Friday, August 31, 2007

Connecting the dots to the People’s Ordinance

I was reading the Cafe on Voice of San Diego and Craig Benedetto was posting about the cost the City of San Diego incurs from the People’s Ordinance to collect the City's trash without charging them a dime up front. He was saying it should no longer be free.

So, I started doing some research -

Not on topic: I thought it was interesting Craig represents Sunroad as their lobbyist before the City of San Diego and another 10 other lobbyists either have or do represent Sunroad in addition to Craig before the City of San Diego. Amazing how many of those lobbyist have given Sanders money too.

Back to topic. It would seem Mayor Jerry Sanders wants to bid this service out to the same people that dumped major money into his election. I don't know that for a fact he has a deal with them, but it should be no different then the selling city property deal he gave away to his contributors. Also, at this point no trash hauler has registered yet with the City of San Diego. They have only wrtten Sanders campaign checks. Isn't it stranged they dumped money into his election and the City doesn't affect their company? Why would a business use its money for something so wastefeul. No pun was intended about the trash haulers. Also, it is funny I can't find the contribution reports from San Diegans for City Hall Reform and who the "people" that supported the contracting out proposition last year, only the opposing side filed. Oh, Craig dumped money into the Mayor and the San Diegans for City Hall Reform, which is controlled by the Mayor too.

So, this is probably the test balloon by Sanders to see if he can outsource the trash haulers. Here is a phrase the Mayor is use to hearing, you've been caught, busted!

Lastly, a friend warned me about outsourcing trash and told me to look at the City of Imperial Beach. They have outsourced some of their city services, include trash and that portion of the city budget increases higher then the in-houses service costs every year when the companies "re-bid" the service. You can call it holding the city hostage, because the city can't afford to bring the service back in house. The re-start up cost is too much after it is gone.

School Board Candidate

San Diego Unified School Board member Mitz Lee (R) is running for the City Council District 5 seat. That leaves her school board seat in District A vacant. Gone are the days when an open seat goes to a Republican by default here in San Diego. We have a well qualified, progressive candidate running for this seat.

Dr. John Lee Evans is a clinical psychologist in private practice. He works with children and families on educational issues, and he administers psychoeducational testing. He was an active parent volunteer in SD Unified's schools when his children were growing up. He served on various committees (school site council, parents task force, and governance team),and he volunteered in the classrooms where his children attended.

John served in the Peace Corp in Honduras when he was younger. He worked with rural teachers. Dr. Evans also directed an educational enterprise that provided workshops, training, and language classes for teachers. As a community college instructor, he taught Psychology and ESL.

John is an advocate for progressive issues in San Diego. After picking John's brain on numerous educational issues (including all the current hot topics), I am convinced that John will make a fine school board member. He will help bring consensus to our current school board.

Fairy Tales and Fables

The Labor Council staff always has a good laugh when we see the right-wing blogs make things up and post it as fact.

They recently ran a tidbit about our political director, Lorena Gonzalez’ plan to leave her position to run Marti Emerald’s District 7 City Council campaign. Today, we saw a South Bay media outlet run with this rumor, without contacting anyone at the Labor Council to verify its accuracy.

First, there is no truth to Lorena’s rumored departure. When I asked Lorena about this, she laughed so hard she nearly fell out of her chair. Second, as far as we have heard, Marti Emerald has yet to decided if she will run. Third, if she does decide to run, Marti isn’t a lock for a labor endorsement. We do have a process, with endorsement voted on by our membership.

The moral of the story: Don’t believe everything you read on right-wing blogs.

Saved by the Republicans?

So, next week – on Tuesday – the San Diego City Council will decide whether to sign an amicus brief in a California Supreme Court case to make same-sex marriage legal. The reports out of City Hall’s 10th floor are all over the place. One insider said only Toni Atkins is a sure vote. Others have indicated that they heard about commitments from Scott Peters, Donna Frye and – get this – Jim Madaffer! I haven’t heard anything about where Ben Hueso and Tony Young will end up on this. Conventional wisdom says Districts 4 and 8 are not big Marriage Equality areas, but I think both have enjoyed support from the GLBT community in the past. The most shocking thing I've heard is that Kevin Faulconer could be thing swing vote. Is it true? Might we actually achieve a victory in civil rights thanks to 2 Republican votes?

Even more interesting, how will this play in the Council races for next year. I can’t help but wonder how the various candidates would have voted if they were in office…

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Marti Emerald, Will She or Won't She

Well, it can't be avoided. Sooner or later, we would have to ask the question. Will Marti Emerald run for City Council? Clearly, the downtown establishment and developers think she will, and are running scared. They are already pouring the money into ethically-challenged April Boling's campaign, with hopes to keep Marti out of the race.

For one, I hope to God that Marti does decide to run - and shows the establishment the true definition of a reformer. Unfortunately, a friend informed me that her recent back surgery didn't go so well and that she is still mauling over her decision. But, I have to admit, even if she doesn't run... it was a good rumor that forced a whole lot of red cash to be spent on opposition research and polling.

