Measure J: The Mission Bay Park Money Shuffle

October 20, 2016 by Doug Porter

mission-bay-vue-fgBy Doug Porter

Measure J seemed like another non-controversial proposal at first.

It extended the lifetime of an earlier ballot measure dedicating a portion of revenues from leases on properties at Mission Bay Park and shuffled the formula for allocating funds to include other regional parks.

The idea was for these revenues to pay for bonds to be used in capital improvement projects for Mission Bay Park and regional parks, including Balboa Park.

Needless to say, Balboa Park groups existing amidst crumbling buildings and other infrastructure shortcomings were thrilled.

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Measure “I” Pits Balboa Park Advocates Against San Diego High’s Future

October 18, 2016 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for Measure “I” Pits Balboa Park Advocates Against San Diego High’s Future

By Doug Porter

Measure “I” started out as a seemingly non-controversial deal to maintain the status quo with two venerable San Diego institutions.

Now it has split the community between those who want to maintain the current location of the City’s oldest high school and those who say it should no longer occupy dedicated parkland.

The City Council placed Measure I on the ballot along with a package of reforms to the charter. It changes the language found in Section 55 of the foundational document governing the City’s use of dedicated parkland to allow a simple majority public vote to allow the existing use of that site to continue.

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Why Measure A is Bad on Climate and Bad for the Region

October 17, 2016 by Jim Miller

San Diego coast satellite

Flawed Transportation Plan Underlies Measure A

By David Harris, SD 350 and Ruben Arizmendi, Chair, Sierra Club San Diego

Why are most labor unions, numerous environmental groups, and several local elected officials opposing the proposed ballot measure that would utilize a half-cent sales tax increase to improve roadways and public transit? Aren’t we all tired of driving on deteriorated roads and congested freeways?

Yes, of course, but looking beyond the potholes and into the future, we need to ask what should our transportation system look like 20 or 40 years from now?

Measure A on the November ballot follows the “planning as usual” approach. It gives allocations of funding to every city but fails to address our long-term transportation problems. This measure does not substantially decrease greenhouse gas emissions that are already endangering our quality of life; nor does it create a more efficient system to meet the mobility needs of a growing population.

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San Diego 2016 Progressive Voter Guide

October 14, 2016 by Staff


The editors of the OB Rag and the San Diego Free Press are pleased to present our 2016 General Election Progressive Voter Guide.

We believe this is a historic election, one that will set the course of the United States for decades to come. If there ever was an election where voting was important — this is it.

The candidacy of Donald Trump is no accident. It is a consequence of decades of building a constituency for a market-driven political economy by capitalizing on fear, bias, and ignorance.

The ballot this year is long and complicated. Not everything is as it seems. Practitioners of deception have deliberately crafted personas and propositions in a manner to trick people into voting against their best interests. There are an equal number of voting decisions to be made on less-than-perfect candidates and causes.

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Props 65 and 67 – Revenge of the Plastic Bag Industrial Complex

October 14, 2016 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for Props 65 and 67 – Revenge of the Plastic Bag Industrial Complex

By Doug Porter

The bastard sons of the dirty energy industry are trying to pull a fast one on California voters with Props 65 and 67.

In a perfect world, the people who put together Proposition 65, along with forcing us to vote to uphold a legislatively passed ban (Prop 67) on the crappy plastic bags handed out by retail stores, would be tried for crimes against the planet.

If found guilty they would be sentenced to picking up cigarette butts on beaches in Libya for a term of no less than two years, wearing tee shirts emblazoned with We Love Imperialism on the back.

What Proposition 65 is all about is revenge. The plastic bag industry and the oil companies who sell them raw materials want to have it both ways. If they’re gonna lose the vote to ban plastic bags, then maybe they can fool voters with a measure falsely promising to do something good for the environment.

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Prop 64 – Just Legalize Marijuana, Already

October 13, 2016 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for Prop 64 – Just Legalize Marijuana, Already

By Doug Porter

California, Arizona, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts will be voting on legalizing the recreational use of marijuana this fall.

Some people, including many pro-legalization advocates, think this is about easing another legal intoxicant into society. It’s not. It’s about undoing a prohibition based on ‘scientific racism.’ It’s about a ‘war on drugs’ that served as a gateway towards militarization of law enforcement and eroded the constitutional rights of all Americans.

