Saturday, October 13, 2007

KLSD Update

It is being reported at that KLSD will drop its progressive talk format beginning November 1st. The new station will be called Xrta 1360 Sports.

As for the progressive talk format, it seems that the nationally syndicated Ed Schultz and Randi Rhodes, and other Air America programming might end up on a local FM station that broadcasts in HDRadio. As for the Stacy Taylor there is no word on if he stays on the air. [Link]

Another Update:

Here is the link to Jay Posner's story in the UT this morning reporting the switch in programming at 1360.

Councilwoman Donna Fyre joins the Fight to Save KLSD

Friday morning, the grassroots group SaveKLSD held their biggest rally yet in support of KLSD/AM 1360 progressive talk radio, just before an expected format change decision by owner Clear Channel. San Diego City Council Member Donna Frye and San Diego City Attorney Mike Aguirre energized the crowd with their championship of KLSD and the need for our community to have diverse viewpoints on the publicly owned airwaves.

The event kicked off at 6:30 a.m., near Clear Channel’s office in the Kearny Mesa area of San Diego. Shortly after eight o’clock, bagpiper Chip Hatch led hundreds of people to Clear Channel’s parking lot, where participants rallied as The Stacy Taylor Show aired live from the studio inside. Callers to the show who expressed their support for KLSD included Reverend Madison Shockley of Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Carlsbad; Donald Cohen, director of the Center on Policy Initiatives. After the show, Stacy Taylor thanked supporters and program director Cliff Albert addressed the crowd, but made no definitive announcements about the fate of KLSD’s progressive talk format.

KLSD has been in limbo since August, when news hit of a possible format change. Within days, listeners formed SaveKLSD ( and held a rally attended by about 500 people. Since then, thousands of people have signed an online petition to save KLSD, and Clear Channel has been inundated with email urging it to keep the progressive talk format. Sources say KLSD’s format may change to sports talk, even though San Diego already has several sports talk stations. In addition, San Diego has plenty of conservative radio programming, but none from a progressive political point-of-view.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Congressman Bilbray our Children deserve Healthcare!

Click here to open rally notice: [Link]

California's children need your help.

The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) re-authorization bill was vetoed by President George W. Bush after it was passed by Congress. SCHIP provides health insurance for millions of low-income children and helps fund the Healthy Families program. Without SCHIP, our children many not get the healthcare they need.

SCHIP can still be saved...with your help. SEIU Local 221 and our allies are holding a rally outside the office of San Diego-area Congressman Brian Bilbray, who voted against the SCHIP bill. Congress needs a two-third majority vote to override the President's veto. Congressman Bilbray's vote will be essential to overriding the President's veto and saving SCHIP.

Come show Congressman Bilbray that funding for our children's healthcare is worth saving!

When: Tuesday, October 16th, 2007
Time: 12:00 p.m.
Where: Office of Congressman Brian Bilbray
462 Stevens Avenue, Suite 107
Solana Beach, CA 92075

For more information about this event, please contact Carlos Marquez (Government & Community Relations Representative) at (858) 560-0151 x 244

SEIU Local 221
4004 Kearny Mesa Road
San Diego, CA 92111

Worst still to come...

Someone, I work with sent me this graph from Mathew Padilla's Mortgage Insider blog in the OC Register. He quotes a BofA Analyst: that the mortgage correction just "tip of the iceberg" Unfortunately, most of the people who are going to be impacted by this are already struggling to make it.

Warning: Water Carrier Alert!

Over at VOSD today, John Nienstedt from Competitive Edge Research is doing his best job to carry the water for the downtown establishment while hosting Cafe San Diego. He has proposed four simple solutions to end what he calls Short-Timer Syndrome. His suggestions are as follows:

1. Get rid of term limits
2. Raise campaign contribution limits
3. Increase the mayor's veto power
4. Return to citywide runoff elections for council members (This one is my favorite!)

Why is it that among some in the downtown establishment they think that just over the hill there is civic paradise awaiting us, if only we returned to citywide elections for council members?
Now, I'm not saying that council members elected by district are not without their problems. Too often NIMBYism is wrapped in disguise of individual district concerns. But here is a reality check for the all proponents of citywide elections. During the era of citywide elected council members, we got Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Penasquitos, Mira Mesa, and North City West, just to name a few areas sprawl development without any serious forethought regarding infrastructure and services. Going back to citywide election for council mebers won't solve the city's problems. It is leadership that will solve the city's problems, something this mayor is seriously lacking.

Sick of Republicans? Cancel your UT subscription.

