Friday, May 18, 2012

LGBT Hero Joseph Rocha Endorses Saldaña


Cites Saldaña's fighting spirit and willingness to stand up for what is right 

SAN DIEGO – Joseph Christopher Rocha, a Naval veteran who made headlines for his efforts to repeal ‘Don’t Ask’ Don’t Tell,’ has endorsed Lori Saldaña’s run for Congress.

Rocha, who left the Navy after long-term abuse because of his sexuality, said he supports Saldaña because she stands on a proven record of serving the underprivileged and underrepresented.

“It is Saldaña’s heart, her fighting spirit, and her willingness to stand up for what is right that allows me to confidently endorse her,” he said.

Rocha lives in San Diego and has recently reentered the service as a candidate for officer selection in the Marine Corps.

“As a veteran returning to service, I would be proud knowing that the city I love is represented by a politician with the moral integrity of Lori Saldana.”

Saldaña said she was honored by Rocha’s support.

“Anybody who meets Joseph Rocha can’t help admiring his character, his unyielding commitment to public service and his willingness to rejoin the military after what he’s has been through,” Saldaña said. “I am deeply touched to have the support of this remarkable young man.”

Saldaña has been recognized by Equality California for twice co-authoring the nation’s first marriage equality legislation as well to other bills expanding legal protections for LGBT Californians.

Rocha adds to the growing list of LGBT elected officials and civil rights leaders who have endorsed Saldaña including:

Nichole Murray-Ramirez - City of San Diego Human Relations Commissioner, LGBT Activist
State Senator Mark Leno - author of California’s Marriage Equality legislation
Former State Senator Sheila Kuehl - first openly gay member of the California Legislature
Assembly Member Tom Ammiano – leader of the fight to defeat the anti-gay Briggs Initiative


Protecting Our Natural Resources

I understand the importance of preserving our environment, coastline, lagoons, and open spaces while fostering an economic climate that puts people to work.  As a candidate for County Supervisor in the Third District and as the Deputy Mayor of the City of Solana Beach, it has been one of my top priorities to protect our precious natural resources and do so in a balanced way.  For those reasons I have been endorsed by the Sierra Club, U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce, the League of Conservation Voters and the friends of the San Dieguito River Valley.

I am currently the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the San Elijo Joint Powers Authority (SEJPA).  It's difficult to believe today, but up until the 1950's, wastewater was privately collected and discharged directly into the San Elijo Lagoon and the ocean!  The SEJPA serves the cities of Solana Beach, Encinitas and portions of Rancho Santa Fe.  The agency is committed to protecting public health, the ocean and the coastal environment.   As such, creating recycled water from wastewater is an integral part of the Agency's service to the local community.

Through the recycled water program, more than 350 million gallons of wastewater are treated and recycled each year.  This water would have otherwise been treated and then wastefully discharged into the ocean.

There is a new project I would like to share with you that aspires to push the boundaries of what a recycled water program might be able to accomplish.  At SEJPA, we want to minimize ocean disposal of wastewater and support the growth of our recycled water program.  In order to do so, we are investing in the main treatment process for purifying recycled water for our current water quality needs, and other future opportunities.

Concurrently, we are evaluating ways to address some storm water runoff and pollution issues in a capture-treat program as part of these upgrades.   This is a small element of the project, but one that we're particularly proud of, as it has the potential to increase our effectiveness in reducing coastal pollution.  This project is also a shining example of the success of collaboration.  SEJPA has been developing the different aspects of this project in partnership with Solana Beach's engineering staff, the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy and the cities of Solana Beach and Encinitas.

Many impressive efforts have been undertaken throughout our county to make improvements in our region's water management.  I'd like to recognize the Water Reliability Coalition that Surfrider helped establish, whose efforts resulted in the City of San Diego's Recycled Water purification project.  In North County, SEJPA has teamed up with 11 other government agencies to evaluate how we can do more with recycled water.  These evaluations range from expanding existing purple pipe projects to Indirect Potable Reuse.

In my eight years serving on SEJPA, it's been an honor to be able to develop sustainable water policies that have long-term benefits for our entire county.  If elected Supervisor for the Third District, I will continue to work hard to ensure that San Diego is always using smart solutions for a better quality of life for everyone.

For more information, visit his web site at


Tierrasanta's Tierra Times Endorses Peters for Congress

“He is bright, focused on bringing jobs to the region, and understands 
the strong role that the military plays in our local economy.” ~ Tierra Times

San Diego –Today Scott Peters received the endorsement of Tierrasanta’s community newspaper, the Tierra Times, in his bid for the newly drawn 52nd Congressional District.