Legalizing pot won’t undo those things. In case you haven’t noticed, government and society rarely move backward. But legalization does provide a path moving forward that makes a lot more sense than the failed policies proceeding it.

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Prop 63 – Ammopalousa, GunGhazi and Second Amendmenting

October 12, 2016 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for Prop 63 – Ammopalousa, GunGhazi and Second Amendmenting

In some states, candidates fight to see who can pose with the largest gun. In California, they fight to see who can craft the toughest regulations on guns and ammo.

By Doug Porter

This measure is Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s baby. Prop 63 requires a background check to purchase ammo, bans possession of large capacity ammo clips, sets up a way to remove guns from felons, and requires reporting of stolen firearms/ammo.

This is all good stuff and there no denying it’s part of Newsom’s image building in the lead up to the 2018 gubernatorial contest.

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The How of Trump’s Little-to-No Personal Tax Payments

October 11, 2016 by Source

By Frank Thomas

taxeesIn recognition of Trump’s extremely complicated tax situation, James Stewart in a recent NY Times article asked him to just simply submit ten numbers – adjusted gross income and actual federal taxes paid over his last 5 year returns.

That seems a simple request for Trump to respect. But the legally allowed complex tax concessions given to real estate developers complicates making judgments about Trump’s moral business integrity and obligation to expose his returns.

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Props 62 and 66 – Nay or Yea on the Death Penalty

October 11, 2016 by Doug Porter

Photo by kelseywynns

An eye-for-eye and tooth-for-tooth would lead to a world of the blind and toothless.–Book of Exodus [21:24]

By Doug Porter

Both points of view regarding the death penalty managed to get a measure on the November ballot.

Prop 62 will eliminate the death penalty. Prop 66 will streamline the process of executing people. If both pass, the measure with the most votes will supersede the other.

In a perfect world, there could be a discussion about the advisability of government sanctioned executions involving actual facts and figures. We won’t see much of that sort of thing this fall.

The death penalty is an emotional issue. Facts matter much less than fear.

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The Second Presidential Debate: A Cornered Rat Turns Vicious

October 10, 2016 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter

second debate

If you just watched the debate portion of yesterday’s political drama, you missed Donald Trump sitting at a press conference alongside four women with Clinton issues he’d flown to St. Louis.

Three of the women claimed somebody who wasn’t on the ticket sexually abused them in some manner. One of the women was raped by a man who a young lawyer named Hillary Clinton was assigned to defend in court.

The Trump campaign’s plan, according to today’s Washington Post, was to place the four women in the Clinton family seating area and have them confront the former president on live television at some point in the evening.

The plan was foiled just moments before the debate was supposed to start ….

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Vote No on Measures A and B for a Sustainable Future for San Diego

October 10, 2016 by Jim Miller

San Diego County Photo Sustainable future

By Jim Miller / Jana Clark

Much of the reporting on the early campaign surrounding Measure A is falling victim to the proponents’ attempts to greenwash their deeply flawed measure.

They are doing this by representing a few astroturf “environmental” organizations in league with big money from corporate interests and a handful of unions doing the bidding of downtown insiders as a “split” in progressive circles.

This is unfortunate as the fact of the matter is that the opposition to Measure A by the Quality of Life Coalition represents a historically significant new alliance between progressive labor and nearly all of the local environmental organizations doing serious work around climate.

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Prop 61 – Big Pharma Promises Revenge If It Passes

October 10, 2016 by Doug Porter

Big Pharma

By Doug Porter

Proposition 61 seems pretty straightforward. The price paid for prescription drugs in California state health care programs must be equal to or lower than what is paid by the Veterans Administration.

Sadly, it isn’t that simple. There’s $101 million (and counting) being spent on this measure, which only directly affects 12% of Californians.

When I saw the words “badly flawed” in ads against Prop 61, I reflexively assumed the bad guys of Big Pharma were desperate to confuse the public… But…

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Props 59 and 60 – Dirty Money and Filthy Sex

October 7, 2016 by Doug Porter

Props 59 & 60

Why are these measures even on the ballot?

