By Doug Porter
San Diego’s own Congressman Darrell Issa is making headlines nationally this morning, but not in the way that the local daily paper would like you to believe.
Today’s UT-San Diego has a Page Two story up featuring a picture featuring Issa holding up a piece of paper, with a caption that says “interviews with employees at the Cincinnati IRS office indicate they were directed by Washington to target conservative groups.”
The north county’s answer to Joe McCarthy went on CNN Sunday morning to tout his latest ‘evidence’, which turned out to be highly edited selections from staff interviews with IRS agents. Politically correspondent Cindy Crowley called Issa’s bluff, actually reading the documents and pointing out that they proved nothing.
From Think Progress:
In fact, after hearing Crowley read the transcript of an interview, Issa himself admitted that he has yet to uncover evidence that demonstrates IRS coordination with Washington.
Issa also used his Sunday morning talking head time to brand current administration spokesman Jay Carney as a “paid liar.” (Well, duh, isn’t that what all spokesmen could be called?).
Former Presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs went on Monday’s MSNBC Morning Joe to defend Carney:
“I mean, it’s a stunning thing,” Gibbs said of Issa’s charges. “It’s why five people in this town take Darrell Issa seriously and it’s the surest bet the Republicans are very much on the verge of overplaying their hand publicly and the American people will lose interest in their side of this. They want to see the IRS cleaned up, but they will understand quickly that Darrell Issa is doing nothing more than politicizing this event.”
The GOP spinmeisters, as evidenced by today’s UT-San Diego coverage, are trumpeting a ‘new’ report on IRS spending for conferences. This is old news, being pumped up as a new revelation. Buried in the Associated Press account in today’s paper is the information that the IRS has already reduced such spending from $37.6 million in 2010 to $4.9 million in 2012. None-the-less a $50 million figure is making the headlines, a figure achieved by lumping together three years worth of spending.
Unnoticed by the local press is the fact that these high-ticket ‘improvement, leadership and efficiency’ conferences are the kind of ‘business’ enterprises that made local conservative hero Carl DeMaio wealthy.
Columnist Andrew Sullivan has decided that he’s had enough of the Congressman’s antics and penned a full frontal assault on his credibility, reprinting large sections of stories in the New Yorker and NPR that allege a past criminal (grand theft auto and arson) activity by Issa. From The Dish:
But if you apply the standards of evidence Issa uses to indict the president – pure innuendo, speculation and smears – then you can fairly say that Issa was a likely car thief, con-man, and arsonist. Having figured out how to steal cars, he then repurposed his expertise to set up a company to prevent car theft. In the end, it made him a multi-millionaire. And former crook.
Mayor Filner Gets Some Love
Friday morning San Diego was all atwitter over yet another showdown between Mayor Bob Filner and the Tourism Marketing types. By late afternoon the Mayor had gotten his commitment for support of the Balboa Park centennial and the tourism types called off plans for yet another ‘shutdown’.
Then the good news started to roll in, in the form of news coverage that managed to escape the standard local media narrative about Mayor Bob’s brutish behavior. CBS/8 went beyond the spat to talk about Filner’s vision for the Balboa Park event:
“They didn’t keep an agreement with me last week about funding the Balboa Park Centennial. That’s going to bring in more tourists than anything else that year.”
The Tourism Marketing District on Friday agreed to write a check for $500,000 to go toward the planning of the Balboa Park Centennial.
But just what will the big 2015 celebration have in it?
Mayor Filner already has ideas how to spend the estimated $40 to $50 million it will cost for an event on a global stage.
“Every two weeks, for example, a new city or country will be the focal point of an international exhibit.”
The mayor is considering lighting up the Coronado bridge during the year-long festival. Also, bringing in new sculptures and artwork for display inside the popular park.
“We have an almost feudal system in San Diego”
Then there was the feature about Bob Filner in the Los Angeles Times this weekend. The story says the Mayor is shaking things up in San Diego. Unlike local media accounts, the LA Times story doesn’t conclude or imply having a progressive mayor will be the highway to hell for San Diego.
As mayor, he often approaches issues — like the tourism industry allocation — not as technical matters to be parsed but as crusades of right versus wrong: “It’s what Cesar and Martin told me: It’s all about the morality, not about winning and losing.”
Too many city officials and City Hall insiders, he added, are comfortable with an “old boys’ club” approach to government.
