The Starting Line –It’s Official in California; Let the Voting Begin

by on October 9, 2012 · 4 comments

in Columns, Education, Government, Politics, The Starting Line, Voter Guide 2012

Today marks the official start of ‘election month’ here in California. Mail in ballots are being mailed to people who have opted into voting by mail, something that 65% of voters did in this year’s primary elections.  I don’t care how or when you do it, but you need to vote.

I do care who or what you vote for.  Here’s a shameless plug for our Guide to the Ballot Propositions that explains why you should agree with me. And we have a easy-to-use link that will take you to all of San Diego Free Press’s election news & opinions.

Residents may opt to vote by mail instead of marking a ballot at the polls, so long as he or she requests a mail ballot by the Oct. 30 deadline. County elections officials must receive a mail ballot by the time polls close Nov. 6 for it to be counted. The last day to register to vote in California will be October 22nd.

The best reason to vote by mail… If you think you see soon-to-be Judge/Birther Gary Kreep lurking near your polling place, you’re not hallucinating.  Kreep is donating his legal skills to the Election Integrity Project, the local tea party front group seeking to ‘prevent fraud at the polling place’.

Now if we could only come up with an ‘app’ that turns off all those paid political ads once you’ve voted…

Things Get Nasty in Mungerland

Thanks to reader Kimberley for sharing this letter about the muck that’s being slung in the races to fund our schools.  We’ve excerpted the important parts below. Shame, Shame on you, Molly Munger. She’s the daughter of Charles Munger, the billionaire vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, and is the primary advocate for and funding source behind California Proposition 38. Read about her latest move in this letter:

Dear parent leaders,

You may know me as President of the California State Board of Education, but today I am writing you in my role as a fellow Californian and as a parent and I have an urgent plea on behalf of California’s students.

While I have been a supporter of Prop. 30 since early in the campaign, I understand and respect the PTA’s support of Prop. 38. I know we come from the same place: wanting a better future for our children.

But recent actions by the Prop. 38 campaign are leading us down a dangerous path and imperiling the education we all care about. What changed today is that Molly Munger, the author of Proposition 38, began attacking Governor Jerry Brown’s measure, Prop. 30. We understand that starting tomorrow her campaign’s advertising will focus exclusively on attacking Proposition 30.

I’m writing today to ask you to do all in your power to stop this destructive course of action. Our kids and our schools cannot afford for both measures to fail. I personally support Proposition 30 as the only initiative that will stop $6 billion worth of cuts to schools this year and avoid steep tuition cuts for students of California’s public colleges and universities. But even if you prefer Proposition 38, we can all agree that negative campaigning is only going to result in one thing: a total loss for all of us who care about California’s schools.

Please consider taking action to influence the course we’re on. As the PTA, your support has been heavily touted by the Prop. 38 campaign and I know you will not want to be a part of a campaign that succeeds only in stripping $6 billion from our students this year should Prop. 30 fail. As parents, your voices matter and will be heard.

Sincerely,

Michael Kirst
President, California State Board of Education

Proposition 33 Backer Dumps Another $8 Million into Campaign

Billionaire George Joseph has contributed an additional $8 million into his largely self funded campaign for California Proposition 33, a ballot measure that would largely benefit a single company that he just happens to own.

His company, Mercury General Inc., is the state’s fourth largest private passenger automobile insurer.  The large donation was posted on the secretary of state’s website yesterday. Joseph has bankrolled 99.5% of the $16.2 million that the Yes on 33 campaign has raised to promote the measure.

Opponents of Joseph’s initiative are accusing supporters of running deceptive TV commercials, claiming that employees of a public relations firm employed by the Yes on 33 campaign were used to portray actual insured drivers.  The Consumer Watchdog group has filed a protest with the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission asking that the ads be withdrawn.

Tidbits from Dougchesterland…

Manchester and company completed their purchased of the North County Times on October 1st and it hasn’t taken long for changes that the readership can see to start taking effect. Word is that Sunday, October 14th will mark the last day of publication for the NC Times Sunday edition.

