Gov. Jerry Brown took to the airwaves Sunday, telling CNN’s Candy Crowley that voter passage of tax increases on the wealthy included in California’s Proposition 30 were indicative of a coming nationwide shift in voter attitudes, just as passage of Proposition 13 signaled a tax revolt thirty five years ago.
“I was here in 1978, when Howard Jarvis beat the entire establishment, Republican and Democrat, because the property taxes had just gotten out of control. Now the cutting, the cutting and the deficits are out of control.”, said Brown. “Those who have been blessed the most, who have disproportionately extracted, by whatever skill, more and more from the national wealth, they’re going to have to share more of that,”
Prop 13, passed during Brown’s first stint in the Governor’s Mansion, limited the growth of property taxes on both residential and commercial property and dictated that any bill to pass taxes must be approved by a two-thirds vote of both legislative bodies.
This past week voters approved Prop 30 by an eight-point margin, even as polling indicated that the measure was on the bubble. Taxes will now go up on high income earners to fund education, and as a result of its passage, the California State University system has already rescinded the most recent tuition increase it passed for the fall semester. Additionally, voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 39, which eliminates a tax loophole for big businesses and uses the revenue to fund green energy projects.
UT-SD Front Page Edivertorial Calls Prop 30 a Business Killer
Having lost the electoral battle in lobbying against California’s Proposition 30, San Diego’s Sunday UT took to inventing a news meme to scare people about its impact. A front page story with the headline “Small Business Wart of Prop. 30’s Tax Hikes” purports to warn readers that “many” small business owners are now worried about their survival.
Except that it doesn’t. One small business owner on Point Loma, who had already downsized due to the recession, is quoted as saying she doesn’t know what the future will bring.
All of the “evidence” cited comes from the California Taxpayers Association and the National Federation of Independent Business(NFIB), which are both simply front groups operated on behalf of the Republican party.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics’ “Heavy Hitters” donor list, NFIB is ranked third highest among all groups in the percentage of its contributions (93 percent) going to Republican candidates – a higher percentage even than Koch Industries (90 percent), Exxon Mobil (86 percent), and the National Rifle Association (82 percent).
The story, by reporter Michael Gardner, does quote from people who support Prop 30, and probably would qualify as being “fair” by mass media standards. It even starts out citing the university study often quoted by Gov. Brown that suggests that divorce is more likely to cause millionaires to move than higher taxes. The headline (which reporters don’t typically write) and the story’s placement on the front page leave no doubt about the newspaper’s bias on this matter.
And If You Thought That Front Page Was Bad…
…wait until you hear about what passed for ‘truth’ on the editorial page of the SD-UT last Friday.
Manchester’s mouthpiece spouts off about the recently announced deal between a contractor and organized labor that would remove obstacles from further expansion of the San Diego Convention Center. Headline: A good deal for San Diego, or ‘extortion’?:
In the Convention Center expansion project, unions filed suit earlier this year challenging the project’s environmental assessment as well as the expansion financing scheme, which relies on a hotel-room tax increase approved by San Diego hoteliers, but not by voters. Labor was also expected to oppose the project before the California Coastal Commission.
Sanders, local labor council leader Lorena Gonzalez and other labor representatives announced two agreements on Thursday. Under one deal, the unions agreed to drop their legal challenge and to support the expansion project before the Coastal Commission next year in return for agreements involving worker safety and various environmental issues. The second is a PLA [Project Labor Agreement] that, according to the contractor, will “ensure consistent benefits for both union and nonunion subcontractors.” The PLAwas reportedly worked out independently between the contractor and the unions, purportedly making it legal under Proposition A.
Gonzalez said the unions would not have agreed to support the expansion “if we hadn’t achieved all the things we’ve been working for.”
Eric Christen, executive director of a contractors group called the Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction, the main champion behind Proposition A, sent an unsolicited email to the U-T San Diego Editorial Board and others following Thursday’s announcement, calling the agreements “rank extortion” and asking the question, “Who else could get away with this?”
In a follow-up email Friday, Christen said his group would “go to war” over the deals, promising to “launch a PR and legal assault on this.”
In case you didn’t notice, the UT editorial board has served Christen’s purposes, by giving his “Coalition” publicity when virtually no other media outlet would.
But wait! There’s more! (as they say in the TV commercials) It turns out that the concept of a ‘purportedly’ legal PLA isn’t so repugnant when it comes to projects supported by UT-SD’s publisher Doug Manchester. According to a Tweet from Lorena Gonzalez, who was pissed (not a word that she would use) that her quote in the editorial was abridged:
Lynch, Light & Reed offered us full PLA on waterfront in exchange for support of their project. We still didn’t support. Quote that.
— Lorena Gonzalez (@LorenaSGonzalez) November 10, 2012
Hypocrisy lives large at the SD-UT these days. And, by the way, I’m not so sure that the Convention Center expansion is such a great deal. I don’t know if we really need it, and I’m not feeling great about the back room financing they’re proposing to fund it. But if I was in organized labor’s shoes, I’d certainly be bargaining for my piece of the pie. That’s called making a deal.
