San Diego Republicans, in an attempt to prove that they really aren’t the ‘anti-science’ party are conducting a field trial designed to prove the veracity of the commonly used definition of insanity. You know, the quip that goes, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”*
A press release issued yesterday proudly announced that, on the heels of getting their asses handed to them in 2012, the local Republican Party branch is sticking with the same management team. Heh, heh. Quote:
Preparing to take advantage of mid-term election opportunities, the Republican Party of San Diego County tonight elected its leadership team for the 2014 election cycle.
Tony ‘Kill a commie for my mommy’ Krvaric returns as Party Chairman, having proved that he can raise and spend $3.7 million on behalf of candidates and still manage to lose virtually every (seriously) contested race.
Sherry Hodges, failed candidate for California State Assembly, will continue to serve as Second Vice Chairman. We’ve been assured that she was not aware of the failure to correctly spell the word “candidate” in this Facebook photo.
Oceanside City Councilman Gary Felien was re-elected to the post of Treasurer. The GOP press release touts his involvement in getting restrictions on the size of campaign contributions lifted in the City of San Diego, calling such regulations “unconstitutionally onerous restrictions on political speech.”
Chula Vistan Derrick Roach was also brought back as Secretary. Roach is the local ‘undercover man’ for the Party, having spent several weeks of his life last year trying to prove that School Board Trustee Sheila Jackson was homeless (and thus not living in her district) after losing her house to foreclosure.
Roach also is (self) credited with bringing about the demise of ACORN, following a dumpster diving episode wherein he recovered documents from that organization that had been thrown away. No prosecutions ensued from his dramatic investigation, no doubt because of the presence of liberals in State government and the news media.
Most importantly, Ron Nehring is returning to the fold as First Vice Chairman after a stint with the Statewide GOP organization. The Party’s successes during the last few years include:
*Democrats controlling all eight statewide executive offices since 2011, for only the second time since the 19th century.
*Democrats having a 28-12 edge in the state Senate, tied for its largest advantage since the 19th century.
*Democrats having a 54-26 edge in the state Assembly, the largest advantage since 1978.
*The largest Democratic majority in California’s Congressional delegation since the 1870’s.
* A NY Times article about the decline of the California GOP that includes the prediction the party will fall to third place –behind ‘decline to state’- in voter registration over the next six years.
*The state GOP organization became so debt-ridden last summer (during an election cycle!) that it was forced to layoff staff and close its offices in Sacramento.
And now for the real capper; the closing quote from the SDGOP press release:
“We have a fantastic leadership team in place for the Republican comeback of 2014,” said Krvaric. “Our statewide candidates in 2014 will need to win by big numbers in San Diego County, and with this team and a first class Republican committee, we’re on our way.”
*NOTE: Although the ‘definition of insanity’ is widely credited to either Albert Einstein or Ben Franklin (and other people) there is no proof that either of them said it.
Michigan’s “Right to Work” Struggle: It Ain’t Over ‘Till It’s Over
There’s a major showdown over so-called right-to-work laws in Michigan. Thousands of union supporters gathered outside the State Capitol building as a lame-duck Republican dominated legislature voted for that State to join the ranks of 23 other states with similar legislation.
For those of you who might think this hubbub is about protecting an individual’s right not to join a union, think again. It’s against Federal law to make union membership mandatory. However, “right-to-work” states take things one step further and say that employees are allowed to benefit from negotiated contracts without paying the “service fee” (not used for political activities) that unions typically collect from non-members covered by the contracts. For a better understanding of what these laws do, I suggest this article from the Washington Post.
What this does is to impact unions financially, weakening them. And, as the right has been advocating since the 1980’s, this is an essential part of a strategy to defund the Democratic party.
President Obama has injected himself into the Michigan fight. From The Hill:
The quick entry into the fight by Obama suggests the White House could be more aggressively involved in the Michigan fight than in a similar battle in Wisconsin in 2011.
It also signaled an alliance between Obama and labor amid fiscal talks in which Obama will be under pressure to offer Republicans entitlement reforms opposed by unions.
“I’ve just got to say this,” Obama said at the Daimler Detroit Diesel plant in Michigan before a small crowd of workers. “What we shouldn’t be doing is trying to take away your rights to bargain for better wages and working conditions. We shouldn’t be doing that.
“You know, these so-called right-to-work laws, they don’t have to do with economics, they have everything to do with politics,” Obama added to applause and cheers from the crowd. “What they’re really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money.”
The Detroit Free Press points out that this legislation didn’t come from some deep seated urge on the part of Republicans to “help’ workers:
The…Koch-funded group, the American Legislative Exchange Council, which promotes a radical right-wing agenda in states across the country, supplying “model legislation” to sympathetic lawmakers.
The organization boasts more than 2,000 legislative members. It also has corporate members, who weigh in on the model legislation before it’s approved by the group’s public-sector committee, the group’s national chairman said in an interview he gave after dozens of pieces of ALEC-written model legislation were leaked last year in a joint project by The Nation and the Center for Media and Democracy.
Michigan‘s proposed right-to-work bills mirror the ALEC language practically word-for-word.
