Survey: Saldana 3 to 1 Over Faulconer

February 8, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Survey: Saldana 3 to 1 Over Faulconer

The OB Rag ran a survey of our readers over their choice of major candidates for San Diego mayor, and Lori Saldana bested Kevin Faulconer 3 to 1,

In our online poll which ran for about a week, 51% of respondents chose Saldana and 17% chose Faulconer.

This is no huge surprise as OB Rag readers have more of a liberal bent than a cross-section of San Diegans. But it does show that Saldana definitely has a base among liberals, progressives and independents in this town.

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Clinton Democrats in 2016: Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here

February 1, 2016 by Jim Miller

botticcelli inferno

By Jim Miller

Whatever happens in today’s Iowa caucuses, one thing is abundantly clear—when confronted with a credible challenge from the left in the form of the Bernie Sanders, the response of much of the leadership of the Democratic Party and their allies in the corporate media has been to defend the status quo with great zeal even if it meant borrowing tropes from the right.

Whether it was red-baiting from Thomas Freidman or condescension mixed with an appeal to “realism” from Paul Krugman, the drumbeat was loud and consistent: Sanders’ agenda, with it’s direct ties to the legacies of Martin Luther King Jr. and FDR was simply an unrealistic option in the neoliberal era.

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OB Rag Poll: Sanders, Clinton, Trump

January 28, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Rag Poll: Sanders, Clinton, Trump

For a week, the OB Rag ran a poll on the presidential preferences of our readers. The poll was a wide-open horse race that had all the major candidates of both major parties running against each other, and included most of the top-tiered GOP candidates (however, it did not include and we now think it should have included Jeb Bush).

Overall, Bernie Sanders came out way ahead – with nearly 51% of the total vote. Near each other, Hillary Clinton had 17.5% and Trump had 16.7% following Sanders way down the sheet.

Marco Rubio had 3.3%, Ted Cruz had 1.7%, Chris Christie had .8%. Another 3.3% wanted another GOP candidate (Bush?).

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Lori Saldana to Run for San Diego Mayor as an Independent ‘to Give the Disenfranchised a Voice’

January 26, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

lori saldana 3

There is finally some good news for San Diego’s left-of-center voters.

A known local politician with definite name recognition, former Democrat and Assemblywoman Lori Saldana has announced her intention to run for mayor of San Diego. Saldana will run as an independent, having resigned from the Democratic Party about 2 years ago.

Now, finally, San Diego voters who don’t usually vote Republican – which is a majority of the city electorate – have a choice other than Kevin Faulconer and a handful of unknowns.

Saldana said she is running to give San Diegans a voice and to represent those who feel disenfranchised by the electoral process.

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Whither 2016 Ballot Measures?: The Oracle Jerry Brown Weighs In

January 25, 2016 by Jim Miller

Photo by Freedom To Marry

By Jim Miller

As I noted in my New Year’s column, many in California’s labor and progressive circles had high hopes for ballot measures extending Proposition 30’s taxes on the rich to fully fund education and for raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.

But it did not take long for Governor Jerry Brown to rain on his presumed allies’ parade.

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The Absurdities and Alternative Realities of Republican Politics

January 20, 2016 by John Lawrence

GOP T.V. / FOX NEWS Videodrome / Long Live the New FleshBy John Lawrence

The Republican political arena has become the theater of the absurd largely thanks to the emergence of Donald Trump as the new standard bearer of the Republican Party.

He has stood all the rules on their heads and made a mockery out of political correctness. Somehow this has breathed fresh air into the stodgy world of Republican memes and mantras.

For example, let’s take the birther controversy which the Donald was a big part of a few years ago when he and others made an attempt to prove that President Obama was not a “natural born citizen” as required by the Constitution in order to be President. In fact, as Trump and others maintained, Obama was born in Kenya. Turns out not to be true.