Today’s edition of UT-San Diego is all gussied up in pink to promote awareness of Breast Cancer. There’s even the obligatory article on the front page about how the Susan G. Komen for the Cure group is struggling. Donations are down 30% from last year. The local chapter doesn’t give any money to Planned Parenthood. We’re told that drop in support means uncertainty for clinics, refugee agencies and hospitals.  Uninsured women in our county will suffer.

Before you get all choked up and start digging around for extra money for Komen, you might want to be aware that 6 cents of every dollar the group raises goes to actual treatment for a “cure”.  A little digging might be in order; start here.

UT-TV celebrated breast cancer awareness month last Friday featuring a special appearance by the Hooter’s Girls on their morning show. I suppose that’s one way to keep breast awareness high.

Finally, there’s this especially fact challenged tidbit by Roger Hedgecock’s op-ed column in today’s paper. It’s operating under the assumption that if you tell enough lies fast enough, people will be too dumbfounded to challenge you:

 There’s much bragging about “saving the auto industry.” The Obama-directed bankruptcy of GM left senior citizen bond and share holders with nothing, but gave control of the company to the United Autoworkers union. Since then, GM has invested most of its money in new plants in China.

 Sen. Kehoe to Keynote CPI Gala

 California State Senator Christine Kehoe will be the keynote speaker at the Center for Policy Initiative’s 15th annual gala tomorrow night. Known for her advocacy of women’s services, AIDS funding and civil rights, Sen. Kehoe has earned deep respect during her tenure in Sacramento as a leader on environmental and good governance issues.

The focus for this year’s CPI gala dinner will be a celebration of  the value of education in providing equal opportunity for all Californians and a strong foundation for the state’s economy.  The honorees include community college and state university faculty, apprenticeship trainers, Richard Barrera of the San Diego Unified School District Board, and the San Diego DREAM Team. For more information go here.

 Strip Club Stirs the Pot in Chula Vista

Just two months after wrapping up a fifteen year struggle to gain approval for the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan, a land-use plan that will add parks, open space and habitat protection in place of the defunct South Bay Power Plant, city officials and community leaders are upset about what they see as a fly in the ointment, according to reports on NBC7 News.

The entrance to the proposed redevelopment area is now graced with “Eye Candy Showgirls” a strip club operated by businessman Randall Welty.  He also owns and operates a similar venue in San Bernadino, known as the Flesh Club, which has been the target of allegations that it is really being operated as a bordello.

City officials have told NBC7 News that they believe the Chula Vista location, which was previously a location for Anthony’s Fish Grotto restaurant, obtained its business license to operate as a cabaret theater under false pretenses.  The club’s owner sees the city’s opposition as a First amendment challenge.

Public Push for No Restart of San Onofre at NRC Meeting

A hearing scheduled by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission regarding the San Onofre nuclear power plant is expected to draw large crowds in Dana Point this evening. The NRC has reserved a room with a seating capacity of 1000 as supporters and opponents of the facility face off.

Con-Edison, operators of the plant, will be shuttling employees to this meeting to try to “push activists to the back of the room”.  The anti-nuclear activist community has slated a press conference featuring local residents, elected officials and experts starting at 5pm, and has invited people from throughout the region to attend. The press conference will be at the St. Regis Monarch Bay Hotel, just outside the ballroom facility rented for the hearing.

Tonight’s hearing is supposed to brief concerned citizens on the status of NRC investigations into the shutdown of the plant last winter, when vibrating tubes caused a radiation leak at the #3 generator.  The company has filed papers with the NRC in the last week declaring its intention to re-start generator #2, where tubes showed similar wear and tear by did not actually leak.

News of the company’s intentions has sparked renewed concerns.  Eight million people live in areas adjacent to the nuclear facility, and there is strong sentiment against continued operations at San Onofre.

