Thursday, July 3, 2008

San Diegans Asked to Boycott Coca-Cola Products Starting this Fourth of July Weekend

As Fourth of July fireworks, barbeques and pool parties heat up, employees of San Diego County’s two Coca-Cola bottling facilities have asked San Diegans to forego Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Sprite and other Coca-Cola beverages because of the company’s anti-union conduct.

Earlier this week, more than 600 drivers and warehouse employees at Coca-Cola Enterprises’ San Diego and Oceanside bottling plants went on strike to protest the company’s unfair practices. Last year, employees at the Oceanside facility voted to become members of Teamsters Local 683, yet the company has been unwilling to negotiate a contract that is comparable to those in other parts of Southern California.

“Coca Cola Enterprises wants to treat its Oceanside workers as second-class citizens,” Teamsters Local 683 Secretary-Treasurer Shannon R. Silva said. “They want to drag down the standard of living for Oceanside workers. These workers deserve parity with other Coke employees in Orange, San Diego and Los Angeles County.”

The San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council is asking that its 120,000 members and all other San Diegans observe this boycott until Coca-Cola agrees to settle a contract that will provide equality for their employees in Oceanside.

“Unfortunately Coca-Cola has gone from asking San Diegans to ‘Have a Coke and a smile,’ to ‘Have a Coke, less rights, lower pay and fewer benefits,’” Labor Council Secretary-Treasurer Lorena Gonzalez said. “We will not stand by and watch as Coke tries to destroy quality middle-class jobs in our community.”

Coca-Cola products include: Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Fanta, Dr. Pepper, Fresca, Sprite, Minute Maid, Dasani Water, Squirt, Rockstar and Canada Dry, among others.

Uptown Throwdown!

So now that the general election is upon us let's look at one of the more interesting local races to come around in a while outside of the City Attorney's race. I'm talking of course between the throwdown between Todd Gloria and Stephen Whitburn for District 3. The reason why this is interesting is that who ever wins might become the premier locally elected city Democrat. I mean after all it's possible that one of these guys might run for Mayor or State Assembly in a few years. But it also going to be very contentious as both candidates have very similar positions on choice, marriage equality, equal rights and essentially share the same progressive values. Looking at the money side, if one checks the San Diego City Clerk's office you'll see that as of 5/17/08 Whitburn raised $114,730.66 and Gloria raised $61,788.00 and during that same fundraising period from 3/18/08 to May 17th Stephen raised $8,000 more than Todd. While impressive, $73,000 of that roughly $114,000 were loans so in essence they've raised the same money. Also, both have an impressive list of endorsements. Stephen has Rep. Bob Filner and Donna Frye. While Todd has Rep. Susan Davis (his boss), Francine Busby and the rest of the Democrats on the council with the exception of Toni Atkins and Scott Peters. So like all races that have candidates with similar positions, it's all about perception and minutia.

Todd has been presenting himself as public safety choice that understands the problems of crime since he himself lives in City Heights, a low income neighborhood that has yet to be revitalized like Hillcrest and many sections of North Park. He has been presenting himself as someone who understands that the needs of the city can't just be met by the city alone but with building partnerships with community stake holders like local business and community groups to continue the revitalization of D3 and push it to the El Cajon Blvd corridor and City Heights while maintaining the atmosphere of those neighborhoods.

Steven has been presenting himself as the real Democratic choice and wants to be the voice of the district and ensure that special interests do not run the table. He styles himself as a continuation of the activist model City Councilperson like Donna Frye. Someone whose door is always open to his community and won't be bullied into making compromises that may negatively impact the district.

Now personally, I think both are compelling and are great candidates and I don't envy those that have to choose between these great candidates. But, like many intra party fights. Sometimes they get ugly quick.

Stephen supporters keep talking about how Todd isn't progressive and is in the pocket of developers. While Todd supporters feel that Stephen is condoning some of the questionable statements made by his hardcore supporters and isn't ready for prime time.

Also the November election is a totally different animal than the primary as first-time voters and voters that only vote in Presidential elections come out. These voters might receive a mailer with Stephen and Donna (by the way, during each of her runs for Mayor, her strongest support was in D3) and vote his way. Or Todd might try the Obama act. Trying to bring together DTS's and moderate Republicans to his coalition, painting himself as someone who will listen to them and take their concerns to account.

