Saturday, November 24, 2007

More on State GOP fundraising woes

Just to follow-up on the previous post by Adam Smith. The AP article from this afternoon reporting about the state GOPs struggling fundraising mentioned:
At the end of the year the state party will eliminate what is called its county executive director program, which distributed about $260,000 a year among about a dozen counties to assist with fundraising activities and grass-roots organizing. [Link]
While some counties with extension local party organizations like here in San Diego will not be effected. It will be interesting to how these cuts tickle their way down to some of the other fast growing counties in the state and the impact that they might have in next year's election.

George W. Bush is even bad for GOP Fundraising

Whatever you may think of President George W. Bush and Iraq, we all have to admit he has been bad for the GOP. Since his last election, the GOP lost both houses of Congress and now are set up to loss the White House.

It is so bad today that the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) might be closing their fundraising gap to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), but the DSCC still brought in $45.1 million to the $26.3 million by the NRSC. The NRSC is not alone, the National Republican Congressional Committee has raised only $6.1 million to the $13.4 million from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee members.

Now the Union Tribune reported today the California Republican Party is moving forward to slash its most important program, their county fundraising and organizing program. It is reported they were $1.7 million in debt by the end of October. Maybe the Republican Party should look to outsource their party's programs and fundraising, because clearly they can't do it in house very well.

Though you won't read any of this in the Republican blogs.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Friday - Quick Hits

Next phase in the Alcohol Beach ban, opponent and supporters move to put it on ballot. UT

Poway decides to charge homeowners for fire debris removal. City officials don't "want to subsidize insurance companies." UT

Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District ends three year old lawsuit with County over cost of road improvements at Rancho San Diego campus. UT

Golden West Community College, looking to boast revenue is moving forward to lease part of campus for Costco store. LATimes

Thursday, November 22, 2007

More on the Failed Feinstein Censure at last week's CDP meeting

Lucas O'Connor who occasionally posts here at San Diego Politico has a very good piece in the current City Beat recapping the events that transpired in Anaheim.
There were attempts to compromise, however. [John] Hanna, Resolutions Committee member Brian Leubitz and Rules Committee Chair Garry Shay worked behind the scenes to, as Leubitz described, "pass a resolution that would have sent a clear message that Sen. Feinstein needs to work harder to communicate with the
Democratic Party and the base of our party." But pressure from party officials and an uncompromising pro-censure group scuttled any efforts to pass a conciliatory resolution.[Link]
The Feinstein episode in Anaheim is another example of the continuing tension that has been building between grassroots activists and CDP establishment. I'll have more to say on this in a later post.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Open letter to Chairman Art Torres

Via Calitics:

An open letter to Chairman Art Torres, Regarding Party consultant Bob Mulholland's published insults

Dear Chairman Torres,

I am writing out of deep concern over public comments made by a consultant to the California Democratic Party.

You are likely aware that I co-authored and submitted the resolution to censure Senator Dianne Feinstein. Just after the close of this weekend's Executive Board General Assembly, I was made aware of an article regarding this resolution, which appeared in the November 16 issue of the newspaper The Guardian. It contained the following reference to Bob Mulholland, identifying him as "a campaign adviser to California Democrats.":

Mulholland blasted the bloggers and activists supporting the censure resolution as "fringe" and "pre-nursing home". "The Democratic party's purpose is to remind armchair activists that the duty is to elect a Democrat to the White House so we can end the Iraq mess", he said. "Nothing should get in the way of that." (Emphasis mine)

I hope you observed enough of my actions this weekend, speaking seriously and politely on issues of life and death (including my successful effort on a resolution to return the California National Guard from Iraq), to know that reports that I am ready for the "nursing home" are greatly exaggerated. More importantly, while you and I might have different opinions on the value of the censure resolution, you must agree that I was given a great responsibility in being asked to advance and represent this weighty topic. In fact, I felt honored to be selected as point person for this by the Co-Chairs of the Progressive Caucus (The Party's second largest caucus, its more than 1,000 members alone represent a major fraction of the Party's 3,000 delegates- decidedly not "fringe".) The resolution of censure was endorsed by that caucus, as well as by the Women's Caucus, the Irish-American Caucus, and by the members or executive boards of dozens of chartered Democratic clubs, County Central Committees and activist groups- not to mention over 30,000 citizens who took the trouble to individually sign on for censure.

