Saturday, September 22, 2007
Despite the best efforts of activists to show their continued support for KLSD, it appears that AM 1360 will become an all sports station within the next couple of weeks. As for the progressive talk format and Air America radio here in San Diego, it doesn't appear that right now it is going to move to another station.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Now, I'm not one to quibble with the research that Media Matters has done regarding op-ed pages, but I can tell you that when it comes to covering local stories pertaining to any number of progressive issues, the UT has a decisive conservative slant. Don't believe me, then ask any number of local Democratic candidates who have sat down with the editorial board regarding endorsements.
Also at Calitics
The point of this posting is at this conference it seems the extremes of the Republican Party got another major dose of reality. Republican Stephen M. Kinney, a pollster with Public Opinion Strategies told the crowd that the Republican Party is no longer in line with mainstream America. He said across the board, except in one area mainstream American views the Democratic Party in a greater light, including holding down government spending. The only area where mainstream America has a higher regard for Republicans, this is a kicker, get this, morality. Yes, total shocker...
Even Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's gets that his own party is out of touch with reality, which is why he is doing this whole post partisan political thing and beating them up. Read the Sacramento Bee article about his speech a few weeks back.
So, the next time you see a Republican, please give them a big hug, because they really do need it!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
I guess some people are still unhappy with Kevin Faulconer's flip flop on an alcohol ban on at the beach.
VOSD also mentions that Mr. Gentry is most likely a Republican since he has contributed this year to the San Diego County GOP. [Link] I asked a friend of mine last night to check the voter file and it does appear Mr. Gentry is a registered Republican. So, I suspect that he’ll be receiving checks soon for the Spanos family soon.
It will be interesting to see who else decides to join the race for City Attorney. The name I keep hearing is that of former superintendent of San Diego City Schools and current member of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority Alan Bersin is considering a run for City Attorney.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Weatherman Loren Nancarrow grabbed a protestor shouting "10Newsunfair.com," and threw him towards the bay.
From what I have heard, the Harbor Police were called out. They issued a citation to Nancarrow for battery.
The behind the camera workers at Channel 10 have been fighting for a fair contract for more than two years. The station, which had operated under a fair contract for 52 years since KGTV's inception, is refusing to negotiate in good faith.
This is my sixth essay for 2007 and I’m departing from my essays on the 2007-08 Budget to write about the plan to dismantle the enforcement abilities of the Fair Employment and Housing Commission by the Schwarzenegger administration. As you read this essay, the Commission is scheduled to meet to approve a comprehensive and destructive plan put forth by Secretary of Consumer Affairs Rosario Marin.
Visit my website at www.sen.ca.gov/kuehl to read my previous essays. For those of you who received this essay by forwarding, it is written by California State Senator Sheila Kuehl. If you wish to subscribe to receive these essays on a continuing basis, (no charge), please send an e-mail to Sheila.Kuehl@sen.ca.gov, titled “subscribe”.
Enforcement of all State Civil Rights Laws
The Commission is entrusted with the enforcement of all the various civil rights laws in the state. Employees, renters, home buyers, and consumers of all types are protected against discrimination in several of California’s statutes. These laws are nothing but empty shells without the enforcement provided by the opportunity to go to the Fair Employment and Housing Commission for enforcement. Cases filed with the Commission are heard by a panel of Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) specifically trained and assigned for these duties.
Moving the Commission Staff and Doing Away With Judges
Secretary Marin has decided, in order to save such a miniscule amount of money it would be referred to as “budget dust”, to move the Commission staff to Sacramento and do away with the cadre of ALJs who hear the cases. Instead, she will throw all these cases to the more general Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), a catchall for the enforcement of all general laws.
Why This Change is Bad for Civil Rights Enforcement
A little history......in 1992, with the support of Pete Wilson’s administration, the Legislature specifically authorized the Commission to hire its own ALJs. This was done because the OAH, which had been hearing cases and which Secretary Marin and the Schwarzenegger administration want to put back in charge, had proven to be both uneconomical and inexpedient, not to mention highly ineffective, because the legal staff of the Fair Employment and Housing Commission had been required to revise and rewrite over 90% of all OAH decisions in this area as incorrect on both the law and Commission policy. At the time the Legislature found it shocking that hearing officers knew so little about the area and wrote such ill-informed opinions. One decision would have overruled the Commission’s own regulations. Another allowed an employer to ban all women from his workplace.
