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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The Highway to Climate Hell vs the Green New Deal

December 7, 2018 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The path away from planetary hell got a little steeper with release of a trio of scientific papers produced by 76 scientists from 57 research institutions in 15 countries associated with the Global Carbon Project on the eve of the opening of the 24th annual U.N. climate conference in Poland.

Emissions are heading in the opposite direction from the deep cuts urgently needed, say scientists, to fight climate change. After a few years of hopeful plateauing, CO2 emissions will rise by 2.7% in 2018.

Earlier this year, a different scientific panel said nations have barely a decade to take “unprecedented” actions and cut their emissions in half by 2030 to prevent the worst consequences of climate change.

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Memo to Democratic ‘Giga-Majority’ in Sacramento: Don’t Forget Who Sent You There

December 5, 2018 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

November’s Blue Wave gives California’s Democratic legislature the opportunity to do more than simply resist the Trumpian agenda.

If they move wisely, the Golden State will serve as an example of what’s possible in an era when good governance serving the needs of all the people takes precedence over schemes designed to line the pockets of the few at the expense of the many.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon has a “gigamajority,” with 60 of the 80 seats in that chamber affiliated with his party. Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins shares a party affiliation with 29 of the 40 members in her chamber.

Devotees of centrist politics are twisting themselves into pretzel shapes trying to sow skepticism over what the legislature’s left leaning majority will mean.

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Can We ‘Just Be Friends’ With Facebook?

November 19, 2018 by Doug Porter

A long look by the New York Times into how Facebook has responded to “cascading crises — over Russian misinformation, data privacy and abusive content” provides insight into the true nature of the most popular social media platform. And it should inform how or whether you should continue your relationship with (almost) everybody’s favorite social media platform.

The company knew more than they let on about how Russians

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Arsonists Torch Office of Rent Control Activists in Chula Vista

November 13, 2018 by Doug Porter

A Chula Vista office for Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, a community organizing group closely involved with statewide and local recent recent control initiatives was torched early Saturday morning.

Police have confirmed the fire was a deliberate targeted attack. The fact that the arsonist(s) removed the organization’s bright yellow tee shirts from the building and torched them separately was, no doubt, a convincing clue.

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Progressive Activist Calendar Mid-November, 2018

November 12, 2018 by Doug Porter

Editordude: Here is the Progressive Activist Calendar for mid-November from San Diego Free Press. The first calendar for many months without any election campaign stuff. (Updated to reflect passage of time since originally posted.)

November 13

Dr. Jen WINS! Club Meeting & Celebration

Tuesday, November 14, 7pm
Elijah’s Restaurant
7061 Clairmont Mesa Boulevard
For More Information – COME INSIDE

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Last Minute Questions for Voting in San Diego: Need a Ride to the Polls? Can I Still Register? Are Ballot Selfies Okay? Do I Need an ID?

November 5, 2018 by Doug Porter

Don’t let real or imagined barriers keep you from voting on election day, 2018. “Look for the helpers!” as Mr. Rogers used to say.

There are many ways to get help, and we’ve tried to put them all in one place.

Need a ride to the polls? The folks at Lyft got my attention with a press release claiming 15 million people were registered to vote in 2016 but didn’t cast a ballot due to transportation problems.

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It’s Nathan Fletcher vs. Bonnie Dumanis in San Diego County Supervisor D4 and It’s a Critical Contest

November 2, 2018 by Doug Porter

Editordude: The following post about the District 4 County supervisor race explains why it’s a critical contest. Ocean Beach, much of Point Loma, the Midway and other beaches – plus most of the City are in District 4.

Tuesday, November 6 should be the beginning of the end of a status quo situation in San Diego that is just. plain. wrong.. All you have to do is vote.

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The Primer on Electing Judges in California

October 23, 2018 by Doug Porter

What to do about voting for or against judges is a thing this year. I’m hoping this column will answer some of the questions readers have.

The attention paid to Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing has made a lot of people take notice of the judicial contests appearing on their ballots. At least that is what I assume is going on, having researched and/or produced a half-dozen or so voter guides since 2012.

A quick history lesson…

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The How and Why of Measure YY, the San Diego Unified School District Bond Ask

October 18, 2018 by Doug Porter

Back in the old days before Proposition 13, local schools were funded locally. School boards had the authority to raise property tax rates, constrained by the understanding that the electorate would vote them out come election time if they went too far.

In practice, this meant school districts with lower property values ended up with inferior education facilities and programs. Court cases in the 1970’s began the erosion of local control in the cause of rectifying these inequities; Prop 13 put the state in the driver’s seat.

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A Look at Voter Guides for San Diego

October 17, 2018 by Doug Porter

I don’t know if there’s Blue Wave building, but I can tell you I haven’t seen such engagement and interest in an election in recent memory. An indication of voter interest is the proliferation of voter guides. Not that long ago, the term ‘voter guide’ either meant a handout from a political party or a slate mailer from a pay to play outfit.

