By Doug Porter
Long simmering tensions between Republican Party stalwarts and their Tea Party allies have emerged from the backrooms of politics over the last few days. The announcement that Karl Rove’s new group, the Conservative Victory Project, aims to weed out ‘unelectable’ candidates has the Tea Party set in a frenzy.
Jonathan Collegio, spokesman for the Victory Project, claims that the new group won’t pick its opponents according to ideology — rather, electability. The Tea Party types aren’t buying it, and a coalition of conservative leaders is demanding the new organization fire Collegio, for calling Brent Bozell, a pundit who runs the conservative Media Research Center, a “hater” in a recent radio interview.
The coalition includes Phyllis Schlafly, Tony Perkins, Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin, Manuel Miranda and Richard Viguerie — all big names in the conservative ‘grassroots’ world. A letter attacking Rove/Collegio, signed by the aforementioned names and a score of other big names, brought the dispute out in the open, saying, “You obviously mean to have a war with conservatives and the Tea Party. Let it start here.”
From the New York Times:
…the Republican acrimony has consumed conservative talk radio, cable television and blogs for much of the week. Mr. Rove has taken a thrashing, particularly from the radio host Mark Levin, who suggested that Mr. Rove and his allies needed “a hard, swift kick” off the public stage.
David N. Bossie, president of the conservative group Citizens United, wrote a piece on the Big Government Web site that declared, “The Civil War Has Begun.”
“This battle will be a long, hard slog against the establishment,” Mr. Bossie wrote, comparing the party’s conflict to the Battles ofLexington and Concord.
One pundit thinks the ultimate loser is this battle may be Karl Rove. Howard Fineman:
Tea Partiers rightly ask what Rove and his rich-as-Croesus American Crossroads super PAC have gotten for conservatives or even the GOP. Rove is a master tactician, but not necessarily a great judge of political horseflesh. His taste tends to run to rich guys who can pay him a lot — which worked out well only in the case of W., and then only by skin of Justice Antonin Scalia’s (“get over it”) teeth.
Now come the likes of senators such as Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky to challenge him: smart, angry and anti-establishment conservatives who loath the country club types and who want to remake the Republican Party in their own uncompromisingly isolationist, anti-governmental, anti-social-welfare and anti-tax image.
Deep-dyed conservatives have a right to ask the Roves of the world what the establishment GOPers have done to erase the debt, limit the reach of the federal government or enhance a libertarian view of the world. The answer, to the Rand Pauls of the world, is simple: nothing.
Democrats would do well not to get too smug about this battle, but in the short run it may provide some much needed entertainment. But if they get lucky, GOP activists may get discouraged as they find themselves targeted by the same kind of invective the Tea Party has used against its real and imagined enemies in recent years.
Here’s David Plouffe, former campaign manager and political adviser for President Obama, Tweeting earlier today:
“Grab the popcorn, pop a beer, sit back and enjoy this goat rodeo,”
Will the Last Millionaire Leaving California Please Turn Out the Lights?
It’s amazing to watch a GOP meme unfold. California’s anti-tax set, embittered by voter approval of initiatives raising taxes in the most recent election, have been beating the drum long and hard with their messages of doom and gloom for the future of the State’s economy.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry takes a few moments out from lolling about his vacation home here in San Diego to entice new business for Texas and is rewarded with a front page story in the local paper, followed by an editorial.
The Lone Star state spends $25,000 in radio advertising (a “fart”, as Gov Brown called it) and sets off a media frenzy. From the New York Times:
“Are you looking to leave California because of the recent tax increase?” a CNN Money correspondent posted online in an inquiry this week. “You could be profiled in an upcoming story.”
I’m sure they’ll find somebody, what with 167,000 businesses starting up in California in the recent past.
UPDATE: City Councilman David Alvarez is Tweeting that UT-SD John Lynch is out and about in public making the claim that everybody’s leaving California. Thanks to @brantwill for pointing out the most excellent story in New York Magazine refuting these claims.
