Election

Fundraiser for Mel Roark’s Grandson on May 22nd – Ed Harris to Attend –

May 20, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Fundraiser for Mel Roark’s Grandson on May 22nd – Ed Harris to Attend –

Grandson Braden Victim of Rattlesnake Attack – Family Needs Help

Well-known OB community activist Mel Roark is holding a fundraiser for her grandson, Braden, who was bitten by a rattlesnake on April 12th. The family is facing enormous hospital bills as Braden had to take more than 35 vials of anti-venom and each one cost $2,000.

Ed Harris, the mayoral candidate, will also be on hand to show support to Mel and Braden.

This all takes place on Sunday, May 22nd, from 3 to 6 pm at The Inn at Sunset Cliffs, 1370 Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. Food, beverages, drawings and entertainment by very local John Tafolla.

Read the full article → 3 comments

Much Ado About Money – County Supervisors on the Primary Ballot

May 20, 2016 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for Much Ado About Money – County Supervisors on the Primary Ballot

By Doug Porter

Back in 2010, San Diego became the seventh county in California to impose term limits on its Board of Supervisors. Voters approved of the idea by better than a two to one margin. Unions, which typically oppose term limits, actually funded the effort.

This electoral groundswell happened for a reason, namely the billions in funding flowing through (and overly generous reserges in) county coffers. The ability of just five elected officials to shape the county’s priorities in big and small ways amounted to a ticket to lifetime tenure in part because supervisors also draw their own district lines.

There are two contests for County Supervisor appearing on 2016 primary ballots in San Diego. They only appear on ballots for voters living in the districts involved. (First District Supervisor Greg Cox – who represents Ocean Beach and Point Loma – is unopposed and therefore, won’t be on the ballot)

Read the full article → 0 comments

Progressive San Diego Voter Guide for June 2016 Primary

May 19, 2016 by Doug Porter

imageBy Doug Porter

Over the past few months the San Diego Free Press and the OB Rag have reported on the candidates and causes central to the June 2016 primary elections.

We have combined our research and analyses with information from public sources to create a progressive voter guide for electoral contests appearing on ballots in the San Diego region.

This guide includes links to candidate websites, symbols indicating endorsements and a short overview of contests, along with links to our reporting.

Read the full article → 3 comments

Who Are the San Diego Democrats Who Aren’t Really Democrats?

May 18, 2016 by Doug Porter

Feeling #theBern AND the Burn in San Diego Politics

carpet saleBy Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

This started out to be a column addressing the increasing awareness of the Bernie movement on finding like-minded progressive candidates on the ballot. It ended up be an exploration of the Dark Side of both local politics and the newly ascendant supporters of the Democratic Socialist from Vermont.

For those of interested in short lists for city offices, here it is: if you like Bernie, then Lori Saldaña for Mayor, Bryan Pease for City Attorney, Sara Saez for D9 City Council, and Jose Caballero for D7 City Council…

… Except that the Progressive Democratic Club says if you support Bernie you should vote for Ed Harris for Mayor.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Local San Diego Anti-Trump Emergency Response Network Forms

May 17, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Local San Diego Anti-Trump Emergency Response Network Forms

The “Love Trumps Hate Solidarity Network” Commits to Counter-Protest at Trump’s San Diego Rally

Two-dozen San Diegans met at the Joyce Beers Community Center in Hillcrest last night, May 16th, and formed the skeleton of a local anti-Trump emergency response network.

So, once it’s announced that the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee is coming to town, a coalition has already began organizing a counter-protest. The same if Trump waits to visit San Diego until after he is nominated, San Diegans are getting ready now.

Called together by a well-known group, Activist San Diego, and chaired by Martin Eder, a long-time mobilizer for that organization, the meeting included at least one Republican, a bunch of socialists, Democrats, Bernie supporters, a Green Party person, a few independents, some just curious – and yours-truly, the rep from the OB Rag / SD Free Press.

Read the full article → 4 comments

City Attorney Candidate Forum and San Diego’s Fault Line

May 17, 2016 by Anna Daniels

Pinnacle Tower from Island Avenue Photo credit Jay Powell

Land use, wealth and the smart city

By Anna Daniels

The League of Women Voters and community radio station KNSJ hosted a city attorney candidate forum at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in downtown San Diego on Saturday May 14.

I had been asked to participate as a media representative on the panel asking questions of the candidates.

The 94 freeway exit that my husband and I took downtown to the event dumps cars on a surface street on the fringe of East Village.

