Election

San Diego City Council Resurrects Measure C – Defeated at the Ballot Box – in Order to Expand Convention Center, Long Sought by Establishment

April 7, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

On Tuesday, the San Diego City Council resurrected the local establishment’s long-sought expansion of the convention center, by declaring that Measure C – the hike to the city’s hotel tax to enlarge the center defeated by the voters of San Diego – actually was passed. The measure needed two-thirds of the vote but only garnered 65.24 per cent.

But, business writer for the San Diego Union-Tribune, Lori Weisberg, reflecting the general attitude of the council majority, said the measure only “technically failed.” Tax hike measures need that two-thirds. Until now, it appears. Weisberg explains:

… there have been three appellate court decisions concluding that simple majority approval is adequate when a tax hike is placed on the ballot by citizens, which was the case with Measure C. The state Supreme Court has so far denied review in two of those cases, which is seen as an encouraging sign for Measure C backers. A third case is awaiting the high court’s review.

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Weber Wins 79th Assembly Special Election

April 7, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

It appears that short of a Southern California earthquake, Dr. Akilah Weber has won the special election to succeed her mother in the 79th Assembly District.

Akilah Weber, currently a La Mesa City Councilmember – and an obstetrician and gynecologist – gained 52 per cent of the vote. The sole Republican in the race, Marco Contreras, came off with 33 per cent. The other 3 Democrats shared the remaining 15%.

These are “unofficial” results but with 100% of the precincts reporting, it definitely looks like Weber will be going to Sacramento.

Weber was taking the win. Late Tuesday night, she said:

“Tonight’s win and these results are staggering. I am deeply honored and humbled by the faith that the voters have placed in me. My campaign is focused on one mission — creating healthier communities for everyone who lives and works in the 79th District.

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Recall Campbell Campaign Has 5,000 Signatures – Well On Its Way for Required Total

April 7, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Five thousand. That’s 5,000.

That’s the number of signatures the recall Jen Campbell campaign has gathered up to now. This means the campaign is well on its way for the required total of 14,421 signatures needed by June 3. The 14,421 number is based on 15 percent of the 96,140 registered voters in District 2 at the time of the general election on November 3, 2020.

On Tuesday, organizers of the recall effort told the press that the 5,000 signatures have been vetted to ensure there’s no duplicates or otherwise unusable ones. They’re planning on collecting many more signatures than are needed – as typically a good number of signatures on any petition are invalidated by the County Registrar of Voters for different reasons.

Campaign leaders said by Thursday, they could add a few thousand more from several hundred petitions they are in the process of downloading from the recalljen.com website.

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Assault on American Democracy Continues at State Capitols – 250 Bills Introduced by Republicans in 43 States to Restrict Voting

March 31, 2021 by Source

By Amy Gardner, Kate Rabinowitz and Harry Stevens / Washington Post

The GOP’s national push to enact hundreds of new election restrictions could strain every available method of voting for tens of millions of Americans, potentially amounting to the most sweeping contraction of ballot access in the United States since the end of Reconstruction, when Southern states curtailed the voting rights of formerly enslaved Black men, a Washington Post analysis has found.

In 43 states across the country, Republican lawmakers have proposed at least 250 laws

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San Diego-Based Cable Channel Aired Anti-Biden ‘Documentary’ as Part of Kremlin Campaign to Influence 2020 U.S. Election

March 17, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

A brand new, declassified intelligence assessment has come out about how Russian President Putin tried to influence the 2020 election in favor of Trump.

And part of the Kremlin campaign of disinformation that was pro-Trump and anti-Biden, was the use of un-named American “media conduits to launder their narratives to US officials and audiences,” states the report by the National Intelligence Council.

And specifically, as part of the campaign efforts, “they also made contact with established U.S. media figures and helped produce a documentary that aired on a U.S. television network in late January 2020.” Who do you think aired that propaganda? None other than the San Diego-based cable channel

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Campbell’s Claims of High Cost for Recall Misleading

March 5, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Apparently, the so-called high costs of a recall campaign pushed by Jen Campbell and her supporters are misleading. Campbell and the contra-recall consultants have been propagating the figure of $2 million for any possible recall.

