Tuesday, December 17, 2013

#CostsOfRepeal: DCCC Launches Paid Online Ads Highlighting the Faces of Candidate DeMaio’s Repeal

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee today is launching paid web ads highlighting the cost of Candidate Carl DeMaio’s repeal, as well as FacesOfRepeal.com, a web site where Californians can share their stories of how they would suffer under his and House Republicans’ reckless plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The web ads and website are filled with the stories of Americans who describe how Candidate DeMaio’s repeal would damage their lives – on top of taking the country back to a broken system that led hardworking Americans into bankruptcy and let insurance companies do whatever they want to raise rates, drop coverage and deny care.

Candidate DeMaio’s House Republicans have voted nearly 50 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would raise prescription drug costs for millions of seniors, allow insurance companies to deny coverage to 129 million Americans with preexisting conditions - including 17 million children - and to increase costs on middle class families.

“For every statistic, there are millions of seniors who are saving thousands on prescription drugs, countless Americans who won't face bankruptcy because of health care, and millions of sick kids who are guaranteed coverage – and those are the people who Candidate Demaio is hurting with his obsessive repeal efforts,” said Emily Bittner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Not only would Candidate DeMaio’s repeal hurt millions of middle class Americans, his leaders refuse to put forward an agenda to solve these problems. The costs of Candidate DeMaio’s repeal are simply too high – and these are the faces of those who will hurt the most.”


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Alvarez and Faulconer in a dead heat: Survey USA

Here Are The Results of SurveyUSA Election Poll #20942

Geography Surveyed: City of San Diego, CA

Data Collected: 12/02/2013 - 12/05/2013

Release Date: 12/06/2013 08:00 ET

Sponsors: KGTV-TV San Diego, U-T San Diego

In San Diego Mayoral Runoff, Faulconer and Alvarez Break from the Gate Nose-to-Nose:
2 months until votes are counted in the San Diego Mayoral Runoff, Kevin Faulconer and David Alvarez are effectively even, 47% for Faulconer and 46% for Alvarez, according to SurveyUSA research conducted for KGTV-10 News and the San Diego Union Tribune. The results are within the survey's theoretical margin of sampling error.

Faulconer leads among seniors. Alvarez leads among voters age 35 to 49. Faulconer leads among whites. Alvarez leads among Hispanics. Men split. Women split. 74% of Democrats back Alvarez. 76% of Republicans back Faulconer. Faulconer leads 3:2 among Independents. In SurveyUSA's final poll before the 11/19/13 special election, Independents favored Faulconer 2:1 over both Alvarez and 3rd-place finisher Nathan Fletcher.

77% of conservatives today back Faulconer. 69% of liberals back Alvarez. Moderates break narrowly for Alvarez. Alvarez leads among less affluent voters. Faulconer leads among more affluent voters.
37% of city of San Diego voters name "integrity" as the quality most important for a new mayor to have. 25% name "leadership."

Cell-phone and home-phone respondents included in this research.
SurveyUSA interviewed 800 city of San Diego adults 12/02/13 through 12/05/13. Of the adults, 700 were registered to vote. Of the registered, 515 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote on or before Election Day, 02/11/14. This research was conducted using blended sample, mixed mode. Respondents reachable on a home telephone (89% of likely voters) were interviewed on their home telephones in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (11% of likely voters) were shown a questionnaire on their smart phones, tablets or other electronic devices. Bob Filner resigned as Mayor in August. The seat is open.

If the runoff election for San Diego mayor were today, who would you vote for? (candidate names rotated) Kevin Faulconer? Or David Alvarez?
Asked of 515 likely voters
Margin of Sampling Error for this question = ± 4.4%

47%  Kevin Faulconer
46%  David Alvarez
7%    Undecided

Which of these would be the most important quality for a new mayor to have? Integrity? Leadership? Stability? Business experience? Fiscal responsibility? The ability to reach across party lines? Or something else?
Asked of 515 likely voters
Margin of Sampling Error for this question = ± 4.4% 

37%  Integrity
25%  Leadership
4%    Stability
4%    Business Experience
15%  Fiscal Responsibility
9%    Reach Across Party Lines
5%    Something Else
1%    Not Sure

Assemblymember Weber Reflects on Nelson Mandela

SACRAMENTO, CA- Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber (D-San Diego) is deeply saddened by the recent passing of Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president.

 “Nelson Mandela symbolized and embodied the human spirit,” said Assemblymember Weber.    After decades in prison, Mr. Mandela’s insistence for reconciliation transcended him into one of the most inspirational leaders in memory.  His efforts to establish a more equal and fair South Africa allowed the country to transition from the Apartheid era into the Rainbow Nation.

Assemblymember Weber saw Mandela in person when he spoke at the Los Angeles Coliseum after being released from 27 years in prison.  “It was amazing to be there,” she said.  "We all felt that we were touching him because of his genuine commitment to the struggle in South Africa. It was just amazing to be in the presence, even with 100,000 people, of someone who spent 27 years in prison and came out with the same spirit. He was a giant in every sense of the word in this country and around the world. He will be deeply missed and never forgotten,” expressed Assemblymember Weber.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Reflections on the Mayoral Race . . .


If it hadn’t already been apparent, the Mayoral Primary clearly demonstrated seismic shifts that have taken place in recent years the local political landscape.

San Diego is now a very solidly Blue City and Democrat David Alvarez is well positioned to compete strongly in the February Mayoral runoff.

Just look at how stunningly strong the Democratic vote was last week. Despite an abysmally low voter turnout of barely 36%, more than 55% of the vote went to 3 clearly identified Democratic candidates (Alvarez, Fletcher and Aguirre). Republican Kevin Faulconer finished with less than 43%. In other words, the combined vote of the Democrats in the low turnout primary handily beat the anointed Republican candidate by more than 12 points.

This is consistent with the 14 point registration edge the Dems hold over the Reps in the city; and this result is clearly not a transient phenomenon. When San Diego went for Obama 2008 and 2012 and for Filner in 2012, most of the punditry ascribed it to the high voter turnouts (70%-plus) that accompany Presidential elections. After Filner resigned, the “conventional wisdom” was that Republicans are more likely to vote in off year elections and GOP dominance would emerge in a low-turnout Mayoral special election.

Except that the “conventional wisdom” was dead wrong.

The election was dominated by Democratic candidates, Democratic policies (everyone, a la Filner, campaigned on a promise to empower neighborhoods at the expense of downtown), and even by one candidate (Fletcher) insisting over and over that he really is a Democrat. Now if, as expected, turnout increases in the runoff, Democrats will comprise an even larger share of that vote – an obvious advantage for Democrat David Alvarez.

