Wednesday, December 16, 2009

San Diego County Term Limits

I was reading other blogs this evening (Sorry, San Diego Politico) and came skimmed through SD Rostra and a post by Jill Sims.

It seems Jill considers herself to be a political intellect and not one to question others, but I had to post my responses to her post.

1) She thinks county supervisors will retire when they are in their 70's. How many congressional members retire in their 70's or have stayed on way passed that point and were wheeled into the chamber for votes - Strom Thurmond.
2) She thinks county counsel write proponent ballot measures. I'm sorry, but they get their own lawyers and county counsel review them.
3) She thinks the proponents should target sheriff, assessor, district attorney and tax collector or as she says, county treasurer, because they are in office for long times. Maybe Jill should just look back and find facts to support her wild theories then the true facts; Bonnie beat the incumbent, Kolendar beat the incumbent, McAllister beat the incumbent and Butler is not running.
4) She thinks it might be illegal to place term limits on only a certain group of elected officials at a level of government. Just look at the President of the United States
, term limited and Congress no term limits.
5) She thinks the Sheriff, District Attorney, Assessor and Tax Collector don't effect employee contracts and the budget. Wrong.
6) She tried to make the case the proponents were doing this to get revenge on the supervisors with regards to their contract, but she seems to unravel her own theory by showing it isn't retroactive and would not kick them out now.

I hope this will answer the many items Jill tried to hypothesize and kind of missed the mark.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

San Diego County Term Limits Qualify for June Ballot

It has been reported the term limit measure for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors has been qualified by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters. The Board of Supervisors will have to place it on the Jan 12th agenda and vote to place it on the June ballot.

Below is the press release I was sent:


Term Limits Qualified

San Diego County Board of Supervisors Term Limits is guaranteed to be on the June 2010 ballot

SAN DIEGO -- (December 15, 2009) – The campaign to reform San Diego County government announced today it has passed the next crucial milestone for appearing on the June 2010 ballot when the San Diego County Registrar of Voters qualified the signatures this week.

Registrar of Voters Deborah Seiler found that the measure qualified for the ballot after her office projected the campaign to have submitted 118 percent of the required 77,837 signatures needed to appear on the June ballot.

The ballot measure would limit the County Board of Supervisors to serving no more then two-terms. Voters from all over San Diego County signed petitions to qualify the measure after County Supervisors have had a lock on winning re-election after re-election. This has been due to a yearly $10 million in unrestricted slush funds that Supervisors have doled out as political favors, campaign accounts in the hundreds of thousands of dollars from previous uncontested races and supervisorial districts that the Supervisors get to draw themselves.

Every member of the current Board of Supervisors has served at least 14 years on the Board. The last time incumbents lost their re-election was in 1984, now more then 25 years ago.

“I find it difficult to fathom, that in a county of over 1.4 million registered voters, a select few would believe only five individuals can run our county government,” said Margarita Johnson, a worker at the Sheriff’s Department. “We are lucky to live in San Diego, and I know we have a wealth of individuals with the background to do this job and will step up, once there is an equal playing field and who have the needs of all the San Diego residences.”

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Dave Roberts Drops Out of the 50th

From the Desk of Dave Roberts
Thanksgiving Day 2009


Dear Friend,

This past Monday was one of the happiest, yet saddest days of my life. As many of you know, Wally and I have been foster parents for abused children for well over a decade. Years ago, we adopted our first two sons from the foster care system and we are in the process of adopting our third son. About five weeks ago, we were unexpectedly contacted by the San Diego County Department of Children's Services and offered two additional foster children, ages two and one year old, to bring into our home. These children are the half brother and sister of our youngest son. On Monday, we learned that these two young, foster children may become available for adoption and a permanent part of our family. In a short time, our family has almost doubled in size and we have come to love these two children, and they have quickly become an integral part of our family.

Keeping families together is an important value to us and we consider it important that we rescue these two children from their prior environment into one that offers love, a chance for a good education and healthy lifestyle. With our young children so new to our family, my campaign absences are unfair to them and Wally. While we could have hired people to help us, spending time with our newly expanded family cannot be done by anyone else. Parents all over the world are postponing their dreams for their children. I am in good company.

Therefore, after much deliberation and discussion with my family and advisers, I have decided to suspend my campaign for Congress. This decision was made after much thought and many sleepless nights. I thank each one of you who worked so hard to help launch and grow our campaign, particularly our oldest son Robert who accompanied me to many of our campaign events. I thank my advisers, supporters and other volunteers who have been with me from the start, opened their homes for events, and for Wally who shared my dream.

I have decided to refund contributions to all my supporters. Going forward, I will continue to work to build a strong Democratic Party in the 50th Congressional District and use my unique talents to forge bipartisan solutions whenever possible. I will continue to do this in my role as a Solana Beach councilmember and my other local, state and national positions. My hat goes off to both Francine Busby and Tracy Emblem who are still in this race. Once the voters decide next June who our Democratic nominee will be for 2010, I will work with them to defeat Brian Bilbray.

The mission goes on and our work to create jobs, reform healthcare and protect our environment does not cease with the suspension of my campaign for Congress. I will be working tirelessly with each of you to achieve our vision. My best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving! We truly have much to rejoice in my family with our children this year - it will definitely be a table full of lots of love and laughter.


With my sincere best wishes and appreciation,
David W. “Dave” Roberts

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

DeMaio’s Proposal Creates Open Season for Government Contractors, Harms Local Economy

Press Release from Labor:

DeMaio’s Proposal Creates Open Season for Government Contractors, Harms Local Economy

Proposal would ban policies to help local workers and veterans; repeals living wage; could hand contracting power to unelected city manager

SAN DIEGO – (November 23, 2009) – A proposed ballot measure supported by government contractors and Carl DeMaio handcuffs the City of San Diego from creating policies that promote hiring local workers or veterans for public works projects and hands over authority to the city manager to enter into contracts “at his discretion” without safeguards for nepotism, cronyism or favoritism.

Included in the proposal, which is supported by big-dollar government contractors, who filed a lawsuit earlier this year against CalTrans for its minority contracting program, are several provisions that hurt local taxpayers and workers:
• Bans local hiring policies.
• Bans policies to promote the hiring of veterans.
• Bans agreements that prevent strikes on public works projects.
• Bans policies to hire qualified workers.
• Bans policies that promote the payment of health care benefits to workers
• Bans policies that promote the hiring of ex-city workers who have experience providing a recently outsourced service, such as the policy the North County Transit District put in place when it voted to outsource its services this month.
• Allows the City Manager to enter into contracts “at his discretion” without safeguards for nepotism, cronyism or favoritism. If initiative to make strong mayor form of government permanent is defeated in June 2010, this authority would be in the hands of an unelected city manager.
• Repeals the City of San Diego’s Living Wage Ordinance.
• Creates new anti-competitive “Direct Outsourcing” process that would force services like trash or landfill management to be outsourced without letting city employees compete for their jobs. This new process conflicts with Managed Competition process approved by voters in 2006 and supported by Mayor Jerry Sanders.

“The only thing ‘transparent’ about Mr. DeMaio’s proposal is how badly he wants to hand out contracts to his friends in the government contractor industry,” said Lorena Gonzalez, Secretary-Treasurer and CEO of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council. “After making a fortune himself as a government contractor during the Bush Administration, Mr. DeMaio is trying to pass along his tricks to other big-dollar government contractors. But he’s doing it at the expense of San Diego’s taxpayers and local workers.”

The San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, AFL-CIO, representing 189,000 firefighters, teachers, nurses and other workers who are making the region a better place to live and work. For more information, visit www.unionyes.org.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Union Members support Humberto Peraza for Chula Vista City Council

The San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council announced last week their endorsement for Humberto Peraza for City Council in Chula Vista for the June 2010 elections.

In their press release, the Labor Council described Humberto as committed to rebuilding Chula Vista’s economy by creating good paying local jobs and by promoting the city as a destination for potential business. Peraza has experience in tackling regional issues for Chula Vista and the South Bay as an aide to federal and local elected officials such as Congressman Bob Filner and San Diego Council President Ben Hueso.