But according to a story by David Garrick in today’s San Diego Union-Tribune, city officials and the County Registrar of Voters are pushing back on that price tag. Campbell & Associates have been claiming their number was based on an email from a Registrar official in February. City and registrar folks are saying that $2 million number was the high end of a “rough cost projection” subject to many variables and many unknowns – known and unknown.

Garrick reports that Liliana Lau, a registrar official, wrote the following in an email to Campbell’s staff on February 8:

“Without the specificity required, there is too broad of a cost range to make an appropriate projection. A rough cost projection based on prior elections that were similar on size is approximately $1.6 million to $2 million.”

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Let Them Eat Truth

March 2, 2021 by Source

By K-B Gressitt

Having spent half of a Sunday reading the latest news— and everything I couldn’t stomach during the previous week— I find it’s high time for a key revision to the style guides that dictate news reportage.

This is not to disparage the classic or the contemporary. Nope, I keep several of them on my shelf, among them, my old AP Stylebook and Libel Manual, which dominated my newspaper days, Strunk and White’s gem, even Sterling Johnson’s handy analysis of the profane, English as a Second F*cking Language.

Nonetheless, far too much of today’s news reporting is inadequate, and I hold the guides responsible for a small but critical piece of the problem: Formal title standards no longer cut the mustard. It’s time to forsake libel-weary gentility and be honest with readers. We need a new method for presenting the formal titles of news report subjects; we need factual titles that encapsulate the essence of the subject. Think full, but succinct, disclosure.

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Campbell Responds to Recall: ‘Elites’ and ‘Extremists’ Are Behind Campaign

February 18, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Jen Campbell, currently siting in the District 2 chair of the City Council, has officially responded to the recall campaign organized by her constituents.

She said the recall campaign is being driven by “elites” and “extremists,” and is reckless, divisive, expensive and a distraction during the pandemic.

Campbell’s official response stated:

“This unnecessary recall election will cost taxpayers $2 million that should go to emergency COVID-19 response instead. Reject this reckless recall.”

According to the San Diego U-T: “The $2 million figure is what the county Registrar of Voters estimates as the cost for a special election, which would likely take place in late November or early December.”

Campbell’s statement attacked recall proponents, labeling them, “elites and extremists who expect our elected officials to work toward their interests, instead of building consensus to move all of San Diego forward.”

Her response focuses on her medical experience and how that is helping the city fight COVID-19. The statement describes her as a “board-certified medical physician with the unique experience we need now to protect public health, defeat the virus and get life back to normal.” The U-T commented that the statement did not mention that she is retired.

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Trump Incited Mob — After Lifetime of Hobnobbing with Mobsters

February 18, 2021 by Source

By Don Bauder / Times of San Diego / Feb. 18, 2021

A mob incited by then-President Trump invaded the Capitol. Everybody knows about that mob.

But what about the other mob that has been nurtured, cuddled, stroked by Trump? By whatever name — Mafia, organized crime, gangsters — this mob has gotten very little media attention, particularly in the 2016 and 2020 elections.

Let’s call the first Mob 1 and the second Mob 2.

As noted last September, I have followed Trump’s Mob 2 since the 1980s. But in this essay, I will rely on works of three great investigative journalists: David Cay Johnston, an expert on Trump’s fraudulent finances; the late Wayne Barrett, who for decades reported on Trump and other New York crooks, and Dan E. Moldea, the reporter who exposed the cozy relationship between professional sports team owners and organized crime.

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It’s Shameful that Treasonous Trump Republicans Are Celebrating ‘President’s Day’

February 15, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Here it is – today is “President’s Day” – a holiday meant to celebrate all American presidents and specifically Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays.

And here we are – more than three months after the Presidential election in November – and the Republican Party still refuses to accept Joe Biden as The President. The nation watched over the weekend and witnessed 43 US Republican senators refuse to hold Trump accountable for the bloody, seditious January 6 insurrection.