Issa Zones Out for the Gipper
Yesterday (Feb. 6) would have been former President Ronald Reagan’s 102nd birthday, and Congressman Darrell Issa honored the occasion by introducing legislation that would name 3.4 million square nautical miles of ocean after the Gipper.
Issa’s bill would rename the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which generally extends from three miles to 200 miles offshore, as the Ronald Wilson Reagan Exclusive Economic Zone. This area, spanning more than 13,000 miles of coastline and containing 3.4 million square nautical miles of ocean is larger than the combined land area of all 50 states and includes waters off other areas such as Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands.
President Reagan established the EEZ with a 1983 presidential proclamation that declared the nation’s sovereign rights for exploring, exploiting and conserving offshore resources, including energy. (h/t The Hill)
Think Gun Control Legislation is Dead in the Water?
California’s Barbara Boxer will be part of a bi-partisan group of seven US Senators unveiling legislation today to expand access to mental health facilities and raise standards for mental health services. They’ll feature David O. Russell, the director of “Silver Linings Playbook,” a film whose protagonist struggles with bipolar disorder at a press event announcing the legislation. From Buzzfeed:
Specifically, the measure would require that existing community mental health centers be updated and new ones be built, and set guidelines for what services should be covered by community behavioral health centers.
By addressing gun control only tangentially, the measure falls approximately on the opposite end of the spectrum from the assault weapons ban being pushed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, which has been panned by Republicans and which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has not yet explicitly backed.
Of course any legislation of this sort will require funding. And you can just about bet the farm House Republicans will let it die in committee after offering to fund it by cutting Social Security benefits.
San Onofre Scandal Unfolds
California Senator Barbara Boxer is also in the news today after releasing a leaked report from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries – maker of the failed steam generators at San Onofre – indicating they knew there were problems prior to installing the system. From the Los Angeles Times:
Boxer and U.S. Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) wrote to Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane on Wednesday and said the Mitsubishi report “indicates that Southern California Edison (SCE) and MHI were aware of serious problems with the design of San Onofre nuclear power plant’s replacement steam generators before they were installed” and “rejected enhanced safety modifications and avoided triggering a more rigorous license amendment and safety review process.”
According to their letter, the Mitsubishi report indicated that some safety modifications were rejected because they carried “unacceptable consequences,” and that the rejection of those safety modifications contributed to the plant’s issues.
The plant has been shut down for just over a year because of unusual degradation of steam generator tubes carrying radioactive water. The steam generators were replaced in 2010 and 2011 in a bid to extend the life of the plant.
The “unacceptable consequences” referenced in the report were apparently the prospect of a review by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission of design changes in the new steam generators. ‘Public safety be dammed’ was seemingly the order of the day.
Mayor Filner to Speak at XL Keystone Pipeline Protest Rally
Local environmentalists led by SanDiego350.org are planning a rally for Sunday, February 17th to join with the Sierra Club (and other groups) in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other cities around the country in support of a Washington DC protest of the XL Keystone Pipeline.
Different environmental groups, citizens, and politicians have raised concerns about the potential impacts of the Keystone XL project, which will transport oil extracted from Canadian Tar sands to the US. The Wikipedia entry on the project quotes a New York Times editorial in summarizing opposition to the pipeline:
“We have two main concerns: the risk of oil spills along the pipeline, which would traverse highly sensitive terrain, and the fact that the extraction of petroleum from the tar sands creates far more greenhouse emissions than conventional production does.
The protest is slated for 1pm at the Mission Bay Park Visitors Center (2688 E Mission Bay Drive, San Diego, CA 92109)
Speakers include San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, Prof Jeffrey Severinghaus, Sierra Club San Diego Chair and former Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, Palomar Unitarian Minister Rev. Dr. Beth Johnson, and Green business owner/veteran Elizabeth Perez-Halperin.
Local groups supporting this action include: SanDiego350.org, Citizens Climate Lobby, Sierra Club San Diego, Environmental Health Coalition, Women Occupy San Diego, Greenpeace, ANSWER San Diego, C2 Agriculture, Cleveland National Forest Foundation, Idle No More, Peace Resource Center, San Diego Energy District, Solana Energy, Sustainability Alliance of Soutern California, The 1:1 Movement, US Green Chamber of Commerce, WiLDCOAST.