It's one thing for Mr. Mulholland to wishfully dismiss such numbers as fringe; it's quite another for him to so grievously insult the loyal Party Executive Board representatives and delegates who were exercising their rights within our bylaws.

I've worked closely with many of these Party members- at phone banks, on bus trips to get out the vote in Arizona, etc. We've organized major efforts to protect the vote and the environment. I doubt that the featured speakers of the Election Protection forum that I initiated, including Rep. Maxine Waters, now-Secretary of State Debra Bowen, and Stephen Rohde (past President of the ACLU of Southern California), would call me an "armchair activist". Nor would the other volunteers at Ohio Democratic HQ in 2004. You also saw Dr. Jo Olson address the Assembly on her successful resolution for single payer health care; Susie Shannon, who spoke of her tireless efforts as an advocate against poverty; and Marcy Winograd, who authored the language of the Party's new resolution on voting systems. These three were all early endorsers of the resolution to make Senator Feinstein adhere to core Party principles; they are not armchair activists.

I shouldn't have to prove the bona fides of these Party members. But even if Mr. Mulholland's comments referred only to unaffiliated activists and bloggers, our Party consultant has ridiculed and insulted the national leaders and all the members of MoveOn, Progressive Democrats of America, the Courage Campaign, and the many other groups who endorsed this censure of Senator Feinstein. As if that wasn't enough, Mr. Mulholland also managed to insult the elderly.

The situation begs the question, why did Bob Mulholland say this? Was he ordered to say such things? Or was this just his usual M.O., as profiled in another Guardian article, which began: "Bob Mulholland is the US Democrats' leading dirty trickster." Regardless, I wish to state, on behalf of all the good people I may claim to represent, that his language is unacceptable. Given the Party's recent resolution on decorum, these inappropriate, insulting comments from a Party mouthpiece are especially ironic, and should have the Party leading the charge to rectify this situation.

Allow me to note that, besides believing that our elected (and endorsed) Democrats should be held accountable to Party principles, I believe their frequent failure to represent public and constituent sentiment is our Party's greatest problem. I've been asked, Wouldn't censure give the Republicans ammunition to use against us? I reply that no one could do more to lower our Congressional ratings than the Party has already done itself, by its failure to stand up to Bush- especially on civil liberties and Iraq. Chairman, if you want to get out the vote, start with the fact that we give people very little reason to register or vote Democratic; that factor trumps a million phone banks. Perhaps you've never seen emails from those saying that votes such as Senator Feinstein's vote for Mukasey have forever sundered them from the Democrats.

The Party's strategy of supporting Democrats - no matter what - is killing us. Likewise, the demonization of those who disagree with the Party line, as exhibited by Bob Mulholland, is counterproductive. I believe the CDP should seriously reconsider the face it presents to the public, and its policy of paying Bob Mulholland to be our
advisor and frequent spokesperson. His vision, and the Party's reflex action to circle the wagons, may win individual election battles, but it's losing the wider war. At the least, he - and the Party - owe a lot of good people a very serious public apology.

Respectfully yours,
Michael Jay
Delegate, 42nd AD

Feinstein censure killed; Courage Campaign camera blocked

The following video was produced by the Courage Campaign regarding last weekend's events at the CDP E-board. In my opinion, this fight over the DiFi censure resolution at the E-board meeting, is the opening skirmishes in the battle for who is going to be the next Chair of the CDP.

Wednesday - Quick Hits

City Council approves an emergency plan to demolish three Mt. Soledad homes in order to repair the road. UT

Should have built it right in the first place. FAA notified Sunroad that their building in no longer a flight hazzard. UT

Credit crunch, caused by housing meltdown may hinder the sale of the La Valencia Hotel. UT

City Council affirms Alcohol Beach Ban. Set to take a effect by December 20. UT

Get your legal briefs ready. City to seek third waiver for Pt. Loma treatment plant. UT

From the area of the ridiculous. Court says county doesn't have to pay for hospital costs of detainees that have been arrested but not booked or arrained. NCTimes

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Vacant Houses in the Inland Empire create new problems

As the real estate recession continues to worsens, just up the I-15 in the Inland Empire officials are deals with a new set of problems.