Not all Republicans – and certainly not the 7 who voted to convict – nor those in the House of Representatives who voted to impeach. And currently there are hopeful signs that the anti-Trump wing may even form a new party.

But the main wing of Trump’s party, including those sycophants in state parties who have censured the brave GOP’ers who didn’t go along, are apparently the majority. And it’s shameful that today, they are celebrating President’s Day even while dishonoring the current president – not to mention, the will of the people.

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Lawsuit Maintains San Diego Police Showed Favoritism towards Trump Supporters During Pacific Beach Protest

February 9, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

A lawsuit was filed Friday, February 5, in federal court against San Diego Police that maintains police showed favoritism toward Trump supporters during a protest in Pacific Beach on January 9.

The suit by two San Diego women alleges police unlawfully cracked down on Black Lives Matter activists and other counterprotesters at the pro-Trump rally, and allowed Trump supporters to continue marching undisturbed.

Plaintiffs Mandy Lien and Erin Smith assert police aggressively dispersed counterprotesters with batons and projectiles at the demonstration – held a mere 3 days after the Trump-incited insurrection at the Capitol – which violated their civil rights and displayed a bias in favor of the mostly White and male supporters of Trump. Police officers even “high-fived and chatted it up” with Trump supporters, the suit says.

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The GOP Just Might Be Our Country’s Number One Enemy

February 2, 2021 by Ernie McCray

The GOP Just Might Be Our Country’s Number One Enemy

by Ernie McCray

Much to my chagrin
I saw the ex-president
in a picture
wearing a
sickening grin,
standing
next to
the House Minority Leader
sporting the same
devious smile
above his chin,
signifying
that, in spite
of his friend’s
terrifying insurrection
against our nation,
the GOP
was still behind

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Movement to Recall Jen Campbell Is Growing

January 28, 2021 by Source

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Feds Warn Americans About Rising Risk of Attacks By Domestic Terrorists

January 27, 2021 by Staff

On Wednesday, Jan. 27, in an extraordinary warning to the American public, the Department of Homeland Security issued an alert about a growing risk of attacks by domestic terrorists – whom they call, “ideologically-motivated violent extremists.”

No other bulletin in recent years has been issued to alert Americans about violence by domestic extremists. The extremists are agitated about President Biden’s inauguration and “perceived grievances fueled by false narratives.”

In a statement, the department said the purpose of the new bulletin was to warn the public about a “heightened threat environment” across the United States “that is likely to persist over the coming weeks.” The bulletin is a lesser-status warning designed to alert the public about general risks, rather than an imminent attack linked to a specific threat.

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Bernie Sanders: This Is the Agenda Democrats Should Go For Under Biden’s Leadership

January 22, 2021 by Source

By Bernie Sanders / CNN – RSN / January 22, 2021

The headlines dominating the news understandably deal with the outrageous behavior of President Donald Trump and the attempted coup he inspired at our nation’s Capitol.

Yes, it was important for the House of Representatives to impeach Trump. Yes, the Senate must convict him. No president, now or in the future, can lead an insurrection against the United States government and get away with it.

But as enormously important as that is, we must not lose sight of the pain and anxiety of millions of working families all over this country, as they suffer through the worst public health and economic crises in the modern history of our country. In fact, many working families are facing more economic desperation today than any time since the Great Depression.

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Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman’s ‘The Hill We Climb’

January 21, 2021 by Source

Here is the full text of Amanda Gorman’s poem, “The Hill We Climb,” which she delivered at the Biden-Harris inauguration:

The Hill We Climb

When day comes, we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade?

The loss we carry. A sea we must wade.

We braved the belly of the beast.

We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace, and the norms and notions of what “just” is isn’t always justice.

And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it.

Somehow we do it.

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Liz Cheney May Be the GOP’s Last Gasp for Relevance

January 21, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Helen Keller could have been describing today’s Republican party, when she remarked (over half a century ago); “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight and no vision.”

