The Starting Line – The Sordid Saga of Judicial Candidate Jim Miller, Jr.

by on October 18, 2012 · 2 comments

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

San Diego’s legal establishment is rolling out the big guns today at a noon press conference on the sidewalk in front of the Superior Court building downtown. They’re gathering a gaggle of retired judges, prominent attorneys and past heads of the local Bar Association to make sure that the public is aware that judicial candidate Jim Miller, Jr. has been rated as “Lacking qualifications” in the race for Office 25 of the San Diego Superior Court.

Leading up the charge will be City Attorney Jan Goldsmith and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.  They are publicizing this issue in the wake of attorney Gary Kreep’s victory in the June primary.  Kreep, who was also rated as “Lacking Qualifications”, was apparently able to overcoming the negative bar association evaluation and his reputation as a “birther”to win a seat on the court.

Subsequent to the June election it was revealed by  San Diego City Beat‘s Dave Maass that last-minute robocalls were made by a political action committee (PAC) called Taxpayers for Safer Neighborhoods against Kreep’s opponent, Deputy District Attorney Garland Peed. Maass included in his online report an audio of the call, which claimed Peed would be “the worst kind of county judge” because he used plea bargains to put a drug dealers back on the streets. An investigation by  Voice of San Diego analyzing precinct data discovered that Kreep did very well in southern San Diego neighborhoods, which are composed mostly of Democrats, Latinos and Democratic Latinos.

A story in East County Magazine earlier this year brought to light some intemperate remarks made about cases candidate Miller,Jr. heard while serving as a Judge Pro Tem–as well as barbed criticisms of local attorneys, judges, and parties in cases he handled as a lawyer.  Recently the Lincoln Club, a very Republican downtown activist group, took the highly unusual step of withdrawing its earlier endorse of Miller when it was revealed that he’d forgotten to mention to the group that the Superior Court had delisted him as a substitute judge.

Lacking Qualifications, But Still Endorsed by the GOP of San Diego County, by the way.

Last, but not least, newcomer Lisa Halversradt at Voice of San Diego, posted a story on Wednesday saying that Miller’s list of local politicos endorsing him was not-so-accurate.  Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, Delores Chavez, president of the Valley Center chapter of the California Federation of Republican Women, and Chula Vista firefighters’ union were among the names that weren’t supposed to be on the list of supporters.

Candidate Miller told the reporter that he had not listed all his supporters on the campaign website, saying that supporters currently included on the site have been taunted by union members.

According the VOSD story, there was one supporter still willing to stand up for Miller:

Anton Ewing, a certified public accountant who was convicted of felony stalking and federal racketeering charges in 2010, confirmed to VOSD that he believes Miller is the most qualified candidate.

So the ladies and gentlemen of the Court have gathered to make sure this kind of thing doesn’t happen again.  They want you to know that the other guy, Deputy District Attorney Robert Amador, IS qualified.

Duncan, Bilbray and DeMaio All Kept Campaign Money in the Family

Now long ago the UT-San Diego used its editorial bully pulpit to rant about how Congressman Bob Filner wasn’t qualified to be Mayor of San Diego because once upon a time, back before it was officially frowned upon, he’d employed his wife as a campaign consultant.

The sermon from Mt. Manchester decried

“the legal but odious practice of federal lawmakers paying relatives a cut of the money they raise for their ‘help’ with fundraising…

 What makes this even more appalling is that Filner mounted big fundraising campaigns even when he faced token election challenges, ensuring his family bank account would benefit.”

Congressman Duncan

While prowling through campaign disclosure reports, the SD Reader’s Matt Potter has unearthed a current occurrence of this ‘odious practice’ involving GOP Representative Duncan S. Hunter, who is running virtually unopposed for re-election in the 50th Congressional District.

It seems as though the Congressman is paying his wife a couple of grand each month plus expenses to manage his campaign.  The disclosure reports reveal that he’s raised $877,882 during this election cycle through the end of September, and had $131,448 cash on hand at the conclusion of the reporting period. Not bad for a guy with no real opposition.

Lest we forget, two other candidates supported by the Dougchester - Rep. Brian Bilbray and Councilman Carl DeMaio – have also paid campaign monies to their significant others, according to stories in San Diego City Beat.

We’re not holding our breath waiting for these ‘appalling’ revelations to be denounced or even reported on in the UT-San Diego.

Romney’s ‘Binder’ Comment Sweeps the Blogosphere

The San Francisco Chronicle reports today on a study released yesterday by DVR maker affiliate TiVo Research and Analytics saying the most watched moment during Tuesday nights presidential debate came during the discussions about women’s workplace issues and the disparity between men’s and women’s pay rates. Money quote:

In that exchange, Romney recalled that when he was filling his gubernatorial Cabinet, “all the applicants seemed to be men.” “I went to a number of women’s groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks?’ and they brought us whole binders full of women,” he said.

The Twittersphere erupted immediately, from the playful (“What’s all this talk about binders full of women, and where can I get one?”) to political, such as this one from the Obama campaign: “The President talked about women as breadwinners. Romney talked about them as resumes in ‘binders.’

Web memes – themes that travel across social media – multiplied with “binder” analogies, such as a smug photo of Hugh Hefner graced with the phrase, “Binders full of women? Oh sure, I’ve got hundreds of them.”

 To add insult to injury it turns out that Romney’s account of that story is false, according to two women who led an effort in 2002 to recruit female candidates to high-level appointed positions in Massachusetts.

