Aguirre endorses Faulconer for mayor
One of San Diego's leading Democrats endorsed Republican Kevin Faulconer for mayor on Wednesday. Former city attorney Mike Aguirre says he believes Faulconer is the best choice voters can make next Tuesday.
Mike Aguirre has been battling the unions over reforming pensions for the last decade. By endorsing Faulconer, Aguirre said the right questions is not whether it's going to cost him. “The right question,” said Aguirre, “is that it's going to cost San Diego something if I don't help Kevin.”
“It's not about partisan politics,” Faulconer said at the press conference announcing Aguirre's endorsement, “it's about doing what's right for San Diego, and that's why I'm proud to have Mike's support today.”
Aguirre said the city is at a critical crossroads, and the voters will decide whether we move forward with reforms or return to the days of fiscal disarray. As city attorney, Aguirre said he and Faulconer worked closely together on reforms, particularly pensions.
“Kevin has the integrity and experience to lead,” Aguirre said. “I ask all of my supporters to join me in voting for Kevin Faulconer for Mayor.”
“The reforms that Mike knows very well that we have to continue,” Faulconer said, “like pension reform, ensure that we continue to make efficient choices for our city so we have the dollars to reinvest in our neighborhoods.”
You've no doubt noticed the negative TV ads and mailers of late from both campaigns, each alleging the other guy is a tool of special interests.
“We have seen, particularly over the last month and a half,” said Faulconer, “millions of dollars that are being poured in to support my opponent from government employee unions. We have to have a mayor who's going to be independent.”
“What's happening here,” Aguirre said, “is the system is being manipulated in such a way as to put millions of dollars in one person's candidacy and making that person, basically, a puppet of those interests.”
Aguirre says it's gotten to the point where the unions have 'hijacked' the Alvarez campaign.
“We don't hear that much from the candidate from his own campaign,” Aguirre said, “we hear more from the independent committee that is attempting to control the outcome of the race.”
Labor unions, in and out of San Diego, have contributed three times the money to support Alvarez than business has contributed to the Faulconer campaign. And individual donations to Faulconer are three times that of Alvarez.
“That's what my campaign has been about,” said Faulconer. “I'm running a campaign supported by San Diegans, for San Diegans.”
David Alvarez was not available for a camera interview at the time of this story (although he appeared on Good Morning San Diego Thursday). As for Aguirre endorsing Faulconer, an Alvarez campaign statement said “every labor issue David has supported has saved taxpayers money, which is in contrast to what Kevin Faulconer has done.”
Labor union Political Action Committees (PAC's) have contributed $4.4 million to the David Alvarez effort. Business PAC's have contributed $1.3 million towards electing Kevin Faulconer. So far, total donations for both campaigns are approaching $6 million.