The Starting Line –San Diego Teachers’ Union Leadership Faces Recall

by on September 18, 2012 · 3 comments

in Activism, Columns, Government, Politics, The Starting Line

A caucus within the San Diego Education Association (SDEA), the union that represents teachers within the San Diego Unified School District, is calling for the immediate resignation of labor leader Bill Freeman and five other board members. This morning’s announcement, made via an internet newsletter, called upon union members to circulate and sign recall petitions aimed at forcing a change in the SDEA leadership.

Members of The Breakfast Club, a group that has pushed for a tougher stance in negotiations between SDEA and the school district, say a recall is necessary because union officials misled teachers, promising a vigorous fight against contract concessions and layoffs and delivering “a virtually non-existent layoff fight in the spring, followed by the worst concessions seen by any San Diego teachers union in June.”

This morning’s email included petitions demanding the recall of SDEA President Bill Freeman, Treasurer Manuel Gomez, along with board members Eleanor Evans, Erin Kole, and Scott Mullin.  Additionally, the group is calling for board member Melody Welch to resign but will not circulate recall petitions aimed at her because she is on maternity leave.

Escondido charter vote will eliminate prevailing wage mandate

Last spring the Escondido City Council, faced with the threat of losing discrimination lawsuits brought under the California Voting Rights Act, agreed to add district elections to a proposed city charter measure that will be presented to city voters for approval in November.  Latinos make up 49 percent of the city’s population, but only two Latinos have been elected to Escondido’s council since the city was founded in 1888. If the voters approve districts, the voting rights lawsuit will go away.

Proposition P, which will become law in November upon approval of a simple majority of Escondido voters, will also exempt the city from California mandates that require payment prevailing wages –living wages set by the state — to workers on local publicly funded construction projects.  Proponents of the measure are claiming this exemption will save the city millions of dollars, an aspect that appeals to conservative and anti-union sentiments in the region.

So what we have here is a classic case of two constituencies pitted against each other—a vote for district elections, which may increase Latino representation and is a vote against better paying jobs.  In some history books that’s called divide and conquer.

San Diego City Council hearings today target banking practices, foreclosures

Two ordinances resulting from adverse community reactions to foreclosure and banking practices will be discussed today during San Diego City Council hearings.  Community organizations, led by the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment are urging residents to attend council sessions this afternoon and early evening at 202 C Street, 12th floor.

The Abandoned Property Ordinance, sponsored by Councilmember Todd Gloria, is on the docket for 2pm. The measure will strengthen existing code around securing abandoned properties and holding owners accountable for keeping neighborhoods clean.

The Responsible Banking Ordinance, sponsored by Council President Tony Young, would require banks doing business with the city to disclose local data in areas such as lending, foreclosures and service to minority communities, which would be reviewed by a community-based committee.  Advocates say this would provide needed leverage to push banks to better serve communities.

A third bill in the same vein, the Property Value Protection Ordinance, sponsored by Councilmember David Alvarez, is expected to be brought to the City Council in October. That legislation would require banks to register with the city when they take action to foreclose a home, and levy a fine of $1000 a day if the responsible bank doesn’t keep the property up to code.

Suit claims false arrest while registering voters

Activist Ray Lutz has filed a lawsuit claiming he was falsely arrested last November while registering voters in San Diego’s Civic Center Plaza. Named as defendants are the City of San Diego, SDPD officer Tony Lessa, the CB Richard Ellis Group, managers of the Civic Center Plaza Office Building, and twenty five ‘John Does’ to allow for additional defendants to be named later. Here’s a video of that arrest.

“The defendants in this case who forced me to shut down my voter registration table in the public square of the city violated every notion of propriety,” Ray Lutz said in a statement emailed Monday. “The law in the City of San Diego explicitly exempts ‘peaceful political activity’ on private property that is open to the public, and the Pruneyard Supreme Court case also supports the right of citizens to register voters, not only in privately owned and operated malls, but also in the public town square. This is just one ugly example of how the City of San Diego misused the power of arrest during the the Occupy San Diego protests in the Civic Center Plaza.”