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What Mayor Kevin Faulconer Bought Into When He Endorsed Marco Rubio

January 12, 2016 by Doug Porter

San Diego Mayor Enlists as One of 7 Rubio’s California Co-Chairs

Kevin FaulconerBy Doug Porter

You know things are getting bad when Howard Kurtz at Fox News says Republicans are freaking out over The Donald.

The billionaire reality show host has disrupted the hopes of the conservative elite of a youngish version of Saint Reagan to preside over the final dismemberment of the New Deal.

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Green Activist Calendar for January 2016

January 11, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Green Activist Calendar for January 2016

Here is the Green Activist calendar for January 2016 – taken from the monthly OB Green Center Calendar:

In Ocean Beach

January 21 Thursday OB Historical Society: “OB’s History of Volunteerism”
at the P.L. United Methodist Church, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

Join us Jan. 21 as Claudia Jack presents “OB’s History of VOLUNTEERISM”. The many organizations and volunteers are what has helped make OB special… from it’s parade, beach clean-ups, planning board, Friends of the Library, and many more.!

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Top 10 Political Hopes for 2016

January 4, 2016 by Jim Miller

via UFT via UFT

By Jim Miller

It’s a new year and a big one for politics. Here is my pragmatic political wish list for 2016:

1) That Donald Trump actually wins the Republican Presidential nomination and brings the entire Republican Party down when the sizable majority of Americans who hate his ideas vote out the party up and down the ticket.

2) That Bernie Sanders wins some primaries and continues to unsettle the Democratic Party and build momentum for a continuing progressive movement in our politics, win or lose.

3) That the lack of a mayor’s race will finally convince San Diego progressives …

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A Sneak Preview of 2016 Elections in San Diego

December 30, 2015 by Doug Porter

ballot box san diegoBy Doug Porter

Over the last few days of 2015 I’ll engage in speculation about what to expect for the coming year.

Here we’ll take a quick look at what San Diegans will be asked to vote on, a logical move since we’re headed into a presidential election year with a gaggle of ballot measures vying for voter approval in California. Later on in the year I’ll do in-depth profiles of candidates and ballot measures.

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Censored 2015: The Most Underreported Story of the Year

December 28, 2015 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

As I wrote back in mid-October, Project Censored recently released their list of the most underreported stories of 2015. The number one story on their list features the news that 2016 will be the year when half of the world’s wealth will be controlled by the top 1%. More specifically, they document how:

According to the Oxfam report, the proportion of global wealth owned by the 1 percent has increased from 44 percent in 2009 to 48 percent in 2014 and is projected to reach 50 percent in 2016.

In October 2014, a prior Oxfam report, “Even It Up: Time to End Extreme Poverty,” revealed that the number of billionaires worldwide had more than doubled since the 2009 financial crisis, showing that, although those at the top have recovered quickly, the vast majority of the world’s population are far from reaping the benefits of any recent economic recovery.

Even more staggering, the world’s richest eighty-five people now hold the same amount of wealth as half the world’s poorest population. “Failure to tackle inequality will leave hundreds of millions trapped in poverty unnecessarily,” the report’s authors warned.

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Wild and Crazy Guys

December 22, 2015 by Source

trump cardBy Bob Dorn

I’ve got two explanations for the Trump phenomenon. They’re both a little hollow.

The first is, he’s the leading example of white privilege, and he’s proud of it. He’s got so much money he wouldn’t know how to fry an egg for himself if he were starving.

People like Trump have so much money and have been rewarded by media for so long they’ve lost track of what real people experience. They’ve become isolated. After decades of going out only to places where they can think and play with people whom they agree with these guys don’t have to watch what they say any longer.

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Donald Trump: The Pure Product of American Politics

December 14, 2015 by Jim Miller

Donald Trump :: Instant Karma :: GOP Primary Flavor

By Jim Miller

There’s been a lot of moral indignation recently in light of Donald Trump’s repugnant call to halt Muslim immigration and his fond remembrance of the American internment camps of the WWII era.

