are disappointed to learn that neither of you has yet accepted any of the invitations you have received for mayoral debates. The debates scheduled thus far are sponsored by legitimate community groups seeking to provide the public with information about our candidacies and our visions for San Diego’s future.

We have a great city that deserves a great debate about its future. You have both enthusiastically pursued media coverage of your campaigns through news conferences, news releases, and public events, so it is difficult to understand why you would be unwilling to expose your views to a wider audience through the proposed forums. Additionally, you both have significant experience in debate-type formats, and should do quite well. One of you has a long history in front of juries, and the other has experience discussing city issues in debate-type settings.

From the public’s perspective, debates offer an opportunity to compare and contrast the views and personalities of the candidates that is not available in carefully choreographed news conferences, prepared statements and similarly scripted campaign events. The public has a right to ask questions of the candidates for Mayor and have those questions answered openly and forthrightly.

Next year’s mayoral election presents an opportunity for a full and vigorous debate about the future of our city. San Diego residents deserve such a debate, and they deserve the participation of all legitimate candidates in it. Waiting until next March, when the debate may largely be overshadowed by 30-second television commercials, would be a disservice to all
San Diegans.

We urge you to reconsider and join us in discussing the issues that will shape our city’s future.

Bob Filner

Nathan Fletcher


Comments 23

  1. Campaign spokesman Stephen Puetz said DeMaio’s only priority until the Oct. 14 deadline is collecting enough signatures to get the Comprehensive Pension Reform measure on the ballot (although an aide in DeMaio’s office said the councilman was on vacation Thursday and Friday.)…”While this important signature deadline looms, instead of participating in political theater, Carl will remain fully engaged in the real work to reform the city now.” (This from the guy who held a news conference with a cat.)

  2. Yes indeed…And DeMaio defeated the Cat Tax!

    Last time I checked defeating stupid revenue-grabs like the Cat Tax is exactly the work of reformers.

    PS: What did Fletcher do to defeat Prop D’s sales tax? Answer: NOTHING.

  3. Really??? No Cat Tax? (Fact check please…oh nevermind, no one listens to CityBeat anyways…)

    FACT: The Council with 5 votes could have approved the idea with or without the Mayor’s support.

  4. Hi Kelly,
    In your article, you stated:

    “Before those recommendations even made it to the five-person Audit Committee (DeMaio’s a member), the Mayor’s office had already shot down the cat tax.”

    Would you provide a source for that statement, please?

  5. The council can still approve a “cat tax” if they want to. Carl didn’t stop it. All he did was come up with a catchphrase and hold a press conference. Too bad San Diego’s Taxpayer Watchdog totally ignored everything else in the audit, like the part about how the county’s using a formula that results in the city overpaying for animal services.

    And, um, the mayor has veto power.

    Say what you want about CityBeat. Clearly I got your attention. Mwahahaha.


  6. City Beat’s editor – who thought it was funny that a staffer wished for Tony Krvaric’s death – can come in here and trash this site and Carl De Maio with no intervention by Thor’s assistant. Whereas if someone criticizes Lori Saldana, as I did, TA rushes to censor those comments and give Saldana critics a baseless lecture.

    From Admin: The commenter apparently doesn’t know the difference between opinion and fact. Anyone can express an opinion on this site, within reason — even taking Rostra and its bloggers to task. What the commenter expressed earlier amounted to stating things as fact, which we noted needed to be documented, otherwise they could amount to libel. We admitted we didn’t know enough about the allegations to know whether they were true. We suggested the commenter find a way to express the point as an opinion, or document the allegations. Yet, it is clear it is much easier to whine about Rostra than find a way to make a point without unsubstantiated allegations. Obtuse minds work that way. We suggest if you don’t like the rules of fair debate, find another tot park.

  7. Bradley,

    Your post must have gone up when mine was waiting for modification or else I would have posted the link.