Big Bird Stars in Obama Ad

In the wake of GOP candidate Mitt Romney’s promise to end funding for public broadcasting during last week’s presidential debate, the Obama campaign has released a commercial featuring Seasame Street’s Big Bird and notorious Wall Street villains Bernie Madoff and Ken Lay.  A voiceover narrator gives views the tongue in cheek warning, “Mitt Romney knows it’s not Wall Street you have to worry about; it’s Sesame Street”

UPDATE: Rut-Roh— The Sesame Street people aren’t happy about Bird Bird’s cameo here. According to Associated Press, they issued the following statement:

“Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns,” the organization said in a terse, two-sentence statement. “We have approved no campaign ads and, as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down.”

On This Day  In 1776 a group of Spanish missionaries settled in what is now San Francisco.  In 1964 the Rolling Stones cancelled a planned tour in South Africa because of an anti-apartheid embargo by the British Musicians’ Union. In 1967 Che Guevara was executed by soldiers for attempting to incite a revolution in Bolivia.  

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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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 toDougPorter@SanDiegoFreePress.Org    Check us out on Facebook and Twitter.

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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. NEW: Ello contact @dougbob
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avatar Andy Cohen October 9, 2012 at 11:55 am

Note to the Obama campaign: Leave the ad up. It’s what the Rethuglicans would do, so why should you be any different in this particular instance?

avatar Frances O'Neill Zimmerman October 9, 2012 at 12:45 pm

I never know how to respond to a single item in Doug Porter’s long list of articles in his regular feature “The Starting Line,” but here goes.

Doug opines in the oddly-titled “Things Get Nasty in Mungerland,” “Shame, shame on you Molly Munger,” for standing up to Governor Brown and his heavy-handed political operatives up in Sacramento who want to eclipse Prop 38, Munger’s parent and PTA-backed effort to save battered and bruised public education grades K-12.

The Governor’s boys pushed Molly Munger’s Prop 38 to the back of the bus — placing it down-ballot even though it was first to qualify and first to be filed — and now they want her to stop running Prop 38 advertising, billing it as a “dangerous path…destructive course of action…negative campaigning.”

I would call that a lot of disingenuous hot air designed to silence Munger who had a good idea before the Governor did, who was willing to finance it from her own private fortune, whose actual Prop 38 does NOT include a regressive sales tax as the Gov’s Prop 30 does and whose monies from it will be held separate from raids on the general fund by the many special interests who elect our Legislature and our Governor.

I would say shame on you, Doug Porter, for falling in line so easily with such punishing allegations and gross propaganda from the guy who is appointed by the Governor to the State Board of Education. This is political hard-ball and should be identified as such, so that Free Press readers can figure out what’s really going on and think carefully about how to vote.

avatar doug porter October 9, 2012 at 2:20 pm

I don’t really know about Gov. Brown He strikes me as a little shifty. What I do know is that I intended to vote for both prop 30 and 38 before this morning. And let’s be honest here. Nobody is upset at the idea of people selling Prop 38 on its virtues; it’s the trashing of Prop 30 that’s triggered this reaction.

I can’t for the life of me figure what possible good can come from people backing what seemed like a pro-education initiative (38) that wasn’t polling particularly well would think they can gain by attacking another pro-education initiative (30)that seemed like it had a chance of passing.

What marketing genius came up with that idea?

My sense now, since historically ballot measures asking the voters to cough up taxes trend downwards towards election day, is that both measures will now fail. I certainly can’t see a reason why anybody would switch ‘sides’ on this issue based on a negative ad.

I would feel the same way towards the Prop 30 folks if they started running negative ads towards Prop 38, by the way.

I feel a lot of shame today. Shame on knowing that’s it’s more likely that I’ll see my daughter’s magnet school eliminated next year; shame on knowing that the pro-privatization folks will probably achieve victory in their quest to starve the public education to death, and shame that I am associated in some small way with a political party that couldn’t get its sh*t together to do something right by their children.

And I really don’t care who did what to who, whenever. I hope Ms. Munger enjoys her revenge; it won’t be her family that will be impacted.

avatar thoughtfulbear October 9, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Kreep and his sort would be wise to stay well away from MY polling place – how about an app to turn all of THEM off?

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