We drove through a convulsed urban landscape created by CalTrans engineering, deteriorating Victorian era houses, new apartments and temporarily re-purposed vacant lots. This entry point reflects how San Diego’s decision makers have approached land use and development in the area over many decades and to wildly different effect.

Read the full article → 1 comment

California DMV Takes Important First Steps Toward Improving Voter Registration Services

May 16, 2016 by Source

Although problems persist, voter registration for 2016 elections will be easier for some

ACLU San Diego

acluThe California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) took the necessary first steps toward improving voter registration services offered online and at its 174 field offices across the state, though it still will need to address some major issues.

Beginning this month, people who are eligible and affirmatively choose to register when applying for or renewing a driver license or identification card at a DMV field office will: …

Read the full article → 0 comments

Bernie Sanders Unity March and Rally – Today, May 14th – Noon

May 14, 2016 by Staff

The “Rise up for Berni” group is holding a march and rally today in support of Bernie Sanders.

Meet in Balboa Park(@6th and Juniper) at noon and march to beautiful Embarcadero Park South (behind the SD Convention Center) for a Rally at 3pm.

Bernie supporters say they will hold the largest voter registration verification and registration event in California.

Read the full article → 0 comments

“As a California Primary Voter – I’m Pretty Pissed Off!”

May 13, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for “As a California Primary Voter – I’m Pretty Pissed Off!”

By OB Joe

You know it. I’m a California Primary voter and I’m pretty pissed off!

The Primary is already over – and I haven’t even voted yet. And neither have my fellow 8 million California voters.

The candidates have been selected – yet, the largest state in the Union has not spoken.

Oh, I know, there are some who still think Bernie can get the nomination – but the real math is not there – and I’m a Bernie supporter! I observed an MSNBC breakdown of the numbers – and Sanders would have to score REAL big in all the remaining primaries – short of a miracle – it will be Hillary Clinton for the Democrats.

I really wanted to vote for Bernie Sanders, the Democratic Socialist – and I was among the 13,000 San Diegans who came out to support him when he was in town not too long ago. But by now, it’s been decided.

Read the full article → 4 comments

An Analysis of Ballot Measures for the June 2016 Primary

May 13, 2016 by Doug Porter

ballot sampleVote ‘Aye’ on San Diego’s Proposition ‘Eye’

By Doug Porter

If there one issue symbolic of San Diego politics, it’s the fight for a bump in the local minimum wage. Almost two years after a majority of the city’s elected representatives voted for a measure increasing wages (in baby steps) and allowing for earned paid sick leave, the voters will have a say on the issue.

I won’t mince words here. If you live in the City of San Diego, vote YES on the referendum on Earned Sick Leave and Minimum Wage, which will appear on the June 7th ballot as Proposition I.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Don’t Be Bored by Board of Education Races

May 12, 2016 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for Don’t Be Bored by Board of Education Races

Ignore those school board races on your 2016 primary ballot at your own peril. The County Board of Education, with its half-billion-dollar budget and influence over the 42 school districts in San Diego, is the target of Republicans reportedly funded by charter school businesses.

Now I don’t have a problem with the concept of charter schools as an option for parents seeking differing educational approaches. I do have a problem with the charter school industry, which all-too-often has hidden financial malfeasance and an exploitive working environment behind the banners of “choice” and “opportunity.”

Most of all, I believe that a robust public education system is fundamental to democracy. Public education has been the primary battleground for a cultural war going back decades and now it has become fair game for hedge fund operators and profiteering.

Read the full article → 2 comments

An Old Scumbag’s Take on Bernie and Hillary Unifying Their Party

May 12, 2016 by Ernie McCray

Sanders and Clinton at the Democratic Presidential debate from St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH, airing Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015

By Ernie McCray

For not supporting Hillary Clinton, people like me, including millions of young people, millennials, our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, have been described as naive-unrealistic-shallow-thinking-delusional-idiotic-scumbags – and we’ve been compared to followers of Trump.

I didn’t see it coming, at all, as the insults have come from the kinds of people with whom I’ve been associated politically my entire voting life: 57 years.

Read the full article → 6 comments

Faulconer Supporters Swamp OB Rag Mayoral Poll – Republicans Out Vote Democrats 2 to 1

May 11, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Mayor candidates Kevn Lori Ed

Mayor Beats Both Harris and Saldana Combined in Apparent Spike in GOP Visitors to OB Rag

In an unusual – but not unknown – twist for an OB Rag poll, it appears that supporters of the main Republican candidate for San Diego mayor – incumbent Kevin Faulconer – swamped the mayoral poll over the weekend, skewing the results. In the final tally for the week-long poll, Faulconer had a higher total than both other major candidates combined.

