The Starting Line – Is Carl DeMaio Really Comparable To Harvey Milk?

Last weekends’ protest aimed at Mayoral candidate and City Councilman Carl DeMaio during the 38th annual Pride parade continues to reverberate throughout the community. Johnathan Hale, publisher of – who also happens to be DeMaio’s significant other – posted an article entitled Letter to the Community: Real LGBT leaders don’t put politics above Pride that has provoked fierce debates across social media platforms. The commentary compared DeMaio to LGBT political icon Harvey Milk and accused labor unions of organizing and funding the “Turn Your Back on Carl DeMaio” campaign.

Activist Wendy Sue Biegeleisen took to Facebook to respond, saying, “Harvey Milk was Jewish, from NY and fought for the underdog. He was pro-union, labor, supported diversity, feminism and Equal Rights for all LGBTQQIA people. What about this description sounds like Carl Demaio?” Labor Council leader Lorena Gonzalez, joined the debate via Twitter from the east coast, denying that Labor had a role in the protest and challenging Hale to prove his charges. Kelly Davis over at City Beat chimed in by pointing out that DeMaio “gave LGBT community plenty to be pissed off about by courting support of Charles LiMandri” and posting a link to an article about that controversy the paper had run. SDGLN tweeted back, saying “when @SDCityBeat covers Pride a stellar as the UT did this year, THEN we’ll take your opinions on LGBT issues seriously.”

Olympic Gaffes unite the British… Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s criticism of Great Britain’s preparations for the Olympic Games provoked a firestorm in the London-based media yesterday, putting him in damage-control mode. At stake was a trip meant to remind voters about Romney’s role in the 2002 Winter Olympics and shore up his image as a leader of international standing. Instead, Romney’s visit has become part of a rallying cry, meant to fire up proud Britons.

“There’s a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know whether we are ready!” London Mayor Boris Johnson bellowed to a crowd inHyde Park. “Are we ready? Yes we are!”

The extent of the candidate’s gaffe became clear when British Prime Minister David Cameron visited London’s Olympic Park and was asked about the visiting American’s assessment. “We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world,” Cameron noted. “Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere. Inevitably, you’re going to have challenges.”

The wags over at Twitter were merciless about Romney’s visit to Great Britain:

David K Smith ‏@professor_dave: Romney achieves what no amount of BBC propaganda could – uniting the Brits behind London Olympics!

James Chapman ‏@jameschappers: Serious dismay in Whitehall at Romney debut. ‘Worse than Sarah Palin.’ ‘Total car crash’. Two of the kinder verdicts

patti ‏@utbrp RT @ShoowMee: RT @TheDailyEdge: You can tell @MittRomney’s doing badly when he starts getting booed by rich white people

 Chick-Fil-A Kiss-In set for next Friday… The controversy surrounding fast food chain Chick-Fil-A’s $5 million in donations over the past decade to Christian groups that oppose homosexuality has reached San Diego.  Activist group Canvass for a Cause has announced via Facebook plans for a local version of national Same Sex Kiss Day at Chick Fil A, to be held at the Sports Arena Boulevard location of the fast food company on August 3rd. Participants are being urged to post photographs of themselves kissing to the local Facebook event page sponsored by the group.

Former GOP presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee have launched a counter-campaign urging their followers fight the boycott movement and protest campaign taking their families to eat at Chick-Fil-A on Aug. 1st. According to Santorum, with this action, “our support for traditional values will be heard loud and clear.” Huckabee took to Facebook page defending Chick-fil-A as “a great American story that is being smeared by vicious hate speech and intolerant bigotry from the left.”

And their reporters wonder why people suspect their motives… UT-San Diego continues to pander to the anti-Obama crowd with a front page feature today about Dinesh D’Souza’s 2016: Obama’s America, based on his book, The Roots of Obama’s Rage. The film is an independent release showing in Houston, Nashville and beautiful downtown Kalispell, Montana. It does not have a projected showing in San Diego. As the local daily noted, his interpretation of Obama is controversial, even among his fellow conservatives. As D’Souza puts it in the book in his description of the President’s father: “This philandering, inebriated African socialist, who raged against the world for denying him the realization of his anti-colonial ambitions, is now setting the nation’s agenda through the reincarnation of his dreams in his son.” Yup, it’s certifiable wingnuttery; given front page treatment by the city-wide newspaper, er, um, media platform.