Indeed, some folks have even started using the “F” word, rightly noting the fascist tendencies that the Donald’s inflamed rhetoric appeals to and accurately comparing his calls to ban refugees to the shameful exclusion of Jews fleeing the Nazis.

But as righteous as it is to call out Trump’s ugly racism and xenophobia, there is something suspect about the assertion heard in many quarters that somehow now this outlier has “gone too far.” Indeed, the frequent portrayal of Trump as an aberrant figure who has stepped outside the boundaries of mainstream American political discourse simply protests too much.

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Gretchen Newsom Withdraws from San Diego Mayor Race

December 12, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Gretchen Newsom Withdraws from San Diego Mayor Race

Newsom and Husband to Divorce

Gretchen Newsom issued the following statement on her blog yesterday on her decision to withdraw from the mayor’s race, December 11th:

“I have decided that I will not run for Mayor. My husband and I have recently decided to divorce on an amicable basis and, therefore, I need to focus on our son. I appreciate everyone’s respect of our privacy.”

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Donald Trump’s Audacity of Hate

December 9, 2015 by Doug Porter

Make America white againBy Doug Porter

The debate went on inside my head throughout the night as I drifted in and out of dreams. Should I call out this latest batch of hate-mongering from The Donald?

Or am I just giving him what he wants? The man sees his polls drop in Iowa and he’s at the ready with some new bit of outrage to keep his name in the headlines.

‘If you see something, say something’ won the debate. Plus, I realized Trump’s merely surfing the wave of fear empowered by his fellow chicken hawks and amplified by the media. Today I’ll examine reaction to the latest proclamations from the GOP candidate.

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Sen Bernie Sanders on Democratic Socialism: Let Us Finish What FDR and MLK Started

November 27, 2015 by Source

The following are the prepared remarks for a speech given by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) at Georgetown University on Thursday, November 19th, 2015.


In his inaugural remarks in January 1937, in the midst of the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt looked out at the nation and this is what he saw.

He saw tens of millions of its citizens denied the basic necessities of life.

He saw millions of families trying to live on incomes so meager that the pall of family disaster hung over them day by day.

He saw millions denied education, recreation, and the opportunity to better their lot and the lot of their children.

He saw millions lacking the means to buy the products they needed and by their poverty and lack of disposable income denying employment to many other millions.

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Clinton and the New Democrats’ Tired Third Way

November 23, 2015 by Jim Miller

dem socialismBy Jim Miller

Recently I noted how movements like the Fight for $15 and the insurgent Bernie Sanders campaign have revealed a widespread thirst for an overtly left politics that makes the battle against the billionaire class a central rallying cry.

Indeed, Sanders has continued to force Hillary Clinton to tack to the left on multiple issues, and he has had a genuinely transformative impact on the national political discourse by unashamedly bringing democratic socialism to the stage.

This is why Harold Meyerson argues that the Sanders’s campaign represents “the largest specifically left mobilization—and by ‘specifically left’ I mean it demands major changes in the distribution of income and wealth and major reforms to U.S. capitalism—that the nation has seen in at least half a century.”

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Colorado’s Legalization of Marijuana Is a Huge Success

November 6, 2015 by Source

Veer Guest House

Pot taxes to fund school construction and substance-abuse programs

By Walter Einenkel / Daily Kos

Colorado voters agreed on how to spend $66 million of the revenue generated by the legal sale of marijuana.

The measure sends the first $40 million to school construction and $12 million designated for youth and substance-abuse programs.

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“Enough Is Enough” Bernie Sanders Support Rally and March – Sat., Nov. 7th – Balboa Park

November 6, 2015 by Staff

Bernie Sanders SD poster

A rally and march in support of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is on for Saturday, November 7th in San Diego’s Balboa Park.

Billed as the “Enough is enough” rally for Southern California supporters of Sanders, organizers expect more than 2,000 people to attend. (Which means parking will be tight.)

The main gathering and rally at the fountain in front of the Science Center starts at 11 am, with speeches, and then a march begins around 12:30.

Starting at 10 am there will be booths of local activist groups and political initiatives.