Citing his leadership at several levels of local government, the Tierra Times said, “Peters is bright, focused on bringing jobs to the region, and understands the strong role that the military plays in our local economy.”

The editorial concludes that Peters “will make a real difference in Washington D.C. representing our region.”

The endorsement of the Tierra Times, which is mailed directly to 10,250 homes and business owners in Tierrasanta, is the second media endorsement in as many days for the Peters campaign, sending a strong message about the momentum leading to a Peters-Bilbray run off in November.  Yesterday, Peters was also endorsed by San Diego’s leading progressive newsweekly, CityBeat, which is widely read on line and has a print circulation of 50,000 in San Diego County.

"Two publications have endorsed so far, and we are now two for two," said Campaign Communications Director MaryAnne Pintar. "We're going to keep up open the lines of communication with editors and members of the media to try and get out our message of common-sense problem solving in order to keep up this great momentum."

Peters is the Democratic front runner in the race to unseat long-time Republican Congressman Brian Bilbray in the newly redrawn 52nd Congressional District. For more information about Scott, please visit


ROBIN HOOD TAX action day!

 ROBIN HOOD TAX action day! 
Friday 5/18/2012    5:30 PM at the NBC Bldg.

In Solidarity with National Nurses United, Action San Diego and other progressive organizations, Occupy San Diego General Assembly will hold a Rally for the  ROBIN HOOD TAX on Friday 5/18 at 5:30pm @ the NBC Bldg. in San Diego (Corner of 3rd & Broadway)?

UCSD RN Lisa Ross, RN Geri Jenkins (past-president of CNA) and Raul Carranza of Occupy Medi-Cal, denied insurance coverage though he needs 24 hour care for his muscular dystrophy, will give speeches.

This is event organized by the Occupy San Diego General Assembly (which is STILL meeting every Saturday at Freedom Plaza/Civic Center) in solidarity with the National Nurses United national call for action on this date.

"A centerpiece of the May 18 ROBIN HOOD TAX action will be a call on world leaders to adopt a financial transaction tax (FTT) on major trading by banks and other financial institutions to raise revenue critically needed for revitalizing the economic health of the U.S. and... other G-8 nations. Ralliers in San Diego & Marchers in San Diego will also challenge austerity programs that have eroded health and living standards for working people throughout the world.

Over the past year, NNU has sponsored large actions, calling on Congress to tax Wall Street with a robust FTT on the trading of stocks, bonds, currencies, derivatives, and other financial instruments that the nurses say could raise $350 billion every year. The funds would then be available for essential needs, such as creating jobs, and investing in healthcare, education, and housing."


LA and OC Janitors Join San Diego’s Own at UTC for Protest March & Rally; Hunger Fasters To Break Fast At Intersection of Towne Center Drive and La Jolla Villa Drive

San Diego, CA - SEIU United Service Workers West janitors from Los Angeles and Orange County will join janitors from San Diego today, Friday, May 18, 2012 at Genesee Ave and La Jolla Village Drive, against contractors and their corporate employers who insist on wage freezes and cuts to workers’ health benefits.  In response to their proposals, USWW janitors began a 3-day hunger fast which is scheduled to end tomorrow at 12:30PM at the intersection of La Jolla Village Drive and Towne Center Drive.

“For the past couple of months, the bargaining committee has negotiated in good faith with contractors for a modest wage increase and health care coverage for all janitors.  Instead, what contractors have offered is wage freezes and cuts to our benefits,” Martha Gomez, hunger faster and member of the bargaining committee.  “What contractors don’t realize is that we are prepared to take our fight for a dignified contract to the streets if we have to.  I am fasting for my children.  And for them I am standing up and saying enough!”

For over 20 years, janitors have fought hard to raise industry standards and improve wages and benefits so that their families can live a better life. While the janitors have made significant progress, current wages still fall short of what is needed to make ends meet in San Diego. This fight is even greater for the janitors who clean the commercial buildings and biotech companies in the suburbs of San Diego.

In 2012, 30,000 of USWW’s 40,000 members’ collective bargaining contracts expire, including the 1,800 office, tech and biotech janitors from San Diego and Inland Empire counties which are set to expire on May 30th.

SEIU USWW Janitors, Hunger Fasters, Community & Religious Leaders, including SD City Councilwoman Marti Emerald

Protest march and Rally for dignified wages and health care for workers and their families.

12PM – Small rally with Councilwoman Marti Emerald at Genesee Avenue and La Jolla Village Drive.
March through biotech corridor at UTC.
12:30PM – Ending rally at Towne Center Drive and La Jolla Village Drive.  Hunger fasters to end fast at intersection.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

SD Earth Day Founder & More Environmental Leaders Line Up Behind Peters for Congress

San Diego – The Scott Peters for Congress campaign today announced the endorsement of several environmental leaders, including one of San Diego’s most highly regarded and recognized environmental advocates, Carolyn Chase. Chase is the founder of San Diego Earth Day and the former chair of the Mayor’s Environmental Advisory Committee.