    See “City Administration Response” on the last page:

    If that file doesn’t open, you can download the report here:

    I also confirmed it with the mayor’s office and the audit committee staffer. I’m pretty sure it was made clear at the meeting, too. I need to check my notes on that, but they’re at home.

  8. SST: I’m not CityBeat’s editor and I didn’t wish for Tony Krvaric’s death. You’ve got me confused with two other people. I’m not “trashing” DeMaio; I’m simply relaying facts that all have documentation to back them up. Slam me all you want, but my reporting is solid.

  9. Kelly, thanks.
    It appears that DeMaio exaggerated the cat tax threat, given that staff recommendation was to deny the tax. That’s assuming that DeMaio went public after the staff recommendation was released and not before it.

    It’s possible that DeMaio wanted to ensure the cat tax would be utterly killed, and in that he succeeded, by making the whole subject radioactive.

  10. Radioactive it was and what an opportunity to show the absurdity of greedy over reaching government for even considering the idea. DeMaio is effective at letting the people know how ridiculous government can be when left unattended. The big government locals stepped in their own kitty litter.

  11. Kelly has it WRONG again. Staff “response” was Mayoral. Audit “recommendation” was cat tax.

    Many times we have seen staff “response” get over-ruled by the Audit “recommendation”

    Ironically it has been DeMaio pushing to over-ride the “response” and stick with the “recommendation.”

  12. The audit suggested the city impose a cat tax, on page 41 of the 51-page report PDF. City staff (presumably speaking for the mayor) opposed it, on the report’s last page. That supports Kelly’s view.

    Kelly could be still wrong if it can be shown that DeMaio denounced the cat tax before the administration gave its thumbs-down.

    To give a definitive answer, we need a timeline of exactly when DeMaio learned of the cat tax proposal, and when city staff nixed it. Anyone care to shed some enlightenment?

  13. Dave,
    That works. I should have noticed that.

    Unless DeMaio can produce reliable evidence he discussed the cat tax before June 23, Kelly is right — DeMaio was grandstanding by making a fuss about a cat tax that had already been rejected.

    Good work, SD CityBeat.

  14. Carl’s press conference was at noon, after the audit committee voted 3 to 1 to accept the audit but oppose the “cat tax” recommendation.

    Interestingly, the lone vote in favor of the “cat tax” was Tom Hebrank, a DeMaio supporter:

    Hebrank was surprised to learn that, unlike with dogs, the city doesn’t require cat owner to vaccinate their pets.

  15. DeMaio absolutely was correct to swat this Cat Tax down for two reasons:

    1) The Recommendation is the Auditor’s to make, not the Mayor’s. It is not uncommon for the Council to disagree with the Mayor’s response/comments on an Audit Report Recommendation. The Council could have gone ahead and implemented the idea.

    That’s how our system of government works folks — to suggest otherwise reveals City Beat needs a Civics 101 class.

    2) More importantly, by pouncing on the Cat Tax as his prey, DeMaio sends a message to the rest of the bureaucracy (and fellow politicians) that they should stop looking for revenues to increase and instead look to cut spending. The Cat Tax is a useful vehicle to send that clear message.

  16. Carl, is that you? Jonathan?

    The council can still implement the idea. The audit will go before the full council in September, regardless of what Carl said. That’s how our system of government works. But, perhaps you need a Civics 101 course.

    Grandstanding doesn’t go over well, either. If you want to convey a message to the rest of the “bureaucracy” and fellow pols, a memo works just fine.

  17. Kelly Davis:
    You don’t get it! DeMaio doesn’t want to “convey a message to the rest of the “bureaucracy” and fellow pols…,” he wants to change the culture. You like the culture, kind of an “our thing”. Go ahead and send the big government locals a memo telling them how you appreciate the culture. DeMaio will get their attention with public scrutiny and public exposure. I much prefer his transparency and openness to your suggested little sandbagging memos.

  18. Nice blast , Mole. That should be good for about
    3 bases

    Thanx for the reality check. This is EXACTLY how
    it works in the famous Real World.

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