Now this same “conventional wisdom” is questioning whether Alvarez can capture enough of the so-called “Fletcher vote” to gain a majority. Their argument is that Fletcher voters are concentrated north of I-8 in Anglo areas that are not fertile territory for a Latino candidate; that these voters are supposedly “moderates” who are reluctant vote for an avowed pro-union, liberal Democrat; and that Kevin Faulconer has an image as a bland moderate who doesn’t incite the ire of Democrats the way Carl DeMaio does.

And once again, I suspect, this “conventional wisdom” will be proven wrong.

Let’s take the traditional formulation of Democrat versus Republican or liberal versus conservative. These passions and beliefs haven’t gone away and will play an important role in the ultimate vote. But ideology-driven voters are not “on the table” in February. They’ve already made up their minds.

Faulconer’s 42% is the conservative/Republican “baseline” vote. That is his starting point.

On the Democratic side, it seems appropriate, if not a little conservative, to give Alvarez half of Fletcher’s vote to start with. Yes, Faulconer will get “some” of the “Fletcher vote”, but to assume that this is a “moderate vote” that somehow “splits down the middle” is a fallacy. These voters rejected a chance to vote for a moderate-sounding Republican who was not attacked or challenged on his record or credentials. Instead, they voted for Fletcher, who ran as a Democratic, had support from major Democratic elected officials, and pitched himself as the “most electable” Democrat.

These votes went for Fletcher, not Faulconer, for good reason. In recent years, Democratic “defections” have dropped sharply, largely because of the far right agenda (pro-wealthy; anti-woman; anti-environment) the Republicans have been pursuing.

So, if you take Alvarez’s 27%, add Aguirre’s 4.5% and half of Fletcher’s 24% (or 12%) and you have Alvarez starting with about 43 or 44%.

So that means about 15% of the vote is the non-ideological vote and is up for grabs.

Poll after poll and election after election demonstrate that DTS (decline-to-state) or NPP (no-party-preference) or whatever appellation you want to give voters who are not strongly committed to either party tend to be non-ideological or even anti-ideological. These voters are sick and tired of politics-as-usual from both parties. They want government that is not beholden to what they see as special interests (and they are hardly monolithic: some see the special interests as the corporations; others as the unions). They want a “White Knight”.

For these voters, character is what counts. I’ve sat through many, many hours of Focus Groups seeking those occasional kernels of insight into how voters think and one vignette has stuck with me for years: A middle aged women explained very clearly why she supported candidate X with the simple declaration that, “He will make me proud when he’s up there representing me.”

Now we can look at the Alvarez-Faulconer matchup in a different light. Whose “bio” will resonate more strongly with the voters? Whose leadership will seem more authentic and trustworthy? Trust, especially in light of the Bob Filner debacle, is an extremely powerful subliminal issue in this election. Which candidate do you trust to tell the truth? Which candidate do you trust to look out for me? For our neighborhoods? For all of us?

Let’s start with David Alvarez whose up-from-the-barrio bio is the 21st Century rendition of the American Dream: the first in his family to graduate college; stayed in the community to work with young people and the needy; elected to the City Council where he amassed a record of fighting to get toxics out of his neighborhood, holding the Big Banks accountable for the foreclosure crisis they created, and voting for better wages and rights for working people. The only knock on Alvarez is that he’s young, in his mid-30s – a criticism that mostly comes from people who conveniently forget that Pete Wilson was a very boyish 38 when he became Mayor of San Diego.

Contrast that with Kevin Faulconer, who spent millions in the Primary polishing a moderate, pro-community image. But Faulconer is a lobbyist-turned-politician who voted more than 90% of the time in support of Carl DeMaio’s Tea Party agenda. Faulconer has gotten a free ride thus far, but I suspect the General Election will witness intense scrutiny of his 7 years on the City Council, including massive developer contributions, support for pension cuts, and various give-aways to big business.

Looking closely again at the 15% that is up for grabs, which candidate do you think will resonate more strongly?

Not that the runoff will not be a “gimme” for Alvarez. The money wing of the GOP is strong, unprincipled and ruthless. They will hammer Alvarez for sins real, imagined and created out of whole cloth. They will likely hit Alvarez hard for his ties to labor unions which, unfortunately, plays well with some segments of the electorate. Meanwhile, Kevin Faulconer, will try to create as much daylight as possible between his very Republican voting record and the views of the electorate.

Yes, San Diego is a Blue City, but not as Deep Blue as San Francisco. The Mayoral runoff is likely to be hotly contested, extremely contentious, expensive and very close.

It would be a mistake to underestimate David Alvarez. Just ask Nathan Fletcher. David’s personal qualities, his deep grass roots commitment, his record of fighting for those who have been “left out” , and the very idea of an Alvarez candidacy as a symbol of San Diego’s multi-ethnic future formed the basis for the political force that propelled him through the primary.

Well before Labor spent ten cents, David gathered 150 people in his back yard on a Saturday morning and sent them out to walk door to door. As the campaign progressed, David clearly emerged as the candidate with the deepest community roots, the most compelling personal story and the strongest moral rudder. He stuck will his Message of “real” neighborhood empowerment. As the campaign progressed, David got stronger. That’s how he raised nearly $300 thousand and put hundreds of precinct walkers onto the streets.

Across the city, grass roots Democrats rallied behind David: Donna Frye. Toni Atkins. Lori Saldana. Myrtle Cole. An impressive, strong endorsement vote (60%+) from the Democratic Party despite intense opposition from the Fletcher forces. All of these forces, and more, got behind David because, during his tenure on the Council, he never wavered, never faltered, never shirked from leading the charge for neighborhoods, for working people, for the environment, and for Democrats.

To be sure, David benefited greatly from the Independent Expenditure (IE) of approximately $1.4 million the Labor Council ran on his behalf. But likewise Nathan Fletcher and Kevin Falconer benefited from multi-million dollar IE’s and campaign spending.

Which brings us a second seismic shift in local politics: the emergence of Labor and affiliated grass roots progressive groups as a force that can go toe-to-toe with the Republican Big Money that had dominated San Diego politics for more than 50 years.

Much will and should be said about the money raised by Labor for TV and Mail on David’s behalf. Even more impressive, in my book, is the “Ground Game” that Labor and affiliated progressive groups have developed. During the 4-day run-up to the election (Sat. through Tue.), more than 600 volunteers were dispatched into the neighborhoods by the Labor Council while scores more staffed phone banks.  Despite the defection of a handful of unions who supported Fletcher, this is essentially the same force that put Bob Filner over the top last year – a grass roots “army” to walk the heavily Democratic precincts in the southern part of the city, Hillcrest, North Park and Mid-City, knocking on doors to educate voters about who the “Democratic choice” is and then turning out the vote.

Looking at the General, this “Ground Game” should prove crucial at mobilizing Latino turnout for Alvarez who is will be, if elected, the first Latino Mayor in San Diego history.

