Friday, June 24, 2011

SD GOP Fail!

Today, the Court agreed with the City Attorney and has dismissed the entire Republican complaint about the City Redistricting Commission. Without legal standing, you do not have a case.

I am curious as to how the SD GOP will explain their inept efforts at redistricting to their base.

Voice of San Diego: Big Name Dems Back Republican for Mayor, Again

And Schenk smacks Filner. The Voice has the story.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Gerrymander?

Have you taken a look at the proposed county maps yet? Below is the proposed new County Supervisorial Seat 3.

Maybe this would help.

And here's the original.

The proposed shape was too easy to resist.

‘Unemployed’ Romney Raises Cash in SoCal, but Will He Visit His New Home in La Jolla?

SDCDP Press Release
June 23, 2011

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is sweeping through Southern California this week, raising funds at private events yesterday in Beverly Hills and today in Orange County. But there’s no word on whether he plans to stop by his 3,000-square-foot home in La Jolla, which he purchased last year for $12 million.

Romney also owns a cabin in New Hampshire and is registered to vote in a basement unit of his son’s home in Massachusetts, but he is presumed to have quietly made San Diego his main residence since 2010.

The former governor sparked controversy last week when he jokingly described himself as an “unemployed” job-seeker to a group of jobless Florida residents. The tone-deaf comment by the multimillionaire underscored his own record of failure on unemployment and the economy:

• During Romney’s tenure as governor, Massachusetts’ economic performance was among the worst in the country on all key labor market measures, ranking at or near the bottom.

• In Romney’s four years as governor, Massachusetts placed 47th out of 50 in jobs growth. At just 0.9%, his state’s growth lagged far behind other high-skill “knowledge economy” states
like New York (2.7%) and California (4.7%).

• Under Romney, manufacturing jobs in Massachusetts declined by twice the national average – the third-worst record in the country.

The Chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party, Jess Durfee, blasted Romney for his unsubstantiated campaign rhetoric and his insensitivity to the plight of America’s middle class.

“Mitt Romney is the last person who should be lecturing the country about how to create jobs,” said Durfee. “The one time he was in charge of an economy, he failed miserably. Millions of jobs were lost, and people in his state suffered.

“Romney’s joke in Florida last week might have been funny to his fellow former corporate CEOs, but for those unemployed people it just added insult to injury. No matter how hard he tries not to seem out of touch, he clearly doesn’t understand or represent most Americans.

“I have a suggestion for Mitt Romney,” Durfee added. “He should take a long break from his comedy act and come home to La Jolla. I would be happy to personally register him to vote as a San Diegan – as long as the only job creation he attempts here involves him spending his own money.”

# # #

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Legend of Dick Murphy

With the mayoral election coming up, I'd like to speak of the legend of Dick Murphy.  Yes, the Dick Murphy who Time once called one of the worst mayors in the country (which he was, but it wasn't all of his fault).  The same Dick Murphy who quit in 2005, seven months after his reelection.  You see, Dick Murphy's election as Mayor in 2000 was a sight to behold.  It was, quite simply, the most magnificent political move I have ever seen in San Diego politics.  And knowing this story can help us out in understanding who are the players in the mayor's race and in San Diego in general.
San Diego, like any city there are multiple interests with significant power.  We have the Downtown business establishment (made up of real estate, construction, banking, and tourism), which favors stability, is Downtown-centric (shocking, I know), and very behind closed-doors.  There is also Labor, made up of the, well Labor Council, the environmental groups, anti-tax groups and hardcore Republican types, the Catfish Club (African-American leaders who meet every week to chat over fried catfish), and a few other groups here and there.  By and large, the two biggest and most powerful groups are Downtown and Labor.  Downtown has the money and resources, and Labor has the grassroots.

In 2000, both Downtown and Labor backed one guy - Supervisor Ron Roberts.  Not only that, but Ron Roberts had San Diego's best political consultant at the time, Tom Shepard, who is hands down, the political consultant of the Downtown business establishment.  Hell, even though Roberts was a Republican, he had pretty substantial backing from some well-heeled Democrats. Everyone knew that if Roberts didn't win outright in the primary, he would kill in the general.  Sure enough, and in a primary that had over 10 candidates, Roberts took 29% of the primary votes, and Dick Murphy barely made it past the primary.

But Murphy's people had a plan.  Not only was Murphy more conservative than Roberts on social issues, but he was also more liberal than Roberts on environmental issues.  I'll wait as you get your head around that one.  The thing is that Downtown and Labor are pretty much center-right and center-left.  What Murphy did in both the primary and in the general election is he went hard right and hard left at the same time.  I know, I know, its crazy.  But it worked.  As Roberts raised and spent more and more money, Murphy managed to form a coalition with the anti-tax groups, the hardcore Republican groups, and left-leaning environmental groups and won the whole damn thing.  The strategy was breath-taking.