Now let me take a bit of license here to talk about Humberto. I know Humberto. He hired me as an intern for Senator Barbara Boxer’s office when I was a senior in college at UCSD, back in 2002. And now I serve with him on the board of the League of Conservation Voters San Diego.

Besides being a nice guy, a committed progressive, and a policy encyclopedia, Humberto’s one of the rare people in San Diego that looks out for young folks and actively helps to promote them. When I was first starting work after college, he set me up with a political interview, and he wrote me a fine law school letter of recommendation. After I returned back home after NYU Law, he was responsible for getting both me and Patrick Finucane connected with the League of Conservation Voters.

The San Diego area needs leaders like Humberto. We need people who’re team players, and who understand that the success of our region depends not just on one person’s career, but on a community of stakeholders. Chula Vista is the new frontier of progressive politics in San Diego, and I rest comfortably knowing that Humberto is a part of its bright future.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

California’s Constitution: Time for an Overhaul: Town Hall

You are invited to join us in San Diego to discuss California's drastic need for reform and Repair California's Constitutional Convention ballot measures.

California’s Constitution: Time for an Overhaul
Friday, November 13, 2009
8:30 a.m. Registration | 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Program
NTC Events Center (directions)
Truxton & Dewey Roads
San Diego, CA
Refreshments served
Cost: Free

Register here


Speakers will include:
-Jim Wunderman, President and CEO, Bay Area Council
-Bob Edgar, President of Common Cause
-Scott Peters, Former San Diego City Council President
-Matt Regan, Repair California
-John Grubb, Repair California

Topics will include:
-Delegate selection process -Limited scope -Balancing expertise with shared values -Lessons from other states -The initiative, referendum and recall -The alternatives -And more!

Brought to you by: Repair California, Common Cause and the League of Women Voters.

We hope to see you on the 13th!

Best,
Repair California

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Statement from Chairman John Burton on Gavin Newsom’s Decision to Withdraw from the California Governor’s Race

I have known Gavin Newsom since before he was born and I have watched him become a fine man and a skilled political leader.

As San Francisco Mayor, Newsom has been a champion for marriage equality and innovative new environmental and health care efforts.

But Gavin does not define himself by politics alone. He is also a successful businessman, a loving husband and a proud new father.

Gavin would have been a strong candidate for governor had he won the Democratic Party’s nomination. And he will continue to be an energetic, effective mayor of San Francisco and a powerful voice in the California Democratic Party.

I continue to wish Gavin and his family every happiness. And I remain confident that California Democrats will have a strong nominee for governor in 2010.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

News from Barbara Boxer

I am pleased to let you know of a major construction project that will create about 2,000 jobs in San Diego. A contract has been awarded for the construction of the new United States Courthouse in San Diego. This project will create a boost to the construction trades, which will, in turn, create even more jobs for the region.

Construction of the San Diego Courthouse is long overdue. It is one of the busiest courts in the nation, a situation compounded because of its proximity to the border. Along with Congresswoman Susan Davis, I worked to secure the final authorization to begin construction.

This funding could not come at a more critical time as it will create much-needed jobs and help boost San Diego’s economy. And the new courthouse will be a more secure facility that will help federal judges in San Diego keep pace with one of the nation’s heaviest caseloads.

This Courthouse will be built on Broadway between Union and State Streets in downtown San Diego.

Sincerely,

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Does Meg Whitman Have the Judgment to Be Governor?

From the CDP:


Planned to Campaign for Candidate Who Wrote Working Women Were "Detrimental to the Family" Will Whitman Renounce McDonnell's Antiquated Views?



Meg Whitman is already struggling to answer why she’s qualified to be California governor if she didn’t have the time or inclination to vote here for years.

Now another troubling question demands an answer: Does Whitman have the judgment to be governor?

Just days ago, Whitman was poised to raise funds and throw her support behind far-right candidate Bob McDonnell, who is running for governor in Virginia. As a 34-year-old graduate student, McDonnell wrote a thesis in which he espoused an ultra-conservative government agenda [http://www.bobmcdonnellblueprint.com/] targeting working women, contraception for married couples – even child care. McDonnell worked to put his plan into action once elected to the Virginia legislature.

Despite the fact that McDonnell’s views fall far outside the mainstream in California and the nation, Whitman agreed to raise money for this far-right candidate. After her fundraiser attracted attention, Whitman canceled her trip.

“Every day, Meg Whitman shows California voters that she is not ready for prime time,” said California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton. “Bob McDonnell advocates far-right positions that, if implemented, would hurt all women, including Meg Whitman. If Whitman supports someone like Bob McDonnell enough to raise money for him, voters deserve to know: Does Whitman support McDonnell’s antiquated ideas? Is she as out of touch as he is?

“As the election draws near, the people of California need to know who Meg Whitman is and where she really stands,” Burton said. “Will the real Meg Whitman please stand up?"

###

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sen. Christine Kehoe to Serve as Honorary Chair for New Leaders Council in San Diego

California State Senator Christine Kehoe has agreed to serve as the Honorary Chair for recently-formed chapter of the New Leaders Council in San Diego.

The mission of the New Leaders Council (“NLC”) is to train and support the next generation of progressive political entrepreneurs - those who are leading industries, setting trends, and building institutions that support robust civic and political life in a global America.

NLC accomplishes this mission primarily through the NLC Institute; the nation's premiere political entrepreneurship training program that builds local teams of outstanding young professionals in twelve cities across the nation. NLC Fellows engage in an intensive ten days of training over a five-month period to learn cutting-edge entrepreneurship, leadership, and political management skills from over 150 industry-leading volunteer faculty. Upon graduation, Fellows are paired with career mentors, join a national alumni network, and agree to fundraise to support the next class of Fellows.

Senator Kehoe has been a long time promoter of leadership development in the San Diego area, including through her participation with the Aaron Price Fellows Program, which introduces high school students to San Diego’s governmental, cultural, business communities. She has also participated in workshops to encourage women to run for public office through the Women and the Law Conference as part of the Annual Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lecture series, and through “San Diego Political Bootcamp” with the Lawyers Club of San Diego.

The NLC formed a chapter in San Diego over the course of the last six months, recruiting an advisory board of San Diego leaders from the business, labor, non-profit, legal and public sectors. The NLC board will operate the NLC Institute, and recruit accomplished professionals to train the 2010 class of NLC Fellows.

NLC believes in recruiting emerging leaders from outside of the traditional power structures, engaging them on both local and national levels, and equipping them to be civic leaders - not only for elective office, but also in their communities and workplaces.

The result of NLC is a growing corps of diverse and highly-skilled new progressive leaders who rise to the top of their fields, working together across sectors and in their local cities to build, expand, and improve the progressive infrastructure necessary for strong democracy, social justice, and equal opportunity.

To apply to the NLC Fellowship program click here.

To nominate someone to become a Fellow for the NLC program, click here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Labor Council Endorsements

Labor Council endorses Howard Wayne in City Council race and Jim Duffy for Sheriff. Rep. Susan Davis, Sen. Barbara Boxer and Assembly Candidate Toni Atkins also endorsed


SAN DIEGO – (September 24, 2009) – The San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council announced today its endorsements of San Diego City Council District 6 candidate Howard Wayne and Sheriff candidate Jim Duffy for the 2010 election.

Wayne, a Deputy Attorney General who specializes in consumer protection cases, has a strong track record on protecting workers, improving access to health care, and preserving the environment. As a former California state assemblyman, Wayne earned a 95 percent lifetime voting record with the California Labor Federation and authored first-in-the-nation laws that provided breast cancer treatment to uninsured women and bacterial testing of coastal waters.

“Perhaps no one in San Diego has been a stronger advocate for working families and public health issues than Howard Wayne,” said Lorena Gonzalez, Secretary-Treasurer/CEO of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council. “We’re hoping that his experience, leadership abilities and intelligence are put to use at a city government that very much needs them.”

Local union members also endorsed Duffy in the hotly contested race for San Diego County Sheriff. A former President of the Deputy Sheriffs Association of San Diego County, Duffy understands the needs of the public servants who keep our county safe for all San Diegans.

