Saturday, January 19, 2008

What's Going on in the 78th?

For the past couple of weeks there have been rumors swirling around that former 78th Democratic Assembly candidate from 2006, Maxine Sherard was considering another run for the seat. It seems these rumors are true.

Yesterday, I received an email from a friend who checked at the ROV and confirmed that Maxine Sherard has pulled papers to run. My friend also heard from a local printer that she had recently had printed personal cards listing her as a candidate for assembly.

Late this afternoon, I received an email from a South Bay Democratic activist confirming that Sherard has indeed pulled papers and is intent on running again. According to this person, she believes that since she has already been the Democratic nominee, her name recognition is good enough for her to win the primary.

On a final note, Arlie Ricasa has yet to pulled papers. She still has plenty of time to file to run, but one has to consider if she is having second thoughts about running.

Marti Emerald for Mayor?

I have had a number of people tell me that the polling on the District 7 April Boling / Marti Emerald Race was incredible. Apparently, Marti's name ID and favorables are higher than Mayor Sanders in this right-leaning district. Head-to-head April doesn't have a chance, unless Marti commits murder between now and election day. I hear that there are even some even considering asking her to abandon the 7th and run for Mayor instead. Wouldn't that shake up the Mayor's race?

Friday, January 18, 2008

City Atty. Race: WTF?

With Councilmember Brian Maienschein throwing his hat into the ring for City Attorney I can only ask the obvious; “Why?” Does he really think he stands a chance in this field?

Here are my thoughts on why he’s doing this:

1) Mike supporters are mostly Republican.
I base this bit of conjecture on the fact that if the Republicans were anti-Mike, their instinctive attraction to order would link them to a single candidate to carry the day. That doesn’t seem to be the case otherwise they wouldn’t have so much trouble fielding a candidate. Look, if you have unified party behind you in San Diego, you win, especially on the Republican side because at least they vote. The fact that people are shying away from this tells me there is more going on below the surface and the most obvious “candidate” is that Mike pulls from the Republicans in such a high number that, short of the Democrats endorsing him, they can’t make a partisan appeal.

So a more moderate influence is needed. Enter Brian betting, correctly I think, that his name recognition is higher in the City than Jan’s and, even if Mike pounds him into the sand, he can say he fought the good fight and stood up when none else did

2) Brian needs a job.
Our termed out councilman needs something to hang his hat on because the last thing legislators want to be is termed out. You lose the taxpayer paid staff, you’re not treated “special” and you don’t have access to the money chambers you once did. And the last thing anybody who was (they think) somebody wants to become is a nobody.

At minimum, by being a pain in Goldsmith’s hide he can burnish his credentials in being the anti-Goldsmith, whatever that becomes, as the race progresses. Any press is good press.

3) This is what happens when you’re in a city filled with big mouths and no guts.
A constant refrain from this race is the Aguirre needs to go, but those who would publicly say so or act towards this refuse to because they’re afraid of him. Last time I checked, I thought we lived in America where you could say what you wanted. Oops! I’m in San Diego where speaking your mind is a no-no unless approved from the oligarchs that run the city.

I’m overstating the case here but the point is that this race, like many others, will attract the second stringers and has-beens unless those who can make difference dare speak out for what they believe. Short of that, San Diegans deserve what they’ll get: four more years of Sanders and Aguirre.

Because if this race were to be taken seriously, Brain wouldn’t have dreamed of entering.

Friday - Quick Hits

Three hour long fire fight between law enforcement and drug cartels in Tijuana leaves six dead. UT

Misconduct at San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant has led to five employees fired and two others disciplined. UT

Governor visits town yesterday to explain, how his mismanagement of state budget now needs to be slashed. UT

Local GOP not too happy with Maienschein's entry into city attorney race. UT

Continuing to investigate City Attorney Aguirre, State bar has issued subpoenas in its investigation. UT

City on Encinitas has decided to purchase iconic boat houses. UT

If it passes a safety check, Sprinter rail service could start on Jan 27. UT

State Sen. Kehoe has requested that the Public Utilities Commission hold a public hearing regarding Sunrise Powerlink in the City of San Diego. NC Times

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Debra Bowen 1 : County of San Diego 0

