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Home / Articles / Opinion / Spin Cycle /  Where the hell from here?
. . . .
Wednesday, Oct 24, 2012

Where the hell from here?

Looking post-election through foggy glasses

By John R. Lamb
spincycle Tony Young and Bob Filner
- Photo by John R. Lamb

“With high hope for the future, no prediction is ventured.”

—Abraham Lincoln

Dear ol’ Honest Abe (trademarked by Spielberg yet?) sounded none too keen about crystal-ballin’. Appreciate the positive spin on being anti-prediction-istic, but Spin’s gotta stop you right there. Painting a picture—a vision, if you will—of the future does actually entail some soothsaying abilities. No avoiding it.

So, why not dive headlong into political palmistry, embracing its reliance on conjecture, forecasting and, yeah, a bit of coin-flippage? Let’s do this!

The mayor’s race: Here’s the thing with either a Bob Filner or Carl DeMaio win: Expect some pretty significant housecleaning at City Hall. Every new inhabitant of 202 C St.’s 11th floor likes to be surrounded by people they’re comfortable with, and the next mayor will be no different.

City Hall observers Spin spoke to were nearly unanimous that no one from the office of outgoing Mayor Jerry Sanders will retain their job in a new Filner or DeMaio administration. Not that some won’t be nearby—Sanders senior policy adviser David Graham, for example, is set to take roost a floor below as chief of staff for DeMaio’s City Council replacement, Mark Kersey, who ran unopposed in the June primary.

(The tentacles of creepy local GOP chairman Tony Krvaric will also be felt if rumors are true that his right-hand man, San Diego County Republican Party executive director Barrett Tetlow, has been tapped to serve as chief of staff for new District 7 Councilmember Scott Sherman. Now there’s an office to watch!) 

If Carl wins, what does Bob do?: Let’s hope he takes a long vacation and finally ties the knot with fiancée Bronwyn Ingram, the truest trooper of this long-winded, road-apple-dotted campaign season. Maybe he hooks up with also-out-of-work politi-wonk Nathan Fletcher to push education reform. Hell, maybe Filner returns to the classroom.

If Bob wins, what does Carl do?: The consensus seems to suggest that DeMaio, if he loses, will not be long for San Diego. “He’ll be gone the next day,” opines one longtime City Hall watcher.

While that may be a stretch—he does have investments, financial and otherwise, here after all—it was interesting that when asked at a recent debate before architects to name his favorite city outside of San Diego, DeMaio rattled off a list that included Washington, D.C.

The nation’s capitol would seem a perfect fit for DeMaio, an old haunting ground where he could go recharge his financial batteries by providing more government-efficiency seminars while licking his wounds among conservative friends like Grover Norquist and his drown-government-in-a-bathtub ilk.

The mayor / City Council relationship: First off, disregard any suggestion that the mayor and City Council positions are nonpartisan. Horse hockey! How the District 1 council race between incumbent Sherri Lightner and conservative opponent Ray Ellis comes down will shape how this city moves forward.

The first test will be who becomes council president. As the current council president, Tony Young has grown in maturity and statesmanship, if not feistiness, but last week he threw his support behind fellow Democrat Filner.

If Ellis wins, expect the new council Republican majority to tap Kevin Faulconer for the presidency. With the new appointment will come the responsibility of assigning committee chairmanships, positions that are incredibly influential in setting the city’s political agenda.

Should Lightner win, there’s some speculation that Young might have a race for the presidency with Todd Gloria, whose expanded council district—including Downtown—will put him in the influence spotlight.

Smoke sputters from the ears to imagine a Filner administration and a Republican-controlled City Council or a DeMaio mayorship with a Democratic-leaning council.

However it shapes up, one thing seems certain: Budget battles and litigation over things like Prop. B and the Convention Center expansion will dominate the coming year, and our politicos better be ready.

Who said winning is easy?

Got a tip? Send it to or follow John R. Lamb on Twitter @johnrlamb.