Kudos Marti!

Labor Council Labor Day Picnic This Weekend

The San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council celebrates the American worker with its annual Labor Day weekend picnic this Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m.

This year’s picnic will be held at Cesar Chavez Park in Barrio Logan.

More than 3,500 tickets have been sold to the event, which also includes a ticket to that night’s Padres game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Festivities will include free food and drinks, kids games and music. Elected officials have been asked to help serve food, as a way to honor the regions’ workers.

For discounted $10 tickets to both the picnic and Padres game, call the Labor Council at (619)283-5411.

The San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council is a coalition of more than 100 local unions. The Labor Council represents 120,000 working families in the region. The Labor Council strives to ensure that all families in the region earn a fair wage, health care for their families and have the ability to retire in dignity.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wingnut Alert!

I have to give up to Jon Fleischman over at the Flash Report for coming up with quite the theory on why the State Senate recently passed a bill placing an "straw vote" regarding Iraq on the February primary ballot. According to Fleischman: "[w]ell, it doesn't take much thought to understand that this measure authored by Democrat Senate President Don Perata is a cynical plot to drive up liberal turnout for the election on which the Perata/Nunez Career Politician Term Limits Weakening Initiative will appear. Perata (and Nunez) are completely fixated on trying to blow a hole in the state's term limits so that they can cling to their prestigious offices."

Wow Jon, and Republicans are as pure as the driven snow! They would never try anything cynical like trying to pass an initiative to change the way the state allocates its electoral votes.

Kudos to The Teamsters...

It was reported this afternoon that the Teamsters union is filing suit against the Bush administration's ridiculous plan to open the border to long haul Mexican trucking companies. "The Teamsters, other trucking and safety organizations and dozens of lawmakers have sought to block the program, which they contend is unsafe. The union is seeking an emergency injunction from the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco." [Link]

This effort to open up the border for Mexican trucking is part of a much larger effort by international shippers to avoid the unionized West Coast U.S. ports for the non-union Mexican ports. Just another part of NAFTA agenda.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


OK, I really hate to spread rumors. But when you hear a juicy one, with even an ounce of credibility, you have to bite. I got an e-mail today that the progressive forces in San Diego have been trying to find an alternative to Mayor Sanders that could actually have some hope to win. The fear is - as I hear it - that Donna Frye will jump in and make it impossible for a more moderate Dem to make a credible run. So what are some of the names being batted around? Juan Vargas, Steve Peace, Dede Alpert, Christine Kehoe, and some mystery TV personality... Personally, I could deal with just about anyone over Jerry Sanders, but I am intrigued about ANOTHER person with name recognition and celebrity considering a run in San Diego. If Marti Emerald runs in 7... and someone with similar status pops up for Mayor, this election season could look like sweeps!

KLSD What's Next?

Yesterday over 500 listeners rally in the Clear Channel offices parking lot in Kearny Mesa to show their support for KLSD 1360am and its progressive talk radio format. When rumors began to circulate last week that KLSD was going to change its format to sports talk, grassroots activists went to work. In a short time, they manage to collect over 1100 signatures with an online petition and turnout 500+ supporters early on a Monday morning to make their case to station management not to dump the progressive format.

Speaking to the crowd gathered in the parking lot. Station program director Cliff Albert stated: "that while various options are under consideration, they want the Progressive voice to remain heard loud and clear in San Diego." So what is next for KLSD?

While some people have speculated that Clear Channel's decision to change KLSD format here in San Diego is part of a much larger effort to kill progressive radio across the country. Low ratings have contributed to KLSD's predicament. In the most recent Arbitron ratings for the Spring 07 period, KLSD received a paltry 0.9 share or 25th place in the San Diego market. This was down from a 2.2 share or 19th place the station had garnered in Winter 07 period a drop of over 50% in its listenership.

Unless something dramatically alters the landscape progressive talk on 1360am here in San Diego is going to end soon. Last week it was reported that KLSD had applied to move its transmitter to Santee and increase its signal to 50000 watts. If they are allowed to increase their signal, I suspect that KOGO, currently the highest rated am station in San Diego, will move from 600am position to the newly increased 1360am position, allowing KOGO to be heard as far away as the Temecula/Rancho California area. As for KLSD look for them to move to the low power 800am signal that is currently home ESPN radio.
A friend reminded me that Cliff Albert who is program director for KLSD is also the program director for KOGO and the other Clear Channel owned talk radio stations in San Diego. It seems like there isn't much incentive for him to see KLSD succeed if it is going to come at the expense of KOGO. I'll discuss this more on a later post.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Best They Have to Offer?