This afternoon a Superior Court judge tentatively ruled on behalf of Secretary of State Debra Bowen rejecting the lawsuit brought by the County of San Diego. The county brought suit against the Secretary of State, claiming that the office didn't have the authority to require a 10% hand count of ballot in elections were the winner wins by 1/2 percent or less. The judge in expected to announce the final ruling early next week.[Link]

Thursday - Quick Hits

NIMBYism at is finest, proposed Rose Canyon bridge continues to generate controversy. UT

The process to find a permanent homeless shelter downtown, begins this afternoon with city council committee hearing. UT

Chula Vista residents to decided in November on whether city attorney should become an elected office. UT

City of Oceanside advances plans for luxury beach front hotel. UT

Mayors from 10 Southrern California cities meet to discuss water problems, but fail to come to a consensus. NC Times

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Now Maienschein for City Attorney!

The VOSD is reporting tonight that district-5 councilman Brian Maienschein is going to run for city attorney.[Link] This comes the same week that William Gentry dropped out of the race.

Duncan Hunter to Soldier on to Republican Convention

With his quixotic campaign for the Republican nomination only receiving on 1.3% of Republican primary voters to date, Duncan Hunter continues to fight on.[Link] So far Hunter has collected just one delegate, far short of the 1191 needed to obtain the nomination.[Link] He might want to step up the campaign if he wants to win the nomination.

Schwarzenegger Says: Toll Road Good for the Environment

Today, Governor Schwarzenegger has decided to end his neutral stance regarding the controversial Foothills South tollway project. In a letter to the Coastal Commission the governor states, "I have concluded that this project is essential to protect our environment and the quality of life for everyone in California,." he further claims, "[t]he project can be built in a manner that will enhance and foster use of the coast and protect coastal resources."[Link]

Schwarzenegger's position regarding the protection of San Onofre State Beach should come as no surprise here. It was just last week the governor proposed closing 48 state parks as part of his plan to balance the state budget.[Link] This governor like to talk about the environment, but it actually comes to action his ring hollow.

Cross-posted at Calitics

Bush to Marine Mammals: Screw You!

In another act of political courage, Mr 32% approval rating has signed an exemption for the U.S. Navy to continue active sonar training off the coast of southern California.[Link] The use of active sonar, is considered dangerous to marine mammals.[Link]

Wednesday - Quick Hits

It is official, Steve Francis announces his candidacy for mayor. UT VOSD

One-year long Alcohol Ban goes begins on city beaches. UT

Demolition of UCSD Chancellor's House has had another setup back. UT

Another high-ranking Tijuana police official and his family have been killed. UT

Continuing signs of housing crisis, foreclosures in county increase 328% from year before. NC Times

Council has settled Mt. Soledad Cross suit, will pay legal fees of activist that brought suit. VOSD

"Green Builders Meet in San Diego" featuring Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi

SoCal Rebuilding Summit

Date: Friday, January 25th, 2008
Time: 8:00am - 5:30pm
Location: San Diego Natural History Museum Balboa Park, 1788 El Prado, San Diego, CA[Map]

Summit: Objective: An improvement in the successful understanding and implementation of structures and sites that are fire resistant, resilient, and appropriate.

Summary: This Summit is about planning, design, construction, operation & maintenance in the context of sustainable development within the built environment and is NOT about fire response/suppression.

KEYNOTES Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council, John Garamendi, Lt. Governor, State of California


OVERVIEW How can we take advantage of the best practice technologies, techniquesand talents to rebuild after Southern California's recent wildfires in asustainable manner?

What conflicting requirements and barriers exist to overcome between fire resistance, codes and green buildings/sustainability?

What new programs, initiatives and organizations are available to addressrebuilding in a manner that allows owners and their design/construct teamsto "rebuild it right the first time?"

Come join government officials, scientists, professionals as well as various stakeholders, planners, and other experts as we explore and resolve how toeffectively address these challenges. An initial work plan will be produced,and a Rebuilding White Paper will accompany this Summit.

