Friday, December 9, 2011

SFGate: CA Dem chair John Burton (bleeping) kills on The Daily Show (VIDEO)

In case you missed it.

Read the article here.

San Diego 6 News: Local Labor Groups Call For Unemployment Insurance Extension

 "Instead of screaming for more handouts, they ought to be screaming to make it so they can get jobs," said T.J. Zane, president of the Lincoln Club, which was holding a fundraiser with local business leaders across the street from the vigil.

Read the article here.

SDUT: Flurry of endorsements in San Diego races


Read the article here.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Labor Council endorses Scott Peters for U.S. Congress, Bob Filner for Mayor in San Diego

For Immediate Release                                                                                                 

Labor Council endorses Scott Peters for U.S. Congress, Bob Filner for Mayor in San Diego
Mathew Kostrinsky and Councilwoman Marti Emerald also get nod for San Diego City Council

SAN DIEGO - The San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council tonight voted to endorse Scott Peters for California’s 52nd Congressional District. Peters, currently Chairman of the San Diego Port Authority, is running for the newly redistricted seat that encompasses portions of San Diego, La Jolla, Imperial Beach, Coronado, and Poway.

“Scott Peters is a problem solver who knows how to create good, middle-class jobs--a skill that is sorely needed in Washington, D.C.,” said Lorena Gonzalez, Secretary-Treasurer/CEO of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council. “He has demonstrated a history of bringing people together and getting things done for San Diegans.”

The Labor Council also voted to endorse U.S Congressman Bob Filner for Mayor of San Diego.
“Congressman Filner is hands-down, the best choice for hardworking folks in San Diego – both union and non-union,” said Gonzalez. “He’ll put an end to the ideological war on workers that has come from extreme right-wing politicians, and focus on putting our city back to work.”

To receive an endorsement from the Labor Council, a candidate must receive two-thirds approval from Labor Council unions and delegates.

In addition to Peters and Filner, the Labor Council endorsed 2012 San Diego City Council Candidates Mathew Kostrinsky (7th District) and Marti Emerald (9th District).


San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council
The San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, AFL-CIO includes 133 affiliated labor groups in the region with a membership of more than 192,000 working families.  Founded in 1891, the Labor Council advocates for more jobs, better jobs and better lives for all of San Diego’s workers – union and non-union.      

SDUT: Labor council endorses Peters for Congress

The San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to endorse Democrat Scott Peters for the 52nd Congressional District.

Read the article here.

SDUT: Fletcher pushes “innovative city” jobs plan

Fletcher, a Republican, gave The San Diego Union-Tribune an advance copy of his speech in which he outlines his goal of creating at least 75,000 new jobs in the San Diego region during his first four-year term. In addition, he expects to increase by one-third the number of patents, venture capital spending and exports in the region by 2020.

Read the article here.

SDUT: Latinos say Escondido elections unfair

”Half of Escondido is Latino,” Demetrio Gomez, a 40-year Escondido resident said during the council meeting’s public comment period. “But in 123 years, Escondido has elected only one obviously Latino candidate to the City Council. There are no representatives from our large Latino neighborhoods, and this council is elected by — and caters to — wealthier non-Latinos.”

Read the article here.

KPBS: Payroll Deduction Measure Qualifies for Ballot

The proposal would ban both corporations and labor unions from collecting political funds through “payroll deduction”

Read the article here.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Organized Labor and Local Clergy Call on Congress to Pass Unemployment Insurance Extension Now

Organized Labor and Local Clergy Call on Congress to Pass Unemployment Insurance Extension Now
Thursday, December 8, 2011
5:00 p.m.
Civic Center, 1200 3rd Avenue and B Street, San Diego, CA 92101

The San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council will call on Congress to extend unemployment insurance (UI), set to expire for more than two million Americans, including 305,400 Californians, on Dec. 31. 