“We have an almost feudal system in San Diego,” Filner said. “The same kind of people have run San Diego for 50 years, and that’s hard for them to give up.”
And the account concludes with an actual compliment from a Republican:
“Bob takes no prisoners, and anyone who thinks he’s going to change is crazy,” said John Kern, a Republican political consultant and a former chief of staff to Mayor Dick Murphy, who served in the early 2000s.
Kern said he disagrees with Filner on nearly every issue but admires him on two points: “When he makes a deal, he sticks to it. And he’ll say to your face what he says behind your back. Those are rare traits in a politician.”
Point Loma Dems Get in the Picture
Meanwhile, tired of hearing all the negative narratives in the local media about the Mayor, the Point Loma Democratic Club has started up a group calling itself San Diegans for Mayor Bob Filner. Over 200 people signed up on its Facebook page over the weekend.
When the mayor stands up to the powerful interests who have run this city for the last 50 years, the Mayor is constantly attacked. Not by the people who elected him, but by the special interest groups who wanted their lackey, their pawn, to be Mayor. These groups actively try to hamper his policy decisions at every turn. We must push back and be heard. Show that we have Bob’s back.
If you use Facebook, you should check out San Diegans for Mayor Bob Filner and Like their page. Whenever you see a story about Bob that you agree with, give a Like or post a supportive comment. If you use Twitter you can follow @4MayorBobFilner and retweet messages that you support.
We can, and must, counteract the negative comments from the UNION T, and the misleading headlines from the Voice of San Diego.
Even More Bad News for the GOP
At 89, Dole is that old-fashioned Republican who thinks the federal government has a legitimate role, that Congress should not just say no to everything and that bipartisanship is not a bad word.
A certified wounded World War II hero, Dole ran the Senate as majority leader when things got done. He ran a civilized presidential campaign against Bill Clinton and, although he lost, he stayed dignified and statesmanlike and a voice to be heard. There’s not much to dislike about Dole — unless you’re truly far right and think government is the enemy.
Asked what he thinks of the modern Republican Party, Dole said someone should put a sign on the national committee door reading “Closed for repairs.”
Today it’s the National College Republicans report on the GOP, emphasis on “old”: From Politico:
In the report, the young Republican activists acknowledge their party has suffered significant damage in recent years. A sampling of the critique on:
Gay marriage: “On the ‘open-minded’ issue … [w]e will face serious difficulty so long as the issue of gay marriage remains on the table.”
Hispanics: “Latino voters … tend to think the GOP couldn’t care less about them.”
Perception of the party’s economic stance: “We’ve become the party that will pat you on your back when you make it, but won’t offer you a hand to help you get there.”
Big reason for the image problem: The “outrageous statements made by errant Republican voices.”
Words that up-for-grabs voters associate with the GOP: “The responses were brutal: closed-minded, racist, rigid, old-fashioned.”
Before You Start Complaining…
…About how El Cajon Boulevard is torn up and traffic disrupted, you might want to learn about the impending construction on the Mid-City Bus Project.
This is what those of us that live in the more ‘urbanized’ areas of San Diego are getting instead of Trolley Line. It’s being pitched as “a high-frequency, limited-stop service between San Diego State University and Downtown San Diego via Park and El Cajon boulevards.”
It’s a done deal, so you might as well get the low down on what’s in store if you happen to live or pass through any of the affected areas. Two meetings are being held:
Monday, June 10th, 5:30-7:30 pm, at Grace Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall, 3967 Park Boulevard.
Thursday, June 13th, 5:30-7:30 pm at the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association, 3727 El Cajon Boulevard
For more information: KeepSanDiegoMoving.com/
Check Out the SDFree Press Calendar
Thanks to the efforts of Brent Beltrán, the San Diego Free Press now has an on-line calendar of events. You can see events in the arts, performances and political gatherings of every persuasion by clicking on the ‘Calendar’ Tab at the top of the page. To get your event listed, drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org
On This Day: 1784 – The U.S. Congress formally created the United States Army to replace the disbanded Continental Army. On June 14, 1775, the Second Continental Congress had created the Continental Army for purposes of common defense and this event is considered to be the birth of the United States Army. 1965 – Edward White became the first American astronaut to do a “space walk” when he left the Gemini 4 capsule 1967 – The Doors “Light My Fire” was released.
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@