Of course, the whole thing blew up once we all found out that Susan Golding blew a whole the size of Texas through the San Diego Employees Pension fund.  But that's a story for a different day.  The key to remember is that each interest group has a substantial part to play in this election.  So who is backing whom?  Here is my guess:

Downtown Establishment: It looks like Downtown has not one, but two horses in the race as evidenced by Bonnie Dumanis getting the endorsements of Jerry Sanders and Kevin Falconer, and Nathan Fletcher getting Pete Wilson's backing.  Not this is interesting because Downtown is doing this despite having DeMaio in the race.  Hmm. . .looks like he doesn't have friends Downtown.  Is Fletcher socially moderate enough for Downtown? I don't know.

Anti-Tax, partisan Republicans: San Diego has always had its fair share of anti-tax cranks, but it is interesting to see that the anti-tax/anti-corruption groups splitting up along partisan lines (actually, we can thank Donna Frye for that, but that's a different post).  The anti-tax and partisan Republicans are backing DeMaio.

Democrats: Notice how I didn't mention the Democrats in 2000?  Yeah, well, we're back baby.  Democratic partisanship has shown itself to be a real power since Shelia Jackson beat the Teachers' preferred candidate in 2004, much to everyone's surprise.  With Filner definitely in, and Kehoe maybe in, one of these two will get the Dems' endorsement.  As much as Donna Frye is beloved by progressives, both Kehoe and Filner are loved even more.  I don't see Donna getting the nod over Kehoe or Filner.  Ever.

Environmentalists and Anti-Corruptionists: Ever since Donna Frye ran for office, there has been a split between the anti-corruption groups and the anti-tax groups which is kind of sad in a way.  Both groups HATE Downtown, but in the end have radically different agendas.  What is also true is that Donna Frye more or less cemented environmental groups with the anti-corruption groups, which is what lead to Mike Aguirre's election, IMHO.  If Donna Frye doesn't jump in, then Filner will have their support.

Labor: Its either going to be Filner or Kehoe.  Both have longstanding support from Labor, and both are great on labor issues. 

Frye for Mayor?

Maybe. She likes Filner and doesn't like DeMaio. CityBeat has the story.

Pete Wilson: Why I support Nathan Fletcher for Mayor

San Diego Rostra has the post.

About DeMaio's 1,400 supporters in 14 days.

As of June 5, DeMaio's website listed 1,047 supporters. Now he claims to have collected 1,400 supporters in 14 days. Let's do the math that Carl cannot or can but would rather hide semantically:

1,400 supporters as of 6/21 - 1,047 supporters as of June 5 = 353 supporters in the last 14 days.

353 supporters in 14 days isn't bad but nowhere near what he is claiming.

This isn't the first time Carl has fudged numbers and certainly won't be the last. Too bad the Taxpayer Watchdog can't watch his math.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Changing Face of San Diego Politics

One of the things that drives me absolutely nuts about San Diego is that because so many people move here from places decidedly colder, there is little institutional memory about San Diego.  The news media is particularly bad about this.  As a result, they either rely on old assumptions, and then become shocked when something obvious happens.

Politically speaking, it is worth noting what San Diego once was, and what it has become.  When I was growing up in the 1980's, the City of San Diego was a socially moderate, but fiscally conservative city.  Pete Wilson wasn't just the former mayor, but he was also the model for all future Republican mayors, up to and including Jerry Sanders.  Each mayoral candidate went before the brilliantly titled "San Diego Democratic Club" - an LGBT organization - for its endorsement, and ended up softening their stances on abortion and LGBT rights as a result (at least a little bit).  But that said, San Diego was a solid vote for the GOP in any state-wide or national race.

But sometime during Clinton's Presidency, things turned around in San Diego - it became more and more Democratic and more liberal.  By the time I finished college, and moved back home, Democratic registration in the City of San Diego dwarfed GOP registration.  In fact, the San Diego County Democratic Party changed the message in its pamphlets from trying to convince people to become Democrats to trying to convince local Democrats to become more active.*  And now we find out that even in the County of San Diego - long a bastion of conservatism - Democrats now outnumber Republicans.  Holy crap!

This shouldn't be all that surprising though, because all the while, the local Democratic Party has gotten stronger and stronger.  The biggest test of strength came in 1999.  The Party Chair, Art Casteneras, insisted that the aforementioned San Diego Democratic Club stop endorsing Republicans, even in non-partisan elections.  This was a huge, huge deal at the time because the San Diego Democratic Club isn't just an Democratic club that serves the LGBT community, but it was (and probably still is) the biggest, most active and most influential Democratic club in the City.  Most Democratic activists thought Art was nuts. But, you know, he was right.  With that move, the Democrats in San Diego stopped playing nice with the Republicans. (Or most of them)

After Art came Bob Jellison, then Kennan Kaeder, and now Jess Durfee, all of whom have built up the Party in one way or another.  Of course, Jess has done the heaviest lifting.  Now, not only is San Diego more Democratic in registration, but also has the kind of organizational support necessary to actually do something.  In 1999, there was a real concern that if the San Diego Democratic Club left the Party, there would effectively be no Democratic Party in San Diego.  That's not the case today.