The bottom line:  There is a structure and a focus to the “Democratic wing” of the local Democratic Party. It may not be as efficient and disciplined as the top down corporate Republicans. It may be a little rowdy and raucous, debating innumerable ideas (some great; some lacking in thought). But it will act on behalf of working people, neighborhoods, the environment and other traditionally “left out” constituencies to demand a seat at the table when decisions about how San Diego is run are made. And it is clearly powerful enough to defeat the “Money Democrats” when they try to foist a candidate (i.e. Nathan Fletcher) on the city.

I would be remiss if I ignored the role played by Republican money through the Lincoln Club with their attacks that pointed out Fletcher’s strong pro-Bush, Republican past. Predictably, Democrats deserted Fletcher in droves. The Fletcher folks cried, Foul, and accused the Republicans of trying to “pick their opponent” by eliminating from the General Election the challenger (Fletcher) they claimed would be stronger. 

But this wholly misses the point. It wasn’t clear to the voters (for the same reason it wasn’t clear to the “Democratic wing” of the Democratic Party) that Nathan Fletcher stands for anything other than getting Nathan Fletcher elected. The Lincoln Club attacks may have been harsh. They may have been sharp. But they were on the money. There’s absolutely no way that Fletcher, had he squeaked through the primary, could have won the General.

Back to the present.

Right after New Year’s the election will start in earnest. Both sides will have ample money to get a Message out and enough support to make the race close. Both sides will have to define their vision for the city while hoping their allies attack their opponent. There will be debates where the personal qualities of each candidate will be on view for all to see. And there will be enough excitement for all of San Diego’s political junkies to feast on.

To me, the race is about a very simple choice – a choice between San Diego’s Past and San Diego’s Future:

-    If San Diegans like the way the city has been run for more than 50 years with a small group of white, male, downtown business leaders making all the decisions behind closed doors, they should elect Kevin Faulconer.

-    On the other hand, if they want to see the neighborhoods and the working people and those who have been “left out” of the decision-making in San Diego have a voice in the city’s future and through that voice shape policies that eliminate the favoritism special interests have long enjoyed, they should elect David Alvarez.

If that is the choice that the voters perceive is before them, David Alvarez has an excellent chance of emerging as our next Mayor.   

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

LCV Launches New TV Ad Buy Praising Rep. Scott Peters’ Leadership on Clean Water

Highlights his vote to protect the Clean Water Act and California’s coast

**View the ad**


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) today launched a television ad campaign praising Rep. Scott Peters for standing up to corporate polluters by voting against efforts in Congress to gut the Clean Water Act and drill off of the southern California coast. The ad begins running today in the San Diego market, and is part of LCV’s national $1 million ad campaign to thank five members of Congress for protecting public health and promoting clean energy jobs.

“Rep. Scott Peters is working to prevent environmental disasters rather than just clean up after them. He recognizes that clean water is key to the economy, and is standing up to efforts by corporate polluters and the Tea Party to weaken the Clean Water Act and put southern California’s coastline at risk,” said Gene Karpinski, President of the League of Conservation Voters.

The ad highlights Rep. Peters’ vote against legislation that would gut the Clean Water Act, landmark legislation that protects the waterways Americans depend on for swimming, fishing, and drinking. It also discusses Rep. Peters’ work standing up to corporate polluters by voting against legislation that would allow risky drilling off the coast of southern California.

Rep. Peters’ leadership comes at a time when Big Oil’s polluter-funded Congressional allies are trying to weaken clean water safeguards. LCV urges his constituents to contact Rep. Peters and thank him for voting to keep our water clean. Backup for the ad is available here.

This ad is part of LCV’s national $1 million ad campaign thanking five members of Congress for taking action in the face of gridlock in Washington and attacks from Big Oil, corporate polluters and their allies in Congress. The campaign includes television and print advertising praising Senators Harry Reid, Brian Schatz and Kay Hagan, and Representatives Pete Gallego and Scott Peters. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Not So Great Wizard of Oz

Since Tuesday’s Special Primary Election for San Diego Mayor there are money people and political consultants are trying to really make a determination on the final outcome of the general election.  Let’s just put it out there what the backers of San Diego City Councilmember Kevin Faulconer and the Democrats who didn’t think San Diego City Councilmember David Alvarez could come in 2nd and former California State Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher was the most viable candidate:
  1. Faulconer will have the money to run an ground, mail, television and radio campaign;
  2. Faulconer will have a unified and funded Independent Expenditure to help carry his message, while suppress Alvarez voters;
  3. Republican voters will turn out in large numbers, even in a special election;
  4. Decline to State voters will swing more heavily towards the fiscal, political moderate and veteran San Diego City Councilmember message;
  5. Former California State Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher voters will not turn towards Alvarez, but either stay home or in large vote for Faulconer;
  6. The long written about Latino voting block will not come out in the special election to support Alvarez;
  7. Alvarez will have a unified and funded Independent Expenditure to help carry his message like they did in the primary, let alone in a bigger capacity;
  8. Alvarez will not be able to wage a well-funded campaign, because he will not attract the donors who gave to Fletcher;
There is even more, but let’s call it what it is BS!  The truth is Faulconer could lose this election, because when you pull back the curtain of this story people are circulating around, it is just coming from some bald man yelling at the top of his lungs into a microphone and he has a gap in his teeth with a Swedish accent.

The real truth is we don’t know yet whether Fletcher voters or donors come on board for Alvarez or whether the highly successful labor IE will muster up the funds to run another effective campaign.  Latinos could still out preform for their first Latino mayor, donors that sat out between Fletcher and Alvarez could now jump in, but we do know these points:

  1. Faulconer was a councilmember that was the smartest of his ilk (except former San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio) on council, and that is not saying much;
  2. Faulconer was never a leader, before now Interim Mayor Todd Gloria was selected as Council President and decided to work with him, because everything the Republicans did was orchestrated by former San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, DeMaio or the rabid and foam seething Associated General Contractors with the Lincoln Club;
  3. Faulconer was a lobbyist who would never release his entire client list and it will come back to bite him;
  4. Faulconer has no major successes on city council since his 2006 election and everything he highlights was again really lead by the people or organizations listed in number two;
  5. Faulconer supported developers every time over community, except when it was his own neighborhood
  6. As with Fletcher and the above points, Faulconer’s numbers in the primary were based off name identity build up, because Faulconer has not yet had his less detractive qualities highlighted or his positives tested to the voters;
I can go into a number of other items, but the biggest real reason Faulconer could lose is his choice of consultant, Duane Dichiara.  Here you have a failed consultant who is like a broken clock, only correct twice a day.  He has a few major wins, but most of his wins are in pure Republican districts, which he gets a candidate the Republican Party faithful get behind and wins.  His first major win was Faulconer’s special election, then San Diego City Councilmember Lori Zapf and Scott Sherman, ding dong and done.

