Who Doesn’t Want to be Mayor of San Diego?

startinglinelogoBy Doug Porter

And you thought getting rid of the last Mayor was a circus? Wait until you see the field of dreamers looking to replace him on November 19th.

The list of candidates filing with the city clerk’s office about their intention to vie for the top job in San Diego grew to thirteen yesterday and includes only one well known politico, Nathan Fletcher.

Telephone polls are being conducted, one of them asking questions about a potential candidate who doesn’t even live in the city of San Diego.  Readers over at SDRostra, the local conserve blog, report being polled about Matt Romney, son of former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The younger Romney doesn’t even live within the city limits; he resides in the 4S Ranch development north of Rancho Penasquitos.

Among the more interesting questions being asked by poll takers are questions linking the timing of the election to passage of a city-wide living wage ordinance. That same poll, believed to have been paid for by a labor union, also asked about City Councilman David Alvarez—somebody who’s not been the subject of much speculation when it comes to mayoral candidacies.

Alvarez, along with Todd Gloria, was on a short list of candidates being discussed at a recent labor council meeting.  People that I talked with from Barrio Logan about the possibility of an Alvarez candidacy were generally both surprised and supportive of the idea, saying he’d be a good choice to keep Mayor Filner’s neighborhood –centric vision for the city alive.

While the decision on who gets labor’s nod won’t be made until September 6th, sources tell me that former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, whose candidacy has been actively promoted by former Labor Council leader Lorena Gonzalez, is unlikely to garner an endorsement from that group.

Early rumors asserting that Fletcher’s candidacy was assured of labor’s support appear to have angered many in the group, which struggled mightily to maintain a disciplined and united front in the face of much external pressure against its ‘due process’ stand as demands grew for Mayor Bob Filner’s resignation or recall.

The elephant in the room as far as the election is concerned is former City Councilman Carl DeMaio, who continues to send mixed messages over whether or not he’ll abandon his campaign for Rep. Scott Peters’ seat.

From Twitter

From Twitter

DeMaio held a press conference yesterday to announce his ‘Integrity First Plan’, an event/plan reminiscent of the many he sponsored during his days and councilman and mayoral candidate. Those gatherings (and this one) consisted of handing out a slick-looking document, with ‘bold reforms’ and promising these actions would save us all from whatever problem was at hand.

This particular press event didn’t quite follow the past script, however, as he was peppered with questions stemming from allegations about acts of self-gratification that have been reported lately. After telling the media he’d be making a decision on whether or not to run for mayor over the weekend, DeMaio fled to the safety of his SUV.

Assemblyman Ben Hueso confirmed yesterday that he’d told a reporter about DeMaio’s alleged bad behavior. From City News Service:

“I was asked by the reporter if I witnessed an incident involving Council Member Carl DeMaio and I answered truthfully,” Hueso said. “I would never maliciously disparage a person’s character or impede their future with false or misleading information. This was difficult to share and I have nothing further to add.”

A DeMaio campaign spokesman, Dave McCulloch, said “it is pathetic that Ben Hueso is digging a deeper hole of shame here. This is no longer Carl’s word against Ben Hueso’s. Carl has passed a polygraph, and more importantly, council members Tony Young and Todd Gloria have issued statements refuting Hueso’s story alleging that Young witnessed this.”

An aide to Emerald confirmed the account in the Voice of OC story to CNS.

Should former councilman DeMaio enter the mayor’s race, there will be increased pressure on Democrats to unite behind a single candidate.  And I can tell you that virtually every other ‘big name candidate’ is waiting for Carl to make his decision.

The City Council made the November 19th election date official yesterday.  Should there be a runoff election, an event triggered by no single candidate getting more that 50% of the vote, it will have to take place 49 days after the results are certified. City Clerk Elizabeth Maland told the council it could be difficult to schedule a runoff within the period called for by the City Charter.

Those having announced the intention to run for San Diego’s top job are:

  • Nathan Fletcher, former assemblyman & Qualcomm Exec.
  • Hud Collins, a frequent speaker before the City Council
  • Harry J. Dirks, La Jolla Realtor
  • Bruce Coons, leader of Save Our Heritage Organisation & vocal opponent of the parking garage plan for Balboa Park
  • Paul Michael Dekker, director of information technology at the nonprofit Global Energy Network Institute
  • Jared Mimms, entreprenuer
  • Ashok Parameswaran; psychiatrist
  • Tobiah Pettus, website owner;
  • Kurt Schwab, founder of an organization for vets of Afghanistan and Iraq;
  • Mark Schwartz,  Libertarian activist
  • David Tasem, taxicab business operator.
  • Michael Kemmer, IT intern at Sempra
  • Teresa Miucci, accountant

Others being mentioned in social media and local polling are: former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña, Councilpersons Kevin Faulconer and Marti Emerald, along with County Supervisor Ron Roberts.

