Election

A Sneak Peek at the 35 (!) Local Measures Appearing on San Diego Ballots

August 26, 2016 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Labor Day used to be the traditional start of the Fall Election season. That’s no longer the case with the increasing popularity of mail-in ballots driving endorsements and campaigning further backward on the calendar.

August 24th’s endorsement session of the San Diego Democratic Central Committee proves the point. Dozens upon dozens of candidates and ballot measures were considered. The really big deals were the top four ballot measures.

In a nutshell, the Dems opposed SANDAG’s Measure A and the Lilac Hills Measure B, stayed neutral on the Chargers’ Measure C, and supported the Citizens Plan Measure D.

In fairness to the partisans for and opponents of these marquee measures, the final vote tells just part of the story. The opposition came up just one vote short in the Democrats meeting of opposing the Chargers’ stadium proposal.

If this all seems like gibberish to you, you’re at the right place. Here’s your first peek at the 35 (!) ballot measures to be presented to voters in various parts of San Diego County for the 2016 general elections.

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Why We Need to Pass Proposition 55 in November 2016

August 22, 2016 by Jim Miller

brown prop 30

By Jim Miller

As many of us in education circles remember, before the passage of Proposition 30 in 2012, the funding situation for schools and colleges in California was dire.

The question was not IF there were going to be cuts, but rather, how large they would be and how much damage they would do to our students, our profession, and to the communities we serve.

But fortunately, in the wake of the Great Recession and the Occupy movement, the questions of economic inequality and social justice were in the air and we in the California Federation of Teachers, along with our community allies, were able to muster a successful campaign first for the Millionaire’s Tax and then for the passage of Proposition 30, the compromise measure that was forged with Governor Brown.

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Trump’s Daughter Is Vacationing With Putin’s Girlfriend

August 16, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Just when you thought the 2016 Presidential race couldn’t get any crazier, here come reports that Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka is actually vacationing in Croatia with Putin’s girlfriend, Wendi Deng Murdoch.

From an August 14 article on People online:

Ivanka Trump is taking a break from the campaign trail to vacation with friends. The daughter of GOP nominee Donald Trump shared a scenic snap with Wendi Deng Murdoch, the ex-wife of billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch, from Dubrovnik, Croatia.

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Man Who Wants to Overturn 6 Gun Laws Has Business in Ocean Beach

August 16, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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It turns out that the guy leading 6 petition drives against new California gun restrictions recently signed into law has a business “headquartered” right here in Ocean Beach.

Barry Bahrami has launched campaigns to qualify his six referendum to go up against the gun control laws signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Barry Bahrami is also the CEO of Commercial Network Services, an online business that touts itself “a global online service provider specializing in hosting low latency algorithmic trading systems, virtual private networks …” and other virtual trading services.

And Commercial Network Services are indeed headquartered in OB, right at the OB Business Center, at “4876 Santa Monica Ave # 111, San Diego, CA 92107” according to his site. Now, true, we’re talking a PO Box here as “headquarters” – but it is an Ocean Beach connection.

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Is Anybody Judging the Judges? The California Legislature Wants Answers

August 16, 2016 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

A joint committee of the California Legislature has authorized an audit of the Commission on Judicial Performance, the only entity that can discipline or remove a state judge.

A coalition of two dozen groups reflecting a wide range of interests, led by the Center for Judicial Excellence wrote letters, made calls and sent emails to urge the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC) to call for the audit.

“The Center for Public Integrity gave California an ‘F grade’ on its 2015 report card for judicial accountability, said Kathleen Russell, the executive director of the Center for Judicial Excellence in a press release.

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Notes on the Dog Days of Summer: It’s Already Over for Trump

August 15, 2016 by Jim Miller

Image by Thierry Ehrman on Flickr.

By Jim Miller

In late July, I was at the American Federation of Teachers convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota watching Hillary Clinton address a hall of thousands of educators as a handful of #Black Lives Matters and assorted other protesters tried, unsuccessfully, to disrupt her speech, which inspired a few angry delegates to start yelling, “Get them out! Arrest them!” until a wiser soul chimed in with, “Aren’t we supposed to be different than Trump?”

