By Doug Porter
San Diego shopping centers and grocery stores were blanketed this weekend with contract employees reportedly retained by Southwest Strategies. They were being paid $1.75 for each signature gathered on a petition that aims to challenge the Barrio Logan community plan.
People signed the petitions in droves. Why wouldn’t anybody? After all these shills were peddling anything but the truth. And the implications of this initiative effort for other neighborhoods in San Diego are huge.
Want a change in your neighborhood plan for something big and ugly favored by special interests? If you’ve signed one of those petitions, that’s what you’re opening the door for.
One contract employee told people outside a Trader Joe’s in Mission Valley that businesses were fighting having their building being torn down to build condominiums. Another in Hillcrest, challenged on his assertion that tens of thousands of jobs were in immediate danger, changed tacks and asked for a signature just so he’d get paid. Yet another was telling passers-by the Navy base was endangered by condos. And Carl DeMaio was out and about visiting shopping centers, pedaling his latest version of the truth.
Do yourselves a favor. Just say “no” to paid signature gatherers. (I don’t care what the issue is.)
The company behind this “Big Lie, Many Places” campaign is the same outfit that successfully blackmailed the San Diego City Council into repealing an ordinance that would have required Walmart to submit economic impact studies for its proposed urban big box locations.
The Barrio Logan Community Plan was approved by the City Council following five years of hearings and community meetings. Maritime industry representatives are fighting it because the plan sets up a future nine block buffer zone of commercial use between industrial usages and residential areas.
Existing maritime-related business are not impacted by the change, even if they are sold. New maritime businesses (mostly sub-contractors-the shipyards are NOT in this area) and existing businesses expanding by more than 20% will require conditional use permits, involving significant community input. The companies prefer no such permits, saying they could take years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to secure.
The economic impact studies done by the planning groups under the aegis of the City of San Diego indicate that employment in the area will grow by nearly 5000 jobs under the current plan. No residential development is included in the plan; so much for the condos argument…
No studies exist claiming that jobs will be lost in the approved plan goes into effect. That’s right. None. Zero. Zip…. Even though the industry has been aware and participated in the process of drawing up the plan over the past five years.
Mayoral candidate Kevin Faulconer’s been claiming that 46,000 positions are at stake. Even the number he and the industry is using is false. There are a total of 14,400 jobs in the entire Port of San Diego. Again, we’re talking about a nine block area north of Harbor Drive.
So what’s the basis for claiming all these jobs will be lost? Here’s the quote:
“Over time we believe this process will threaten the shipyard’s very existence in San Diego,” said Kevin Graney, vice president of operations for General Dynamics NASSCO.
I’ll tell you what I believe: Putting a community plan up for a citywide vote guts the whole concept of having a city built around its neighborhoods.
Who’s to say that somebody won’t be starting a petition insisting on beachfront low income housing getting built in La Jolla?
And how about a nice big homeless shelter in Ocean Beach?
I’d vote for that, even though I don’t live in OB.
They need one down there. Right, Kevin Faulconer?
The Shot Heard ‘round the Sports World
No it’s not that the Chargers finally played a game where they didn’t suck.
You probably didn’t even read about the cancelled football game between Jackson State and Grambling. It was a big deal for Jackson State, as the players from Grambling refused to board the busses to go to the game, resulting in a forfeit.
This weekend was Jackson’s homecoming, always a big money maker and morale booster for colleges. And if a story in the New York Times is to be believed, this might be the start of something big.
If college athletes decide to sit out the Bowl Championship Series final or the basketball Final Four, guess what? No show.
“No one has to wonder anymore,” said Ramogi Huma, the president of the National College Players Association. “The powers that be in the N.C.A.A. are taking notice because their worst fear has just happened, at Grambling State.”
College athletes, long neglected after their ‘careers’ in amateur sporting events that bring in huge revenues for institutions of higher learning, are demanding a fair shake, according the article.
Reform in the manner of which on field injuries like concussions are handled, players forced to pay sports related medical bills and losing their scholarships when injured are just a few of the issues rising to the surface.
Some athletes feel an Olympic model in which star athletes are allowed to endorse products and receive pay for opportunities that arise from those endorsements is a path worth exploring.
While much of the language of college athletic reform has focused on exploitation of players and especially the low graduation rates of black players, the significance of the Grambling protest is that players at a historically black college complained that the institution was treating them unfairly and was exploiting their muscle. The boycott targeted a system that exploits all players, whether they attend Grambling or Georgia Tech. The issues at Grambling are different from the issues at Georgia Tech, but players at each institution play by the same N.C.A.A. rules. Those rules prop up an outdated and exploitative system.
“There is a culture in higher education that excuses the mistreatment of college athletes,” Huma said. “All the players are in this together, regardless of what race they are. This situation is not because players are black or white; it’s because money is green and there is a conflict of interest of people who run the sport.”
From the People Who Brought You Proposition 8…
Social conservatives have been up in arms since July, when the Legislature passed AB 1266, the School Success and Opportunity Act, requiring public schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and participate on sports teams that match the gender they feel identifies them.