“Jim Duffy has demonstrated a true commitment to public safety and the men and women who provide it here in San Diego County,” Gonzalez said. “It’s refreshing to vote for a candidate who truly understands the needs of the personnel whose charge it is to keep taxpayers safe.”

The Labor Council also announced the endorsements of the reelection campaigns for Senator Barbara Boxer of California and Rep. Susan Davis in the 53rd District Congressional race. Former San Diego City Councilwoman Toni Atkins was also endorsed in the election for the 76th Assembly District.

The San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, AFL-CIO, includes 127 affiliated unions representing more than 189,000 workers in the region. Labor Council-endorsed candidates and initiative positions were victorious in all seven of the organization’s priority races in 2008. For more information, visit www.unionyes.org.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Future of the Democratic Party in San Diego.

The primary challenge facing Democrats in San Diego is to present a credible alternative to conservative leadership.

San Diego is a newly Democratic community. For decades, conservatives have dominated local politics, and Democrats were left to fight over a limited number of districts to play only the loyal opposition. Now Democrats are the plurality of voters in the County, and are increasing their plurality of registered voters in the City. Despite these gains, Democrats have been unable to capture even one seat on the County Board of Supervisors, and it has been over 20 years since voters elected a Democratic mayor.

Numerical superiority alone has not been sufficient to overcome entrenched conservative dominance. Democrats need to present themselves as capable of leading San Diego, in order to leverage our advantages into real electoral wins.

For many years, most elected Democrats in San Diego followed one of two basic models. The first type of Democrat was a feisty contrarian, whose message is primarily a criticism of those in power. The alternative to that contrarian model are Democrats elected as vanilla, uncontroversial compromisers, who pledged to work with the conservative interests that already dominate San Diego.

Neither model presents a uniquely progressive or Democratic vision. The contrarian is a naysayer that critiques the status quo without presenting feasible alternatives. The compromiser more or less accepts the status quo, and pledges to work within its existing framework.

While the contrarian may object to conservative policies, they fail to articulate a persuasive Democratic alternative. The compromiser may support realistic policies, but their views are not meaningfully different from the policies advanced by conservative officeholders.

The future of the Democratic Party in San Diego requires candidates and office-holders to present uniquely Democratic ideas that are credible alternatives to the conservative status quo. We can’t just complain about conservative policies, or promise to compromise with the conservative office-holders. Neither strategy informs voters what a Democratic local government would actually do for them. We have to present a vision of what Democratic local governance would look like. And we have to ask voters to elect Democrats to carry out that vision.

In short, we have to lead.

If Democrats are unhappy about a Mayor’s charter review process, we can’t limit our response to complaining about it. Instead we have to present an alternative review system, and either use the legislative powers of the City Council, or a referendum to enact it. If proposed budgets call for cuts that are antithetical to progressive values, Democrats must show how those cuts can realistically be avoided. If the Democrats only complain about the initiatives of others, then we are not leading, but only reacting.

Democrats in San Diego need not moderate themselves in order to demonstrate a capacity for local leadership. While pragmatism is important, successful Democrats can and should fiercely advocate for the cause of workers, for project labor agreements and environmental concerns. Voters support Democrats on these issues.

In the current City Council, the person who best follows this modern Democratic approach is Todd Gloria. Gloria doesn’t just sit on the sidelines. He puts forward realistic policies that are useful alternatives to the conservative status quo. For example, Gloria has advocated for ending the subsidy renters are forced to pay when the city doesn’t charge homeowners for trash pickup. He placed more Community Relations Officers in his district, to efficiently leverage city resources and stop crimes before they start.

San Diego is fortunate to have someone like Gloria on the Council. But he’s only one person, and we need our other Democrats to follow his example. The Labor Council is taking some important steps by allowing candidates to take a “Labor 101” course on the practical and moral underpinnings policy that supports working people. San Diegans are setting up a local chapter of the New Leaders Council (www.newleaderscouncil.org), to build skills and relationships for young progressive political entrepreneurs.

Democrats need to articulate how their policy preferences will actually operate when applied. If we are going to ask voters to give us the reigns of government, we have to present and fight for a positive view of progressive local government.

Colin Parent is an attorney and the Political Director for the San Diego County Young Democrats.

[Cross-posted on NBC San Diego.]

Friday, September 11, 2009

Unity on the Governor’s race

This is from the CDP Chair John Burton:


Not long ago, I wrote you about next year’s governor’s race. The California Democratic Party’s Statewide Officers, Regional Directors and Caucus Chairs and I had concluded that our gubernatorial candidates should not seek the party’s pre-primary endorsement.

The Party sent letters to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Jerry Brown urging them to avoid dividing the Party – and draining Party resources – during the primary season.

Attorney General Brown and Mayor Newsom have since responded. Both of them have agreed in writing that they will not pursue the Party’s pre-primary endorsement so long as other Democratic gubernatorial candidates play by the same rules.

Of course, the Party will send the same letter to, and make the same request of, any other Democrats who may enter the gubernatorial primary field.

As you doubtless recall, the Party gave its pre-primary endorsement in the 2006 gubernatorial election and spent all its money to help our candidate win the primary. The day after the primary, Republicans began to attack the Democratic nominee, but our coffers were empty and we had no resources to respond in kind.

Next year, our nominee will almost certainly face off with a multimillionaire who is able to self-fund his or her campaign.

We must conserve our money and energy now for next year, when we will elect a Democratic governor. The California Democratic Party is delighted that Mayor Newsom and Attorney General Brown agree with this course of action.

Peace and friendship,

John

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Statement of California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton on the Passing of Sen. Edward Kennedy

The nation has suffered a great loss with the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy, who was a giant in the history of the U.S. Senate.

Sen. Kennedy was a friend and ally for decades. We shared a passion for broadening health care coverage, protecting the rights of poor and middle-class Americans, expanding civil rights and so much more.

Ted Kennedy was perhaps the most accomplished senator of our time. He created the Family Medical Leave Act and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. He passed countless measures to expand health coverage and improve education. He raised the minimum wage, enabled 18-year-olds to vote and opposed the Vietnam and Iraq wars.

I consulted with Sen. Kennedy in 2003 when I passed SB 2, a bill that would have vastly expanded health care coverage in California were it not for a referendum.

On a personal level, Sen. Kennedy and I shared other common bonds: We were both known as “liberal lions.” And we were both the baby brothers of prominent men.

While Sen. Kennedy’s three older brothers died young in the service of their country, Ted was with us for 77 years. During that time, he worked tirelessly to improve all of our lives.

My prayers are with his wife, Vicki, his children, his sister, Jean, his niece, Maria, his nephew, Bobby, and whole family. Ted Kennedy will be deeply missed.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Read This

From today’s San Diego News Network:
State investigates alleged San Diego Republican corruption


Given the bang-up job Nehring is doing that the state level this is really no surprise. To see it covered in the press is.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Districts 2 and 6 get one each

The SDUT broke this yesterday:

Jim Morrison, 52, of Pacific Beach is joining three other people to challenge the incumbency of Kevin Faulconer for the District 2 seat. A property manager, Morrison is involved with the Pacific Beach planning committee, town council and parking committee. This would be his fourth time running for City Council.

Like all the challengers in the District 2 race, Morrison is a Democrat.



And

Meanwhile, the District 6 race has gained another late entrant, Ryan M. Huckabone.

Huckabone is a sales representative for an electrical supply warehouse. His resume also includes a stint as a Chinese linguist in the Army and participation on the Clairemont Town Council. This is his first foray into city politics. Huckabone is a Republican.


As of this writing, the entry of these two won’t change things significantly. Morrison will join Funicane and Towbridge slinging rocks at Faulconer. With three Democrats in a marginally Democratic district, their division of the vote will make it easier for Kevin.

In District 6, Huckabone’s arrival will make Zapf work for the Republican base support but not too hard. She seems to getting grudging support from the Republican establishment and, with similar levels (meaning low) of name ID in the district, that could give her the nod in June to take on the winner of the Dem party cage match between Wayne and Hadley.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Steve Hadley and Steve Francis

The SDUT last Wednesday reported, under the headline “GOP Steve endorses Democrat Steve”, that Steve Hadley, Donna Frye’s current Chief of Staff and candidate for her seat on the San Diego City Council, has been endorsed by Steve Francis, the Republican former mayoral candidate.

