Tyranny of the Majority: The American Winner Take All System

August 26, 2015 by John Lawrence

Is it no wonder that among the 21 democracies in Western Europe and North America the US is next to last in voter turn-out?
tyranny of the majorityBy John Lawrence

A lot of people these days are concerned with getting the money out of politics.

That’s an admirable goal, but it doesn’t solve the problem that’s built right into the American political system: a voting system in which the majority rules and there is no minority representation because the winner takes all.

At every level the US is divided up into districts whether its state assembly and senatorial districts, US Congressional districts, San Diego city council districts or what have you. Citizens in a particular district can only vote for one candidate and the candidate with the most votes wins in that district.

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Bernie Sanders, American Socialist

August 24, 2015 by John Lawrence

Bernie Sanders bnwBy John Lawrence

Bernie Sanders has been drawing huge crowds to his rallies. The American media cannot ignore that. But they will never use the S word to describe Bernie even though that is how he describes himself.

Bernie represents those who would tax Wall Street to preserve social security and a host of other common sense proposals. He dares to suggest that college should be free rather than the first stage of a life of indentured servitude and indebtedness.

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Ready for the Revolution? Clinton, Sanders, #BlackLivesMatter and Other Tales from the Campaign Trail

August 17, 2015 by Jim Miller

hillary clinton photo

By Jim Miller

Last week, Hillary Clinton paid a visit to her base in San Diego at a breakfast fundraiser in the home of Qualcomm executive Irwin Jacobs, which was billed as “A Conversation with Hillary.” Clinton arrived in a motorcade with two San Diego police cars and entered through the back door.

Of course, to be part of the conversation, you had to drop $1,000 to $2,700, the maximum contribution for an individual allowed under federal law.

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Here’s the List of Top 10 Groups Lobbying Our Government – and There’s Not One Union on It

July 31, 2015 by Staff

elections hands cashThere’s a group called MapLight and they keep accounts of which lobbying organizations are in our government’s face – in Congress and at federal agencies – lobbying. MapLight is a 501(c)3 research organization that tracks money’s influence on politics.

Here’s their most recent report – issued July 30, 2015, on the second quarter lobbying expenses for this year – and check it out – we’re always told by the mainstream media that government officials are pressured by labor as well as by corporate lobbyists – that union money is equal to corporate money during elections. You can see by the following list that is patently untrue – at least for this quarter: …

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As Medicare Turns 50, It’s Time to Grow the Program

July 30, 2015 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for As Medicare Turns 50, It’s Time to Grow the Program

By Doug Porter

On July 30, 1965 President Lyndon Johnson signed legislation creating the Medicare program. After more than five decades of failed attempts dating back to President Theodore Roosevelt, at least some Americans were eligible for coverage under a federal health insurance program.

Today more than 54 million people are covered by Medicare. It’s far from perfect, but it’s a damn sight better than the alternatives being proposed by the GOP. In fact, many of the problems facing medicare can be addressed by e x p a n d i n g the program, an idea gaining currency nationally.

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Lies and More Lies: Planned Parenthood as the New ACORN

July 28, 2015 by Doug Porter

planned-parenthood-scandal-leadBy Doug Porter

The Republicans appear to have settled on their wedge issue for 2016. You know, the thing that drives fear and/or disgust in a certain class of voters so they’ll ignore all those pesky economic policies they’re likely to get screwed by.

In 2008 a loosely organized entity named ACORN fit the bill. Manufactured imagery of brown people doing something wrong was perfect for an election where the leading candidate was a person of color. Most people still don’t realize the charges brought against the community organizing group turned out to have been false.

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The Party of Death is Dying

July 28, 2015 by Source

dead_gopBy Bob Dorn / San Diego Free Press

For years now the Republican Party has been the party of death. Now it may itself be dying. More about that later. For now, some numbers.

In 2014, 1,100 of 1359 executions performed by the states were the work of “Republican-dominated states,” according to Republicanviews.org on Oct. 26 of that year. Just more than 508 of those executions were in Texas, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, which did the report.

Last May, the Quinnipiac poll taken on attitudes toward the war in Iraq, asked the question, “Do you think going to war with Iraq in 2003 was the right thing to do or the wrong thing?” Overall, 59% of Americans responded that it was wrong and 32% said it was right. Among the Republicans those numbers were more than reversed; 62% of them said it was right to go there and kill, while only 28% said it was wrong.

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Frye, Alvarez and Faulconer Lead in OB Rag Poll for San Diego’s Next Mayor

July 6, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Frye, Alvarez and Faulconer Lead in OB Rag Poll for San Diego’s Next Mayor

In the latest OB Rag poll of our readers on who they’d like to see in San Diego’s mayor seat, Donna Frye, David Alvarez and Kevin Faulconer took the lead.

