Are You Ready for the 2016 Political Shuffle in San Diego?

by on November 17, 2014 · 1 comment

in California, Election, Media, Ocean Beach, Politics, San Diego

startinglinelogoBy Doug Porter

The results have yet to be certified for this year’s election results, but that hasn’t prevented various political players around town from lining up support for the next step in their careers. There’s already some action and plenty of rumors to share today.

City Councilman Ed Harris was first out of the gate yesterday, by way of a story in the OB Rag announcing his intention to seek termed-out Assemblywoman Toni Atkins position representing the 78th District in 2016.

Anthony Bernal, currently employed as Director of Business and Community Projects for Council President Todd Gloria, has thrown his hat in the ring to replace his termed-out boss in the Third District.

Rumor has it that Gloria may also run for Atkins seat, if he doesn’t run for Mayor, a position many seem to think the Assemblywoman may seek. Confused yet? Gloria’s also told people he won’t seek the Mayor’s job if Atkin’s pursues it.

Hey, there’s plenty more. Let me take a moment to remind you much of this story is unsubstantiated gossip that will likely be denounced by anybody named herein. Just count your blessings that the name of a certain recently defeated congressional candidate appears nowhere in this story.

Then there’s the story about a draft movement aimed at bringing in Rep. Scott Peters for the city’s top post. Given his history of risk aversion, I can’t see this happening, but who knows? Two more years in the Washington cesspool might be all he can handle.

City Beat’s Spin Cycle column says termed-out Councilwoman Sherri Lightner’s seat is the next big local target for Republicans in 2016 on the heels of an election eve prediction by Mayor Kevin Faulconer on the balance of power in the council. Apparently the GOP bench isn’t too deep at this point…

Look for two-time contest loser Ray Ellis to experiment with the concept of three’s-the-charm.

A possible opponent for Ellis in City Council District 1 would be Barbara Bry of Run Women Run, who, I’m told, is considering the contest.

Photo by Annie Lane

Photo by Annie Lane

Opponents of School Board President Kevin Beiser made an issue of his political ambitions in the recent elections, and they might be right. Word is that Beiser is being urged to run for City Council against Scott Sherman.

Last but hardly least, Nora Vargas (on the Southwestern College Board) is looking at challenging Greg Cox for Supervisor. UPDATE: Nora Vargas says via Twitter “I am committed to the hard working students @swc_news!”

Nice Words About Councilman Ed Harris…

When Harris first surfaced politically, I had my doubts. A sharp exchange of letters concerning his credibility in the Point Loma Democratic Club’s newsletter raised red flags for me. His actions since then have convinced me of his sincerity and good intentions.

Here’s an excerpt from Frank Gormlie’s OB Rag article announcing the Harris’ Assembly candidacy:

Ed Harris via Point Loma Democratic Club

Ed Harris via Point Loma Democratic Club

Harris made this announcement down at OB’s waterfront, Tuesday, Nov. 11th, after we queried him on his future plans. Harris steps down from the council seat on December 10th, the day that Lori Zapf is sworn in as the newly-elected rep for the district.

Since his selection as District 2 council rep 7 months ago, Harris has won a lot of friends in the mainly coastal district. This is definitely true for Ocean Beach. Harris’ support for the Community Plan Update was solid – and he led the City Council in adopting the Update unanimously even in the face of challenges to the Plan by the San Diego Planning Commission.

Then when Harris made a strong stand in rejecting the proposed lease for Belmont Park, all in the interests of getting more for the public out of the deal, his support in District 2 jumped enormously. In contrast, at the time, Zapf favored the lease, as the rep for District 6….

…We wish Ed Harris all the best – and our advice to him – stay visible, stay within the public realm – make yourself invaluable to the people and residents of the 78th District. Continue to be a true community leader.

Councilman Harris’ swan song as D2 rep will be his State of the District address on December 1st.

Meanwhile in the South Bay, It Ain’t Over

The electoral contest for Chula Vista’s City Council seat #1 is still neck and neck between former Councilman John McCann (Republican) and former Mayor Steve Padilla (Democrat). McCann has a 66 vote lead.