Local union members will join with the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice of San Diego County (ICWJ), Occupy San Diego and other community supporters, for a press conference and public vigil followed by a silent march to the federal building downtown to emphasize the need to reauthorize UI benefits and create jobs for those who desperately need them in Greater San Diego.
California’s still-fragile economy will take another brutal hit unless Congress acts now to help.

Special guests including: Lorena Gonzalez, Secretary-Treasurer/CEO, San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council; Rabbi Laurie Coskey, Executive Director, ICWJ; and Michael LaDouce, Unemployed Member, Ironworkers Local 229.


SD CityBeat: Peters underestimates Occupy and how to run for president

Peters expressed sympathy for the protesters, but he was dismissive of the idea of a demonstration at the port. Peters said he’d checked and he was fairly certain there would be no protest. Boy, was he wrong. After Occupy San Diego organizers sent out a press release confirming they will participate in the “West Coast Port Shutdown” on Monday, Dec. 12, we went back to our recording. We’d asked him how the Port of San Diego, which has its own police force, would respond to an occupation.

Peters: I think that people have the right to assemble peacefully. If they’re really talking about getting in the way of trucks getting in and out… we’ll probably have to ask them to move.

Read the article here.

SD CityBeat: District Attorney settles public-records lawsuit

“Not only is she district attorney, she’s running for mayor, so I think it’s important for the people of the city of San Diego to know how she handles complaints against officials,” Shapiro tells CityBeat.

In his email to Dumanis, Shapiro asked to see all complaints against government officials received by her office since 2003. He had filed a similar request with Dumanis’ predecessor, District Attorney Paul Pfingst, in 2001. While Pfingst did not provide the complaints themselves, he did provide written summaries—24 in all—as required by the CPRA. Shapiro was expecting the same treatment from Dumanis.

Instead, Dumanis denied Shapiro’s entire request. He revised his request, and she rejected the revision. He revised it a second time. The DA rejected it again. In May, Shapiro sued Dumanis in Superior Court for an alleged violation of CPRA.

Read the article here.

SD CityBeat: Jan Goldsmith is sure that he’s not biased on pension initiative

The basis for Gloria’s concern was Goldsmith’s participation in a press conference this past April announcing the campaign to collect enough signatures to get the initiative on the ballot. CityBeat was there that day and asked Goldsmith why, in light of his campaign pledge in 2008 to steer clear of policy matters as city attorney (distinguishing himself from then-incumbent Mike Aguirre), he was violating that vow by actively supporting a major policy overhaul. He told us he was supporting the initiative as a private citizen, not as city attorney. When he saw Gloria questioning his professional honor, Goldsmith hurried across the Civic Center Concourse to defend himself. From the council’s dais, he said he knows how to separate his personal opinions from his legal analysis.

Read the article here.

SD Reader: County Supervisors Discuss Limiting Role of Community Planning Groups

County Supervisors received recommendations to streamline the land-use permitting process from the Red Tape Reduction Task Force on Wednesday. The task force spent months drafting the recommendations after interviews with county employees, and poring over county documents.

Among the recommendations, one received the most attention. That recommendation focused on community planning groups. The task force found that community planning groups often delay projects and hold too much power and influence over projects. To solve that issue, the task force recommended that the board limit the scope of their responsibilities, and limit the number of years volunteers can serve. 

Members of the public criticized the recommendation. 

Read the article here.

SDUT: San Diego mayoral forum on jobs closed to the press

The three high-profile Republicans running for San Diego mayor participated in a Tuesday morning forum focused on job growth before a well-heeled crowd of political insiders and business leaders.

That’s about all that can be said about the sold-out event because its sponsor, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp., barred local media from covering the forum, which was held at The University Club in downtown San Diego.

Read the article here.

SDUT: County won’t take on SDG&E over higher solar rates

The county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday refused to oppose a contentious proposal from San Diego Gas & Electric that would result in substantially higher rates for solar users.

The 3-2 vote runs counter to recent actions by a growing slate of local government entities, including cities, public school districts and water authorities that generate their own solar power.