Of the top three, Donna Frye came out ahead with 26%. David Alvarez had 23%, barely nudging out Kevin Faulconer who received 22%. Frye – a former City Councilwoman and top contender for mayor a few years ago, was the top choice of all the possible candidates.

Other well-known Democrats were in the single-digits, with Toni Atkins with 7%, Lorena Gonzalez at 4% and Nathan Fletcher at 1%.

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Is Chumming Legal Off the Ocean Beach Pier?

June 26, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

OB pier fishingIs chumming legal or allowed off the Ocean Beach Pier?

Okay, you ask, what’s “chumming”?

There’s a variety of modern slang-type of definitions, but in relation to fishing, it’s when people fishing off the pier or in the ocean cut up large chucks of bait and throw them over the railings or overboard in hopes of attracting large fish – like tuna – or like sharks.

If the fisherman or fisherwoman is trying to attract sharks while fishing off the OB Pier – or any pier – when there are surfers and swimmers nearby – that makes it an extremely dangerous activity.

It was suspected that chumming may have been partially responsible for attracting the sharks that attacked children off Oak Island in Southern North Carolina back in mid-June, where two kids each lost a limb. The incidents – 2 miles apart – were followed by calls to regulate chumming off a local pier.

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The Clinton Playbook: Taylorism on the Campaign Trial

June 15, 2015 by Jim Miller


By Jim Miller

One of the more interesting pieces amidst the glut of ridiculously early pre-primary news stories floating around the Internet and social media was Ruby Cramer’s largely laudatory profile of Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook.

Wonder boy Mook, the story tells us, is all about “a ‘new kind of organizing’” that was “going to change politics.”

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Getting Money Out of Politics in San Diego City Elections

June 9, 2015 by John Lawrence

Patrick Gensel/Flickr

By John Lawrence

Wouldn’t it be nice if money didn’t influence who gets elected and what they do after they get elected? The Clean Elections Initiative aims to get money out of politics so that one vote will truly equal one vote like it’s supposed to in a democracy.

Right now money controls elections and lobbyists have too much influence over elected officials which are in turn dependent on rich donors for their campaign funds.

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Bernie Sanders to America’s Billionaires: “Your greed has got to end.”

May 27, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Bernie Sanders to America’s Billionaires: “Your greed has got to end.”

Bernie Sanders Announces Presidential Campaign

This is Bernie Sanders’ prepared speech*, delivered Tuesday, May 26, in Vermont.

Today, here in our small state – a state that has led the nation in so many ways – I am proud to announce my candidacy for president of the United States of America.

Today, with your support and the support of millions of people throughout this country, we begin a political revolution to transform our country economically, politically, socially and environmentally.

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The Race to Replace Marti Emerald

May 18, 2015 by Doug Porter

marti emeraldBy Doug Porter

One month ago City Councilwoman Marti Emerald made the surprising announcement via Facebook that she would not be running for re-election.

Emerald, who was considered a shoo-in for another term in District 9, endorsed her chief of staff Ricardo Flores as the ‘perfect candidate’ for 2016 at a press conference. Today we’ll take an early look at how the race to replace her is shaping up in an overwhelmingly Democratic council district.

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Peninsula Planners Win Appeal of Carleton Row Homes

March 31, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Peninsula Planners Win Appeal of Carleton Row Homes

Election Results and Debate Over the Controversial One Paseo Project

By Tony de Garate / Special to the OB Rag

The agenda at the monthly March meeting of the Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB) called for matters of neighborhood importance: a house remodel gone haywire on Plum Street and a plan to renovate a bridge on Voltaire Street.

But not long after the meeting was gaveled to order, accusations were flying, and heads in the audience were spinning — all because of a project nowhere near Point Loma – more on that later. But first …

PCPB wins Carleton Row Homes appeal

Board members reveled in their successful appeal of Carleton Row Homes, four residential units at 3015-21 Carleton St. in Roseville, earlier in the day.

Rejecting the recommendation of its own staff, the San Diego Planning Commission voted 5-1 to deny a “map waiver” request to classify the units as condos.

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Ocean Beach Planners Agenda for Wed., April 1 – New Officers, a South OB Crosswalk and the One Paseo Project

March 31, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Ocean Beach Planners Agenda for Wed., April 1 – New Officers, a South OB Crosswalk and the One Paseo Project

The OB Planning Board will hold its monthly meeting Wednesday night, April 1st, over at the OB Rec Center. The Center is located at 4726 Santa Monica Avenue and the meeting starts sharply at 6pm.