Some initial thoughts:

WTF is Hadley thinking?
I get the bipartisan angle but I don’t see Francis as a positive influence in passing progressive legislation. Francis isn’t exactly loved within GOP circles, except for his money, and would be helpful to Hadley were he running for a city-wide position. Because Francis’s experience is limited to running for mayor, I don’t know what help he could give, other than as a name to list and possible fundraiser, for Hadley.

WTF is Francis thinking?
Francis seems to have been laying low waiting for an opportunity like this. Hadley seems like a nice guy who can help rebuild Francis’s stature among those who have been burned by the partisanship of electeds by showing that even Democrats can work with him.

WTF?
Remember when Donna embraced Carl’s reform effort? Then remember, during the vote for the new council president, how Carl praised Donna before burying her with his vote? I see a similar dynamic at work here. Carl used Donna’s credibility to crack open a post-partisan niche for himself, which is difficult when he is a very partisan warrior. I see the same thing playing itself out in the 6th with Hadley and Francis. Hadley needs recognition and Francis need rehabilitation.

In both cases, the post-partisan image looks great. In both cases, the Democrat has more to lose while the Republican has more to gain. It didn’t work for Donna and I don’t think it will work for Hadley.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Kittle is Out

The bow-tied defender of a rampant free market and the San Diego status quo has been laid off from the SDUT.

From Today’s Voice:
Bob Kittle, the editorial page editor at The San Diego Union-Tribune, has been laid off, according to newsroom sources. So has Bernie Jones, the editor of the newspaper's opinion page.

Kittle has been one of the newspaper's most prominent voices and its public face: A conservative and staunch supporter of San Diego business community.


His predictable editorial slant and contorted defenses of business-as-usual will be missed.

Statement from California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton on Passing of Eunice Kennedy Shriver

With the passing of Eunice Kennedy Shriver today, America has lost a champion for people with developmental disabilities.

The founder of the Special Olympics, Shriver’s work and passion laid the foundation for the greater disability rights movement.

Inspired by love for her sister, Rosemary, Shriver helped eradicate the stigma of developmental disabilities and foster breakthrough in research and education.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s spirit and humanity live on through her loved ones.

My heart goes out to her children, including California First Lady Maria Shriver and Santa Monica City Councilman Bobby Shriver, her siblings, including Sen. Ted Kennedy, and the entire family. Eunice Kennedy Shriver will be deeply missed.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

‘Steinberg v. Schwarzenegger’ Constitutional Lawsuit to be Filed Next Week

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 7, 2009


‘Steinberg v. Schwarzenegger’ Constitutional Lawsuit to be Filed Next Week



SACRAMENTO – Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) today announced that he will file a lawsuit against Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger early next week that contends the Governor violated his constitutional authority in making line item vetoes to portions of the Legislature’s budget revision bill in July.

The suit will be called: “Steinberg v. Schwarzenegger.”

“We elected a governor, not an emperor,” Steinberg said. “In making these line item vetoes the Governor forced punishing cuts on children, the disabled and patients that he couldn’t win fairly at the bargaining table. And in doing so, he overstepped his constitutional authority.”

On Wednesday, the non-partisan 93-year-old Legislative Counsel Bureau issued an opinion that made clear that the Governor had no right to unilaterally undo the budget agreement, causing further harm to people and violating his constitutional authority and the checks and balances contained in our constitution.

In its opinion, the Legislative Counsel Bureau said that a Governor can only line item veto “appropriations,” and what the Legislature sent him on July 24th were not “appropriations” – they were revised reductions in existing, previously enacted appropriations that we made in February.

See the opinion here:

http://senweb03.senate.ca.gov/focus/budget2009/LegCounselVetoes.pdf

Steinberg said he will use his campaign funds to pay for the lawsuit, which will be filed in San Francisco Superior Court. While the lawsuit will address the Governor’s constitutional authority, the breadth of the suit will be determined by Steinberg’s attorneys and other plaintiffs may be added.

Friday, August 7, 2009

I am running for Chula Vista City Council

PERAZA FOR CITY COUNCIL

For Immediate Release
August 6, 2009

HUMBERTO PERAZA DECLARES CANDIDACY FOR CHULA VISTA CITY COUNCIL

Humberto Peraza announced today that he has formed a campaign committee to run for Chula Vista City Council.

“As a young father, I want to do everything possible to make Chula Vista a better place for our families,” said Peraza. “As a member of the City Council, I will focus on delivering basic services, such as police, fire and parks, while we balance the budget. In these tough times, I will make job creation and revitalizing our local economy a
top priority.”

Humberto Peraza enters the City Council race with the support of Congressman Bob Filner, who has represented Chula Vista in the Congress since 1992.

Peraza served as District Chief of Staff for Filner for four and a half years, helping local communities secure federal funding for transportation and other community projects.

Currently serving as Senior Policy Advisor to San Diego Council President Ben Hueso, Peraza was appointed by Chula Vista Mayor Steve Padilla to the Chula Vista Charter Review Commission and was elected as Chair of the Commission. He also is a member of the board of the League of Conservation Voters.

The Peraza campaign is off to a quick start with a strong leadership team, including Paola Avila of AB Consulting and Development, Rose Kapolczynski of Progressive Strategy Partners and Kelli Maruccia of KM Strategies.

The primary will be held in June 2010 and the runoff, if necessary, will be held in November 2010. Humberto Peraza is running for Chula Vista City Council Seat 2, currently held by Councilmember John McCann. McCann is unable to run for reelection due to term limits.

Peraza attended public schools in San Diego and graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science.

Peraza, 35, lives with his wife Lisa and sons Ben, 5, and Dylan, 2, in East Chula Vista.

###

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Rep. Bob Filner (CA-51) draws a line in the sand


Quick Hits

I leave town for a bit and all the good stuff happens. I’m citing articles that have been piling up in my inbox:


Candidates Fundraising Prowess (SDUT 8/3/09)

Kevin leads all with $72K. No surprise here. Wayne is in 2nd with $26,542 minus 5K he lent himself which puts him at 21K. Very good in this economic climate. Alvarez in 3rd with $16K is very good and a surprise. Labor has been dissing his chances yet he comes out stronger than anyone else in the 8th district. This should raise eyebrows.


DeMaio and Privitization (Voice of SD, 8/3/09)

Carl, in his latest act of performance “art”, ranted about the city’s lack of progress implementing privatization. I call it “art” because, were he serious, he would call the Mayor out for not doing anything and would name names let alone try to do something as a member of the same government that is supposed to implement privatization rather than take up time on the City Government channel.


Bejerano’s Fundraising Prowess (SDUT 8/6/09)

Because there are nothing but Republicans playing to their base for Sheriff, Bejarano can easily slide in through appealing to the other half of the electorate that isn’t beholden to the right. His commanding fundraising lead so far looks to put him in a grand position to make this a real race.


CA Assembly’s Profile in Courage This Week (LA Times, 8/6/09)

28 members of the Assembly voted to OK offshore oil drilling. That record has been expunged. Good thing to know that our tax dollars are paying for elected who would rather cover their ass than defend them. I never thought I'd say this, but when the CDP has the balls to go on record for issues we believe in and the Assembly, where in name we have a majority, won't, the old order is ready for a fall.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Saldaña is in!

According to the San Diego News Network, Lori Saldaña is in the race for the seat currently held by Ron Roberts (#4) on the County Board of Supervisors.

So how does this change things? A lot.

Saldaña
Has good name recognition and already represents most of the 4th District through her current position in the state assembly. She hasn’t had a real race since her first but she’s proven that she can do what needs to be done to win. If she hires Remer, who almost tanked her first run, this race goes from a slam dunk to competitive. His record last time out wasn’t encouraging, but hopefully Saldaña can overcome his shortcoming and pull this one out.

Frye
Unlike Donna who I think is done. Frye can’t raise money, can‘t assemble a real campaign team, and can’t help out her CoS Steve Hadley in his run for her seat if she is distracted by her own race. Sure there are die-hard Donna supporters who would believe her if she said the moon was made of cheese, but they are too few and unorganized in general to pull off a race against someone like Lori.

