By Doug Porter
Paper, Plastic or Save The Planet? It’s about time we had that discussion in San Diego.
Apparently the approved strategy for the right wing in opposing just about anything these days is to call the thing that you’re opposing a “tax”. And, as is the case with the Neighborhood Market Association’s opposition to a proposed ban on plastic bags, any time the word “tax” is used is a good time to manifest a sudden concern for working class families.
It was this deep concern for the lives of “taxpayers, mothers, fathers, brothers and working class San Diegans” that prompted “community leaders, including Mark Arabo, president of the Neighborhood Market Association” to call a press conference yesterday in front of Rainbow Market in the Chollas Creek neighborhood.
Arabo called the proposed plastic bag ban a “tax scam”. Rev. George D. McKinney told the assembled reporters, “In essence, it’s a tax – a multi-million-dollar tax a year – on San Diegans.”
From NBC7 News:
“This is a terrible plan. It’s terrible because the solution is worse than the so-called problem,” said Arabo. “It’s a classic case of politicians attempting to do something for the environment, in part to appease some environmental groups, without seeing the bigger picture.”
The proposed ban would remove plastic bags from stores while imposing a paper bag tax on customers. Shoppers would be charged 10 cents for each paper bag they might need at a store.
A plastic bag ban proposal, passed by the City Council’s Rules and Economic Development Committee back in October, is currently under economic review. Any final decision is likely to be months away.
Here’s another side of the story, via a press release from City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner:
San Diego would join 80 other municipalities in California including Los Angeles and Long Beach that prohibit or restrict plastic bags.
An ordinance would reinforce San Diego’s growing reputation for environmental stewardship and help reduce the approximately 123,000 tons of plastic bags that Californians throw out each year. It is estimated that less than 5 percent of the 24 billion plastic bags used each year are being recycled.
According to a report presented by the City’s Environmental Services Department, 500 million single-use plastic bags are distributed annually in San Diego. Only about 3 percent of those are recycled, with the bulk ending up in the trash or polluting our neighborhoods.
In addition to the environmental impacts, the City spends approximately $160,000 each year in landfill clean up costs alone, not including costs for plastic bag litter removal from streets, storm drains, parks and beaches.
Restaurants, nonprofits, food stamp recipients and bags for produce and meat products will likely be exempted from this odious “tax scam”.
By the way, revenue streams for programs right wingers like are called “fees.”
Mighty Righty Action Committees to the Rescue
Yesterday brought news of two new political action groups on the local scene.
Opponents of the City Council’s decision to raise linkage fees on some larger developments as a mechanism for funding low income housing announced a signature drive last week aiming to overturn that action at the ballot box. They’ve had to work long and hard to come up with a catchier name than simply ‘the jobs coalition.’
Their nom de guerre incorporates two, count’em, two memes of misrepresentation popular in right wing circles: “Stop the Job Killing Tax, a Coalition of Job Creators.”
Not to be outdone, the deep thinkers at the Lincoln Club had to come up with a snappy name to express their newly found opposition to David Alvarez (ta-da!): “Working Together for Neighborhood Fairness in opposition to David Alvarez for Mayor 2014, sponsored by the Lincoln Club ofSan Diego County.”
I’m sure they’ll come up with a shorter version for marketing purposes, maybe something like “Eek! Stop the Brown Guy”, or “You Don’t Want Union Bullies in Your Neighborhood, Do Ya?”
Faulconer Pursues Hillcrest LGBT Voters
Mayoral candidate Kevin Faulconer has scheduled a “Walk Through Hillcrest” for this evening, hoping to engage with voters in this gay-centric neighborhood. His outreach effort to the LGBT community has successfully enlisted the support of LGBT Weekly columnist Nicole Murray Ramirez:
… the choice is very clear:Councilmember Kevin Faulconer is ready to lead our city and is absolutely the most qualified and experienced (past Council vice president) to become our next mayor. Former Mayor Jerry Sanders does carry weight in our community and his strong endorsement of Kevin reminds me how much they are both alike. But Kevin has a younger different generation outlook, and like our interim mayor, Todd Gloria, who he has an outstanding relationship with, will bring people together and not be beholden to the arch-conservative and liberal left wings of our city’s politics.