The Board needs to certify its recent election, elect new officers and review an update on the “Crosswalk Project”. And there will be a “forum” on the very controversial One Paseo Project.

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Preliminary Election Results for OB Planning Board

March 13, 2015 by Source

Here are the “official” unofficial preliminary results of the 2015 general election of the Ocean Beach Planning Board:

Blake Herrschaft

Andrew Waltz

Thomas Gawronski

These results are unofficial. Per the OB Planning Board Bylaws, election results are not official until certified by an action of the OB Planning Board. This action is expected to occur at the next regular meeting, currently scheduled for April 1, 2015.

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Peninsula Planners Hold Candidate Forum for Upcoming March 19 Election

March 13, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Peninsula Planners Hold Candidate Forum for Upcoming March 19 Election

The Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB) held its annual Candidate Forum on Thursday, March 5, 2015, at the Pt. Loma Library. Their elections will be held on Thursday, March 19 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. also at the library.

As with the Ocean Beach Community Planning Board, the PCPB holds a Candidate Forum a few weeks before the annual March election to give the community an opportunity to meet the people running for the open seats and ask questions. And, as with OB’s forum and as happens with the PCPB every year, the event was sparsely attended.

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Scott Peters and the “New Democrats” Take Aim at the Warren Wing of the Party

March 13, 2015 by Jim Miller

…And Other Sordid Tales

Scott Peters Between the HeadsBy Jim Miller

This week a “right to work” bill that will gut the union movement in Wisconsin is likely to hit Governor Scott Walker’s desk and no doubt he will sign it.

While there is much discussion in Democratic circles of how Walker is doing this to position himself even more solidly on the right to please potential Republican primary voters, there is much less discussion about how this latest assault on workers’ rights helps speed the runaway train heading toward plutocracy that is the United States.

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OB Planners: Pipeline from Pacific Beach and Candidate Forum

March 5, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Planners: Pipeline from Pacific Beach and Candidate Forum

At last night’s Ocean Beach Planning Board meeting, Wed., March 4th, the planners got an earful about a new pipeline project coming from Pacific Beach. Plus candidates running in the upcoming election on March 10th got to give a mouthful about why they’re running.

The monthly meeting got off to a slow start, with Board chair Pete Ruscitti wondering out loud whether there would even be a quorum. But the members dribbled in, the meeting began, and more slipped in during the course of the meeting until there was only one absence.

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Ocean Beach Planning Board Sample Ballot for March 10 Election

February 25, 2015 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Ocean Beach Planning Board Sample Ballot for March 10 Election

Qualified Write-In Candidates Still Welcome

Here is the sample ballot for the upcoming 2015 Ocean Beach Planning Board annual election. It will be held on Tuesday, March 10th at the OB Recreation Center. Polls will be open 4-7 p.m.

The Ocean Beach Recreation Center is at 4726 Santa Monica Avenue.

Interested candidates are still welcome to run on a write-in basis provided …


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Can Eve Get Elected?

February 24, 2015 by Source

We do not need a gun-toting warrior with a vagina

By Dr. Carol Carnes

The Sirens and Ulysses, 1837 By painter William Etty

You may know her as Hillary or Carly or Elizabeth but her real name is Eve. All women carry that label in the subjective realm of our collective unconscious.

The allegorical tale of Adam and Eve has been misinterpreted, misunderstood and accepted as an irrefutable condemnation of the Feminine, which has resulted in the subjugation of women in almost every culture on earth. The rights of women were not included in the founding documents of America because we were considered creatures, not full humans.

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There Are Democratic Elections to Community Planning Boards Because of One Ocean Beach Group in the 1970s

February 11, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for There Are Democratic Elections to Community Planning Boards Because of One Ocean Beach Group in the 1970s

The Ocean Beach Community Planning Group Was the Forerunner to OB’s Planning Board

In one month, on March 10th, the Ocean Beach Planning Board will hold its annual election of Board members. It will take place at the OB Rec Center. Every resident, property owner and business-owner in Ocean Beach is authorized to vote – with ID proving residency.

One of the main reasons that this election is going forward next March – as it has been for the last 39 years – is because of the vision and diligence of a small group that existed back in the 1970s. It was the persistent push over a several year period during the mid-Seventies for an election of this nature – a democratic election – to a neighborhood planning committee by an organization called the Ocean Beach Community Planning Group that was ultimately responsible for this democratic gain for communities.

