Thursday, February 2, 2012

Snapdragon Illegal Naming Update

In a previous post, I discussed the apparently illegal, crony capitalist tactics of Mayor Sanders' office in allowing Qualcomm Stadium to be renamed to Snapdragon without council approval. This was done despite a city attorney memo advising against it and the fact that the city could have used the revenue that Qualcomm might have delivered to get the advertising value out of the name change. As I wrote:
The temporary name change of Jack Murphy Qualcomm Stadium to Snapdragon, despite a memo from City Attorney Jan Goldsmith that the name change was not authorized unless approved by the City Council just disgusts me. The city loses money every year on the stadium, undermining public support for everything else that Mayor Sanders has proposed, including a new City Hall. Why would the mayor engage in such an egregious display of crony capitalism, in effect donating millions of dollars of free advertising revenue to Qualcomm?
Now emails released to the U-T Watchdog under a public records request have shown that the city's CFO had questions.
San Diego’s chief financial officer questioned whether the city was being appropriately paid for a temporary name change of Qualcomm Stadium to endorse the company’s Snapdragon processor on the same day Mayor Jerry Sanders held a news conference touting the promotion.
Of course, no one responded to the question. Worse it turns out that Qualcomm paid the city a paltry $1000 to "cover expenses" but what might be viewed as a tacit admission that their actions might have legal ramifications.

We have further questioning from city officials about the legalities of this deal, but Mayor Sanders is more concerned about keeping buddy-buddy with local corporate giant Qualcomm.

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