The Starting Line —Hey San Diego! Don’t Miss Out on an Opportunity Called Politifest

Those of us who are active in politics rarely acknowledge the reality that, regardless of our views, we are a distinct minority. It is all too easy to make the jump from, say, knowing that the quality of life is an important consideration for San Diegans, to the assumption that everybody actually has an opinion or gives enough of a damn to think about the issue.

Most people can’t be bothered.  Back in June three fourths of the registered voters didn’t even bother to cast a ballot.  And that was after various special interest and advocacy groups spend gazillions of dollars on every conceivable form of advertising.  People weren’t moved by TV commercials saying that candidate X had sex with warthogs or by glossy brochures promising free ponies if people would only support proposition ABC.

So when an event occurs whose purpose is to raise consciousness about getting out and actually doing something, I think it’s a Big Deal.  Voice of San Diego’s Politifest, at Liberty Station (Point Loma) this Saturday starting at about 10 am, is a one stop no risk opportunity for anybody that grasps the importance of citizenship to get involved.  There will be eighty plus organizations with people willing to expound about their cause, give you a brochure or two and, if you’re willing, sign you up for future activities.

It’s the person to person kind of contact an event like Politifest offers that can make a difference in both your life and the lives of people that are around you.  There’ll be plenty of choices representing plenty of causes all over the spectrum of activism, from cancer support groups to tea partiers to PR organizations promoting corporate agendas. A Super Mall of ideas, all waiting for you. And no, I don’t agree with the agendas of a lot of the groups that will be there. But I do think that our ideas can stand up to the competition.

I’ll be there on Saturday, checking out the scene and spending time at the San Diego Free Press table. We’ve got some SDFP tees and bumper stickers for the already committed and printed materials for the merely curious. Those of you that know me personally know that I am challenged by the fact that I can no longer speak, having lost my vocal chords in an otherwise successful battle with cancer. But that won’t stop me from attending Politifest and encouraging people to jump on the progressive bandwagon in San Diego.

Lest you think this all sounds a little boring (or that the free exchange of ideas “Crowd probably too lefty to expose my kids to”, according to a tweet by GOP Chair Tony Krvaric) I’d like to point out that there will also be a Kid Zone (complete with mini-voter booths), live music from The Blonde Brothers, the Stone Brewing Co. beer garden, food trucks, and even a crash course on local issues called City 101 Sessions, presented by SDGLN, where you can learn about important issues in minutes.

Three Debates and Food for Thought

 Here’s the schedule of events for Politifest, ripped from the web pages of Voice of San Diego:

• 10:00 a.m.- One Voice at a Time with congressional candidate Scott Peters and VOSD CEO Scott Lewis
• 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.- Mayoral debate between the candidates, City Councilman Carl DeMaio and Congressman Bob Filner. Submit a question.
• 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.- San Diego Unified school board candidates Meet & Greet at UpforEd booth
• 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.– Live music by The Blonde Brothers
• 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.– City 101 Sessions, presented by SDGLN, where you can learn about important issues in minutes
• 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.- San Diego Unified School District board debate featuring candidates Bill Ponder, Mark Powell, John Lee Evans and Richard Barrera. VOSD investigative reporter Will Carless will moderate.
• 1:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.- A discussion about Proposition Z between san Diego Unified school board member Scott Barnett and San Diego County Taxpayers Association CEO Lani Lutar. Scott Lewis will moderate.
• 2:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.- The Idea Tournament presented by SDG&E, where citizens compete to present their solutions to San Diego’s biggest challenges.

 Last but not least, here’s former Assemblyman and Mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher’s endorsement of Politifest, it was pretty funny.

 Emails Show UT CEO Threat to Close Port if Plans for Football Stadium are Blocked

 The KPBS/I-Newssource story about UT-San Diego’s ownership interventions in local politics continues to reverberate today, as emails published on line reveal questionable boasts and no-so subtle threats being made in support of their quest for construction of a football stadium at the 10th Avenue Port Terminal.

Mayoral candidate Bob Filner reacted to a boast by Lynch in an email sent to Port Commissioner Scott Peters that “We have made significant progress [in support of the Stadium site] with… one of the Mayoral candidates” by calling a news conference warning the public that UT-San Diego’s executives will try to use Carl DeMaio to get various development deals through should the city councilman be elected.  DeMaio denies supporting the stadium proposal; Lynch now says he misspoke. Money quote:

 “I’m calling on Mr. DeMaio, I’m calling on Doug Manchester, I’m calling on John Lynch to immediately disclose all their email communication and all the meetings that they have had regarding this 10th Avenue Marine Terminal and the proposed stadium, which only the U-T has tried to propose,” Filner said. “Failure to provide this information will leave voters in the position of having to assume the worst regarding these clandestine dealings.”

 It would be easy to dismiss Filner’s reaction as a “wild conspiracy theory” (as a spokesman for Carl DeMaio said) until you get to the parts of the emails where Lynch talks about disbanding the Port Authority should he not get his way. To my knowledge, no public discussion has ever occurred regarding dismantling the Port, so this is clearly a threat.

The practical effect of building Stadium at the site proposed by Manchester,, will be losing what little shipping business (and the good jobs that go with it) San Diego has in exchange for a taxpayer funded site offering mostly minimum wage jobs (that already exist). Moving the shipping facilities to National City, as Lynch has suggested, will take years and millions more in taxpayer dollars, along with support from the Army Corps of Engineers.

