By Doug Porter
I expect it won’t be too long before a campaign to recall Mayor Bob Filner is launched, given the way the UT-San Diego is poised to pounce on every action regardless of significance taken by hizzoner. And the interview posted by Voice of San Diego with SDUSD’s CFO ‘Data” Dobbs is now grist for an editorial in the Daily Fishwrap blasting a “scandal’ with the school board.
Today’s front page ‘gotcha’ story on Filner concerns a story attributed to the Mayor about the impact of the managed competition (approved by voters in 2006) process on the city’s fleet services. It’s a tangled up story dating back to October 2011 when City workers won out over two private companies seeking handle maintenance for municipal vehicles. (And it’s also a story about just how complicated the process of outsourcing -or not- government services can be.)
Final implementation of all the terms of that deal has been held up due to “pending procurements for outsourced services that were part of employee proposal”, according to a report made to the City Council back in November by outgoing Mayor Jerry Sanders.
Reductions in staff through attrition (and also because of City hiring freeze) have already been made in anticipation of implementing the managed competition proposal, which calls for eliminating 80 positions in the department.
Mayor Filner halted all implementation on managed competition upon taking office December 3rd, and called for City Auditor Eduardo Luna to undertake a performance audit of the awarded contract for vehicle upkeep before (Mayor’s words) it’s implemented because of concerns about public safety and the promised savings. The UT is up in arms over this, since ‘managed competition’ is one of the buzzwords of the right’s campaign to drown government in a bath tub.
UPDATE: Mayor Filner issued a memo late yesterday telling the acting COO to move forward on implementing managed comp in four areas: street sweeping, landfill operations, fleet services and street/sidewalk maintenance. What will the UT complain about now?
Now the UT-San Diego is all “watchdoggy” on the Mayor, saying that his characterization of the contract as already being implemented is untrue. The contract may not have been officially in place, but its effects–as City workers told Filner—were already obvious.
But never mind the details; the UT-San Diego says the Mayor is a liar. Mssrs. Lynch and Manchester have probably already sent out for the rope to hang him with.
But Wait! There’s More!
Today’s editorial page in Lynchesterland contains a scathing attack on the San Diego Unified School District, based on the interview with SDUSD’s CFO posted by Voice of San Diego last Friday.
He may not have known any of the hard facts (teacher’s actual average pay, etc), but to hear it from UT-San Diego, Stanley Dobbs got just about everything else right.
A dispute over bookkeeping with Federal funds for school lunches has spilled over into a state Senate report that makes the claim that monies in school districts all over California were improperly used for custodial and utility costs. This use of the Feds monies was no secret; it was openly discussed by school officials here in San Diego as they sought to make improvements to local lunch programs.
Mind you, the USDA (where the dollars originate) has yet to weigh in on this matter. But at the UT, it’s already a MAJOR SCANDAL. And there is a litany of other ‘crimes’ (according to the editorial) that the District is also guilty of. Mostly they’re guilty of being Democrats, and the bitters in the boardroom over in Mission Valley are determined to undo the will of the voters.
As I predicted last week, the unfiltered version of the Voice of San Diego interview will live on way past any subsequent ‘fact checks’ the crew over there publishes.
Finally, as I always have to say when referring to the SDUSD Board of Trustees, I have a kid in the school system. Nobody needs to tell me it’s messed up. I’m just not willing to join with a bunch of right wingers (whose ultimate interest in public education is debatable) to fix the problems.
Bridgepoint-Backed Congresswoman Compares Regulation of For Profit Colleges to the Holocaust
Appearing before the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities on Tuesday, Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, the North Carolina Republican who leads the subcommittee on higher education, used a Holocaust reference to suggest that private college leaders should have stood up to the Obama administration’s regulation of for-profit colleges.
Her declaration, an adaptation of the famous statement from the German theologian Martin Niemöller on Germans who ignored Nazi persecution (“First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out because I was not a communist.”), was made as private college leaders expressed concerns that the Education Department and Congress would apply their regulatory approach to for-profit colleges to all of higher education, including private nonprofit colleges.
Congresswoman Foxx has used her committee assignment as an effective fundraising tool, accumulating over $61,000 in donations during the 2011-2012 cycle from educational institution and individuals employed by those concerns. San Diego based Bridgepoint Education donated to her campaign $9000 in the latest election cycle, according to OpenSecrets.org..
This isn’t the first time Foxx has attracted media attention for controversial statements.