"I’ve worked with Scott on matters ranging from open space preservation to air and water quality. The bottom line is that Scott gets it, and he knows how to get it done," Chase said. "I've come to know him well over the years and I know he really cares about this stuff and he's smart and savvy enough to turn his concern into effective policy."

The campaign today, also released a video endorsement from Allison Rolfe, who is the former Executive Director of the Audubon Society, and former Policy Director for San Diego Baykeeper.

In the video, Rolfe recalls an intense community meeting in which Peters, as the Councilmember representing the area, had to balance the needs of property owners with the need to protect coastal bluffs impacted by the La Jolla Community Plan Update, saying, “he addressed each and every comment skillfully and patiently and somehow we all left feeling like we were heard.”

Rolfe and Chase today join other environmental leaders including:
    •    Diane Takvorian, founder of the Environmental Health Coalition;
    •    Lorena Gonzalez, board member, Planning and Conservation League*;
    •    Jared Quient, Evan McLaughlin and Lucas O’Conner, board members of the League of Conservation Voters-San Diego.*
Peters is the Democratic front-runner in the race to unseat long-time Republican Congressman Brian Bilbray in the newly drawn 52nd Congressional District.  For more information about Scott, go to

*For identification purposes only. The SDLCV has not made an official endorsement in this race.

ROBIN HOOD TAX action day!
 Tomorrow at 5:30 PM

In Solidarity with National Nurses United, Occupy San Diego, Action San Diego and other progressive organizations the ROBIN HOOD TAX on Friday 5/18 at 5:30pm @ the NBC Bldg. in San Diego (Corner of 3rd & Broadway)?

This is organized by the Occupy San Diego General Assembly (which is STILL meeting every Saturday at Freedom Plaza/Civic Center).

"A centerpiece of the May 18 ROBIN HOOD TAX action will be a call on world leaders to adopt a financial transaction tax (FTT) on major trading by banks and other financial institutions to raise revenue critically needed for revitalizing the economic health of the U.S. and... other G-8 nations. Ralliers in San Diego & Marchers in San Diego will also challenge austerity programs that have eroded health and living standards for working people throughout the world.

Over the past year, NNU has sponsored large actions, calling on Congress to tax Wall Street with a robust FTT on the trading of stocks, bonds, currencies, derivatives, and other financial instruments that the nurses say could raise $350 billion every year. The funds would then be available for essential needs, such as creating jobs, and investing in healthcare, education, and housing."


"We know that Filner will advocate for neighborhoods over Downtown and the needs of common folks over people with money and political influence. He’ll be at least as good as Fletcher on environmental policy but likely better.

He’s focused on energy policy and wants to push the regional transportation authority toward mass transit and away from high ways.

He’ll insist on finally giving brainy environmental-justice advocates a seat at the table—Filner’s vow to bring in people who’ve long been kept from the halls of power speaks loudly to us."

Pat Washington Endorsed for 79th Assembly District by Prominent Asian American Businessman Gil Ontai

SAN DIEGO, CA – "Gil" Ontai, successful San Diego Architect, California State Redistricting Commission Chair, former City of San Diego Planning Commissioner, former Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC) Director and Treasurer and San Diego Asian Business Association founding President, endorsed Dr. Pat Washington for 79th Assembly District today. 

"I support Pat Washington for the 79th Assembly District because she is sincerely determined to bring a voice to the diverse communities in her district,” said Ontai. “Pat has a track record for reaching out to diverse communities and making improvements through teamwork,” Ontai continued. “Pat Washington will work tirelessly to improve education, health care, and affordable housing, as well as stimulate economic growth for her constituents.”

“As a state commissioner with the Citizens Redistricting Commission, it is gratifying to know that Pat Washington will work to make the communities of the 79th Assembly District better places to live, work and raise a family,” said Ontai.

The endorsement by Ontai follows Pat Washington’s endorsement by the statewide Friends of the Filipino American Community Political Action Committee (FFAC-PAC), which cited her volunteer work in the communities of the 79th Assembly District and her tireless advocacy for the rights of the under-served as reasons why Pat will make a conscientious representative in the California State Assembly.


