By Doug Porter
Texas Gov. Rick Perry quietly came to San Diego last week to lure biotech companies seeking to escape from higher income taxes under Proposition 30 to the Lone Star State.
Further down in the article we learn via Duane Roth, CEO of Connect, a San Diego-based non-profit that promotes technology entrepreneurship, the Texas Governor (currently sinking badly with 31% support in the polls) has a vacation home here:
He’s going to spend time trying to recruit industry to locate or expand in his state. We (California) are of course the No. 1 target, because we’re so innovative and come up with these new ideas. Also, our business-friendly score versus Texas would not be high. On the other hand, I don’t think it’s been very successful.”
However, Texas lacks the California culture that creates the biotech companies Perry wants, Roth said.
“When you talk to people who’ve been in both places, (they say) the culture here and in Silicon Valley is far different from Texas. The ability to do the things we do here, because of the talent pool and because of the infrastructure, is still the best in the world.”
The key word here is “infrastructure”, and guess how that’s paid for? If you guessed “taxes”, give yourself a pat on the back.
While I wouldn’t go so far as to say there are no negatives about California, at least we don’t have schools being required to use text books that whitewash the McCarthy era and fail to mention the slave trade. Here’s another side of the story, from Daily Kos:
California contributed more than 15 percent of the nation’s new jobs between October 2011 and October 2012 – adding more jobs in 12 months than Texas and the rest of the other top-10 fastest-growing states combined – while home building is bouncing back and demand for houses is increasing. The end-of-2012 results were even more impressive.
Of the 171,000 new jobs the entire U.S. added in October, 27 percent were in California. And since the beginning of the year, Californiahas added nearly 300,000 jobs, outperforming Texas by a decent margin and outpacing New York by more than 2 to 1.
Conservatives have made hay of reports of California companies leaving the state. And it’s true! Some have—254 in 2011, to be exact. Conservative media had a field day with that little stat. On the other hand, 132,000 new businesses were created that same year—second highest per capita in the nation, tied with Texas, and behind only Arizona. And that was California‘s down year.
National Advertiser Drops Hedgecock Ads
San Diego’s wanna-be version of Rush Limbaugh is getting a taste of what conscious consumers are telling radio advertisers about not supporting ignorant invective over the airwaves. Ancestry.com has announced that it’s dropping its sponsorship of the Roger Hedgecock radio show. (Some previously purchased spots may appear, but no more will be purchased, according to the company)
I can’t help but wonder whether your company is fully aware of the kind of commentary you are supporting with your advertising on the Roger Hedgecock radio talk show program. Certainly, Mr. Hedgecock has the right to air his opinions, but are these opinions that you want to associate with your company?
He seems to spew venomous comments at the worst possible times. He blamed the Newtown shooting of twenty children on “liberals” and “political correctness.” He compares President Obama to Hitler, and claims that Obama wants terrorists to win. Here are a few samples:
In my working life, I was responsible for the advertising for a large telecommunications company; I realize that any specific programs may be part of a large media buy designed to reach specific audience at a desired frequency. Even within a large corporation, however, we had standards for the types of programming that were allowed, to ensure that our brand did not suffer from pornography or extreme violence.
Is your company aware of these statements? Are you willing to have your company be associated with these statements?
Thanks for your consideration
Hundreds of national and thousands of local companies have dropped advertising on the Rush Limbaugh show in response to campaigns letting them know that his show is an inappropriate place for their commercials. You can see a pretty amazing Pinterest page here depicting the big companies that have pledged to put their money elsewhere.
There’s no reason why the same sort of campaign won’t be effective against Hedgecock. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to help.
Support for GMO Food Labeling Advances; Corporations Considering Support for National Program
The New York Times is up with a story today that indicates the major food companies have seen the handwriting on the wall and are now considering support for a national program for labeling foods incorporating genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Corporate food concerns spent $45.6 million in California in 2012 to defeat a labeling initiative requiring labeling of GMO foods. Although labeling advocates were outspent 6-1 by a consortium of companies including Monsanto, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., PepsiCo, Kraft Foods Global, Nestlé USA, ConAgra Foods, General Mills and Dean Foods, the California Proposition 37 campaign spawned nationwide interest in the issue.
The use of GMOs, which are created when DNA from one species is injected into another, has become widespread in recent years. Experts have calculated that about 85 percent of the soybeans, corn, sugar beets and canola are grown from GMO seeds in the US. Mostly (90%) these modifications have to do with allowing crops to be resistant to direct applications of Monsanto Roundup weed killer.
Although studies have thus far concluded that the consumption of genetically engineered food is safe, many experts believe there to be a link between GMOs and certain health conditions such as diabetes, obesity and autoimmune disorders. In addition, GE farming poses special risks for organic farmers who choose to raise crops free of synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. Organic farms can be contaminated by nearby GE farms through wind drift and insect pollination.
From the Times:
With Washington State on the verge of a ballot initiative that would require labeling of some foods containing genetically engineered ingredients and other states considering similar measures, some of the major food companies and Wal-Mart, the country’s largest grocery store operator, have been discussing lobbying for a national labeling program.
Executives from PepsiCo, ConAgra and about 20 other major food companies, as well as Wal-Mart and advocacy groups that favor labeling, attended a meeting in January in Washington convened by the Meridian Institute, which organizes discussions of major issues. The inclusion of Wal-Mart has buoyed hopes among labeling advocates that the big food companies will shift away from tactics like those used to defeat Proposition 37 in California last fall, when corporations spent more than $40 million to oppose the labeling of genetically modified foods.