For the most part, Clinton’s speech was a laundry list of interest group button-pushing, but I was pleased to see how far the primary seemed to have forced her to adopt Sanders-like positions and rhetoric on things like affordable higher education.

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Ocean Beach Town Council Board Elections Coming Up – Here’s How to Be a Candidate

August 12, 2016 by Source
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From the OBTC Board (edited for clarity)

The 2016 Ocean Beach Town Council Board of Directors election is coming up! This is a great opportunity to play an active role in this community – and if you are already active, to take your activism to a new level.

By being a Board Director, you can be an elected voice in communicating the views and needs of Ocean Beach to government agencies, be at the forefront of community discussions, take action on local issues and be a leader in promoting the general betterment of OB.

Half of the Board’s 15 seats on the Ocean Beach Town Council Board of Directors stand for election every year.

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DA Dumanis Subpoenaed in Campaign Conspiracy Case

August 11, 2016 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has been and is expected to testify in federal district court on Monday at the trial of Mexican businessman Jose Susumo Azano Matsura.

Defense attorney Michael Wynne has been questioning witnesses about the DA’s direct knowledge of illegal campaign contributions and told freelance reporter JC Playford in an on-the-street video about the summons.

Although their initial support for her campaign is at the core of the government case against Azano and his co-conspirators, prosecutors have this far crafted a case that avoids avoiding linking her to any participation or awareness of illegal activities.

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Sanders Tells Backers Immediate Aim of Political Revolution Must Be to Defeat Trump

August 10, 2016 by Source

The revolution ‘will continue until we create a government which represents all of us and not just the 1 percent,’ Sanders writes in new op-ed

By Andrea Germanos / Common Dreams

Bernie SandersBernie Sanders has again urged his supporters to back Hillary Clinton, writing Friday that “Donald Trump would be a disaster and an embarrassment for our country if he were elected president.”

In an op-ed published at the Los Angeles Times, Sanders contrasts the two leading candidates on everything from tax policy to climate change to healthcare, and says that the “immediate task” of his political revolution is to make sure the real estate mogul doesn’t end up in the White House.

Sanders criticizes Trump’s campaign for being “based on bigotry,” and says that his Supreme Court justice nominees “would preserve the court’s right-wing majority.” Clinton’s appointees, in contrast, would be “prepared to overturn” Citizen United and “would protect a woman’s right to choose, workers’ rights, the rights of the LGBT community, the needs of minorities and immigrants, and the government’s ability to protect the environment.”

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Voting my Conscience for my Grandson and All the Children of the World

August 5, 2016 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

unnamedI don’t usually run scared but it frightens me to the bone when I hear so many people say that there’s just no way they would ever vote for Hillary Clinton for president.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m voting my conscience too. But I’m doing it in behalf of children, people like my little three-year-old grandson and his contemporaries.

My vote is based on what’s in front of me as possibilities, like the possibility that Donald Trump could, in reality, become the president and set the tone for how things are going to be in a society wherein my grandson is going to learn about his world. Well that’s terrifying to me – especially considering my 78 years of struggles in this country.

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Stacking the Deck: San Diego Homeless Sweeps, Charter School Cheats, and the Modern Jim Crow

August 3, 2016 by Doug Porter

News roundup logoBy Doug Porter

Comic Con and the All-Star Game have come and gone, but San Diego’s homeless remain, criminalized and demonized.

A report from the ACLU calls out blatant discrimination in charter schools throughout California.

And rightwing-inspired laws restricting voting in states around the country are proving to be nothing more than a shield for racism.

Today we look at some of the downsides of life in the USA these days. The deification of the market economy and the quest to drown government in a bathtub are at the root of all these stories, something the Make American Great Again crowd seems unable to grasp.

Homeless and Helpless

A perfectly reasonable story in Tueday’s Union-Tribune, focuses on the now-weekly displacement of homeless people in downtown and the East Village.

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It Behooves Progressives to Support Clinton, Avoid Neo-Fascist Takeover

August 3, 2016 by Source

Progressives must rescue the Democrats from their strategic errors – our movements will have more space to grow and better chances to enact reforms if we avert a Trumpian police state.