By Doug Porter

The Constitution of the United States begins with “We the People.” It doesn’t say “We the Corporations” or “We the Fat Cats.”

I get it. Every person who believes in our representative democracy should be appalled by the Supreme Court (Citizen’s United) decision giving corporate entities the power to fund elections thru super-Pacs under the guise of “free speech.” This needs to change.

Proposition 59 asks California’s elected officials to work to overturn Citizens United, through supporting a constitutional amendment or other means. And if they don’t like what Prop 59 asks them to do, that’s okay, because it’s simply advisory in nature. Since it’s on the ballot and because I’m personally repulsed by the notion of living in an oligarchy, I’ll vote yes.

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Why Progressives Should Vote for Hillary Clinton

October 6, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Why Progressives Should Vote for Hillary Clinton

The Nation Magazine Endorses Clinton for President

A Trump presidency would be a catastrophe, whereas a big win by Clinton creates an opening for change.

By The Nation / October 5, 2016

The Nation endorses Hillary Clinton for president and believes that a substantial victory by her in November is essential to advance the progressive issues we have long championed. We supported Senator Bernie Sanders? in the Democratic primary, and we remain concerned about Clinton’s approach to politics and governing. But Clinton isn’t running against Sanders anymore.

The first case for Clinton can be summed up in two words: Donald Trump.

The first case for Clinton can be summed up in two words: Donald Trump. In the contest between hope and cynicism, justice and prejudice, solidarity and selfishness, we can be absolutely certain that Trump is not on our side. Given the perils facing our country and our planet, we believe that Trump’s election would be a catastrophe for the United States—

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Prop 58 – Righting a Wrong with Local Control of Bilingual Education

October 6, 2016 by Doug Porter

bilingual education

When Prop 227 Passed in 1998, Only Homosexuality Was Less Tolerated Than Bilingualism by Middle-Class Americans

By Doug Porter

California’s Proposition 58, being marketed as the LEARN Initiative, represents yet another step towards righting the wrongs growing out of a wave of anti-multicultural sentiment during the 1990s.

The nativist wing on the Republican Party eventually led that organization into irrelevance in California, and a generation of Latino political activists is now an ascendant force in state politics.

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Prop 57 – If Sentencing Reform Passes, Will Hospital Bombers Run Amok?

October 5, 2016 by Doug Porter

Prop 57 graph

By Doug Porter

Prop 57 is the final part of Gov. Jerry Brown’s mea culpa for the tough on crime laws passed during his first term. As a result, the state prisons were filled to overflowing. Lawsuits and investigative reporting exposed the cruel and inhumane process amounting to little more than warehousing.

The Supreme Court agreed, saying conditions were so bad they violated the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual treatment. In 2011, California was ordered to reduce its population by more than 30,000 inmates.

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As Trump’s Shadow Grows Over the Land – Let’s Plant the Seeds of Revolution

October 4, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for As Trump’s Shadow Grows Over the Land – Let’s Plant the Seeds of Revolution

By Jeeni Criscenzo

Last month the OB Rag had a survey asking what people would do if Trump is elected president. Since my husband’s parents were from Mexico, and we have friends in Baja, we have had conversations about moving across the border, even before the possibility that Trump could become our next president was considered anything but ludicrous. Now, that possibility is neither far-fetched nor funny.

A year ago our reason to consider leaving San Diego was more for financial reasons and for now, at least, we have under control. Mexico might be more affordable, but are plenty of other issues that convinced us to take a move there off the table. Now, it’s back.

There is a conversation in JRR Tolkein’s “Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring”, in the second chapter (The Shadow of the Past) where Gandalf explains that The Shadow has returned and this time it is Frodo who must confront it: …

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“What Would You Do If Trump Is Elected?” – Results From Our Survey

October 4, 2016 by Frank Gormlie


Back a few weeks ago, during a particularly “bad week” campaign-wise for Hillary Clinton, it looked like Trump could actually be elected President. It was during that period that the OB Rag asked a number of activists and progressives what they would do if Trump was indeed elected.

Today, still, Trump winning is not a far-fetched concept, for as recently as last night – Monday, October 3rd, Rachel Maddow of msnbc made the plausible case that there could be an electoral college vote tie between Clinton and Trump and it all may end up in a divided US Supreme Court.