Orange County protests spread to other cities… As Anaheim residents and officials continue to deal with the aftermath of two fatal officer-involved shootings and community unrest, protests in other cities around the country are taking up the issue of aggressive policing and police brutality. The home of Disneyland experienced four days of sometimes violent street confrontations this past week. Sympathetic demonstrations have been or will be occurring in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Oakland, Chicago and Des Moines. Groups from all over Southern California are expected to join another protest Sunday outside the Anaheim Police Department headquarters, one calling for people to wear white shirts in a sign of peaceful protest. A caravan to Anaheim will be leaving Chicano Park at 8:30am Sunday morning.

Rite Aid employees consider walk-out… Nearly 3,000 Rite Aid workers acrossCalifornia started voting Thursday on whether or not to authorize union leaders to call a strike if contract negotiations stay stalled.  United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 770 president Rick Icaza issued a statement about the possibility of a strike, saying “We wish it hadn’t come to this, but the unreasonable and unfair demands of management to eliminate healthcare, cut wages, and increase workload are unacceptable.” The Rite Aid corporation is proposing to retire the company retiree health coverage program, and increase current employee deductibles, changes that could be cost employees up to $10,000 annually in out-of-pocket expenses.

Bad news for Republicans; voter registration’s getting easier… While the Bible belt states and other areas controlled by Republicans seem to be in a race to see how many voters they can prevent from voting, the west coast is headed in a different direction. California Secretary of State Debra Bowen says that our state’s new online voter registration system should be up and running by Labor Day. This will dramatically reduce the barriers to changing party affiliation which could accelerate the precipitous decline that the GOP is seeing in the GoldenState. Meanwhile, up in Washington State, plans have been announced for a Facebook page run by their secretary of state page that will allow residents to register to vote and then “like” the application and recommend it to their friends. The project is the result of collaboration between the state, Facebook and Microsoft.  Once it’s live, Facebook users will need to agree to let Facebook access their information, which will be used to prefill their name and date of birth in the voter registration form. Users will still need to provide a driver’s license or state ID number to continue.

If you thought the Gaslamp District was glitzy…The San Diego City Council’s Land Use & Housing Committee will hear about plans next week to create a special downtown entertainment district including a 30 block area going north from Broadway. The idea is to establish a glittering “Times Square”-style entertainment hub from Broadway to Ash and between 3rd & 9th avenues.  Promoters are  calling for expanding the city’s sign ordinance to include the  kind of big-screen displays and presentations put on in Times Square and LA Live.  Media companies and product sponsors would lease space from downtown landlords of 15 to 20 qualified properties (historic buildings would be excluded) throughout the 30-block entertainment district, providing $5 million in revenues over the first three years that would be split between the landlords and a nonprofit entertainment district governance entity. (H/T Gene Cubbison @ NBC7)

Grantville development clears a hurdle… The stage is set for the developer of large mixed-use development project proposed for Grantville to appear at a future city council meeting seeking their blessing for amending the Allied Gardens community plan to make room for Riverbend, a 996-unit mixed-use project on 23 acres of land along the San Diego River near Old Cliffs Road. Yesterday, planning commissioners unanimously approved the project, which has become a contentious issue in the community. Representatives from the developer (Urban Housing Partners) and Allied Gardens/Grantville residents have gone back and forth over issues like park space, proper heights for buildings, and traffic flow. Opponents object to the inclusion of 75-foot towers in the community, increased density and additional traffic.