The law was supported by more than 40 organizations, including the Transgender Law Center, Equality California, Gay-Straight Alliance Network, Gender Spectrum, National Center for Lesbian Rights and American Civil Liberties Union.
Other groups including the National Organization for Marriage were less than thrilled.
From the Los Angeles Times:
A conservative coalition has mounted a drive to repeal the measure in the 2014 general election. It needs to collect about 505,000 valid voter signatures by Nov. 8 — roughly 700,000 in all to be safe.
Nearly 500,000 have been collected so far, says political consultant Frank Schubert, who five years ago masterminded the passage of Proposition 8, the contentious initiative that banned same-sex marriage. Federal courts overturned it.
The transgender law is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1. But if the referendum qualifies for the ballot, the law will be suspended until voters decide.
$13 Billion isn’t a Lot of Money to JP Morgan Chase
You wouldn’t know it from reading the Daily Fishwrap today, but the US Justice Department has reached a (tentative) agreement with banking giant JP Morgan Chase involving penalties of $13 billion. This settlement stems from various improprieties in the banks’ handing of securities following the collapse of the housing market.
But don’t start drinking champagne yet. What seems like a lot of money to us peasants isn’t that big a deal to Chase. And nobody’s gonna do a second of jail time for their role in tanking the US economy.
From the UK Independent:
Reports that the US banking giant JP Morgan has reached an agreement to pay a record settlement to the US Justice Department over mis-sold securities are drawing superlatives. The bank is America’s biggest and the tentatively agreed figure of $13bn, if it is paid out, would be the largest single settlement ever offered by an American company.
While the fine looks colossal, we need to keep in mind that JP Morgan is worth over $2.5 trillion and recorded quarterly profits of around $6bn last year. It posted a loss over the last quarter, but only because it set aside billions in legal bills. Strip that out, and the bank would have recorded another $6bn profit in September.
How Bad Is It for Republicans?
Public Policy Polling, the company usually referred to in the mass media as “liberal leaning” (but never the most accurate of the 2012 elections), has released still more polling on the erosion of public support for Republicans:
A new round of post-shutdown polling shows that Democrats not only have an opportunity to take back the House of Representatives next year, but that they could win a sizable majority if voter anger over the shutdown carries into 2014.
Republicans will likely find this third round of surveys to be the most alarming yet, given that the new results show substantial Republican vulnerability in many districts that were not even supposed to be close. Incumbent Republicans trail generic Democrats in 15 of the 25 districts we most recently surveyed. This means generic Democrats lead in 37 of 61 districts polled since the beginning of the government shutdown.Democrats only need to net 17 seats in order to retake the House.
And the bad news for Republicans doesn’t stop there, because in the minority of the 61 districts where Republicans lead in the initial head-to-head question, 11 more Republicans fall behind once voters are informed that the Republican supported the government shutdown and 1 race becomes tied. This means that our results indicate Democrats have pickup opportunities in an astounding 49 of the 61 districts surveyed.
Aaah, if the elections were just tomorrow… If that poll was too liberal for ya, consider this from CNN:
According to the survey, 54% say it’s a bad thing that the GOP controls the House, up 11 points from last December, soon after the 2012 elections when the Republicans kept control of the chamber. Only 38% say it’s a good thing the GOP controls the House, a 13-point dive from the end of last year.
This is the first time since the Republicans won back control of the House in the 2010 elections that a majority say their control of the chamber is bad for the country.
What Do Food Trucks in San Diego and Caskets in Louisiana have in Common?
The Benedictine Monks of Louisiana won a victory at the Supreme Court last week that could have a significant impact on the Food Truck regulations currently in the works for San Diego. One of iMayor Todd Gloria’s first acts was to undo a decision by Bob Filner that allowed Food Trucks to operate on private property in San Diego.
He’s promised to address this with a new ordinance, but local operators are fearful that the big bucks of the Restaurant Association will influence any ordinance in a protectionist direction. Mayor Gloria might do well to consider a growing body of court decisions saying these kinds of limitations on small businesses are not kosher.
The Los Angeles Times reported over the weekend on the high court’s refusal to hear the Monk’s case, allowing a lower court ruling in their favor to stand:
“Mere economic protection of a particular industry” is not a “legitimate governmental purpose,” Judge Patrick Higginbotham said for the 5th Circuit. The monks had sued under the 14th Amendment, which says no state may “deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law.”
Higginbotham said the monks were denied their right to make a living if the state board’s ban on casket sales had nothing to do with “the protection of public health, safety and consumer welfare.” It makes no sense, he concluded, to say that only a licensed funeral director with an embalming room could be trusted to sell a casket.
Check Out the SDFree Press Calendar
Thanks to the efforts of Brent Beltran, 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: 1849 – The first tattooed man, James F. O’Connell, was put on exhibition at the Franklin Theatre in New York City, NY. 1964 – The movie musical “My Fair Lady” made its world premier in New York. 1967 – Thousands of demonstrators marched in Washington, DC, in opposition to the Vietnam War.
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