Welcome to Dirty DeMaio!

Wed, 05/30/2012

For most of his career, Carl DeMaio has been trying to peddle an agenda supposedly focused on transparency and accountability. It would be great to have more of both in our city government to be sure, and many people gave him a chance when he first joined the City Council. CityBeat had high hopes at first before releasing it's anti-DeMaio endorsement recently. Donna Frye tried also, and by this year called DeMaio a political sociopath. A troubling trajectory indeed.

It isn't that every elected official needs to make ethics a driving issue. It would be enough to simply make it a goal to adhere to the ethics rules in place -- both the letter and the spirit. And certainly if one is going to make accountability and transparency a rallying cry for their campaign, it would probably be good to embody 

Carl DeMaio got his start in San Diego as a de facto lobbyist several years back. We have to say 'de facto' because DeMaio refused to register as a lobbyist even though the City Attorney called on him to do so. What was the problem?

Tue, 05/29/2012

As the city grapples with a fragile budget recovery and begins charting the course to restoring services and once again making improvements to our communities, it's important for voters to weigh who is going to invest their tax dollars wisely. But despite Carl DeMaio's efforts to spin away the reality of his record, while on the council he has relentlessly hacked away at public safety funds while refusing a pay cut himself and handing out raises to his own staff. Even if he doesn't like to admit it.

DeMaio is long on rhetoric, but the reality is much different than the story Carl wants to sell. After Carl DeMaio helped impose a 6% pay cut for city workers, he refused to take the same cut himself. For some reason, DeMaio tries to deny this whenever someone brings it up, but facts are facts. While other councilmembers were taking the same paycut that other city employees were getting, Carl DeMaio said no.

It's particularly noteworthy for a couple reasons. One, it isn't like he needs those taxdollars. He took millions in government contracts before joining the council, and we've seen as he's put nearly $750,000 of his own money into just this campaign.

Two, DeMaio thinks that anyone who can afford to work for free has a civic obligation to do so. And as he was refusing to take the pay cut, he was saying "Elected officials should certainly lead by example." Except when it's actually him.

Meanwhile, he went out and distributed raises to his staff. He likes to claim that he didn't give those raises, but he did. And since he took office, salaries in his office have actually gone up. The record shows it, but DeMaio claims "they're just simply not true." Number are numbers though, even if DeMaio doesn't much care about numbers.

Sat, 05/26/2012

On this unofficial opening weekend of summer, many of us are headed to the beach. But it's also less than two weeks until election day, and perhaps a good opportunity to remember that the billion dollar hotelier tax isn't the only plan Carl DeMaio's ever had to boost revenue. Back in 2010, he also had a plan to introduce corporate sponsorship of our beaches.

The plan was for private companies to pay for advertising all over the beaches... signs, benches, garbage cans, even lifeguard towers. It also included corporate information kiosks in tourist-heavy areas like the Gaslamp District.

Of course, this is the crux of DeMaio's entire approach to government. He wants our government to be nothing but a conduit that transforms everyone's work and even our natural assets into corporate gain. If that means papering over our beaches with advertisements, so be it. If it means privatizing our tourism outreach to only highlight the businesses that can afford to pay, so be it. Nevermind if it's the best that San Diegans have to offer visitors, the city and its beaches should just be marketing tools for corporations.

Of course, the more of a leg up you give to the most successful corporations, the harder it becomes for entrepreneurs to crack the market with new startups. It means that San Diego is less about who has the best ideas and more about who has the most money. Less about what provides the most benefit to many, and more about what makes the most profit for a few.

Obviously, that's an option. After all, it's the option that Carl DeMaio has chosen his entire career. He's been in professional politics his entire adult life, and the everywhere he's gone, it's been to eliminate jobs. His work at Reason Foundation was about how to eliminate jobs. His work at the Performance Institute was about how to eliminate jobs. His work on the City Council has focused on how to eliminate jobs. And now his platform for Mayor is centered on eliminating even more jobs, and attacking the ones he can't destroy outright.

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