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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Debate Over Measure A at Point Loma – OB Dems – Sunday, Sept 25th

September 22, 2016 by Staff


Opponent Gretchen Newsom Squares Off with Anthony Montalvo

From Point Loma – OB Dems

There’s a Measure on the ballot this November that could determine how we’ll get around San Diego County for the next 40 years. Transportation affects the quality of lives – how we get to work, how we get to the beach. It shapes the growth of our cities, and the health of children and seniors.

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Hillary Clinton Reveals her Ocean Plans

September 21, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Hillary Clinton Reveals her Ocean Plans

by David Helvarg /Ocean Views / August 30, 2016

In response to a letter sent by 115 Ocean Leaders to the leading presidential candidates Secretary Clinton has released a two-page response on what she will do to protect our coast and ocean if elected. With just over two months until the vote, this marks the first time in the campaign where a major candidate has addressed the daunting issues confronting America’s public seas.

“As President of the Untied States, I will work to redouble national efforts to boost the “blue economy,” creating jobs and opportunity in industries that restore and protect the health and vitality of our oceans,” she writes.

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Measure B – Ballot Box Planning at its Worst

September 21, 2016 by Doug Porter
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Lilac Hills Ranch Developer Goes for an End Run Around Community Groups

By Doug Porter

Union-Tribune headline Tuesday morning: ‘San Diego median home price hits highest point in a decade.’

Q’s: Are you a NIMBY? Don’t you care about San Diego’s housing crisis? The signature gatherers for the measure in support of building Lilac Hills said it would provide affordable housing for low-income families and veterans, along with being eco-friendly. How can you be against that?

A. Easy. If you’re buying the arguments proponents of Measure B are peddling, I have a bridge to sell you.

Measure B is a clear cut case of a developer doing an end-run around years of community input into planning. Voters in El Cajon and Chula Vista are being asked to decide on a North County project they only know of through ads with fallacious arguments. (Ask the people in Barrio Logan how they feel about that concept.)

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Does SANDAG’s ‘Measure A’ amount to Bold Action on Climate Change?

September 20, 2016 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Of all the local measures on the ballot, none has split local Democrats, labor, and environmental groups more than Measure A.

It proposes to fund transportation and open space projects throughout San Diego County over the next 40 years via a half-cent sales tax increase. Questions about its environmental and social consequences have been raised.

The plan, crafted by the staff of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), will raise $18 billion over its lifetime, with $4.3 billion doled out to local communities for upgrades and repairs.

Just about everybody agrees that work on local and regional infrastructure needs to continue. It’s how we get there that’s causing disagreement.

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The Politics of Trees

September 19, 2016 by Source

Money growing on treesBy Patricia Staley

I’m getting sick of stump speeches and I have a deep-rooted distrust of politicians, in general.

How many leaflets can you bear to pull out of your mailbox?

Every branch of government is at stake and it makes you feel like a sap if you don’t vote.

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San Diego County Supervisors District 3 Contest: A Whole Lotta Meh

September 16, 2016 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter

County Supervisor Dave Roberts is in the fight of his political life. He’s the lone Democrat (first in two decades, actually) in a powerful political entity with few of the checks and balances Americans expect to find in government.

He’s tried to go along to get along, continually stressing the virtues of the entire board in public statements. But a series of poor management (and maybe personal) decisions, costing the county $310,000 in legal settlements, within Robert’s office created an opening for local Republicans.

They’re pressing their advantage, hoping for a return to the one-party system that’s served them well in the past. The race for District 3 supervisor is one of the few bright spots on the local GOP’s horizon.

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San Diego City Attorney Campaign: Community Involvement vs Law and Order

September 15, 2016 by Doug Porter

mara-elliott robert-hickeyBy Doug Porter

San Diegans don’t have a general election contest for mayor in 2016, and four of the five seats up for grabs on the City Council are already taken. But we do get to vote on City Attorney, and this happens to be an important contest.

The June primary winnowed down the field to Mara Elliott, currently serving as Chief Deputy City Attorney under CA Jan Goldsmith and Robert Hickey, a Deputy District Attorney under County DA Bonnie Dumanis.

Elliott has been endorsed by her Democratic primary opponents and has the support of the party apparatus. Hickey has the active support of Republicans in town save one: his boss.

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With No Contest in 4 San Diego Council Races, District 9 Matters

September 14, 2016 by Doug Porter


By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

What was supposed to be an epic, high-dollar struggle for the partisan upper hand on the San Diego City Council never came to pass. Odd-numbered districts elect representatives in 2016, and Republicans were hoping to gain a majority on the theoretically non-partisan body.

Of the five City Council districts having primary contests in June, only one will have a meaningful contest for the general election. In three (3,5,& 7) of those districts, there won’t even be a choice on the November ballot.

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58% of California Voters Support Marijuana Legalization

September 13, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for 58% of California Voters Support Marijuana Legalization

Proposition 64 Enjoys Wide Support Among Most Voter Categories

A new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll found that a good majority of California voters support marijuana legalization and back Proposition 64.

58% of voters in the state support Prop 64, which would allow Californians ages 21 or older to possess, transport and use up to an ounce of cannabis for recreational purposes, and would allow individuals to grow as many as six plants. The measure would also impose a 15% tax on retail sales of the drug.

And according to the poll, the favorable attitude toward grass cuts across most lines of age, race, income and gender.