Read the article here.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

After 9 more arrested, Occupy San Diego seeks apology, resignation of SDPD Chief

For Immediate Release: December 6, 2011

Kali Katt 1-619-916-1304
Rick Halsey 760-822-0029

After 9 more arrested, Occupy San Diego seeks apology, resignation of SDPD Chief

By Kali Katt

San Diego -- Occupy San Diego will march Tuesday Dec. 6 at 6:30 p.m. from Freedom Plaza (formerly known as Civic Center) to the San Diego Police Headquarters on Broadway Ave and 14th  St. in protest of the continued police brutality, misconduct and unlawful arrests at the OSD protests. In the fourth raid since Oct. 7, 30 San Diego Police Department officers arrested nine protestors around 2 a.m. the morning of Monday Dec 5, charging most of them with Cal. Pen. Code S148 resisting, delaying or obstructing an officer, Cal. Pen. Code S647 illegal lodging, and the infamous San Diego Mun. Code S54.0110 unauthorized encroachments.

The protestors arrested were not sleeping or camping when the officers poured in, but were watching a DVD of Michael Moore’s “Capitalism- A Love Story”. No warning was giving to disperse before officers began grabbing people and arresting them. A member of OSD’s media team who began filming the unlawful arrests was arrested.  This adds to the over 100 arrests OSD protestors have been subjected to since the first arrest on Oct 14, one week after occupying Freedom Plaza.

Since the arrests OSD has discovered that a transgender female protestor has been placed in the Central jail with the general male population, and a female protestor is being detained by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  There have also been false quotes in the media yesterday by SDPD spokesman Gary Hassen that protestors were setting up tents and this is why the raid occurred.  Documented video (at 01:09:00) shows the protestors calmly awake, without tents, and watching a movie when the officers came in.

It has been become routine for SDPD to enforce municipal codes at whim, without prior talks or mediation, and often resorting first-hand to violent tactics, to prevent, deter, and intimidate protestors and all San Diego citizens within this city from exercising their first amendment rights.

During the first raid on Oct. 14  SDPD was aggressive with protestors and sprayed hazardous chemical agents upon  numerous people simply for having tents. A member of OSD’s media team documenting the second police raid on Oct 28 was arrested for Penal Code 408 unlawful assembly for standing in the middle of the street and Municipal Code 59.5.0401 excessive noise for using a megaphone. The 51 protestors arrested during the second police raid on Oct. 28 were subject to police brutality and inhumane conditions at the jail with even the San Diego County Sheriff’s Dept. admitting the protestors were forced to urinate and defecate in the buses while being transferred to jail.

In the following weeks they began heavily enforcing Cal. Pen. Code S647 illegal lodging, which means very aggressively arresting people for allegedly sleeping, or just laying down in a sleeping bag, - even a homeless man in a wheelchair on Thanksgiving morning. During the Nov. 16 raid they arrested another media team member while he was documenting action for San Diego Mun. Code S83.0203 pedestrian standing on the sidewalk. Then they yet another member of the media team was arrested, this time for registering voters, on private property under a citizen’s arrest from the owner of the Civic Center  - CB Richard Ellis. They continue to arrest protestors for simple things such as allegedly tearing police caution tape and calling it vandalism.

Not only is OSD calling for the resignation of Chief Police Landsdowne by petition for the way he has mishandled the Occupy San Diego protests, but a young female protestor Julie,  who does graphic design for the OSD media team, has now declared a hunger strike until Chief Lansdowne apologizes to OSD for the continued intimidation, harassment, and suppression.  She joins a group of citizen's willing to forgo sustenance until action by our elected officials is taken toward more fair treatment of civil liberties.

After a summer of troubling reports of SDPD officers being involved in a variety of criminal activities ranging from assaulting minors, stalking, driving while intoxicated, and sexual abuse, we are now faced with another series of offenses done to citizens by the officers of the SDPD.  OSD is hoping Chief Landsdowne will help make the situation right by apologizing for this misconduct as he did earlier in the year for SDPD’s misconduct.