Jackson
And the same goes for Sheila. She has an even smaller base to work from and, without a solid from Labor, will have an even harder time of it. IMHO, she should stay at the Board of Education because the 3-2 voting block that passed the PLAs is too fragile to allow freelancing.

Conclusion
Will go to a runoff after June with Saldaña and the Republican who challenges Roberts. This guy has made many enemies over the years and isn’t loved by his side.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Let the Seals Stay

This La Jolla thing has been batty from the start, so let me make the point that it hurts San Diego more to get rid of the seals than to let them have the Children’s Pool.

There are valid health reasons for getting rid of them but the truth is that the seals can make better use of this beach than we can. They birth and we swim. They seek shelter and we abandon the place at nightfall.

The climate is changing and so must we. As such, we should address other issues (deficits, crumbling infrastructure, etc. ) and leave the seals be.

As a friend of mine noted, in Monterey and Carmel there are million dollar homes on the beach next to Sea Lions who spend about 3-4 months a year having sex and birthing. No one there would dream of calling for their removal. You swim and surf at your own risk but that risk is implicit in doing so there.

And seals are quieter and cuter than Sea Lions.

I’m not anyone of influence but I don’t think San Diego wants to be known as the place where seals are not welcome and happy happens. That leads to bad jokes on late night TV. What San Diegans should do is bust out the seal merchandise and set up shop.

San Juan Capistrano has swallows. We can have seals.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Say NO to New Offshore Drilling

From the CDP:



As you may have heard, legislative leaders and the governor have reached a tentative budget deal that the Senate and Assembly could vote on as soon as tomorrow.

One part of the package is a Republican-written bill that would allow offshore drilling in state-controlled waters off California’s coast for the first time since the devastating 1969 oil spill off the Santa Barbara coast. This proposal is an affront to all Californians and we must urge lawmakers to vote it down.

* This sweetheart deal for one oil company was negotiated behind closed doors, without any legislative hearings to allow public comment.

* It strips the State Lands Commission – which has approved or rejected oil leases for the past 150 years – of this power and gives it to a commission controlled by the governor’s administration. This commission would have unlimited authority to rewrite the lease to benefit the oil company.

* The offshore drilling plan does not solve either this year’s budget problems or systemic problems. That’s because its promises of future revenue are not actually written into law.

This Republican offshore drilling scheme endangers California’s environment. It would further pad the pockets of oil executives. And it does virtually nothing to solve the state’s current or future budget problems.

Ironically, the same Republican legislators who support this sweetheart deal are the ones who refused to vote for our Democratic leaders’ proposal for an oil-severance tax like the one levied in every other oil-producing state.

Please call your local lawmaker and urge him or her to say NO to new offshore drilling. Say NO to jeopardizing our coastline for minimal budget help this year or in the future.

Please call them today to protect California’s coastline. Tell them to vote against allowing new offshore oil drilling.

This scheme reminds us again why it’s so important to have a majority-vote budget in California so Republicans cannot hijack the budget process to make bad policy changes that are extraneous to the state budget.

Peace and friendship,
John

Monday, July 20, 2009

Kehoe issues statement on judge's order to disperse La Jolla seals

From a press release dated today:


SAN DIEGO – SAN DIEGO – Sen. Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) issued the following statement today after Superior Court Judge Yuri Hofmann ordered the City of San Diego to begin dispersing the seals from The Children's Pool beach in La Jolla within 72 hours:

“I appreciate the urgency of this matter and have asked Governor Schwarzenegger to immediately sign my legislation, SB 428, which would give the City discretion on whether the seals stay. Judge Hofman’s order appears to be a hasty move, given that my legislation needs only the Governor’s signature to resolve this 16-year problem. The City has already spent over $1 million in legal fees, and the Judge should take into account the Legislature’s strong bipartisan effort to spare the City from spending an additional $700,000 to immediately remove the seals.”

###

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

County Employees Call for Term Limits

From an SEIU Press Release:


San Diego- San Diego County employees today held a press conference at the County Administration Center to call for term limits for the San Diego County Supervisors. Margaret Johnson, a long-term County employee, filed an initiative with the San Diego Registrar of Voters to limit the Supervisor’s terms. The initiative would amend the San Diego County Charter to limit a Supervisor’s time in office to two four-year terms.

“The same politicians have run San Diego County for years, but they have failed to address the pressing issues facing our County,” Johnson said. “These career politicians have become so entrenched with special projects that they are routinely re-elected, even though they’ve lost touch with the needs of all the people of San Diego County . In fact, no incumbent Supervisor in San Diego County has lost a re-election bid in over a decade.”

Service Employees International Union Local 221, the union that represents San Diego County employees, was at the press conference to support the term limit initiative.

“We need new leaders with new ideas to improve the quality of life in San Diego County - leaders who are not focused on their own issues and benefits,” Service Employees International Union Local 221 President Sharon-Frances Moore said.

Once the initiative has been processed by the County, petition gatherers have 180 days to get 77,537 valid signatures in order to get the initiative on the June 2010 ballot.



###

Monday, July 13, 2009

Stop another bad GOP appointment

From the San Diego County Democratic Party:

On Tuesday, July 14, the San Diego City Council will be voting on the Mayor's appointment of John Davies to the San Diego Airport Authority. Currently, the Airport Authority has 8 Republicans and only 1 Democrat.

We need our Democratic Council members to stand up to the mayor and so no.


Who is John Davies?

JOHN DAVIES is a friend of Pete Wilson
John Davies has been a Planning Commissioner, head of CCDC, Regent of the University of California, and Appointments Secretary to then-Gov.
Wilson. He has a long and impressive resume thanks to his friendship with Pete Wilson, but did you know... ?

JOHN DAVIES recently served as Mayor Sanders' enforcer as Chairman of the City Charter Review Commission which advocated for expanding and making permanent the strong mayor form of government. In that role he fought hard to keep the cities power base in the hands of the downtown business establishment.

JOHN DAVIES is NOT a FRIEND to People of Color or Women While on the University of California Board of Regents, John Davies was one of Ward Connerly's most consistent and vocal allies in attacking affirmative action and opportunity for women and minorities at the University of California.

He voted in favor of SP-1 and SP-2 (the UC precursor to Proposition 209), and endorsed Prop 209 (which served to eliminate affirmative action in California).

He was also the only UC Regent to join Ward Connerly in voting AGAINST "Comprehensive Review Admissions" which allows UC to look beyond mere grades and test scores in evaluating students for admissions, despite evidence that UC professional schools were rapidly losing the ability to recruit minority students.

He was a vocal proponent for Proposition 54, pushing to eliminate the ability of the government to even collect racial information - thereby making it impossible to show racial disparity in contracting, health access or educational gains.

JOHN DAVIES is NOT a FRIEND to the LGBT Community While on the UC Board of Regents, John Davies voted AGAINST domestic partner benefits for UC employees.

JOHN DAVIES is NOT a FRIEND to Labor
While serving as Chair of the Board of Children's Hospital, John Davies helped fight the efforts of hospital janitors and medical aids to unionize, spent hospital resources to help delay a first contract, and ultimately engaged a decertification campaign against the workers.

He is AGAINST Project Labor Agreements and Neutrality in Union Organizing


Would John Davies be your Friend on the Airport Authority?

Please contact each council member with a simple message: VOTE NO ON THE APPOINTMENT OF JOHN DAVIES TO THE SAN DIEGO AIRPORT AUTHORITY!


Photo of District 1 Councilmember Sherri Lightner District 1
Councilmember Sherri Lightner
E-mail: sherrilightner@sandiego.gov

Photo of District 2 Council President Pro Tem Kevin Faulconer District 2
Council President Pro Tem Kevin Faulconer
E-mail: kevinfaulconer@sandiego.gov

Photo of District 3 Councilmember Todd Gloria District 3
Councilmember Todd Gloria
E-mail: toddgloria@sandiego.gov

Photo of District 4 Councilmember Tony Young District 4
Councilmember Tony Young
E-mail: anthonyyoung@sandiego.gov

Photo of District 5 Councilmember Carl DeMaio District 5
Councilmember Carl DeMaio
E-mail: carldemaio@sandiego.gov

Photo of District 6 Councilmember Donna Frye District 6
Councilmember Donna Frye
E-mail: donnafrye@sandiego.gov

Photo of District 7 Councilmember Marti Emerald District 7
Councilmember Marti Emerald
E-mail: martiemerald@sandiego.gov

City Council District 8 District 8
Council President Ben Hueso
E-mail: benhueso@sandiego.gov

Friday, July 10, 2009

News Flash! DeMaio plans to be in his own district!