I am honored to obtain the endorsement of Gil Ontai, who has long been respected as a businessman, civic leader, and advocate for Asian Americans and others in San Diego and throughout California,” Washington said. “My desire to overcome obstacles in my life shaped my commitment to equality, fairness and social justice for all people, particularly for those in need,” said Washington. “Nearly every aspect of my life provided me with incentive and determination to champion the rights of others and to insist on accountability from institutions and individuals with the power to make decisions that affect our lives,” Washington said. 

Pat Washington adds Ontai to the hundreds of individual endorsements she has received for state Assembly in the 79th District, as well as organizations such as Friends of the Filipino American Community PAC, San Diego Democratic Women’s Club, San Diego Unity League, Democracy for America, and National Military Women Veterans Association of America. See for more.

Fletcher: A Foot Soldier in ALEC's Privatization Push

Democratic Chair Calls on Candidate to Renounce Membership in 'Corporate Bill Mill'

In an internal memo from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) distributed before a 2010 conference in San Diego, Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher is listed as the only California legislator on an ALEC committee advocating for the privatization of Medicaid.

The memo includes “model legislation” aimed at providing “vouchers for private insurance coverage” as a replacement for the popular program that covers healthcare for low-income families. As with similar proposals to privatize Medicare and Social Security, critics say a voucher system would undermine the program’s solvency while enriching the insurance industry at patients’ expense.

“It’s bad enough that Nathan Fletcher has been bankrolled by the insurance industry while he does their bidding in Sacramento,” said Jess Durfee, Chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party. “Now it turns out he has been actively involved in the effort to privatize vital public services.”

Mayoral candidate Fletcher is one of a handful of California lawmakers to be on the national membership roster of ALEC, which People for the American Way calls “the voice of corporate special interests in state legislatures.” Funded by major corporations and conservative family foundations, the right-wing think tank promotes privatization, deregulation, restrictive voter ID laws, and the repeal of labor protections.

“I call on Mr. Fletcher to renounce his membership in this corporate bill mill,” Durfee said. “Further, I think voters deserve to know why he has participated in ALEC's push to privatize Medicaid, which would leave affordable healthcare out of reach for millions of Americans.”

ALEC has recently been attacked for its role in passing “stand your ground” gun laws, including the one in Florida that the defendant in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin has sought to apply in his case. Many corporate sponsors have pulled their support from the increasingly controversial group this year, including Coca Cola, PepsiCo, Intuit, Kraft, and McDonalds.

Links to ALEC’s membership roster and the “Health and Human Services Task Force” memo are now posted at

San Diego Janitors To Hold 12-Hour Vigil at Civic Center Plaza;
Hunger Fast Participants Prepare To End Fast At Protest Action at UTC in La Jolla on Friday

San Diego, CA - San Diego area janitors will hold a 12-hour vigil with community and religious leaders at Civic Center Plaza, joining hunger fast participants fighting for health care for themselves and their families.  Throughout the day, community volunteers will be visiting hunger fasters at their base camp at the Church of the Brethren in San Diego, where volunteers are working hard making preparations for Friday’s march and rally at La Jolla’s UTC.

“I am a janitor and a mother.  I work hard every day so that I may provide my young children with everything they need to stay in school and go to college – something I am unable to do,” said Magdalena Figueroa, a janitor at Ximed and Hunger Fast participant.  “It is because of them that I have decided to fast.  Both of my daughters dream of going to college.  And so I will do what I have to to make sure they achieve that.”

USWW janitors have been negotiating a new contract for a modest wage increase and health benefits.  After weeks of negotiations, however, building contractors have proposed across-the-board cuts to janitors’ wages for the next 4 years, and have remained steadfast in their decision not to include health care for most janitors.  Those with some coverage will be asked to pay a monthly co-payment.

In 2012, 30,000 of USWW’s 40,000 members’ collective bargaining contracts expire, including the 1,800 office, tech and biotech janitors from San Diego and Inland Empire counties which are set to expire on May 30th.

SEIU USWW Janitors, Hunger Fasters, Community & Religious Leaders, including local city leaders

12-Hour Vigil and Preparations for Friday’s major action at La Jolla’s UTC area.

9AM – 4PM - Media are invited to visit hunger fasters at: Church of the Brethren, 3850 Westgate Place, San Diego,  92105.
5PM – 12AM | 12-Hour Vigil at SD Civic Center Plaza.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Scott Peters Can’t Handle the Truth

Scott Peters Can’t Handle the Truth

SAN DIEGO – In a bizarre, rambling screed, Scott Peters is still desperately trying to hide from his well-documented record on a number of issues, including his public support for cuts to Social Security and Medicare, his culpability in the ‘Enron-by-the Sea’ pension mess and his vote on the living wage.

Saldaña spokesperson, Joe Kocurek, said that these are well-established and easily documented facts.

