Thursday, March 15, 2012

Who's on top?

Remember that old, old, old radio game show Can You Top This?  If you missed it in its first incarnation, don’t fret.  You can get an updated replay by tuning in to San Diego’s mayoral race.  Nowadays it's called Can Fletcher Top Demaio? … Can Demaio Top Dumanis? … Can Filner Top All Three? 

The spectacle of four mayoral candidates climbing over one another in a leapfrog contest to see who’s got the best two-minute answer to questions (posed by reporters or the usual set of candidate-forum panelists) that DON'T HAVE QUICKIE ANSWERS is not just embarrassing, it's downright useless, meaningless, and deceptive.

Frankly, I’d be happier if Demaio, Dumanis, Filner, and Fletcher forget about answers altogether.  What I’d like to know is what they think are the most important questions, issues, problems, and obstacles facing the city and the next mayor.  

I already know what’s important to me, but before I cast my vote in the June 5 primary I want to know what makes them sit up and take notice.  I want to know which one of them really gets San Diego issues.  Who among them recognizes what needs fixing?

I'll learn a lot more about their priorities and their values if they tell me what they believe is going wrong in our city.  

Political pundits like to say that the public only likes good news...voters want a positive message...nothing negative. 

Not me.  

I want a mayoral candidate with enough integrity and independence to ignore the happy-face talk coming out of the lame-duck mayor’ office.  I want to hear a thoughtful analysis of what each of our mayoral candidates thinks is going in the wrong direction.  Then I’ll  know in whose hands we might stand half a chance of making progress in our city.

An honest analysis of our city's problems would be the most positive message I can think of.

(For the San Diego version of Can You Top This click here.  It might take a second or two to load but it’s worth the wait.)