By Doug Porter
Emboldened by recent recall efforts in Colorado, ex-Minuteman types have joined with guns rights advocates to form Free California, a “grassroots” organization targeting elected Latino officials in the state legislature.
Ostensibly the recall petition drives are being organized in response to sweeping gun control measures recently signed by California Governor Jerry Brown. Legislators on their hit list include Sens. Norma Torres, D-Chino, and Ben Hueso, D-Chula Vista; Assemblywomen Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, and Sharon Quirk-Silva, D-Fullerton; and Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles.
The group says its targeting lawmakers in swing districts, especially those who were put into office in special elections. A low petition threshold equal to 12% of the votes cast is all that’s needed to put a recall on the ballot, so those sent to Sacramento by special elections require fewer signatures.
Even though their districts are heavily Democratic, Torres, Hueso and Gonzalez won their seats in special elections so they’re considered fair game.
Heading up the Free California effort is Jennifer Kerns, who was involved in the Colorado recalls and is spokeswoman for ex-Minuteman leader / Assemblyman Tim Donnelly’s campaign for governor. Also participating in the effort are the Gun Owners of California (GOC), an advocacy group somewhere to the right of the National Rifle Association.
Donnelly is a legend in anti-immigrant circles. His road to fame got a boost in 2007 when his Minutemen group appeared on The Colbert Report in a satirical segment as they were building a small fence along the United States border with Mexico. (Some right wingers actually think Colbert is for real). In 2012 Donnelly agreed to a plea bargain deal following his arrest for carrying an unlicensed and loaded Colt 45 on an airplane.
He and others in the group have told the press in the past that they are ‘not racist’. GOC executive director Sam Paredes told the press legislators were listed for their votes, not the color of their skin. Riiiight….
From the San Jose Mercury News:
Field Poll results released in February found California voters by a 61 percent to 34 percent margin believed it more important to impose greater controls on gun ownership than to protect gun-ownership rights — a wider margin than observed in three previous Field Polls on gun issues since 1999.
Gonzalez and Quirk-Silva both issued statements saying that as mothers, they’re proud of their support for gun-safety laws that will keep their communities safer. Hueso said he stands by his voting record, “which is consistent with the views of the majority of my constituents who support common-sense changes to gun laws that do not erode Second Amendment rights.” And Torres said she has “never supported any effort to strip responsible gun owners of our Second Amendment rights.”
“What I have supported are policies aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of murderers, criminals and in places where they pose an obvious threat to public safety,” Torres said. “The voters in my community are smart and will recognize that this is nothing more than a political stunt.”
State Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Long Beach, who chairs the California Latino Legislative Caucus, said any group abusing the recall process for political gain “should be ashamed of itself,” especially “when the strategy targets only Latinos. Californians will not stand for any campaign that is clearly racist and devoid of any political or legal legitimacy.”
The recall proponents have a few weeks to search for a non-Latino legislator and say they will reveal a final list in early November. They will have to turn signatures in within 160 days of the date petitions are approved by the Secretary of State.
Behind the Resignation of El Cajon’s Mayor
Mayor Mark Lewis of El Cajon resigned last night following publicity about comments published in The Progressive magazine last spring.
His remarks about Chaldean schoolchildren were simply racist and insensitive. As the story gained prominence local politicians and civil rights groups lined up to either demand an apology or his resignation.
From UT-San Diego:
In a statement released to U-T San Diego on Thursday night, Lewis said his decision to resign is primarily due to health reasons, including what he described as a minor stroke in 2010, cancer and a dislocated shoulder.
“Unfortunately, at times, this has caused me some difficulties in clearly communicating my thoughts, including during the recent interviews that have caused understandable concern within our community and for which I have already apologized,” Lewis’ statement said.
What shouldn’t be lost in all this hubbub over Mayor Lewis’ remarks is the excellent reporting in The Progressive about El Cajon as “Little Bagdad”– a little slice of hell for refugees right here in San Diego County.