(The OB Rag also ran a readers’ poll on the very same question with some startling results.)

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Prop 56 – Tobacco Industry Lie Machine Runs at Top Speed Against It

October 4, 2016 by Doug Porter

cigarettes-in-bowlEXTRA EDITION: Saturday Laryngectomy Rant

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Lung Association in California and American Heart Association have placed Prop 56 on the ballot increasing taxes on tobacco products and updating state law to include e-cigarettes as a taxable product.

The tobacco industry has amassed a $56 million dollar war chest to defeat Prop 56. They know arguing in favor of tobacco use won’t work, so they’ve unleashed a blizzard of bullcrap advertising seeking to confuse and obfuscate the matter.

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San Diego Union-Tribune Breaks 148 Years of Republican Bias and Endorses Clinton for President

October 3, 2016 by Source


For 148 years, the San Diego Union-Tribune has endorsed Republican candidates for President – until now.

Calling Hillary Clinton “the safe choice” candidate, the newspaper endorsed her for the highest office in its editorial for Sunday, October 2nd, 2016.

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Props 53 & 54: Say No to Rich Guys Gaming the System

October 3, 2016 by Doug Porter

gaming the system

By Doug Porter

Dean Cortopassi is a wealthy self-made agribusinessman from Stockton. Charles Munger is a Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and lives in Pasadena. Both have long histories in politics.

Each of them has bought a spot for a pet cause on the general election ballot. And they’d like you to believe their motives are altruistic.

They’re gaming the system, promising they have your interests in mind. Their measures are, in fact, simplistic solutions to complex problems with potential or real consequences not immediately apparent to the casual observer.

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Measure A: Mish Mash That Doesn’t Focus Enough on Climate Change

September 30, 2016 by John Lawrence

Measure A Doesn’t Do Enough to Get Cars Off the Road

By John Lawrence

Trolley (1)In a nutshell, Measure A is a something-for-everybody approach that doesn’t do enough to concentrate on climate change. A full on effort to get cars off the road and people onto public transit would do much more. That means more trolley and light rail lines paralleling major freeways.

Measure A brings up more questions than answers. It seems that the whole purpose of Measure A is just to do the same things that SANDAG has already been doing, but at a faster pace. They already duped the voters into a half-cent sales tax hike with TransNet, which is an ongoing pot of money. With it, SANDAG is supposed to be doing the right thing in terms of San Diego County infrastructure. The only reason they would need more money is to speed up the process of combatting global warming. This measure does not do that.

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Proposition 52 – Keep MediCal Funding Where It Belongs

September 28, 2016 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter

Back in the bad old days of the great recession, the California legislature diverted hundreds of millions in funding derived from a tax hospitals pay. The federal government kicks in matching funds for these taxes flowing back to the hospitals through MediCal, so it’s a sweet deal. Hospitals pay one dollar to get two back, more or less.

The recession is over, and the hospitals want their original deal back in place.

So they raised a boatload of money to put Proposition 52 before the voters. This is a “lockbox” measure, designed to give voters the opportunity to say that funds raised for or by a certain purpose must be spent in that general area as well.

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OB Town Council Meeting – Measure A and Board Election Results – Wed., Sept. 28th

September 27, 2016 by Staff

At the upcoming Ocean Beach Town Council meeting on Wednesday, September 28th, Measure A on San Diego’s ballot will be discussed, there will be the results of the OBTC Board election just held, a re-cap of the OBTC OB Pier Pancake Breakfast, plus there will be the unveiling of the 2016 holiday theme.

The OBTC meets at 7:00pm at the Masonic Hall – 1711 Sunset Cliffs Boulevard -.Measure A is a 40 year tax increase for transit and infrastructure throughout San Diego County. This will affect our quality of life for generations to come, and there will be proponents and opponents to Measure A, followed by Q&A with our community.

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Prop 51 – Will Schools Get Fixed and Repaired?

September 27, 2016 by Doug Porter

Proposition 51

By Doug Porter

The California Public School Facility Bonds Initiative, better known as Proposition 51, proposes to refill the State of California’s money pot used for school construction and repair.