A friend of mine just called and gave me a great idea. If there ever was a doubt that the editorial board of the Union Tribune and the Republican Party were in bed together, this week's orchestrated attack on Aguirre should make it clear. Those of us who have been around long enough, have seen it played over in every election. The editorial endorsements read word for word like a Republican hit piece: the Democratic candidate is in the pocket of big labor and the Republican candidate would bring "reform" and business acumen to the office. Well, if you are fed up with the UT's right-wing, pro-developer, anti-working people, anti-environment slant, cancel your subscription. Since their circulation numbers have fallen dramatically in the last few years, every canceled subscription can actually hurt them. To make it easier, here is the contact information for subscription services:

General Inquiries & Customer Service Phone: (619) 299-3131 or (800) 244-6397

Also posted at Calitics.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Did I Just See That? Am I Drunk?!?!

Minutes ago, NBC 7/39 ran a story on a new designated driver program that bar owners in Pacific Beach will be starting. Right after a bar owner stated that bartenders will proactively seek DDs, and offer them free food and non-alcoholic beverages, our favorite opportunistic councilman popped up on my TV screen.

Neither the video nor the story on the station's Web site mentioned the City having a part in the program, which is a partnership with San Diego State. Despite this, District 2 City Councilman Kevin Faulconer was right there to bask in the glow of something actually being done to stop the alcohol problems in PB.

Kevin, good to see you are attempting to take credit for this one.

By the way, it only took a brawl for him to look at the problem of alcohol on the beach, but people actually dying in PB due to drunk driving isn't enough for him to actually come up with a solution.

Bigger than Manhattan!

Via Daily Kos: The following link takes you to an interesting graph showing the total worldwide square footage for fast food restaurants and chain stores. Naturally, Wal-Mart by a wide margin has more square footage than anyone else, but what is really disturbing is that Wal-Mart's total acreage is 20% larger than Manhattan. Check out the graph to see it for yourself. And thanks to Donna Frye for her flip-flop back in July on the Big Box ordinance, San Diego may soon be adding to that square footage total for Wal-Mart.

Where's the Party?

Is it just me, or is the attack on Mike Aguirre by the Republican Party going unanswered by the Democrats? The one, two sucker-punch thrown by the UT Editorial Board and the Republican Party yesterday, alleging Aguirre violated a portion of the City Charter that has been found unconstitutional, seems to be calling out for an official response from OUR party. But, if you listen closely... you hear absolutely nothing. So, does anyone know...where's the Party?

Quick to Recommend: An Overview of the Mayor's Charter Review Committee

Somehow, in a six month period a committee put together by the Mayor has been able to go through the San Diego city charter, while not only actively listening to the public for their input, but hearing from all experts on the subject, and being completely objective without any allegiance to their clients (a couple of the committee members are lobbyists that have corporate clients, including Sunroad). It is quite an accomplishment. Well, that is at least what they want the people to believe. Instead, the process illustrates that the agenda was carved out from the get-go by the Mayor's staff before the committee even sat down for the first meeting.

The committee did not stray from the path. The Mayor's Charter Review Committee's finalized recommendations will be discussed at the October 24th meeting of the San Diego City Council Rules Committee. The draft report of their recommendations can be found here. The Mayor's committee plan is to put these initiatives on the June 2008 ballot. The issues include: the creation of three additional city council seats, making the strong-mayor form of government permanent, increasing the mayor's veto power with a two-thirds majority of 8 council members in order to override a veto, making the Mayor executive director of the Redevelopment Agency and the ability to make nominations to the Port District.

It is pretty obvious that this is just a power grab by our city's Mayor. The committee has done its part, so it will be up to the "spin doctors" to market these changes as "necessary" and "vital" for our city. I am sure that they will be warming up in the bullpen in the next month or so and given the Mayor's special fund of over $111,000 that Voice of San Diego (VOSD) exposed in this article, they will not be hurt by a salary cap. Hopefully, the public is able to figure out the real motives behind these changes, and realize that the veto issue for example, has not been such a major problem for the Mayor, let alone the residents of San Diego.