“They spent an awful lot of money in California — talk about a lack of return on investment,” said Gary Hirshberg, co-chairman of the Just Label It campaign, which advocates national labeling, and chairman of Stonyfield, an organic dairy company.
Instead of quelling the demand for labeling, the defeat of the California measure has spawned a ballot initiative in Washington Stateand legislative proposals in Connecticut, Vermont, New Mexico and Missouri, and a swelling consumer boycott of some organic or “natural” brands owned by major food companies.
The California Right to Know campaign says it will be back in 2014 with another ballot initiative for labeling genetically engineered foods. They may have lost in 2012, but their efforts have turned a relatively unknown issue into a mainstream public debate.
It has taken a few days for opponents to rally their forces and muster what they hope are reasonable sounding arguments, but the anti-immigration reform types are now striking back against a wave of public support. From today’s Washington Post:
Rising tensions over whether to give illegal immigrants a chance to pursue full citizenship could ruin what President Obama and congressional leaders agree is a pivotal moment in resolving long-simmering problems in the country’s immigration system.
Immigrant advocates and their Democratic allies insist that now, at long last, is their time. After various failed proposals over the past decade, they finally feel they have the leverage to accept nothing less than a path to full citizenship for the millions of people living illegally in the country.
But although Republican leaders are newly interested in a compromise on immigration, many in the party say that allowing undocumented immigrants to live here legally is enough and that a push for citizenship would face fierce, and possibly insurmountable, opposition from conservatives.
The more ‘reasonable’ opponents are focusing on what they say is insufficient border enforcement. Columnist Charles Krauthammer:
The current Senate proposal must be improved, either in the Senate or by the House. It’s not complicated. Build the damn fence. And give “probationary legal status” to the 11 million — not on the day the bill is signed but on the day the fence is completed. Have the president drive in the golden fence post at Promontory Point II and sign the amnesty right there. Great photo op.
Despite the fact that border security measures have already met or exceeded the standards demanded by immigration foes with the failed 2007 reform legislation, now it’s not enough. It’s the typical conservative crap of moving the bar rather than admitting changes have been made.
Deportations have increased by 25% since 2007, with nearly 410,000 people being sent back in 2012. Last year, the government spent $18 billion on immigration control, 24% more than all other federal law enforcement agencies combined, according to a recent study by the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute.
The number of people apprehended at the Mexican border trying to enter the United States has dropped to 340,000, a 40-year low, in 2011. Immigration advocates point to the decline as proof that the heavy investment in border agents and surveillance technology has effectively deterred foreign nationals from attempting to cross.
Customs and immigration officials refer more cases for prosecution than all Justice Department law enforcement agencies combined, and more than half of all federal court criminal prosecutions are brought for immigration-related crimes.
And just in case, the rational arguments fail the reactionary crowd, there’s always the racist approach. From Huffington Post:
Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh lashed out at Mexican immigrants Wednesday in a radio rant that portrayed them as lazy and government-dependent — the latest in a series of anti-Mexican statements spouted off by far-right conservatives angered by the possibility of a deal to pass a bipartisan immigration reform.
Limbaugh, who pundits for a living, described Mexican immigrants as lazy and government-dependent, though they are well known for working labor-intensive jobs for lower wages, fewer protections and less government benefits than the native born.
In fact, Latinos as a whole use less than their fair share of government benefits. According to a study released last year by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:
Non-Hispanic whites accounted for 64 percent of the population in 2010 and received 69 percent of the entitlement benefits. In contrast, Hispanics made up 16 percent of the population but received 12 percent of the benefits, less than their proportionate share — likely because they are a younger population and also because immigrants, including many legal immigrants, are ineligible for various benefits.
The San Francisco 49ers: It Gets Worse
Sunday’s Superbowl coverage features a mind blowing 11½ hours of pre-game crapola, starting at 4am San Diego time. That’s more football hype than even I can stand. I haven’t made up my mind yet who to root for: both teams are deserving.
But this news is pretty discouraging. Via Outsports.com:
The San Francisco 49ers were the first (and only) NFL team to create an It Gets Better video. Now the It Gets Better project has removed the video from their site because two of the video’s participants claim they never appeared in the video.
Nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga and linebacker Ahmad Brooks both clearly appear in the video. But when approached by USA Today, the players denied their participation.
“I didn’t make any video,” Brooks said. “This is America and if someone wants to be gay, they can be gay. It’s their right. But I didn’t make any video.”
When the players were shown the video — with them in it — it got a little weird.
“Oh, that. It was an anti-bullying video, not a gay (rights) video,” he said.
When told that studies show that the majority of teens who are bullied are harassed over sexual identity issues, Brooks thought for a second.
“I know that. I know that,” he said. “Okay, you’re right and I’m wrong. Are you from one of those New York newspapers?”
On This Day: 1960 – Four black college students began a sit-in protest at a lunch counter in Greensboro, NC. They had been refused service.1964 – The governor of Indiana declared that the song “Louie Louie” by the Kingsmen was pornographic. He requested that the state’s radio stations not play the song. 2003 – NASA’s space shuttle Columbia exploded while re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere. All seven astronauts on board were killed.
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
Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to “The Starting Line” and get an email every time a new article in this series is posted!
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@