We've been watching Carl DeMaio since he burst upon the scene in 2004, and the man we're seeing during the last few weeks only slightly resembles the guy we covered for years before he came in first in the June primary election for San Diego mayor.
After helping to dispatch perceived centrists Nathan Fletcher and Bonnie Dumanis in June, DeMaio swung dramatically toward the political middle, presumably wagering that centrist November voters won't have paid close attention to San Diego politics beforehand.
These days, he talks endlessly about bipartisanship, being a unifier and having an environmental and social conscience, clearly trying to win Fletcher's voters. That's not DeMaio. The DeMaio we know is combative, hostile, difficult, vindictive, overzealous and single-minded on a single policy goal: to shrink the public sector.
"His environmental voting record speaks for itself and belies his words," former San Diego City Councilmember Donna Frye tells us.
In order to get to where he wants to be—in power—he's compromised his own demonstrated principles. The DeMaio we know would have opposed expansion of the San Diego Convention Center and redesign of the center of Balboa Park because of their reliance on new taxes and/or uncertain financing. His support of those projects is winning him the backing of precisely the type of influential insiders he's railed against for years.
Don't believe this new act. It ain't him.
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