California auctions off seaside metropolis to wipe out state deficit.
By Kim Sotheby, Staff Writer
FOR SALE: One slightly used city. Close to beach. Includes Shamu habitat, cute trolley system, and fully functional military bases. Perfect for aspiring dictator or bored tycoon. Minimum bid: $8 billion (shipping extra).
In a bizarre effort to balance California's budget, state officials listed San Diego on EBay yesterday.
Gov. Schwarzenegger said he was initially reluctant to authorize the sale, but decided "nobody will really miss the city anyway. It's not like the Padres or Chargers have ever won a World Series or Super Bowl."
Although San Diego is the nation's eighth-largest city, it has often endured second-class treatment in its home state.
The Los Angeles Times, for example, regularly refers to "Southern California" as a region that doesn't extend below Orange County. Even the Border Patrol has essentially written off the city, not bothering to establish any immigration checkpoints until far north of town.
But the seaside metropolis has attracted plenty of attention on EBay. As the auction continues, a bidding war has erupted between the Pechanga Indian tribe, Google Inc., Donald Trump, and Al Qaeda. In response to State Department objections, Al Qaeda said it merely wanted to turn San Diego into a time-share resort, not a springboard for terrorist attacks on Los Angeles and Disneyland.