The City’s First Bike Corral Just Got More Awesome
Those of us who are bicycally challenged might not be aware of it, but the City of San Diego is making great strides forward towards making our fair berg more bike friendly. These things called “bike corrals” are being installed around town that are essentially just really cool and safe places for people to park their two wheels while spending money in commercial districts. Parking! What a concept!
From bikesd.org (which you should follow if you care about these issues at all):
Ben Verdugo, the Operations Manager for the Uptown Community Parking District, sent us word that the Parking District just made the city’s first bike corral on 5th and University Avenue even more friendly with the installation of a Dero bicycle Fixit Station next to the corral. This Fixit Station is the same as the one located in the Whole Foods parking lot across from their bike racks.
The Dero Fixit Service Stations are designed to help riders fix minor problems that they may encounter while riding. The stations are described as follows:
You are riding home from work when you notice your bike needs some adjusting. The bike shop is closed and out of your way, so now what? Fixit to the rescue!
The Fixit includes all the tools necessary to perform basic repairs and maintenance, from changing a flat to adjusting brakes and derailleurs. The tools and air pump are securely attached to the stand with stainless steel cables and tamper-proof fasteners. Hanging the bike from the hanger arms allows the pedals and wheels to spin freely while making adjustments.
Foreclosure Vote Slated for Tuesday
The Property Value Protection Ordinance (PVPO), sponsored by Council Member David Alvarez, will be voted on by the San Diego City Council Tuesday evening. A coalition of activist groups, including the Center on Policy Initiatives, the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, the Interfaith Council for Worker Justice and many others, has worked for over a year, hosting town halls, collecting petitions, making presentations and working with the Council’s the Land Use and Housing Committee.
If passed, the PVPO would create a registry of properties at the first point in the foreclosure process with information about who is responsible to clean and maintain this property. This would help code enforcement to do their job by creating new staff positions so that they can spend more time dealing with nuisance properties.
This vote will be the last piece to a comprehensive foreclosure ordinance that will enable the City to hold banks accountable for maintaining foreclosed properties. The City Council meeting starts at 6pm Tuesday evening. For more information, go here.
Citizens United Resolution to Be Considered
For several months now activists with Women Occupy SD and Common Cause has worked quietly to get the San Diego City Council to consider a resolution calling for the overturn of the Citizen’s United Supreme Court decision and a Constitutional Amendment to make that happen.
Wednesday morning (Nov 14) at 9 am the Rules Committee of the City Council will review the resolution, hear several speakers speak on its behalf, and then vote, they hope, to send it to the full committee with a recommendation to approve. The activists are calling on people to attending the hearing (12th Floor, 202 C Street, San Diego) and speak on behalf of the motion. For more information go here.
Walmart Targeted for Black Friday Protests
Organizers planning a nationwide strike against Walmart on the day after Thanksgiving are banking on a new strategy: online organizing. Working with social action groups, labor organizers are seeking to create a “viral” strike, meaning that it will spread online and affect locations of the world’s largest retailer nationally
The Huffington Post reported on a conference call by Brian Young, with the Corporate Action Network, coordinated by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union last week. Young said that, while organizers can not cover the roughly 4,000 Walmarts across the country, the process of enabling self-appointed leaders online has widened and decentralized the campaign.
Walmart workers interested in joining the day of action are directed to this website, either to find a store near them with an organized strike or to “adopt an event” at a store near them. Supporters can also sponsor a striking worker, who may be losing wages in order to strike, by donating grocery gift cards.
The campaign has raised more than $13,500 worth of donations toward grocery gift cards since Oct. 15 — a figure that doesn’t include significant funds raised through mailed-in checks, Jamie Way, of the UFCW, told HuffPost.
The campaign is also mobilizing strikers and supporters through a Facebook app,multiple Facebook pages, a Tumblr and Twitter with the hashtag #walmartstrikers.
“This is one of the first labor campaigns to really fully embrace the potential of online-to-offline labor organizing,” she said. “As this captures fire, its potential is limitless.”
I Don’t Give a Shit About the Truth, or Words to That Effect….
The best three paragraphs of the day, from Huffington Post:
Grover Norquist, founder and president of Americans For Tax Reform, has a new theory about why President Barack Obama won — he portrayed Mitt Romney as a “poopy head.”
“The president was committed; elected on the basis that he was not Romney and Romney was a poopy head and you should vote against Romney and he won by two points,” Norquist said on CBS’ “This Morning” Monday. “But he didn’t make the case that we should have higher taxes and higher spending, he kind of sounded like the opposite.”
Host Norah O’Donnell pushed back. “Well, I’m not sure that’s what the president called Mitt Romney, Grover,” she said. “That’s not the debate that was had … he said very clearly throughout the debate that the wealthiest Americans should pay more and he won eight of the nine battleground states and Republicans failed to reclaim the White House or the Senate.”
Oh, poop. Don’t ya just hate it when facts get in the way?
On This Day: In 1940 Walt Disney released “Fantasia.” In 1954 Ellis Island, the immigration station in New York Harbor, closed after processing more than 20 million immigrants since 1892. In 1984 Madonna released the album “Like A Virgin.”
On This Day: Eat Fresh! Today’s Farmers’ Markets: Escondido (Welk Resort 8860 Lawrence Welk Drive) 1pm –Sunset
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