Saturday, January 14, 2012

SDUT: Mayoral debate includes pension humor

Filner called the initiative a fraud that throws public employees under the bus for the disastrous decisions made by previous mayors — Republicans, he noted — that created a nearly $2.2 billion pension deficit. He is offering an alternative plan that would cap pensions at about $106,000, reach a five-year labor deal with workers and refinance the pension debt with low-interest municipal bonds. Filner said it would free up $500 million over the next few years, although he has yet to release specifics.

Read the article here.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Another candidate enters the race for D7

Nathan Elbert Johnson, American Independent Party

San Diego City Clerk page.

Two Cathedrals: 5 years on, CPUC issues new fire prevention rules

From Two Cathedrals:

The California Public Utilities Commission unveiled new rules this week — reacting to lessons of the 2007 wildfires to toughen regulations that hopefully will prevent power lines from starting fires in the future. The rules are welcome, since otherwise SDG&E was under absolutely no obligation to change its practices — the practices that started the Witch Creek fire.
Arcing power lines, buffeted by Santa Ana winds, were blamed by investigators for the Oct. 21, 2007, Witch Creek fire. Ignited near Santa Ysabel, that fire eventually merged with the Guejito fire, which had begun early Oct. 22 in the San Pasqual Valley and quickly burned into Rancho Bernardo. More than 1,600 structures were lost in the fires.
Power lines were also blamed for the Rice Canyon fire that burned hundreds of homes in Fallbrook later that week and, farther from San Diego, the Malibu Canyon fire.
Two state investigations concluded that SDG&E equipment, and to a lesser degree Cox Communications, caused the Witch Creek/Guejito fire and the Rice Canyon fire.
There are still hundreds of 2007 fire victims waiting to get their settlement, and that it’s taken four and a half years to address the practices that caused the devastation is amazing. The City of San Diego is among those still waiting for its settlement. If your home was destroyed by the fire, the ship has long since sailed on getting a settlement in a timely manner, but if and when SDG&E finally finishes this process depends in part on the huge rate hike it’s seeking.

The relationship is so tight between SDG&E and its regulatory agency that it’s the SDG&E press shop that gives statements to the media defending the independence of the CPUC, the absurd irony of which remains stunning.

So it’s against this backdrop that SDG&E seeks upwards of a billion dollars in rate hikes — hikes to pass on the cost of fire damage to customers and undermine the growing solar industry. It’s perhaps worth remembering as they ask for a billion dollar handout from the general public that, not only was SDG&E was responsible for devastation that has still not been remedied five years later, but that its parent company Sempra doubled its profits in the third quarter of 2011 and announced last month that it will significantly exceed its annual profit projections.

Of course, if SDG&E doesn’t get the rate hike that allows the cost of fire settlements to be passed on to the public, it has to pay out of pocket and all those amazing profit figures are going to take a hit. Meaning that the calculation is whether the cost of the fire caused by SDG&E practices should be born by its stock price on Wall Street or by San Diegans who had to wait four and a half years to get a ruling that amounts to ‘we’ll try not to do it again.’

An easy choice for the corporation, which succeeds by protecting profits. But the public interest? That might be a little different.

by Lucas O’Connor

Carl DeMaio's hollow veterans jobs plan

From Dirty DeMaio:

Carl DeMaio rolled out a new veterans proposal yesterday ahead of today's first mayoral debate to feature all four candidates. It makes sense strategically since he's running against Bob Filner, who's worked on veterans issues for years in Congress, and Nathan Fletcher, a decorated veteran who released a veterans plan months ago.

But reading through it, it turns out DeMaio's veterans plan does not include any step in which jobs are created. In fact, you'd be forgiven if you thought it was just his campaign's "Job Creation" page with the word 'veteran' thrown in a few times to narrow the focus. It's impressive at least for its consistency, since his Job Creation plan doesn't have a step where jobs are created either.

For someone who claims to be so driven by data and trackable performance and careful measure of outcomes and tough accountability, you would think there would be something remotely resembling a tangible goal here. But the sort of hard, trackable goals that usually indicate seriousness aren't anywhere to be found in this plan.

And since its a jobs plan that doesn't create jobs, it just means DeMaio's plan is to promote hiring certain people over others -- instead of having enough good jobs for everyone. That probably makes a certain sense for DeMaio, since he thinks the private sector is "good enough" already.

This plan that doesn't create any jobs was released from his city council office, not through his campaign. So it will be interesting to follow along and see, compared to his previous Pathways and Roadmaps, how much effort DeMaio actually puts into campaigning on the taxpayer-funded proposal and how much time he devotes to actually trying to pass any of it as a current member of the council.
He hasn't had much luck actually passing any of the items in any of the previous elaborate, taxpayer-funded policy packages, and you'd be hard pressed to see evidence of him trying. But given how much trouble Carl DeMaio has showing up to his day job or even keeping track of what goes on when he's playing hooky, maybe there just isn't enough time in the day.

