The Chargers know that they have a steep uphill climb to the 66-percent threshold of votes needed to approve a hotel tax increase that would partially pay for a new stadium. In an effort to win the hearts and minds of San Diegans, the Chargers have decided to target a politician who is opposed to the use of public money for the proposed project.
Via Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today, the Chargers have purchased Facebook ads calling out a 33-year-old Republican City Council member for his position on the effort officially known as “Ballot Measure C.”
“Why does Chris Cate want the Chargers to leave San Diego?” the ad says, supplying Cate’s office number. “Please call and ask him.”
“It has gotten personal,” Cate said, via Schrotenboer. “I think having fans call my office will have zero impact on how the measure performs on Election Day. I’m surprised to see this level of investment and how they’re really trying to attack me, as opposed to promoting their position or answering any questions that I’ve raised.”
The effort may be less about helping Ballot Measure C and more about laying the foundation for placing blame on someone/anyone other than the Chargers if the Charges leave town following an unsuccessful vote. Cate will clearly be one of the persons blamed.
“I’m a Chargers fan,” Cate said. “I want them to stay. I do not want them to leave, but at the end of the day, I just think this just a bad deal for the city and San Diegans.”
The deal would consist of the hotel room tax from 12.5 percent to 16.5 percent to fund $1.15 billion in bonds. The league and the team would kick in the remaining $650 million for a stadium that will cost $1.8 billion to build.
And if that’s the initial estimate, chances are it will cost even more than that by the time the ribbon is cut.