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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Progressive Calendar for San Diego Aug. 13 – 20

August 13, 2018 by Doug Porter

August 14

Chicano San Diego: A Neglected Heritage

Tuesday, August 14, 1pm
San Diego History Center
1649 El Prado (Balboa Park)
For More Information
Hosted by San Diego History Center

SDSU Professor Emeritus Richard Griswold del Castillo presents a survey of the major themes and contributions to San Diego’s history by the Spanish speaking people.

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Candidate Dumanis Gets Dumped by Deputy Sheriffs Association in Supervisors Race

August 13, 2018 by Doug Porter

San Diego’s Deputy Sheriffs Association has rescinded an earlier endorsement of former District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, the Republican candidate in the race for Fourth District Supervisor. [ Editordude: Ocean Beach and most of Point Loma are in the Fourth District.]

Former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, the Democratic candidate, now holds the title of ‘law enforcement’s choice,’ according to a press release landing in my inbox this morning.

The Deputy Sheriff’s Association of San Diego County (DSA) today announced their endorsement of Nathan Fletcher for County Supervisor.

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Gubernatorial Candidate John Cox Can’t Escape Trump’s Shadow in California’s Top Race

July 24, 2018 by Doug Porter

Gubernatorial candidate John Cox is the latest in a long line of business executives who believe their experiences in the boardroom make then qualified to run the state of California.

To be sure, he was the less extreme of the GOP candidates with name recognition in the June 5 primary.

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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

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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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