An apt portrait of today’s GOP that finds itself in disarray, disbelief, and even disgust as a minority party, lacking any vision (except blind loyalty to Trump) while now desperately trying to divorce themselves from his malignant legacy.

The Democrats won the trifecta; White House, the House and Senate.

Nowhere to hide after the Trump-inspired insurrectionist mob stormed the Capital, waving their Trump flags and promising eternal fealty to overthrowing the certified 2020 election results.

Then came the swift move for a second impeachment of the now “most unpopular President in U.S. History). Speaker Pelosi marshaled the House votes and signed the verdict to impeach Trump “willfully inciting violence against the Government of the United States” –

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Meet California’s New Senator: Alex Padilla

January 19, 2021 by Source

5 Things to Know About Alex Padilla

By Ben Christopher / CalMatters / Updated Jan. 18, 2021

After Joe Biden picked Sen. Kamala Harris as his vice presidential running mate in August, the parlor game of choice for California’s most politically plugged-in was: Who will Gov. Gavin Newsom pick to fill her vacant Senate seat?

Alex Padilla — California’s secretary of state, a Democrat from Pacoima, loyal Newsom ally and a Latino in a state that has never had a member of that largest ethnic group serve as senator — was a top pick among the predictions of insiders. The governor announced his choice in late December and made the appointment official today.

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Locals – Including NAACP – Oppose Biden’s Pick of Cindy Marten

January 19, 2021 by Staff

Ken Stone over at Times of San Diego published a piece Monday that included critiques and opposition to President-Elect Biden’s choice of San Diego Unified schools chief Cindy Marten for a federal education post. Marten was nominated for a Deputy Secretary of Education post.

Locals who are not happy with Biden’s nomination include the NAACP’s San Diego chapter and community activist Tasha Williamson, the former mayor candidate.

Amidst the wide-spread praise for Marten, Stone writes – and he ticks off praise from everybody from Mayor Gloria to Assemblywoman Weber to former mayor Faulconer – he adds that the NAACP and Williamson oppose her nomination:

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Eugene Robinson: Trump’s Last Day

January 19, 2021 by Source

By Eugene Robinson / Washington Post / Jan. 19, 2021

On Wednesday, the nation will have a president who would never summon thousands of his followers to Washington, whip them into a frenzy with lies and then aim them at the Capitol.

We will have a president who sees the unimaginable and unacceptable national tragedy in every one of the nearly 400,000 Americans who have died from covid-19, rather than lamenting the calamity only as an unfair stain on his precious “brand.”

And we will have a president who, I am confident, won’t seriously inquire about buying Greenland.

The moment Joe Biden and Kamala D. Harris are sworn in as president and vice president the world becomes a better and brighter place.

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The Biden Team and Education

January 19, 2021 by Source

Editordude: The following column by Thomas Ultican was written before the announcement that President-Elect Biden had chosen Cindy Marten for his education team.

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican / Jan. 16, 2021

Joe Biden has garnered wide spread praise for his choice of Miguel Cardona as Secretary of Education; maybe too wide. The co-founder of Bellwether Education, Andrew Rotherham says Cardona is “a Goldilocks on charter schools.” However, Goldilocks was a fairy tale and Rotherham is a well known neoliberal who campaigns for “school choice.”

At the Democratic convention in 2008, the largest groups of delegates cheering the loudest for their new standard bearers were teachers.

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Open Letter to President Biden’s Chief of Staff Ron Klain

January 19, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

An American dies from COVID-19 every 33 seconds.

Repeat. Every 33 seconds an American dies from the COVID-19 virus.

With that in mind, I write this blunt message to you as President Biden’s Chief of Staff-to-be.

There is no time for festivities. No time for press conferences. No time for photographs. Repetitious speeches or platitudes.

This is war; albeit against an invisible enemy. As Sun Tzu, the famous Chinese general, military strategist, and philosopher wrote: “Every battle is won or lost before it is even fought.” Plan, prepare, execute.

And most importantly, “Quickness is the essence of war.”

In order of priorities:

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Former San Diegan Peter Navarro Exits White House

January 18, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Older San Diegans who know their local history might get a chuckle – or grimace – over this photo of Trump trade advisor Peter Navarro exiting the West Wing.