“The Peters campaign is hoping that if they repeatedly deny the truth about Scott Peters’ record, it will just go away,” Kocurek said. “They’re lashing out because money, arrogance and entitlement aren’t working and it looks like the voters intend to hold him accountable for his City Council record at the ballot box.”

Here are the facts:

FACT: Scott Peters Said He Would Support Cuts to Social Security and Medicare: 

A particular sore spot for Peters is being caught on camera unequivocally supporting cuts to Social Security and Medicare, a position that alienates a broad swathe of the voting public.

FACT: Scott Peters Was Significantly Responsible for the ‘Enron-by-the-Sea’ Pension Mess: 

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigated Peters for deliberately voting to underfund the City of San Diego’s pension system and fraudulently concealing that fact from investors. In the Kroll Report, investigators lay out the culpability of the city officials, including Peters, and lambast him for “deliberate disregard for the law, disregard for fiduciary responsibility, and disregard for the welfare of the City’s residents” (p1).

FACT: Scott Peters Voted Against the Living Wage: 

In April of 2005, the San Diego City Council voted on a Living Wage Ordinance that would require contractors with the City to pay a living wage to their employees. Scott Peters voted NO on the Living Wage Ordinance, siding with big business and his Republican colleagues Mayor Dick Murphy, Brian Maienschein and Jim Madaffer. The measure still passed despite Peters opposition, but Peters is now trying to take credit for a bill he attempted to torpedo.

Progressive Newsweekly San Diego CityBeat Endorses Peters for Congress

Progressive Newsweekly San Diego CityBeat Endorses Peters for Congress

“Peters is smart, calm and savvy” and “represents the best chance of beating Bilbray” ~ San Diego CityBeat

San Diego -- In the first media endorsement in the race for the 52nd Congressional District, San Diego's leading progressive newsweekly, San Diego CityBeat, today endorsed Scott Peters over fellow Democrat Lori Saldaña citing Peters as the best chance Democrats have to beat entrenched Republican incumbent Brian Bilbray.

The magazine’s editorial write up said “Peters is well suited for Congress and well suited to represent the middle-of-the-road 52nd District. Peters is smart, calm and savvy and has a knack for behind-the-scenes diplomacy.”

CityBeat, considered a “beacon of liberal opinion,” also had plenty to say about Saldaña, “her volatile personality” and her “reputation for not working and playing well with others -- hardly a trait that’s desperately needed in Washington, D.C.”

Recounting an incident with Saldaña that occurred last month when she cancelled an interview over a benign tweet by its editor, the write up said Saldaña revealed her true colors: “she revealed herself to be shockingly sensitive and politically unsophisticated, and she missed an opportunity to reach out to tens of thousands of voters less than two months before the election. Dumb. We knew of her alienating manner before that, but the occurrence sealed it for us.”

“Most importantly,” the editorial said, “Peters represents the best chance of beating Bilbray in November.”

“Congress has plenty of volatility right now and that’s not working out for anyone,” said Peters. “When our government doesn’t work, who does that hurt most? It hurts the poor and the middle-class and working families and that’s wrong. I appreciate CityBeat’s endorsement. It adds to the great momentum that’s building towards a Peters-Bilbray run-off in November."

“We have always asserted that Scott had the best chance of beating Brian Bilbray in this newly drawn district, and CityBeat agrees,” said Campaign Communications Director MaryAnne Pintar. “Scott’s calm, cool, professional style of leadership won the day in this case, and I believe CityBeat’s editors know Scott will stand up for, and with, working families."

For more information about Scott, go to” 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Filner Joins in Introduction of Mortgage Foreclosure Protection Legislation for Servicemembers and Their Families

Filner Joins in Introduction of Mortgage Foreclosure Protection Legislation for Servicemembers and Their Families

Washington, D.C. – Ranking Democratic Member Bob Filner (D-CA) joined top Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Committee on Armed Services in introducing legislation that provides greater safeguards to protect servicemembers and their families from mortgage foreclosures, as well as other important improvements to the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act, a law that provides protections for our servicemembers and veterans.

“Our servicemembers protect our country, our way of life, and our homes,” stated Filner.  “We can do no less to protect their homes against mortgage foreclosure.  I applaud my colleague Representative Cummings for fashioning a bill making important improvements to the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act and for including language from my bill, H.R. 1263, to extend protections to surviving spouses of fallen servicemembers whose deaths were service-connected.”

Representative Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), Ranking Democratic Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, is the lead sponsor of this legislation.  “Our troops fighting overseas in Iraq or Afghanistan should not have to fight here at home just to keep a roof over the heads of their loved ones,” Cummings said. “This bill will expand current law to protect more of our brave men and women in uniform from losing their homes while they protect our freedoms abroad.”

