By Doug Porter
Tuesday night’s vote by the San Diego Democratic Central Committee was a clear victory for backers of Councilman David Alvarez’s mayoral aspirations. If for no other reason, the endorsement was important in raising the councilman’s name recognition, both for the headlines it produced and the cash that will now flow from Democratic Party coffers boosting his candidacy.
Others with skin in this game reacted in differing ways.
A much heralded spat between United Food and Commercial Workers President Mickey Kasparian (who supports Alvarez) and Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (Nathan Fletcher’s booster), appears to have passed. After all, the vote is over, and the party did vote to support whichever of those candidates wins the November 19th primary.
Kasparian and Gonzalez traded Sweet Tweets yesterday, agreeing to disagree on their candidates but vowing support for each others’ causes, even as Voice of San Diego published an article talking about how their relationship had devolved into “insults and strange maneuvering.”
Fletcher backer Christine Forester reacted to the Dem’s decision by sending out a “Nathan Fletcher is not beholden to a party” memo to supporters:
If you had any lingering doubts about Nathan Fletcher being the right leader to propel San Diego forward, please read on.
Last night, the San Diego Democratic Party Central Committee did the right thing. It was the “Left” thing to do. David Alvarez is a very good, longtime Democrat and an effective councilman, just as Kevin Faulconer is a very good, longtime conservative Republican councilman who received the endorsement of the Right.
On the other hand, Nathan Fletcher is not beholden to a party. In his move from the Republican to the Democratic Party — with a brief pause in the middle, a place that better reflects his commitment to rally and work with both sides of the isle — he met a broad representation of our eclectic population. His experience running a citywide campaign in 2012 furthered his understanding of our socio-economic, ethnic and cultural diversity and sharpened his awareness of our population’s needs, concerns and aspirations.
While candidate Mike Aguirre has tried to differentiate himself from the pack by announcing a $250 cap on donations, serious money is starting to flow into the contest for the “major’ candidates. Via Dorian Hargrove at the San Diego Reader:
On the developer front, the Associated Builders and Contractors group has wasted no time in setting up a fundraising arm for Republican-backed candidate, Kevin Faulconer. According to a September 24 disclosure, William Baber, Director of Government Affairs for the trade group began raising contributions for Faulconer the day before filing. The disclosure did not reveal the amount raised.
The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce also stepped up for Faulconer. Executive Vice-President Aimee LePore Faucett wrote a $1,000 check for Faulconer. The head of the Chamber of Commerce, former Mayor Jerry Sanders has already endorsed Faulconer and is said to have done so at a gathering of GOP-powerbrokers earlier this month, as reported by Voice of San Diegoand more recently by the Los Angeles Times.
As for unions, Councilmember David Alvarez will soon reap the benefits of a massive $50,000 donation from the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. The union wrote the check on September 23 to the pro-Alvarez committee Working Families for a BetterSan Diego to Support David Alvarez for Mayor 2013. And while Alvarez and his campaign are not allowed to touch the stack of cash, the independent expenditure committee sponsored by the local Labor Council are sure to spend every cent on his behalf.
Barrio Logan in the Spotlight
You’re likely to see a bunch of petition gatherers in suburban malls employed by National Petition Management (who are likely being paid $1 per signature) deployed around San Diego in coming weeks as the Ship Repair Association makes good on its promise to challenge last week’s City Council approval of the Barrio Logan community plan.
The council split along party lines in approving the plan, with Mayoral candidate Kevin Faulconer voting against it. Those opposing the plan claimed that jobs would be lost. Those supporting the plan argued a buffer zone between industrial and residential was needed to address health concerns, pointing to past incidents of pollution.
A last minute compromise engineered by Councilman Alvarez isn’t good enough for these folks, who say the conditional use permits required for industry by the plan are a “dangerous first step toward the elimination of San Diego’s shipyards”.
In addition to the petition for overturning the community plan, today’s UT-San Diego says the anti-plan groups may also begin circulating a second petition aimed at repealing the relevant zoning ordinances.
