June 27, 2012- You can’t have it both ways… The San Diego City Council yesterday refused to fund legal representation for city employees who may be called to testify in lawsuits challenging the recently approved Proposition B, a measure that seeks to fundamentally restructure the city’s pension system. This decision means that Mayor Jerry Sanders, Councilman Kevin Falconer and Councilman Carl DeMaio, who campaigned for and contended that their support of the Pension Proposition was as private citizens, will have to pay their own legal fees. A handful of other city employees were also affected by the decision.
San Diego is facing lawsuits from its unions and the state Public Employment Relations Board, who claim officials violated the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act by failing to negotiate terms of the initiative with labor prior to placing it on the ballot. Since the mayor and these councilmen were among the primary boosters of the measure, the unions contend that their actions amounted to city sponsorship.
Filner’s on fire… Congressman (and mayoral candidate) Bob Filner appeared on Rachel Maddow’s NSNBC program last night to talk about veterans’ issues. He didn’t mince words in his criticisms of the Veterans Administration, saying that their health care system is ‘so bad,’ vets are dying or even committing suicide while waiting for adjudication of claims. Lest you doubt his passion on this issue, here’s the money quote from the program:
“We want to talk about the glory of the war, how patriotic it is, but we don’t want to focus on the costs of war, what happens when these men and women come back. We don’t want to pay too much attention to it, because it undercuts what every government wants, and that’s support for the war it carries out.”
Interestingly enough, the MSNBC blog, Leaning Forward, identified Filner as a candidate for Mayor of San Francisco. We know how that feels, Congressman Filner, as the cable network identified us as being a weekly newspaper in a report aired last weekend.
Going against the paywall tide… On line news site Voice of San Diego announced yesterday a new content sharing policy that will allow other media outlets and individuals to republish articles free of charge, with the usual requests for attribution and other limitations. It’s a sharp contrast with San Diego’s daily paper, which just put up a pay wall (after 15 articles) around its news stories.
A California dozen…. Twelve measures are now set to appear on the November ballot, though the Legislature is expected to move an $11 billion water bond currently on the list to a different election. Among those vying for voter approval are a recycled Mercury Auto Insurance deal, a GOP whine about redistricting affecting the State Senate, an end the death penalty drive headed by the former Warden of San Quentin, a measure to revise the three strikes law, an act calling for increased penalties for human traffickers, a move to establish a two year budgeting cycle (among other things), three attempts to change state tax policies, a requirement that gentically modified foods be labeled as such, and, last, but not least, another (the last two failed) attempt to limit union election activities.
Kraft/Nabisco’s gay oreo… It’s a Facebook phenom! Over two hundred thousand FB users have “liked” a June 25th post by Nabisco that simply
pictures a multi-layered oreo whose six creme layers symbolize the gay pride motif. An accompanying caption declares “Proudly support love!” The cookie isn’t available for purchase. In keeping with standard internet practice, right wing trolls have been doing their level best to incite a flame war among the 20,000+ comments associated with the post.
The wicked witch of the west… Otherwise known as Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, is having a bit of temper tantrum now that somebody has explained to her the details accompanying the Supreme Court’s decision on immigration. In response to the “show me your papers” provision of the court ruling, the Obama administration on Monday revoked agreements with Arizona police that allowed them to enforce of federal immigration laws.
The Arizona Governor went on Fox News Monday to say that she was “shocked” and “outraged” to learn of the move. “This is politics at its best,” she said. “It’s just unconscionable. What they said to Arizona is, ‘Drop dead, Arizona. Drop dead and go away. We’re going to ignore you.’”
Meanwhile, up in Washington State… The Seattle Times reports that asparagus farmers, who are having a record season, are leaving as much as ten percent of their crop on the ground due to a shortage of migrant labor caused by stricter enforcement of immigration laws.
Honesty vs. Hypocrisy… That’s the title of today’s editorial over at the daily fishwrap, aka UT-San Diego, that purports to sort out the issues connected with the ‘Fast & Furious’ program that currently has GOP Congressmen in a tizzy. Completely missing from the editorial is any mention of the NRA supported conspiracy theory—the failed AFT effort was actually an Obama administration plot to stir up support for gun control measures– that is driving many of these GOP representatives. The gun nuts have promised to tie their much vaunted “rankings” of (and financial support to) candidates to their votes on this matter. Sometimes those clowns on the editorial board at that newspaper simply amaze me.
On This Day… In 1893 the New York stock market crashed, marking the start of the collapse of the “Gilded Age”. By the end of the year 600 banks and 74 railroads had gone out of business. In 1969 patrons at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village, clashed with police. This incident is considered to be the birth of the gay rights movement. In 1964 Jan & Dean’s “Little Old Lady From Pasadena” was released.
Eat Fresh! Today’s Farmers’ Markets: Carlsbad (Roosevelt St. btw Grand Ave. & Carlsbad Village Dr.) 1 – 5 pm, Encinitas Station (Corner of E Street & Vulcan in parking lot B) 5 – 8 pm, Mission Hills (Falcon St. btw West Washington & Ft. Stockton) 3 – 7 pm, North San Diego at Sikes Adobe Farmstead (I-15 at Via Rancho Parkway. 12655 Sunset Dr., Escondido.) 11 am – 2 pm, Ocean Beach (4900 block of Newport Ave. btw Cable & Bacon Sts.) 4 – 8 pm, San Marcos – Cal State San Marcos (333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Rd., Parking Lot B) 3 – 7 pm,Santee (10445 Mission Gorge Rd. abandoned school parking lot) 3 –7 pm, Temecula (40820 Winchester Rd. Promenade Mall, parking lot btw Macy’s & Penny’s) 9 am – 1 pm
Feed Your Brain… Thursday night Sea Rocket Bistro will be featuring a showing of the documentary film “Save KLSD” starting at 6pm with a Happy Hour. Following the film there will be an informal discussion of the film. “Save KLSD” is a documentary film about the grassroots activism to save San Diego’s progressive talk radio KLSD/AM1360, focusing on the lack of local, diverse content on our airwaves across America and the efforts to ensure broadcasters meet their public interest responsibilities. Info/RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org
Narrated by broadcasters Jon Elliott and Bree Walker, the film includes Bill Moyers and Phil Donahue; progressive talk hosts Stacy Taylor, Amy Goodman, Ed Schultz, Thom Hartmann, Randi Rhodes, Cenk Uygur, and David Shuster; FCC Commissioners Jon Adelstein and Michael Copps; MSNBC’s Richard Wolffe; former Obama administration official Van Jones; authors/professors Marjorie Cohn and Eric Klinenberg; Common Cause CEO Bob Edgar; co-founders of media reform group FreePress.net Robert McChesney andJohn Nichols, also ofThe Nation, local activists Barbara Cummings, Joan Little and musician Charlie Imes; local notables Congressman Bob Filner, San Diego Council Member Marti Emerald, Channel 10’s J.W. August, and Voice of San Diego’s Andrew Donohue.
Additional showings are scheduled for the Fallbrook Democratic Club General Meeting (990 E. Mission Road) on July 5th and 98 Bottles (2400 Kettner Blvd, Suite #110, San Diego) on August 14th.
“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.” ― George Orwell
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 to DougPorter@SanDiegoFreePress.