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Feature Commentary October 9th, 2008


The Paper Ednorsements

Palomar Pomerado Health

Four Year Term:
Donald Brust, DVM (ret)
Linda Greer, incumbent
Evelyn Madison

Two Year Term:
Lee Thibadeau

Why We Endorsed Them:

We believe Palomar Pomerado Health is a train wreck waiting to happen. We believe we have arrived at this state because of misrepresentation and mismanagement by its president and CEO, Michael R. Covert. Equally culpable, in our judgment, is the PPH Board of Directors. Our research suggests they follow Mike Covert’s direction rather than the other way around. The PPH board needs to be a strong one, willing and able to ask tough questions of its president and CEO and to demand accountability. They have a due diligence duty to closely examine the credentials for candidates of such a powerful position . . . and they need to have the fiscal responsibility to insist that executive compensation be realistic and not be willing to give away the moon.

Mr. Covert is being paid $676,000 per year. That, to us, is obscene and reflects badly on the board. We see a strong need for new blood on the PPH board and believe the candidates we have endorsed will provide it.

Dr. Donald Brust, though he has an excellent sense of humor, is a no-nonsense guy when it comes to business. He successfully ran his own veterinary hospital/clinic for 38 years. He has been, and continues to be, active in community organizations, having served for many years as an officer with Rotary. He has also served as a former board member on the Bonsall school district. A Valley Center resident, Dr. Brust impressed us both with his questionaire answers, and his public statements. He would be an outstanding member of the PPH board.

Linda Greer, incumbent, is an RN. She was the only board member who questioned, and voted against, the ridiculous giveaway of $2 million ($400,000 a year for five years) to La Dainian Tomlinson, a San Diego running back who talks into a camera upon occasion, and not very convincingly, about “teamwork.” We think $2 million could have been better spent elsewhere. So does Ms. Greer. She has been known to stand up to Mr. Covert and demand answers . . . and has also stood up to the rest of the board. She’s got both knowledge and moxie and we believe she is the only incumbent who ought to be returned to the board.

Evelyn Madison has served on the PPH board (1987 to December, 1992) and has closely monitored its activities ever since. She is another individual who asks tough questions, requires honest, direct answers, and requires accountability. She has a lifetime of service in the public arena, serving in leadership positions with a number of civic and service clubs as well as serving in major administrative roles in business. Though a gentle soul, she has a hard head for business. She also has a great deal of compassion and is normally at the head of the line when volunteers are asked for. She is endorsed by the San Diego County Republican Party and numerous other friends from North San Diego County.

Lee B. Thibadeau has served San Marcos as a councilmember and Mayor. He is yet another hard nosed businessman who does not suffer fools gladly and demands accountability of those in management positions. He has a track record of getting things done, is a hard worker, and has a large contingent of talented supporters who will lend aid and advice when and if needed. He studies the issues, knows the agenda, and follows it.

He would round out our four top endorsements for the PPH Board.

We were also very impressed with a newcomer, John Amodeo. Mr. Amodeo has an impressive resume’ and his questionaire answers were very impressive. His problem is name recognition. In an 800 square mile district, that will likely pose a problem. We hope he actively campaigns so voters get to know him. In two years time another seat will open up and chances are we would support him at that time.

The Paper has been very critical of both the president and CEO of Palomar Pomerado Health, and of its board. We cannot imagine any board of sound mind negotiating a contract that would pay Mr. Covert $676,000 per year. Or of approving a $2 million payout to La Danian Tomlinson.

We feel that it is time for a change in leadership at the board level, a change that brings some common sense and business experience to the district.

Incumbent directors Marcelo Rivera, MD, and Nancy Bassett, RN, did not return their questionaires.

San Marcos City Council

Hal Martin
Dean Nelson

Why We Endorsed Them

Hal Martin, the incumbent, has become a fixture on the San Marcos City Council. He’s developed many contacts, knows the city staff and management and has an excellent working relationshp with them as well as the rest of the council. His learning curve would be minimal as he’s been there so long that it’s just a continuation of a close working relationship with colleagues.

Dean Nelson has paid his dues. He has served on the Planning Commission for the past eight years, has a good grasp of community issues and has come up with sound suggestions as to how to solve them. He has served as a Creekside Task Force Member and is committed to establishing a University Park and Research Center in the University District near California State University-San Marcos to bring more jobs and businesses to town.