Notes from the Washington Commemoration

63March_2Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of the March for Jobs and Justice demonstration and a who’s who of DC turned up for the ceremonies, capped by a speech from the President.

Former President Bill Clinton gets the award for best quip of the day:

 “A great democracy does not make it harder to vote than to buy an assault weapon.”

There’s a great article in Salon about just how absurd this reality in the United States is today.  In Texas you can use a gun permit as ID for voting, but student IDs are not accepted.

“Under the law in 33 states, it is legal for a person to purchase any kind of assault weapon (assault rifle or assault pistol) without any kind of background check or even showing ID, so long as the seller is not licensed as a dealer,” explained Lindsay Nichols, an attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which tracks firearms regulations.

And while it takes just a few seconds to complete a background check in more than 95 percent of cases, it can take hours of work and days of waiting for someone to acquire the ID they might need to vote.

Scoreboard: There are 33 states where you can buy an assault weapon without ID, versus zero states where you can vote without providing some kind of ID — it’s federal law. Meanwhile, there are 43 state where you can buy an assault weapon with an ID, and, and 37 states were you can vote without a government-issued ID.

Where were the Republicans?

Conspicuously absent yesterday at DC’s commemoration were Republicans.  From the Washington Post:

Not a single Republican elected official stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday with activists, actors, lawmakers and former presidents invited to mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington — a notable absence for a party seeking to attract the support of minority voters….

… The Rev. Leah D. Daughtry of the House of the Lord Church in the District, who served as executive producer of the commemoration, said the organizing committee began sending invitations to top leaders of both parties “on a rolling basis probably four or five weeks ago.”

“We had a very concerted effort, because this is not a political moment. This was about us coming together as a community, so we wanted to be sure that we had all political representations,” Daughtry said. “We attempted very vigorously to have someone from the GOP participate and unfortunately they were unable to find someone who was able to participate.

San Diego, Mississippi of the West

Our city’s segregated past was highlighted on KPBS TV yesterday as Amita Sharma interviewed Leon Williams, San Diego’s first black councilman and first black member elected to the county board of supervisors and civil rights leader Dr. Carrol Waymon, author of “On Being Black In San Diego – Anytown U.S.A.”

Worth a view:


About the Minimum Wage and the Restaurant Business

725 cant surviveThe biggest civil rights issue of our era remains economic inequality, just as it was back in 1963.  While the Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech is frequently mentioned in the context of fighting segregation, it’s important to remember that the original purpose of he demonstration was to address the lack of meaningful job opportunities.  Hence the name “March for Jobs and Justice”.

Following today’s demonstrations against minimum wage type jobs at fast food outlets around the country, there’s sure to be a propaganda counter-offensive from the restaurant industry telling us these jobs are great starting points and offer opportunities for Americans.

The other NRA (that would be the National Restaurant Association) will have its toadies front and center warning us about the dangers of unions and malcontents.  They’ve been in the forefront of efforts to defeat minimum wage increases and other improvements in working conditions, as this rather lengthy piece by Steven Rosefeld proves.

 Here’s an except from an Economic Policy Institute article offering some counterbalance to the crap you’ll likely be hearing over the next few days:

 It is a common myth that very low-wage workers—workers who would see a raise if the minimum wage were increased—are mostly teenagers. The reality is that raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would primarily benefit older workers. 88 percent of workers who would be affected by raising the minimum wage are at least 20 years old, and a third of them are at least 40 years old.

 When describing who would see a raise if the minimum wage were increased, it is important to look at everyone who earns between the current minimum wage and the proposed new one, as well as workers earning just above the new minimum wage (who would likely also see a small pay increase as employers move to preserve internal wage ladders). The typical worker who would be affected by an increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2015 looks nothing like the part-time, teen stereotype: She is in her early thirties, works full-time, and may have a family to support. Our analysis of workers who would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage shows:

 The average age of affected workers is 35 years old;

  •  88 percent of all affected workers are at least 20 years old;
  •  35.5 percent are at least 40 years old;
  •  56 percent are women;
  • 28 percent have children;
  •  55 percent work full-time (35 hours per week or more);
  • 44 percent have at least some college experience.

 On This Day1833 – The “Factory Act” was passed in England to settle child labor laws.  1957 – Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina set a filibuster record, speaking for 24 hours and 18 minutes.  1964 – Roy Orbison’s single “Oh, Pretty Woman” was released.

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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. avatarAnna Daniels says

    Who doesn’t want to be mayor of San Diego? Women, evidently. It appears that we have put the lady talk of the past few months behind us.