With the beginning of last week came a veritable parade of chumps-all the members of the City Council who between 1996 and 2002 voted to increase pension benefits and cut mandatory city funding to the retirement system, as well as all the city officials who've continued a culture of shady secrecy downtown.
News arrived Monday that Standard and Poor's Rating Services suspended the city of San Diego's credit rating, making California's second biggest burg the laughingstock of the country-Enron by the Sea, they're calling us. Nice job, folks.
Standard and Poor's made its move because San Diego officials are being too shy about releasing an audit of the city's 2003 finances-likely a hair-raising document-and because city bureaucrats, obviously taking the lead of elected officials, have made a habit of not sharing negative financial information with anyone-generally considered a no-no by Wall Street and the Securities and Exchange Commission, whose investigation of San Diego is ongoing.
A city-commissioned report last week singled out Deputy City Manager Patricia Frazier and former Auditor Ed Ryan as being rather adept with the blackout pen when it came to financial-document disclosures regarding the condition of the city's retirement system.
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors stuck its collective nose where it didn't belong last Tuesday when it voted to send a letter to the secretary of state complaining that it's too easy to vote in California. The supervisors want people to have to show proof of citizenship when they vote. Civil libertarians counter that such a rule would discourage minorities from the polls. CityBeat also favors stricter voting rules-we believe U.S. citizens should have to pass an IQ test before voting.
Herring Broadcasting Inc. donated $15,000 to help pay for an Oct. 12 appearance by populist political filmmaker/lightning rod Michael Moore at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. California State University, San Marcos students were forced to raise money after university President Karen Haynes rescinded an invitation to have the notorious antagonist of the right wing speak at the school because she considers it illegal. On the chump side of this issue is Mission Federal Credit Union, which showed its true political colors by withdrawing its support of the school's speaker series because it had invited Moore.
San Diego Padres pitcher Jake Peavy is trying, against all odds, to single-handedly drag his team into the Major League Baseball playoffs. In his two starts during the past week, Peavy won two games, allowing just one earned run over 14 innings and limiting opposing hitters to a feeble .128 batting average.
Have a nomination for next week's Champs & Chumps? E-mail it to editor@SDcitybeat.com.