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Regional leaders last month piled on the Airport Authority’s $3 billion plan to expand Terminal 1, arguing it didn’t do nearly enough to improve transit to the airport and needed to restart its environmental review.
Now, officials from the region’s major public agencies are talking, in hopes they can get on the same page on a plan that they all agree is a major economic development opportunity for San Diego.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer is holding a Nov. 20 summit to hash out everyone’s differences and see if they can agree on a plan that would connect the airport to the trolley once and for all, while upgrading the small, aging terminal so more people can fly into and out of the city.
But the Airport Authority’s leader, Kim Becker, is emphasizing that time is of the essence. Times are good for airlines right now, and their profitability has made them willing to invest in infrastructure that could further boost their business. A significant share of the project could come from increased rates, fees and charges that airlines pay to operate out of the airport. If the planning process drags out too long, though, and the economy turns, Becker is concerned that the airlines could change their tune and San Diego will have missed its opportunity.
This year’s blue wave appears to swept back into power Mike Schaefer.
Who? Our Jesse Marx profiles Schaefer, an 80-year perennial candidate who has run for offices in multiple states, mostly as a Democrat, sometimes as a Republican. Now, he looks likely to be a member of the Board of Equalization, a state agency with some say over tax policy.
Marx first met Schaefer in 2015 when he ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Palm Springs. During a lunch that summer, Schaefer boasted of his wackier endorsements, including a Lollipop Munchkin from “The Wizard of Oz.” At one point, Schaefer told Marx about his new girlfriend and slid a card across the table — for an escort service.
Schaefer’s history goes way back, though. He was elected to the San Diego City Council in the 1960s at age 28, but his political career derailed when he was indicted — later acquitted — as part of a Yellow Cab bribery scandal. He would go on to become, in the words of a jaw-dropping Los Angeles Times profile, “one of California’s most notorious slumlords.” In 1993, he was convicted of misdemeanor spousal abuse for allegedly beating his wife in their Point Loma home, according to the Reader. He was later disbarred in Nevada and hit with a restraining order by the man who played Raymond’s brother on “Everybody Loves Raymond.”
He was also an influential elections lawyer in California during those years. Some of the lawsuits he worked on did away with the alphabetical listing of candidates on ballots, allowed for write-in candidates at the local level and eliminated the requirement federal candidates needed to live within the jurisdictions they served.
Schaefer didn’t have the Democratic Party’s support, but he did have the “Dem” label next to his name on the ballot in a year where California voters came out to oppose most Republicans. And he went up against state Sen. Joel Anderson, a Republican who hurt his own chances of winning after he threatened to “bitch slap” a female lobbyist.
The last time we checked, he’d received 1,149,851 votes, about 26,000 more than Anderson.
Almost a year ago, we asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for records related to any infrastructure proposed along California’s border with Mexico. The agency has not responded. Now, Voice of San Diego is asking a federal court to intervene so the public can see information that sheds light on the potentially damaging impacts of the new border infrastructure to communities along the border. Those include the city’s San Ysidro neighborhood, which has struggled with air pollution, and Imperial Beach, which has sewage from Tijuana in its coastal water sickening surfers and swimmers.
The Morning Report was written by Ry Rivard and Andrew Keatts, and edited by Sara Libby.