By Joe Wainio / San Diego Free Press

sinclair lewisHillary Clinton’s choice of Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate is a slap in the face to progressives and a strategic error. It confirms Senator Bernie Sanders’ criticisms that Hillary represents Wall Street, and is reminiscent of past tone-deaf vice-presidential choices of the mainstream Democratic establishment such as Michael Dukakis’ selection of Lloyd Bentsen or Al Gore’s pick of Joe Lieberman.

While Clinton’s decision is certain to make her path to victory in November more difficult, it behooves progressives to work for her election anyway.

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Report of OB Town Council Meeting – Get It Done App, New 7-11 Coming, and Board Elections Scheduled

July 29, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OBTC Meet 72716 crowd
This is a brief report of the OB Town Council meeting held Wednesday, July 27th, as usual at the Masonic Center on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. What we found out: the City has a new complaint website and App, there’s another 7-11 coming into OB, and the Town Council has set up its election schedule – half of its seats are up for re-election.

What with conflicts with a big-name concert, the continuing Democratic convention, and the heat – the gathering was a little sparse. Forty attendees were counted by the end of the meeting, but many of the city departments that serve OB did not have their usual reps present to make reports (SDPD, firefighters, life guards).

“Get It Done” Webpage for City

One of the main presentations of the evening was by Conrad Wear, representative of Councilwoman Zapf’s office, on a brand new element of the City’s website called “Get it done” that makes it easy to report problems, especially street-related issues. There is also an App available. Here it is .

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Washington Post: “Donald Trump is a unique threat to American democracy”

July 27, 2016 by Source

By Editorial Board / Washington Post / July 22, 2016

DONALD J. TRUMP, until now a Republican problem, this week became a challenge the nation must confront and overcome. The real estate tycoon is uniquely unqualified to serve as president, in experience and temperament. He is mounting a campaign of snarl and sneer, not substance. To the extent he has views, they are wrong in their diagnosis of America’s problems and dangerous in their proposed solutions. Mr. Trump’s politics of denigration and division could strain the bonds that have held a diverse nation together. His contempt for constitutional norms might reveal the nation’s two-century-old experiment in checks and balances to be more fragile than we knew.

Any one of these characteristics would be disqualifying; together, they make Mr. Trump a peril. We recognize that this is not the usual moment to make such a statement.

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A Vacation of Joy and Misery and Hope

July 27, 2016 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

Ernie McCray (in Arles?)

Maria and I just spent 38 days in Europe with a stop in Philly on the way home, a vacation that had a combination of both joy and misery and ended with notions of hope.

It began with a man driving us from the Madrid-Barajas Airport to our hotel, talking about politics all the while. He wanted us to know that Spaniards, as we Americans do, have a few Donald Trumps around town. He had a lot to say about our president, a man he admired “for how he stepped up and got the U.S. out of the recession.”
All that made us feel very welcomed and eager to explore the city. Then came Orlando, news that weakened our knees. Our tragedies, kind of, I think, seem even more dismal when you see them from far away, in another culture. You kind of feel that it reflects on you in some way.

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Will Trump Have Hillary Arrested If He Is Elected?

July 22, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Donald Trump colors invert

Will Donald Trump have Hillary Clinton arrested if he is elected in November? His base sure wants it.

With loud chants of “Lock her up! Lock her up!” reverberating through the cavernous arena at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, the delegates displayed for millions of viewers the war cry of the assemblage.

Whenever Trump or Chris Christie or anyone else among the second and third-string speakers on stage called the Democratic Party nominee out for alleged “crimes”, the chant would go up.

It wasn’t easy watching Trump’s speech last night from Ohio. But I forced myself to do it. My housemates all took cover as the convention blared from the living-room widescreen.

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Is This Election Good for the Fish?

July 20, 2016 by Source
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By David Helvarg / Blue Notes – Blue Frontier /July 19, 2016

The party conventions are now underway starting with the Republicans in Cleveland to be followed by the Democrats in Philadelphia.

The stark contrasts between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump: on immigration, education, health care, trade, foreign policy, etc. do not end at the water’s edge where you might also find a Trump resort or golf course.

The ocean has yet to be mentioned on the campaign trail although our organization, Blue Frontier, is coordinating a letter to the candidates from ocean leaders in business, science, conservation, education and other fields that will be sent to the candidates after the conventions.

