Amid Scandals, San Diego Votes

Long-haired motorcyclist Myke Shelby is one of 11 candidates in a rock-'em, sock-'em special mayoral election in San Diego Tuesday.

Asked by CBS News Correspondent Bill Whitaker whether Harley Davidson devotees make good mayors, Shelby, a Republican, answered simply, "I think Harley riders make good everythings."

And, reports Whitaker, Shelby is hardly the only political irregularity in San Diego. The sun-drenched place that proclaims itself America's finest city is in a fine political mess.

It's in fiscal free-fall, considering declaring bankruptcy, Whitaker explains. Just this month, Mayor Dick Murphy resigned amid a federal investigation of what happened to nearly $2 billion of city pension funds. Last week, his replacement, councilman Michael Zucchet, stepped up and immediately stepped down, convicted of taking money from a strip club owner.

Surfer, activist, councilwoman Donna Frye is the front-runner in Tuesday's balloting.

"People want to get San Diego back," she declares. "They're tired of the negative publicity."

This isn't the first time sunny San Diego has seen shady politics, Whitaker points out.

Radio host Roger Hedgecock stepped down as mayor under a cloud in the '80s and fought for years to clear his name. He talks on radio, but wouldn't talk to CBS News.

But Thad Kousser of the University of California, San Diego did: "I think San Diego politics have been sleepy politics for the last 20 years. …When you've got a beautiful beach, why pay attention to boring politics?"

With which a woman beachgoer interviewed by Whitaker agreed: "It's like, why even bother to vote anymore? It doesn't matter."

And despite the big issues, Whitaker observers, voter turnout is likely to be small.
  • Jaime Holguin

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