Come inside for the formal announcement:

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Poll on Mayoral Candidates: Gretchen Newsom Bests Other Democrats Against Kevin Faulconer

November 4, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Poll on Mayoral Candidates: Gretchen Newsom Bests Other Democrats Against Kevin Faulconer

In polling run-offs with Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Gretchen Newsom did the best compared to other possible Democratic mayoral candidates.

We ran a series of polls for a week and over a hundred readers participated in most of them. We asked people to choose between big-name Democrats for their pick for a candidate, and then ran a poll on each probable Democrat candidate against Faulconer.

In every poll contest her name was listed, OB Town Council president Gretchen Newsom came out on top. Of course, this could be expected – a following for the local town girl.

These polls are not scientific and we cannot determine if participants live in the City of San Diego or not. But the results do reflect the opinions of our readers – and with Newsom being favored so clearly, it’s obvious that home-town readers predominant. (Although there was one poll with David Alvarez, where Newsom had just 2 percentage points more.)

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Hey, Mark Sauer and Press – Be Careful With the Word “Pretty”

November 3, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Hey, Mark Sauer and Press – Be Careful With the Word “Pretty”

By South OB Girl

Have you seen the KPBS round table footage from Friday Oct 30th, discussing Ocean Beach Town Council President Gretchen Newsom’s candidacy for mayor?

(Discussion of the mayoral campaign begins at 10:35 in the above link.)

One panelist, Tony Perry– San Diego Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Times– referred to Ocean Beach as the People’s Republic of Ocean Beach (a long-time “nickname” favored by certain mainstream reporters). Perhaps some find that appealing. Perhaps some find that appalling.

The panel leader, Mark Sauer, commented that Gretchen Newsom and Gavin Newsom, California lieutenant governor, have the same last name. And he also commented that Ms. Newsom is “pretty,” like Gavin Newsom.

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Marijuana and Tax Measures Vie for California 2016 Ballot

November 2, 2015 by Doug Porter

legalizeBy Doug Porter

As we come down the stretch into the final year before the 2016 general election, there are competing interests backing ballot measures seeking to legalize recreational marijuana use and increase taxes on upper-income earners in California.

The downside in this situation is the possibility of enough confused voters rejecting the choices on the ballot on both issues. And you can bank on opponents of legalization and tax increases will do their best to sow doubt and confusion.

Divisions in the pro-pot camp led to the defeat of Proposition 19 in 2010, despite not having a competing measure on the ballot and polling showing voters favoring legalized marijuana. Advocates for tax increases in 2012 were divided between competing propositions, but a strong effort on the part of organized labor gave Proposition 30 the votes needed to win.

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Part 2 of How Working Class Ocean Beach Spoiled the Establishment Plans and Created a Revolution in Urban Planning

October 30, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

OB CPG Broc Covr

Part 2

By Frank Gormlie

While it participated deeply in the negotiations during the remainder of 1974 and into the next year, the Community Planning Group had enough depth to juggle its activism and successfully respond to new construction projects—mainly large, bulky apartments—still coming down the development pipeline. Over this period CPG was able to block the construction of eight five-story high-rise apartments, most of them aimed for the fragile edges of Sunset Cliffs.

With the limited consensus reached on certain issues in Spring of 1975 the city published a brand new Precise Plan—this confirmed the city’s rejection of the worst of the original plan; no mini-Miami Beach, no marina, no high-rise along the coast.

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Polls: Who Would You Vote for Mayor of San Diego?

October 28, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

clipboard w pencilIt’s the OB Rag Poll Time, again.

This time, it’s all about who you would vote for as the mayor of San Diego? Kevin Faulconer? Any Democrat? OB’s own Gretchen Newsom?

Here’s your chance to take part in our numerous surveys below. You will be able to vote in each poll – and you will see the vote totals once you’ve voted yourself.

And please, read each option before you decide. We will keep these polls alive for a week. Have fun.