Joining with Filner and Cummings is the Ranking Democratic Member of the House Committee on Armed Services, Representative Adam Smith (D-WA).  “Our servicemembers and their families act selflessly to protect our country and ensure national security, sometimes making the ultimate sacrifice,” said Smith. “The last thing they should have to worry about while they serve is the financial security of their families and their homes.  This bill takes a much-needed step toward protecting deployed servicemembers and their families, discharged veterans with a 100 percent service-connected disability, and surviving spouses.”

The measure will also be offered as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4310) which is expected to be considered on the House floor this week.

“I call on all Members of Congress to join us in moving forward with this important legislation that will give servicemembers better protections against mortgage foreclosure,” said Filner.

Link to

Former San Diego Fire Chief Jeff Bowman Endorses Scott Peters for Congress

Former San Diego Fire Chief Jeff Bowman Endorses Scott Peters for Congress 

Bowman, who led the City through the Cedar Fire in ‘03, says he’s 
“eternally grateful” for Scott’s efforts to support the Fire Dept.

San Diego, CA – In a video released by the campaign today, former City of San Diego Fire Chief Jeff Bowman lent his strong support to Scott Peters for Congress. In the clip, Bowman says he and the firefighters at the time he led the department were “eternally grateful for (Scott’s) efforts” to support the fire department.

Bowman led the City of San Diego’s Fire Department through the great Cedar Fire that tore through northern parts of San Diego County in 2003 while Peters was a member of the City Council.  A staunch Republican, Bowman said he seldom gets involved in political campaigns, but that, in this case, he would make an exception to endorse Peters.

"I am not a very political person, but I believe in Scott, and trust his character, integrity, and ability to get things done," Bowman said. "I watched him navigate tough situations and meetings and he was always incredibly thoughtful and professional and acted with the best interests of the public he was elected to represent. I proudly endorse him."

“Scott’s record of accomplishment for San Diegans, and his ability to appeal to people from across the political spectrum are what make him the right candidate to beat Brian Bilbray,” said Peters Campaign Communications Director MaryAnne Pintar. “This is a great example of someone who knows him, trusts him, and is willing to get behind him based on his record of accomplishment for San Diego.”

The newly drawn 52nd Congressional District is a classic swing district - a third Republican, a third Democrat and a third other.  It supported candidate Obama by 12 percentage points in 2008, but also candidate Meg Whitman by eight points in 2010. It is impossible for any candidate to win this seat without broad-based support across party lines. Since he was the first Democrat elected to represent City Council District One, Peters has consistently drawn support from across the political spectrum. He is the only candidate in this race with meaningful support from progressives, moderates, labor, business and independent San Diegans who care more about results than pure party politics. 

For more information about Scott Peters for Congress, go to

‘Occupy OUR Arts’: A Celebration of the 99% Culture and Creative Arts is a FREE, Family Friendly, San Diego Community Event, happening at the San Diego Civic Center on June 9.

Women Occupy San Diego will host a family-friendly arts Celebration on the site of bitter clashes between San Diego police and Members of the Occupy Movement a few months ago
‘Occupy OUR Arts’ Family Celebration
10 am - 6 pm, Saturday, June 9
Civic Center Plaza, 3rd Avenue between ‘B’ and ‘C’ streets

The one-day event will share another side of the Occupy movement, the Art of We The People, with the larger San Diego community, focusing on creative arts and diverse culture and bringing together families from all walks of life, the 99%.

The celebration will feature two stages showcasing music, dance, acrobatics, street theater, comedy and spoken word performances. Displays by local visual artists will include sculpture, photography, painting, spray art and sidewalk chalk drawing. There will also be workshops, ‘Teach Ins’ and interactive art areas for attendees. Participants include artists from the Art of Pride, the Art Academy of San Diego, Ballet Folklorico, Sophia Isadora Academy of Circus Arts, and many more.

Children can participate in crafts, music and dance, ecological projects, face painting, a special parade and a children’s peace area.

The event will follow a proclamation by the San Diego City Council supporting Free Speech and Freedom of Expression activities in the Civic Center Plaza. The organizers have obtained all necessary permits for the event.

Women Occupy San Diego ( is an independent organization of San Diego County women dedicated to creating an equitable economic system and restoring government for and by the people rather than for corporations and the wealthy. Through nonviolent, inclusive action and outreach, we support the goals and values of Occupy Wall Street and the 99% movement.

To learn more about Occupy OUR Arts or sign up to participate, please contact Wendy Sue Biegeleisen, Mark your calendar for June 9!