It’s expected that this legislation will pass and be signed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. However, the people in Michigan may yet have the final say. From the Washington Post today:
But NBC’s Michael O’Brien reports that labor operatives believe they may have it on a new procedural way to force a vote on the legislation. If the major unions avail themselves of this option — and if it pans out legally — this means the Dem threats to turn this into an extended all-out war could come to pass.
Republicans have tried to protect the law from going before the voters by attaching an appropriation to it; spending bills can’t be overturned by legislative referendum in Michigan. But union operatives think there is another mechanism by which the law can be challenged. According to one good government group’s analysis of the state constitution, there exists the option of the “statutory initiative,” which would be forced by the collecting of signatures equal to at least eight percent of the votes cast in the last gubernatorial election.
The idea here is this: If such a tactic can force a vote on the “right to work” law, Governor Snyder will be heading into reelection in 2014 up against a heavily energized union base, a ton of money pumped into the state by national unions — even as there’s a major pro-collective bargaining initiative on the ballot. Of course, if this happens, major money from the right will flow into the state, too.
Now, to be clear, the major unions may decide against this route — or it may not work. But if they do opt for it, and if it does work, you could see another extended showdown similar to the ones in Wisconsin and Ohio — still another nationally funded clash over the broader fate of organized labor. Stay tuned.
Some People Really Are More Equal Than Others…
The SD City Beat is up with a story about UT-SD publisher Doug Manchester’s lawless ways. Reporter Dave Maass obtained Federal Communications Commission records detailing an investigation that started with customer complaints about interference with cellular service in Carmel Valley and ended with the eventual shut down of two illegally installed “bi-directional amplifiers”.
According the records, the devices were installed at an office in Manchester’s Grand Del Mar hotel and his nearby personal residence to improve his Verizon reception. Private citizens are supposed to go through a formal process prior to installing cellular signal boosters in part to prevent interference to other customers’ service.
It took several tries, in what turned out to be a ‘cat and mouse game’, to get the equipment turned off according to the SD City Beat report. This latest episode would appear to be part of an ongoing pattern of behavior involving the UT-SD publisher. Money quote:
During the last few years, Manchester has accumulated an impressive record of above-the-law behavior. Voice of San Diegodiscovered that Manchester had ignored the permitting process when he installed an antique-car museum at U-T San Diego’s MissionValley headquarters. The San Diego Reader found that Manchester also installed a helipad at his five-star resort, the Grand Del Mar, without bothering to apply for permits.
Border Patrol Violence Probe Underway
An independent outside research group has been brought in to assist with an ongoing probe of Border Patrol officers’ use of force amid a sharp increase in fatal confrontations along the Southwest border. A Los Angeles Times story this morning says the initiative ‘appears to be the most far-reaching of its kind in recent years’.
Since 2010, 16 people have been killed in fatal confrontations with Border Patrol agents and customs officers, prompting unprecedented levels of scrutiny and criticism from some U.S. Congress members and border activists. Agency guidelines permit agents to fire weapons against people suspected of throwing rocks, a practice that critics consider excessive.
In San Diego, protests erupted over the 2010 death of a man who suffered a fatal heart attack after being Tasered in a scuffle. About half of the fatal incidents in recent years involved rock throwers. In most cases the agents involved were cleared of wrongdoing.
Crewshaw Announces for 4th District Council Race
The race for soon-to-be-departed District Councilman Tony Young’s seat is shaping up as Dwayne Crenshaw (responding to a “Run, Dwayne, Run” Facebook page) has announced for the District 4 race.
He current serves as Executive Director of San Diego Pride, and has an impressive pedigree of community involvement, including 5 years at the Coalition of Neighborhood Councils. He is a life long resident of District 4.
Other steps along his road of public service include 4 years with the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, and time spent in Sacramento as an aide to both California Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante and Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell.
So he’s got a nice resume. We’re waiting to see what he stands for. Visit his web site here.
On This Day: 1792 – France’s King Louis XVI went before the Convention, which had replaced the National Assembly, to face charges of treason. He was convicted and condemned and was sent to the guillotine the following January. 1972 – James Brown was arrested after a show in Knoxville, TN, and charged with “disorderly conduct” after being accused of trying to incite a riot. The charges were dropped when Brown threatens to sue for $1 million. 1980 – President Jimmy Carter signed into law legislation creating $1.6 billion environmental “superfund” that would be used to pay for cleaning up chemical spills and toxic waste dumps.
Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to “The Starting Line” and get an email every time a new article in this series is posted!
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 – 6:00 pm , Mira Mesa (Mira Mesa High School 10510 Reagan Rd.) 3–7 pm, Morena District (1240 West Morena Blvd.) 3 – 7 pm, Otay Ranch – Chula Vista (2015 Birch Rd. and Eastlake Blvd.) 4 –8 pm, Pacific Beach (Bayard & Garnet) 2 – 6:30pm, UCSD/La Jolla (UCSD Campus, Town Square at Gilman/Meyers) 10 am – 2 pm (Sept. 25 through mid-June; closed for winter, spring and summer breaks)
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 toDougPorter@