Down-Ballot Races in San Diego You Need to Know About

by on October 16, 2014 · 0 comments

in California, Election, Politics, San Diego

ballot box san diegoBy Doug Porter

While there is no rule saying a ballot must be filled out completely to be valid, there are four contests you should know and care about as we approach the 2014 general election.

Exhibit A is why we should care about down-ballot races is Judge Gary Kreep, who’s now lurking around Department 7 in the central courthouse, handling a full calendar of landlord-tenant disputes.

People voted for Kreep because the only thing they’d heard (if they’d heard anything at all) were rumors, spread via a suspicious robocall campaign saying his opponent was soft on crime.

So Kreep ascended to the court after defeating 30 year veteran prosecutor Garland Peed a couple years back. His margin of victory was two-fifths of 1 percent.

Kreep was a birther, a defender of the Minutemen Civil Defense Force and an activist with an alphabet soup of right wing groups, the best known of which is the United States Justice Foundation,

Kreep’s local political experience consisted of a contentious term on San Diego’s Human Relations Commission a couple of decades back. His anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-illegal-immigrant, anti-affirmative-action ideas just didn’t resonate with his fellow commissioners.

Here’s his take on those tumultuous years, via City Beat:

Kreep paints himself as a victim, saying he received death threats and that the city assigned six police officers to protect him at HRC meetings. He also claims that, during the meetings, he was “bombarded with used condoms and pus and blood soaked cotton balls” flung by his opponents.

Last year Kreep was re-assigned to the traffic court for three months following complaints from prosecutors with the City Attorney’s Office about his decisions in some criminal cases and his judicial demeanor. Some lawyers said he could be condescending and short-tempered from the bench.

So you see it’s not just big name politicians and corporate misdeeds in San Diego that contribute to our reputation as a national laughing stock.

Pay Attention to these Community College District Races

michelle-bachmanWhile there are no candidates with quite the, uh, flair of Gary Kreep on the local ballot, we do have Donna Woodrum running for a seat on the Community College Board of Trustees.

Under her name on the ballot she’s described as a “Community Volunteer.” I guess that means she isn’t being paid to be secretary/IT director of The San Diego Eagle Forum, which bills itself as “The Home for CONSERVATIVES Who Have No Party.”

The group, according to an article by Claire Trageser, “includes statements on its website declaring homosexuality is a disease that can be cured, that prayer is legal in schools and that Muslims are a threat to America.”

Here’s my favorite quote, via inewsource:

Woodrum and her husband founded Eagle Forum San Diego in 2009, according to her husband’s website That same year, they received the Eagle Leaders of the Year award, according to Woodrum’s LinkedIn page. There, she describes the organization as “education-based, but they also encourage their Members and Attendees to run for office or to apply for seats on Boards and Commissions around our county” and says she works to book speakers like Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, at its events.

Oooooh… Imagine Michele Bachmann speaking at San Diego City College. Wouldn’t that be some great theater?

Donna’s book, The Bible Codes and Your Baby’s Name: Does The Most Popular Book Ever Written Contain Clues to Your Baby’s Name is now discounted on Amazon to $8.99.

Sooo… You just might want to vote for the other name on the ballot for District A, Community College District, Board of Trustees: Maria Neito Senour.

Trust me, there’s no comparison.

The other contested race for Community College Board of Trustees is for District E.

While the candidates in that race are not controversial, I should note that incumbent Peter Zschiesche is running in tandem with Maria Senour. Mr. Zschiesche is also a Founding Director of the Employee Rights Center, which has done great work in providing advocacy regarding workplace issues. especially for disadvantaged and unrepresented workers.

His opponent is Lan Jefferson, whose experience includes serving as a Citizens Equal Opportunity Commissioner for San Diego City, Planning Committee and Redevelopment Project Area Committee Board Member of North Park; Graduate Advisor at UCSD, SDSU and USD; Leadership Enhancement Coordinator for San Diego High Schools; Reading Tutor for Oak Park Elementary School; and Public Library Storyteller in North Park. In addition, Lan is a LEAD San Diego Graduate.

She’s perfectly fine as a candidate. Peter’s done a great job over the years, both at City College and as an activist. You could say he put the “Alt” in Alt-labor in this town.

San Diego School Board

Superwalk-PicI didn’t even think I was going to write about this contest.

Then UT-San Diego endorsed Amy Redding. Not because she’s necessarily more conservative than incumbent Kevin Beiser, but because she’s their candidate to be the education “gadfly.”

While I acknowledge that having a outlier on the school board can be a good thing, I don’t think it’s the best idea as a basis for electing somebody to office. Scott Barnett and John deBeck both assumed that role after winning office based on their merits and vision.

Also, the unspoken reason for UT-San Diego’s blessing is that Beiser puts the “A” in activist for the Democratic Party. It’s true. There’s just about no liberal/left event in town that doesn’t involve an appearance by Beiser. This tells me two things: a) he’s ambitious and b) he cares about the issues.

Unlike Manchester’s minions, I don’t view activism as a bad thing. It’s payback time: we need to keep Kevin in office.

Judge of the Superior Court

This is another contest I thought I’d pass on commenting about.

gosselinThen Ken Gosselin made the news yesterday (again), for all the wrong reasons.

Last spring Gosselin was involved in controversies involving questionable campaign signage and embellishing his resume. Now an ethics complaint has been fled against him for failing to mention his candidacy and relationships with law enforcement agencies prior to being seated on a jury panel.

Gosselin’s campaign signs tout him as “Law Enforcement’s Choice” for the November election.

From UT-San Diego:

In June, Gosselin edged out one of two opponents seeking to fill seat No. 25 on the San Diego Superior Court bench, gaining 31 percent of the votes. He’s now in a runoff with Brad Weinreb, a deputy attorney general, in the Nov. 4 election.

A month after the primary, Gosselin showed up for jury duty in Vista and was questioned along with other potential jurors to serve on a gang case. It wasn’t until the next day, after Gosselin had been seated on the panel, that the defense lawyer learned he was involved in an election.

Debby Kirkwood, a deputy public defender, said Gosselin should have mentioned his relationships with law enforcement and told the judge about his endorsements.

Deputy DA Brad Weinreb’s endorsement by San Diego’s Lincoln Club (among others) makes it difficult for me to get excited about his candidacy. But since City Beat (among others) has paved the way here and bitten the bullet to endorse Weinrab, I suppose you ought to consider voting for him. Or at least not voting for Gosselin.

This is an excerpt from Doug Porter’s column at our online media partner, SD Free Press.


{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Older Article:

Newer Article: