Friday, May 2, 2008

Friday - Quick Hits

Class act they are running over there at city hall. City finally releases e-mail from mayor's office containing swears in it. UT

Airport Board approves master plan from Lindbergh Field that includes the building of a 5-story parking garage. UT

Mayoral candidate in Oceanside has an inaccurate list of supporters on his website. UT

Panel endorse county plan to lease three firefighting plans. NCTimes

Filner Calls for City Investigation of Blackwater Contract

From a Press Release dated yesterday

Congressman Bob Filner today requested City of San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders to investigate the permit that Blackwater received as a “vocational trade school.” Filner also asked for Mayor Sanders’ support in preventing Blackwater’s presence in San Diego. Attached is a copy of the letter, which was also sent to all eight San Diego City Council Members and the City Attorney.

Filner wrote, “The secrecy under which Blackwater contracted its facility in Otay Mesa causes great suspicion and distrust among community members in my District. The lack of transparency in their plans forces me to question their intent to develop a ‘vocational trade school.’ Blackwater is a company that profits from war, and they will not hesitate to profit from insecurity in our sensitive border region. Developing a paramilitary training facility, less than one mile from our international border, would send a dangerous message to Mexico and would hurt business and diplomatic relations. A positive relationship with Mexico has never been more critical to our National Security, and we must not take any action that would jeopardize that bond.”

“As you know, Blackwater has been under investigation for the shooting of 17 innocent Iraqi civilians on September 16, 2007. Since this event, Blackwater has been investigated by Congress, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of State. More specifically, Congress filed an investigation of tax, small business and labor law violations,” added Filner. “As a private company hired by the federal government, Blackwater lacks accountability to government agencies. Once in operation, there would be very little or no oversight governing Blackwater’s operations in our border region.”

Congressman Filner concluded, “Blackwater does not exhibit any of the signs of a good neighbor or a productive business partner. We cannot allow a company with their reputation to do business in our community – the cost is too high.”

Blackwater recently announced that they plan to open an indoor training center in Otay Mesa to train Navy personnel. Blackwater will operate a 61,600-square-foot building, including an enclosed shooting range, in a business park on Siempre Viva Road, just south of Brown Field. The building has been permitted for use as a vocational trade school.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Tell Jerry Sanders: Block Blackwater

Full disclosure: I work for the Courage Campaign and cross posted at Calitics

Mayor Jerry Sanders got what he asked for when he was elected in 2005. Not just the office, but unprecedented "strong mayor" control over the city's operation. He's had two and a half years, and as he runs for reelection, we have to ask whether he's lived up to the responsibility.

At a recent debate, Mayor Sanders let his frustration get the best of him over the substance, or perceived lack thereof, in the current campaign. Well if he wants to talk about issues, Blackwater is a good one. Steve Francis, a leading contender for mayor, has accused Jerry Sanders of "presiding over the largest pay-to-play system the city has ever seen." If Mayor Sanders wants to get substantive and prove that the good of the community is is his top priority, it's time he get involved in the absurd permit process that has- thus far- allowed Blackwater to waltz into the city and start unpacking within spitting distance of the border.

Earlier today, Courage Campaign partnered with Jess Durfee, the Chair of the San Diego Democratic Party, to introduce a petition calling on Mayor Sanders to launch a full investigation into the questionable process that's brought Blackwater to the City of San Diego. He asked for this responsibility- he still wants this responsibilty. It's time to deliver.

You can read the email that Jess Durfee sent to Courage Campaign's San Diego members today at the Courage Campaign blog cross post

Senator Max Cleland: "Reporting for Duty"

Please Join U.S. Senator Max Cleland and Navy SEAL Commander (Ret.) Mike Lumpkin for a very special veterans' benefit:
Operation True Blue: Veteran for Veterans

Friday, May 2, 2008
8:00 am - 10:00 am
American Legion Post #282
8118 University Ave., La Mesa, CA 91941
Questions contact Chris Young at 760-525-5071 or

Thursday - Quick Hits

Yeah right! State agency finds no wrong doing in lottery at Liberty Station. UT

Rincon tribe scores big win against governor regarding gaming deal. UT

City council votes to make Redevelopment Division into its own agency. UT

No f-bombs this time, as Mayor Sanders and Steve Francis shake hands following candidate forum. UT

Must be a Republican appointed judge, as he rules in favor of Manchester regarding the Navy Broadway complex. UT

City of Oceanside to decide this month on an operator for its municipal airport. UT

Mayoral race in Oceanside starting to take shape. NCTimes

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wednesday - Quick Hits

Social Justice groups to march on May Day for immigration reform. UT

Political opportunist council member Kevin Faulconer leads group in protest to proposed garage at Lindbergh Field. UT

The GJ's investigation in Sunroad controversy recommends better land use policy and employee training for city. UT

As drug gang war continues in Tijuana, Mexican officials vow combat the violence. UT

In Riverside County foreclosures during Q1 tripled from the number same period last year. UT

Scripps Encinitas is trying to break the nurses union. NCTimes

Carl DeMaio is Unacceptable

From a Press Release dated Monday, April 28, 2008

(San Diego) - The San Diego Democratic Club (SDDC), the chartered Democratic club serving San Diego County's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, announced today that it has rated Carl DeMaio, an openly gay candidate for the San Diego City Council in District Five, as "unacceptable." As the SDDC's lowest possible rating, its use is rare in any election cycle and reserved for candidates that are antithetical to LGBT and progressive rights in San Diego. Its use for a gay candidate is unprecedented in the club's 32-year history.

SDDC President Andrea Villa said that the primary reason for the rating was DeMaio's overwhelming incompatibility as a candidate with the SDDC's mission, which is to elect LGBT and LGBT-friendly Democrats to office. While DeMaio, an openly gay registered Republican who is running for a non-partisan race, was eligible for an "acceptable" rating (the club's highest recommendation for a Republican), he instead earned the lowest possible rating given by the SDDC, that of "unacceptable."

"We have serious questions about whether Carl DeMaio, an openly gay man, will support issues of the most basic importance to his own community if he is elected to the San Diego City Council," Villa stated. "We are especially concerned by the fact that one of his campaign's biggest supporters has bankrolled the latest attempt to permanently prevent Mr DeMaio's own LGBT community from obtaining basic human rights here in California."

DeMaio's first campaign fund raiser was held last year at the home of San Diego developer Doug Manchester and his wife, Elizabeth. Doug and Elizabeth Manchester have donated the maximum amount allowed to DeMaio's city council campaign. This year, Manchester has donated as much as $125,000 to, the political committee that has been collecting signatures to place a proposition on this fall's state ballot that would insert a ban on same-sex marriage into the California constitution.

Last week the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), PlanetOut and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) all canceled events planned to be held at the Manchester Hyatt during San Diego LGBT Pride Week in late July.

"We believe it is telling that these national LGBT rights organizations have so quickly disaffiliated themselves from any dealings, regardless how inadvertent they may have been, with Mr. Manchester - something that Mr. DeMaio, as a gay man in San Diego, should have done long ago," Villa said.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Labor Council Announces Endorsements for Chula Vista City Council, Community College Board and Carlsbad's Prop. D

The membership of the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council announced its endorsement of Pamela Bensoussan for the Chula Vista City Council.

Bensoussan’s strong ties to the community and record promoting citizen involvement in responsible development were cited as reasons for her endorsement.

“As Chula Vista sees more redevelopment, it is important that the City’s leaders realize the community should have input,” Labor Council Secretary-Treasurer Lorena Gonzalez said. “During her service on the Chula Vista Planning Commission and Redevelopment Advisory Committee, Pamela proved that she cares about including the community in all city decisions.”

Gonzalez also noted Bensoussan’s involvement in community groups, such as the Third Avenue Village Association and the Historic Preservation Advisory Committee, show her commitment to the people of Chula Vista.

The Labor Council also granted a dual endorsement for Dwayne Crenshaw and Mary Graham for San Diego Community College District Board of Trustees Area D and elected to oppose Proposition D in Carlsbad.

“San Diego’s working families are lucky to have two great candidates,” Gonzalez said of Crenshaw and Graham. “Community colleges are often a first step towards higher education for working families. As trustees, both Dwayne and Mary would ensure that community colleges remain an affordable and accessible option for all San Diegans.”

In opposition to Carlsbad’s Proposition D, Gonzalez cited a need to ensure proper protections before proceeding with the creation of a city charter.

“Cities that adopt charters are exempt from many important state laws including prevailing wage and on the job safety regulations,” Gonzalez said. “Before moving ahead with the creation of a charter, Carlsbad should ensure that those important protections are in place.”

Tuesday - Quick Hits

Gun range owner cuts his ties to Blackwater. UT

New ROV web site tool, allows voters to check their registration party affiliation. UT

UT begins profiles of candidates in City Attorney's race. Today it is incumbent Mike Aguirre. UT

Officials are concerned with the upcoming fire season. UT

Corporate welfare at its finest. City of Escondido agrees to pay an additional $2 million to developer for Marriott Hotel project. NCTimes

Monday, April 28, 2008

Maienschein Mail and Mike

Until now, I haven’t seen much of Brian Maienschein’s campaign. Then it landed in our mailbox. A double Dem household gets its first piece for the City Attorney race from the Councilman from the 7th district.

The piece itself is OK as far as pieces go, but I began to speculate that Brian could be the stealth candidate in this race. He’s got enough money to compete, is solid in his district, and unlike Goldsmith, isn’t running his campaign from inside a bubble.

Goldsmith is running like a near incumbent with the GOP establishments support but it hasn’t translated into dollars yet. As a judge and a former State Assemblymember, he hasn’t had to throw down in a street fight. Mike can bring it. So can Brian. And so can Scott.

Brian has the drive and the knowledge to pull this one out. He may just be looking for a job, but he’s going to make sure that Jan and the local GOP feel it. Brian’s network is made up of not-the-usual-suspects. As such, prepare for a surprise

Scott hasn’t gotten out of the gate yet and Amy is still skipping along. Until these two play their hands, I’m going to reserve judgment on the final outcome, but I will say that Jan had best watch his flank because Brian can pull the race from him.

If it’s Brain vs. Mike, or Brian vs. Scott, or even Brian vs. Jan, I wouldn’t discount Brian. He’s a player in this and won’t be taken as a token.

Yet I still am baffled as to why none of these challengers has even attempted to take Mike on at their debates and forums. It’s all too cordial for my taste. Especially when Mike would rip Jan apart on a one-on-one. Mike is dangerous in a two person race. If nothing else, his challengers should be united in taking Mike out of the Primary.

Speaking of Mike, check out this video:

A contact turned me on to it and I think it speaks volumes.

Monday - Quick Hits

Candidates for judgeship have differing views of the role. UT

Despite Sacramento's total capitulation on the health reform in January, polls finds that health cares top the list priorities among voters. UT

The District Attorney office Public Integrity unit rightly comes under criticism for recent cases. UT

Full employment for attorneys, as California tribes and the state head to court over security issues related to gaming. UT