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Applegate Versus Issa Is the Congressional Race to Watch

September 13, 2016 by Doug Porter

An Overview of House of Representatives Contests in San Diego

SDFP 2016 Nov LogoBy Doug Porter

Of the five electoral contests for the House of Representatives including San Diego voters only the 49th, encompassing the cities of Oceanside, Vista, Carlsbad and Encinitas, looks to be competitive on November 8th. A small part of Orange County and the Marine Corps base at Camp Pendleton are also in the district.

Republican Darrell Issa is facing retired USMC Col. Douglas Applegate.

Issa, the wealthiest member of Congress (2015 estimate: up to $768 million), has all the advantages of incumbency, having served since 2001. Applegate has time and (dislike of) Trump on his side.

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A Look at San Diego’s Ballot Choices for State Legislature

September 12, 2016 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter

SDFP 2016 Nov LogoThere’s bad news and good news about the partisan makeup of San Diego’s representation in Sacramento in 2017.

The bad news is that there is no real competition among the eight local contests for the State Legislature. A few seats are changing hands, but the resulting differences among the newbies will be of style rather than substance.

The good news is that the Democrats likely to be representing the area are all of above average or better quality. What happens in contests elsewhere in California will have a significant influence on just how effective San Diego’s delegation can be.

Democrats, who need two more seats in the State Assembly to recapture supermajority status, started out by targeting contests in Manhattan Beach, Fullerton, Rancho Cucamonga, Dublin and Corona. Christopher Cadelago at the Sacramento Bee reports they’ve recently added support for races in San Luis Obispo and Santa Clarita.

Here’s the rundown on the races for local legislative positions.

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Imperial Beach Mayor Pro Tem: Proposition 59 Supports Core Principle of Democracy

September 8, 2016 by Source

Ed Spriggs Appeals to Fellow IB City Council Candidates But His Words Resonate for All San Diegans

By Ed Spriggs / San Diego Free Press

Imperial Beach Mayor Pro Tem Ed SpriggsThere is one proposition on the State ballot this year that hasn’t yet drawn much attention, and probably won’t.

It doesn’t cost anything. It doesn’t require anyone to do or change anything. It doesn’t prohibit anything. It doesn’t even benefit one citizen or group of individuals over another.

It just supports the core principle of a democratic system of government – one that is of the people, by the people and for the people.

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California’s US Senate Race: Kamala Harris v. Loretta Sanchez

September 7, 2016 by Doug Porter

SDFP 2016 Nov Logo

Sanchez Has Only Long Shot Chance for Victory Over Harris

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The optics of Democratic Senatorial candidate Loretta Sanchez touring with Republican Congressman Darrell Issa recently can be difficult to understand until you realize they actually need each other at this point.

The well is dry for Sanchez when it comes to pumping up support from her party. And Issa needs to convince voters in his district that he’s less of an ogre than his choice for president, Donald Trump.

Such is the state of politics on the Left Coast these days. The woman who unseated Rep. Bob Dornan–who spent 18 years being the enfant terible of the Congress–is now tying her fate to the man who many accuse of leading witchhunts for the past eight years.

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SB 32: California’s Big Bet on the Environment

August 31, 2016 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for SB 32: California’s Big Bet on the Environment

By Doug Porter

Senate Bill 32 was approved by the California legislature last week along with a companion bill (AB 197), putting the Golden State on a path to further reducing greenhouse gas emissions past the end of the decade.

Gov. Jerry Brown fought long and hard for the legislation mandating an additional 40 percent cut in emissions by 2030. The state is already on track to meeting the goal, set by AB 32 in 2006, to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions back down to 1990 levels by the year 2020.

Not included in the new legislation was extending the state’s cap-and-trade program, arguably a more flexible, lower-cost policy tool to cut emissions. As things stand now, the future of the program is uncertain, as the California’s Chamber of Commerce is in court seeking to overturn the program on the basis that it needed two-thirds approval.

The Governor maintains that SB 32 and AB 197 will provide the leverage he needs to reach a deal with businesses that would prefer a market-based program like cap-and-trade over tougher mandates to cut pollution. Brown says he will put the matter of the program’s future on the 2017 ballot if he has to.

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To the Victor Belong the Spoils

August 29, 2016 by Source

By Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner

Centaur and nymph, Tuileries Garden, ParisWhat is it about brute force and macho swagger that mesmerizes so many people?

Picture this: you’re at a crowded carnival. See that big beefy guy up on stage – the one with bulging pecs and thighs like a steel vise? Watch as he picks up that mallet, swings it high overhead, and smashes it down – smack on target. The bell at the top almost shatters with a ringing endorsement of this big tough guy. We all cheer.

Picture another carnival. Onstage is an international lineup of muscle-flexing politicians. See the iron-fisted man of steel Vladimir Putin? the vicious hanger-on Bashar al-Assad? how about the take-no-prisoners Kim Jong-un? And whoa! there’s a joker in the pack – the one with a muscle-bound mouth. Could it be the Donald, our very own wild card? Even he gets cheers.

Now picture a different carnival setting. Let’s make it city hall in sunny San Diego. Man-o-man, the politics on this stage are a feminist fantasy come true – not a grandstanding, fulminating, intimidating, testosterone-laden blowhard in sight (at least, not since Papa Doug Manchester pulled out at the U-T).

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

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
Thumbnail image for Is Anybody Judging the Judges? The California Legislature Wants Answers

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

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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