Persist With Pride, San Diego

July 13, 2018 by Doug Porter

This weekend provides the opportunity to observe some of the accomplishments of the past few decades by activists and allies in the LBGTQ movement.

San Diego Pride festivities have grown from a small grassroots march for equal rights in the 1970s into the largest civic event in the region, with activities spanning a full week.

The organizers of San Diego Pride have donated over 2.5 million dollars to LGBTQ-serving nonprofits and runs multiple year-round education, advocacy, and community service programs.

This year’s theme is Persist With Pride, a slogan that should serve to remind all of us of the long and winding road we’re traveling.

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The Good, the Bad, and the Stupid: State Ballot Propositions You’ll Vote on in November 2018

July 9, 2018 by Doug Porter

One hundred seventeen years ago, direct democracy came to California with the adoption of the initiative, referendum and recall processes by way of a special election called by a newly empowered progressive wing of the Republican Party (yes, there was such a thing back then).

The push for direct democracy was a reaction to the excesses of the gilded age when millionaires and their corporate entities became powerful politically. In California, the entire state government was under the control of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Bribery was the accepted method of doing business in the state capitol.

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San Diego Protest of Supreme Court Upholding Muslim Travel Ban – Tues., June 26 at Federal Courthouse #StandWithMuslims –

June 26, 2018 by Doug Porter

Today! Tuesday 6/26 @ 7:30 pm * U.S. Courthouse 880 Front Street, Downtown – As National Day of Action

This morning, the Supreme Court issued its decision to uphold the Trump v. Hawai’i Muslim Ban case. President Donald Trump’s restriction on travel to the United States from a handful of Muslim countries was upheld by the Supreme Court by a 5-4 vote.

Chief Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion made it clear the court viewed the ability to regulate immigration as being within a president’s powers, rejecting critics’ claims of anti-Muslim bias.

In response, protests at Federal Court Houses are scheduled throughout the country. In Washington DC, a reaction from activists was almost immediate – including San Diego.

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America, the UnBeautiful: Otay Mesa Protest, Border Patrol Harassment, & Children in Cages

June 14, 2018 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

In what is likely the first in a series of immigration-related protests, several hundred people came to a rally outside the Otay Mesa Detention Center on Sunday, June 10, demanding the release of asylum seekers fleeing gang violence and state repression.

They were taking up the cause of asylum seekers who –for the most part–have voluntarily turned themselves at the border. Little did the protesters know their own participation in the event would lead to harassment by border authorities.

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Documents Suggest Favoritism on Property Tax Appeals by San Diego County Assessor’s Office

June 1, 2018 by Doug Porter

UPDATE: Matt Strabone Calls for DA to Investigate Dronenburg based on San Diego Free Press Article

It pays to have friends in high places, especially when it comes time to appeal property tax assessments in San Diego County, according to documents released via the California Public Records Act and provided to the San Diego Free Press. These documents, along with a careful analysis of campaign finance records and personal financial disclosures, suggest favoritism has been a factor in reducing the tax burdens of those with connections to County Assessor Ernest Dronenburg.

A major local corporation, along with a longtime campaign contributor’s family, were among the beneficiaries, thanks to a seeming lack of interest in challenging appeals

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A Voter App for San Diego Progressives Now Available

May 25, 2018 by Doug Porter

From San Diego Free Press

A regular reader of this column has developed an app allowing voters to compare side by side recommendations of five organizations, make a choice, and generate a list to help in filling out the ballot.

The five groups included are San Diego Free Press (yay!), Democrats for Equality, the San Diego Democratic Party, Equality California, and Planned Parenthood. Further info on candidates and ballot measures, sans recommendations, is available via the SD Indivisible Voter Guide link on the left side of the page in the app.. (Full disclosure: I am one of the authors of the Indivisible Guide)

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Images of Obama and Filner Invoked as Primary Campaigns Get Down and Dirty

May 23, 2018 by Doug Porter

From San Diego Free Press

The intensity of political campaigning is rising as Californians have one week of mailing in ballots behind them.

Advertising aimed at creating uncertainty in those who don’t follow politics closely, along with messaging featuring deceptive claims is flooding airwaves and filling mailboxes.

The absentee vote tracker at, using information from the San Diego County Voter Registrar’s office, says roughly 10% of those receiving absentee ballots in the region had been returned as of Thursday, May 17.