LGBT Weekly’s publisher Stampp Corbin, has a different view, expressed via an “open letter”. While acknowledging Faulconer’s evolution on same-sex marriage issues before the City Council, Corbin wants the candidate to do more, saying “We appreciated your support but we also want advocacy. LGBT equality is the civil rights issue of our time and you cannot stand on the sidelines.”
As a Republican, you know how maligned my community is by your national leaders. Whether it is John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mark Rubio or Chris Christie; they all have stood in the doorway to prevent marriage equality or the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which provides employment protections for the LGBT community.
So you want the votes of the LGBT community. Let me lay out a game plan for you to even be considered. You must repudiate the anti-LGBT policies of your party – publicly. You must break with your major supporters like homophobe Doug Manchester. A simple statement like, “Many people who support me are just wrong with respect to LGBT equality. We may agree on many issues, but we don’t agree about the civil rights of the LGBT community.”
Pro-Alvarez Activist David Lundin was upset at the very idea of Faulconer’s campaign appearance:
In his “Walk through Hillcrest” on Friday, 20 December, will Faulconer tell us what the Republicans and the Lincoln Club want to do with the Uptown Community Plan ?
Barrio Logan will not be the only victim of Governing by Referendum if Faulconer and his Lincoln Club Republican developer buddies get their way.
Say good bye to height limitations in Hillcrest. Say bye bye to plans for a safe network of bike paths in Uptown. The dream of a core historic trolley system will turn to dust. Preservation of the great significantly historic homes and structures in Mission Hills, Banker’s Hill, Hillcrest, North Park–forget about it.
Munger Funds the Faulconer Express
Charles Munger is a controversial figure in California GOP politics these days, having drawn the ire of the Tea Party types even as he’s doling out $1.5 million to rebuild a political party teetering on bankruptcy not long ago.
One issue Munger and his opponents within the GOP do agree on is suppressing labor unions in the political arena.
Matt Potter over at the Reader says the Munger monies have started to flow Faulconer’s way:
Charles Thomas Munger, Jr., son of a wealthy sideman to Omaha, Nebraska, billionaire Warren Buffett, has become the latest super-rich American to wade into the battle for San Diego mayor, cutting a $1000 check for Republican city councilman Kevin Faulconer yesterday, December 18, according to a disclosure filing posted online by the California secretary of state’s office.
Last year, Munger, Jr., who is based in Palo Alto, spent $10 million in unsuccessful efforts to pass Proposition 32, which would have barred union dues from being used in politics, and to defeat Proposition 30, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax-raising measure.
The surprise appearance of the big-spending Munger on San Diego’s political scene may signal the possibility that multimillion-dollar contributions from union foes will be spent here in the days leading up to the February run-off between Faulconer and Democratic city councilman David Alvarez, whose campaign has been backed by seven-figure union expenditures.
KPBS and inewsource are ramping up their campaign contribution database for the upcoming runoff election. Their report aired this morning indicates the David Alvarez campaign and (not) associated groups have raised at least $358,000 since primary day. The Faulconer campaign and (not) associated groups have raised just $18,000.
The disparity between the candidates can be explained by the fact that Alvarez supporters have voluntarily disclosed contributions already, while the Faulconer campaign has only disclosed those $1000+ donations required by law to be reported within 24 hours.
We’ll know more once the city clerk reports the numbers shortly after January 2nd, the (tentatively) first official filing deadline.
On This Day: 1946 – The Frank Capra film “It’s A Wonderful Life” had a preview showing for charity at New York City’s Globe Theatre, a day before its “official” world premiere. James Stewart and Donna Reed star in the film. 1957 – Elvis Presley received his U.S. Army draft notice. 1963 – The Berlin Wall was opened for the first time to West Berliners. It was only for the holiday season. It closed again on January 6, 1964.
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@