Robert Mueller’s July 17 Congressional Appearance: Broadcast Coverage Is What Counts

July 9, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds

President Trump called into Fox Business for a softball interview on Wednesday, June 26. Host Maria Bartiromo, a one-time journalist who’s sold her soul in return for White House access, never got a question in.

Grumpy Grampy Don-Don wanted to rant that day, and rant he did, hoping to refute the Mueller investigation by saying what was really going on was really just a spying operation by Democrats. This might have something to do with the news about the former Special Council’s testimony before two House Committees on July 17th.

We learned about tariffs. We learned about China.

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Taking on 21st Century Indentured Servitude – Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez’ AB 5

June 26, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds

Drivers for Uber and Lyft gathered outside Uber’s headquarters in San Francisco Tuesday June 17 to demand that the company drop its opposition to a state bill that would make most drivers employees. Promises of freedom and opportunity have proven to be false for millions of workers in industries beyond ride sharing, and now the day of reckoning is at hand.

Drivers and delivery workers in cities throughout the country have been organizing protests and filing lawsuits against companies using so-called independent contractors to avoid paying minimum wages and benefits.

Legislation (AB 5) introduced by San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez poses the biggest challenge yet to the so-called gig economy. Changing the rules of the game in the Golden State will have an impact on companies and workers nationwide. So this is a Big Deal.

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San Diego’s Land Barons Are Not Capable of Solving the Housing Affordability Crisis

June 25, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds

The housing market in San Diego is just a few short steps away from being a disaster. Take the latest guesstimate (8,000) of unhoused humans in the county and city, multiply it by twenty five, and it’s possible to visualize being just one stock market crash away from dystopia.

If your budget is highly stressed because of housing costs, you may as well make contingency plans for being homeless in San Diego.

This includes 28% of the renters (who pay more than half their income for housing) in San Diego County

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Indicted Rep. Duncan Hunter Threw His Wife Under the Bus. Now She’s Driving It.

June 13, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / June 13, 2019

The chickens are coming home to roost for District 50 Congressman Duncan Hunter. Margaret Hunter changed her plea this morning to guilty to the first count in the indictment, conspiring with her husband to “knowingly and willingly convert campaign funds for personal use.”

Mrs Hunter faces up to five years in jail with a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release, and is cooperating with the prosecution.

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Highs and Lows from the California Democratic State Convention

June 4, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / June 3, 2019

Getting Democrats organized is like herding cats –attributed to Bill Clinton.

The really big fight at last weekend’s gathering of Democrats in San Francisco the establishment pundit class wanted you to buy popcorn for was a dud. Nonetheless, I’m sure there is and will be a major effort to sell the narrative of “Dems Divided” after each of these gatherings.

The reality is more like a group of like minded people got together to (sometimes) passionately debate ideas for moving a country they love forward. I heard there were also cocktail parties.

Los Angeles labor leader Rusty Hicks won handily on the first ballot in a three way contest for Chair of the California Democratic Party.

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Duncan Hunter (& Dad) to Crawl Out From Under Their Rocks for Border Issues Town Hall

May 23, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds

Indicted San Diego Congressman Duncan D. Hunter and his father, former congressman Duncan Hunter, will participate in a joint town hall-style event focused on border issues on Saturday, May 25, 11:30am at the Ramona Mainstage, 626 Main Street.

Doors are open at 11am, the capacity for the hall is 400 people, and it appears entry is on a first come, first served basis. An article in the Union-Tribune says event organizers are expecting protesters.

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‘Build, Baby, Build’ Won’t Solve California’s Housing Crisis

May 21, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / May 20, 2019

Senate Bill 50, legislation aimed at easing the housing affordability crisis in California, got put into the ‘maybe, someday’ bin last week. While the bill could be reconsidered in 2020, chances of that happening in an election year are slim to none.

The presumption behind state (and local) legislation claiming to address this crisis is that we can build our way out if only a way can be found to make it viable for developers to make a profit and banks to consider such projects loan worthy.

Call me crazy…. But what if the “debate” is upside down, and –once again– an example of more than one thing being true at the same time standing in the way of what should be long term solutions.

If the shortage of housing is to be defined as people not being able to afford living on the available properties, perhaps the solution is to make it possible for enough income growth to solve the problem.

This solution is a non-starter, short of taking on the mirage of the ‘booming economy.’

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San Diego’s Disenfranchised Win One, Lose One at City Council

May 17, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / May 15, 2019

Tuesday, May 15, should serve as a reminder of the strengths and weaknesses of the presently constituted San Diego City Council.