Hard to justify calling DeMaio a 'taxpayer watchdog' who's 'cleaning up City Hall' when he's struggling to show up or push his very own agenda -- while making sure he spends every taxpayer dime he can on campaign fodder. Just like it's hard to take a jobs plan seriously that doesn't even include the step of actually creating jobs.

Rancho Bernardo Patch: DeMaio, Dumanis and Fletcher Talk Veterans

The three mayoral candidates have each offered plans for helping veterans. 

Read the article here.

Donna Frye Endorses Mat Kostrinsky for City Council District 7

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          

 Donna Frye Endorses Mat Kostrinsky for City Council District 7
Champion of Open Government and Environmental Protection Supports Longtime Community Leader

San Diego, CA – January 12, 2012 – Donna Frye, respected leader of the San Diego City Council for over a decade, has endorsed Mat Kostrinsky to represent San Diego’s newly formed Council District 7.  District 7 is comprised of the eastern San Diego communities of Allied Gardens, Del Cerro, Grantville, San Carlos and Tierrasanta, as well as communities that were previously represented by Frye during her term as a councilmember; Birdland, Mission Valley, Serra Mesa, and southern portion of Linda Vista.

Donna Frye has long been recognized as a reformer and was honored by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) San Diego Pro Chapter’s 2011 with the Sunshine Award for her tenure on city council from 2001 to 2010.  SPJ stated, “[Frye] was dedicated to open government, boycotting closed council sessions until city council rewrote its policy on such sessions, forcing the lifting of limits on public comment at meetings, forcing the public release of a study that determined the true costs of providing sewer service and showed that residential customers were partially subsidizing service for businesses, and helping pass a ballot measure that improved access to city records, among other efforts.”

During her time in office, Frye made the right decisions for the right reasons and put the public interest first.  “I am proud to be endorsed by a leader who took such bold action: when she saw a problem, she spoke out and tried to fix it, just like I will on behalf of the community.” Kostrinsky said.

“Mat Kostrinsky has already proven himself to be a community leader in District 7.  He knows the residents, he understands the issues, and he knows how to bring people together to achieve results for the community,” stated Frye.  “Mat grew up in District 7.  For years he has been involved in projects and issues that have made our neighborhoods a better place for our community and our children.  Now we need him on the City Council to help improve our entire City,” continued Frye.

Kostrinsky grew up in the San Diego communities of San Carlos and Del Cerro.  He attended Pershing Middle School, Patrick Henry High School and graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science. Mat has shown his dedication to our neighborhoods through volunteerism, representing them on numerous community boards, working on numerous projects in the district and improving the district through beautification projects such as Lake Murray Playground Project. Currently, Mat is a Home Health Advocate for UDW, ensuring that our State’s elderly and disabled receive the respect and care they deserve in their own homes.

# # #

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Labor Council Response to Mayor Sanders’ 2012 State of the City Address

For Immediate Release
January 11, 2012

Labor Council Response to Mayor Sanders’ 2012 State of the City Address

SAN DIEGO - San Diego Labor Council Secretary-Treasurer Lorena Gonzalez made the following statement in response to tonight’s State of the City address:

“Mayor Sanders’ speech tonight was the equivalent of a spoonful of lukewarm porridge. San Diego is tired of lukewarm vanilla porridge.

“Instead, our city was looking for answers to the important questions facing them. How will he put San Diegans back to work in good jobs? What assurances will the city make to employ local workers on the projects he’s been proposing? And what is the city doing to keep city residents in their homes when foreclosures are wrecking families and blighting neighborhoods?

“Tonight’s speech sounded a lot like the same ‘to do’ list that Mayor Sanders has given us in every single State of the City address since he was elected. It’s disappointing he won’t be able to have more accomplishments checked off when he leaves office in 11 months.”

San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council
The San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, AFL-CIO includes 134 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.             

"Kicking Ass for the Middle Class" rally! postponed

Stay tuned for details.

SDNR: Lawyer who sued city last week says he will run for City Council

A lawyer who recently sued the city of San Diego to have the Children's Pool in La Jolla closed during harbor seal pupping season said today he will run for a seat on the San Diego City Council.
Bryan Pease said he would officially enter the race to challenge incumbent Sherri Lightner in District 1 on Thursday.