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How OB’s Gretchen Newsom Decided to Run for Mayor — and Where She’ll Go From Here

October 28, 2015 by Matthew Wood
Thumbnail image for How OB’s Gretchen Newsom Decided to Run for Mayor — and Where She’ll Go From Here

By Matthew Wood

Gretchen Newsom insists her announcement to run in the San Diego Mayoral election at the San Diego County Democratic Convention on Saturday night was anything but scripted.

“I’ve been having many conversations over many months with many people to find someone to run for mayor who would stand up for the voices of the people that need them,”

– the current Ocean Beach Town Council President and neighborhood leader said.

“I was very disappointed with what I heard.”

Call it an epiphany. A moment of clarity. Or even just an inspiration to do what she does best. She calls the decision her time to step up and lead a bigger constituency.

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5 Reasons Gretchen Newsom Is Running for San Diego Mayor

October 26, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for 5 Reasons Gretchen Newsom Is Running for San Diego Mayor

Will make San Diego a place where people thrive not just survive.

OCTOBER 25, 2015 – Today at the San Diego County Democratic Convention, Gretchen Newsom, a community leader and advocate for working families announced that she will run for Mayor of San Diego in 2016.

“I’m running for Mayor because San Diego deserves a leader who will stand up for our communities,” stated Newsom. “I am committed to the values that are important to us, and I have a vision for a better San Diego that will build bridges of opportunity for all.”

Following her announcement, Newsom released her five priorities to Raise San Diego.

1. Create a San Diego that is more RESPONSIVE Local government should respond to the needs of our communities. Our community groups are laboratories for finding solutions to improve our neighborhoods, but they aren’t being heard by the current mayor.

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Finally, Democratic Presidential Candidates Say Good Things about Marijuana Legalization

October 20, 2015 by Source

mjballotboxIn years past, candidates totally ignored the failed war on drugs and the harms of marijuana prohibition

By Tony Newman / AlterNet

During the first Democratic debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) became the first major presidential candidate to say that he would support legalizing marijuana if given the chance. Asked whether he would support an upcoming ballot measure on legalization in Nevada, Sanders said:

“I suspect I would vote yes. And I would vote yes because I am seeing in this country too many lives being destroyed for non-violent offenses.

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Here’s Sanders in Your Eyes

October 19, 2015 by Source

bernie-sanders-bennington-banner-9-10-1974-v2-1600x21581By Bob Dorn

Time for another look at politics 2015.

No, no, no, don’t go back to Ultimate Fighting, or The Kardashians, or wondering whatever became of Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake or that kid on Via Amnesia named Justin whose pants keep falling below his crack.

Forget the distractions for a moment and try to focus on wtf is going on.

Let’s look at the S-words, and the J-word.

One S-word is Sanders, short for Bernie Sanders. Another S-word is Socialist, that’s the elephant in the room. …

Oh yeah, there’s a J-word. What’s the J stand for? Just a minute, I gotta check a text coming in.

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The Democratic Presidential Debate’s Big Winner Was …

October 14, 2015 by Doug Porter

cnn debate setBy Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The consensus view as expressed in the mainstream media I read this morning was Hillary Clinton as “winner” of the October 13th Democratic Presidential debate, hosted by CNN. Not so fast… There’s more to this story…

Polling, social media, and focus groups told a different story, hailing the performance of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. We’ll take a look at some of the commentary on the events of the evening. I’m happy to report the debate was informative and not boring at all.

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California Pot Legalization Initiative Filed by ReformCA

October 6, 2015 by Source

RCA-FILED-a2By Phillip Smith / AlterNet

The California Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform, also known as ReformCA, has filed a draft marijuana legalization initiative with state officials, the group announced Sunday.

The long-anticipated move means the campaign best-placed to bring legalization to the Golden State can finally get underway.

The Control, Regulate and Tax Cannabis Act of 2016 would allow people 21 and over to possess and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana and it would set up legal marijuana commerce overseen by a pair of new state agencies, the California Cannabis Commission and the Office of Cannabis Regulatory Affairs.

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