Ducheny accuses Vargas of Smear tactics

Former Sen. Denise Moreno Ducheny's campaign for CD 51 reports that the campaign of her opponent, Sen. Juan Vargas, is "once again using 'heavy handed smear tactics,'" claiming that the Vargas campaign distributed "a slanderous and deceptive mailer." The Ducheny campaign says that the Spanish language newspaper La Prensa editorialized against Vargas in his 2010 Senate race against Mary Salas and quotes from its editorial, "Heavy handed smear tactics best describes the Vargas style of campaigning and he has plenty of money to spread his vitriol thanks to the insurance companies that are bank rolling his campaign." Ducheny says, "My opponent knows that I have more knowledge, experience and respect for this district and that his only chance to win the district is to buy it." Ducheny, a Democrat, served six years in the Assembly beginning in 1994 and eight years in the Senate beginning in 2002.

The San Diego Mayoral Race after the latest Survey USA poll

The San Diego Mayoral Race after the latest Survey USA poll:

DeMaio - 31%
Filner - 21%
Fletcher - 21%
Dumanis -13%

As rule, you should never put too much stock into auto response polls. The market for this type of stock is volatile and the futures are constantly shifting.

The Fletcher campaign was wallowing in third place until he renounced his Republican Party membership and declared himself Independent. There was a flurry of national, state and local press coverage and an uptick in his popularity. A significant portion of his new supporters came from the Democratic Party. There are many politically plugged-in Democrats who had met Nathan and were impressed by his bi-partisan talk and Kenndy-esque presence. With weak local party discipline these Democrats didn't have problems expressing their lack of enthusiasm for Filner whose campaign appeared to be M.I.A. and were going to vote for him out of obligation to voting for anything anti-Republican at City Hall.

After corralling this low hanging fruit with YouTube videos and buying ad time on television programming targeted at women, the Fletcher campaign began going after DeMaio. The bleeding of Democratic support away from Filner dried up and the DeMaio campaign began to freak out. DeMaio has been used to controlling the media narrative (very easy to do in San Diego which is a wonder why others don't do it as well) and to have Fletcher take it from him was fun to witness especially at City Council meetings. DeMaio's ground operation went into high gear to hold onto voters they had and bank as many VBMs as possible.

This poll reflects these actions with DeMaio holding a solid lead in the low 30s which is where he has always been. Sometimes he has been a bit lower or higher but never beyond a third of the electorate. We often discuss candidates having a bases of support but rarely their ceilings. DeMaio looks to be one of those cases where he is near or at his. There are San Diegans who want to believe that a term-limited City Councilman is a "businessman" who was powerless to prevent wasteful government spending after being in a position to do something about it for 8 years. And there are the majority of San Diegans who want no part of his snake oil. Unfortunately, the majority is divided for the June election and we must wait to see who DeMaio will lose to in the fall.

Fletcher may have gotten the support of the plugged-in Democrats and anti-Carl Republicans but there are not enough of them to create a base. The Decline-to-State portion of San Diego's electorate is being true to form and not jumping behind Fletcher. This is where the real fight is for who will become the next Mayor: Fletcher or Filner.

Once the hype around Fletcher died down most voters returned to their bases for the Primary. This is what Filner will need to pull this one out. His campaign has been a mystery to most Democrats with his absence on TV and uneven media performances. A note to the campaign; you may not like the press but when you don't have the resources to go on the air, the media is your only real vehicle for getting your message out. Being the only Democrat in the race gives Filner a solid base of votes that aren't going to any other candidate. It remains to be seen if this can translate citywide but neither Filner nor Fletcher appear to be near their ceilings of support.

Which leaves Bonnie Dumanis of a-sitting-DA-illegally-posting-signs-all-over-the-city-and-on-state-property-because-there-aren't-enough-lawns-to-put-them-in fame. Mayor Sanders will be a special guest at a fund-raiser for her on Thursday, which is appropriate. The one thing that can be agreed upon by Fletcher, Filner, and DeMaio is that each of them will bring change to an ossified downtown establishment. Only Dumanis doesn't appear to want to alter the status quo.  Her position in the polls should be a reminder to the powers that be where they are in the estimation of most San Diegans. Remember 2004; Frye's plurality was more of a protest against the business-as-usual culture downtown than a pro-Donna movement.

I think the conclusions of DeMaio first and Filner-Fletcher walloping each other for second is accurate. Why Dumanis is still in remains a mystery but Fletcher could always offer to make her "Campaign Czarina" or get her appointed to something in Sacramento while he's still a legislator.

Remember, the futures market is unpredictable.