In the end, I don’t know the final election result yet, no one does, but if the Democratic Party, labor, the activist base and donors stand with Alvarez, and then he has a real serious chance to win.  We have a chance to elect a native son, first Latino, a Summa Cum Laude SDSU graduate, a person focused on every neighborhood and a real pull yourself up from boot strap kind of person that shares the super-majority of San Diego residents policies.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Statement on San Diego's Mayoral Primary Election 


Hours after the polls closed in Tuesday's special mayoral election, San Diego County Democratic Party Chair Francine Busby issued the following statement:

"Ballots are still being counted, but the Democratic Party’s endorsed candidate for Mayor of San Diego, David Alvarez, appears to be headed into the runoff election.

"It’s clear why public support for the David surged in recent weeks as voters got to know him better. After a divisive and tumultuous year for the City, David has run a positive, progressive, well-organized campaign. He has reached out to communities that are too rarely represented in our politics. He has inspired hundreds of volunteers from every neighborhood and walk of life to join his team.

"Most importantly, David Alvarez has outlined a vision for the future that’s worthy of San Diego and its residents. We were proud to endorse him, and we are certainly proud of him tonight.

"The San Diego County Democratic Party supported David’s campaign with extensive communications with Democrats throughout the city – in the mail, on the phones, and door-to-door. Now we are committed to electing him in the runoff so he can deliver on his commitment to putting the people of this city first as Mayor."

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Oops! Potential Ethics Violation from Fletcher support group

The most recent Fletcher ad on TV looks just like the other one.  That's because it is the same ad - with a different disclosure.

Nathan Fletcher for Mayor (the committee) produced an ad that ran on TV with the Fletcher for Mayor disclosure. But just this weekend, another substantially similar ad (actually, exactly the same except for the last card) aired, with the disclosure from the pro-Fletcher Restoring Trust in San Diego independent expenditure.  That's an election no-no.

If the IE committee duplicates an ad designed, produced, paid for, or distributed by the candidate that's not an independent payment. Independent expenditure committees, like the name says, has to expend money independent from the candidate's campaign.

Here it is in black and white from the Ethics Commission:
When a committee makes a payment that advocates for or against a City candidate, it is presumed that the payment is not “independent” if:
  • it is based on information about the candidate's campaign needs or plans that the candidate has provided to the committee, or
  • it is made by or through an agent of the candidate in the course of the agent's involvement in the current campaign, or
  • the committee retains the services of a person who provides the candidate with professional services related to campaign or fundraising strategy for that election, or
  • the communication duplicates, in whole or in substantial part, a communication designed, produced, paid for, or distributed by the candidate.
See for yourself:
Here is the link to Fletcher's ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Po_WfAF8iE

And attached is the ad from the IE.

And here's a screen shot of the disclaimer:

 Sure looks like someone isn't so independent.

CDP Chair Burton calling on Democrats to support David Alvarez


DAVID ALVAREZ, City Councilmember and a lifelong Democrat, is the endorsed Democrat for Mayor of the San Diego County Democratic Party.

 supported the elections of Governor Brown, Senators Boxer and Feinstein, President Obama and other Democrats.

DAVID ALVAREZ's main opponent was the Political Director for the California Republican Party, Karl Rove headlined a fundraiser for him, and he was the co-chair of "Veterans for Meg Whitman" against Jerry Brown.  He switched from Republican to Independent in 2012 and now went from Independent to Democrat only to have a shot at running for Mayor of San Diego next Tuesday.

Don’t be fooled.

There’s only one endorsed, life-long Democrat in the race for Mayor and that’s DAVID ALVAREZ.
This Tuesday, DAVID ALVAREZ needs your vote.

Use this link to find your polling place here: www.sddemocrats.org/polls

Polls open at 7am and close at 8pm on Tuesday.

Vote DAVID ALVAREZ for Mayor!

Peace and friendship,

John Burton


California Democratic Party

Elections Have Consequences

“Elections have consequences.”  So said soon to be former Mayor Bob Filner to soon to be interim Mayor Todd Gloria, during one of their first set battles early in Filner’s truncated term as Mayor of San Diego. 
The circumstances of this dispute had several interesting, and, in retrospect, revealing attributes.
This particular confrontation was spawned by City Attorney Jan Goldsmith’s bad advice to Mayor Filner that the Mayor had the authority to veto the City Council selection of Port Commissioners.  No one was certain then, or now, whether Goldsmith’s advice was inadvertently wrong because he is a bad lawyer or if it was intentionally wrong because he is a rogue City Attorney.
The dispute played out with a City Council that began the year short one Democratic council member.  You may remember Tony Young’s fascinating timing; resigning just in time to assure a hamstrung City Council for the first four months of 2013.
This was among the first battles that pitted newly elected (by 8 people) City Council Prez Todd Gloria (thanks again, Tony) against newly elected (by 245,092 people) Mayor Bob Filner.  The spectacle of the nominally progressive Gloria consistently sabotaging the first actual progressive Mayor ever elected in San Diego was more confusing then than it is now.
Gloria, along with the four Republicans on the council, was supporting the appointment of Marshall Merrifield, the conservative Republican who spent $653,628 coming in third in the 2008 District 1 council race against Sherri Lightner.  Filner, who had some very good, very non-partisan reasons for opposing the process by which the port appointments were made, also thought that the Port Commissioner appointments should reflect the change in demographics and agenda that the 2012 election had made manifest. 
Gloria did not agree, hence Filner’s admonition that “elections have consequences.”
Ultimately, the state legislative counsel weighed in that indeed the Mayor did not have veto power in this circumstance, the City Attorney said “oops”, and Merrifield was seated as a Port Commissioner.
This double-cross by the City Attorney and lack of support from the Democratic Council President was one of the first salvos in a campaign that ultimately culminated in Filner’s resignation.  While for many Filner’s unquestionably wrong behavior toward women is now the beginning and the end of any discussion about the Filner administration, others think that there is a parallel story that needs to be examined.  A story about elections and their consequences;  About an odd assortment of Republican and Democratic power brokers setting out to assure that the consequences of the 2012 Mayoral election were thwarted. 
It is a story about raw ambition and misplaced trust.  It is about a deeply flawed man, with a seductive vision of what San Diego could be.  It is about bad judgment and personal animosity.  Of course there is money, and lust.  Strangely, in a saga that is supposed to be about sexual harassment, the lust that really gets things going is not for sex, but for power.  More than anything, though, this is a story about hubris, about the arrogance of sets of powerful people with little in common except for the determination to set aside the consequence of San Diegans’ elective choice and replace him with someone more to their liking.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Faulconer and Alvarez Leading In Special San Diego Mayoral Election

DATAMAR Poll: November 13, 2013

San Diego – A poll released today by Datamar Inc., surveyed 533 voters on their preference of candidates in the upcoming City of San Diego Special Mayoral Election to be held November 19, 2013. It shows that Councilman Kevin Faulconer is favored by 44.1 percent, and Councilman David Alvarez has the support of 25.3 percent of the voters.