Over in Imperial Beach, the grassroots campaign of WiLDCOAST Director Serge Dedina has given him a 37 vote lead over incumbent Mayor Jim Janney.

From UT-San Diego:

The race flip-flopped from early returns Nov. 4, which showed Janney leading by about 1 percent or 33 votes. In the following days the results continued to narrow.

The race was tied over the weekend with both candidates receiving 1,928 votes.

About 21,000 provisional and absentee ballots remain to be counted. The registrar will release certified numbers by Dec. 2.

It’s Aloha Time in Sacramento

first_pig_on_spit_042Republicrat and Dempublican legislators will be taking in some rays and relaxing in luxury hotels Hawaii next week, paid for by various financial interests seeking to score a few brownie points for the coming year, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The nonprofit Independent Voter Project, the sponsor of next week’s conference, paid an average of $2,500 in expenses per lawmaker at last year’s gathering.

The group gets its money from about 24 entities, many putting up at least $7,500. They include Occidental Petroleum Corp., the Western State Petroleum Assn., Eli Lilly, the Altria tobacco firm, the California Cable and Telecommunications Assn., the state prison guards union and the California Distributors Assn., which represents distributors of tobacco and other products.

Legislators scheduled to attend this year’s event, according to Howle, include Assembly Republican leader Kristin Olsen of Modesto, Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff of Diamond Bar, former Assembly Speaker John Pérez (D-Los Angeles), former Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway of Tulare, Assemblyman Bob Wieckoski (D-Fremont) and Assemblyman Manuel V. Perez (D-Coachella).

The Times story also mentioned a conference shyer about disclosing its participants sponsored by “the Pacific Policy Research Foundation from Nov. 19-23 at the Grand Wailea Hotel in Maui, which features a towering waterfall, several pools and a gourmet restaurant on stilts over a clear lagoon.”

Earlier this fall Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill requiring nonprofits paying for travel to such events to disclose the donors that finance them.

Charging for Plastic Shopping Bags Changes Behavior (But Not How You Think It Does)

plastic-bag-turtleEven as the American Progressive Bag Alliance is out there collecting signatures (please don’t sign) to overturn California’s upcoming laws limiting the use of throwaway shopping bags, a new study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology says its the process of digging in your pocket to pay fees actually changes shopper behavior.

From the Washington Post:

If you live in Washington, you know the drill: After bagging your groceries, the checkout machine asks you how many bags you used. And if you used plastic or disposable bags (rather than bags you brought on your own), you have to pay 5 cents per bag. The District passed a law requiring as much in 2009 — a policy that states like New Jersey and New York are alsoconsidering, and that has been adopted around the world from Ireland and Scotland to South Africa.

Some localities have gone farther still — California and Hawaii have effectively banned plastic bags outright — but recent research suggests that charges or fees can also be effective (and have the added benefit of being less coercive). Moreover, it suggests that they work, at least in part, through a surprising mechanism. It’s not just the relatively minor added cost, on its own, that impels people to stop using plastic bags and to instead bring their own bags with them to the store. Rather, it’s the way this small change disrupts habitual behaviors and helps people draw a tighter linkage between the environmental awareness that they already possess, and actions in the world that actually advance that consciousness and their values.

Plastic bag makers have amassed $1.2 million toward their proposed November 2016 referendum, and all but $50,000 of that has come from out of state, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The above is an excerpt from D0ug Porter’s column at our online media partner, San Diego Free Press.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Elisa Brent November 17, 2014 at 5:42 pm

Dear Doug, glad to see you are humble enough to note your faults with respect to Councilman Harris. Ed Harris is an excellent leader and he has represented District 2 well.

Unlike you, I supported Ed Harris’ run for District 2 until he dropped out when Sara Boot started showing real potential. I wish he had stayed in the race. I would stand behind Ed Harris as candidate for the 78th Assembly and as you know I worked for the 2014 Republican candidate. I know this primarily Democratic and No Party Preference district well.

The downside is that the race is a “top two” race based off the primary turnout so it does not matter what party you belong to. We may be looking at a Dem vs Dem race. How nice will they play together?


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