In addition, here are a couple of recent articles that give an overview of the committee's decisions and go into detail about the backroom style of this committee:

San Diego's backroom 'reform'L.A. Times Op-ed by Steve Erie and Norma Damasheka
What a Super-Size City Council Would Look Like VOSD's Evan McLaughlin
Charter Suggestions Move Forward VOSD's quick overview

Monday, October 8, 2007

Fighting Mercenaries in Our Own Backyard

Local activists jumped into carpools and showed up en masse in the rural town of Potrero this weekend. Beautiful and secluded, this wide open space is a picture of peace and tranquility. The township of Potrero, CA, has a population of 600. This sleepy little town seems an unlikely place for a peace rally, and an even more unlikely place for the residents to have to confront Bush's private army. Potrero is the site chosen by Blackwater to open up it's west coast training facility on an 824 acre ranch. [Link]

The residents of Potrero, along with several peace and social justice groups, organized a two day event to educate and illuminate. During the two day encampment event, close to 300 people participated in workshops, a night-time concert with local musicians, and an environmental walk. By Sunday, when many more of us arrived, this quiet little town was packed with media, from CNN, to all the local network affiliates.

Rep. Bob Filner was one of many speakers at the rally. He will introduce a bill in Congress, calling for all military training to be conducted on military bases only. At the conclusion of the rally, the culminating event was a march to the gate of the proposed Blackwater West facility. Blackwater mercenaries were out and about. They were trying their best to look menacing, filming us, and in general being the bad neighbor that they said they weren't going to be.

Residents of Potrero were very grateful to see the show of support from so many San Diegans. To learn more about Blackwater, see Blackwater: Shadow Army by Jeremy Scahill.

To take action, check out Courage Campaign. [Link]

Back in Town

After leaving town for a few days, I came back yesterday to see San Diego was literally crashing in on itself. I saw the national news coverage of the La Jolla landslide, but missed the internal politics. Seems that Mike Aguirre may have given the insiders (the Mayor, the UT, the downtown establishments) enough fodder to make him look like he has gone off the deep end. That, combined with the ugly UT story yesterday pointing out the cost of his pension lawsuits, marks the official start of the "Anyone But Mike" campaign. We Dems need to be careful and start looking for a real Dem candidate (read: NOT Alan Bersin), in case Mike really is in trouble or decides to run for Mayor.

Some pieces of gossip I picked up this morning:

1. New names being floated among Dem circles for Mayor of San Diego: Scott Peters and Bob Filner. Both are intriguing, but have some serious negatives. I heard both were being floated in circles at the San Diego Democratic Club Dinner this weekend. The beauty is, with Francis and Sanders duking it out, whoever the Dem candidate ends up being, s/he almost guarantees themselves a spot in the November run-off. In a Presidential year, you gotta believe a Dem has a great shot at pulling it out against whatever bloodied Republican makes in into the general. So, who is going to stand up and make it official?

2. I had a friend e-mail me about the Labor Council's Candidate training this past Saturday. I guess there were quite a few Republicans who came out for the pre-endorsement meeting. That should be interesting. Are we going to have Republicans looking for favor with the unions this go around? I guess appearing mainstream must poll well.

3. It looks like there will definitely be two viable Republicans running in San Diego City Council District 1 (Scott Peters is termed out). Lincoln Club endorsed candidate - Phil Thalheimer is facing opposition from millionaire-Republican Marshall Merrifield. This means Sherry Lightner may be able to get into the run-off just by being the Democrat in this swing district. Not an exciting candidate, Lightner lacks the polish you would want from a candidate in that district. But, I hear she has a substantial following in La Jolla and is willing to spend her own money. We will see, but it looks like another likely November showdown.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Duncan channels B-1 Bob Dornan

Via Brad Blog: During the Republican Presidential debate at Morgan State University back on September 27th, you know the debate that the top four leading Republican Presidential candidates were too busy to attend. Our very own Duncan Hunter did his best to channel B-1 Bob Dornan. In response to the following question from Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Recently a push to give the District of Columbia voting representation was defeated because of heavy Republican opposition. In addition many voting rights advocates are worried about rigid voter ID laws which require photo ID like a drivers license. Are you concerned that some eligible voters will be denied theright to vote simply because they don't have a drivers license?[Link]

Representative Hunter's response was pretty pretty standard wingnut fare:

On the issue of allowing...mandating some type of ID, you know the first twenty-one black Congressmen were Republicans who came out of the South. And they went into a series, they went into a series of poll taxes and, and all types of...all types that the Democrats, roadblocks that the Democrats put in their place to keep them from voting. So I don't, I don't agree with those types of stumbling blocks. But I would say this: We have right now a real danger of people that are illegally in the country being rounded up, herded into the polls --- we've seen that in California --- voting illegally. That disenfranchises everybody in that community. I think you have to have some IDs.[Link]

Wow, I never knew I could feel nostalgic for B-1 Bob and all of his crazy statements.

UPDATE: Here is the YouTube clip from the debate.