The Starting Line — DeMaio TV Ad: Now He’s Running as an Independent

The ad says, “For Carl DeMaio, independence is not a label, it’s his life story.”

Talk about your makeovers.  Perhaps he’s taking a cue from the Romney campaign and trying to humanize his image. Maybe somebody in his operation has actually drilled down into the polling numbers and realized that whoever wins San Diego’s mayoral contest is going to have to reach beyond party lines. Or possibly his advisors think people were turned off by his negative advertising in the primary race.  Whatever.

The first round of video from the DeMaio campaign emerged yesterday with a thirty second ad that seeks to remold “Fighting Carl” into “Mr. Rogers”, the iconic TV host who became known as a symbol of compassion and patience as he explained the world to children through the eyes of his neighborhood. It was jaw dropping.

Crusader Carl, the guy who we saw leading the angry masses against the forces of evil at City Hall, is now recast as a kinder, gentler Carl, who, with a song in his heart and a smile on his face, is joyfully strolling with a wave of humanity towards a new day. And the irony here is that the ‘new, softer Carl’ ad is using some of the same footage as the ‘onward Christian soldiers’ commercials from the primary season.

While the mayoral contest in San Diego is officially non-partisan, both winners of  this spring’s primary contest ultimately relied upon their party affiliations to raise them above a crowded field and into the November runoff.  And while both candidates have made conciliatory gestures aimed at raising their stature with non-aligned voters, Carl DeMaio’s declaration of ‘independence’ is astonishing.

DeMaio’s the guy who’s taken the conservative think tanks’ game plan for drowning government in a bathtub and translated it into actual on-the-street political campaigns, and now he’s telling us that he’s an independent kinda guy. One look at his campaign contributors, who mostly fall on the further right edges of the political spectrum, should be enough to convince any voter that New Carl is no different than Old Carl.

At an hour long debate in front of the La Jolla Rotary Club yesterday, City Councilman Carl DeMaio and Congressman Bob Filner continued the testy exchanges that were the hallmarks of previous meetings between the candidates. The campaign is expected to intensify in coming weeks, with both sides relying upon intensive television advertising, and nearly twenty face to face encounters in front of groups throughout the region.

The Filner campaign also released its first commercial yesterday, a predictable “introduction to the man” production that didn’t seek to distance the Congressman from his past. Because with Bob Filner, what you see is what you get, warts and all. With Carl DeMaio, you’ll need to look beyond the packaging.

Democratic Convention: Mom in Chief Rocks the House

Those of you who missed Michelle Obama’s address to the Democratic convention last night missed a mighty fine speech.  Watching my twitter feed as the first mom spoke, it was obvious that she was having the impact that the Party leaders desired. Aside from the ‘my husband is a nice guy’ meme that the media assumed was coming, her role was to fire up the party faithful and, based on what the cameras and the reactions over the internet indicated, the speech was a roaring success.

Tweets on the speech:

Rebecca Traister ‏@rtraister  Hidden in the reductive mom-tastic frame is Michelle’s sharp commentary on gender, race, class and possibility.

The Nation (@thenation) RT @thinkprogress On Fox, Chris Wallace says Michelle Obama’s speech was about reliance on government. Must have watched a different speech.

Charles Monaco (@charlesmonaco) Double. RT @gov: The end @MichelleObama’s speech drove a higher Tweets-per-minute peak than @MittRomney’s at #GOP2012. 28,003 vs. 14,289.

There was plenty of red meat tossed to the party faithful yesterday as Democratic stalwarts came to the podium to make their case against Mitt Romney. (Mrs Obama didn’t mention his name once.)  Money (pun intended) quote from former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland:

“Mitt Romney has so little economic patriotism that even his money needs a passport. It summers on the beaches of the Cayman Islands and winters on the slopes of the Swiss Alps. In Matthew, chapter 6, verse 21, the scriptures teach us that where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. My friends, any man who aspires to be our president should keep both his treasure and his heart in theUnited States of America. And it’s well past time for Mitt Romney to come clean with the American people.”

 Why nobody watches CNN any more

The all news cable network has struggled mightily in the ratings lately. Hosts have been shuffled, sets have been revamped and the ratings have continued to sag. In their quest to out fox Fox on the conserv side of the equation, CNN calls upon one Erick Erickson on a regular basis for commentary. Last night Erickson’s twitter feed became an issue after his comment on the number of women speaking at the DNC went viral:

He later apologized, saying “My apologies to those offended by my tweet. Wasn’t my intention.”

One wonders if CNN’s female demographics will even exist after giving this misogynist a platform last night. From Media Matters:

Among his numerous past inflammatory statements, Erickson launched a series of sexist attacks on feminists during the 2010 Super Bowl.