During the 2009 House of Representatives debates on expansion of hate crimes legislation, she took the floor and claimed that those who said Matthew Shepard was murdered in Wyoming for being gay were perpetrating a “hoax” on the American people.
For those of you who may have forgotten about Shepard, here’s the background, courtesy of Huffington Post:
The New York Times reported in 1998: “According to the local police and prosecutors, the two men lured Mr. Shepard out of a bar by saying they were gay. Then, the Laramie police say, the pair kidnapped Mr. Shepard, pistol-whipped him with a .357 Magnum, and left him tied to a ranch fence for 18 hours until a passing bicyclist spotted Mr. Shepard, who was unconscious.”
Shepard’s mother happened to be in the Congressional gallery when Rep. Foxx made her speech.
Organized Labor Joins the Immigration Fight
The national AFL-CIO announced yesterday that they’re in it to win it on immigration issues, with a national campaign similar to the one used to support health care reform just a few years back.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told reporters via telephone that comprehensive immigration reform with a road map to citizenship is essential to all of America’s workers.
“We’re here today because we believe in a nation that values people’s work, their communities and their families,” Trumka said. “We believe that in order to create shared prosperity and a voice for all, we must address our immigration process. This is a top priority for America’s unions because a roadmap to citizenship for those who are American in every way except on paper is critical for all working people. Workers without the protections of citizenship are subject to enormous abuse by employers. That’s why the labor movement has been working with day laborers and domestic workers for years. We understand that solidarity means standing together with predominantly immigrant workforces to improve wages and workplace safety.”
The campaign will encompass events in 14 cities across the country. The first event took place yesterday in Raleigh, N.C. Up next is an event in Las Vegas on Tuesday where more than a thousand working people will rally for immigration reform.
House Republican Expects Path to Citizenship to Be Blocked
Breaking with the expectations of both the Obama administration and Senate Republicans, Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-ID) told NPR on Tuesday that House Republicans will not support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Rep. Labrador, a tea party star and former immigration lawyer, has a proposal up for consideration in the House whereby undocumented immigrants would receive a visa that allows them to live, work and travel in and out of the United States, but without the right to vote or become a green card holder or citizen.
“If they want a political victory they’re going to draw a fine red line and they’re going to say, either a pathway to citizenship or nothing else,” the Idaho Congressman told NPR. “They know that the Republicans in the House are not going to be able to vote for that, and then they’re going to be able to beat us over the head in 2014, and say, look, the Republicans don’t like immigrants. Which is not true.”
“This is not about politics,” he said. “In fact, as Republicans we need to understand that we’re not going to get any benefit from fixing the immigration system. I think the Democrats at this point, because you have the president who’s in power, are going to get all the accolades. We just need to do this because it’s the right thing to do.”
State Legislators Agog Over Gun Control
Law enforcement officials stood with law makers yesterday for a Sacramento press conference touting various legislative proposals to restrict gun use and ownership in California. Mayors from San Francisco and Los Angeles listened in as Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus played a recording of dozens and dozens of gunshots fired in rapid succession over just a few seconds late at night that were picked up by the city’s gunfire recording system soon after it was put in place. From the San Francisco Chronicle:
The magnitude of restrictions introduced by Democrats is greater than gun-rights advocates say they have ever seen at one time and puts the debate in California in the forefront, even as Congress considers a number of gun laws. The drive for tougher regulations inCalifornia also highlights the relative weakness of the gun lobby and gun manufacturers in the state.
Restrictions would include a ban on possession of all high-capacity magazines. Such magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition and that were purchased before the state banned them in 2000 are currently legal.
Also, lawmakers proposed a ban on the sale of any long gun with a detachable magazine, classifying such guns as assault weapons.
Dining Out for Life Businesses Support HIV/AIDS Services
For the past six years local businesses who participate in Dining Out for Life® San Diego have generously donated a minimum of 25 percent of their food and liquor sales from that day to support HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs at The San Diego LGBT Community Center.
This year over fifty businesses have already signed up for the April 25th event, according to a story in the LGBTWeekly.
Some businesses are raising the bar this year. Barrio Star, Wang’s North Park, Mariposa Ice Cream and Gang Kitchen have pledged to contribute 50 percent to support HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs at The Center. Adams Avenue Grill has announced it will contribute 50 percent of its proceeds, and will extend its participation beyond through Sunday, April 28. And Burger Lounge – Hillcrest has made the extraordinary commitment to donate 100 percent of its sales that day.