The forerunner of today’s OB Planning Board, the Community Planning Group (CPG), led a campaign of achieving City authorization for neighborhoods to host elections to their planning committees – elections that even allowed tenants – non-property-owners or non-business people – to vote – in regular grassroots balloting.

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Why Not a Youth Party?

February 11, 2015 by Source

politics cartoonBy Bob Dorn / San Diego Free Press

Why not a Youth Party?

Why not?

Call it what you want – Broke, Busted, and Disgusted might be good, or The Undead, or The Disillusioned Party– but a party dedicated to the economic and social interests of the young might brighten life and raise the hopes of the 40% to 45% of us who lately haven’t had a reason to vote.

We need that young party because the other two don’t work anymore. One of them is widely known as “the party of no” and the other one could as easily be called, “I’ll get back to you on that.”

Back in 2012 Pew Research Center found that the number of 18- to 29-year-olds who said they had registered to vote fell to the lowest level in the 16 years since the question was first asked of them.

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Senator Bernie Sanders: Fight for Our Progressive Vision

January 2, 2015 by Source

sen-bernie-sandersBy Senator Bernie Sanders / Common Dreams

As I look ahead to this coming year, a number of thoughts come to mind.

First and foremost, against an enormous amount of corporate media noise and distraction, it is imperative that we not lose sight of what is most important and the vision that we stand for. We have got to stay focused on those issues that impact the lives of tens of millions of Americans who struggle every day to keep their heads above water economically, and who worry deeply about the kind of future their kids will have. …

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Zapf’s Aide Calls Protesters at Inaugural “F*cking idiots” and “I wanted to shoot them!”

December 12, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Zapf’s Aide Calls Protesters at Inaugural “F*cking idiots” and “I wanted to shoot them!”

A community representative of newly-sworn in Councilwoman Lori Zapf called protesters at Zapf’s inaugural “fucking idiots” and then said “I wanted to shoot them!”

Shirley Owen, an aide to Zapf, called the protesters “fucking idiots with their hands up” and said “I wanted to shoot them.” The protesters were there to protest police violence and brutality, and had rallied outside the Golden Hall inauguration in downtown San Diego on Wednesday, Dec. 10th. They were chanting “hands up, don’t shoot!”, and then went inside and had a silent protest and a “die-in”.

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San Diego’s Canvass for a Cause–A Cause to Support

December 10, 2014 by Source

Strictly radical, always queer

canvas for a cause

By Anna Prouty

Canvass for a Cause was founded in 2009 as a queer canvassing organization focused on marriage equality. It quickly grew into the intersectional queer safe space and radical activism community it is now.

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Are You Ready for the 2016 Political Shuffle in San Diego?

November 17, 2014 by Doug Porter

startinglinelogoBy Doug Porter

The results have yet to be certified for this year’s election results, but that hasn’t prevented various political players around town from lining up support for the next step in their careers. There’s already some action and plenty of rumors to share today.

City Councilman Ed Harris was first out of the gate yesterday, by way of a story in the OB Rag announcing his intention to seek termed-out Assemblywoman Toni Atkins position representing the 78th District in 2016.

Hey, there’s plenty more. …

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Ed Harris to Run for Toni Atkins’ 78th Assembly Seat in 2016

November 12, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Ed Harris to Run for Toni Atkins’ 78th Assembly Seat in 2016

Current District 2 Councilman Ed Harris told the OB Rag at the OB Veterans Plaza event yesterday that he intends to run for the 78th Assembly District seat, now held by Speaker of the Assembly, Toni Atkins in the year 2016. Atkins will be termed out that year.

Harris made this announcement after we queried him on his future plans. Harris steps down from the council seat on December 10th, the day that Lori Zapf is sworn in as the newly-elected rep for the district.

Since his selection as District 2 council rep 7 months ago, Harris has …

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Post Election Notes from the Left Coast: Apocalypse Now? Just Say No

November 10, 2014 by Jim Miller

Creative Commons image by Kevin Crumbs

By Jim Miller

Last week progressives in California rightfully felt a bit relieved that their state served as a seawall against the ocean of red that washed across America. Outside of our reactionary little backwater here in San Diego where Carl DeMaio can pretend to be moderate and almost win despite multiple scandals, there were bright spots in the rest of the state …

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OB Voted for Peters, Point Loma for DeMaio

November 7, 2014 by Staff

Not surprisingly, Ocean Beach voters voted for Scott Peters the Democrat incumbent in the 52nd Congressional race this past Tuesday, Nov. 4th. Also not surprisingly, Point Loma voted for Republican Carl DeMaio that same day.

OB Election Map PetersVDeMaioNov2014

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