The biggest stories to watch this fall semester

by Leonardo Castaneda

Mayoral Race

MCT Campus

This November Democratic Congressman Bob Filner will take on Republican Councilmember Carl DeMaio for the keys to the city. With more than two months until Election Day, the campaigns are adopting the vicious personal tone of the presidential campaign. The choice between the hard-line conservative and a longtime Democrat will set the political tone in San Diego for years to come.

Battle of the Tax Hikes

This year’s ballot has three different tax increase propositions. Prop 39 is a multistate business tax that may become law long before anyone casts a vote. The other two are squaring off directly. On one side is Prop 30, Jerry Brown’s baby; on the other is Prop 38, championed by Molly Munger. It’s unlikely both will pass, and if they split the pro-tax vote, it can spell big trouble for state finances.

Nuclear Predicament

The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station has been shut down for months because of unexpected degradation of internal tubes. Now, both sides of the nuclear debate are gearing up for a battle about the future of the plant. Southern California Edison, the company that operates the plant, hopes to have at least part of it up and running by the end of the year. Meanwhile, opponents of nuclear power are calling for the permanent shutdown of the plant. Look for the debates about the future of nuclear power in San Diego to get toxic as we get closer to a restart.

Fiscal Cliff

Unless Congress can reach a bipartisan compromise— what does that even mean?—by the end of the year, automatic tax increases and spending cuts will destroy the national economy. KPBS recently reported that San Diego’s large military and government contractor population may put it at greater risk if the federal government doesn’t figure something out. Cue the partisan bickering and finger- pointing in three … two … one …

Recharging the Stadium Talks

Football season means we get to rehash one of the most tired and controversial issues in San Diego politics. As the Chargers power, or stumble, through a new season, we can expect their ownership to start rumbling about the inadequacy of Qualcomm Stadium. By the end of the year, we can expect whispered threats of a Charger departure and harebrained stadium plans from U- T San Diego’s well-trained editorial staff. If the economy continues its tenuous recovery and the Chargers make it deep in the playoffs, stadium talks might actually get serious.