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Darrell Issa Needs to Resign Unless He Retracts Support for Trump’s Sedition

January 18, 2021 by Source

By Emily Sinsky and Zachary Searight / Times of San Diego / January 17, 2021

If Rep. Darrell Issa is going to uphold his oath to serve the people of the 50th District, he must stop abetting the destruction of our democracy.

An elected representative cannot condemn the violence of groups such as the insurrectionists at the Capitol or Defend East County and at the same time cast a vote in support of their effort to overturn the election results. By voting against the election results certification, Issa essentially attempted to finish the job started by those who stormed the Capitol just hours after he and other Congress members were forced into protective custody before they were able to cast their votes.

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Members of Trump’s 2020 Re-election Campaign Helped Organize Rally that Ignited Capitol Insurrection

January 18, 2021 by Source

by: Associated Press / Jan 17, 2021

Members of President Donald Trump’s failed presidential campaign played key roles in orchestrating the Washington rally that spawned a deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol, according to an Associated Press review of records, undercutting claims the event was the brainchild of the president’s grassroots supporters.

A pro-Trump nonprofit group called Women for America First hosted the “Save America Rally” on Jan. 6 at the Ellipse, an oval-shaped, federally owned patch of land near the White House. But an attachment to the National Park Service public gathering permit granted to the group lists more than half a dozen people in staff positions for the event who just weeks earlier had been paid thousands of dollars by Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign. Other staff scheduled to be “on site” during the demonstration have close ties to the White House.

Since the siege, several of them have scrambled to distance themselves from the rally.

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Is Impeaching the President an Act of Bravery?

January 18, 2021 by Ernie McCray

Is Impeaching the President an Act of Bravery?

by Ernie McCray

Bravery,
like beauty,
seems to be
in the eyes of the beholder,
bearing in mind that
those republicans
choosing impeachment
for the president
regarding his role
when tyrants
struck at our democracy’s
very soul
weren’t being “brave,”

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Capitol Police Search for Rioters

January 15, 2021 by Staff

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San Diego’s Right-Wing Extremist Roots, from KKK to QAnon

January 15, 2021 by Source

Hosted by Steve Chiotakis / KCRW / Jan. 14, 2021

The death of military veteran Ashli Babbitt at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 is shining a light on far-right extremism in San Diego County. Family and friends say the Ocean Beach resident was fervent in her beliefs on social media, amplifying QAnon conspiracy theories and anti-immigrant sentiment.

“Our region’s history of reactionary fascism goes back several decades,” says Joel Day, a research fellow at the USC Center for Public Diplomacy who specializes in combating violent extremism and homeland security.

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Gov. Newsom Deploys National Guard to Protect State Capitol

January 15, 2021 by Source

From 13CBS-Sacramento
Gov. Gavin Newsom has deployed the California National Guard in Sacramento to protect the State Capitol ahead of the presidential inauguration. In the week since the attacks on the U.S. Capitol, the FBI has warned capital cities around the nation of potentially armed protests as inauguration day nears.

On Thursday, Newsom announced a series of actions the state is taking to “bolster security.” The governor said California’s State Operations Center is working with federal, state and law enforcement to assess threats and share intelligence “to ensure those disgraceful actions are not repeated here.”

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Santee City Councilmember Should Resign as Backer of D.C. Insurrectionists

January 15, 2021 by Source

Dustin Trotter of Defend East County, was just elected to the Santee City Council (by just 5 votes)

By Matt Jenkins / Times of San Diego / Jan. 15, 2021

In the wake of insurrection at the nation’s Capitol, the reality of who engaged in these acts of domestic terrorism, and how they affect us at home, is something that must be addressed.

We know that local vigilante group Defend East County were posted up on the Capitol steps, less than 100 feet away from the doors that were breached in this insurrection. The group’s Justin Haskins was live-feeding as the MAGA Mob beat law enforcement with flag poles, hockey sticks, crutches and whatever else they had on them.

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