Given that I worked on two such efforts this year, I thought I’d take a few minutes to catalog and comment upon some of what I’m seeing in the way of election-related compendiums and endorsement lists.

Vote Smart offers up a wealth of information on elections around the country, with details on 13,849 congressional, gubernatorial, state legislative, statewide, and state judicial contests, along with ballot measures. …

Voter’s Edge works by having you to plug in your address to see research on those candidates and propositions appearing on

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Progressive Activist Calendar, Mid-October 2018

October 16, 2018 by Doug Porter

Vintage photo taken by Henry Miller

The following Progressive Calendar is based on Doug Porter’s weekly calendar at San Diego Free Press. It has been edited and shortened to include only City of San Diego events and exclude out-of-date events.

Help Light Up a busy Freeway Overpass with #YesOn10! https://twitter.com/hashtag/YesOn10?src=hash

It’s easy and fun — we will be on a different overpass each week through November 5th, the night before Election Day.
October 20

"VOTE" button

Ballot Measures 2018 Pro & Con
Saturday, October 20, 1pm
Point Loma Branch Library
3701 Voltaire Street

Hosted by League of Women Voters of San Diego

Confused about the Midterm ballot measures? Come hear our Prop Talks, where we review the ballot propositions and take your questions. Always nonpartisan; only the facts. Bring your ballots and take notes!

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Three Candidates You Should Avoid Voting for on Nov. 6: San Diego County’s Bottom of the Political Barrel

October 9, 2018 by Doug Porter

Mail-by-vote ballots will be arriving at homes in California next week and, after posting more than three dozen articles about candidates and issue since the June primary, it’s time to wrap up this phase of our election coverage. There were lots of contests I wanted to cover, but couldn’t for lack of time.

My parting shot in this series involves a short-but-sweet essay warning folks about some people NOT to vote for. There are people running for office who you shouldn’t vote for, and then there are candidates are so bad you should consider crossing the street to avoid them if you see them coming your way.

Very soon, we’ll be posting the San Diego Free Press Progressive Voter Guide. The editorial board met last week to consider endorsements; those will be announced in the guide. We endorsed 14 ballot measures and 37 candidates. Three candidates were so bad they deserved special mention.

Office: Judge of the Superior Court

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California 2018 Propositions 10-12 : Are They Really About Rent Control, Lunch Breaks and Cage-Free Eggs?

October 4, 2018 by Doug Porter

In the conclusion to this series on statewide propositions, we’ll look at two measures that aren’t what they seem to be and one that is what it seems to be, even though opponents claim otherwise.

Prop 10 asks voters to repeal the law prohibiting communities from regulating what landlords can charge residential tenants. Prop 11 asks voters to legalize a questionable labor policy. And Prop 12 ups the ante on the treatment of animals raised for human consumption.

If you’re wondering about Prop 9–aka the billionaire scheme to split California into three parts–you won’t find it.

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California 2018 Propositions 5 thru 8: Taxes, Tantrums, Time Changes, and Catheter Cash

October 3, 2018 by Doug Porter


Grannies, potholes, sunshine, and healthcare. We sure do get to vote on a lot of interesting things in California.

Prop 5 changes the way property taxes are calculated for certain classes of (mostly wealthy) people. Prop 6 amounts to a Republican temper tantrum. Prop 7 wants to settle some timely questions. And Prop 8 is a more-complicated-than-it-seems battle of the Titans.

Proposition 5 – Another Trickle Down Scheme

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California’s 2018 Ballot Propositions: An Overview of Props 1 thru 4

September 28, 2018 by Doug Porter

This is about the first four of California’s 2018 Ballot Propositions for the general election.

What the first four ballot offerings have in common are requests to use taxpayer money for things proponents would like us to believe are for the common good.

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San Diego’s City Council District 2 : Republican Zapf vs Democrat Dr. Jen – Is a Change Gonna Come?

September 21, 2018 by Doug Porter

My coverage of the 2018 general election will focus today on the City of San Diego District 2 contest between Lorie Zapf and Dr. Jen Campbell.

Let’s face it. For a city with a seemingly bright future and a terrific climate, if you had to pick a color to represent San Diego’s mood, it would be dark gray. When progressive things happen, they get tripped up by a petulant group of land speculators and scam artists entrepreneurs.

From an economic and political point of view, the “May Gray” is a year-round state of mind for all-too-many of us. All the promises of prosperity made over the past half-century compared to the ever increasing number of people who are economically challenged amount to a solid argument for why “trickle down” is a myth.

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San Diego’s City Council District 8 – Martinez vs Moreno: It’s Complicated

September 20, 2018 by Doug Porter

The district is a bi-polar political entity. Geography and long-standing loyalties both exert a significant influence on elections in the city’s southernmost political sector.

City Council District 8 is bisected by National City & Chula Vista. The north and south ends have a majority Latino population in common, but the external realities differ.

The forces of gentrification weight heavily on neighborhoods connected to the core city like Barrio Logan. The border with Mexico, along with the militarization that goes with it, looms over the southern end.

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