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

money

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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City Council District 6: How Can Hough Hew His Way Around An Incumbent’s Advantage?

September 19, 2018 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

I’ll let you in on a little secret: San Diego is a lot bluer city than most people realize, meaning–as one politico told me recently–if you run the right Democrat, they can win just about everywhere.

Democrat Tommy Hough is challenging incumbent Republican Chris Cate in District 6 for the November elections. Nobody thinks it’s going to be easy to turn his seat blue.

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San Diego City Council District 4 – Cole vs. Montgomery: How to Make Black Lives Matter?

September 18, 2018 by Doug Porter

At the heart of District 4 are San Diego’s historically black communities, created in large part by property deeds limiting where people of color could buy or rent homes.

In 1969 a coalition calling itself BOMB: Black, Oriental, Mexican Brothers called a public meeting in Southcrest Park and began advocating for a civil rights advocate to be appointed to a vacated City Council seat.

The appointment and subsequent election of Leon L. Williams began a tradition of the District 4 seat being held by African-Americans.

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Trump Administration Moves to Extend Detentions As Immigrant Children Contemplate Suicide

September 7, 2018 by Doug Porter

Having been stymied in attempts to circumvent the 1997 Flores ruling which set standards for children in immigration detention centers, the Trump administration is proposing new federal regulations with sweeping implications.

The more than 200-page proposed regulation would give the administration much broader authority over how undocumented immigrant children are treated in its care. Publication of the proposal in the Federal Register on Friday will kick off a 60-day window for the public to comment, after which the administration can move to certify the regulations as final.

Some undocumented immigrant children will be kept in detention for far longer than currently allowed.

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Dazed and Confused in Ocean Beach – 1968

August 31, 2018 by Doug Porter

1968 wasn’t a good year to be a transfer student at Point Loma High School.

A San Diego Police Department bust in early December 1967 (where a tiny amount of marijuana was seized with a street value of two million dollars) prompted lots of paranoia throughout the student body.

The Christian Science Church across from the school provided a great vantage point for the Evening Tribune photographer to document the dopers,

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A First Look at Propositions on the California November 2018 Ballot

August 30, 2018 by Doug Porter

There are eleven ballot measures for voter consideration on the 2018 general election ballot in California. Three were placed on the ballot by the legislature, the rest via signature gatherers (mostly) paid for groups with an interest in shaping the legal and political landscape.

Four propositions (1-4) ask voter approval for bond measures to borrow money to build things. In the case of General Obligation Bonds, payments are made through the state treasury from tax dollars collected on Californians. In the case of Revenue Bonds, an existing or newly dedicated source of funding is used to make payments. Voters have approved 79.49% of bonds submitted in statewide elections over the past 25 years.

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San Diegans in Downtown on Sunday Join Protests in All Fifty States Objecting to Trump’s Supreme Court Choice

August 27, 2018 by Doug Porter

One hundred ninely+ locations in all fifty states hosted events protesting the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Sunday, August 26.

Led by Move On, NARAL, and the People’s Defense Coalition, more than 70 activist organizations endorsed the rallies and marches.

The event in San Diego was held at Waterfront Park on the west side of the County Administration Building. Roughly 300 people attended, cheering on speakers and marching thru downtown afterward.

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Duncan Doubles Down on Deep State

August 24, 2018 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Now that Congressman Duncan Hunter and wife Margaret have been indicted, Republicans are working hard on formulating a strategy to keep his District 50 seat red.

While the Representative from Alpine has been full of bluster, anybody who’s actually read the 60 counts against him knows he’s a dead man walking. All that’s left for him to do is work out a plea deal that is consummated after November 6. Oh, and hope his wife doesn’t escalate expression of her rage beyond the stony silence on display at their arraignment.

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Convention Center, County Voting Initiatives Bode Poorly for Local GOP Leaders

August 14, 2018 by Doug Porter

Last week was a rough week for the status quo in San Diego. The (mostly) unspoken private-public partnership between land developers and local elected officials couldn’t get it done. Not once, but twice.

A faux ‘citizens initiative’ run by hoteliers, and assorted Mayoral toadies won’t be on the November ballot. Visions of economic growth centered on convention center expansion ended amid finger pointing and raised middle fingers. Grift, incompetence and a failure to understand public weariness with past promises of economic benefits trickling down from the schemes of the rich and famous all played in role in the effort’s spectacular failure.

The days of San Diego County being a Republican enclave may be numbered.

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