Foreclosed homes all over the Inland Empire are turning into what Lisa Carvalho calls "trash-outs" - wooden and stucco carcasses with piles of junk left behind by former tenants.

In the big picture, the Riverside-San Bernardino area ranked No. 3 in the United States on the home-foreclosure chart for metro areas, according to a Wednesday report by RealtyTrac, a real-estate data company in Irvine. There were more than 20,600 foreclosure filings during the third quarter of this year, it stated.[Link]

Even more interesting is what is happening on the other side of the Tehachpis:

The High Desert offers even more interesting tales.

The area is full of tract homes in subdivisions that have stacks of furniture piled inside every room, she said.

"These typically look like they're occupied, but they're not trashed," she said about these homes. "(The owners) just walk away and wash their hands of it."[Link]

Run Jackie Run!

It appears that popular State Senator Jackie Speier is close to announcing a primary challenge to Congressman Tom Lantos who represents the 12th Congressional district.[Link] Lantos who has served for 13 terms in Congress and is 80 years old, has been one of the most hawkish members of the California Democratic delegation when it has come to this disaster that is Iraq. So I say, Run Jackie Run!

Tuesday - Quick Hits

City Council passes one ordinance directed at "Mini-dorms" but doesn't pass a second ordinance aimed at limiting the number of tenants. UT

Gentrification of roadway deemed a success after first day being open. UT

As the only major city in California that doesn't charge single family residences for garbage and recycling pickup, city faces revenue short fall as it implements new recycling ordinances. UT

The I.R.S. may have some money for you. UT

Severe water shortages loom on the horizon. NCTimes

Goal-setting divides school board. VOSD

State Bar Investigating Aguirre

Per the U-T, City Attorney Mike Aguirre is being investigated by the California Bar Association. Several former colleagues and employees have been contacted regarding a range of issues, though no formal charges appear to be in the immediate offing. The broad focus of the investigation seems to be Aguirre's motivations in various legal matters, but it's unclear what specifically is motivating the interviews.

As long as this remains in "wait and see" territory, this is the takeaway quote:

Given Aguirre's high-profile position as a public figure, it is almost inevitable that people who disagree with his approach will be tempted to accuse him of misconduct and report him to the bar, said [San Diego lawyer David] Carr, the former bar prosecutor.

"If there weren't complaints, something would be strange," Carr said.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Marketing Progressivism

The Center for American Progress together with Glaser Progress Foundation has launched an Awareness Campaign to increase the public awareness of the historic role progressivism has played in American History. As part of this awareness campaign there are four television commericals that they are test marketing to "explain the progressive movement's core values and policy ideas, its historical accomplishments, and its philosophical differences with conservatives." [Link] Below are the four television commericals ranked in the order of how I liked them.

San Diego a dream place to live but....

In yesterday's UT, business reporter Dean Calbreath had must read column regarding the cost of housing here in San Diego county. What Calbreath stated was that while San Diego county may be a dream place to live, there just don't exists the kind of dream jobs that are bringing people to San Diego. The affordability of housing here in the county is forcing people to move away. In fact, the lack of good quality paying jobs combined with the skyrocketing housing prices earlier in the decade has already lead to a net loss of over 130,000 people from the county over the last six years.[Link] This fact alone should be troubling to local electeds. For if this trend was to increase and continue it could have dire consequences for the area. If you don't believe me, try sometime visiting Michigan or Ohio.

Monday - Quick Hits

The Republican initiative to thart the popular will of California's voters is nearing enough signatures to qualify for June ballot. UT

Cal Fire report from October's fires strangely quiet on providing details to why the military aircraft were grounded. UT

Council to consider stricker "Mini-Dorm" ordiance today. UT

Home forclosures auction reveals the depth of housing crisis. NC Times

Former CV mayor Steve Padilla set the record straight regarding CV's budget mess. La Prensa

Frustrated Charger fans can go to this site to vent: