The Starting Line – San Diego’s Mayoral Contest: It Was a Bad Day for Carl DeMaio

Echoes for DeMaio*….It was a tough night for City Councilman Carl DeMaio. After weeks of outreach and publicity about reaching out for the Latino vote in San Diego’s Mayoral contest, his expedition into Barrio Logan last night was a bust. Despite DeMaio’s web site’s boast that “The Latino Community is uniting behind Carl DeMaio’s vision for jobs and quality schools!”  the ‘Latinos for DeMaio’ event had exactly three voters show up. There were, however, six people who did appear on site to protest his appearance. *(h/t to John Lamb for coining the term ‘Echos for DeMaio’)

The event was catered for fifty. (Crackers, chips and salsa) Candidate DeMaio muttered a few words about his campaign for ‘reform’ winning one voter at a time and left. The protesters moved in and helped themselves to the candidate’s ‘spread’. This venture into the world of voters south of Interstate 8 comes on the heels of much ballyhooed moves by the DeMaio campaign to appeal to voters in San Diego’s less white-bread neighborhoods.

The City Councilman’s campaign kicked off the month with the announcement that former ‘Democratic’ chair Art Castañares had signed on with the campaign as a consultant. Castañares was quoted as saying “I look forward to helping Carl deliver that message to communities throughout San Diego who may not have heard his message before.”  Although the local mainstream media jumped on the news of a former Democrat joining a GOP campaign, word soon leaked out that his association with local dem party efforts had ended more than a decade earlier.

This move the was followed a few days later by the announcement that ‘Latino advocate’ K.B. Forbes had signed on as Communications Director for the DeMaio campaign. The press release announcing his arrival quoted candidate DeMaio saying: “Besides his work in public policy, K.B. has been a leading consumer advocate helping Latinos fight fraud and abuse. I am pleased to have a seasoned communications strategist and accomplished Latino activist on our team.” Forbes made the news earlier this week for having a meltdown in front of the media during which he accused opponent Bob Filner of being a “bold (sic) faced liar”.

Earlier in the day, City Councilman DeMaio staged a ‘press conference’ with his fellow Republicans on the council, whose only purpose appeared to be to derail ongoing negotiations between the City and labor unions. Word is that, while things are moving slowly in those talks, the shape of a future agreement is emerging that could be palatable to all parties concerned while respecting the wishes of the electorate, who voted overwhelmingly back in June for changes to the pension system. Frank De Clercq, with the city’s firefighters union, was quoted in today’s UT-SD, saying, “DeMaio doesn’t have any respect for the meet and confer process that’s going on as he stood here right now.”   

UPDATE/11:35am: What Carl DeMaio feared the most is coming to pass: (from UT-SD) “San Diego ended its brief hiring freeze after labor unions and the city reached a tentative agreement Thursday to implement a voter-approved 401(k)-style plan for new hires.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of the campaign slate, Congressman Bob Filner spoke to a packed house last night at the Karl Strauss brewing company location on Columbia Street. Hosted by Assembly members Ben Hueso, Marty Block & Toni Atkins, along with (among others) City Councilman Todd Gloria, the fundraiser for the Filner mayoral campaign featured local beer and sported a $99 (minimum) entry fee.

And, hey, did anybody notice? I didn’t mention #lilypondgate once!

Maybe they both can ride their bikes to this debate… A coalition of advocacy groups announced plans yesterday to host a September 19thmayoral debate on quality of life issues in San Diego. The forum, which will be held at University of San Diego’s Shiley Theatre, is a joint effort between Walk San Diego, The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, Move San Diego and the Urban Land Institute San Diego/Tijuana District Council.

The coalition points out that San Diego’s population is likely to increase by over 645,000 people in the next four decades, and that much of the increase will be focused in the city’s urban core. Demand for transportation without having to get into cars, along with jobs within neighborhoods and housing that is focused in urban centers are all expected to increase. They’re hoping that the candidates will bring ideas on how they’ll lead San Diego’s growth and land-use as development increases out of the down economy.  This debate is likely to be the only one that will have a primary focus on enhancing and improving quality of life through transportation and livable communities. Tickets will be $5 in advance (plus a service charge) and $10 at the door. For more information, go here.