UT Continues to Hemorage

Don Bauder reports that Union-Tribune announces 27 more positions to be laidoff and another 18 positions to be outsourced.[Link] Back in December the company announced its desire to eliminate 43 positions from the news room, 29 individuals took the opportunity for a buyout of their positions. If the UT continues to hemorage, at what I wonder will it become and acquisition target by another firm.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tuesday - Quick Hits

City Council unanimously approved mini-dorm ordinance. UT

Better luck next time, attempt to lift Alcohol Beach Ban fall short on valid signatures. UT

Opponents of Fanita Ranch development in Santee miss critical ballot deadline, now take their effort to court. UT

After months of speculation, Steve Francis is going to formally enter the mayor's race today. UT

City Council decided to split charter changes across two elections. UT

Two environmental groups to take California Coastal Commission to court over decision on Carlsbad desal project. UT

Supporters of Prop 92 rallied at Palomar College yesterday. NC Times

Another Living Wage Violation Filed Against City Contractors


What do the janitor for the Carmel Mountain Ranch and Rancho Penasquitos branch libraries, the Kroll Report, cost overruns with outside attorneys and Prudential Overall Supply have in common?


They all highlight the City of San Diego's inability to properly manage its contracts.

For the second time in less than seven months, a Living Wage Ordinance violation has been filed against a company contracted by the City of San Diego.

At this morning's City Council meeting, Kenneth Wells, a janitor employed by Jani-King of California to keep the Carmel Mountain and Rancho Penasquitos branch libraries clean, testified that the company blatantly violated its contract with the City by paying him below the law’s minimum wage.

In a complaint filed with the City’s Purchasing and Contracting Department and the State of California’s Department of Industrial Relations, Wells says the company paid him $2,460.08 below the minimum stated by the law from June 21 to September 30 of last year.

San Diego’s Purchasing and Contracting Department has just one employee working part-time despite a recommendation that it takes five full-time employees to accurately monitor the City’s contracts. The department has struggled to enforce the City’s many contracts since being the first department under Mayor Jerry Sanders’ administration to be “streamlined.”

If the City is unable to enforce a contract on a simple issues such as pay, how can it be depended on to manage the more complex issues in a contract?

"San Diegans for City Hall Reform" Exposed During City Council Charter Changes

At last night's special City Council meeting the truth about the convenient connections between members of the City's Charter Review Committee and the group "San Diegans for City Hall Reform" became a little bit clearer. Though I have written about this issue several times in the past, some other individuals started to do a little digging last night, especially after the two co-chairs of the City's Charter Review Committee spent more time talking about San Diegans for City Hall Reform plans rather than what the Charter Review Committee recommended. John Davies sounded very much like he was making a threat or a challenge to the council to either do what the San Diegans for City Hall Reform want or they will put it on the ballot anyway.

Additionally, the night shed some light as to how many members of the City's Charter Review Committee are also on the group San Diegans for City Hall Reform. Tony Young asked one of the members how many people serve on both and received the answer of 5. Yes, 5 committee members out of the 15 (1/3) that served on the City's Charter Review Committee are on this Independent Expenditure (I.E) group that has over $111,000 in the bank and the Mayor right behind them. How is it possible that the city and media still let this absurdness continue? Clearly the Mayor has some ulterior motives and wants to make a swift power grab.

Though the Council is planning on discussing these issues again at a future meeting, they had some discussion on almost all of the issues and here is a brief overview of the votes:
  • Strong Mayor to be placed on the 2010 Ballot -- Passes Unanimously
  • Adding a 9th city council district if Strong Mayor is made permanent in 2010, it would be placed on the ballot in 2010 -- Passes
  • Expansions of the council 6 out of 9 Veto Override -- Passes 6-1 with district 4 against, but the motion to make the current council Veto Override needing 6 members did not pass - 4-3 with districts 3, 4, and 6 against.
  • CFO, took recommendation of Charter Rev. Comm. -- Passes Unanimously
  • Audit Committee, took recommendations of Charter Rev. Comm. -- Passes 5-2 with districts 4 and 6 against
  • Internal Auditor, took recommendation of Charter Rev. Comm. with slight difference -- Passes 6-1 with district 4 against
  • Salary Setting, took recommendations of Charter Rev. Comm -- Passes 5-2 with districts 4 and 5 against
  • IBA, took recommendations of Charter Rev. Comm -- Passes Unanimously
  • Contract with Emergency Services -- Passes 6-1 with district 4 against
  • Balance Budget -- Passes 6-1 with district 4 against
Ben Hueso was absent from the meeting.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Thoughts on the City Attorney Race

Gentry out
Chalk it up to yet another misfire by the office of Dumanis in her quest for increasing political clout on her ill-advised march to the Attorney Generals office in Sacramento. Gentry seems like a nice guy, but when your own party’s establishments coaxes a judge to leave his cushy gig to take on Mike, you’ve got to smell, if not see, the writing on the wall to bail while you can.