Kevin Fauloner, in the end, had 59% of the votes, while Ed Harris had 18% and Lori Saldana 13%. Harris is a liberal Democrat and Saldana is a progressive independent.

Read the full article → 17 comments

Are San Diego Superior Court Judges Adverse to Open Seat Contests?

May 9, 2016 by Doug Porter

San Diego CourthouseBy Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Nobody cares much about judicial electoral contests. And apparently the current batch of judges in Superior Court would like to keep it that way. At least that was the conclusion I drew after talking with more than a dozen local attorneys and prosecutors.

The 2012 judicial elections, where birther lawyer Gary Kreep upset Deputy District Attorney Garland Peed, were a national embarrassment. Since that time, “open seat” judicial contests have all but vanished in San Diego.

Read the full article → 2 comments

Wild and Wooly

May 9, 2016 by Source

By Sloanranger

ee3db50f2ff31c3e81584d04ee44408be273e4d71cb8184093f7_640_politicsWell here it is, wild and wooly. We thought it was already crazy — obstructional, destructional — dysfunctional to the ‘nth degree. Tea parties, three parties — and the mob finally playing their Trump card. But no trustbusters, not yet – maybe because the trust of the people had long gone, anyway.

Nuclear options, up and down votes, heck, just stop everything. And inside the beltway, the people’s business — or rather lack of it, went on as usual. Our representatives listening only to lobbyists and extremists, corporate paid pundits and media, not much was said about us…to us or for us.

The talking heads blathering on, like nothing’s going on – at first. And then — quelle surprise! Look everyone, at what’s going down… and I do mean down.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Marijuana Legalization Looks Like It’s Headed to the California Ballot

May 4, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Marijuana Legalization Looks Like It’s Headed to the California Ballot

Initiative Has Enough Signatures to Appear on November Ballots

By Emily Gray Brosious / Extract Sun-Times / 05/04/2016

Adult Use of Marijuana Act powers forward in California.

The group leading efforts to legalize recreational marijuana for adults in California will announce Wednesday, May 4, that it has collected enough signatures to put its legalization initiative before voters on the November ballot, as reported by the Sacramento Bee.

The Adult Use of Marijuana Act has gathered more than 600,000 signatures, far exceeding the 350,000 needed. It has also received backing from billionaire Facebook co-founder Sean Parker and California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, in addition to the support of many other marijuana policy reform groups.

The Act would establish a regulatory system for recreational cannabis, modeled after the state’s medical marijuana regulatory system that passed in 2015.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Memories of the Great OB Election of ’76

May 4, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Memories of the Great OB Election of ’76

Editor: We are continuing our celebration of the 40th anniversary of the popular vote in OB that established the Ocean Beach Planning Board with “Memories” by Doug Card. Doug was a member of the very first Planning Board and played a key role in the days up to and after that election on May 4, 1976.

By Doug Card

With the current bizarre national presidential election campaign, it’s good to reflect upon a true grassroots election in OB just 40 years ago – today – Wednesday the 4th.

To recall how, during a time of great national upheaval, a dedicated band of idealistic activists managed to create a permanent structure to maintain the integrity of the character of Ocean Beach in the face of heavy developmental pressure. And how the cooperation between OB’s traditional rival organizations and facets of San Diego City government ended a long-running conflict and worked together for the sake of the people and the future.

Read the full article → 1 comment

America’s Finest City Preparing for a Visit from Donald Trump

May 4, 2016 by Doug Porter

trump logo

Presumptive Republican Nominee May Descend on San Diego on Sunday, May 8th

By Doug Porter

Officials in San Diego are preparing for an as yet unannounced visit on Sunday, May 8th by presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, according to a report broadcast on 10News Tuesday night.

Read the full article → 1 comment

The 2016 Mayoral Contest: Lori Saldaña Aims to Offer a Choice, Not an Echo

April 29, 2016 by Doug Porter

Lori Saldana official picBy Doug Porter

If you buy into the notion, currently in vogue with supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders, of Democratic party orthodoxy as being little more than Republican lite, then Lori Saldaña would the logical choice to vote for in the upcoming San Diego mayoral primary.

The former assemblywoman has an activist pedigree, a history of hard-fought grassroots campaigns, and the enmity of the local political establishment.

In January Saldaña launched an independent campaign to challenge Kevin Faulconer, undaunted by a million dollar war chest (including PACs) and the advantages accompanying incumbency in America’s Finest City. The current mayor’s single greatest accomplishment thus far, in my opinion, has been directing the public relations players at his disposal in a non-stop symphony of praise for their leader, so it ain’t gonna be easy.