Read the article here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Honorable Dede Alpert Endorses Scott Peters for Congress

CONTACT: MaryAnne Pintar 

The Honorable Dede Alpert Endorses Scott Peters for Congress

"More than ever, Washington needs thoughtful, compassionate leaders like Scott"

San Diego – The Scott Peters for Congress campaign announces another endorsement today from one of San Diego’s most popular elected leaders. Former State Senator Dede Alpert has endorsed Peters, calling him a “thoughtful and compassionate” leader.

“I’ve known and worked with Scott for several years, while he was on the City Council, and during his volunteer public service to our community and I very gladly endorse his candidacy for Congress,” Alpert said.

“He is thoughtful, compassionate and smart, and is one of the most skilled consensus builders I’ve ever worked with,” she said.  “His reasonable, determined style of leadership is sorely needed in Washington right now where the rancor has become so intense it is harming our country. I urge San Diegans in the new 52nd District to support him and send a new style of leadership to Washington.”

Alpert had a long career as an elected representative in the San Diego region, beginning in 1983 when she was elected to the Solana Beach School Board. In 1991, she was elected to the California State Assembly, and in 1996, to the California State Senate.  During her 14 years of legislative service she was best known for championing laws that improved public education and protected victims of domestic abuse.

“When people ask me who I look to as a mentor or model for how elected officials should, I tell them I learned from Dede,” Peters said. “She is practical and sensible and was always willing to listen to all sides in order to forge compromise and make progress,” he said. “I am honored to have her endorsement.”

For more information about Scott Peters or his campaign to bring common sense back to Washington, go to Launched Anew to Provide Dirty Details About Extremist Mayoral Candidate

Contact: Lucas O'Connor
Cell #: 703-864-4619
E-Mail: Launched Anew to Provide Dirty
Details About Extremist Mayoral Candidate

Web and Social Media Campaign Will Serve As Information Center for San Diego’s Voters

SAN DIEGO – (Wednesday, January 11, 2012) -- As the 2012 election sprint heats up, Too Extreme for San Diego today is re-launching, an information hub for voters and media to get the whole story on mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio.

A one-stop clearinghouse on DeMaio's history, extreme policy record, and campaign tactics, will provide news, analysis, and background research to finally give voters the whole picture about Carl DeMaio in one place in order to make an informed decision.

“We believe voters deserve to really see Carl DeMaio's full record," said San Diego Labor Council Secretary-Treasurer Lorena Gonzalez. "We may not be able to force DeMaio to face the tough questions that will reveal what kind of mayor he'd really be, but we can at least give San Diegans the opportunity to make an informed decision.”

Most San Diegans haven't heard anything close to the full story on Carl DeMaio yet, which is why is such an important tool for this campaign. DeMaio has spent his entire adult life in professional politics, adding up to nearly two decades inside the conservative machine in Washington DC and now in San Diego.

“For too long, DeMaio has successfully evaded tough scrutiny and largely written his own story for San Diegans.” Gonzalez continued. “But his history of extreme policies, stark hypocrisy, and reckless self-promotion is out of step with San Diego and will be put before voters.”

Too Extreme for San Diego is a campaign to oppose extremist candidate Carl DeMaio in the San Diego Mayor’s race in 2012. For more information, visit or check us out on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

SDUT: Suit seeks to block SD pension vote

Attorney Hud Collins is mounting a long-shot bid to be the next mayor of San Diego, but his biggest contribution to the coming election season may be a lawsuit he filed that, if successful, could prevent a proposed pension initiative from going before city voters.

Collins sued the city last month to prevent the City Council from putting the “Comprehensive Pension Reform” initiative — which would replace guaranteed pensions with 401(k)-style plans for most new city hires — on the June ballot. He is arguing the initiative isn’t an amendment to the city charter, as supporters have described it, but rather a sweeping charter revision.

Read the article here.

KPBS: Ex-City Councilman Finally Headed To Prison

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a request by former San Diego City Councilman Ralph Inzunza for a new hearing in the notorious case known as "Strippergate."

The decision means Inzunza’s appeals are over and his 21-month prison sentence must begin.

Read the article here.

SDUT: Supervisor Roberts named board chairman

Read the article here.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Labor Council Response to U-T San Diego Column on Chargers Stadium Search

For Immediate Release                                                                                                
Contact: Patrick Pierce
January 9, 2012  

Labor Council Response to U-T San Diego Column on Chargers Stadium Search

SAN DIEGO - San Diego Labor Council Secretary-Treasurer Lorena Gonzalez made the following statement today in response to Nick Canepa’s column in U-T San Diego:

“While the San Diego Labor Movement is generally supportive of both expanding the Convention Center and building a new Chargers Stadium, we feel there are a host of community benefits that need to be addressed before either move forward.

“Plans for both projects will require the use of taxpayer dollars and public land and, we believe, such substantial investment by the San Diego community must be met with an equally significant benefit for the community.

