By Doug Porter
Local environmental advocacy groups are bravely planning a public protest where protests rarely go: Coronado.
The American Petroleum Industry (API), the largest advocacy and lobbying group for the oil and gas industry, just happens to holding its 2013 Pipeline Conference at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort. API is made up of nearly 400 members, including ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Dow Chemical Company, Halliburton, and Shell Oil. These companies provide funding for API, which in turn champions the industry’s interests in the government and through public outreach
Led by SanDiego350.org, with the support of Women Occupy San Diego, Tar Sands Action – Southern California, and the Sierra Club San Diego, local activists are readying to denounce API for ‘being the climate misinformation machine of the carbon industry and for migrating the science of climate change into a divisive, political conflict.’
The rally is planned for Wednesday, April 17, 11:45am – 12:30pm at the iuntersection of Silver Strand Blvd and Coronado Bay Rd. Speakers will include: Eve Simmons (SanDiego350.org and Citizens Climate Lobby), Martha Sullivan (Women Occupy San Diego), Jean Costa (Sierra Club San Diego), and Hugh Moore (Green Party of San Diego County). From their announcement:
Outside the API event, protesters will call on President Obama to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would carry Canadian tar sands through the US for refining on the Texas coast and to take action to fight climate change. Leading climatologists believe the exploitation of tar sands and our relentless release of CO2 will tip our planet’s temperature into a catastrophic nightmare, and unless action is taken now, they say the damage will be irreversible. Protesters will also draw attention to the recent tar sands spill inArkansas, and the surprising revelation that tar sands are already being brought by train to Los Angeles for refining. Over five hundred San Diegans joined Mayor Filner and other local leaders to protest the Keystone Pipeline on February 17, 2013 as part of a national day of action on the pipeline.
Todd Gloria’s Reputation Takes Another Hit
The Voice of San Diego is up with an eyebrow raising report this morning penned by Andrew Keatts about City Councilman Todd Gloria’s role in rejecting construction plans by a North Park religious school.
In December 2012, a jury trial ended with a $500,000 award to the Academy of Our Lady of Peace based on evidence the City of San Diego improperly rejected its expansion project. The VOSD account strongly suggests that Gloria improperly pressured city staff into changing a vital report that cleared the way for the City Council to reject the school’s plans.
The story cites testimony by a city planner saying that, subsequent to Gloria’s intervention with his boss, this was the only time he could recall in his 10 years with the city he’d been asked to change a conclusion. Money quote:
Staff reports provide the council informational background on any item. The council sometimes votes against the city staff’s official recommendation, but in land use cases like this, council members legally must base their vote on a specific fact provided in the item’s supporting materials. They can’t arbitrarily rule for or against something.
Between the council meetings, two key things happened: Gloria met with a staffer charged with collecting city reports on the project, and that same staffer instructed a colleague to change a report’s conclusion to better align with Gloria’s preference, according to court documents.
That wasn’t simply a coincidence, claimed the school’s attorneys. They say Gloria told city staff to change the determination, and then used the change to justify denying the project.
“Only after the planner changed the report did Todd have an in to deny the project,” said Dan Dalton, lead lawyer for Our Lady of Peace. “The jury saw that, and it all looked pretty disgusting.”
Gloria denies any improper behavior in connection with the incident. But given his toadying for the tourism industrial complex lately, this story seems to ring true. Read the whole story. Good stuff.
Defining Filner by His Foes
TJ Zane, speaking for downtown’s Lincoln Club conservatives, decried Filner’s proposal to strip the City Attorney’s budget, calling it:
“…nothing more than political retribution.
“Our city charter provides for an impartial, unbiased legal counsel to serve as a brake on the partisan impulses of city officials.”
“Given the recent behavior of Mayor Bob Filner, who has brought Washington-style partisan politics to City Hall, that impartial advice is needed now more than ever. I urge the City Council to reject Mayor Filner’s attempt at bullying and, instead, provide the funds necessary for City Attorney Jan Goldsmith to protect the interests of San Diego taxpayers.”
Not to be outdone, Papa Doug’s minions at the UT-San Diego lashed out with an editorial headlined “A Disappointing Budget from a Petty Mayor”.
And it would seem as though the local GOP is putting its money where its mouth is. Dorian Hargrove over at the SDReader reports that City Attorney Jan Goldsmith and former councilmember Carl DeMaio have recently both made generous contributions to the Republican Party of San Diego County via their campaign committees.
From the Reader News Ticker:
According to the disclosures, the donations from both DeMaio and Goldsmith will be used for the “May 14 election.”
Reached by email, Tony Krvaric, head of the San Diego County Republican Party dismissed claims that the money will go toward any recall of Mayor Bob Filner. Talks of a recall have circulated since bumper stickers from an unknown source were spotted on San Diego‘s roads, as reported by10News.
“We are always raising money to stay on offense against Democrats. We do not believe Democrats can be trusted with any elected office in San Diego County.”
On This Day: 1940 – The first no-hit, no-run game to be thrown on an opening day of the major league baseball season was earned by Bob Feller. The Cleveland Indians beat the Chicago White Sox 1-0. 1968 – The Pentagon announced that troops would begin coming home from Vietnam. 2007 – In Blacksburg, VA, a student killed 33 people at Virginia Tech before killing himself.
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