Shocking I know, but bear with me.

After hosting a small business roundtable in the 3rd (!), Carl has decided to do something in his district other than vote from there.

From a flyer I was sent:


Join Councilmember DeMaio as he reports to his constituents on the “State of District 5” and updates the entire city on efforts to reform city government. The program will provide San Diegans with a compelling road map for making government work again in our communities.

July 21st - 7:00 p.m.
Thurgood Marshall Middle School
9700 Avenue of Nations
San Diego, CA 92131
Space is limited, RSVP is suggested
Phone (619) 236-6655
A small reception will be held at the conclusion of the program
www.CleanUpCityHall.com


This is a public service announcement for the residents of District 5 who wonder where the hell their elected representative went.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The SDUT is right, in this case

I blame this on last night’s lunar eclipse and that the SDUT is suffering the same fate as other outlets in getting information from the Sanders Administration.

In today’s editorial section the SDUT takes on Jerry and his promises of transparency in the context of the California Public Records Act:


But it often appears that when requested documents are more likely to embarrass the mayor, the tougher it is to get them. Explanations of why certain information is withheld are inconsistent – sometimes draft e-mails are mysteriously held to be privileged communication, sometimes not. Reporters' messages requesting access to public records are sometimes simply ignored.

Now a new development makes us wonder if the deterioration of Sanders' long-stated commitment to transparent government is complete. The mayor's staff has accused Union-Tribune reporter Brooke Williams and data specialist Danielle Cervantes of using “physical and verbal intimidation” in attempts to get a city employee to provide public documents during a June 17 visit to City Hall. According to deputy press secretary Bill Harris, this “seemed to be an escalation of the intimidating tactics Danielle and Brooke attempt to employ with members of the mayor's communication staff.”

This is preposterous. Sanders, Pudgil and Harris would have the public believe that it amounts to “intimidation” for journalists to try to get the city of San Diego to live up to its legal obligation to operate in open, transparent fashion.

This editorial page has been mostly supportive of the mayor's policy initiatives and backed his 2008 re-election. But we are extremely disappointed by his decision to stonewall and bully the media. What's being done isn't just arrogant. In this state, it's unconstitutional.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sacramento Today

Thank Karen Bass

From the CDP Chairman John Burton:


Yesterday, Assembly Speaker Karen Bass did something bold: She stood up to the governor and refused to participate in fruitless budget negotiations with him.

That’s because the governor has moved away from solving the real problem – closing the state’s multibillion-dollar deficit. Instead, he has stalled progress to pursue supposed “reforms” that may or may not actually save the state money.

Speaker Bass, however, knows that the pressing concern right now is closing the budget deficit so the state can stop sending out IOUs and start restoring its credit rating. The Speaker has made it clear that she will attend any and all negotiations that focus on solving the deficit immediately.

Please join me in thanking Speaker Bass for having the courage to say that budget negotiations should be about the budget.

Take a moment right now to email Speaker Bass at speaker.bass@assembly.ca.gov to thank her for standing up to the governor and continuing to fight for a balanced budget that preserves the state’s safety net.

Peace and friendship,
John

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lightner and Sewage

FACT: San Diego is a desert
FACT: San Diego is facing a water crisis
FACT; The City Council voted in March to approve a contract to examine recycled sewage as a possible source for drinking water.

And
FACT: According to the Voice, Councilwoman Sherri Lightner has asked the council to vote today to revoke a $438,000 contract it approved in March to examine recycled sewage as a possible source for drinking water.

Why?

We need water. We need to explore every possible avenue.

Experience in engineering, although cool, does not give one enough experience to counter numerous studies and enough real-world examples to make this “exploration” valid.

Her concerns aren’t bad but they should have been raised earlier.

And Faulconer is displaying his usual brilliance in supporting the contract not because of it’s purpose, which he opposes, but because it’s a contractual obligation.

Just another day in the land where “Happy Happens.”

Burton responds to the Governor

From the CDP:

In Sunday's New York Times Magazine, Governor Schwarzenegger said he was "'perfectly fine' despite the fiscal debacle and personal heartsickness all around him. 'Someone else might walk out of here every day depressed, but I don't walk out of here depressed,' Schwarzenegger said. Whatever happens, 'I will sit down in my Jacuzzi tonight,' he said. 'I'm going to lay back with a stogie.'" (Mark Leibovich, New York Times Magazine, 7/5/09)

California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton had this response to the governor's comments:

"Sadly, the governor has once again displayed a shocking lack of sensitivity to the human suffering his budget will cause Californians.

"Proposing a budget that would deprive 900,000 children of health care and force 400,000 aged, blind and disabled into nursing homes is no joking matter. It's the shame of our state.

"The governor owes the people of California an apology. He also owes them a more humane budget crafted in conjunction with our Democratic leaders."

Monday, July 6, 2009

Transparency for Everyone Else

According to yesterday's SDUT, San Diego City Councilmembers have a slush fund similar to the County Supervisors. Called “infrastructure improvement funds,” these monies are leftovers in the budget from years past that they can spend as they wish.


Lani Lutar, president of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, said there ought to be more disclosure on how and why the reserves are being spent. She says she believes allocations from the reserve accounts should be part of council agendas.

“Certainly that would be important to do for the purposes of transparency and accountability,” she said.

Faulconer disagrees.

“I don't think the full council wants to spend time deciding how to spend minimal amounts of money on narrowly defined one-time expenses,” he said.

He opposes rolling back the reserve funds into the general fund.

“These leftover funds give us an opportunity to quickly address needs in the communities we represent – needs that otherwise would be ignored or stuck in a holding pattern,” he said.



A few points:
- The article begins with Carl DeMaio planning to donate $25,000 to help build the Rancho Bernardo history museum. For a guy who spends more time in District 3 than his own, a token monetary effort is better than nothing when it comes to representation.

- The 40 watt bulb that is Faulconer defends the status quo by calling these funds, which are lifelines for some, minimal which might be true were they dolled out in the hundreds and not the thousands.

- It’s not everyday that the SDCTA comes off better than Frye on the issue of transparency, especially since she has the most cash at her disposal. Then again, what better way to promote her COS as a candidate than by cleaning up her district seeing how he’s going to run on her record. I’m not against making the city livable, but I wish the counclmembers would do so in a manner that wasn’t so blatantly political.

- Ditto for Ben. The 8th could use Ben’s allocation, Frye’s and then some. Felipe has his work cut out for him and any improvements his brother could make would be positive in one of the most abused district in the city.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Statement of Kevin Keenan, Executive Director, ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties Regarding Sheriff’s Department Handling of Cardiff House Party fo


Statement of Kevin Keenan, Executive Director, ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties Regarding Sheriff’s Department Handling of Cardiff House Party for Congressional Candidate Francine Busby

On Friday, June 26, 2009, according to press reports and witness statements, a San Diego County Sheriff’s deputy, responding to a noise complaint, entered the home of Shari Barman who was hosting a political gathering to support Francine Busby, a candidate for Congress. When the homeowner questioned why she had to provide her date of birth, the deputy grabbed her arm, put it behind her back, and brought her to the ground. Feeling intimidated by a group of mostly middle-aged women, he pepper-sprayed a number of guests and arrested Barman.

The ACLU has received a number of inquiries about whether the civil liberties or rights of the event hosts and guests were violated. Because the Sheriff’s Department will not release 911 recordings or other documentation about the incident, it is hard for us to determine all the facts. The ACLU calls on the San Diego Sheriff’s Department for more public disclosure and transparency in what appears to be a significant abuse of power by a peace officer who intruded into a person’s home and reacted with unwarranted force to an unsubstantiated complaint alleging a minor infraction. With the limited information that we do have, the incident raises a number of troubling questions.
1) What right did the Sheriff’s deputy have to enter the property in a non-emergency situation in the first place?
2) What right did Deputy Abbott have to demand the date of birth of the host?
3) How did peace officers allow this situation to get out of hand to such a dramatic extent, and why did the deputy not use his training to deescalate the situation instead?