Since when does a sitting City Attorney give a counter State of the City address? Look, I think Mike has done some good and that his heart is in the right place, but when he spends his time playing like he wants to be mayor but lacks the balls to actually run you’ve have to question his motives. Especially given his increasing bipolar behavior in relation to the City Council and Mayor.

I’m developing a soft spot for this guy. He’s everywhere you want to be and he’ll bury you with anti-Mike facts that do check out. The problem is that he goes into “passion mode” and turns into an angry white fanatic who turns people off. He needs to focus and tone it down lest he be tuned out.

Who? Her reasons for running seem to barely pass muster but her motives don’t seem all that pure. In fact, she appears to be more of a front for Jim’s Air and as a siphon for Democratic votes, given how reliable they have been in the past. If you want to keep Brown Field in the background, there are better ways to do this than to send out a sacrificial lamb.

It’s odd, yet wouldn’t be unheard of, for some consultants somewhere launching Burdick at the Dems to bleed Mike but the most ardent Mike supporters, IMHO, are Republicans. He appeals to their kind of crazy. As such, I wish Jan the best of luck. His old Assembly District never offered him the kind of street fight that Mike can bring. And Gentry’s clearing the field doesn’t make this effort any easier. Remember that is always better to take down a bear is said bear is attacked by a pack of wolves rather than a few

Why do moneyed Dems in San Diego think that they must ape their Republican counterparts to be players? I ask the ether of the internet this question because I don’t know of anyone else who is salivating at a Bersin run. The teachers are still (rightfully) pissed and, even though he won’t need a solid Dem bloc to win, he’ll have a hard time convincing the Dems giving the rising power of labor in the city. His resume is one that a consultant would love in that it screams “non-partisan” even though it can be argued that he is a partisan of convenience.

These are my thoughts. (Hand outstretched) What are yours?

Monday - Quick Hits

Steve Francis to make it official, that he is running for mayor tomorrow. VOSD

Still no news on new Superintendent of San Diego Unified, Board will meet again on Thursday. VOSD

National City agrees to increase the pay to consulting firm that is working on new land-use plan for city. UT

D.A. Bonnie Dumanis joins other D.A.s from around country in amicus brief on behalf of D.C. handgun ban. UT

"America's Sheriff" Mike Corona is retiring to focus on his corruption case. UT

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Mayor Attempts Power Grab

Special City Council Meeting
Consideration of the Recommendations of the Charter Review Committee

Monday, January 14, 2008 at 6:00pm
City Administration Building
Council Chambers -- 12th floor
202 C Street

Check out the Mayor's Charter Review Committee Final Proposal here.

President Peter's Recommendations

Take the following action: Receive the recommendations of the Charter Review Committee. Provide direction to draft ballot language for any items to be placed on the June 2008 ballot. Such ballot language and actual placement on the ballot to be voted on at a later City Council meeting.

The recommendations that are being presented will completely change the make-up and the system of checks and balances set up in City Hall. Let your voice be heard!

Click here to see the City Council Agenda for the special session.

Hey CalTrans! What's Next Adopt-A-Highway by the KKK or the Nazi Party?

The UT reported this morning that Caltrans has allowed the neo-racist group the Minutemen to participate in its Adopt-A-Highway road-cleanup program. By coincidence the portion of highway adopted by the Minutemen happens to be along the I-5 near the San Clemente border check.[Link]

I have no idea who the Caltrans official was that granted approval to the Minutemen, but it is obvious to me that they have made a major mistake.

Wingnut Myths

Via Kevin Drum at Washington Monthly Five Conservative Myths:

1. A 30% national sales tax is a workable substitute for all income and payroll taxes in the United States.
2. Global warming is not primarily caused by human activity. In fact, global warming might not even exist.
3. Intelligent design is a viable scientific theory that ought to be taught in biology
4. Even with marginal tax rates at current levels, reducing taxes will increase revenues.
5. Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11.

I would like also like to add another one to the list: Missle Defense Technology will protect us from all rogue states.