Things over here at LGR2R central have been pretty quiet-kinda dull, actually-until last week when a Time magazine blurb identified Mayor Dick Murphy as one of the three worst big-city mayors in the country, putting him up there (or, uh, down there) with Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick who used city money to buy his wife a cherry-red Lincoln Navigator (but, hey, at least he was supporting the local economy).
Fueled by the mayoral slap from the nation's top-selling newsmagazine, an online group calling themselves RecallMayorDickMurphy (all one word) rounded up a couple hundred supporters in a matter of days and the e-mails have been flyin' with questions like: What's the official date to launch a recall? (June 9) Who'll gather the necessary 101,000 signatures? And are T-shirts and buttons with slogans that play on the mayor's first name appropriate?
Since LGR2R took last week off, here, again, are the rules: If the mayor resigns under threat of recall, then the city will hold a regular special election. But if the mayor refuses to step down, it'll be a recall free-for-all akin to what we saw when Arnie was elected. So far CityBeat's offered 10 potential candidates: five likely contenders and five long shots. Since 90 percent of those picks have been guys, this week we profile a couple of ladies who may or may not be eyeing the city's top political office.
Best known as: City Planning Commissioner, editor of the San Diego Earth Times, former head of the San Diego Chapter of the Sierra Club, the woman wearing the wacky hats who drives a VW Bug.
Sign she's running: Chase sent around an e-mail a couple of weeks ago to address rumors that she's planning to run in a City Council special election. Which City Council special election she doesn't say. We can only assume she's referring to District 2 City Councilmember Michael Zucchet's seat, should he have to resign in disgrace. Last week, an out-of-state Sports Arena-area property owner who doesn't like the way Zucchet is handling Sports Arena redevelopment said he planned to launch a recall against ol' "Zinger" Zucchet.
So what about mayor? If you're considering a City Council run, why not go all the way? Chase, however, might find herself up against some irked environmentalists who didn't appreciate her support of District 1 Councilmember Scott Peters in his 2004 reelection bid. Peters has been criticized for being too cozy with developers and slacking off when it comes to curbing beach pollution. Oh yeah-then there was that thing with the seals.
Campaign slogan: (From Go Dog Go) "Do you like my hat?"
Best known as: Feisty former San Diego City Schools trustee (1996-2004) who fell victim to redistricting; one of the "2" in those perennial 3-2 board votes.
Sign she's running: Zimmerman took out papers to run for state Assembly in 2004 (George Plescia's district), but opted out early on saying she'd rather wait a couple years-the campaign would have clashed with her final months on the school board. A run for mayor would be a no-lose situation. At the very least, it's a chance to generate support for an Assembly bid.
Why she's got a chance: She's seemingly got influential Reader political columnist Matt Potter wrapped around her finger, and she managed to overcome a $750,000 TV-ad campaign that tried unsuccessfully to derail her 2000 bid for reelection. Financial backers of that campaign included San Diego power brokers like John Moores, Malin Burnham, Irwin Jacobs and that Wal-Mart dude.
What might get in her way: No one messes with John Moores and gets away with it.
Campaign slogan: "Grade school, city government-it's all the same."