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

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 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,

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.

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.


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.