There is still time for interested businesses to register for this year’s Dining Out for Life® San Diego. Early registration is encouraged so that restaurants can appear on promotional materials. Forms and information are available by contacting Johnson directly email@example.com or 619-692-2077, ext. 247.
Ray at Night Celebrates the Arts in North Park
Ray at Night, San Diego’s largest and longest-running monthly art walk, is held on the second Saturday (that’s this weekend!) of every month from 6-10pm. Come on down to San Diego’s ‘hipster neighborhood’ and enjoy works by local and nationally known artists displaying their work among 15 galleries and business venues. There’s live music and a chance to mingle with a very interesting crowd while you admire some very cool art.
6:00pm-7:30pm Poetry Reading
7:30pm – 10:00pm Music by Smokey Hoof
Cirello Gallery | 3803 Ray Street
Featured Artist: Gail Balga | February 9th – March 2nd
obr Architecture | 3817 Ray Street
Exhibition: “Teaching Artist Institute Group Show” | February 9th – March 8th
Protea Gallery | 3780 30th Street
Exhibition: “Textscapes” Joyce Dallal | February 1st – March 9th
Ray Street Custom Framing | 3807 Ray Street
Exhibition: “Butterfly Florals” Daphne Hill and Anna Stump | February 8th – April 3rd
San Diego Art Department | 3830 Ray Street
Exhibition: “Hand Pulled Prints” Igor Koupsenko |Featured Artist: Jeanette Piranio January 18th – February 9th
Tonight! Benefit for National Anti-Drone Days of Action
Join the Peace Resource Center and Drone Diego for a Spaghetti Dinner in support of the National Anti-Drone Days of Action slated for April 4-7, 2013 right here in San Diego. Dinner will be prepared by Judy the Beauty on Duty at the Big Kitchen, 3003 Grape St., San Diego, tonight, February 8, 2013, 6-8pm. The meal includes spaghetti, salad, garlic bread, tea or lemonade and a brownie for dessert, all for just $10. For more information go here.
On This Day: 1973 – U.S. Senate leaders named seven members of a select committee to investigate the Watergate scandal. 1993 – General Motors sued NBC, alleging that “Dateline NBC” had rigged two car-truck crashes to show that some GM pickups were prone to fires after certain types of crashes. The suit was settled the following day by NBC. 2010 – MTV dropped the “Music Television” moniker from its logo.
Eat Fresh! Today’s Farmers’ Markets: Fallbrook (102 S. Main, at Alvarado) 10 am – 2 pm, Imperial Beach (Seacoast Dr. at Pier Plaza) 2 – 7:30 pm, Kearny Mesa (No. Island Credit Union pkg lot 5898 Copley) 10:30 am – 1:30 pm, La Mesa Village (Corner of Spring St. and University) 2 – 6 pm, Rancho Bernardo (Bernardo Winery parking lot 13330 Paseo del Verano Norte) 9 am – noon, Southeast San Diego(4981 Market St. West of Euclid Ave. Trolley Station) 2 – 6 pm
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Frances O'Neill Zimmerman says
I appreciate Doug Porter’s reminding us of that deeply shocking and terrible death in 1998 of young gay Matthew Shepard. For me, that murder was the LGBT equivalent of the Newtown massacre — an epiphany about the importance of extending the rules of law to protect vulnerable people. It’s been 15 years since that tragedy, and I do think we have made some progress.
micaela shafer porte says
as John Adams said, “facts are stubborn things,”
they reveal themselves with the tide, like rocks under the sand….
“semper vigilans” ( latin for : always vigilant)
motto on the seal of San Diego and Pacific Beach
so, let’s all watch out…
for our neighbors, for our environment, for our rights…
Dorothy Lee says
Re: Lynchsterland and ut’sVoiceEcholand, – good analysis, Doug. As for ” the unfiltered version[s] will live on way past any subsequent ‘fact checks’ the crew over there publishes,” you got that right. And the so-called fact checking will consist of a load of disjointed, oblique deductions of what was sort of meant, or could’ve been meant, or something that makes it all sort of trueish, anyway, dude. If some fact-checking were done over there prior to publication, it might be all a bit interesting. Oh well. It’s not and it isn’t…
John Lawrence says
It’s very promising that California might soon lead the nation on gun control. With a Democratic Governor and Democrats controlling both the state House and Senate, there’s no reason why they can’t get some gun control measures with teeth in them passed. There’s no equivalent to the filibuster at the state level is there? Then things can really happen here. Case in point: CA is leading the nation in global warming prevention with the only cap-and-trade law as of January 1, 2013.