Based on what is now known, the Sheriff’s deputy may have illegally entered a private home, disrupted lawful political activity, demanded personal information that was not required, and used physical force that was unnecessary, and thereby caused an escalating confrontation.

Fourth Amendment Protections
Above all else, the Fourth Amendment protects the privacy of the home. As a general rule, a peace officer may not enter the home without a warrant, consent, or exigent circumstances. Someone other than the owner can legally consent to entry of the home only if the officer reasonably believes that person has authority to give consent. Such consent may be revoked by the owner.

In this incident, press reports and witness statements suggest that at about 9:30 p.m., Deputy Abbott and a Psychiatric Emergency Response Team clinician entered the home through the open front door, asking where the homeowner was. None of the reports suggest that the homeowner or even a party guest invited the officer inside, and, in any case, it is doubtful at best that an officer could reasonably believe a party guest has authority to consent to entry of the home. Proper constitutional procedure would have been for the deputy to ask for the homeowner to be called to the door to be informed that a neighbor had made a noise complaint.

From the information currently available, it seems the deputy did not observe excessive noise himself but was acting on the unsubstantiated complaint. Most witnesses described the event as a typical political house party, without amplified music or entertainment. Busby stated that she delivered a talk via microphone between approximately 8:00 and 8:30 p.m. during which she was interrupted several times by a neighbor shouting in opposition. Other nearby neighbors report hearing nothing at all until the eight back-up patrol cars and a helicopter arrived on the scene. In these circumstances, it is possible that the deputy violated the owner’s Fourth Amendment rights by entering her home without a warrant, consent, or exigent circumstances.

Providing Legally Required Information
It is not a crime to refuse to provide information that officers have no legal right to require, nor is it a crime to question an officer’s right to seek such information. In this incident, according to a Sheriff’s spokesman, Deputy Abbott approached the homeowner and asked for her date of birth so he could file paperwork alerting the city to the noise complaint. According to most reports, the homeowner asked why the deputy needed her date of birth and started to walk away, and he restrained her.

A person is only obligated to provide information if it is legally required. It seems clear that at most, a minor noise infraction was taking place. It is not clear that the deputy had the authority to demand the homeowner’s identifying information, but, if he did, certainly the person’s name and home address should suffice. That the Sheriff’s deputy used physical force against a 60 year old woman when she questioned whether providing her birth date was necessary is of grave concern. Even if she unlawfully refused to provide the birth date or acted disrespectfully, common sense and good judgment would dictate an alternative to the use of force.

Breaking the Peace Instead of Keeping the Peace
It is almost unfathomable how this incident was allowed to escalate to this degree. The fact that this incident escalated so quickly, and involved physical force, repeated use of pepper spray affecting numerous attendees, several older guests reportedly knocked to the ground, at least eight law enforcement officers, including a sergeant, a helicopter, an ambulance, two people being booked at Vista Detention Facility and perhaps several others arrested or detained for “talking back to an officer” or taking photos with their cell phones but later released at the scene—all because of a vague noise complaint—speaks to a serious lack of law enforcement restraint.

Police officers and sheriff’s deputies receive training in public order policing or crowd control. Even if the events unfolded exactly as described by the Sheriff Department’s spokesperson, there appears to be no justification for the melee that the deputy’s actions created.

Subsequent Remarks of Sheriff’s Department Officials
Since the incident occurred, there have been troubling indicators that some Sheriff’s Department officials do not appreciate their responsibility in such police-civilian interactions or the important Fourth and First Amendment interests at stake. Most notably, Sgt. Thomas Yancey told the Union-Tribune, “If Francine Busby was there, why not take a leadership role, step up, and nip this thing in the bud?” Sgt. Yancey’s statement reflects an arrogance and dismissiveness unbefitting a law enforcement officer. It is the responsibility of law enforcement officers to handle such situations with professionalism and respect for the rights of the public.

The ACLU calls for a full and independent investigation and appropriate action taken. The investigation should determine whether the deputy acted within his authority to enter Barman’s home, whether he had the right to demand information that was not legally required, whether he used unnecessary force in restraining her, and whether he and subsequent responding officers overreacted and unnecessarily escalated the situation.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Brown to (in a few months) Officially Announce Candidacy for Governor

Brown’s candidacy has been about not if he would run for Governor, but when he would make it official. According to Fog Street Journal:


“Now that Antonio Villaraigosa’s out of the race for governor, are you getting any closer to officially declaring your candidacy?” Fog City Journal asked Brown on the occasion of the annual Alice B. Toklas Pride Breakfast held Sunday at the Palace Hotel.

“I have to wait a few months,” Brown responded but didn’t stick around long enough for any follow-up questions.


If what has been happening here in San Diego is any indication, he needs to prove he can raise money. He and Newsom have had fundraisers here and this competition for dollars in economically depressed times will be indicative of their levels of support.

Traditionally, Brown has been able to thrive in attracting volunteers but suffered in the fundraising area. If he is to create a winning campaign, he must use these months to reach parity, if not surpass, Newsom whose issues with identity can be overcome with a sizable treasury.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Press Release: Assembly Committee passes Kehoe's Seals bill

The question remains if this bill supersedes the ruling of the court.



Tue at 10:50am
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 23, 2009


SAN DIEGO – Sen. Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) announced today that her legislation giving the City of San Diego final say about seals at the La Jolla Children’s Pool passed an Assembly committee.

“Passage of this bill will give the City of San Diego the discretion to decide which allowable use of the Children’s Pool to adopt, thus returning local control to the city on what has become a very controversial issue,” said Kehoe. “It is my hope the Assembly will promptly pass the bill and forward it to Governor Schwarzenegger for his signature.”

The Assembly Natural Resources Committee passed SB 428 by a vote of 8-0 on June 22 and it will next be voted on by the full Assembly.

The legislation would amend the Children’s Pool trust so that it may be used as a marine sanctuary. Ultimately, the San Diego City Council would decide whether to allow seals on the Children’s Pool beach. To view the text of the bill, visit www.senate.ca.gov/kehoe and click on “legislation.”

# # #

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

And then there were two

Villaraigosa has removed himself from the 2010 gubernatorial field citing the numerous issues that bedevil Los Angeles. His own issues involving any signature accomplishments, his inability to elect his own supporters to the city council, and his dating life were hobbling any effort to run for Governor. As such, Jerry gets a bump in the short term but Gavin could pull it out in the end.

Labor, which would have formed the backbone of the Villaraigosa race, is now free to choose and will probably go Brown for no other reason than they know him. Being progressive is one thing statewide labor has not been and Gavin may appear to be too progressive for them.

Many know Jerry and, because Gavin has yet to explode onto the consciousness of Californians, Brown has the edge. His fanatical followers are at the ready and his fundraising operation is beginning to gather steam. He has a fundraiser scheduled for San Diego with a number of the usual suspects hosting.

Gavin has been here a number of times already and has had lower level fundraisers with activists and Young Democrats. He can easily scoop up the remnants of the Obama campaign that are still engaged politically and present himself as the voice of the future.

This primary has shades of the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary in its generational casting and in typical Californian style, is more extreme. This is where Gavin can come from behind to pull it out. Brown will run on his experience but his campaigns have always felt like ad-hoc affairs. Newsom can put together a tight organization and build on what Steve Wesley left; targeting the Democrats who are quietly revolted at the farce that Sacramento has become.

We are a little under a year away and neither side has ramped up their election machines. These two should take this campaign to the mat. California needs a fighter and playing nice for the sake of victory is a surefire way to lose.

Monday, June 22, 2009

San Diego for Newsom Mixer

When: June 25, 6-8 pm
Where: Universal Hillcrest, 1202 University Ave, San Diego, CA
Info: Colin Parent (colin.parent@dlapiper.com)

Join local supporters of Gavin Newsom’s campaign for governor. We’ll give a brief campaign update, and folks will get a chance to meet and mingle with likeminded Newsom fans.