Voting patterns have begun to follow suit.  More and more Democrats have been elected to office, with 5 of the 8 City Council members being Democrats (and Howard Wayne should have been the sixth).  Two of our four Representatives are Democrats.  The list goes on and on.  Organizing has something to do with the changes, but demographics plays a bit part.  As coastal residents, we're more concerned about the environment because it can kill us more directly (surfers, for instance, suffer directly from ocean pollution).  San Diego is also becoming more Hispanic** and more Asian.  As these trends continue, the hold the GOP once had on San Diego lessens more and more.

And that is the changing face of San Diego politics - the demographics have changed, and the Democrats have gotten their act together.  Little wonder the GOP has thrown a hissy fit over redistricting - all the trends are going against them.

*The author may or may not have had something to do with this decision.

** Compared to the rest of California, San Diego has a shockingly low number of Hispanics/Latinos.  Seriously, San Diego is around 30% Hispanic, the rest of the state is 37%.  This seems bizarre given our proximity to Mexico until you realize that until the immigration and drug wars made border-crossing a bitch, a fair number of people were binational, and would work in the U.S. and live in TJ, getting the best of both worlds.  Now that border crossing IS a bitch, more than a few people who hold both American and Mexican citizenship have bit the bullet and moved to San Diego.  That's not the entire reason why the Hispanic population in San Diego has increased, but I think it plays a part.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Defeatist Democrats

Please Join

Mayor Jerry Sanders

For a Kick-off Event

To support

Bonnie Dumanis

San Diego County District Attorney

And her San Diego Mayoral campaign

Tuesday, June 28th


Suggested Contribution ~ $150 minimum

Host Level ~ $500

Endorsers &

Host Committee

Hon. Lynn Schenk

Sheriff Bill Gore
Supervisor Ron Roberts

Councilmember Kevin Faulconer

Mayor Cheryl Cox,

Chula Vista

Councilmember Dave

Roberts, Solana Beach

Hon. Bill Kolender

Hon. Greg Smith

Hon. Barbara Warden

Hon. Casey Gwinn

Mary Ball

Gerald Blank &

Mary Barranger

Vincent Bartolotta

Eve Benton

Laurie Black

Catherine Blair

Lynn Bruser

David Casey, Jr.

Morris Casuto

Jerry Coleman

Judy Copeland

Patrick Daniels

Kevin Tilden &

Philip Diamond, M.D.

Laura Jo Galinson &

Jane Fantel

Edward L. Fike

Murray & Elaine


Beth Gwinn

Lynne Heidel

Ric Horda

Bertrand Hug

William Johnson

Donna Jones

Kitty Juniper

Samuel & Suzanne


Linda Katz

Richard A. Katz

Cheryl Kendrick

Mitchell & Lynn


Richard Ledford

Jerrilyn Malana

Marla Marshall

Robert A. McNeely

Anthony Napoli

Bob Nelson

Barry & Denise Nussbaum

Scott Paine

Lorne Polger

Conrad Prebys

Larry & Cathy


Lynne Robbins

Joseph Roiha

Heather Rosing

Frederick Schenk

Bobbie Spoon

Kelly Spoon

Gael Strack

John & Sally Thornton

Chris Van Gorder

Lisa Sanders &

Meaghan Yaple

Mike Zarbo

I received this e-mail today for the Bonnie Dumanis fundraiser next week and couldn't help but notice a lot of high profile Democrats on her host committee. Now if this was 1981, I would understand because San Diego was very different back then and being a Dem in San Diego was like being Vegan in Omaha or a Republican in San Francisco. So I could understand that "go along, get along" mentality.

But it's 2011 and San Diego is a Democratic city. Thanks to demographics and outstanding outreach efforts from the Republican party like this and this. Oh and this, this and this and well I could go all day on that. However, even Republicans understand this shift which is why they are fighting City redistricting tooth and nail.

Yet these people think that if the Downtown establishment supports someone they are a surefire winner and maybe they can get some scraps after the victory buffet. And who cares that there are two very well qualified Democratic candidates like Bob Filner and Christine Kehoe. And who cares that Christine Kehoe and Bob FIlner were ardent supporters of LGBT rights when it wasn't cool and was dangerous. It's all about a backing a winner.

This kind of self defeating attitude is why the Republicans win. I don't care how many times John Kern keeps telling people that Bonnie's really a Democrat. In the end she is a Republican and so are you, John. So unless she re-registers it's a load of crap.

And for those of you who are buying this crap and then when you bitch about why Bonnie voted against you if she becomes Mayor. Why don't you look in the mirror and thank yourself for screwing up the City even more.