It has been ten years since the last statewide school bond, and proponents say there is a massive backlog of local school projects.

Everybody loves building and fixing schools, right?

The list of supporters includes both major political parties, the Chamber of Commerce, the California Labor Federation, education groups of all sorts, the League of Women Voters and on and on. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has endorsed Prop. 51. So has Lt. Gov Gavin Newsom.

Supporters have raised over $8.4 million.

Where the bond money would go …

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The Debate Over San Diego’s Measure A

September 27, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for The Debate Over San Diego’s Measure A

Editor: Yesterday, we posted an unequivocal statement by our regular columnist Jim Miller, who along with Nicole Capretz, and Nick Segura, advocate progressives should not vote for Measure A. Today, we publish South OB Girl’s report of a debate on A at last Sunday’s Point Loma – OB Democratic Club event.

Gretchen Newsom and Anthony Montalvo discuss Measure A … and the Democrats (and Republicans) aren’t so sure about it

By South OB Girl

Let’s take a look at Measure A. Measure A proposes a plan for transportation infrastructure changes in our city.

The Republican Party of San Diego County and the San Diego County Democratic Party both agree on one thing – vote No on Measure A this November. BOTH parties are opposed to Measure A. Labor is divided and City Councilmember endorsement is also divided.

A presentation of both sides — “Yes on A” and “No on A” — occurred on Sunday Aug 25th, at the Point Loma-OB Democratic Club’s monthly meeting.

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San Diegans: Just Say NO WAY to Measure A

September 26, 2016 by Jim Miller

It’s All About the Climate and Our Children’s Future

By Jim Miller, Nicole Capretz, and Nick Segura

Measure ASan Diego does not have a history of visionary regional planning, but the woefully inadequate Measure A would take our city to a new low by ensuring decades more of inadequate efforts to address both our infrastructure needs and climate change.

Sadly, Measure A is not up to the transportation and climate justice challenges of the present and would guarantee a future for our city that would leave us with no solutions for climate change or traffic congestion while increasing pollution, poisoning our children, and turning a deaf ear to the needs of beleaguered communities of color.

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Measure D – Nice Try, But No Cigar for The Citizens’ Plan

September 23, 2016 by Doug Porter

Downtown-Hotel-San-Diego-California-United-States-300x420By Doug Porter

A good metaphor for Measure D would be the guy who tries to break up a fight and ends up getting pummelled by both combatants.

Also known as the Citizens’ Plan, Cory Briggs Evil Plot, and Chargers Stadium Lite, the proposal is all-but-dead in the water.

The money spigot ran dry in May. The thoughtful discussion Measure D should have stimulated never happened, lost in the dread of yet another rich guy scheme, and the unintended consequences of its (mostly) good intentions.

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Results of OB Rag Poll on What to Do If Trump Is Elected

September 23, 2016 by Staff

The OB Rag ran a readers’ poll for one week asking the question: “What would you do if Trump was elected?” and it had 145 respondents.

The answers ranged from nearly a third saying they would be celebrating Trump’s election (31%), contrasted with nearly 10% who said they would be joining the “underground resistance”, and where 23% claimed “nothing will change.”

About 38% of those who answered chose options in the poll that expressed some level of negative impact with Trump’s election. Nearly 8% said they would move out of the country (2% to Mexico and 5.5% to Canada).

Another 14% would be mobilized politically against Trump – with an astounding 9.7% of the overall respondents agreeing to the option, “Joint the underground resistance.”

Almost 5% said they would “take to the streets”, meaning demonstrating and protesting.

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Chargers Stadium Ballot Measure C — as In Chutzpa

September 22, 2016 by Doug Porter

This is a rendering. They have no actual plans drawn up.

By Doug Porter

There are two items on the ballot for City of San Diego voters related in some fashion to the construction of a place for the local NFL franchise to play.

Measure C, backed by the San Diego Chargers ownership, is an effort to get a stadium/convention center built. The group’s committee is a cash machine, taking in tens of thousands of dollars (nearly) daily, all from the same source.

Measure D is primarily backed by interests with investments in nearby properties, namely the Moores family. For monetary reasons, it’s just about dead in the water. D is on the ballot, but the money spigot was turned off May 3.

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