The Zombie Cults and SD Unified

From Two Cathedrals:

With the state budget poised to dramatically under-deliver and trigger large budget cuts for schools across the state, local media has spent a couple months wading into the looming financial crisis at San Diego Unified for a while now. And while the immediacy of the local challenges makes it crucial to cover well, it isn’t like this is a crisis in a vacuum.

Any discussion of the budgetary straitjacket in Sacramento that’s made this budget crisis inevitable has been strikingly absent, aside from the perfunctory ‘state’s broken’ before getting into mitigating the effects. For years, California’s 2/3 majority requirement for any new taxes has been an effective moratorium on any new taxes. In the state where Governor Ronald Reagan once raised taxes to balance the budget, the Jarvis/Norquist no-tax dead-enders have been able to ensure that there will always be a Republican minority in Sacramento large enough to block any new revenue. In boom times, the state can get by in that system. But as we’ve seen in the last few years, when times are tough and the only option allowed is budget cuts into oblivion, things turn ugly in a hurry.

Republican Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher is leaving his seat to run for mayor of San Diego. In Sacramento, he was more open to non-partisan, pragmatic problem solving than many of his colleagues have been in years. He also just finished up an education town hall series with City Council President Tony Young. One might expect a few questions asking why Sacramento is taking millions out of our classrooms in the name of continuing the no-new-revenue gridlock, why Fletcher’s colleagues are forcing it to happen? Since the same cabal has plenty of pull in San Diego as well, might have been interesting to learn more about how he expects to break through gridlock here that nobody, including him, can seem to break through in Sacramento. One expecting such topics would have been sorely disappointed. Let’s hope he has a good answer though — we need one. If he doesn’t, let’s hope someone does.

How about other local legislators who’ve been a part of systemic obstruction in Sacramento? Martin Garrick was Assembly Minority Leader for the bruising 2010 budget battle, and is presumably eying a senate run. What’s his plan to keep our classrooms functional? Brian Maienschein is running for Assembly and recently signed the no-tax pledge, but who’s talking about what exactly his plan is to stem the de-funding of our schools that necessarily results? Plenty of other local incumbents and aspirants have bought into this system, what’s their response to parents whose children just aren’t going to get the education they could? This should be be more than yet another austerity vs workers false premise — it should be a flash point for accountability of those who make careers from these never-ending cuts.

The Governor has been clear from the get-go that the whole plan is to force accountability; force irresponsible legislators and their constituents to face the reality they’ve created — no more gimmicks. It’s shock doctrine; the desperate financial straits (that we’ve really been building for a generation or more) and a resulting conversation about priorities is the point… not that you’d know it from the conversation in San Diego so far.

Maybe it’s a function of how beaten down we’ve collectively become, but we aren’t getting an accountability discussion that touches the root. Instead, we get conversations that ignore the clear-cutting of the forest to argue over the proper way to cut down a couple trees near us. Sure we want to keep the trees, and sure the people driving the bulldozers supposedly work for us, but oh well. Let’s cut our trees down now since we’ll have to cut them down eventually. Natch.

Now, maybe this is just considered a foregone conclusion. Sacramento is hopelessly gridlocked, has been since before most of us remember, and the seats are all too safe to contest the elections. So a pox on everyone’s houses and argue over the best ways to mitigate the disaster locally. That, of course, is exactly what the cuts-only zombie cultists are relying on though. The longer they can prevent government from working, the more compelling their argument becomes that the government can’t work. And once that dysfunction passes into conventional wisdom, the paupers begin clawing over the scraps, and the system is changed. Until we can go around again and drop another level into Hell.

Quietly rolling over and accepting the notion that revenue is evil is infectious. The no-tax-no-services dead-enders will always exist. But their legitimacy comes because we aren’t serious about having the conversation in the first place. One of the two major parties has incorporated repeatedly kneecapping education funding as the single most important plank of its platform, and instead of calling it out, we’re talking about how to best take the hit over and over again.