Over the weekend I was having a conversation with a colleague up North and discussing the Republicans choices in some local races. (OK, I was lamenting about how the Reeps had cleared the field for David Bejarano in the 78th, and where that left us locally.) Then the conversation came to the San Diego Council seats. Going through the Lincoln Club-endorsed candidates brought a chuckle. In this conservative stronghold this is the best they could come up with? In District 1, we have a Jewish man who led the fight to save the cross. Can you say self-loathing? In his previous life, downtown’s establishment candidate Phil Thalheimer was fired from his position as an orderly in a mental health facility, because he was not “a people person”. Now that is someone I want helping run the 8th largest City in America. At least he stopped wearing that silly wig. Then you have District 5. Federal Contractor Carl Demaio polled himself in the 6th District last year…and when he found out he couldn’t beat Donna Frye, moved into the 5th District to give it a run there. I am glad he came out of the closet, to show other young, closeted LGBT Reeps how accepting the San Diego Republican establishment can be… but I hear there may be some additional dirty laundry in that closet. Then you have District 7. Ethically-challenged April Boling is trying to reinvent herself for the voters who prefer a neighborhood candidate. But, does she really think she can convince the educated voters in D7 that with her stint as Murphy’s lap dog on the Pension Committee, and her record number of fines from the City Ethics Commission, that she is anything but part of the problem. Next year should be fun…

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Hey, Chula Vista and Oceanside ... Were You Listening?

During Saturday night's Chargers television broadcast, commentators Billy Ray Smith and Ron Pitts took some time off from the game's play-by-play to interview a very special guest. The guest was none other than the mayor of Glendale, Arizona Elaine Scruggs.

The Chargers were in Glendale playing a pre-season game against the Arizona Cardinals at their fancy brand new stadium, that coincidentally will play host to the Super Bowl next February. The good mayor was on television to sing the economic virtues of stadium development for mid-size cities like Glendale, or Chula Vista, or even Oceanside. This is not the first time Elaine Scruggs has preached the gospel of a new stadium building. This past May, she was the featured speaker at the Current Issues Forum of San Diego entitled "Where will the Chargers touch down."

It is quite clear that new stadium in Glendale is going to play a prominent role in the narrative the Chargers are to construct as part of their PR campaign to get a new stadium. I suspect we will be hearing a lot more as the football season progresses.

On the bright side, at least Mark Fabiani will be so busy as Chargers spokesperson and he won't have the time to screw up any more Democratic presidential campaigns like he did with Wesley Clark in 2004 and Al Gore in 2000.

I Guess not Everyone likes Pete Wilson....

As reported in the UT today, yesterday's unveiling of a statue in honor of Pete Wilson here in San Diego was greeted by several hundered protesters. Who were there, to remind the attendees at the ceremony, that San Diego's once "boy mayor" grew up to serve an indistinguished stint in the U.S. Senate, followed by an ignoble tenure as governor during the 1990s.

Wanted: A San Diego Mayor with Integrity

Mayor Jerry Sanders ran for office as a former San Diego police chief saying he would clean up the city government. He said he would be different then the last two San Diego mayors. His tenure would be marked with an open and transparent government, it would be run by the people and not by the special interest, it would be non-partisan and he would not raise taxes. He would set us back on sail to where we all wanted the city to go.

However, along the way Sanders lost his way and his government has been the complete opposite. Instead it has been marked with secrecy, special interests deals, partisanship fighting, tax increases and distrust. It seems like Mayor Sanders' choose to emulate President Bush running as a uniter, but becoming a divider.

Since his swearing in ceremony over 2-1/2 years ago, Sanders has held closed door special interest secret handshake meetings on behalf of developers. Remember the downtown development impact "fees" and the Sunroad deal.

He moved to raised our taxes. Remember he said at his opening ceremony he would raise our water taxes. However when he was called out he backed down. However, he has come back with selling it as a fee increase. I don't buy the arguement it is a fee and not a tax. When the government charges a taxpayer money it is a tax and when a company charges a customer money it is a fee. End of story. He has fought with almost all the city's elected.

In addition, Sanders has been caught raising large sums of money and coordinating a non-candidate campaign fund with no cause yet, just collecting campaign donations. Lets say pay to play, because the people contributing are the same people making money hand over fist from Sanders so called reforming government. Let Donna Frye raise money this way and people from Sanders camp would be on the war path. Shouldn't there be more questions by citizens and the media?

When Sanders or his staff is caught red handed they pull the old deny, deny, deny, make counter accusations and then continue to deny. When it does not work, then someone eventually disappears from his staff. By now he has lost almost all his top non-political staff.

Lets make the argument that Jerry Sanders might had entered the race as a kind man wanting to change San Diego for the better. So, today regardless of what he was when he ran today he is either guilty of the same mishandling of our city as the last two mayors or he is over his head and can't understand his own position or lastly he is dimbwitted and lets his political hacks pull his strings. Regardless it seems his tenure is the Wizard of Oz story. He you want to believe in fairy tales, then don't look behind the curtain, because you might be afraid of what you see.

San Diego deserves better, they deserve someone with integrity, they deserve someone how will re-set our sail and make us again America's Finest City. If you know that type of person, there is a seat to be filled next year as Mayor of San Diego.