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Did You Get Your Invite to the Rancho Santa Fe Trump “Victory” Fundraiser?

July 12, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Trump invite RSF 7-13-16

Hey, did you receive your big invite to the really big Donald Trump “Victory” fundraiser? No?

It’s only $25,000 a seat.

It’s over in Rancho Santa Fe – Wednesday, July 13th – at some private homes, and it’s being chaired by Jenny Craig, Geniya and Papa Doug Manchester and other bigwigs apparently in the Trump column.

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Bernie Endorses Hillary

July 12, 2016 by Staff

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders stand together during a campaign rally where Sanders endorsed Clinton in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, U.S., July 12, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder - TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

“Hillary Clinton understands that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths.” – Sen. Bernie Sanders

Today, Tuesday July 12th, Sen. Bernie Sanders has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

At a rally in New Hampshire, Sanders said:

“Secretary Clinton has won the Democratic nominating process, and I congratulate her for that.

She will be the Democratic nominee for president and I intend to do everything I can to make certain she will be the next president of the United States.”

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Will California Legalize Marijuana in 2016?

June 30, 2016 by Doug Porter

If there’s any group capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in California, it’s marijuana activists.

AUMA 2016By Doug Porter

The polling has never been better. This year 60% of likely California voters are inclined to legalize the consumption of marijuana for recreational use, up from 54% last year.

The political prognosis has never been better. Four states and the District of Columbia have already legalized pot and another eight states are considering giving voter approval to the idea.

So California’s Adult Use of Marijuana Act qualifying for the November ballot should be good news, right? Not so fast. We’ve been here before. In 2010 Proposition 19 started out with strong polling and had decent financial backing, as I recollect.

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OB Rag Editordude Quoted in “Ballotpedia” on Calif. Marijuana Initiative

June 29, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Hey, this is crazy! I – editordude of the OB Rag – am quoted in “Ballotpedia” – the “online encyclopedia of American politics and elections,” in their complete run-down and neutral analysis of California’s marijuana initiative.

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Bernie Sanders: “Here’s What We Want”

June 24, 2016 by Source

Bernie Sanders wp shot

By Bernie Sanders / Washington Post – RSN / June 24, 2016

As we head toward the Democratic National Convention, I often hear the question, “What does Bernie want?” Wrong question. The right question is what the 12 million Americans who voted for a political revolution want.

And the answer is: They want real change in this country, they want it now and they are prepared to take on the political cowardice and powerful special interests which have prevented that change from happening.

They understand that the United States is the richest country in the history of the world, and that new technology and innovation make us wealthier every day. What they don’t understand is why the middle class continues to decline, 47 million of us live in poverty and many Americans are forced to work two or three jobs just to cobble together the income they need to survive.

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League of Women Voters Talks Trash to San Diego Rules Committee

June 20, 2016 by Source

trash canBy Anne Haule / San Diego Free Press

Last Wednesday – June 15th – the League of Women Voters of San Diego called for a revote of a hundred year old law.

Representing the League was Beryl Flom, who addressed the city of San Diego’s Rules Committee regarding the overhaul of a law called the People’s Ordinance. She requested the measure be placed on the November ballot.

Originally enacted in 1919, The People’s Ordinance allowed the city to take over food waste and trash collection from a private company that sold it to pig farmers. It was amended in 1986 to prohibit the city from imposing a fee for trash hauling service.

The People’s Ordinance only applies to single-family households who put their bins on public streets — not multi-unit buildings, businesses or commercial establishments — and requires $47 million from the General Fund to operate. Twenty-three percent of the city’s trash is collected from about half of the city’s households through the People’s Ordinance.

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ACLU Endorses ‘Adult Use of Marijuana Act’ Expected on November Ballot

June 20, 2016 by Source

In 2014, 73 percent of misdemeanor marijuana arrests are people under 20. Nearly 70 percent of arrests were people of color.

By ACLU San Diego / Imperial

imarijuana.com

Citing the continued widespread criminalization of young people of color through marijuana enforcement, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of California announced it has endorsed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (“AUMA”) to control, regulate, and tax adult use, sale and cultivation of marijuana in California.

The measure is expected to qualify for the November state ballot.