Environmental Activism, Plus

Read the full article → 0 comments

“This Mayor Has Got to Go!” Faulconer Opponents Say at Town Council Debate

April 28, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for “This Mayor Has Got to Go!” Faulconer Opponents Say at Town Council Debate

Mayor Kevin Faulconer wasn’t too popular at last night’s Ocean Beach Town Council meeting during the “mayoral dialogue”.

First, he didn’t show.

Second, both his opponents, former-Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, and San Diego Lifeguard leader Ed Harris, trained their sights on Faulconer and not on each other.

And third, this was Ocean Beach – the liberal bastion of the city – which usually votes Democratic; Kevin Faulconer is a Republican.

But still, Faulconer used to represent Ocean Beach – and the rest of District 2 – when he sat on the City Council. And the crowd of the 80 or so good-natured souls in attendance probably would have applauded him if he had showed. But he didn’t and neither did his aide, John Ly.

Read the full article → 14 comments

Rule By American Dynasty Sinks Deeper Into Our Democracy

April 28, 2016 by Source

idealismBy Frank Thomas

I’ve always thought it would be nearly impossible for Bernie to ultimately win over the establishment status-quo Democratic forces so typically fearful of genuine progressive change … so caught up in an incremental rear guard progress and presidential nomination campaign that is manipulatively, simplistically characterized as one of ‘idealism’ versus ‘realism. So, the message in short seems to be, vote for the candidate of “lowered expectations.”

Read the full article → 2 comments

The 2016 Mayoral Contest: Ed Harris Takes a Stand Against Business as Usual

April 28, 2016 by Doug Porter

“The City is a huge landlord. It has to quit giving away our own assets.”

By Doug Porter

Ed-Harris-camp-fotoEd Harris wasn’t supposed to ruffle any feathers during his appointed term on the San Diego City Council.

The former marine and lifeguard union leader was supposed to be a bookmark, holding down the Second District seat vacated by now-Mayor Kevin Faulconer until election day rolled around. The city charter terms for this temporary tenure included a proviso barring him from actually running for the seat in fall 2014 election.

Then it came time for the kind of wink, wink, nod, nod agreement involving trading off public assets for political gain considered normal in America’s Finest City. Harris surprised a lot of people by taking a principled and public stand against what he believed was a sweetheart deal involving proposed lease terms of Belmont Park to Pacifica Enterprises.

Read the full article → 2 comments

OB Town Council Sponsors Community Dialogue on Mayoral Election – Harris and Saldana Will Show, Faulconer Has Declined – Wed., April 27

April 25, 2016 by Staff

OBTC mayor forum 4-27-16 graphic

This Wednesday, April 27th, the Ocean Beach Town Council will host a “Community Dialogue” on the upcoming mayoral election taking place on the California Primary, June 7, 2016. Candidates Ed Harris and Lori Saldaña have confirmed their participation; Kevin Faulconer declined and is not available.

The OBTC invited the top 3 mayoral candidates to address priority OB concerns, during the monthly Town Council meeting. These concerns include – but are not limited to – homelessness, enhancing our quality of life, rebuilding crumbling community infrastructure (specially related to flooding in 92107), upholding our Community Plan, and addressing environmental concerns such as climate change, cliff degradation, the plastic bag ban, and water quality at our beaches.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Urbanologist Mike Davis Reflects on His San Diego Upbringing and the 2016 Presidential Election

April 22, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Urbanologist Mike Davis Reflects on His San Diego Upbringing and the 2016 Presidential Election

A New Electorate: Mike Davis on Clinton, Trump, and Sanders

Editor: In the following – somewhat dated – interview, local-boy and well-known urbanologist Mike Davis, who is from El Cajon, reflects on his upbringing and the 2016 Presidential primaries. The interview with Maria-Christina Vogkli and George Souvlis first appeared on the LSE Researching Sociology blog.

By George Souvlis and Maria-Christina Vogkli / Verso / March 1, 2016

1) Could you please tell us a bit about your family background?

My family background is distinctive only in being impossibly average. My dad came from a rural Protestant background in Ohio and was a fervent New Deal Democrat. My mom was an urban Irish Catholic and a registered Republican, but twice voted for the Socialist candidate Norman Thomas. She equally adored President Eisenhower and Liberace.

Both were high-school graduates. Apart from the Vulgate Bible we had no books in our home, but my father was an avid newspaper reader (sports and politics) and my mom devoured the Reader’s Digest cover to cover. My dad worked in the wholesale meat industry in a strangely hybrid white collar/blue collar job.

