Wednesday, November 10, 2004

It's like Florida, only farther left

Mayor's race lawsuit hinges on contrary codes

The city of San Diego is poised on the edge of political disaster. A city code that conflicts with the city charter, a write in candidate that should never have been allowed on the ballot appears to have a plurality of the vote, a city attorney and county clerk who failed to do their job in studying the legal issues of allowing a write in candidate on the ballot, and now lawsuits. Couple all of this with an ongoing federal investigation of the cities finances, specifically the retirement pension fund, and you have a recipe for disaster in the nations 6th largest city.

I really was on the sideline of this, I obviously didn't vote for Donna Frye, but failed to do much research into the race. I know her politics from her time on the city council so I thought it was a shrewed move to only jump into the race with 5 weeks until the general election. She is not well known and this gave the other candidates no time to expose her as the extreme liberal that she is. What I didn't know before hand was that allowing her on the ballot was illegal. Illegal in same form as something being unconsitutional. The city charter, which is the city's equivalent of a consitution make a very clear case that no write in or thrid candidate will be allowed in a runoff election, as this was. The intent is obviously to ensure the winner has a majority, not a plurality.

"All elective officers of the City shall be nominated at the municipal primary election. ... In the event no candidate receives a majority of votes cast as aforesaid, the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes for a particular elective office at said primary shall be the candidates, and only candidates, for such office and the names of only those two candidates shall be printed upon the ballots to be used at the general municipal election."
(Article II, Section 10)

Even more amazing are the non actions of our city attorney, Casey Gwinn, who failed to issue any guidance to the city clerk on this issue because "his office was not asked to do so". This is a remarkable dereliction of duty. I assume no one asked him about the legality of the errors in our pension system either.

I have nothing against Donna Frye personally. I doubt she has the qulaifications to handle the duties of mayor, especially with the financial difficulties the city faces. Her main qualifications for this task seem to be that she owns a small surf shop. This hardly qualifies as a prerequisite for running the nations sixth largest city, but I digress. I think she followed the rules to the best she knew how, the city attorney and clery were the major failures in this case. However, if Donna Frye wants to be mayor, she should have subjected herself to the primary process. She should have been subject to the same scrutiny of her policies and positions as the other candidates.

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