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Protest Against Campaign Litter at Midway and Rosecrans – Today, Thurs, May 17

May 17, 2018 by Doug Porter

Meanwhile, Turmoil Rolls San Diego County Democratic Party

A protest against the visual pollution and littering throughout the region associated with the run-up to the June 5 primary is set for today, Thursday (5/17) at 11am.

Meanwhile, this dispute within the local Democratic Party is symptomatic of division between long-time stalwarts who often seem more concerned about major donors’ interests and activists demanding a more active organizational role in support of those being victimized by the current administration’s policies.

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Summer Stephan’s Racist and Anti-Semitic Crusade for the Office of San Diego County District Attorney

May 11, 2018 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Any discussion about the criminal justice system needs to start and end with an acknowledgment of the role racism plays in the United States. The electoral contest for County District Attorney in San Diego is no exception.

Now that billionaire George Soros is being accused of fomenting anarchy by supporting an anti-establishment candidate,

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Duncan’s Daddy to the Rescue in East County Congressional Race

May 10, 2018 by Doug Porter

San Diego Congressman Duncan Duane Hunter is, once again, the subject of a feature news story in Politico. He’s facing legal problems, a spate of scandalous sounding stories in the local press, and spending more money on lawyers than getting re-elected. Now Papa Hunter is tamping down any inter-party competition.

The last time Hunter made the national news we learned about all the local Republicans circling round his not-yet-politically-dead corpse. The time before we learned about his “freewheeling Washington lifestyle,” with hints of an extramarital affair and hefty bar tabs in all the right places around town.

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Campaign Cash Reports Reveal Status of City & County Primary Races

May 1, 2018 by Doug Porter

Lorie Zapf Has Raised More Campaign Money Than Any Other City Council Candidate in All the Races

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Today we’ll walk through the latest financial reports for San Diego City and County races. Republicans have rounded up large amounts of cash, hoping to protect their incumbents on the City Council. Democrats are hoping to pick up some spots in County contests.

Things are about to get nasty

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A Snapshot of the Race for District 2 for San Diego City Council

April 19, 2018 by Doug Porter

There are six candidates challenging Zapf in 2018 for the district which encompasses the Bay Ho, Bay Park, Morena, Midway, Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, and Point Loma neighborhoods. (I’m going to focus on her three high-profile Democratic challengers (in alphabetical order) in this post.

Republican incumbent Lorie Zapf was redistricted into her seat, meaning her earlier tenure (2010-2014) as the District 6 Councilperson didn’t count towards the term limit as written in the City Charter.

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Protests Set as County Supervisors Ready Endorsement of Trump’s War on Immigrants – Tues., Apr. 17

April 16, 2018 by Doug Porter

On Tuesday, April 17, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors will meet in closed session to consider endorsing the Trump administration’s lawsuits challenging California’s legislation offering some minimal protections for immigrants.

While the Supes action is mostly symbolic, it is a statement of values. It is an affirmation of a cruel campaign waged by militarized forces, based on irrational fears, and drummed up by those who seek to disenfranchise all minorities as a means of building a political base.

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San Diego Progressive Activist Calendar April 13-23, 2018

April 13, 2018 by Doug Porter

Morality Guide

Check out this week’s Progressive Calendar listings below. Following those listings are upcoming events of national importance, along with opportunities for organizational involvement.

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San Diego County Supervisors Set to Oppose California’s Sanctuary Law

April 2, 2018 by Doug Porter

We can no longer afford to ignore the County of San Diego in the struggle against the policies of the Trump administration.

San Diego’s Republican County Supervisors are proposing to join Attorney General Jeff Sessions lawsuit challenging our state’s stance against the administration’s racist policies. These actions will be considered in a closed session on April 17. The vote will likely be 3-2 in favor our using the County’s moral authority and our tax dollars in support of bigotry.

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Congressional Districts 51, 52, and 53 – Three Incumbent Democrats with Safe Seats

March 30, 2018 by Doug Porter

Editordude: Check out this great snapshot of what’s up in 3 Congressional Districts in San Diego County, the 51st, 52nd and 53rd – OB and Point Loma are in the 52nd CD – ; it’s by Doug Porter over at our sister website the San Diego Free Press.

