The Starting Line — Video tags Bilbray as a slumlord

A San Diego political action group calling itself Much Better Choices has released a video it claims shows distressed property owned by Congressman Brian Bilbray. Calling him an absentee slumlord the group says that properties owned by Bilbray are run down and are public and safety hazards.  The property shown in the video has been reported to authorities, according to Better Choices.

A June article in East County Magazine describes Much Better Choices:

Taking a page from the independent expenditure playbook that torpedoed John Kerry’s presidential campaign, a San Diego-based PAC, Much Better Choices, is taking aim at  corporate-backed candidates in a series of online video ads. Lacking the funding of corporate-backed campaigns, Much Better Choices has launched its scathing assault ads via social networking sites—swiftly going viral with efforts to “Swiftboat” local corporatist candidates.

 In the video, Bilbray is criticized for hypocrisy in collecting a public pension and public salary at the same time—while calling for smaller government.  A second video assails Bilbray for voting to give tax cuts to the rich, while opposing tax breaks for the middle class.

 Yet another video slams Bilbray for letting “tax cheats” off the hook.   Footage shows a tropical resort in the Cayman Islands, while a narrator informs viewers that this paradise is “well known as a haven for tax dodgers and money launderers.”  The ad ends by asking voters, “Who is he really working for—the tax cheats or us?  Anybody but a lobbyist. There are much better choices.”

Representative Bilbray (R) is locked in a heated battle to retain his seat in the 52nd Congressional District with port authority commissioner Scott Peters (D).


Poll shows small business support for Obama

 poll of 6,000 small business owners released yesterday by the George Washington University School of Political Management and pokes yet another hole in the Republican view of the electorate. Despite GOP candidate Romney’s efforts to attract small business owners by hammering President Obama on his tax plan, health care reform, and his out of context “you didn’t build that” remark, the survey shows the incumbent beating the Republican challenger by a 47 to 39 percent margin.

 Small business owners polled were especially unresponsive to the Romney campaign’s premise that increased taxes on the wealthy will harm “job creators”; only 6 percent listed taxes as their most important issue. Asked to name the most important concern with regard to their Presidential voting plans, 40 percent named the economy and job creation as the most important issue.

Thousands flock to California on line voter registration site

The State of California launched an online voter registration system yesterday, and nearly 10,000 people logged on and signed up to vote. Officials anticipate that new, “click of a mouse” system will serve to increase voter turnout in the fall general election. Over one fourth of the 24 million eligible Californians residents are not registered to vote, one of the lowest rates of registration in the country.

Potential voters will be required to have a state drivers license or identity card, as the online system will search the Department of Motor Vehicles database for the applicant’s driver’s license or identification card number, date of birth and last four digits of their Social Security number.  Once the information is verified, the voter can authorize elections officials to use an electronic image of their DMV signature to complete the application. After that, the voter only needs to click a “submit’’ button. County elections officials will still be required to verify the information.

Californians can register to vote up to 15 days before the election. For the Nov. 6 presidential election, the deadline for registering to vote is Oct. 22. The online voter registration system is reachable on the secretary of state’s website here.

A story in the San Francisco Chronicle earlier this week shows just how much things are changing in the way people vote in California, with a growing number of people voting weeks in advance of the actual election date:

 The portion of California voters who cast ballots by mail in the 2008 presidential election topped 41 percent, up from 17 percent in 1992. The trend is drastically changing the political landscape in the Golden State, from the way candidates and their consultants run campaigns to when races are actually decided.

 With voters able to weigh in up to 29 days before election day, and close races sometimes taking weeks to sort out, the days of last-minute campaign pushes, a flood of late direct mail and “October surprises” – as well as election night results – may be ending, some experts say.

 The biggest increase in vote-by-mail ballots has occurred over the last 20 years, from the 17 percent in 1992 to 24 percent in 2000. In 2008, just over 41 percent of voters passed up polling places to vote at home. More recently, in the June primary, 65 percent of voters cast ballots by mail, state records show.

Locals to play role in Zombie invasion of Mission Bay

A five-day event providing hands-on training, realistic demonstrations, lectures and classes for government and law enforcement personal in crisis situations scheduled for late October will include actors portraying zombies.  If I read my Twitter feed correctly last night, the organizers of the event have reached out to people involved with the zombie walk at Comic-Con this year. The Halo Corporation’s annual Counter-Terrorism Summit in San Diego will take over Mission Bay’s Paradise Resort, with Hollywood sets including a Middle Eastern village and a pirates’ haven.

A report in the Military Times Newspaper says that zombies will roam the island, harassing the troops, first-aid teams and medical responders participating, as part of simulated scenarios designed to train participants for terrorist attacks, major emergencies, natural disasters and pandemics.

It won’t be all fun and games, though. There will also be seminars and speech making, featuring former CIA Director Michael Hayden, LAPD Counter-Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau Commanding Officer Michael Downing, Mexico’s Secretary of the Interior Alejandro Poiré Romero and special guest San Diego Chief of Police William Lansdowne.

 Is minimum wage a taxpayer burden?

 ‘The High Cost of Minimum Wage’ will be the topic at hand this month when civic engagement group A Better San Diego hosts a breakfast forum Friday, September 21st at 8am at the UFCW Hall, 2001 Camino del Rio South. Speakers Alan Gin, Associate Professor of Economics at the University of San Diego and Claire Crawford with the Center for Policy Initiatives will address the gathering, explaining the impact of minimum wage jobs on the local economy and their real cost to communities. A WalMart employee will also be on hand to explain what working conditions and pay are really like inside the mega-retail corporation.  A $5 donation is requested at the door. RSVP

International Peace Day celebrations

The Peace Resource Center along with other community organizations and faith leaders are celebrating presenting International Peace Day on Thursday, September 20, with a Peace Fair and Interfaith Vigil in recognition of International Peace Day at Cherokee Point Elementary School and Park, 3735 38th Street, San Diego, CA 92105

 The will be a Peace Fair from 4 to 6pm featuring information booths, musical performances and appearances from local elected officials followed by an Interfaith Vigil.  The event will conclude with a candle lighting ceremony For more information, contact Pastor Sara at 619-573-5784

MMJ Activists to protest at Obama headquarters

Americans for Safe Access will be leading medical marijuana activists in a rally September 20th (today) starting at 5pm in front of the San Diego Obama Campaign Headquarters, located at 4660 El Cajon Blvd. San Diego CA 92115 – They’re seeking to remind President Obama of his campaign promises to the medical marijuana community, and to protest law enforcement actions against patients and providers. The San Diego rally is part of a series of events nationwide. For more information:

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 sixth 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)

Quote of the Day: (Mayoral Candidate Carl DeMaio on Mitt Romney): He’s not my candidate. I’m not supporting anyone in this presidential race.

Tweet of the Day:


On This Day:  In 1962 James Meredith, a black student, was blocked from enrolling at the University of Mississippi by Governor Ross R. Barnett. Meredith was later admitted.  In 1984 “The Cosby Show” premiered on NBC-TV.  In 1998 the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum paid tribute to Blues Legend Robert Johnson with eight days of activities. Johnson only recorded 29 songs before dying in August of 1938.

 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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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. avatarJohn Anderson says

    Like the quote from DeMaio – I wasn’t able to make the debate in person but the online stream was really good quality and glad I got to see it. I found Filner’s responses at the debate frustrating though, not many / any details. Thoughts on the debate?