So my thoughts? Like I said both are great and would be a wonderful addition to the Council. But looking at the landscape of the new City Council and we are going to need a counterweight to incoming D5 Councilperson Carl DeMaio. This guy is smart, ambitious and brazen. I mean one day he's taking orders from the powers that be and then the next he's hugging Donna Frye talking about how he's all about reform. This guy is already laying the groundwork to take on Kevin Faulconer for the Mayorship and we are going to need some that can keep this guy in check and match him toe for toe. I personally think that if look through that prism, Todd is that guy to keep tabs on DeMaio and would be the perfect counterweight to check him.

But then again those are my two cents.

Penny for your thoughts?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

SAVE THE DATE: Peak Oil Film & Discussion

Peak Oil Film & Discussion
Tuesday, July 29th

Featuring: Award-winning film Energy Crossroads (2007)

Special Guest: Debbie Cook
Huntington Beach Mayor and Candidate for Congress

Film begins at 7:00pm / Discussion follows at 8:00pm

Joyce Beers Community Center

3900 Vermont St. (in Hillcrest Trader Joe's shopping center)

Think Gas at $4.50 is Expensive?

Most oil industry geologists and analysts predict that within a few years, world oil production will reach a peak and then begin an irreversible decline, as huge decades-old oil fields are depleted. This is likely to significantly increase the price of everything produced from or transported using oil, including gasoline, plastic, chemicals, and food. Join Progressive San Diego and Huntington Beach Mayor Debbie Cook for a movie and discussion about peak oil, its impacts on our sprawling region, and what San Diego can do to mitigate its effects.

Debbie Cook is the Mayor of Huntington Beach, California; is an attorney and environmental activist; and is currently running for U.S. Congress in California's 46th district. She serves on the boards of directors of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO-USA) and the Post Carbon Institute, and has spoken internationally about what local governments can do in response to the imminent peak in world oil production.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Eyes on the Prize.

The Prize, of course, is the 50th Congressional District. Nick Leibham, the Democratic nominee, has been aggressive in his quest to unseat Brian Bilbray. Bilbray, as you recall, won in a close election fight against Francine Busby in 2006 after the resignation of Randy "Duke" Cunningham. Yet thanks to the soft economy and general sour mood of the electorate against Republicans. Leibham has been chipping away at Bilbray, raising money and his profile. So much so that the D trip has jumped in with radio ads targeting 13 Congressional Districts including the 50th reminding voters about his support of big oil. So, have a listen and give your thoughts.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Jan Goldsmith at the San Diego Democratic Club

Last week it was reported in this blog that Mike Aguirre got the Dem Club nod but it did not mention that Jan was also there to plead for a no endorsement. Thanks to an old bylaw, Jan, a former Republican Leader in the State Assembly, could address the largely progressive and most effective Democratic party club in the county. Now to say this was weird is to understate it. I mean here's a guy who spent his entire political career trying to dismantle everything the Dem Club supports and is founded upon. He been on the record against marriage equality. He's endorsed by the San Diego Minutemen, who aren't exactly agents of tolerance with people of color. So this guy , that has questionable supporters at best, is talking to the Dem Club. A club that has carried the banner of inclusion and tolerance since its founding. What's next? Shrub joins The Climate Project and begins to crusade against Climate Change.

Your thoughts?

John & Cindy McCain failed to their property taxes for 4 years

According to Newsweek:
San Diego County officials, it turns out, have been sending out tax notices on the La Jolla property, an oceanfront condo, for four years without receiving a response. County records show the bills, which were mailed to a Phoenix address associated with Mrs. McCain's trust, were returned by the post office. According to a McCain campaign aide, who requested anonymity when discussing a private matter, an elderly aunt of Mrs. McCain's lives in the condo, and the bank that manages the trust has not been receiving tax bills on the property. Shortly after NEWSWEEK inquired about the matter, the McCain aide e-mailed a receipt dated Friday, June 27, confirming payment by the trust to San Diego County in the amount of $6,744.42. County officials say the trust still owes an additional $1,742 for this year, an amount that is overdue and will go into default July 1. Told of the outstanding $1,742, the aide said: "The trust has paid all bills shown owing as of today and will pay all other bills due." [Link]
Now, I know when you're an heiress to a beer fortune and you have properties all over the country, sometimes it is hard to keep track of all those different property tax bills that you receive. And I can see how sometimes you might forget paying one of them for 4 years or so.


Is anyone surprised that there has been no mention of La Jolla property issue in the local media. I cannot help to believe that if the issue was about a Democratic presidential candidate, the UT would be all over the issue.