Monday, April 9, 2007

Local Politics Same as National Politics

Talk about corporate welfare, check out this beauty from the sleepy confines of not very sunny today San Diego.

First, a brief backgrounder. San Diego is a former Sleepy Navy Town that has been long dominated by Developers, Developers who would be perfectly content to pave over every inch of San Diego County if they could make money on it. With the drawdown in our military forces since the collapse of the Soviet Union, all of that juicy military property is a Grail of some sort for the developers, right on the bayfront of downtown San Diego, in places like the Broadway Pier Complex, right next to the cruise ship terminals, Ruth Chris Steakhouse, the USS Midway Museum, the Seaport Village tourist trap, Petco Park (home of the Padres) and an astonishing number of new high rise condo projects; and Liberty Station, former home of the USMC Recruit Depot, a scandal just waiting to be exposed, but not here.

And with development comes infrastructure, comes more development, comes taxpayer "improvements" meant to, well, improve the facilities and accommodations and constructions and businesses of the developed area. And of course, taxpayer money.

Take this noise abatement boondoggle in the article. From an estimate of $3.5 million to $16.7 million in two years, but that's okay, coz [t]he Centre City Development Corp. will pay for the Quiet Zone and nearly 60 percent of the suspension bridge with property taxes collected from downtown redevelopment. So who made the initial estimate, and the subsequently revised one in November for $7 million? And how did that revision get it so wrong, did I mention it was in November, electoral November, 4 months ago? But it's okay coz it gets paid for by property taxes for downtown redevelopment, remember? I'd like to see a breakdown on how much individual taxpayers are putting out to satisfy the downtown condo developers and how much the developers are paying. Might be revealing to see who is really paying for this, and it might be revealing to speculate on what tha extra money could get for the citizens of the City, like beginning to address the chronic sewer system failures or fixing the sorry road system in Downtown San Diego. As opposed to the Downtown Developers garnering the vast majority of the benefits, thanks to the kindness of the taxpayer. Now, I know what you're thinking, there goes Duckman ranting against the evil corporations.

Well, yeah, I am. I know that they aren't all bad, in concept, but the fact is that they have garnered so much power that they are totally out of control, so I oppose them, I rant about them, I try to show the disparities wherever I can, big and small. So these Downtown Developers who have been running San Diego County, not just the city, for decades, earn my ire.

You want more? Here's another oneThis article is just a part of the battle, as city attorney Mike Aguirre battles with other developers who basically want to take over the Municipal Airport on Kearney Mesa for development, it is a big chunk of flat ground and all, that's what this Sunroad brouha is all about, yet another example of Developer malfeasence and influence and even control of the government of San Diego. I mean, follow the story line for this garbage.

Jerry Sanders is oh so popular with San Diegans, thanks to his stint as Police Chief, and a successful(?) re-org of the local Red Cross after Their past financial scandals. He seemed moderate and reasonable, an upstanding citizen. Then along comes this strong mayor proposal that passes with the voters, and suddenly Sanders starts acting like a low level George W Bush, not sociopathic I'll grant you, and it's business as usual. The Developers are in heaven. It's like Michael Corleone and Hyman Roth's owned government in Cuba, only slightly less messy.

Check this out, does it sound like nothing to see here?

But first to the search warrant, and its case against Story:

Story left City Hall in July 2005 (though he continued getting paid into November).

He was told by a city Ethics Commission staff member in October that for one year he was restricted from contacting city officials on any project that he had worked on at City Hall.

Story soon was hired as Sunroad's vice president of development. His qualifications were solid: Before becoming Mayor Dick Murphy's senior policy adviser and chief of staff, he was a deputy planning director. In that role, he worked on a development agreement for the site where Sunroad is constructing its too-tall building. In his first year away from City Hall, Story e-mailed former colleagues seeking their help with his project. He also contacted city employees through intermediaries. In attached e-mails, city planners seem to bend over backward to help out Sunroad – or as one put it, to “make Tom Story happy. :)”

(Yes, that's a smiley face.)

The lobbying restriction was created precisely to prevent such favorable treatment – the kind the rest of us never get.

But the police chief didn't serve the search warrant, he called Mayor Sanders, the guy Story used to work for. And then all and sundry spent the next week slamming the City Attorney for serving the warrant and then outing the duplicity of the police chief.

Not attacking the warrant so much as, does this sound a wee bit familiar, the guy who proposed it. Is this anything different than Gonzales and Rove and Cheney and Feith and Libby and Novak and Boehner and Matthews and Russert and DeLay and Hunter and pretty much every stinking Republican in this country?

And it isn't about religion is it? It has always been about the tool of money, of power and greed and corporate control of our nation. Big or small, they all follow the same pattern, abuse of power to favor those who put you into power.


Finally, an unrelated, maybe, question for those who get this far. Why is it that teevee always shows the Ten Commandments on Easter weekend? I mean, Moses came along before Jesus, right? And while Passover does fall around Easter, it varies quite a bit. So why do they always play the Jewish Story on Jesus' Weekend? One has relatively nothing to do with the other, yet that's what you can expect to watch on Easter Weekend, Chuck Heston all shiny with sweat and reluctant to take on the responsibility laid out for him by God. Or is it just a conspiracy of the Hollywood Jews to subvert their will over the Christians on Resurrection Sunday?

And I know it's all just a spring holiday celebrating the rebirth of plants and good weather and what not, and I understand that Jesus was a Jew andthe Last Supper was probably a Passover dinner, but really, the Ten Commandments story has nothing to do with Christ, so, what gives?


nic danger said...

as a fellow east county resident(since 1969) i can relate to what you're saying.san diego has been a republican town for so long as to be totally first san diego political memory is mayor curran.and pete wilson and on and on.and on. one of the disadvantages of living out here is the fact that we can only watch,not participate(as far as voting),yet these bozos make decisions that affect us all(and don't even get me started on the board of supervisors). i've pretty much checked out of local politics since going online in'99 and follow the national republican disaster much closer than local, unless "duke you know" who is involved.and i gave up on my(our)rep,d.hunter.although i am considering working against his son.
keep up the good work.

nic danger said...

sorry for ramblin' on...

Duckman GR said...

nic, please do work against his son, we don't need nepotism added to the sorry record of the East County! We'll be institutionalized for sure!

Check out the East County Democratic Club, they're doing some good work annoying the local Goppers, and actually having an impact. Even if they don't produce winners, they did help increase Democratic turnout in the last election, which helped people like Debra Bowen get elected as Secretary of State.

And they're leading the fight against Blackwater setting up a training camp in Potrero, which I am totally opposed to, we don't need some mercenary army setting up shop so conveniently close to the border, nor do we need to associate or enable those who profiteer from war and chaos, which is what Blackwater does, all without accountability to the American People, just Blackwater stakeholders.

nic danger said...

thanx for that tip.i was wondering if any local groups would oppose it effectivly.the "news" that i saw that on did not mention any opposition.i'll give those folks a call.

Duckman GR said...

nic, tell them the Duckman sent ya!