Thursday, April 22, 2010

D6: Zapf’s and DeMaio’s Troubles with Numbers

This CityBeat article sums it up fairly well. Carl’s agenda only involves advancing Carl and he seems to have found an easy ally in Zapf who also is very eager to please.

Number soup

San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio earns a fistful of turds this week for introducing Lorie Zapf, a candidate for the open District 6 seat, on stage at the Fiorina event.

These turds aren’t because DeMaio’s a gay Republican and Zapf has made statements in the past that homosexuals should be kept from public office. No, this time it’s another form of hypocrisy: DeMaio, who’s backing a ballot measure to revamp the city’s contract-bidding system, prides himself on his number-crunching integrity, and Zapf has proven she’s willing to bend tax data for political points.

Here’s a statistic Zapf blurted out when it was her turn at the podium:

“Did you know the average American will be paying more in taxes this year than we spend on food, clothing and shelter combined?”

No, we did not know that—because it’s bullshit.

Zapf’s claim is a bastardization of a claim made by The Tax Foundation, a think tank based in Washington, D.C. By its calculations, the government will collect more in tax revenue this year than Americans, collectively, will spend on those basic necessities. The fact is, this has been the case since 1976.

But, because America’s tax system is progressive—the more you make, the higher your tax rate—an average cannot be accurately extrapolated, and any attempt at correlation is bogus. One cannot simply take the total for the nation and apply it to the individual citizen. If you could, you’d also be able to make claims like:

“Did you know that the average Californian will spend 40 hours in a state prison this year?”

“Did you know that the average Californian is 12.5 percent Asian?”

“Did you know the average Californian produces six barrels of crude oil per year?”

The Tax Foundation itself suggests that the average individual’s tax burden is about 26 percent. That’s still lower than the 28.5 percent of earnings the U.S. Department of Labor estimates the average American family spends on clothing, food and shelter.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

SDCDP to Charge ROV and SDGOP with Violations over Postage Subsidy

Official Election Mail to Include Campaign Material at Taxpayer Expense

The San Diego County Democratic Party will be reporting a violation to the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) over the plans of the County Registrar of Voters to insert partisan campaign literature into the official sample ballots it will be mailing to Republican voters next month.

An obscure section of the state Elections Code allows a county party organization to pay to include a fundraising letter in the voter guide sent to that party’s voters. However, the San Diego Republican Party is exceeding the scope of the law -– in a way unprecedented in California –- by placing a full-color page with its slate of endorsements directly into the booklet that will be mailed at taxpayer expense.

Through their County Counsel, the all-Republican County Board of Supervisors authorized the Republican insert –- which praises the “leadership” of Supervisors Ron Roberts and Bill Horn, who are up for election on the same ballot.

After a recent lawsuit supported by the Democratic Party, a San Diego judge forced the Republicans to alter the format of their campaign insert, but allowed them to include it because they are paying for the additional cost of printing. An appeal, while likely, will come too late to affect the printing schedule.

However, the court did not address a different law under FPPC Regulations (Sections 18420 and 18420.1) that requires government agencies paying for campaign-related communications to report the value of their expenditure as a contribution.

The Republican Party would have to pay about $50,000 in postage alone to send its slate mailer to the voters who will receive the insert. Instead, the Party and its campaigns won’t pay a dime in postage –- thus the benefit they will be receiving is a clearly reportable contribution from the Registrar of Voters.

“If the County government is now in the business of sending partisan propaganda under its official seal, it must register as a campaign committee and report those contributions under California law like any other committee,” said Jess Durfee, Chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party.

“The intrusion of partisan politics into government-funded activity is not only an affront to the other candidates and propositions that will be on the ballot in these nonpartisan races,” added Durfee. “It is an outrage to the voters and taxpayers of San Diego County and a sickening blow to the integrity of our election system. We will pursue every recourse until it is stopped.”

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Monday, April 19, 2010

D6: Before the Storm

Anyone with a political crystal ball should look at this race. This race could be ground zero for a hyper-partisan war in the fall. The elements are all here for political Superbowl showdown; no incumbent, a possible pick up for the Republicans, and a district that has more independent voters than the rest. Polling was done two weekends ago anticipating a Wayne-Zapf smackdown. We’ll see.

The anointed Republican candidate looks good but has been doing herself no favors by dueling with CityBeat and hanging out at Teabagger rallies For those late to the game, Zapf said one thing about homosexuals and then claimed something else only to be proven wrong. As such, she’s been lying low and only shows up when she has to like the candidate forum at Clairemont H.S. She gained some sympathy after a joke by Hadley went wrong (he was booed) and lost it after a few seconds of silence in response to a question from Wayne about her public service. She’ll have ABC, the Lincoln Club, and the SD GOP all trying to buy the seat but it will be hard sell with this candidate.


Donna’s COS has his work cut out for him. At the moment, Frye seems focused on defeating Strong Mayor and, with Whitburn making a run for Supervisor, Hadley’s natural allies and supporters don’t seem to be there. His sparring with Zapf was unexpected but necessary if he is going to establish himself as his own man and not Donna Frye II.

For being the perceived front-runner, Wayne has been spared (so far) the back-and-forth that Zapf and Hadley appear to be doing. With the endorsements of the San Diego police, firefighters and League of Conservation Voters, all Wayne needs to do is keep on keeping on. He has the most money, the best endorsements and has been seen walking precincts. The only thing to fear is that Democrats will succumb to the “Marti Emerald Syndrome” where, like Marti, they assume this is a done deal and wake up the day after the election to discover the Democrat came in second.

This Republican has also been walking precincts and he seems to be gaining a following. He is not Zapf and he is willing to meet voters to make his case. His platform is simple and his signs are a bit much but he knows what he doesn’t know and, unlike Zapf, can speak beyond talking points. This race would be radically different had the GOP establishment gotten behind this guy.

Word on the street is that Tran, the woman who files yet doesn’t do anything to run for office, is walking precincts as well. With Zapf’s self-inflicted wounds it looks like both Huckbone and Tran are moving in. Can they topple Zapf? They lack the funds and resources but if they knock on enough doors, anything can happen.