It should be a fun day to watch TV news… Somebody needs (attn: City Beat!) to invent a drinking game to go along with how TV talking heads will cope with the news out of Russia that the band Pussy Riot has received a two year jail sentence for hooliganism. Failure to cover this news at all by a majority of local stations will mean that any person who runs into a City Beat writer or Editor must buy them a drink immediately. Come on now, news anchors, you can say it…. Pussy Riot! Pussy Riot! Pussy Riot!

Speaking of riots…. Donald Trump has been blovating over the past few days about a ‘big surprise’ that he’s planning on springing on the delegates at the upcoming GOP convention in Tampa. Salon’s Alex Pareene has ruined the surprise, after what Jason Linkins at Huffpodescribed as“an exhaustive session of cogitation, and also Scotch…” And the correct answer is: “The real surprise is almost definitely just going to be some idiotic video where Trump ‘fires’ an Obama impersonator.” Kevin Michel, professional Obama impersonator, has now posted pictures of himself and Trump on his Facebook page and is urging his followers to watch the GOP convention, according to Alex Alvarez ofMediaite. So, for those of you keeping score at home, that’s two Alexes, one Donald Trump and one Fauxbama.

A tax deal for Romney that he shouldn’t refuse… Associated Press is reporting that  the Obama campaign is offering Mitt Romney a deal: if he releases five years of tax returns, they team won’t criticize him for not releasing any more.  Last Friday Obama campaign manager Jim Messina made the offer to Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades, saying that he is taking this step because Romney “apparently fears the more he offers, the more our campaign will demand that he provide.”

Quote of the Day: “As political equality is the remedy for political tyranny, so is economic equality the way of putting an end to the economic tyranny exercised by the few over the many through the superiority of wealth.” Edward Bellamy

On this Day:  In 1896 the Klondike gold rush was set off by George Carmack discovering gold on Rabbit Creek in Alaska. In 1964 the Kinks “You Really Got Me” was released.  In 1998 President Bill Clinton admitted to having an improper relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Fun Stuff # 1: The 39th annual Midnight Madness Fun Bicycle Ride event will be held on Saturday August 18, 2012, 8pm-2am at Spanish Landing Park. The cycling route (starting at 9pm) is a primarily flat 11-12 mile loop course along some of San Diego’s waterfront and historic areas. On onsite festival, featuring games, music, food & beer will run from 10:00pm – 2am. This event is a benefit for Hostelling International San Diego. Tickets and information are available here.

Fun Stuff # 2: North Park’s Urban Solace is celebrating its Fifth Anniversary from 6 to 9 pm Sunday, August 19th with a benefit for Mama’s Kitchen, a local non-profit that delivers three meals a day to AIDS and cancer patients. Chef Matt Gordon is inviting the public to enjoy the restaurants’ sustainable, southern-inspired fare and all-natural cocktails. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis at Urban Solace the night of the party. A $15 donation to Mama’s Kitchen gets you in to celebrate this neighborhood restaurant’s honest food and its involvement with the community.

Fun Stuff # 3: OB’s People’s Organic Foods Co-op is celebrating its 40th year in operation Saturday, August 18th, from Noon to 3 pm. Free food, live music, party hats, even.

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 to DougPorter@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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  1. avatarMark Roberts says

    And Carl’s Big Event was catered for 50, and 3 appeared ?

    After the event , he:

    1. Donated the good surplud food to Father Joe’s Mission; ot

    2. He took it home, and he and Hale ate it all and pouted.

    Smart money says # 2.

  2. avatarJohn says

    Now, now….don’t be so hard on the TV newsies, guys. Of course they can’t say “pussy” on the air; they’re afraid the FCC will crack down on them and make them pay lots of money in fines for “profanity”. That this makes them pussies is of no importance at all…