SD Mayor Sanders proves he's still nothing more than a pig on the take (long,abusive)

(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.)

Story here.

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.

I grew up in San Diego, but up in North County (RB), so we were never exposed much to the travails of downtown politics and controversy. I’m sorry to hear all the terrible things the city is going through, though I imagine the reason why it is is because of people like my Mom, who–though she’s a good person and I love her–doesn’t read the paper, lets all the controversies fly over her head (especially when they don’t directly appear to affect her), and who votes down the party line (in her case, GOP) unfailingly and uncritically. I can’t remember the last time I was down there when they weren’t doing some kind of construction on I-15, but I had no clue about the level of corruption going on (in all fairness, it gets very little press up here in NorCal). There are a lot of things about the place I don’t like and find overrated, but no citizenry deserves such treatment. :frowning:

ArchiveGuy, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. IME, San Diegans tend to fall into three categories: Roger Hedgecock, his listeners, and the overwhelmingly apathetic.

Roger Hedgecock is a former San Diego mayor who now hosts a wildly successful talk radio show (insofar as such a thing can exist here, given the aforementioned apathy epidemic). Though he sounds like Dennis Kucinich next to the Rush Limbaugh show that signs off as he’s clocking in, he’s a rabidly pro-business and anti-people Supercon with a populist facade that would fit better in Kansas than California. These days, his show mostly consists of fearmongering about illegal immigration–to hear him say it, El Presidente is amassing an army of drug smugglers and child molesters in Tijuana who are preparing to take over Southern California any day now–and exaggerated Border Patrol stories that sound like modern-day remakes of old-time radio Westerns. (To be fair, he’s not a racist AFAICT; the Border Patrol agents he was verbally fellating the last time his broadcast assaulted my ears were Mexican-Americans, at least.) His other accolades include trying unsuccessfully to crash the local pride parade with a “Normal People Pride” float. The way I see it, his listeners vote and everyone else lazily roams Ocean Beach looking for a free Monster giveaway.

Edit: Conspicuously absent from Mr. Hedgecock’s scathing dismissals of immigrants is any call for businesses to take responsibility about it. As the Mexicans say, si pone el azucar en la mesa, van a venir las formicas (“If you put the sugar on the table, the ants will come”).

Good grief, after reading that article, fetus I’ve got the image of Sanders in a fur hat, tossing his subordinates out of the troika for the wolves.

And ignoring the broken runner.

I knew Hedgecock (who I remember as being a grade-A tool when he was mayor) was still in the public eye, but I didn’t realize he was as possible as he is (though it comes as little surprise to me).

You gotta figure his political machine is running out of gas–it’s hard to imagine anyone who reads the news here and keeps up on what’s going on, has a favorable image of this guy. (Other than cops and developers, I mean.) But OTOH, Donna Frey, his chief opponent in 2005 (as much as there was such a thing, anyway) is (a) a City Council member and (b) a sun-baked surfette who, generally embodying the spirit of San Diego’s densely-populated coastal neighborhoods, mostly appeals to people who don’t vote. As for point A, it’s hard to say how involved she was in this whole mess; it’s possible that she was the dissenting voice and she works to put that image forth, but really, who can say for certain?

Let’s not forget that Hedgecock’s not in politics any more because he was forced to resign after two years as mayor when was convicted of conspiracy and perjury regarding some illegal campaign contributions. From Wikipedia:

IIRC, his plea bargain required that he disclose these charges should he run for office again.

Jeebus. I loved San Diego. I lived in Hillcrest during the 80’s and 90’s. I missed it terribly, at least until reading this thread (well, except for during the electricity debacle).

What is it about San Diego and building up into the path of aircraft? I worked at General Dynamics right next to Lindbergh Field and I remember the controversy over that stupid, stupid parking structure that reached right into the airliners’ path at what was already one of the worst airports ever for landing safety. Every day I’d see them barely clear the structure on their way in. I expected a major crash every single day.

You’d think these Sunroad assholes would have learned a bit from local history, but then it seems that the people you and the article describe would not have cared a whit about anything other than feathering their own nests, and if a few people gotta die, then that’s just what’s gotta happen.

And I don’t even want to start in on Hedgecock. That he tried the stunt with the float is perfectly indicative of his grade A assholishness.

At one point, maybe 20 of my friends – 95% of them straight – packed up and left for San Francisco, complaining that San Diego was just too fucking ultra-conservative to live in any longer. I told 'em that SD was like an ultra-liberal’s wet dream compared to my home city of Grand Rapids and that they were imagining things.

Mea culpa, my friends.

Is your parents’ peace of mind and a burning need for justice worth a few hundred bucks to you? Anonymously hire a private investigator to document these facts, and then turn his report over to Hedgecock and the local TV news stations during sweeps week. Better yet: once you put the PI on the case, you can also turn the report over to the IRS and/or DEA and see if you can’t collect a finder’s fee of 15% (not to exceed $10M).

Interesting info, Jurph, thanks.

BTW, my parents’ neighborhood watchdog is not the only pig on the take here. I know a former speed pusher from bay-bound Point Loma who tells stories of police apprehending other dealers late at night, only to buy drugs from them. They would then release the seller on the condition that he set up a fake sting for them, because the cops were expected to make a couple good arrests if they were going to be spending so much time in the area. The seller would keep just enough of his stash to nail someone, then plant it on a hip-looking passerby–often handing the drugs to a total stranger with a surreptitious handshake or high-five, as if their Random Act of Kindness for the day were to hand out free drugs. Then an undercover cop would be waiting upstream to buy the stuff back, thus setting up an arrest and a slam-dunk conviction. Then the real dealer walked away to sell to the cops another day. He says the cops on the late-night beat there had a couple favorite dealers, who they would hit up for drugs several nights a week (mostly speed, considering that they were night workers and they had to pass piss tests).