More info & RSVP: http://sandiego350.org/
Rose Creek Fest to Restore Mission Bay Wetlands
This weekend’s inaugural Rose Creek Fest participants a rare chance to help restore the Mission Bay marshes located near the mouth of Rose Creek. As the last remaining original wetlands in Mission Bay Park, this marsh reserve is normally closed to the public to protect the sensitive habitat for wildlife. Because its location near the base of a highly urbanized creek system and the Bay’s circulation, the marsh accumulates large amounts of trash and non-native plants.
The inaugural Rose Creek Fest in San Diego’s Mission Bay Park is happening this Saturday, February 9th from 10:30am to 3:30pm at Campland on the Bay (2211 Pacific Beach Drive). Sponsored by San Diego EarthWorks (the producers of the San Diego Earth Day Fair) with partners Friends of Rose Creek and Campland on the Bay, this free event will have music, entertainment, barbeque, art, activities and displays.
“It’s critical that we protect and preserve this valuable wetland,” said Isabelle Kay, manager of the University of California’s Kendall-Frost Marsh Reserve, part of the Mission Bay Marsh, together with the City of San Diego’s Northern Wildlife Preserve. “The Mission Bay Marshes are home to many of San Diego’s sensitive bird species, including the endangered Light-footed clapper rail.”
Kay is organizing the seventh annual “Love Your Wetlands Day” with Friends of Mission Bay Marshes to gather volunteers to help restore the marsh. This is a unique opportunity for San Diegans who care about protecting their local wetlands to experience an up-close and personal view. This year, the service event will occur during Rose Creek Fest from noon – 2:00 PM on February 9, with check-in at Campland’s Dogwood Park beginning at 11:30 AM.
Volunteers who are at least 8 years old and don’t want to get too muddy can collect trash along the edge of the marsh. More adventurous folks who are at least 12 years old and willing to brave the tidal mudflats will be asked to trek into the marsh to look for and remove non-native mangrove plants. Kay, who said volunteers should “expect to get dirty,” will provide gloves and trash collection supplies. All volunteers should wear closed-toed shoes and minors must be accompanied by their parents or guardians. Pre-registration is not necessary and more information is available at www.earthdayweb.org/RCF/
This project is part of a comprehensive effort to enhance the Rose Creek Watershed, which includes both Rose and San Clemente canyons and drains into De Anza Cove at the north end of Mission Bay. This visionary planning approach guides projects that are restoring native habitat, improving stream flows, and educating local youth so that future generations of San Diegans can enjoy the watershed’s natural beauty, biological diversity, and recreational opportunities. You can learn more about this project at www.rosecreekwatershed.org.
On This Day: 1962 – The government banned all Cuban imports and re-export of U.S. products to Cuba from other countries. 1964 – The Beatles arrived in New York to begin their first U.S. tour. 2000 – California’s legislature declared that February 13 would be “Charles M. Schulz Day.”
Eat Fresh! Today’s Farmer’s Markets: Carmel Valley (Canyon Crest Academy 5951 Village Center Loop Road) 3:30 – 7:00 pm, Chula Vista(Downtown, Center St. & Third Ave.) 3 –7 pm, Linda Vista (6900 Linda Vista Road Between Comstock & Ulric) 2 – 7 pm, North Park (CVSPharmacy parking lot 3151 University & 32nd St.) 3 – 7 pm, Oceanside Market & Faire (Pier View Way & Coast Hwy. 101) 9 am – 1 pm,Oceanside Sunset (Tremont & Pier View Way) 5 –9 pm, San Carlos (Pershing Middle School 8204 San Carlos Drive) 4 – 7 pm, SDSU Farmers’ Market (Campanile Walkway btw Hepner Hall & Love Library) 10 – 3 pm, University Town Center (Genesee Ave. at UTC Westfield Shopping Plaza) 3 – 7 pm.
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