(I use “pig” to refer to that specific, filthiest breed of law enforcement agent which puts its own material gains above the needs of its community; though my policy is to assume that most cops are dirty rotten pigs until proven otherwise, I am not using the word to refer to all police officers. However, I am using the gender-neutral pronoun “it”, usually reserved for inanimate objects and beings who lack sentience, because these “people” (our city officials) seem to fail many of the innate tests of humanity upon the briefest examination.)
I don’t know how much coverage San Diego’s political tribulations have gotten outside of this county, but this place has been more fucked up than a football bat for a while now. In 2004, we became aware that our City Council, the “people” we’d entrusted to represent us while helping run America’s Finest City, had been using their legislative powers to turn themselves and their closest friends (presumably including then-“Mayor” Dick Murphy) into millionaires while fucking the rest of the town (including the rank-and-file public workers, the hard-working individuals who actually care about our city) up the ass dry. Searching the San Diego Union-Tribune’s website will give you about 17 kajillion reports on every detail of the scam, but the Doper’s Digest version is as follows:
The City Council (and a few of the most amenable public office holders, probably more than we know, but mostly the City Council) now makes a base salary that’s ludicrous compared to what the rest of the public workers bring in. In addition, this special group of Superfriends has robbed the public pension fund and put it all into their own retirement packages, which are also lucrative to the point of hilarity. The cherry on top is that they have the option to “retire” and then come back to their post within days, raking in both their old salary and their delicious pension packages at the same time. This gives them enough money for all the cocaine and hookers they could ever want. (The cocaine and hookers part hasn’t been exposed publicly yet, but you should expect that headline at any moment; these officials are among the most unsavory characters this town has to offer, and if you’ve ever been in the heart of City Heights you know that’s saying something.) While they’re doing this, everyone else on the city’s payroll will just have to eat fucking cat food or something when they retire, because the pension money is all tied up (these people, who actually work for a living, now face a $1 billion pension deficit). But who the fuck cares? What’s important is that the people on top get their fucking Lear jets, right?
Our infrastructure cries out for help: the floods that hit Mission Valley in 2004 when the dam broke were a slap in the face to the city’s taxpayers, especially considering that the area is one of San Diego’s most lucrative, with a handful of gigantic tourist-eating malls, many of the region’s most successful car dealerships, the Chargers’ stadium and team offices, and the Hotel Circle which provides much of the lodging for visitors to Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, and both major stadia. Our roads are a joke. The oil industry charges San Diegans a king’s ransom for access to its golden drip by feeding only one pipeline into the county, which is California’s second most populous, and full of drivers since our public transit system is also a joke. While these problems plague our city, those in the best position to address them–the now-wealthy officials of the City Council–place a higher priority on their own presumably Swiss bank accounts. They have yet to meet serious consequences for these actions, BTW, and they’re not likely to unless some higher legal authority cares enough, someday, to strike down the laws they enacted that made those practices legal. I’m not holding my breath.
Ex-Mayor Dick Murphy comes out the smartest in this whole mess; he resigned in 2005, stating no particular reason, and he’s escaped attention of any kind since. Good for him, I guess. Makes you wonder what his involvement in the situation was, though.
The electoral circus that ensued pitted ex-police-chief Jerry Sanders against nobody who had a prayer in this town, where the only people who vote are business owners and other elderly Republicans, the first group of which probably pays off every city official they come into contact with:
But I digress. The former Chief Sanders won mostly on generous funding from all the right Republicans, and partially on a “strong mayor” platform, promising that when he took office he would personally kick ass and take names until the city’s public offices were squeaky-clean. Evidence that he’s actively pursued that goal is scarce or nonexistent. In the meantime, he’s antagonized City Attorney Michael Aguirre, probably the cleanest elected official in town; used his office as a soapbox to help shoot down the proposed Mexican bill that would have clarified the drug laws in that country, making it easier to distinguish users from smugglers and dealers; and, most contentiously of late, helped to green-light the Sunroad building in Kearny Mesa, which violates federal guidelines that help ensure the safety of pilots landing at nearby Montgomery Field.
The FAA made clear to all relevant bodies including Sunroad, the mayor, and the other public offices involved that the building would present an unacceptable hazard if built according to plan, and would be in direct violation of these safety codes. It was built anyway, and now that the aforementioned Mr. Aguirre has blown his whistle, Mayor Sanders is singing a different tune. He’s chosen to represent himself as the village idiot who has no idea what’s going on in his own office, firing his employees left and right without taking any real damn responsibility for what goes on in his name:
I can explain it for you in three guesses, asshole, and all of them start with the letter $. I’m sure Mr. Sanders was a dirty pig in his time on the police force, just like a substantial number of his SDPD employees. On the very street my parents live on, a cop owns an expensive house, two expensive new foreign cars and a boat, and you can see him walking into the neighborhood dealers’ house (I use the plural because multiple people are leaving the house with backpacks and talking on their cellphones at all hours of the day and night, and they aren’t students) in uniform, alone, and walking back out a few minutes later without having made any arrests. Regularly.
Un-fucking-believable. And this guy still expects to win the coming election, and shit, he probably will. Developers own this town; it’s been that way for at least as long as I’ve been here–I could go on for days about the Naval Training Center, but I’ll spare you for now; egregious violations of every conceivable code, including zoning regulations, are plainly visible in every nook and cranny of San Diego. This shit is getting unreal. When will we find someone who can actually represent us, and run this city instead of bending over for every developer who can write a fat enough check?
The answer, I suspect, is as follows: Whenever someone gets around to buying one.