UT-San Diego marks local Occupy anniversary actions with no story, ugly-assed cartoon

I looked through this morning’s paper just to see if, per chance, our local daily fishwrap had dispatched a reporter to cover a rally and two protests in San Diego yesterday held by supporters of Occupy Wall Street.  There was a wire service story about protests in New York, but nothing about San Diego. (SDFP will have coverage up here shortly, here’s the Reader story)

Considering that they send reporters out to cover tea party members when they break wind in public, I thought that, perhaps, the local angle of the protests in 30 cities might merit a few inches of copy. But nobody was (apparently) arrested, so there was no coverage.

But editorial cartoonist Steve Breen did manage to scratch out an illustration depicting a dreadlocked male lighting a birthday candle with a spiked mohawked female holding birthday cake labeled ‘Occupy’. And people wonder why I’m not more civil about Manchester’s minions.

Romney’s latest gaffe

Yesterday was the day that GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney reset the national conversation about November’s election to the economy, his supposed strong suit.  An appearance before the 33rd annual U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce convention in Los Angeles, and an interview with Univision, the Latino broadcast network, was supposed to broaden his outreach to Hispanic voters. And he went on the attack, arguing that Latino small businesses are being “crushed” by the tax policies of Obama administration.

But that wasn’t what made the news last night, unless you happened to be watching Fox, which reportedly ran a video of Bill O’Reilly with his fingers in his ears saying “LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA, I can’t hear you”.

Instead, the big news about Romney on Monday was the release of a taped speech given to a private audience of campaign donors ($50,000 each) in Boca Raton, Fla., at the home of Marc Leder, a private equity manager.  The video, published by Mother Jones magazine, shows him dismissing President Obama’s supporters as people who take no responsibility for their livelihoods and who think they are entitled to government handouts. Money quote:

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.

Now, I don’t mean to confuse any Romney supporters out there with facts, like that many of those folks do pay taxes, or that the number includes veterans on disability, seniors on social security and the very poor, so I’ll just share this chart showing where most of them live:

And just so you know, the Romney fundraiser was not connected to any of the sex parties thrown by host Marc Leder that were reported on in the New York Post:

 It was as if the Playboy Mansion met the East E Bond at a wild party at private-equity titan Marc Leder’s Bridgehampton estate, where guests cavorted nude in the pool and performed sex acts, scantily dressed Russians danced on platforms and men twirled lit torches to a booming techno beat. The divorced Sun Capital Partners honcho rented a sprawling beachfront mansion on Surf Side Road for $500,000 for the month of July. Leder’s weekly Friday and Saturday night parties have become the talk of the Hamptons—and he ended them in style last weekend with his wildest bash yet. Russell Simmons and ex-wife Kimora Lee attended a more subdued party thrown by Leder—who’s an event chair for Simmons’ Art For Life charity—on July 29 together. But the revelry hit a frenzied point the next day before midnight when a male guest described as a “chubby white meathead” and a “tanned” female guest stripped and hopped into the pool naked.

 If it’s Tuesday, you know what that means….

It must be time for more wingnuttia…  Yes folks, the craziness just keeps on keepin’ on, and I’m makin’ sure that you keep up with the latest stuff rather than waiting for those recycled emails from your crazy uncle…

President Barack Obama will be allowed to appear on the November ballot in Kansas. (h/t Talking Points Memo)

 A board of three elected Republican officials decided to allow President Barack Obama to remain on the Kansas ballot during a brief meeting on Monday, despite the protest of California lawyer/dentist Orly Taitz, arguably the nation’s most infamous “birther.”