Escondido City Council

Ed Gallo
Sam Abed

Why We Endorsed Them

Let’s face it. If you are against illegal immigration, then you need to support Gallo and Abed. They have consistently called for the feds to enforce immigration law and when the feds did not do their job, Gallo and Abed and their colleague, Marie Waldron, did all they could to help put a lid on illegal immigration.

Note the adjective, “illegal.” It is important to note that Sam Abed is an immigrant. The difference is . . . he’s a legal immigrant. He went by the book, followed the rules. That’s all he and Gallo are asking. Legal immigrants are welcome, illegal immigrants are not. It’s that simple.

Aside from the illegal immigration issue, the city of Escondido has progressed very, very well with Gallo and Abed sitting in their council seats. We have a major anti-graffiti and graffiti-cleansing plan in place and funded, we have on open door policy with both candidates readily accessible to discuss problems, concerns and complaints.

Ed Gallo, in particular, I have found to be very responsive to complaints . . . and in a prompt manner. His campaign motto is, and has been for eight years, “Escondido First,” and he works at fulfilling that motto by making all his decisions for the benefit of the city.

Gallo poins out “People have three basic expectations from the community in which they live and raise there families. 1. A safe place to live, 2. A clean place to live, and 3. And quality of live amenities. Public safety has always been my top priority. I want to provide the best equipped and best trained police and fire departments that will deliver the services we deserve. And we must enforce the laws that provide for our safety. The city's responsibility is also to provide a clean environment free of debris, rundown homes and buildings which are not only a nuisance but a safety hazard. To this end, we have strengthened our code enforcement and the positive results are evident. All of this adds to our quality of life including building new parks and maintaining them, providing activities for people of all ages but most notably our youth. Adequate infrastructure quite frankly is also a quality of life issue and we continue to maintain this.”

Sam Abed was largely responsible for spearheading the anti-graffiti campaign and implementing a $1 million budget to deal with it. Abed is generally recognized by business leaders, including Chamber president Harvey Mitchell, as a tireless leader for the business community.

Abed has more than 500 endorsements from community, business, and political organizations, a testament to their recognition of his ability to get the job done.

Both Abed and Gallo focus on a clean city, a safe city, a prosperous city. They have a track record that shows they pursue those goals successfully. We believe Ed Gallo and Sam Abed have accomplished much of the above and should be returned to office.

Proposition O

The Paper recommends a NO vote.


For a variety of reasons. We don’t believe in spot zoning; we believe we elect our city council to research the issues and to cast a vote of conscience. The average voter has neither the time, the patience, or the experience to deal with complex issues. Proposition O is an impractical solution to a non-problem and would harm progress for wise development within San Marcos.

Similar to Escondido’s Proposition S which was passed in 1998, Proposition O would hamstring San Marcos, just as it has Escondido. Developers learn of the hoops they have to jump through to do a simple development in Escondido and they turn and run away. We don’t want that for San Marcos.

Escondido’s Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler and her colleague, Councilman Dick Daniels, have both discussed the lost opportunities resulting from Escondido's Proposition S. As many as two dozen developers have walked out of meetings when they learned that their projects would have to go to a public vote, Pfeiler said. They were proposing residential and commercial projects. It is simply impractical to expect voters to thoroughly study every project, a task better left to the council. Those who don't like decisions made by council members can replace them during elections.

We recommend a solid NO on Proposition O.

Proposition T

The Paper recommends a NO vote.

Why we opposte Prop T

The best explanation for why we oppose Prop T (The District Property Tax to Support a Regional Fire Agency) is contained within the cover story we did recently titled “Blood Money.” To read in detail, call up this link:

Essentially, we documented that prop 172 funds should have been more fairly distributed to the cities throughout San Diego County and thus the funds for a regional fire agency would have been, and still are, available, thanks to the voters back in November 1993, who approved Prop 172 which provided for “guaranteed funds for fire protection.” The fact that greedy politicians (the San Diego County Board of Supervisors) have diverted all but about 5.6% of those funds to their favorite county departments should not cause the taxpayer to give in to yet another tax.

Voters need to send a clear message to greedy politicians to stop this nonsense and get on with the business of governing not only wisely, but fairly and honestly.





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