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Think the last-minute downtown San Diego redevelopment deal is just a local story? Longtime Sacramento Bee state political columnist Dan Walters weighed in this morning. He couldn’t be harsher:
These kind of deals drive the Legislature’s public standing, already abysmally low, even lower by creating the impression that its favors are bestowed just on those with political pull, like some tin-pot Third World dictatorship.
Walters also called the deal, which eliminated limits on redevelopment downtown and paved the way for a publicly subsidized new Chargers stadium, an “outrageous special interest raid on the public treasury” and “stinky.”
He called out the deal’s architects, Mayor Jerry Sanders and Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, for developing the bill in secrecy and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for signing the bill. Taxpayers, Walters argued, would now be unwittingly subsidizing a new Chargers stadium because the state would have to make up any property taxes lost to local schools.
As we’ve explained, the bill allows downtown San Diego to grab more property tax money than it would have otherwise with unknown impacts to the rest of the region.