My Note: It should be noted that neither candidate answered the question posed at the debate, which asked them what they would do if elected to address the disparity in women’s pay.

City Canyons, Other Open Spaces Could Soon Be Protected

The San Diego City Council’s Land Use and Housing Committee approved a proposal on Wednesday to designate more than 10,000 acres throughout the city as open space or parkland.  Land designated as open space would not available for use other purposes—excepting roads or utilities access—without a two thirds major public vote.

Much of the property affected is in urban canyons that run through areas like City Heights, Normal Heights, North Park and Tierrasanta.  The proposal will be heard by the full City Council next month, and it is probable that some of the designated parcels may be removed from consideration, depending on staff reports about legal issues and other potential uses for the properties in question.

California ‘Fracking’ Subject of Lawsuit

California State officials have been routinely rubber stamping approvals on permit applications filed by oil companies seeking to engage in the controversial method of extraction called hydraulic fracking according to lawsuit filed this week by a coalition of environmental advocates.

The legal action claims regulators with The California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources are routinely exempting oil projects from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), a measure that requires developers to go through a lengthy, public process detailing environmental effects of their projects and how they will be mitigated.

CEQA scrutiny is critical, according to the plaintiffs, because California, unlike other oil-producing states, does not have disclosure rules for “fracking,” which involves injecting chemical-laced water and sand deep into the ground to tap oil. Energy firms have used the practice in California for decades, but regulators only recently began drafting regulations governing the practice in the wake of public about potential environmental and public health hazards, including contaminated drinking water. The lawsuit seeks to bar state regulators from approving drilling permits for hydraulic fracturing operations unless they go through CEQA reviews.

Battle Over Quail Brush Power Station Continues

Despite being rejected by the Planning Commission and the San Diego City Council, the quest by Cogentrix Energy and SDG&E to build a power plant adjacent to Mission Trails Regional Park continues unabated.

The California Energy Commission will be holding a workshop on the proposed facility Friday, October 19th at 1 pm in the Grifin Center Building at Grossmont College. They’ll be taking testimony on technical areas, including biological resources, fire protection, noise, soil & water resources, and visual resources. The workshop will also give the chance for the public to ask questions and comment about the project and the staff’s environmental review.

Opponents of the plan are urging the public to attend, as they are contending that the power plant will have negative environmental impacts on the surrounding areas, which include a high school located nearby. For more information visit SaveMissionTrails.org.

Civic San Diego Seeking Locations for Bike Racks and Corrals Downtown

Civic San Diego is anticipating installing 100-200 bike racks and between 3-6 bike corrals in the downtown area [see map for area that Civic San Diego covers] using a portion of the parking revenues it collected from metered spaces.  If you have suggestions on where you’d like to see bike parking facilities installed, please email Daniel Reeves at [reeves@civicsd.com] with the subject line: Downtown Bike Rack Location Recommendations OR Downtown Bike Corral Location Recommendations,

Rally to Save Gregory Canyon Slated for Saturday

The Friends of Gregory Canyon will be holding a “Rally to Save Gregory Canyon!” on Saturday, October 20 2012, 10AM to 2PM at the Pala Rey Youth Camp, Pala Reservation.

The group has organized to oppose the proposed 300-acre Gregory Canyon landfill, located in northern San Diego County on State Route 76 (SR 76), approximately three miles east of Interstate 15 (I-15) and two miles southwest of the community of Pala. The pristine undeveloped canyon is adjacent to the San Luis Rey River and lies along the western slope of Gregory Mountain.

They believe the project would have major detrimental impacts to both surface and groundwater, as well as a potential compromise of the two major San Diego County Water Authority pipelines nearby. The proposed landfill site is also located just at the base of two important cultural sacred sites of the local Luiseno people. There is no water supply for the project and there are several endangered species in the environment.

Approximately 20 years ago, San Diego County conducted several public landfill site selection processes to determine the best location for a new landfill. In each process, Gregory Canyon was proposed by its property owner, and was repeatedly rejected. In 1994, Gregory Canyon Ltd., the landfill proponents, abandoned the County’s site selection process and used a deceptive and countywide ballot initiative to authorize a landfill on the site if all permits were obtained for the project.

Even after 15 years, the proposed Gregory Canyon Landfill has not obtained any of its permits. Opponents say it is time to pull the plug on an inappropriate landfill site. Both the Regional Water Quality Control Board and the Army Corps of Engineers will be releasing documents for public review in the near future, and the Save Gregory Canyon Group is holding this event to keep the public informed of what is going on.  For more information go to SaveGregoryCanyon.org.

On This Day: In 1961 Henri Matiss’ “Le Bateau” went on display at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. It was discovered 46 days later that the painting had been hanging upside dow  In 1968 Two black athletes, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, were suspended by the U.S. Olympic Committee for giving a “black power” salute during a ceremony in Mexico City.  In 1974 Mary Woodson shoots herself in Al Green’s home. She shot herself after throwing a pot of boiling grits on Green when he was getting out of the bathtub. (ouch! x 2!)

 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 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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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Anna Daniels October 18, 2012 at 9:02 am

Good morning Doug! So happy to hear your voice again on the Starting Line.

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avatar Nadin October 19, 2012 at 10:37 am

The Presser yesterday was a who’s who of the local legal profession from both private and public practice. They keep getting more and more judges and lawyers to sign on.

Their concern is lack of truck in the Courts.

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