Former State Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher came in third with 15.9% of the respondents vote, and former San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre received 5.4%.

San Diego’s municipal elections are officially non-partisan, that is, candidate’s ballot statement does not identify the candidates with a political party identification.

However, when respondents indicated a preference for an individual candidate, the choice greatly correlated with a partisan choice.

The Special Mayoral contest, up to this point, has been waged, based on poll results, by four principal candidates. Currently, the survey respondents are indicating that the contest will have Kevin Faulconer and David Alvarez as the top two choices of the electorate to continue on to the general election. If that is the case, then the supporters of the other losing candidates will be able to select one of the victorious top-two candidates.

Providing an analysis of what the hypothetical race would look like at this point, we found that with slightly less than one week to go before the mayoral primary there are plenty of uncertainties in predicting the general election.

First, and of primary importance is the voter turnout. This is a special election, barely a year since the last election for the same office. Normally, the most dedicated partisan electorate participates in these elections, for a variety of reasons.

Sample size 533
+/-4.24 Percent sampling error
November 13, 2013

Methodology: Findings are from a November 13, 2013 survey using a comprehensive predictive model of registered voters, based on election cycles and other factors of voters in California. The survey was conducted using an automated telephone dialer and the voice of a professional announcer.

The targeted-registration-based-sampling (TRBS)* selection criteria were based on election cycles and other voter factors in California. Datamar’s proprietary algorithms were used to generate random samples from the target group for calling.

Where necessary, responses were normalized according to age, gender, region, and political party.
Datamar Inc., an independent polling and political strategies firm located in San Diego, CA



New Historical Addition to Old Town San Diego Planned

(San Diego)  The former CalTrans headquarters near Old Town State Park in San Diego has been officially transferred to the state parks system with the recording of the transaction with the County of San Diego today.  This move will ensure the preservation of historic structures and artifacts known to be below the building’s foundation and that the site will remain in the public’s hands.

Today’s transfer was the culmination of a process which began nearly seven years ago when CalTrans moved to a new headquarters and State Parks expressed interest in acquiring the property.  The transaction was slowed down by the high value of the property and state restrictions on making a gift of taxpayer-owned property, even to another state agency.  Earlier this year, Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins persuaded the Legislative Joint Budget Committee to approve the transfer.

“Today’s transaction begins the process of integrating the CalTrans site into Old Town San Diego and will create a fuller experience of our San Diego heritage,” says Majority Leader Atkins.  “It is a win for San Diego, for state government and, most important, for future generations of residents and visitors who will have the opportunity to see how San Diego began.”

“It was a challenging process,  but with the determination of several key people and the state legislation,  this exchange marks the end of an era for Caltrans and the start of a new era for State Parks and the community of Old Town San Diego,” said Caltrans District Director Laurie Berman.

“This is a property State Parks has been interested in for several years, and it is a logical addition to State Parks for its archeological cultural value. We believe it will contribute significantly to the overall history of the area and the visitor experience in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park,” said Major General Anthony L. Jackson, USMC (Ret.), Director of California State Parks.

The old CalTrans building sits on the location of the first permanent European settlement in California and of a Kumeyaay Native American village dating back to AD 500.  Under the site are Fitch’s, California’s first store; a Bowling Saloon owned by Ab Lyon, who would later become sheriff; and several adobes and homes.

$762,000 in Parks funds have been set aside since 2009 for planning and design for the site.  $7.1 million in bond funds have also been designated for this project.  This year’s budget actions secured those allocations. There is no additional cost to taxpayers to transfer the site.

Following today’s transaction, planning can begin on a new display of early San Diego life. Working with the San Diego River Conservancy, the San Diego River Park Foundation, and other stakeholders, a new entry will be created for Old Town that ties together San Diego’s early history, the river, and the state park.  The new installation will restore the history of the San Diego River, which originally ran past the old CalTrans building, including a representation of Kumeyaay Native American life along the river.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

[From THP] San Diego Mayor: From Broken Bad to Our Own Jackie Robinson

A good article from The Huffington Post to read:

Copyright © 2013 TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc. | "The Huffington Post" is a registered trademark of TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc. All rights reserved.

San Diego Mayor: From Broken Bad to Our Own Jackie Robinson
by Laura Fink (Nov 8, 2013)

Jack Roosevelt Robinson was drafted by the Brooklyn Dodgers in the spring of 1947. He faced a nation beleaguered at the conclusion of a war, and one as yet unready to confront the deep racial injustice it lived by. Few people could have imagined that this unknown rookie would change history. Armed with only his character, integrity and talent, Robinson's quiet leadership and extraordinary courage moved us forward, and made us a better nation.

It is rare that a leader with these qualities emerges -- and rarer still in the political arena. Today, we have such a leader in San Diego mayoral candidate David Alvarez.

Like Jackie, David's character was forged through adversity. Both are the youngest of large families that absorbed the bruising impact of working poverty. Jackie was raised by a single mother who cleaned houses for a living; David the son of a fast food worker and a janitor. Both broke the cycle of poverty through education and achievement. Jackie narrowly missed graduation from UCLA, and went on to professional sports. David was the first in his family to graduate from high school and the first to earn a college degree.

Their courage and talent enabled them to defy the odds.

When Jackie donned his uniform and stepped onto Brooklyn's baseball diamond, he was greeted with unrelenting verbal attacks and physical intimidation. Few people thought he would succeed, fewer still wanted him to. Yet he played, and played brilliantly -- scoring 12 home runs, leading the league in stolen bases, helping his team win the National League pennant and winning Rookie of the Year.

When David first ran for city council, he faced brother of the outgoing incumbent along with his familiar last name. He was up against a political alliance that invested more than $100,000 to try to defeat him. Few thought he could win. Many didn't want him to. Undeterred, David ran anyway -- and his campaign was historic. His commitment to neighborhood investment, education and the environment attracted crowds of volunteers and resonated with voters. He won with 57 percent of the vote, and inspired the highest turnout ever for a council election in his district.

As a councilmember, David has also lived up to his promise, executing his inclusive vision for the city. He chairs the council's committee on environmental issues -- where he has taken action on climate change, industrial pollution, and renewable energy. He has fought to rebuild our city from the neighborhoods out -- funding more than 100 miles of road repair, increasing investment in police and fire protection and keeping libraries open longer. He was "the closer" in budget negotiations that eliminated a $47 million budget gap, while still protecting vital city services. He did all this with full transparency -- and engaged his constituents directly by sending his staff to get their input door to door.

