Dick Lyles: Election results bring mixed messages

By Dick Lyles

Recent election results bring a mixed bag of messages, with reality emerging much different from what it first might appear. Democrats are quick to point out that one of theirs was elected to the traditionally conservative Poway City Council, that Scott Peters’ election to Congress represents a major shift in attitudes for our communities, aligning us with the Democrat takeover of the San Diego City Council and the creation of a super majority in the state legislature. These are hasty and shaky conclusions to draw from the facts as they actually exist.

Dick Lyles

Jim Cunningham sought re-election to the Poway City Council as a fiscal conservative. He won because the city is well-managed, in sound shape financially and has few problems compared to most other cities and also because he served well during his first term. Note, however, that he came in second to non-incumbent Steve Vaus, a tea party conservative who led the ballot in spite of his many detractors. It would have been interesting to see the outcome had the school bond issue not been misrepresented and misused to side-swipe Jeff Mangum’s campaign. Traditional conservative values are alive and well in Poway.

The outcome of the congressional race between Scott Peters and Brian Bilbray was also driven by conservative values. In the newly gerrymandered nightmare of a district, Republican Bilbray positioned himself as the green candidate — a congressional leader in environmental issues — and lost. Peters, in what undoubtedly will become the biggest non-presidential false campaign promise in the election, pledged to fight for a balanced budget and hold congress accountable for fiscal responsibility and won. Conservative values prevailed even though a Democrat won the seat. It’ll be interesting to see if Peters can win re-election in two years if challenged by a more conservative Republican.

The further away from home we get, however, the more ominous the returns become. Union-owned liberals ran the table. The last thing the city of San Diego needs at this moment is a pro-union hack with no administrative experience or competence. But that’s exactly what they got by choosing Bob Filner to be mayor. Everyone in the region except public sector union members will suffer because of the mismanagement Filner will inflict on San Diego.

Statewide outcomes are the worst of all. California drastically needs a makeover like those experienced in Ohio, Wisconsin, South Carolina, New Jersey and New Mexico. Unfortunately the state is now charging full speed ahead in the exact opposite direction.

The state’s actual debt load is somewhere between $137 billion and $350 billion rather than the $19-21 billion alluded to by state officials. This includes $10 billion borrowed from the federal government plus $313 million borrowed from the state disability trust fund to make payments on the loan. It includes $200 billion in unfunded liabilities for state worker retirement benefits, $4.3 billion borrowed from special funds and $10 billion in constitutionally required payments to schools that have been deferred. The list goes on.

We don’t need an earthquake for the state of California to collapse into the ocean … the new union-led, Democrat super majority in the Legislature will take care of that for us. Without eliminating the debt problem, they’ll bury us in a tsunami of tax increases and cost increases with a larger state government providing fewer services of lower quality. Proposition 30 was only a mild beginning. The worst is yet to come. Governor Brown’s appeal for prudence will prove to be as effective as asking an alcoholic to stop drinking after the second drink.

Lyles, a Poway resident, is a business/management consultant and best-selling author. Reader comments are encouraged at www.pomeradonews.com.

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Posted by Staff on Nov 15 2012. Filed under Columnists. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

7 Comments for “Dick Lyles: Election results bring mixed messages”

  1. BeAfraidVeryAfraid

    Nice spin.

  2. Helen

    " It would have been interesting to see the outcome had the school bond issue not been misrepresented and misused to side-swipe Jeff Mangum’s campaign." Let it go Dick. There was no misrepresentation on the bond issue. The forensic accounting report states that the Poway Unified School District was "insular" and the debt was mismanaged. The debt is actually $2.8 billion far worse than initially revealed.
    Vaus is a conservative republican. By the majority of what you write in your columns about Steve possesses similar values to yours. Yet you continue to spin him as the usurper or somehow unqualified to lead because he isn't – how did Logan Jenkin's put it as "patrician" as Mangum. To color him in the light of a tea partier is to know virtually nothing about the man or his politics. Vaus is more likely to draw across the board bipartisan support than Mangum because Vaus is far more approachable.

    So Dick, let's all move on and get some real work done. The arguments are tired and beat to death and well you're just really wrong.

  3. chris cruse

    Helen, I don't think the forensic audit has been released yet. I don't even know if they have finished. The audit that was released was a routine audit and the $2.8 billion debt is from Mello Roos district debt, SFID, and other PUSD debt. Please don't misrepresent it.

    • Helen

      My mistake on calling it the forensic audit. But 2.5 billion is unacceptable debt level of a district our size. It must totally fry your bacon that Vaus got elected.

      • chris cruse

        Clariece, I don't think it matters much if Vaus or Mangum were elected. On most of the issues I care about, Boyack and Higginson voted the same way. I saw nothing to lead me to believe it would be any different with Vaus or Mangum.

        • Tom Yarnall

          chris, I agree.
          Probable differences between the two could be their IQ's and the ability to innovate and articulate solutions as problems come forth. You may be the judge of that.
          What does it take to get elected?
          I'm not sure Albert Einstein could win an election in Poway, so rule out IQ. The electorate ruled out the person who was probably the best innovator who could articulate solutions, so rule that out. What it takes is an issue that resonates with the malcontents, whether it be Wal-Mart, term limits or bonds.
          In a four person race, where two are chosen, it only take about 1/3 of the vote to get elected. I don't think finding that many malcontents is difficult, at most anytime, with the right issue.

          • chris cruse

            Politics is all about advantage and disadvantage. Poway politics has alway been weighted toward protecting the advantage of north Poway. I see your point abput getting on the council by rousing the malcontents (most of whom live in soth poway) but it is worth noting that once someone gets on the council, they tend to vote with the majority. That is why the low volume water users still pay substantially higher sewer rates, and why the council unanimously vote that we will all pay the costs to pump water up to the avocado ranchers and commercial manufacturers and why the traffic criteria are changed to accommodate what was once deemed to be unacceptable and intolerable. And why the vast majority of low income housing projects
            are located in one dense area of south Poway.

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