June 12, 2012—The Big Reality about last weeks elections is that nearly three quarters of voters in California didn’t bother to cast a ballot. Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent, TV ads blared non stop, internet sites were plastered with political come-ons and mailboxes were overflowing with conflicting messages. Voting “Yes” on Proposition XXX would create jobs; voting “No” on the same measure would save the middle class. Middle of the road Democrats were cast as extremists; candidates whose campaign coffers overflowed with lobbyist cash packaged themselves as reformers. Even people who live and breathe politics (me, for instance) were disgusted and overwhelmed by the onslaught.
The “win at any cost” ethos combined with California’s top two vote getters primary system created situations where campaigns maneuvered to “pick” their opponents (Democratic slime ball and insurance company prostitute Juan Vargas is exhibit A-IMHO-) for the November general elections and inter-party battles left both campaign workers and candidates disillusioned and disgusted by the system. It’s safe to say that little “d” democracy may have been the ultimate loser last week. Steve Singiser at Daily Kos has more insights into ‘the results behind the results’, including the observation that independent candidates, who were supposed to be emboldened by the new California primary system, fared poorly statewide.
The San Diego Mayoral race is back into high gear, just days after the election. A News10/Survey USA poll released yesterday shows Democratic Congressman Bob Filner with a slight lead over Reformer Extraordinaire Carl DeMaio; adjusted for margin of error many local outlets (particularly those with a GOP bent) chose to call it a dead heat. According to the new poll, supporters of Nathan Fletcher are split between the two candidates, while those who cast ballots for DA Bonnie Dumanis favor Filner by a 2 to 1 margin. Filner also holds an 8-point advantage in support of independents in the poll.
Labor leader Lorena Gonzalez noted via twitter last week that most post election analyses missed the one thing that both mayoral finalists had in common: long term field and get-out-the-vote programs that involved actual person-to-person outreach to voters…. Bonnie Dumanis spilled all to Voice of San Diego yesterday, including two choice tidbits that flew in the face of conventional campaign lore: she was never asked to withdraw from the race and Nathan Fletcher’s early on pledge to her that he was not running for the Mayor. Scott Lewis at VOSD thinks that the Mayoral contest represents the coronation of what he terms “the unrivaled and most potent political coalition in the county”. And he wonders if there’s any room left in the GOP for “moderate” Republicans like retiring Mayor Jerry Sanders.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax initiative may be in trouble… A new Field Poll shows 52 percent of registered voters support Brown’s November initiative to raise the state sales tax and income taxes for high income taxpayers, with 35 percent opposed. This represents a six percentage point drop from February, before Brown combined his initiative with the “Millionaires Tax” measure proposed by the California Federation of Teachers. The deal between Brown and the union left a bad taste in the mouth of some union activists, who pointed out that their measure had much more of a popular base that Brown’s proposal. I can hear the “I told you so’s” coming in three…two…one….
The new mantra of the plutocracy…. Meanwhile, opponents to his tax measure, including The National Federation of Independent Business/California, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the Small Business Action Committee are kicking off their anti-campaign today. Their new group name? “Californians for Reforms and Jobs. Not Taxes.” “Reforms & Jobs”, the new mantra of the plutocracy.
Electoral politics is not the only game in town... It’s the easiest and safest thing for journalists to cover—hell, you can just about do it by following the right twitter feeds these days—but there are activities other than political campaigns that have an impact on the national psyche, whose influence is disproportional to their actual scope. Why Electoral Politics Sold Out the Popular Uprising in the Badger State — and Why It’s Not All Over a widely posted (TomsDispatch, the Nation. Etc.) article by Andy Kroll certainly puts the electoral thing into perspective and offers ideas for other strategies. Money quote:
The takeaway from Walker’s decisive win on Tuesday is not that Wisconsin’s new populist movement is dead. It’s that such a movement does not fit comfortably into the present political/electoral system, stuffed as it is with corporate money, overflowing with bizarre ads and media horse-race-manship. Its members’ beliefs are too diverse to be confined comfortably in what American electoral politics has become. It simply couldn’t be squeezed into a system that stifles and, in some cases, silences the kinds of voices and energies it possessed.
The post-election challenge for the members of Wisconsin’s uprising is finding a new way to fight for and achieve needed change without simply pinning their hopes on a candidate or an election. After all, that’s part of what absorbed the nation when a bunch of students first moved into the Wisconsin state capitol and wouldn’t go home, or when a ragtag crew of protesters camped out in lowerManhattan’s Zuccotti Park and wouldn’t leave either. In both cases, they had harnessed the outrage felt by so many Americans for a cause other than what’s usually called “politics” in this country.
Save the puppies! Demonstration this evening… The San Diego Animal Defense Team will be picketing the offices of vet Dr. Roberto Osawa at the Pet Hospital of North Park, 2444 University Ave from 6 to 8pm. The group is protesting his association with (in their opinion) the city’s worst dog dealer, San Diego Puppy. He also worked with Puppy Stars and Pet Place, the stores recently raided and closed. More information here.
On this day… In 1963 Civil rights leader Medgar Evers was fatally shot in front of his home in Jackson, Mississippi. In 1996 a panel of federal judges blocked a law against indecency on the internet. The panel said that the 1996 Communications Decency Act would infringe upon the free speech rights of adults. And In 1965 The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” was released.
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 – 7 pm. Mira Mesa (Mira Mesa High School, 10510 Reagan Rd.) 3–7 pm.Otay Ranch – Chula Vista (2015 Birch Rd. and Eastlake Blvd.) 4 –8 pm. Pacific Beach (Bayard & Garnet) 2 – 6:30 pm
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.