Low-level marijuana possession was reduced from a misdemeanor to an infraction in California in 2011, but marijuana law enforcement still results in thousands of arrests each year.

In 2011 to 2014, according to the California Department of Justice, law enforcement agencies made 60,000 marijuana arrests statewide. In 2014, young people under the age of 20 accounted for 73 percent of all misdemeanor marijuana arrests in the state. Nearly 70 percent of all marijuana arrests were of people of color.

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How Did Ocean Beach and Point Loma Vote in 2016 Primary?

June 13, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Vote Mayor Primary 2016

How did OB and the Peninsula vote in the Primary held last week? What was the breakdown in the mayoral race in Ocean Beach?

Check out these maps that show the winners in each precinct in OB and Point Loma for the various races.

Go to the original map site, and you can click on individual precincts to see the vote tallies and percentages for each candidates.

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A Bad Climate? The State of Social Justice Efforts in the Labor and Environmental Movements

June 13, 2016 by Jim Miller

no bakkenBy Jim Miller

Among the stories that you may have missed during the stretch run of the primary season was some significantly bad news out of labor on the national front.

Several large unions in the building trades came out against a plan by some of the biggest public sector unions to join forces with environmentalist Tom Steyer in order to fund a major anti-Trump get out the vote operation in the fall. The New York Times noted that:

Two of the Democratic Party’s most loyal constituencies, labor and environmentalists, are clashing over an effort to raise tens of millions of dollars for an ambitious voter turnout operation aimed at defeating Donald J. Trump in the November election.

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Sore Loser!

June 10, 2016 by Source

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

chess game chanceSore losers! you sneer,
because they question the way the game was played.
Cheaters! they cry,
because it just doesn’t make sense
the way it went down,
compared to what they saw with their very own eyes.
Just politics.
That makes it all OK,
As if this was just a game of chess,
With nothing lost but the round,
unless you waged a bet.

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San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association Responds to Trump’s Attacks on Judge Curiel and on an Independent Judiciary

June 9, 2016 by Source

By Luis O. Osuna, San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association President

San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association logoIn recent days our organization and Judge Curiel have become the targets of Donald Trump’s attacks. The comments made by Trump have been misleading, blatant lies and even racist in nature.

Given the amount of attention that Trump’s remarks have produced, this statement seeks to clarify who we are as an association, our purpose and the abject impropriety of Trump’s criticism of Judge Curiel and his attacks on the independence of the judiciary.

A part of the general public has made assumptions about our organization based on our association’s name. It is important to note that while the term “La Raza” literally translates into “the race”, its literal translation does not reflect its cultural meaning. In that context La Raza refers to the concept of the power of the people working together in the name of justice in the face of adversity. It is in this sense in which our association’s name invokes “La Raza.”

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2016 Primary Election Results and Analysis for San Diego

June 9, 2016 by Doug Porter

Election Returns

Editor: The following election results and analysis were put together by Doug Porter on Wednesday, June 8th, for his column at San Diego Free Press – and all vote tallies are as of yesterday’s numbers.

By Doug Porter

It ain’t over ‘till it’s over. But it’s mostly over in San Diego. Most of the ballots for the June 2016 primary election have been tallied. The remaining 285,000 ballots uncounted as of Wednesday morning are provisional and late arriving mail-in ballots. A few close races may change, but if history is any guide, what you see in the way of results the day after the election is what you get.

A multi-year campaign for an increase in the local minimum wage came to a close as voters overwhelmingly approved City Proposition I. For me personally, and for tens of thousands of San Diego workers, the last item on the ballot was the most important one.

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“La Cucaracha” Cartoon Takes on The Donald

June 7, 2016 by Staff

La Cucaracha trump
Donald Trump is having a hard time everywhere he goes, it seems these days.

Even on the comic page.

On Monday, June 6th – D-Day, the cartoon “La Cucaracha” let him have it. It displays a Hitleresque blond figure raising his arm in a Nazi-type salute – with a large “D” on his hat.

The cartoon drawn by Lalo Alcaraz, has often brought out the ire of conservative readers, usually complaining of the “over-politicization of the comic pages” or of the “Latino-bias” of the artist.

This time Lalo – we think – has hit it on the head.

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