A non-binding resolution in support of a critical reform in law enforcement policy passed with unanimous support from Democrats. That’s the good news.

Here’s the bad news: An ordinance crafted amid an angry wave of protest about people without homes sleeping in vehicles split the liberal vote, once again proving some people’s empathy ends at their front door.

Our inability to deal with the collateral damage from the currently fashionable economic norms means public employees will be empowered to criminalize homelessness.

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Rep. Duncan Hunter Just Can’t Stop Doing Stupid Things

May 8, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / May 6, 2019

San Diego Congressman Duncan Hunter is embroiled in yet another scandal. This one involves a former Soviet Republic, a fugitive from justice, and a seemingly innocuous submission to the Congressional Record.

Normally this wouldn’t be that big a deal, but the statement came via a Russian-tied lobbyist who attended the Trump Tower meeting and Republican operative Lanny Wiles tied to suspicious payments related to other matters of concern to the Kremlin.

The Kazakh fugitive at the heart of this matter is Bergey Ryskaliyev, a former official who fled his home country for London following allegations that he stole millions from the state budget.

Kazakhistan, for those of you who might have slept thru that class, is the 10th largest country in the world; a authoritarian plutocracy known for shelling out millions of dollars to western public relations consultants to burnish its image.

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San Diego’s Reactionary County Supervisors Keep On Earning Their Reputation

May 6, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds

The need to pay attention to local electoral contests was reinforced on Tuesday, April 30 as a majority of San Diego’s County Supervisors failed to read the handwriting on the wall twice in one day.

Supervisors Dianne Jacob, Jim Desmond and Kristin Gaspar voted against a move to dramatically shift regional transportation priorities and a legislative effort to reduce the use of lethal force by law enforcement.

Supervisors Greg Cox and Nathan Fletcher’s affirmative votes were in the minority following contentious public hearings on both resolutions.

The Supervisors voted to keep highways a priority. We can’t keep enabling the dirty energy industry and expect to emerge from the next decade or so without serious consequences.

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Beiser’s Back! (and He’s Still Running for City Council)

April 24, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / April 23, 2019

San Diego Unified Board Trustee Kevin Beiser reappeared at a school board meeting on Tuesday night after several weeks of laying low following accusations of sexual misconduct by four men more than a month ago.

One of the accusers has filed suit. Thus far Beiser has issued only a brief statement declaring his innocence. The San Diego Democratic Party, the SD Education Association, and even his colleagues on the board have all called on Beiser to resign. Sen. Toni Atkins, Assemblyman Todd Gloria

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Labor and Progressives Mix It Up at Summit 2019

April 17, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / April 15, 2019

Advocates for a progressive policies and organized labor gathered in San Diego this past weekend at the Doubletree Hilton in Mission Valley. Hundreds of union members mingled with local political activists for a day of speeches, strategizing, and solidarity at the third annual Progressive Labor Summit.

The assembly of one of the most powerful forces in local electoral politics and the driver of significant social change featured nationally and locally prominent speakers. And, despite, an active public relations campaign, this column will likely be the only coverage of the event.

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Promising Progressive Progress with San Diego County Board of Supervisors

April 11, 2019 by Doug Porter

Freshman Nathan Fletcher Opens Up the Budget Process

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds

It’s all too easy to be cynical about politics in San Diego, with a history of local governance known mostly for kowtowing to reactionary interests. And I’ll be the first to say we have a long way to go. But things are changing, thanks in part to last year’s ‘Blue Wave’ elections and the persistence of some dedicated local activists.

A decision by the Regional Airport Authority to require a project labor agreement with the contractor responsible for a planned $3 billion expansion of Terminal 1 signals that the days of unions not having a seat at the table are over.

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The Convention Center Expansion Zombie Ballot Measure Rises Again

April 10, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds

A coalition of more than two dozen voting-rights, civil-rights, social-justice, labor and community organizations organized by Alliance San Diego has written to the City Council, urging them to not place a measure on the March 2020 primary ballot.

Despite two thirds of city voters in 2016 casting ballots in support of Measure L, limiting local ballot measures to November general elections, supporters of an increase in the tourism occupancy tax (TOT) have been maneuvering to get their initiative considered earlier.

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Redevelopment Reconsidered as Civic San Diego Fades

April 2, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words & Deeds / April 2, 2019

It’s taken more than seven years, but seeds planted by former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner have borne fruit. The inclusion of an outsider or two in the oversight of redevelopment ultimately led to the end of a process that claimed to be helping the many when in fact, they were little more than a rubber stamp for the interests of a few.

The era of farming out authority and oversight to autonomous agencies, based in large part on the presumption government should be run like a business, is ending, I hope. Going forward, the hope is for a process including consideration of the interests and concerns of the community and the planet.

Bottom line –

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Amid the Russiagate Hubris, a Gift for Democrats in 2020

March 28, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / March 27, 2019

Republicans are celebrating the cliff notes version of the Mueller investigation, which –we’re told– proves the President is not a Russian asset. While the other 16 investigations into Trumpworld continue, the administration has decided to intensify efforts to punish its enemies and/or move forward with its agenda (sometimes that’s the same thing).

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Can We Not Screw San Diego’s Public Employees Again?

March 26, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / March 26, 2019

A conservative scheme to build their cause by demonizing municipal employees has ended, likely costing local taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. The promised savings will now evaporate, plus 7% interest, unless you believe the people who say there will be a minimal cost. (ProTip: Don’t).

On Monday, California’s Fourth District Court of Appeal ordered the City of San Diego to financially compensate about 4,000 employees who don’t have pensions,

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Local San Diego Dems Demand Kevin Beiser to Step Down From School Board

March 20, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / March 20, 2019

The Union-Tribune reported yesterday on a lawsuit alleging sexual assault and ongoing harassment filed by a political consultant against San Diego Unified School Board Trustee Kevin Beiser. Later in the day, Voice of San Diego dropped a story based on weeks of investigation concerning three more accusations of sexual harassment.

I believe Beiser’s fall from grace has a silver lining for San Diego Democrats. Last night, the party proved it’s moved past the era of providing cover for malfeasance on the part of elected officials who happen to have a “D” beside their name, calling on Beiser to step down from his elected office. …

Beiser, who last year was president of the SDUSD Board, was first elected in 2010 and re-elected in November. He was widely expected to run for City Council next year.

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Plastic Straws and Socialism as 2020’s Straw Man

March 12, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words & Deeds

California Congressman Devin Nunes (Ru-CA 22) took to Twitter on Saturday complaining about a waitress asking his table if they wanted straws for their beverages, ending his comment with “Welcome to Socialism in California!”

Nunes, who spent much of 2018 running interference for President Trump to minimize the scope and impact of investigations by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, was rehearsing the GOP’s main talking point in the 2020 elections, namely slinging the term “socialism” early and often.

His pitiful plea about having to request a straw stems from the Republican tenet holding dirty energy production as a benefit while ignoring the ongoing dangers of climate change. And, of course, the Congressman will get points from the Trumpanista camp for bashing California.

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Border Intelligence Operation Aimed at Journalists and Activists Part of Bigger Spying Scheme

March 8, 2019 by Doug Porter

Editordude: The outrage following this story about ICE and CBP targeting immigration activists, attorneys and journalists included steamed editorials in both the San Diego Union-Tribune and the LA Times today. Even Steve Breen was tasked to draw up something about it – and now, that’s news.

By Doug Porter / Words & Deeds / March 7, 2019

NBC 7 News dropped an explosive story on Wednesday [March 6] based on documents provided by a “Homeland Security source on the condition of anonymity.”

It’s a great story and there’s been plenty of praise (and reaction) as a local news organization’s scoop has been picked up nationwide.

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There Will Be Trash Talking About Repealing the People’s Ordinance in 2020

March 7, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words & Deeds / Mar. 1, 2019

What’s not to like about saving taxpayer dollars AND saving the planet?

Homelessness and housing policy are the two issues ‘everybody knows’ will be front and center in 2020 elections for the City of San Diego. There are already camps across partisan lines ready to weigh in on these matters.

There is, however, one sleeper policy challenge: our garbage. It’s a ‘third rail’ topic for local politicians, considered to be the kiss of death politically for anybody willing to speak up about changing a system that’s objectively unfair and a drain on the municipal budget.

If San Diego is to have any chance of meeting its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals, our waste removal and processing systems must change.

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A Road to Nowhere for San Diego Republicans

March 1, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words & Deeds / Feb. 26, 2019

A split party and a nutjob in the White House don’t bode well for the state leadership, either…

A statewide gathering of the California GOP elected Jessica Patterson as its leader earlier this week. She is representative of the demographics mostly not represented in the party these days: female, millennial, and Latinx. And she beat Travis Allen, the far-right advocate for all things Trump who placed fourth in last year’s gubernatorial primary.