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Three incumbent Democrats. Zero controversies. No surprises expected on June 5. I thought this snapshot would be the most boring of all the election pieces I write pre-primary. But it wasn’t. I learned some stuff, and you will too.

The Democratic Party has a majority of registered voters in each of these Congressional Districts. .

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Cambridge Analytica Scandal: A Threat to Democracy and Facebook’s Future

March 21, 2018 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

There’s some disturbing news about our digital existence emerging. A company called Cambridge Analytica used data from Facebook to build psychographics to influence political perceptions and voting behavior. The profiles of 50 million users of the ubiquitous social media platform were harvested through a contract with a UK-based research firm (Global Science Research, GSR).

Investigations by the Intercept, the Guardian/Observer, the New York Times, and undercover footage from the British Channel 4 network reveal a company whose use and abuse of data–along with more conventional covert activities–crossed the line between consumer persuasion to political manipulation.

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A War of Words in the District 4 County Supervisor Race

March 20, 2018 by Doug Porter

Editor: County District 4 includes most of the City of San Diego, OB and much of Point Loma – there’s a portion of Point Loma in District 1.

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The race for District 4 County Supervisor is heating up. And not necessarily in a good way.

Four Democratic candidates are seeking the seat: attorney Omar Passons, former Deputy Fire Chief Ken Malbrough, along with former Assemblypersons Lori Saldaña and Nathan Fletcher. Former DA Bonnie Dumanis is the sole Republican on the June 5 primary ballot.

Saldaña and Fletcher are the ones making the news this week, with stories in the Union-Tribune and the Times of San Diego. You’d need a scorecard to keep track of the charges and counter-charges between two camps.

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What’s Happening During Trump’s San Diego Visit

March 12, 2018 by Doug Porter

Trump San Diego

The President of the United States is coming to one the safest cities in the United States to complain about crime and immigration. No doubt he’ll echo this weekend’s Saturday address expressing his unhappiness with California’s defiant stance on cooperation with federal authorities:

“California’s leaders are in open defiance of federal law,” Mr. Trump said. “They don’t care about crime. They don’t care about death and killings. They don’t care about robberies. They don’t care about the kind of things that you and I care about.”

Whatever. Here’s what we know as of Monday morning.

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Progressive Activist Calendar for San Diego – March 9-19, 2018

March 9, 2018 by Doug Porter

Young woman speaking with bullhorn

Check out this week’s Progressive Calendar listings below. Following those listings are upcoming events of national importance, along with opportunities for organizational involvement.

This is likely to be a historic week for activism in San Diego. Black Women will march to build power and community on Saturday, March 10th, Anti-Trump Protests will span Monday & Tuesday, and students from five colleges, along with 29 elementary thru high schools will walk out for 17 minutes on Wednesday, March 14th to protest gun violence.

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Debate Dodging and Disappointed Democrats in the 49th Congressional District

March 7, 2018 by Doug Porter

“We, not the candidates we elect, are the leaders we’ve been waiting for.”
-Flip the 49th! organizer

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Wow. What could have been a defining event in the effort to win a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives turned into a punch in the gut for North San Diego County activists.

Polling from February confirmed what many feared; absent a Republican incumbent there was a real possibility of no Democrat making it past June 5th, thanks to California’s top two (regardless of party) primary system.

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Students, Moms, and San Diego Officials Make Actions Against Gun Violence a Priority

March 1, 2018 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Students in more than a dozen local high schools have announced plans to participate in a nationwide walkout organized by the Women’s March to protest gun violence on March 14th. The 17-minute walkout at 10 a.m. in each time zone is meant to honor the 17 lives lost in Parkland, Florida.

The San Diego Unified School Board unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday calling for federal background checks for gun and ammo purchases, a ban on semi-automatic firearms, high capacity magazines and bump stocks. It also called for the reinstatement of the federal assault weapons ban.

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Why Should I Be A Democrat? – How the Party Works in California and San Diego, Part 2

February 28, 2018 by Doug Porter

Part Two in an Irregular Series.

Part One: The State Democrats Come to San Diego

In the Golden State you really only have one option if electoral politics is your thing: the Democratic Party. Should you choose to be involved, realize that the mass media portrayal of this organization is driven by the need for headlines, controversy, and conflict. The day-to-day reality is another matter altogether.