The Advent of ALJs for Civil Rights
After the establishment of specific ALJs for these cases, the Commission, over the years this has been in place, has approved 92% of all decisions. This has saved quite a bit of money over the years. During the current Administration, the staff of the Commission, including the legal staff, has been reduced every year, down to a little more than half of what it had been. Even so, the Commission has maintained its workload, as have the ALJs.
Dispute between Schwarzenegger Admin. and FEHC
Secretary Marin has made no secret of her animosity toward the Executive and Legal Affairs Secretary of the Commission, Ann M. Noel. Ms Noel’s major flaw has been her steady insistence on the enforcement of civil rights law, even in the face of great diminution of the staff. The Secretary attempted to replace Ms. Noel with a woman who couldn’t even answer the first question asked of her: “Do you know the difference between FEHA and the ADA?” Answer: “Well, I know one of them is federal.”
The Move is Contrary to Legislative Intent
The Legislature intended that civil rights enforcement be given a high priority and that the staff and ALJs be specifically trained for the adjudications. In moving the office to Sacramento, allegedly to give it more “oversight” and to “save money”, the Administration is dismantling civil rights enforcement in California. Eliminating Commission ALJs and returning to reliance on OAH is a substantial policy change, inefficient and contrary to legislative intent. The move and the diminution of staff would also controvert the goal of expedient drafting of regulations, given that drafting regulations is one of the functions of the ALJs, and there would be only one FEHC staff person available to do these tasks. The Secretary’s office has already overseen a good deal of foot dragging on regulations concerning sexual harassment and the workplace treatment of people with disabilities.
What to Do
A letter was sent to Secretary Marin signed by Senate Pro Temps Perata, Speaker Nunez, myself, and the chairs of Senate Judiciary Committee, Senate Labor Committee, Senate Budget Committee, Assembly Labor Committee, Assembly Judiciary Committee, Assembly Budget Committee, Latino Legislative Caucus, Legislative Black Caucus, API Legislative Caucus and the Legislative LGBT Caucus. So far, there has been no response. If you are concerned, email Secretary Rosario Marin at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Governor’s Cabinet Secretary, Dan Dunmoyer at email@example.com.
The New York Sun runs through the decision:
The ruling could reveal interesting insights or may land with a dull thud once the surrendered documents are reviewed. And while this is a case-specific ruling which does not directly carry precedent, it does mean that legislators in the future will not be able to count on the Speech and Debate clause as definite protection.
Judge Bates said that by sponsoring a bill to federalize the cross, Messrs. Bilbray, Hunter, and Issa opened themselves up to the demand for records. "These members in particular had every reason to suspect that their words and deeds as the Act's sponsors would be the subject of post-enactment scrutiny; they played a high-profile role in the federal government's acquisition of a large Latin cross that had been the subject of extensive prior litigation, made numerous public statements, and boasted of their role in campaign literature," the judge wrote. "This Court's case-specific ruling allowing discovery from these three Members neither works an injustice to them nor opens a proverbial can of worms for legislators generally." Judge Bates's ruling was something of a split decision. He said the legislators were entitled to withhold records pertaining to "legislative acts" but had to disclose records about attempts they made to convince executive branch officials to seize the land by public domain. The judge also said records of contacts with local officials, citizens' groups, and the press might constitute "political activities" that are not protected from subpoena.
Cross posted at Calitics
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Well, don’t worry about Carl he has his own plan for the future, which includes running for the District 5 City Council seat. Let’s just hope that he is not as successful with his next venture as he was with his first.
UPDATE: Monday's CQ reports that bill HR-811 which is scheduled to come to a vote this week in the House is now facing stiff opposition from within the Democratic caucus. The bill would require a paper record for every vote cast nationwide beginning next year. I don't know why this bill is facing opposition from within the caucus?