 That year, a TV ad featuring quarterback Tim Tebow had been rumored to contain an anti-abortion rights message. When the ad aired and was not as pointed as expected, Erickson tweeted, “That’s what the feminazis were enraged over? … That’s what being too ugly to get a date does to your brain” and “Ugly feminists return to their kitchens.” He continued his attacks the next day.

Will the last reporter out the door please turn off the lights?

The big rumor in media circles yesterday was that UT-San Diego’s ‘Papa’ Doug Manchester was about to close a deal to buy the North County Times. Former UT reporter (now with the North County Times) David Ogul tweeted:

My friends at @UTsandiego say Papa Doug is on the verge of buying the NC Times. Wow. I may get laid off by the same people twice

 But, alas, the buzz turned out to be untrue, at least for the moment. The company responded to an inquiry about the purchase rumors to KPBS producer Joanne Faryon late yesterday afternoon with the statement: “We have no agreement to acquire the North County Times or any other media company currently.”

What was true over at the UT-San Diego was that word seeped out yesterday three reporters are leaving the paper. East County beat reporter Steve Schmidt is leaving to sling PR for county Supervisor Dianne Jacob. WatchDog reporter Ashly McGlone is relocating to the Silicon Valley. I was unable to confirm the name of the third reporter.

So the UT-San Diego is hiring, and they’re taking the search nationwide, as they’re unlikely to find many experienced candidates locally. This town is chock full of embittered ex-scribes that have been victim to political machinations at the paper and downsizing in recent years. One local that was approached about a position last year backed off when he found out he’d have to pass a drug test.

Meanwhile, over at the Voice of San Diego, they’re going through their own changes.  Editor Andrew Donohue left last week to Stanford University for a journalism fellowship.  Reporter Rob Davis is leaving next month for “Two months in the South Pacific, then South America in January, with no return ticket.” Word has it that he’ll be fact checking the “world’s greatest country” claim made on the UT-San Diego banner.

VOSD announced yesterday that their NBC7 segment, formerly known as Fact Check TV, will henceforth be called The Weekly Facts and broadened in its scope.

Bad News for the GOP in the Old Dominion

 All those claims by spinmeisters that Virginia was a battleground state just went into the toilet yesterday after former Congressman Virgil Goode qualified for the November ballot as the candidate of the Constitution Party (a right-leaning libertarian outfit).  Goode’s campaign says they have submitted over 20,000 signatures, double the required 10,000. And since they’ve already been vetted by the notoriously fickle elections board, chances of Republicans getting him off the ballot are pretty slim.

A poll from last month (PDF) showed Obama carrying Virginia by a 50-45 margin in a two-way race—but that margin increased to 50-42 when Goode is included as a choice. The Constitution Party candidate is a former Democrat turned Independent whose main claims to fame as a Virginia politician were his defense of the tobacco industry and opposition to internet gambling.

Scaring up a few anti-gay voters in North Carolina

Evangelist Gary Bauer’s Super PAC, the “Campaign for American Values” has launched TV ads hoping to sway would-be Obama supporters by raising the specter of the President’s support for gay marriage. The pro-Mitt Ronmey commercials warn viewers that ”Obama trying to force gay marriage on this country.”

Entitled “New Morning,” a couple wakes up to coffee and the threat of legalized same sex marriage as they read the morning paper in their suburban kitchen:

“Obama is trying to force gay marriage on this country. That’s not the change I voted for. Marriage is between a man and a woman. That’s not the change I voted for,” the wife says,

“That’s not the change I voted for either,” agrees the husband..

 On This Day: In 1917 Federal raids were carried out in 24 cities on International Workers of the World (IWW) headquarters. The raids were prompted by suspected anti-war activities within the labor organization. In 1957 Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” was first published. In 1987 “American Bandstand,” hosted by Dick Clark, was canceled after 30 years on television.

 Eat Fresh!  Today’s Farmers’ Markets: Carlsbad (Roosevelt St. btw Grand Ave. & Carlsbad Village Dr.) 1 – 5 pm, Encinitas Station (Corner of E Street & Vulcan in parking lot B) 5 – 8 pm, Mission Hills  (Falcon St. btw West Washington & Ft. Stockton) 3 – 7 pm, North San Diego at Sikes Adobe Farmstead  (I-15 at Via Rancho Parkway. 12655 Sunset Dr., Escondido.) 11 am – 2 pm, Ocean Beach  (4900 block of Newport Ave. btw Cable & Bacon Sts.) 4 – 8 pm, San Marcos – Cal State San Marcos  (333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Rd., Parking Lot B) 3 – 7 pm,Santee  (10445 Mission Gorge Rd. abandoned school parking lot) 3 –7 pm, Temecula (40820 Winchester Rd. Promenade Mall, parking lot btw Macy’s & Penny’s) 9 am – 1 pm

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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. avatar says

    Doug – Papa Doug could be calling you for a job, dude. Hold out for full editorial leeway. Until ‘hell freezes over’ you say? What about the other way around – the ice at the North Pole is melting.