The UT-San Diego has endorsed Carl DeMaio in the Mayoral race, and executive Lynch and Manchester were amongst the City Councilman’s earliest financial backers.

Buying and Selling in Dougchesterland

Speaking of conspiracy theories, the Twitterati and Emailnoids were buzzing big time yesterday after the UT-San Diego published a story about local judges getting car allowances (a ridiculous perk), and then credited and gave a link to San Diego’s alt-weekly City Beat.  “Could presage another acquisition by Manchester” said one. “Is this a sellout?” asked another. (And thank you to the twelve [12!] people who emailed me about this.)

According to people at City Beat, this was nothing more than a (probably) one-time financial deal. The UT (Watchdog team, which has lost a few reporters recently) purchased a story, re-wrote it and gave credit via a link to the original story. Columnist Matt Hall also wrote about this today and he gave additional credit to City Beat.  CB editor David Rolland said yesterday on Twitter that any future stories would be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Meanwhile, the Twitter grapevine is reporting that layoffs at the recently purchased North County Times will start Monday, October 1st, the day that Manchester & crew officially take over.  Columnist Richard Riehl has already bailed. Do read about it about it in his blog, Carlsbadistan.

Fake Education Reform Movie to Premiere

If you watch TV, you’ve probably seen the commercials recently for “Won’t Back Down”, a 20th Century (Fox!) film that purports to share the emotion laden exploits of ordinary people fighting the ruthless forces of evil seeking to oppress our children in school.

Local education “reform” activists Up For Ed are hosting a premiere tonight, promising a panel discussion afterwards, hoping to channel the emotional responses the film was designed to evoke.  Note that not even one teacher (out of all the thousands of educators in San Diego) will be appearing on the panel. For more about the background of “Won’t Back Down” go here. For more about Up For Ed’s past, go here.  And here’s a quick excerpt from a review posted today (by a home schooling parent) at

 “Won’t Back Down” was reportedly inspired by a California law that allows parent-teacher takeovers of failing schools under certain circumstances. Again, that sounds like a fascinating premise, albeit one that’s highly likely to go in unforeseen “Animal Farm” directions. But all we get here is the most blithe and moronic kind of “let’s put on a show” magical thinking, in which ripping up the union contract and wresting control of the school from the bureaucrats becomes an end in itself, and what happens later is shrouded in the mists of an imaginary libertarian paradise.

 Breeding hostility to unions in themselves, and occasionally insinuating that unionized teachers are a protected caste of incompetents who get three damn months off every single year, has been an effective tactic in what we might call postmodern Republican populism, especially in recent battles over public employee contracts in Wisconsin and elsewhere. It works something like this: 1) Turn the resentment and frustration of people like Jamie – people with crappy service-sector jobs and few benefits, whose kids are stuck in failing schools – against the declining group of public employees who still have a decent deal. 2) Strip away job security and collective bargaining; hand out beer and ukuleles instead. 3) La la la la, tax cuts, tax cuts, I can’t hear you!

 Vets for Peace continue anti-drone demonstrations at General Atomics in Poway

Today, veterans from the San Diego Veterans For Peace, associates and friends will stage the sevrenth weekly anti-drone demonstration outside the General Atomics factory in Poway where the Predator Drone is made.  Their goal is to educate the public concerning the lack of oversight being utilized by Homeland Security, police and others, who are now sending these drones over the US skies without any judicial oversight.

The Vets want to call attention to the fact that law enforcement agencies are using the drones to do surveillance work throughout the United States without judicial oversight. Law abiding citizens, meeting to conduct business or political affairs, are being recorded and documented by the US government and local officials for unknown purposes. They also feel that the Predator Drone, made by General Atomics, in Poway, makes continuing war too easy of a choice, thus keeping America embroiled in current and future wars.

They intend to picket every Thursday, from 4-6 PM, at the corner of Scripps-Poway Parkway and General Atomics Way, which is about 10-15  minutes off the I-15.  For more information, contact Dave Patterson, from San Diego Veterans For Peace, at 760-207-9139 or dpatterson998(at)

On This Day: In 1779 John Adams was elected to negotiate with the British over the American Revolutionary War peace terms. In 1962 The New York Times ran the story “Bob Dylan: A Distinctive Folk Song Stylist” after a concert at Carnegie Hall.  In 1973 Vice President Spiro Agnew said he would not resign after he pled “no contest” to a charge of tax evasion. He did resign on October 10th.

 Eat Fresh! Today’s Farmer’s Markets: Carmel Valley (Canyon Crest Academy 5951 Village Center Loop Road) 3:30 – 7:00 pm, Chula Vista(Downtown, Center St. & Third Ave.) 3 –7 pm, Linda Vista  (6900 Linda Vista Road Between Comstock & Ulric) 2 – 7 pm, North Park (CVSPharmacy parking lot 3151 University & 32nd St.) 3 – 7 pm, Oceanside Market & Faire (Pier View Way & Coast Hwy. 101) 9 am – 1 pm,Oceanside Sunset (Tremont & Pier View Way) 5 –9 pm, San Carlos (Pershing Middle School 8204 San Carlos Drive) 4 – 7 pm, SDSU Farmers’ Market (Campanile Walkway btw Hepner Hall & Love Library) 10 – 3 pm, University Town Center  (Genesee Ave. at UTC Westfield Shopping Plaza) 3 – 7 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. avatarKaren Grove says

    I’ve never met anyone who screwed a warthog, and I’ve always wanted a pony! Guess I’ll see ya there! LOL!