Thirty four thousand signatures will be required to get each of the petitions considered for the June 3,2014 ballot. Walmart successfully got a city ordinance requiring impact studies for big box stores rescinded using a similar tactic; the City Council repealed the law rather than face the costs and controversy.
KPBS’ Metro Reporter Sandhya Dirks sums it up nicely:
Both Faulconer and Alvarez have picked up one thing from former Mayor Bob Filner: his narrative of restoring power and vitality to San Diego neighborhoods. The struggle over what to do in Barrio Logan brings into sharp relief the long standing strife between community and business interests.
What is playing out in Barrio Logan takes the primacy of neighborhoods from an abstract mantra of a single repeated word to a very real issue that will affect very real people: both the residents who live there and the employees who depend on the shipyard for steady middle-class jobs.
Climate Change Uncertainty Underway
In advance of Friday’s release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on the state of the Earth, the deniers are in full damage control mode. This week’s favored tactic is “uncertainty”.
From The Guardian:
About eight in 10 stories on climate change and related scientific research contain some discussion of uncertainties and risk, according to a report from Oxford University. Roughly eight in 10 also refer in some way to the disasters that are likely to result from unchecked global warming and greenhouse gas emission rises.
The remaining uncertainties – such as the sensitivity of the climate to increases in carbon dioxide concentrations, and the roles played by major parts of the Earth’s systems such as the absorption of carbon and heat by the oceans – will come under the spotlight next week, when leading climate scientists gather in Stockholm to hammer out the final details of the long-awaited fifth report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
This will be the most comprehensive report on climate science ever published, following the previous report in 2007. It is expected to show that scientists are 95% certain that the climate is changing under human influence, but may suggest that the climate is marginally less sensitive to carbon than thought, as long as concentrations are held to a fairly low level.
Today’s front page story at UT-San Diego and yesterday’s op-ed article are fine examples of the paper’s dedication to supporting dinosaur energy economics.
Rather than argue the whole issue out here (there is so much misinformation out there I don’t know where to start), I refer readers to Mother Jones’ excellent story 4 Climate Myths You’ll Hear This Week which does an excellent job of debunking the more popular denier myths.
Or better yet, perhaps we could read the actual report when it comes out. SD Free Press’ John Lawrence will undoubtedly present his usual scholarly analysis in the near future. You can read some of his other articles here.
My point is this: while the details of climate change may be subject to “uncertainty”, the need to change our carbon based energy economy is not. It’s important to understand that many of the minority opinions on this subject are directly underwritten by companies whose profitability is tied to continuation of current policies.
Sweetwater’s Spying on Critics Questioned
Reporter Susan Luzzaro is up with a terrific piece at the San Diego Reader about Sweetwater Union High School District superintendent Ed Brand’s request for funds to employ a private investigation agency, to be used at his discretion.
Among those being investigated by ESI International, according to the story, is Kathleen Cheers, a community advocate, who frequently speaks at board meetings.
Cheers shows up to board meetings and bond-oversight committee meetings armed with data and research. According to Cheers, the investigator wanted to know where she obtained the information she used to make a point at a bond meeting. During an interview, Cheers showed the Reader proof that she obtained it from the district website.
Superintendent Ed Brand claimed the agencies services were necessary:
Brand told the trustees that ESI had initially been engaged two and a half years ago, when 50 or 60 food-service employees were “thought to be doing something inappropriate.” He continued, “they have due process rights, as we all do, so we contracted an outside third party.”
In further presenting his case, Brand said ESI has capabilities and “can access emails and cell phones and connect the dots.”
The Sweetwater Union High School District is such an ongoing mess that I’m usually hesitant to open up that can of worms, lest it become an obsession. But this is wrong on so many levels and it says volumes about the culture of corruption and dysfunction there.
On This Day: 1908 – Ed Eulbach of the Chicago Cubs became the first baseball player to pitch both games of a doubleheader and win both with shutouts. 1960 – The first televised debate between presidential candidates Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy took place in Chicago,IL. 1975 – “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” opened in theaters.
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