Just shoot me, please… On the heels of a New York Times article describing the California Republican Party as “caught in a cycle of relentless decline, and appears in danger of shrinking to the rank of a minor party”, the State GOP has announced plans for sponsorship of a Voter Identification initiative for the next election cycle. To kick off that effort the party has invited conservative columnist John Fund, co-author of the forthcoming book “Who’s Counting? How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk.” to its August convention in Burbank.
The move to enact a Voter ID law is sure to alienate minority voters, who are poised to become a majority of the electorate in California in the near future. Attorney General Eric Holder characterized Voter ID laws as a new poll tax at the recent NAACP convention. Two new reports — released by the Brennan Center of Justice at the NYU School of Law and the University of Delaware’s Center for Political Communication, respectively – have further undermined the GOP’s discredited claims that voter ID laws do not have a discriminatory impact on persons of color and are not intended to be discriminatory on the basis of race. A complete discussion about voter ID laws is available at ProPublica.
Pot dispensary under the gun fights for its life… El Cajon’s The Mother Earth Cooperative is the last remaining licensed dispensary in this part of California, and they’re fighting back against an attempt by U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy to close them down. The U.S. Attorney has threatened their landlord with stiff fines, or even seizure of the property, if Mother Earth does not shut its doors today. The Cooperative, along with patient advocates, has filed for a restraining order to stay any actions by the government. The SD Reader reports that Mayoral candidate Bob Filner has written a letter in support of the dispensary to Duffy calling the pending action “a form of unwarranted intimidation.” Supporters are planning to rally today, Wednesday July 25th – 12pm at the San Diego Federal Court House on 880 Front St. against federal attacks on the Medical Cannabis Community!
How do I get that for my neighborhood? Here’s a unique opportunity learn how the City of San Diego plans and prioritizes infrastructure projects (like street lights, skate parks and libraries) and proposed changes that could allow for more citizen input into the process. Wednesday morning, July 25th the City Council’s Budget and Finance Committee will discuss two proposals about allowing greater community input on the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and improving the way infrastructure projects are prioritized. This meeting will also include information on how the process works (for example, how a project ends up being a project). The meeting will be at City Hall on the 12th floor. The address is 202 C Street in downtown San Diego, and will be the first opportunity for the public to hear how the city plans to change the Capital Improvement Program. A vote to finalize the changes is expected this fall. The Center on Policy Initiatives (CPI) is encouraging people to come down make their voices heard. If you plan to attend, please RSVP to Trinh Le,firstname.lastname@example.org or call 619-584-5744 ext 24.
In the wake of seven cycling deaths during the past week in Southern California, including two San Diegans, local bikers are gathering tomorrow in Balboa Park to call attention to local conditions that make biking hazardous. Cyclists Theodore Jones and Angel Bojorquez, who were killed in collisions with vehicles in La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe respectively, will be remembered today at the 4pm gathering by the Balboa Park fountain. Cyclists will chalk outlines of bodies on adjacent sidewalks until 4:30 p.m. and then ride to City Hall.
Hyatt boycott underway… A campaign to improve working conditions at Hyatt Hotels has gone global, with support from a broad range of labor, faith and progressive political organizations, including the NFL Players Association, the National Organization of Women and MoveOn.org has launched a global boycott. A study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine that examined 50 hotel properties from 5 different hotel companies showed that Hyatt housekeepers had the highest injury rate of all housekeepers studied. OSHA or its state counterparts have issued 18 health and safety citations against Hyatt at 11 hotels and the federal government has issued a companywide letter to Hyatt, warning the company of hazards its housekeepers face on the job. For more information, go here. San Diego properties affected are:Manchester Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa & Marina, Hyatt Regency La Jolla Hotel, Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Hyatt House San Diego/Carlsbad and the Andaz (formerly the Ivy).
The Sierra Club has filed a lawsuit saying that San Diego County has not kept promises to create a “comprehensive and enforceable” Climate Action Plan that actually achieves emissions reductions. The lawsuit, filed last week, also alleges that the County violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) by approving standards of review for future development (thresholds of significance) in its General Plan which would contribute to destructive environmental consequences.
The Hammer Drops at Penn State… Charles P. Pierce, writing for Esquire.com, pretty much nailed it with this ditty about the NCAA moves against Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal:
This is punishment. This is not “reform.”
This is not “reform” because the NCAA, the most corrupt entity in a corrupt business, is still in place, and so are its rules. This is not “reform” because, all over America, there are still multimillion sports enterprises wagging the dog at universities, and coaches with enough power to cover up even the most heinous crimes. This is not “reform” because nothing was, well, reformed.
As punishment, though, it is a big old meteor from space. Sixty million bucks is a considerable fine. (The essential worth of it, of course, will be judged by where the money actually goes.)…
Pay the money, boys. It’s chicken feed compared to the civil judgments that are coming down the track.
The GOP Convention is next month, have you checked your pistol yet? The Tampa Bay City Council has passed extensive regulationsaimed at any would-be protestors outside the convention. Among the rules is language banning the possession or use of water pistols. However, if you’re planning on attending the Republican confab, you’re free to bring your concealed weapon. Although Tampa’s mayor, Bob Buckhorn, had asked the governor, Rick Scott, to ban firearms during the convention, the governor has refused. A state law bars local gun regulations. For those of you planning on packing at the confab, this article on how to legally bring your piece will explain all the finer points of gun etiquette in Florida.
This is an edited version of Doug Porter’s Starting Line column at the San Diego Free Press.