Read the full article → 4 comments

Let’s Build a Wall Between San Diego and Donald Trump

April 22, 2016 by Staff

Trump San Diego

By OB Rag and San Diego Free Press Editors

We anticipate that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will visit San Diego during the California presidential primary campaign.

We at the OB Rag and San Diego Free Press will join with other San Diegans during his campaign stops in our city in expressing our adamant opposition to the racist, xenophobic and misogynist policies espoused by Trump.

And we join in solidarity with those whom Trump has targeted. Upon Trump’s arrival in San Diego, we want to join with others protesting his policies and we will support any and all of those who express their opposition through various forms of non-violent and civil-disobedient direct actions.

Read the full article → 2 comments

The Other Big 2016 California Primary: U.S. Senate

April 22, 2016 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for The Other Big 2016 California Primary: U.S. Senate

By Doug Porter

California’s primary counts this year. While media coverage of presidential candidates wooing voters in the Golden State is steadily increasing, another primary contest with national implications is flying under the radar.

Sen. Barbara Boxer’s retirement creates the first open U.S. Senate seat in California in more than two decades. Based on the activity level of Sen. Dianne Feinstein recently, it could be a while until the next opportunity presents itself.

It turns out the Presidential contest is so unstable at this point it’s left to curious voters to go online for information. There are 39 candidates from 6 political parties running for President. I’ll write about some of them in future columns.

The Official Voter Information Guide for the California Presidential Primary landed in my mailbox yesterday, and it’s got nothing on the various partisan contests for the top job in the nation. The guide does contain information about Proposition 50 and, again, I’ll get around to this soon.

Read the full article → 3 comments

Replacing Rasputin: A Subtext of the Election Contest for San Diego City Attorney

April 19, 2016 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for Replacing Rasputin: A Subtext of the Election Contest for San Diego City Attorney

By Doug Porter

Termed-out City Attorney Jan Goldsmith felt free to drop the pretense of serving all the public last week during his introduction of Texas Senator Ted Cruz at a campaign rally in Mission Valley.

“We believe in jobs, freedom and security. You know something? The Democrats don’t believe in these values,” Goldsmith said. So much for my theory that he wasn’t an ideologue.

There are four Democrats and one Republican running for the City Attorney slot. I emailed them all late last week, asking their reaction to Goldsmith’s comments. The responses are listed in the order I received them.

Democrat Bryan Pease, activist attorney who Feels the Bern:

Funny–if you switch the word “Democrats” with “Republicans” in his quote, it would be objectively accurate based on measurable criteria and outcomes of their policies.

Democrat Gil Cabrera, attorney & former chairman of the San Diego Ethics Commission (Not reappointed by former Mayor Jerry Sanders):

Read the full article → 1 comment

Experience and Explosive Situations

April 19, 2016 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

1393622639_560e2dea50Scrolling down my facebook timeline
I found that someone had written words in line
with the idea
that Hillary’s lengthy experience
in foreign policy
makes her a better choice than Bernie
for the presidency.
The words went thusly:
“Consider… North Korea hits South Korea
and Tokyo simultaneously
with ballistic nukes.
I think Hillary could deal with it.
Bernie is unproven.”
And all I could think was: “Whuuuut?”

Read the full article → 0 comments

Listen Liberal: What’s the Matter with the Democratic Party?

April 18, 2016 by Jim Miller

listen liberal pointBy Jim Miller

Thomas Frank has written the most important political book of 2016, and one that should disturb and hopefully influence progressives for years to come. If you have ever found yourself not just horrified by the lunatic right but also frustrated by the hapless and compromised “left,” Frank is your man.

If you want to feel good about “your side” but are still troubled by the fact that economic inequality remains at historically high levels despite the last eight years of Democratic Presidential rule, Frank has some uncomfortable truths for you to ponder.

And it’s not just about those damn Republicans.

Read the full article → 5 comments

La Migra: A Chicano Historical Perspective

April 14, 2016 by Source

By Herman Baca

Herman Baca Bert Corona Corky 1977If the so-called U.S. immigration issue is a historical labor issue as Chicano/Mexicanos activists, historians, scholars & academicians claim, what then has been the historical role of the U.S. Border Patrol (BP)?

To answer that question one has to study the U.S.’s historical addiction to free and cheap labor. That started when white supremacists created the Afro-American slave labor system in Jamestown, West Virginia in 1619. A town named after King James I of England who organized the slave trade in America, and translated the King James Bible?

Today, those white supremacists are represented by Republican party presidential candidate, Donald Trump, and his Know-Nothing let’s make America great again supporters.

Read the full article → 0 comments