The meat lobby weighs in on employee cafeterias… Any doubts about who’s actually calling the shots within the Washington bureaucracy at the Department of Agriculture were put to rest this week after an internal newsletter discussing how staff could reduce their environmental impact while dining at the agency’s cafeteria by participating in a global campaign called “Meatless Mondays” became public. The newsletter referred to United Nations data that cites animal agriculture as a major source of greenhouse gases and climate change. The program of skipping a day a week of meat consumption is sponsored by the Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The posting was removed shortly after the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association denounced it in a news release, and the Agriculture Department issued a statement saying that the suggestion in the internal newsletter was made without proper clearance. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley tweeted “I will eat more meat on Monday to compensate for stupid USDA recommendation abt a meatless Monday,” continuing on to say, “Shame USDA. One has to wonder whether the Dept of Ag supports Iowa farmers since it is promoting ‘meatless Monday ‘ for USDA employees.” The wags over at the blog Wonkette had a terrific come back:

 Hear that? Some folks in a government agency might maybe eat less cheeseburgers one day a week and suddenly it’s totally canceled out that Iowa has more farms receiving subsidies than any other state in the nation. How dare the USDA not stuff its faces with hot, ground-up animals! Now, it’s almost like they didn’t send Iowa farms $23 billion dollars over 16 years.

 And never mind that 80 percent of Iowa’s farms received federal money last year, while Grassley whines endlessly about cutting spending — you’re being rude, USDA. You’re being unreasonable.

On This Day: In 1974 the U.S. Congress asked for impeachment procedures against President Richard Nixon. In 1974 Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” was released. (Coincidence? I think not.) In 2003 it was reported by the BBC that there was no monster in Loch Ness. The investigation used 600 separate sonar beams and satellite navigation technology to trawl the loch. Reports of sightings of the “Loch Ness Monster” began in the 6th century.

Feed Your Mind: Tonight the San Diego Museum of Art begins its 36-hour marathon event, Summer Salon Series 2012: Beyond the Banner. (Do click on the link, as there are too many activities to post here.) Among tonight’s events is a 7 PM a lecture by The Yes Men, whose parodies of leaders and big corporations include creating interventions in the media. Some of their most memorable works include the printing of 80,000 fake copies of the New York Times in 2008 that declared the end of the Iraq War, and the impersonation of a Dow Chemical Company spokesman on the BBC in 2004.

Feed Your Mind (2): Activist San Diego presents a film on the genetic engineering of food entitled The Future of Food at the Joyce Beers Center. 6:30pm, Saturday.

Eat Fresh! Today’s Farmers’ Markets: Borrego Springs  (Christmas Circle Community Park Christmas Circle & Palm Canyon Dr.) 7 am – noon, Fallbrook (102 S. Main, at Alvarado) 10 am – 2 pm, Imperial Beach  (Seacoast Dr. at Pier Plaza) 2 – 7:30 pm, Kearny Mesa (No. Island Credit Union pkg lot  5898 Copley) 10:30 am – 1:30 pm, La Mesa Village  (Corner of Spring St. and University) 2 – 6 pm, Rancho Bernardo (Bernardo Winery parking lot 13330 Paseo del Verano Norte) 9 am – noon, Southeast San Diego (4981 Market St. West of Euclid Ave. Trolley Station)2 – 6 pm

I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas toDougPorter@SanDiegoFreePress.Org    Check us out on Facebook and Twitter.


Doug Porter

Doug Porter was active in the early days of the alternative press in San Diego, contributing to the OB Liberator, the print version of the OB Rag, the San Diego Door, and the San Diego Street Journal. He went on to have a 35 year career in the Hospitality business and decided to go back into raising hell when he retired. He's won awards for 'Daily Reporting and Writing: Opinion/Editorial' from the Society of Professional Journalists in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Doug is a cancer survivor (sans vocal chords) and lives in North Park.
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    • avatarD2 says

      For gay nerds out there, Carl DeMaio is the Evil Enantiomer of Harvey Milk. Opposite, right-left image, with possibly diluted or harmful effects.
      Bad gay man, not good gay man.

  1. avatarjudi says

    I like the “Telegraph” comment re: Romney today:

    “Romney is like Sarah Palin in a suit without lipstick.”