Plus, learn how you can march with Gavin at this year’s San Diego Pride Parade!

Free to attend, cash bar, with happy hour prices. Invite your friends, this will be a fun night.

[You might notice that the event begins an hour before the monthly San Diego Democratic Club meeting, and only a few doors away. We wanted this mixer to be easy to attend for folks who were already planning to attend the meeting of the SDDC.]

Friday, June 19, 2009

Actual Candidate Filings

Speculation on a blog site is all well and good, but here is a list of those who have actually filed to run for City Council in San Diego:


DISTRICT 2

Kevin Faulconer
Patrick Finucane
Ian Trowbridge

DISTRICT 4

No one yet

DISTRICT 6
Stephen Hadley
Howard Wayne

DISTRICT 8
David Alvarez
Remy Bermudez
Joseph Brown
Tim Gomez
Lincoln Picard

This list is far from complete as people will enter and drop out but this is where the field stands.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

District 6

Donna Frye is termed out of her City Council seat leaving an opening that could really mold the future of San Diego. Names that have emerged as possible successors:


Howard Wayne

An attorney and a former legislator, this guy has the chops to really make a difference at City Hall. He knows the workings of legislation, is wickedly smart and wonkish enough to engage activists and professionals on policy issues and politics. He has done a lot just below the radar with a lot of people in a positive way that will help him in his run. His old Assembly District never really was part of the 6th but his work in the community is real for a long term resident of the district

Steve Hadley

Unlike Frye’s Chief of Staff who recently sold his home in San Marcos to move into this district in order to run for his boss’s seat. The scuttlebutt was that Frye had to talk him into it. Hadley seems like a nice guy but will need to put together one heck of a campaign operation, which may be difficult if Frye runs for Supervisor, in order to overcome the carpetbagger tag. Should Frye run both she and Hadley will be pulling from the same groups of volunteers and resources.

Laurie Zaph
Which won’t be a problem if you’re the token Republican in this race. Word is that Zaph is getting pressure to run so the “usual suspects” have someone to throw their money at. The problem is, especially the City Council level, you really have to want it because of the grueling pace it will put you and your family through. She has a family that she would like to spend time with but the party is knocking.

Bill Sheffler
And if Zaph says no, then Sheffler may get the nod. There is a website under development stating “Bill Sheffler is a small businessman who is running for City Council because he wants city government to work for you again!” He didn’t get reappointed to the San Diego pension board and this looks like as good an outlet as any.


Conclusion

If no candidate grabs an early fundraising / endorsement / local buzz lead, which looks likely, then I think you’ll see a repeat of the last District 2 race in terms of the blood to be shed and money to be spent. The Republicans aren’t going to let this one slide and they will pour money that won’t be going into Districts 2, 4, and 8, into 6 thereby forcing the local Dems to ante up with either Wayne or Hadley. Time will tell.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Villaraigosa staying put?

The Sac Bee announced that Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa may not be up for the Governor’s race:


Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa may be unwilling to totally kill off speculation he is going to run for governor. But a vote by the United States Conference of Mayors today suggests that he has other plans.

In the mayors' national convention in Providence, Villaraigosa was elected as the organization's second vice-president for 2009-2010. Under the guidelines of the Conference, he would then become first vice-president in 2010-2011 and president of the organization in 2011-2012.

"Everybody understands that once you get elected, you automatically move up," said Elena Temple, communications director for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

And

There may still be time for Villaraigosa to bolt the gig. But some political consultants privately suggest that Villaraigosa has already waited too long to raise enough money to kick off a gubernatorial run. His election by Conference of Mayors will only increase talk that he is not interested in moving up in California.


The biggest hurdle for Villaraigosa has been if he can emerge from Los Angeles relatively unscathed or at least with an issue or two he could claim as his own to increase his name identity out side of southern California.

However, Villaraigosa has always been a labor man and labor is currently engaged in trench warfare within Sacramento. The capital has become a poster child for adult dysfunction and Los Angles is not far behind. Vested interests are vesting for themselves and this does not bode well for any real compromise, let alone progress..

Villaraigosa may be looking at Sacramento but not with the eagerness he once did. By remaining in Los Angeles, he can work on the basic issues of economics, quality of life, and the environment in a dynamic city that does reward success.

Which is more than can be said about Sacramento.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Chairman Burton on Offshore Oil Drilling

From the CDP: My opposition to new offshore drilling


Dear fellow activists,

I oppose any statute that would make it easier to approve oil-drilling leases off California’s coast – opening the coastline to new drilling for the first time in 40 years.

The potential environmental damage that could be wrought by new offshore drilling isn’t worth it. And the financial benefits from it would do little to nothing to solve California’s current or systemic fiscal problems.

Putting the state’s precious coastline in jeopardy while padding the pockets of an oil company is no way for California to put its fiscal house in order. California’s coast cannot be up for sale to the oil industry.

The current proposal to drill new wells just beyond state waters off the Santa Barbara coast should appall anyone who lived through the devastating 1969 oil spill off Santa Barbara’s coast.

I urge the Legislature to reject any such proposal.

Peace and friendship,

John

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Young Democrats in San Diego

Locally, a lot of people think of the Young Democrats as the group that put on the largest Obama inauguration night in San Diego (cleverly titled “Farewell to W at the W”).

But the Young Democrats are more than just a social club for young progressives. They’re the youth arm of the Democratic Party. That’s the party line, so to speak.

The short and technical definition of the Young Dems are registered Democrats between the ages of 14 and 36, who work to advance progressive values and elect Democratic candidates. Young Dems also like to have a good time. They mix something of a social scene with their political activism.

In San Diego, there are a number of Young Democrat organizations. The most established is the San Diego County Young Democrats (SDCYD). They’re mostly young professionals, folks out of college, or graduate school. But they have some members who are still in school, or who didn’t choose the college route. All of the local Young Democrat clubs are affiliated with the state-wide California Young Democrats, and the nation-wide Young Democrats of America.

When young people ask me how to get involved in politics, or how to start working for campaigns, I tell them to join the Young Dems. It’s an open organization, and anyone with a commitment to progressive Democratic ideals can join.

Membership in the Young Democrats has value. Campaigns routinely come to Young Dem meetings courting endorsements to put on their websites and mail pieces. Elected officials come looking for appointees to local boards and commissions. When Vice President Joe Biden was visiting San Diego last month, a group of Young Democrats were invited to meet him at the Coronado Navy Base. Joining the Young Democrats is the easiest way for young folks to inject themselves into the political scene in San Diego.

Young Dem clubs are up and running at the local colleges, and at some of the law schools. Recently, they’ve been popping up at the community colleges and even at a few high schools.

There’s also the Stonewall Young Democrats, a spin-off from the LGBT-oriented San Diego Democratic Club.

The SDCYD is the largest club in San Diego. They have monthly business meetings, currently held on the fourth Monday of each month at the Gordon Biersch in Mission Valley. Sure there’s beer served, but the business meetings are for business. They’re to plan out community service events and political actions, to endorse candidates, and to collect dues.

Over the last few years, the SDCYD has branched out, adding a monthly rotating social meeting on the second Thursday of each month. Month to month, they move from one swank bar to another. The crowds get bigger every time, and on occasion, someone even sends a professional photographer. Besides the politics, people join the Young Dems to meet people, and to have a little fun.

The real work for the Young Democrats, however, happens on the weekends, between the meetings and the socials. Young Dems plan community service projects, walk precincts, and organize fundraisers all to advance progressive values in the San Diego community.

In 2008, Young Dems organized two fundraisers for Barack Obama's presidential campaign, including one featuring his sister Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng. The SDCYD hosted two fundraisers for Todd Gloria's successful San Diego City Council campaign. We walked to the homes of thousands of San Diegans to turn out votes for candidates we endorsed. Recently, members of Young Dems organizations hosted a fundraiser for San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, and we took lots of pictures.

This week, the San Diego County Young Democrats are co-hosting their monthly social with the Stonewall Young Democrats. It’s on Thursday, June 11th at 8 p.m. at The Office Bar in North Park. Happy hour prices from 8 to 10. According to the event’s Facebook page, it should be packed.