If there were a Rookie of the Year award -- he'd have earned it.

When Brooklyn took a chance on Jackie Robinson, he took the team to a World Series victory. More importantly, his example had an impact far beyond his play.

David Alvarez is San Diego's Jackie Robinson -- a paragon of character and integrity, whose quiet leadership of deeds rather than words seeks neither credit nor acclaim. He could be San Diego's first Latino mayor -- a barrier long overdue to be broken. More than that, his talent and courage have the potential to make him a transcendent leader. San Diego, long weary of political scandal and impropriety needs a leader like David -- and he needs your vote.

Laura Fink is the founder of the San Diego-based consulting firm Fink & Hernandez Consulting, LLC, specializing in politics, civic engagement and public policy. She was the second woman to come forward in the scandal involving former Mayor Bob Filner. She is not employed by any mayoral candidate or independent expenditure committee.

A History of False Assumptions from Nathan Fletcher

When Nathan Fletcher announced his intention to seek the office that eluded him the year before, he made a series of assumptions. With the backing of his financial benefactor Irwin Jacobs, the newly minted Democrat assumed that he would have a shot of getting the local Democratic Party endorsement or at the very least the party would take a "no endorsement" position and he would easily cruise into the runoff by virtue of having more campaign resources and endorsements than any other possible Democrat candidate in the race.  

This assumption was predicated on the notion that rank & file Democrats would overlook the fact that he had only re-registered earlier this year and would conveniently forget his atrocious voting record while serving as a Republican member of the Assembly. Flash forward a month later and this assumption proved to be entirely false when he failed to earned either the endorsement from the Labor Council or the county Democratic Party. His easy path to the runoff only got more complicated by the grassroots operation assembled by the David Alvarez campaign for mayor.

Now in the final stretch run of the campaign, seeing his position slip in the polls to endorsed Democrat David Alvarez, Nathan Fletcher is making another assumption that may prove entirely false. By breaking his campaign pledge to run a clean campaign, Fletcher has decided to go on the attack directed at Alvarez. This baseless attack smacks of desperation and a flailing campaign that sees history repeating itself. It also assumes that voters will be fooled by the unfounded smear campaign.
Only the election results will tell if Fletcher's assumption proves to be false, but in meantime, voters should be worried that he is willing to go against his own word to try to get elected. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Limping to the Finishline

The lastest campaign finance filing came out, a little late due to a computer glitch, but it doesn't look good for former California State Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher.   It seems contributions have dropped like his poll numbers.

Fletcher's committee shows $178,312 cash on hand, but...looking at debt, run-off donations and recall funds, then it looks like the campaign has approximately just $38,000.  Having a fast burn rate from large campaign staff salaries and slowed donations flowing he might have a hard time making any big showing in this final stretch. 

The independent expenditures supporting Fletcher are not bringing in the promised donations too.  They are limping, like the candidate they support in the reports.  The memo they issued promised tv ads and walk programs and neither came to be. Without the $200,000 by two labor unions, UA and Labors, you would not see most of the attack mail on San Diego City Councilmember David Alvarez.  Strangest, the funds are being used to attack Alvarez on their own Labor Council and denouncing their issues as a negative votes.

It seems as we reach these final days of the campaign we can't expect any major actions from Fletcher. His supporters are expected with their limited money left to be a slash and burn closing act. A sad way for Fletcher to end the primary.

Fletcher Supporters Confirm They Won't Honor His Pledge

Twitter and Facebook are a flutter over former California State Assmeblymember Nathan Fletcher supporters telling Wendy Fry from NBC they are not going to honor Fletcher's campaign pledge and will get even further into gutter campaigning. Pledges of a clean and positive campaign from Fletcher and his supporters seem to have gone out the window and evenmore mud will be thrown by them.  Fletcher has lost all control of his supporters and it doesn't reflect well on his leadership skills if he can't even get his own supporters to follow him now.

It wasn't a good October for Fletcher with him falling in the polls, because of missteps over his college transcript, caught not being 1st in family to attend college after he sold it as his storyline,  refused to release his calendar from his former elected office as a public servant or now as a candidate and finally his non-responses after issuing a stange press release admiting he did get in trouble with the law, but won't talk anymore about it.  Wheels are coming off his little red wagon.

Fletcher once considered a raising star first in the GOP, and then hoped by some in the Democratic Party, seems to becoming a bad punchline. Recently, he even made an insensitive remark to San Diego City Councilmember David Alvarez in a debate. Now with his campaign in a downward spiral, the complete loss of control of his own people, even if he limps out of the primary, he is a dead man walking into the general election and will guarantee the election to San Diego City Councilmember Kevin Faulconer.

Can Fletcher pull back his supporters to save some face or has he lost all control?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Nathan Fletcher IE Hit's Alvarez

It is being reported by some reliable sources the Neighborhood Market Association is prepping mail to again attack San Diego City Councilmember David Alvarez. 

Former California State Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher had pledged to oppose negative campaigning even asking his own supporters to stay positive.  Recently, the Restoring in support of Nathan Fletcher attacked both Alvarez and San Diego City Councilmember Kevin Faulconer.   Fletcher condemned the attack and again called on the IE supporting him to stop the negative attacks.

Learning that Fletcher's supporters are again going to attack a candidate, even after Fletcher himself has asked them not attack, then what does it mean for his leadership? If he can't bring his own supporters to not go negative, then as mayor, what real chance does he have in bring others that opposed him to listen?

Assemblywoman Gonzalez’s Statement on State Agency’s Delay in Payment of Unemployment Insurance Claims


SACRAMENTO, CA – (Wednesday, November 6, 2013) – California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, made the following statement after attending today’s oversight hearing of the Assembly Insurance Committee dealing with the Economic Development Department’s (EDD) delay in payment of continuing unemployment insurance claims.

“The delay in unemployment benefit payments that took place after Labor Day caused real harm to hundreds of thousands of California families who were missing out on their lifeline to pay for housing, food, medical care and other everyday expenses that don’t go away just because a paycheck is lost. The delay caused real anxiety and suffering among unemployed workers and their families. It’s unacceptable and it caused a real black eye for how Californians view their state government.

“This delay was triggered by a major malfunction that surfaced during an upgrade to the computer system at EDD, but it was compounded by an already-inefficient system that has for too long fallen short with untimely claims payments, draconian appeals processes, and a telephone call center that is too inaccessible to the public.