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Sen. Bernie Sanders Goes All In – Will California Be His Waterloo?

February 19, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words & Deeds / Feb. 19, 2019

If you thought this was an off year, you were wrong. The 2020 election has begun in California.

Sen. Kamala Harris has the inside track, but it ain’t over until the votes are counted.

As expected, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has announced his candidacy for President of the United States. Good for him. Yay for us. His 2016 campaign inspired millions of people and transformed politics. A raft of once seemingly impossible policy proposals have become probable, should almost any Democrat win the 2020 election.

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A Green New Deal Builds Local Support as the Right Goes Bonkers

February 13, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words & Deeds / February 12, 2019

Socialism, Flintstone cars, and cow farts. Oh. my! *

The introduction of HR 109, Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal supporting the vision of a more just and sustainable path for the country has shifted the conversation about climate change simply by pointing out the need for a comprehensive approach.

Assemblyman Todd Gloria announced introduction of Assembly Joint Resolution (AJR 7) urging Congress to pass a Green New Deal. If passed by the California State Legislature, this will put California officially on the record in support of the recently introduced federal legislation.

The San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council was first in the nation among its type of local coalitions to pass a resolution supporting a “Green New Deal with strong labor provisions in concert with our environmental and community partners.”

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Some of San Diego’s Lines in the Sand Are Getting Washed Away by 2018’s Blue Wave

February 8, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words & Deeds / Feb. 8, 2019

Recent developments at both the county and city level in San Diego reveal the impact of victories by Democratic candidates in the 2018 general election.

Supervisor Diane Jacob’s State of the County speech shows the door is now open for a host of new and improved policies, a promising shift in attitude from the not so recent past.

While Jacob is a Republican, the election of Democrat Nathan Fletcher to the Board has already changed the political dynamic.

From the Union-Tribune coverage:

Standing before a full gallery that included leaders from cities, Jacob said the San Diego County Board of Supervisors has entered a new era.

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Which Presidential Candidate Will You Support in 2020?

December 18, 2018 by Doug Porter

Ugh. The next presidential sweepstakes has already started. They’ve barely finished counting votes from the midterms and already there are [stupid] political rants on social media about the Democratic headliners for next election. It’s almost as bad as hearing “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” in September.

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Last Call. Last Column.

December 14, 2018 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Well, this is it folks.

It’s time to move on to whatever the next chapter in my life is going to be. A lot has happened since the SDFP site went live on June 4, 2012, and I have a few closing (and personal) thoughts to express.

The vision of the founders of the San Diego Free Press was to create a platform for commentary and news from a progressive bent. We’d already mostly learned the production side of the business due to our involvement with the OB Rag.

People told us that what we were doing for Ocean Beach needed to be done for San Diego. A demonstration in 2010 outside The Black headshop, triggered by their sale of dehumanizing “don’t feel the homeless stickers” was the spark leading to meetings, more meetings, and finally the decision to launch.

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With a Democratic SuperMajority on the San Diego City Council, It’s Time to Go Bold on the Environment

December 13, 2018 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

I remember a time not so long ago when the very idea of Georgette Gomez sitting on the City Council (let alone being President and setting the agenda), would have been considered wishful thinking in local political circles.

Gomez ran for the District 9 Council seat as the outsider, the person with progressive principles and a background in environmental activism. She persisted, made it through the primary and, despite the not-so-covert maneuvering of the usual propertied suspects, won in the November 2016 general election.

The vote to confirm Gomez as City Council President was unanimous, with two Republicans singing her praises. Go figure–having principles and being honest can foster progress.

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Hate Crimes in San Diego Don’t Just Happen in a Void

December 12, 2018 by Doug Porter

Monday’s Union-Tribune had a front page article about hate crimes in San Diego County. There are lots of details about criminal/hate-inspired actions and almost no acknowledgement as to what motivates them.

Hate crimes are up, we’re told. While local prosecutions have increased in the past year, most hate crimes aren’t reported.

A majority (60%) of hate crimes are directed at people based on their race or ethnicity, followed by religion (20%) and LGBTQ (16%) orientation.

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Ramping Up the War on Christmas With Fox News

December 10, 2018 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for the town criers at Fox News, when reality intrudes on their dreams of a White (Evangelical) Christmas.

This year the outrage was triggered by a church nativity scene referencing hypocracy about attitudes toward immigrants and an asssertion about The Left opting for child pornography over Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer for holiday entertainment.

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