“To ensure the community a return on its investment, we believe there must be a written agreement requiring the use of local workers on those projects along with training opportunities in the construction trades for our city’s unemployed. We believe that there must be a discussion and commitment to raising the job quality of the tourism jobs that would be created as a result of either project to stop the race to the bottom seen in the service sector. And we are absolutely opposed to any change of operations or marketing of the Convention Center Corporation that would lead to the privatization of this public asset due to turning over control of the board to wealthy hoteliers.

“As of now, neither project addresses these concerns, but we look forward to working with any groups that are willing to encourage responsible economic growth.”


San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council
The San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, AFL-CIO represents more than 192,000 union workers in the region and advocates for an economy with more jobs, better jobs and better lives for all workers in the region - union and non-union.      

SDUT: Canepa: Chargers to stay in '12, but new stadium still needed

“We will continue to work closely with the mayor on developing the East Village bus maintenance site in downtown San Diego,” said Mark Fabiani, the Chargers general counsel and point man on new stadium development. 

Read the article here.

Occupy San Diego Legal Team: Arrested Outlaw Occupella Singer Stephanie Jennings and other unlawfully arrested

Press Release for Conference on Monday, 1/9/2012 @ 3:30 p.m. at Civic Center Plaza.

Targeted and unlawful application of the law against peaceful protesters, and the expansion of the Occupiers' Federal TRO for an injunction to stop the the false, arbitrary and overly broad charges of "Illegal lodging & encroachment" by SDPD.

Lawyers for the Occupiers (Byran Pease, etc.) and unjustly arrested Occupiers Stephanie Jennings, Michael Garcia, Ray Lutz and John B. Kenney will be in attendance, as well as other eye-witnesses and singers of the notorious Outlaws Occupella SD Gang.

Occupy member and Occupella singer Stephanie Jennings is one of two women man-handled, bruised and arrested by SDPD officers for singing at Civic Center on Saturday night, where several hundred Occupiers were peacefully celebrating the three month anniversary of the Occupy Movement in Civic Center Plaza. Ms. Jennings, a self-employed mother and founder of the Women Occupiers Group, was charged an outrageous $10,000 for 243(B) PC, " battery committed against the person of a peace officer".  Ms. Jennings, and numerous eye-witnesses deny the charges. She will be filing an official complaint.

Ms. Jennings and Michael Garcia, arrested on Friday night for having a folding chair in the Plaza, just 1 hour before he was scheduled to speak at a Labor event celebrating the 100 year anniversary of San Diego police oppression and numerous killings against Emma Goldman and Free Speech and Workers' Rights History Month at the Centro Cultural Del Raza at Balboa Park, are just the latest in a long suffering string of arrests on specious charges targeted at the peaceful protesters in San Diego Civic Center.

YouTube video of the incident shows SDPD officers arresting two women, and throwing one of them to the concrete Plaza floor. Many protesters can be heard chanting, “Shame on you,” at the SDPD officers man-handling the women.

Attorneys for the Occupiers will address the various legal aspects of the Federal case, and the expanded causes of action for the TRO/injunction.

See also YouTube at:
[ Footage of Stephanie Jennings, picking up the action just after the initial assault and battery by the SDPD Sgt., is between 5 and 18 seconds on the left side of the screen. The bald cop, believed to be Sgt. Malano(?), later pushing the other woman, is the same one that assaulted Ms. Jennings.]

For more information contact John B. Kenney at, or (619) 674-1858.

"Kicking Ass for the Middle Class" rally!

January 14, 2012 at 1:00pm
351 Broadway, San Diego 92101 (in front of Horton Plaza)

Come on down!

SDUT: Pension election rhetoric to ramp up

There’s also a possibility that the City Council’s Democratic majority, at the urging of mayoral candidate Bob Filner, could place a competing measure on the same ballot that would keep guaranteed pensions in place but include other changes to ease the financial strain on the city’s budget.

Read the article here.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

SGGP: U.S. Representative arrives in Vietnam to support victims of Agent Orange

U.S. Representative Robert Earl Filner arrived in Ho Chi Minh City on January 4 on an eight day tour of Vietnam to monitor programs being conducted in various provinces for victims of Agent Orange. 

Read the article here.

SDUT: Mayoral candidates burnish distinct images

Each has a familiar face. Each has a compelling story to tell. Each has a solid base of ardent supporters to draw upon. Each is willing to give up a relatively safe political office to become the next mayor of San Diego. And, of course, each is expecting to win.

Read the article here.

SDUT: Political Notebook: Frye endorses Saldaña

Former Democratic Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña, who is challenging Republican Rep. Brian Bilbray, has announced the endorsement of former San Diego City Councilwoman Donna Frye.

Read the article here.