“I am disappointed in EDD’s slow response to the concerns of front-line employees as well as the lack of checks and balances in the handling of a vendor that has caused cost overruns and performance problems throughout the U.S. on similar projects. However, I’m grateful Governor Brown intervened to speed up payments to jobless families and I’m committed to ensuring that existing inefficiencies are fixed to prevent future delays and increase access to the benefits for which unemployed Californians are eligible.”

For background information on the unemployment insurance delays, read the Assembly Insurance Committee’s background report on the issue: http://ains.assembly.ca.gov/sites/ains.assembly.ca.gov/files/Final%20Background%20Paper.pdf.  

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez represents California’s 80th Assembly District, located in southern San Diego County and including the cities of San Diego, Chula Vista and National City. For more information, visit http://asmdc.org/members/a80/.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Polls, polls and more polls

We are coming down to the final weeks before E-Day and the polls from the various campaigns and IE committees are all basically showing the same thing, San Diego City Councilmember Kevin Faulconer is in the lead around the low 30's, and San Diego City Councilmember David Alvarez is running neck and neck with former California State Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher.  Depending on the time of the polls, Alvarez has passed Fletcher, but the margin of error still keeps them in a dead heat.  This information includes Fletcher's own internal poll, which he has not yet released.  The only poll that was different is the Survey USA poll.

There are two things that are very clear:
1) There will be a run-off
2) Faulconer will be in the run-off, unless he commits some major misstep.

Fletcher supporters fearing his loss are now running around claiming Faulconer could win it straight out in the primary, even when they said Nathan could have won it straight out in the primary or was so strong he would win it in a run-off.  Clearly, they were feeding people a fairy tale line and the next time these spin-not so masters tell you about another race, then you might want to tell them thank you, but no thank you.

These polls have shown Fletcher wasn't as strong as proposed by his early supporters either against Alvarez or Faulconer and the early polls were more about name identification, then anything else.  It shows that if the few unions and Democratic elected endorsements had followed the Labor Council and Democratic Party and gone with the lifelong Democrat, who had the proven progressive voting record Alvarez, then he would be in a dead heat with Faulconer and Fletcher would have folded even faster in the race and not place the possibility of Fletcher getting into the run-off to clearly loss it.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Alvarez tied with Fletcher in Second Place for San Diego Mayor

New poll also shows a run-off election extremely likely

In a new poll released by Working Families for a Better San Diego, an Independent Expenditure Committee sponsored by the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council , David Alvarez currently stands tied with Nathan Fletcher in second place in the special election for San Diego Mayor, and is in a competitive position to advance to the run-off.

"As the majority of voters begin to make their decisions about whom to elect as the next Mayor of San Diego, it is important that San Diegans understand that David Alvarez is an extremely viable candidate and has a great deal of momentum on his side.  David is the only candidate we can trust to stand up for all of us.  Nurses, teachers, and thousands of working families have already gotten behind David and this poll reconfirms what we’ve already been hearing from voters”, said Richard Barrera, Secretary-Treasurer of the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council.

  • In the mayoral trial heat, Kevin Faulconer now leads with 34% of the vote. David Alvarez (22%) and Nathan Fletcher (21%) are effectively tied for second position, and Mike Aguirre is a distant fourth with just 5% support.
  • It is extremely likely that we are headed for a run-off election, as Faulconer is well below the 50% threshold needed to win outright on November 19.
The current state of the mayoral race shows voters settling into expected partisan divisions as they learn more about the candidates.
  • Faulconer’s lead is largely due to his consolidation of Republican voters, among whom he receives 63% support.
  • Alvarez holds an 11-point lead over Fletcher among registered Democrats, which makes sense given that Fletcher only recently abandoned his Republican roots.
  • We also see Alvarez opening up an expected but important lead among the city’s Latino voters, 36% of whom support Councilman Alvarez, compared to 21% for Faulconer, 15% for Fletcher, and 8% for Aguirre.

Does the Knight Fall?

It was just about two months ago, when then San Diego City Mayor Bob Filner was going to resign and dialogue about an upcoming special mayoral election on the Democratic side was to put forward a candidate that could beat either former San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio or San Diego City Councilmember Kevin Faulconer.   

Former California State Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher, who had run and failed in the last mayoral election, was now being touted around town as the savior of the left by some state and federal elected officials, as well as big Democratic donors as the only one that could win the special mayoral election.  He was the one!  This banter was to take him even over a true tested Democrat elected with name id, fundraising ability, proven mayoral leadership and solid Democratic credentials, California State Assemblymember Toni Atkins.  Remember, Assemblymember Atkins steered the city the last time a mayor resigned.  The theory regarding former Assemblymember Fletcher was he had name identification, polls showed him ahead of “Dirty DeMaio” and “No Name ID Kevin”, as well as he had brought in big fundraising numbers in his last failed mayoral attempt and he was just swell on the stump.  Those points were regardless of the facts that former Assemblymember Fletcher had switched his party registration three times in about a year and half, lost most of his support from the right which he was still touting as him being able to be a consensus maker, while disavowing his previous held public policy positions and voting record.  Also, when he was truly tested in a heated campaign he crumbled or some would say never lived up to the hype in the last mayoral primary.  These new boosters of former Assemblymember Fletcher billed him as the savior on the left.  Funny, just in the 2012 mayoral election, he was billed as the true savior on the right from “Dirty DeMaio”.

The latest polls are coming out, after we have gotten into the thick of a real campaign.  Voters have been hearing the positives, the negatives, the endorsements of elected officials and organizations.  Big money has been spent and we can expect some more money still to come into play.  Under the pressure of a campaign, former Assemblymember Fletcher has shown yet again his well-developed image and the storyline of the campaign he and others touted does not stand-up.  There are various public and even internal polls, including his own I understand that all show former Assemblymember Fletcher dropping now below Councilmember Faulconer.  In fact, they all have him neck and neck with San Diego City Councilmember David Alvarez.  Those in the Fletcher campaign want to point fingers outside of their own campaign and cast blame onto others, but a true assessment is on his campaign and their supportive independent expenditures.  Nothing is a sure bet going into a campaign, but you need to make the best of what you have at hand.  The tails of endorsements, money, name identification and cross party appeal does not seem to be materializing for him.

The election is not over yet and polls are not always right at forecasting the election, but it seems like what the storyline of this knight riding a stallion in shining armor to rescue all of us on the left is looking more like after all the horn blowing, drummers and fanfare, he is just maybe a pimply guy on a colt with a spray-on tan missing the target and falling off his horse.  Only time will tell, the election results this election night!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

After Washington Republicans Kill Immigration Reform, How Will DeMaio, Jorgensen, and Simon React?


House Republicans are following up their disastrous government shutdown by killing the prospects for immigration reform for 2013. According to a report from Politico, Republican leaders are planning to prevent a vote by the full House on immigration reform, despite years of discussions and bipartisan passage of a bill in the U.S. Senate.