“Many of the older generation want to go back,” Ahmad says. “This is not their culture. They have friends, families, memories in Iraq. One said, ‘If I am killed by a suicide bomber, I die once. Here in America, I die every day. I struggle with rent, I struggle with language, I struggle with work.’ ”
Barrio Logan Petition Drive Just Making Stuff Up
Diane Takvorian, executive director of the Environmental Health Coalition(EHC), a group supportive of the Barrio Logan Community plan got pissed when stories about signature gatherers spreading misinformation were dismissed by an industry spokesman.
From the EHC media center:
Today the UT San Diego reports that the Barrio Logan community plan referendum will turn in 52,000 signatures to the city by November 1.
But these signatures were recruited with proposterous lies.
Signature petitioners outside of popular grocery stores in San Diego have been using outrageous and fabricated lies to collect signatures to repeal the Barrio Logan community plan— which City Council democratically voted to pass TWICE — once onSeptember 17 and again on October 15.
I recently came across one of these petitioners myself in Mission Valley, to which industry spokesperson Chris Wahl quickly wrote off as an “isolated incident”.
So I am sharing this video that I captured of two scattered individuals bringing up some of the most blatant lies I’ve heard to this day.
The TRUTH is, it’s not isolated. Not one bit.
Mitt Romney’s Other Vacation Home
The Salt Lake City Tribune took a gander at former presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s renovation drawings for his Utah residence and found what appear to be plans for a room tucked away behind a bookcase.
…The second bookshelf from the far wall is really a door that swivels out to reveal a hidden room.
This is but one voyeuristic tidbit The Salt Lake Tribune uncovered by examining the architectural and landscape drawings approved by Holladay in September that clearly identify the project as a home for the former Republican presidential nominee and his wife, Ann.
The home — with nearly 5,900 square feet of living space — will replace a rambler Romney is tearing down near Walker Lane and will be his second home in Utah. He recently bought a Deer Valley mansion that was on the market for $8.9 million.
With his vacation cabin in New Hampshire, a house scheduled for renovation in San Diego, Calif., and his condo in Belmont, Mass., Romney will have five homes across the nation…
Feel Good About San Diego’s IT?
KPBS notes that a primary contractor for Heathcare.gov, the Obamacare website that’s become the GOP latest obsession is also busy overseeing San Diego’s IT services.
The city awarded CGI Technologies & Solutions Inc. a $91.5 million contract just more than a year ago. The contract calls for the company, a subsidiary of Montreal-based CGI Federal, to patch and repair existing computer programs across 18 municipal departments and develop new applications as needed.
“It’s software that helps us run our business,” said Jeff Leveroni, director of information technology for the city.
Leveroni said the programs help city employees do everything from manage finances and personnel records to track progress on filling potholes and issuing permits.
But the past year has been a transition period, Leveroni said, so CGI hasn’t gone much further than maintaining the status quo.
“I am not concerned,” Leveroni said. “Their service delivery to date has been acceptable.”
Congressman Issa to the Rescue
Sensing that TV cameras might be nearby, Rep. Darrell Issa has gathered his Government Operations Committee together to hold hearings on the connections between Obamacare and Benghazi…or something like that
The folks over at liberal humor site WinkProgress.com have come up with a Top Ten list of revelations coming out of Congressional hearings on the Affordable Care Act. I’ll treat you to five of them:
5. President Obama “doesn’t look presidential, if you know what I mean”.
4. President Obama went golfing in the past two years when he could have been personally fixing the code on healthcare.gov.
2. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius put a virus in the code on healthcare.gov that will force every God-fearing Christian woman to have an abortion, even if they aren’t pregnant.
1. Despite how high-tech his campaign was, President Obama hasn’t even debugged ONE LINE OF CODE on the website.
On This Day: 1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade took place during the Crimean War. The British were winning the Battle of Balaclava when Lord James Cardigan received an order to attack the Russians. He took his troops into a valley and suffered 40 percent casualties. Later it was revealed that the order was the result of confusion and was not given intentionally. 1962 – American author John Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature. 1964 – The Rolling Stones made their first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”
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