 The unanimous vote brought a swift end to a saga which began Thursday evening when the Kansas Objections Board considered a complaint from a state resident seeking to exclude Obama from the ballot. That resident, Joe Montgomery of ManhattanKan., originally said he believed Obama was not a natural born U.S. citizen and therefore was ineligible to qualify for reelection. But he withdrew his objection on Friday, making Monday’s meeting more or less a formality to close the matter.

 UT-San Diego’s favorite film maker froths at the mouth about Muslims.  Our local daily newspaper has been running a series of full page color ads for a right wing propaganda film about President Obama.  We’re pretty sure all the ad space has been donated by the ‘Dougchester’ ™, because the crowds for this flick have been, shall we say, kinda thin. Here’s a little story about the guy who made the film that you might find interesting: (h/t Right Wing Watch)

 …Dinesh D’Souza joined Janet Mefferd last week to promote his much derided anti-Obama movie 2016, where he once again made the erroneous and unfounded argument that Obama refuses to pursue “Muslim jihadists” because he “views those guys like freedom fighters,” deliberately ignoring the long list of senior terrorists killed under Obama’s leadership. According to D’Souza, Obama only approved the killing of Osama bin Laden because the Al Qaeda leader “came to our country to knock down a bunch buildings” and is “just a gangster, he’s like an international serial killer.” The President continues to sympathize with other terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan, D’Souza states, even though Obama increased the US troop presence in Afghanistan along with the number of attacks on militants in Pakistan.

 The filmmaker also told Meferd that Obama is “actively supporting” a “bid by the radical Muslims” to create an Islamic caliphate. D’Souza also said that Obama has sidelined Egypt’s military in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood aligned president, not mentioning that his administration just offered $1.5 billion to Egypt’s military for defense cooperation. D’Souza even claimed that Obama considers the US to be an “evil” world power: “So for [Obama], it’s not Iran that’s a bad guy, it’s not North Korea, we’re the bad guy, and he sees his job amazingly as one of containing the United States. I think he believes in American exceptionalism, he just thinks that we’re exceptionally evil, we’re the guys that need to be controlled.”

Tweets of the Day:

(This guy is a UT-San Diego reporter,btw)

 

 

On This Day: In 1830  the “Tom Thumb”, the first locomotive built in America, raced a horse on a nine-mile course. The horse won when the locomotive had some mechanical difficulties.  In 1998 the FDA approved a once-a-day easier-to-swallow medication for AIDS patients. In 1970 James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix died in his London apartment at the age of 27. The death was from an overdose of sleeping pills.

Eat Fresh! Today’s Farmers’ Markets: Coronado (1st St. & B Ave., Ferry Landing) 2:30 – 6 pm, Escondido  (Grand Ave. btw Juniper & Kalmia St.) 2:30 – 6:00 pm , Mira Mesa  (Mira Mesa High School 10510 Reagan Rd.) 3–7 pm, Morena District   (1240 West Morena Blvd.) 3 – 7 pm, Otay Ranch – Chula Vista (2015 Birch Rd. and Eastlake Blvd.) 4 –8 pm, Pacific Beach  (Bayard & Garnet) 2 – 6:30pm, UCSD/La Jolla (UCSD Campus, Town Square at Gilman/Meyers) 10 am – 2 pm (Sept. 25 through mid-June; closed for winter, spring and summer breaks)

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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 won awards for 'Daily Reporting and Writing: Opinion/Editorial' from the Society of Professional Journalists in 2013 and 2014. Doug is a cancer survivor (sans vocal chords) and lives in North Park.
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Subscribe to "The Starting Line" and get an email every time a new article is posted!
avatar Anna Daniels September 18, 2012 at 9:57 am

Doug- what a column. You pack in all the news that gives us fits.

avatar bob dorn September 18, 2012 at 10:10 am

Mitt finds 47 percent of Americans are deadbeats; GOP loses the class warfare battle.

avatar Frank Gormlie September 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Breen’s cartoon was outrageous … outrageously stupid. Thanks for catching that – no article but a stupid Breenagram or Breenash*t or Breenturd, … I could go on, but I do have a life.

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