As House Republicans let another national problem fester, congressional candidate and DREAM Act opponent Carl DeMaio will have more time to explain why his Washington allies are stopping reform, while Kirk Jorgensen and Dr. Fred Simon refuse to disown the dysfunction that is hurting regular Americans.

“Carl DeMaio’s closest allies in Washington are standing in the way of reasonable solutions to real problems with our immigration system, but that’s no surprise given DeMaio’s opposition to the DREAM Act and support for Arizona’s antagonistic immigration laws,” said Matt Inzeo of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “While Carl DeMaio and his Washington friends share a reckless approach to immigration, Kirk Jorgensen and Dr. Fred Simon refuse to speak up for reasonable solutions, and it makes all three of them wrong for San Diego.”


“House GOP Plans No Immigration Vote in 2013.” “House Republican leadership has no plans to vote on any immigration reform legislation before the end the year. The House has just 19 days in session before the end of 2013, and there are a number of reasons why immigration reform is stalled this year. Following the fiscal battles last month, the internal political dynamics are tenuous within the House Republican Conference. A growing chorus of GOP lawmakers and aides are intensely skeptical that any of the party’s preferred piecemeal immigration bills can garner the support 217 Republicans — they would need that if Democrats didn’t lend their votes. Republican leadership doesn’t see anyone coalescing around a single plan, according to sources across GOP leadership.” [Politico, 10/25/13]

DeMaio Opposed the DREAM Act Calling it a “Poorly Thought Out Program.” In 2012, at an Institute of Americas Debate, when asked whether he supported the DREAM Act, Carl DeMaio refused to say he supported it and called it an unfunded program, saying “Unfortunately, legislators passed the DREAM Act without providing the funding revenues, the funding source to support that program. And so my concern is that you’re robbing Peter to pay Paul. I think it’s a very poorly thought out program even though the intentions are well placed.” [Institute of the Americas Debate, uploaded 8/14/12]

DeMaio Supported Arizona’s Controversial Immigration Enforcement Law. In 2010, Carl DeMaio, as San Diego City Councilman, cast the lone dissenting vote on a resolution calling for the repeal of Arizona’s controversial SB 1070 immigration enforcement law. [Del Mar Times, 5/03/10]

San Diego Mayor Candidates Bob Filner and Carl DiMaio Debate at Institute of the Americas

Monday, October 28, 2013

Carl DeMaio’s Benefactors Face $1 Million Fine for Illegal Campaign Activity

While the Koch brothers use one of their partisan groups to attack Scott Peters, other elements in their network now face a $1 million fine from the California Fair Political Practices Commission and must pay $15 million to California’s general fund. The Commission identified two groups as “part of the ‘Koch Brothers Network’ of dark money nonprofit corporations.”

For years, DeMaio worked as a senior staff member of organizations where David Koch serves on the board of trustees. After his loss to disgraced ex-mayor Bob Filner, DeMaio went back to work for Koch’s Reason Foundation.

“With a Koch brothers ally attacking on Carl DeMaio’s behalf, it’s becoming increasingly clear that San Diego voters might have to live with the Koch’s infamous secret money attacks for the next year,” said Matt Inzeo of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “If the Koch brothers are willing to skirt California law to advance their Tea Party agenda, and they're already weighing in for their staffer Carl DeMaio, San Diego voters are in for a lot of politics-as-usual."

“Koch Brothers Network” Face $1 Million Fine for Illegal Campaign Activity
“California's political watchdog agency on Thursday announced the largest fine in its history for campaign-reporting violations and ordered two political action committees involved in the 2012 elections to pay the state's general fund $15 million. The California Fair Political Practices Commission called the two groups that will pay the $1 million fine "part of the `Koch Brothers Network' of dark money political nonprofit corporations.’ The reference is to billionaire brothers Charles and David H. Koch, who have given millions of dollars to conservative causes across the country.” [San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/24/13]

Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity Released TV Ad Targeting Scott Peters. 
“The conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity is wading into the 52nd Congressional District race more than a year before Election Day, funding a television ad calling for residents to call Rep. Scott Peters and demand the Affordable Care Act be replaced. […] David and Charles Koch of Koch Industries are the primary funders of Americans for Prosperity, which is spending at least $200,000 to air the 30-second spot on network affiliate and cable channels over the next three weeks.” [San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/22/13]
2013: DeMaio is a Paid Consultant for Koch-Backed Foundation. 

In May 2013, Carl DeMaio announced that he was consulting for the right wing Reason Foundation, as chair of the California Reform Council. According to DeMaio’s personal financial disclosure, DeMaio received $37,500 from the Reason Foundation for his consulting work. David H. Koch serves on the Board of the Trustees of the Reason Foundation. [Carl DeMaio for Congress, 1/10/13; Federal Personal Financial Disclosure, 9/16/13; Reason.org, accessed 10/23/13]
·         1999-2003: DeMaio was Employed by Koch-Backed Foundation. 

From 1999-2003, Carl DeMaio worked for the Reason Foundation as a Director of Government Redesign. [Reason.org, web archive, 10/26/04; Voice of San Diego, 10/12/12]

When is campaigning, mudslinging?

There has always been debate; this special election cycle is no different, in the media and now amongst social media about dirty campaigning.  We are again abuzz and aghast with the campaign mail hitting homes, websites popping up, Facebook posts and parody twitter accounts from candidates, independent expenditures and political activists challenging certain things as crossing the line as attacks, going negative, slinging mud and dirty politics.  How dare you sir!

Going back to early United States history you see the mudslinging from some of our most distinguished and cherished elected officials.  It was never pretty.  My point is whether attacks are really mudslinging is in the eyes of the beholder.  For the attacker, they will claim they are only exposing the side of the candidate voters should be aware.  Just reaching back to our last mayoral election we hear from insiders and outsiders, “Why didn’t anyone tell us about former Mayor Bob Filner?”  Umm, that would be a charge of mudslinging, right?  What rises to the level of presenting the facts about a candidate or mudslinging?  The only answer I can see is depends from where you stand; making it or receiving it. 

Another interesting angle is when one slings mud claiming it is the guise of casting the light on another’s mudslinging.  A negative on a negative, classic!  I had to hand it to the independent expenditure supporting former Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher, they did the negative on the negative and went one step further, showed a photo of him and his family with mud splatters on them.  The mailer suggested the attacks they were defending were on the whole Fletcher family. No one has ever made any attacks on his family, but just the candidate.

In the end, the candidate needs to stand on their record, the good and the bad.  Those snarky comments by supporters of a candidate crying foul need to be judged on not how they respond to when their candidate is attacked, but how they respond when their candidate or the independent expenditure in support of their candidate attacks the others as well.  Mud will fly this election cycle, if you aren’t being hit, then you are throwing it. Splat!