San Diego City Council to Pass Resolution Recognizing USWW Janitors;
Janitors Begin Hunger Fast For Family Health Care

San Diego City Council to Pass Resolution Recognizing USWW Janitors;
Janitors Begin Hunger Fast For Family Health Care

San Diego, CA - On Tuesday, May 15, 2012, USWW Janitors will hold a press conference to announce the beginning of a 3-day hunger fast for health care most San Diego janitors are not provided with by their employers.  Following the press conference, the San Diego City Council will vote on a resolution recognizing the contributions, hard work and dedication janitors continue to make to keep San Diego America’s ‘Finest City’.  Tomorrow’s actions, which will conclude with a candlelight vigil at the Civic Center, are part of series of actions throughout the week over their ongoing fight for a dignified contract that includes a modest wage increase and health care for janitors and their families.

“I sacrifice time with my family in order to work enough hours to put food on the table. Even though I am there to see my children off to school in the morning, it is still not enough,” says Gloria Mejía, a janitor for 13 years currently working for ABM and one of the hunger fasters.  “What tenants need to realize is that us not having health care affects them too.  I work right next to them in their office space.  If there is an outbreak of some kind in my neighborhood, I am going be taking that to work with me. It could spread to them because I don’t have the health insurance to take care of myself and prevent it.”

As part of their statewide campaign for a new contract expiring in 2012, USWW janitors released a study that demonstrates that with a better health care system people in middle-class families could live four years longer.  Income inequality has taken center stage in the national discussion since the rise of the Occupy Movement. This third study in the “How Much is The 1% Holding Back Your Family?” series argues that the longer life expectancy of the extreme rich suggests that we can create a healthier California where everyone lives longer and more prosperous lives.

Hundreds of Janitors from San Diego, Los Angeles, and Orange County, including community and interfaith leaders.

Press Conference to announce hunger strike, City Council Resolution (with Councilman David Alvarez and Marti Emerald), & Candle light vigil.

Press Conference, 12:30PM, Civic Center Plaza; SD City Council Resolution
2:30PM, City Hall; Candle light vigil with Hunger Fasters
10PM, Civic Center.

For more information about SEIU United Service Workers West or the study, please contact Mark Gomez at (408) 835-2713.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

CD 52 Checklist

The race on the Democratic side of the aisle for the new 52nd Congressional District has been a wild one within the local party.

No other race has yielded such clear division between the "activists" that have more volunteer time than money and the "establishment" that has more money than volunteer time. In a year in which the mayoral campaign was expected to dominate, we have an intra-party food fight over whether Scott or Lori will take on Brian for the fall.

Bilbray has a solid chance of being one of the top two candidates. His Republican opponents haven't put in much of an effort trying to challenge him in November. Thus, we are left with which Dem will take on the carpetbagger from the north.

This is fun to watch for no other reason that it has yielded a number of lessons for all candidates running at any level about what to do and not do. I'll get into this later. For now, let's looks at where we are:

Peters - 11 from the campaign and one from Labor
Saldaña - 4 from the campaign
Peters has been flooding mailboxes since last weekend. His mail pieces look very D.C. establishment and don't appear to be doing much other than helping his name ID as in "who keeps sending all of this mail?" Saldaña has dropped 3 pieces and a letter (points for being different). The letter may have cut through the clutter but there are a lot of other campaigns (Fletcher, DeMaio, Prop A) filling up these same mailboxes. Both campaigns dropped their first hits at the same time and this may be why the mail war is oddly cool; mutual cancellation.
Winner for now: Tilts toward Peters because of volume

Peters -Yes
Saldaña - No
Having television ads to not having television ads gives Peters the advantage. The questions are was his ad buy large enough and will the DeMaio-Fletcher ad war drown Scott out?
Winner for now: Peters

Local media coverage

The local press is familiar with both candidates and seems to be treating them well with a few exceptions. As it stands, both appear to be getting passes because the mayoral race is the big-ticket item and CD 52 fits the narrative of a story that won’t be a story until the primary.
Winner for now: Neither

Field campaign
There was a rumor that Peters was assembling a paid field operation two weeks ago. If he has done so it may be a little late. The Saldaña campaign has deftly used their volunteers.  They have also been on the ground for months.  Even so, paid operations give volunteer efforts a real challenge.

Yard signs are not the best indicator of a campaign's strength but Saldaña signs can be seen across the 52nd, whereas Peters signs seem limited to La Jolla, parts of University City and Coronado.
Winner for now: Saldaña

Democrats don't usually show up in primaries so this may come down to who can turn out the vote. If the election were held today, the winner would win by 3-5% of the votes cast. Scott is leading on this checklist but Saldaña's ground game is solid and can win the day. Activists are energetic and can work wonders when directed in a positive fashion.

I don’t know who will win but I know that it will be fun to watch.