You want schools to work, start with those responsible for breaking them in the first place. Maybe parents will even decide that education isn’t worth it. But as long as we’re locked into the same old reactive debates over how to treat the victims, we’ll never solve the crime.

by Lucas O’Connor

Open Letter to the People of California

From Jerry

When I became Governor again -- 28 years after my last term ended in 1983 -- California was facing a $26.6 billion budget deficit. It was the result of years of failing to match spending with tax revenues as budget gimmicks instead of honest budgeting became the norm.

In January, I proposed a budget that combined deep cuts with a temporary extension of some existing taxes. It was a balanced approach that would have finally closed our budget gap.

I asked the legislature to enact this plan and to allow you, the people of California, to vote on it.  I believed that you had the right to weigh in on this important choice: should we decently fund our schools or lower our taxes?  I don’t know how you would have voted, but we will never know.  The Republicans refused to provide the four votes needed to put this measure on the ballot.

Forced to act alone, Democrats went ahead and enacted massive cuts and the first honest on-time budget in a decade. But without the tax extensions, it was simply not possible to eliminate the state’s structural deficit.

The good news is that our financial condition is much better than a year ago. We cut the ongoing budget deficit by more than half, reduced the state’s workforce by about 5500 positions and cut unnecessary expenses like cell phones and state cars. We actually cut state expenses by over $10 billion.  Spending is now at levels not seen since the seventies.  Our state’s credit rating has moved from “negative” to “stable,” laying the foundation for job creation and a stronger economic recovery.
Unfortunately, the deep cuts we made came at a huge cost. Schools have been hurt and state funding for our universities has been reduced by 25%.  Support for the elderly and the disabled has fallen to where it was in 1983.  Our courts suffered debilitating reductions.

The stark truth is that without new tax revenues, we will have no other choice but to make deeper and more damaging cuts to schools, universities, public safety and our courts.

That is why I am filing today an initiative with the Attorney General’s office that would generate nearly $7 billion in dedicated funding to protect education and public safety. I am going directly to the voters because I don’t want to get bogged down in partisan gridlock as happened this year. The stakes are too high.

My proposal is straightforward and fair.  It proposes a temporary tax increase on the wealthy, a modest and temporary increase in the sales tax, and guarantees that the new revenues be spent only on education.  Here are the details:

  • Millionaires and high-income earners will pay up to 2% higher income taxes for five years. No family making less than $500,000 a year will see their income taxes rise. In fact, fewer than 2% of California taxpayers will be affected by this increase.   
  • There will be a temporary ½ cent increase in the sales tax.  Even with this temporary increase, sales taxes will still be lower than what they were less than six months ago.
  • This initiative dedicates funding only to education and public safety--not on other programs that we simply cannot afford. 

This initiative will not solve all of our fiscal problems. But it will stop further cuts to education and public safety.  

I ask you to join with me to get our state back on track. 

SDUT: Pension measure headed to June ballot, for now

The City Council on Monday moved to place on the ballot a proposal that would fundamentally overhaul the city’s public employee pension system, a month after proponents collected the requisite number of signatures to qualify the measure.

The 5-3 vote essentially clears the way for the Comprehensive Pension Reform initiative to go before voters in the June 5 primary election. It came amid heavy jostling from opponents who pushed for placing it on the November ballot, citing higher turnout among voters and the potential to save the city money.

Read the article here.

SDUT: Young elected to another year as SD council president

“This is a privilege to me,” Young said. “And I do want to make sure that we continue as a council to become an entity that the public really respects. We want to make sure we give confidence to them: To let them know that we are doing these things on their behalf, we’re working on their behalf.”

Read the article here.

SDUT: Romney hosts fundraiser in San Diego

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney hosted a fundraising lunch Monday at the Westgate Hotel in San Diego.

Romney, who plans to expand his beachside home in La Jolla, has been in and out of town for private fundraisers as he works to hold off Newt Gingrich’s surge in several national polls and early voting states such as Iowa and South Carolina.