Understanding how the party functions in California should guide your activism. So today’s column will be primarily a guide to navigating your way through the largest State Democratic Party in the country. (I’ll save internal/external controversies for future columns.)

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Keeping the Stupid in Politics, San Diego Style

February 27, 2018 by Doug Porter

Ernest Dronenburg, Sheriff Bill Gore and Bonnie Dumanis Are Still Running

The ‘stupid’ in San Diego politics is mighty intense for this time of year. It’s February, right? People can still file to run in the primaries for another week or so.

Three of San Diego County’s keepers of the ‘same old, same old, flame’ are apparently running for ‘who can be the most outrageous and still get votes.’

These are people who expect to get elected or re-elected on June 5 because they think their name recognition is enough to win. Or because they ‘deserve’ the position.

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Arm the Teachers, Blame the Liberals Says Rep. Hunter, Plus Progressive Activist Calendar for Feb. 23 – Mar. 5, 2018

February 23, 2018 by Doug Porter

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Not Indicted Yet) needs a new nickname. Mr. AR15 sounds right, cause they’re both available for (relatively) cheap.

The Center for Responsive Politics, says as of the end of 2017, Hunter has accepted $41,087 from the National Rifle Association. That puts him next to last among California’s Republican Congressman who have been supported by the NRA.

None-the-less, Hunter’s been front and center pushing the NRA’s line. Teachers who have served in the armed forces need to be armed: “Nobody is getting shot in these school shootings after an armed presence arrives.”

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Survey: Flipping the 49th Congressional District Won’t Be Easy

February 22, 2018 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter

A just-released poll, conducted February 12-15 by FM3 Research for Flip the 49th! Neighbors in Action has a cautionary tale for Democrats seeking to replace retiring Congressman Darrell Issa in the 49th Congressional District.

The good news is the Republicans’ brand is so tarnished that a generic Democrat could win over a generic Republican by 7 points or more.

The bad news is that the current line-up of Democratic candidates is likely to split primary voters in such a way that two Republicans will face each other in the general election.

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Why Should I Be a Democrat? – Part One: The 2018 State Convention Comes to San Diego

February 21, 2018 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The California Democrats State Convention is slated for the San Diego Convention Center this coming weekend (February 23-25), so it seems like a good time to explore what’s going on with the party these days.

I know in my heart of hearts the two-party system is not likely to change in my lifetime. I know I’m drawn to what the Democratic party says it represents. But I also know its history of backroom dealings and the often-outrageous actions of the county party. Both are all-too-often more bound to money than principles. And right now I feel the principles of democracy itself are under attack.

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End the NRA and Its Reign of Hate and Greed

February 20, 2018 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The National Rifle Association needs to be put out of its misery. Despite all the talk about mental health, thoughts and prayers, a national conversation, and sensible gun laws, the solution to our gun madness is obvious.

The gunman in Parkland, Florida did not act alone as he carried out the 18th school shooting of 2108.

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In Break with the Past, San Diego County Board of Supervisors Cancel Evening Budget Hearings

February 15, 2018 by Doug Porter

In recent years the County Board of Supervisors has held evening budget hearings, providing an opportunity for ordinary citizens with regular jobs to observe the process and give testimony.

Hundreds of people attended these evening sessions, sharing their views and aspirations. Many of the Supervisors commented on how important it was to hear from more San Diegans about budget priorities.

This year, things will be different. The Supes (except Greg Cox) don’t care.

People will have to take time off from work if they have an interest in local government this year. With most of the Board of Supervisors leaving office in the next couple of years due to term limits, they’ve decided daytime hearings are all the people need.

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San Diego County Government’s Injustice Machine

February 14, 2018 by Doug Porter

I have a few observations about our County so-called government to share :

First Amendment eff up. Journalist Kelly Davis has worked diligently over the past few years exposing injustices in local government. The County of San Diego didn’t take kindly to her (along with Dave Maass) exposés concerning (60!) jail deaths at the SD County Jail. So they decided to drag her into court to reveal her notes, interviews, and recordings from the award-winning CityBeat series. She’s off the hook, for now, thanks to a judge with common sense. But there’s still a chance the County government’s legal counsel will appeal. Read about it here.

Sexual predator County Sheriff still on the loose. County Sheriff Bill Gore’s investigation into a sheriff’s deputy accused by 14 women of groping them,

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