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VOSD Podcast: The Conservative Case Against a Downtown Stadium

The Chargers scored big this week when the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce voted Thursday to endorse [1] their plan for a new East Village stadium.

So far, organized labor groups are the only other major institutions that have thrown their support behind the team’s initiative, which would hike the city’s hotel tax [2] to help pay for a new convadium, or stadium and convention center mashup.

Meanwhile, the anti-convadium camp has organized [3] itself as No Downtown Stadium – Jobs and Streets First [4], a diverse coalition of folks [5] who want to make the case that the city should prioritize other needs before subsidizing a stadium.

District 6 Councilman Chris Cate is one of the leaders of the coalition, and he joined the podcast this week to talk about why he’s opposed to the plan.

“The Chargers and [special adviser to the team] Fred Maas like to go around and talk about how this will not impact neighborhoods or impact the city at all,” Cate said. “That it protects the general fund and all those things, but it’s absolutely not true and I have a huge issue with folks voting on a $2 billion proposal – a tax increase for a huge infrastructure project – without any of the details whatsoever regarding the cost for construction, financing, detailed plans.”

Cate said the plan would have major impacts on the city – most people just don’t know about them yet. And he said the city has too many other priorities to justify subsidizing a stadium for the Chargers. He also questioned the proposed facility’s actual function as a convention center, saying it’s just not clear whether it would meet the city’s needs, nor is it clear who will run the space.

Cate also talked about his opposition to ballot measure that proposes making big changes [6] to the way officials are elected in the city of San Diego.

Also on the podcast, co-hosts Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts talk about Lewis’ trip through the worst part of the world, the tension between Gov. Jerry Brown and cities across California when it comes to how big development decisions are made [7] and they give a quick preview of the conversations and people that are part of VOSD’s Politifest [8] happening Sept. 24 at San Diego State University.

Hero of the Week

Well-known San Diego philanthropist Conrad Prebys [9], who died of cancer last week, gets the acknowledgement this week for supporting several important projects around town and setting an example of the amount of good that can be done by folks who’ve done well financially.

Goat of the Week

The San Diego County Office of Education gets the goat for its very bizarre meeting that turned into a gift giveaway [10] and brought up questions about the proper use of public funds.

Subscribe to the VOSD Podcast on iTunes [11] or get the RSS feed here [12]. Download it here [13].