Read the article here.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Occupy San Diego to Establish Picket Blockade at Port


For Immediate Release: December 5, 2011

Kali Katt 1-619-916-1304
Rick Halsey 760-822-0029

Occupy San Diego to Establish Picket Blockade at Port

Local citizens to support coordinated effort along the entire West Coast in solidarity with other Occupations

Monday, December 5, 2011 – In response to coordinated attacks across the nation on the Occupy movement by the 1% on Monday, December 12 Occupy San Diego will stand in solidarity with other West Coast occupations in a West Coast Port Blockade to disrupt the economic apparatus of the 1% using a peaceful, nonviolent picket line.  OSD is asking participants meet at Chicano Park at 6am with supplies to be prepared to stay the day and late into the evening, at least.   

The West Coast Port Blockade was called upon by Occupy Oakland and is in solidarity with the Longshoremen in Longview, WA in their struggle against the multinational corporation EGT, and with the struggle of port truckers in Los Angeles against Goldman Sachs.  The 1% has disrupted the lives of longshoremen, port truckers and all other workers, just as the 1% has also coordinated nationwide police attacks turning US cities into battlegrounds in an effort to disrupt the Occupy Movement. Occupy San Francisco, Occupy Los Angeles, Occupy Portland, Occupy Tacoma, Occupy Seattle and Occupy Vancouver have all joined in responding to the West Coast call of action by Occupy Oakland.

Participating occupations are asked to encourage that during the port shutdowns the local arbitrator rules in favor of longshoremen not crossing community picket lines in order to avoid recriminations against them. Should there be any retaliation against any workers as a result of their honoring pickets or supporting our port actions, or in the event of police repression of any of the mobilizations, additional solidarity actions will be prepared and shutdown actions may be extended to multiple days.

On Nov. 2, 2011 30,000 protestors shut down the Port of Oakland after Occupy Oakland called for a Day of Action in solidarity with Longview longshoremen. On Nov. 19 Longview workers Local 21 president Dan Coffman said, “You cannot believe what you did for the inspiration of my union members who’ve been on the picket line for 6 months.”  Then on Dec 2, 2011 International Longshore and Warehouse Union office clerical workers in Los Angeles-Long Beach walked off the job and formed a picket line shutting down the port and calling off 18 month contract negotiations.


About EGT and Goldman Sachs

EGT is a multinational grain exporter consortium. Bunge Ltd is the largest partner in EGT who reported 2.5 billion dollars in profit last year alone, has direct ties to Wall Street, and has caused economic despair in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, and now the United States. EGT has been rupturing ILWU jurisdiction in Longview, Washington and bringing in scab labor.

Goldman Sachs owns a large part of the SSA port terminals and is guilty of facilitating the exploitation of non-union and short-run, port truck drivers who have struggled for dignified and humane conditions in the workplace for several years now. These independent truck drivers are primarily immigrant workers who are pitted against each other and receive low wages and unreliable hours while Goldman Sachs, the shipping companies and their underlings, reap record profits.

EGT and Goldman Sachs are the 1%. The Occupy Movement is committed to shutting down the 1% and is using its collective political power in order to confront the 1% with mass mobilizations that shut down sites of profit.

Through it’s exploitation of both human and natural resources, Wall Street has sent our local communities and families a message that people and the planet are less important than profit. Join with Occupy San Diego for a day of action at the San Diego Port to tell Wall Street to put people first!

SDUT: Lawmaker’s background plays into UC pepper spray hearing

Block will chair the Dec. 14 Assembly Higher Education Committee hearing into the incident captured on a video that has gone viral and set off a firestorm of debate nationally.

Read the article here.

SDNR: Supporters of pension reform initiative warn of delay or manipulation of measure

Supporters of the Comprehensive Pension Reform (CPR) Initiative held a press conference Friday ahead of the City Council’s vote on the initiative Monday, asking San Diegans to contact their council members and urge them to put the initiative on the June 2012 ballot without “manipulating” it. 

Read the article here.

SDUT: Popaditch announces congressional bid

Running against Susan Davis.

Read the article here.