Thursday, September 14, 2006

Debate Highlights

The Merc's coverage of the debate can be read here: http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/politics/elections/15516000.htm.

It seems like the primary focus of this election is ethics. Our city has been rocked by scandal. Our citizens are embarassed of the attention our current Mayor has ignonimously earned for this great city. In the back and forth surrounding Norcal and the recent Los Esteros allegations, it is important to ask how do we make this evidence relevant to our voting decisions. Are we looking to punish candidates for prior unethical conduct? Or do we look to past (un)ethical actions in order to make educated extrapolations about future conduct? However evidence of unethical conduct matters to you, there are some important questions we each need to answer in evaluating the candidates. Were Chuck's undisclosed conversations with CWS - an interested party in the Norcal amendment - proof positive of unethical conduct? Do Cindy's close ties with labor along with her vote in favor of the amendment mean that she was in the backroom abusing her power? And are we really buying Chuck's defense to conflict of interest charges that it is unnecessary to recuse onself from voting on policy that benefits a paying client so long as it does not only benefit that client? In any case, the issue is front and center this election. And it was front and center last night...

A brief syllabus covering some of the issues discussed last night...

I. ETHICS

1. Norcal
a. Chuck says Cindy made a "deceptive statement about what I knew about Norcal''
b. Cindy says she has been all but exculpated by Grand Jury transcripts; Chuck owes
her an apology
c. Reed admits that he had heard that Norcal expected to be reimbursed but did not
know that they expected the city to foot the bill
2. Los Esteros
a. Surprisingly, not much was said about the recent allegations

II. STRONG NEIGHBORHOODS INITIATIVE

1. Chuck describes SNI as "one of the great things that's been done in the city'' during
the Gonzales year
2. Cindy says that she was one of the leaders behind SNI and agrees that it is great for SJ
3. Cindy adds that Chuck did not support SNI when first adopted in 2002
4. Chuck countered saying he supported the concept but voted against the program
because of eminent domain concerns
5. Cindy responds that Chuck should hae put forward an alternative ("I don't just say I don't
like something, I try to improve it.'')

III. MEASURE A - HILLSIDE PRESERVATION INITIATIVE
1. Chavez supports it
2. Reed did not say one way or the other whether he supported the initiative ("there are
some problems in understanding that I have with the plan.'')

3 Comments:

At 12:23 AM, Anonymous larry hughes said...

Where is the coverage of these stories on the other blogs? Are they just pretending that the allegations against Chuck don't exist?

That Murk-ery News article on it was WEAK. Anybody see how deep they buried it in the actual paper?

It is unfortunate that the bulk of the debate last night focused on the allegations that both candidates are throwing back and forth. To be honest, both have unclean hands. Both have made collasual gaffes. Cindy voted for the 11.25 amendment and Chuck was not honest about his knowledge prior to that vote. For Chavez to point fingers at Reed is ridiculous. But for Reed to have started the mudslinging without any real evidence is utterly moronic. And his defense to this conflict of interest allegation is totally unbelievable. First, he claimed he didn't realize that he had a conflict of interest. Come on! Now, he's trying to say that the conflict was immaterial. Whether or not it was, he was not forthcoming about the conflict. Where are those Reed reforms? If you really believe that there is a difference between making SPECIFIC policies and general policies where both financially benefit a CLIENT, then make that point at the time of the vote. Justify on the record why you believe it is appropriate for you to take part in the vote. Yeah, maybe in the end, he may be legally exonerated. But ethically, he is completely in the WRONG.

Anyway, I'm upset that these are the only two candidates we have to choose from. I'm more upset that all this hyped up discussion about scandal and ethics has detracted from where our city is going in the next 4 years. What of our schools? What are we going to do about balancing growth and the environment? You can catch my drift. I bet I could consider some of my colleagues to host a debate at our office where we explicitly forbid any mention of Norcal/conflict of interest/etc. and FOCUS ON THE ISSUES! I still have no idea what these candidates are really going to DO once in office!

 
At 10:08 AM, Anonymous where are issues?? said...

tell me about it! if you look at Chuck Reed's website, the VERY first thing you see... their own stupid poll results! where is the vision? is that the best thing you have to say about your campaign? pathetic! chuck reed's entire campaign is EMPTY. just nay-say, nay-say, nay-say. no vision...

 
At 11:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

She didn't know anything.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHahahahahahahahahahahehehehehehehehehehehehehuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhmmm ... uh-hem ...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

 

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