By Doug Porter
The contrast couldn’t be starker.
A procession of nationally recognized elected Democrats has rolled through San Diego to endorse the candidacy of David Alvarez for Mayor of San Diego.
More than three dozen elected officials from around the state have endorsed his candidacy. The candidate’s got some star power behind him, connections that could prove valuable in the future.
Exactly zero Republicans outside the Chamber of Commerce/downtown developer set have stepped up to the plate for his opponent Kevin Faulconer. Only four elected officials from anywhere are listed on his endorsements page. After promising the endorsement of “dozens” of Democrats from around the city for a press conference yesterday, only four were willing to be named on the press release.
Next week California’s Lieutenant Gov. Gavin Newsom and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro are coming to town for fundraising events in support of Alvarez. Out of town guests participating in campaign events have included U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, DNC Chair/Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Congressman Xavier Becerra, State Board of Equalization Member Betty Yee, State Senator Alex Padilla, State Assemblymember Jose Medina, Civil Rights Activist Dolores Huerta, and Women’s Rights Activist Sandra Fluke.
City Councilman Kevin Faulconer does have some conservative business groups supporting his effort. Take the Association of Builders and Contractors, a reactionary poster child for right wing organizations. Here is labor’s take on them:
“A fringe organization, ABC falsely claims to be the voice of the construction industry even though in most states, less than one-half of 1 percent [it’s 3% in California] of contractors join the organization… About half of ABC members are not even in the construction industry and use the group as a front for pushing a partisan agenda that doesn’t respect workers’ fundamental rights.”
Then there’s the California Restaurant Association, a group notorious for fighting any increase in the minimum wage and opposing health care reforms.
And let’s not forget the Associated General Contractors of America, San Diego Chapter, which has teamed up with the right wing Pacific Legal Foundation to oppose measures aimed at ending discrimination based on race and gender in public contracting in California.
On Monday the Alvarez campaign announced three initiatives designed to ensure gender parity within city government and companies doing business with the City of San Diego, including;
- Ensuring gender equity in Appointments to Commissions and Boards, Hiring Practices and Promotions within the Mayor’s Office
- Review of gender parity of contracts from the city to women and minority-owned businesses
- Prioritizing community services in the city of San Diego’s budgets, such as day care, after-school and summer programs that are essential services for working families and single moms.
While Kevin Faulconer at times has seemed to echo Democrat Alvarez’s campaign slogans and initiatives (a city for “all” of us), when you dig down into the kinds of policies his Republican backers are supporting, the contrasts become obvious.
While Alvarez is fielding hundreds of volunteer campaign workers in neighborhoods throughout San Diego, Faulconer’s supporters are getting $100 a day plus accommodations to come in from around the State.
Early Morning Vandals Rip Down Alvarez Signs
We were tipped off yesterday to a video posted by student Micheal Russell, who stumbled upon a campaign sign stealing operation in the wee hours of Saturday morning. He had the presence of mind to try and document what he saw. The video clearly identifies one individual and the white pickup truck being used to dispose of Alvarez campaign signs in the Mission Valley area. While Russell says his video was triggered by witnessing acts of vandalism, all that’s really captured on the tape is his confrontation with the perpetrator.
Here’s the commentary he posted on YouTube, followed by the video:
At Dawn, I was on my way to the Morena/Linda Vista Trolley Station to catch a ride to class, when I hear the screeching of tires and a honking car. I look across the intersection to see a white pick-up truck has driven, illegally, across the bike path and median separator, and parked with one wheel on the sidewalk. The honking car was following it through the intersection, and had to break hard, because, as the truck slowed, they nearly collided.
The driver parks, then exits his truck, walks over to a telephone poll, and tears off an 8′ X 4′ David Alvarez for Mayor sign. When I realized what he was doing, I pulled out my cell phone, as quickly as I could, to video record. Then the driver stashed the sign in the bed of his truck, jumped in, and drove away, back over the median, off the bike lane, and East, onto Friars Rd. As he drove away, I saw him pull into the second parking lot at the Mission Valley YMCA, so I followed him hoping to get better pictures of his license plate.
When I confronted the driver, he was reluctant to talk to me, as you can see from the video. He had multiple 8′ X 4′ Alvarez for Mayor signs in the bed of this truck, along with a few Alvarez yard signs. He was a member of the Mission Valley YMCA and was obviously unhappy to see me. The license plate number of his late-model, white, Ford F150, Truck is 69567L1. The unmarked truck looked like a City fleet vehicle, or a contractor’s truck. I wish I could run the plates, and find out who this creep works for?
The driver wouldn’t give me his name, but he immediately started dialing his cell phone, and a SECOND white F150 truck pulled up and parked a few spaces away, and THAT driver started filming ME! Who are these guys? They are traveling around before dawn, in groups, stealing David Alvarez for Mayor signs?
They were obviously coordinated, and they were both middle aged, white men, with time to go sign hunting before dawn on a Saturday. They were willing to steal signs right in front of the Northern Area Police District HQ, across from a San Diego Police Station! This is creepy. Kevin Faulconer must be desperate.
I later called the Police to report the crime, and they told me that only DAVID ALVAREZ himself could press charges, since he was the actual victim of the crime. This is a sick twist in the law. Kevin Faulconer can hire these thugs to steal Alvarez signs all night long and no one can do anything about it!
Please, help me make this video viral in San Diego. If you know someone who can run the plate number, or who can identify the man (he’s a member of the Mission Valley YMCA) report it to the David Alvarez for Mayor campaign office, so he can press charges. I’m willing to be a witness and testify in court.
Who does this? Faulkner already has the money of the business developers, and he will stoop to this level to beat young David Alvarez? If this is the kind of “leadership” that Kevin Faulkner will bring to the Mayor’s Office, then we are doomed. When the privileged, rich, business Republican is so insecure that the gets his friends to steal his opponents signs, in the dead of night, then you know he has deeper issues, dirty issues.
Does anybody remember this video from the Carl DeMaio mayoral campaign? What is it with these Republican candidates and signs?
Attn: Border Patrol – Duck!, Don’t Shoot!
Human rights groups have been actively raising questions about the US Border Patrol’s use-of-force policy in the wake of reports of officers using deadly force against rock throwers and potential assailants in moving vehicles. Twenty people, including eight rock throwers, have been killed since 2010.
It turns out that it’s not just activists who think this policy is questionable. From today’s Washington Post:
It’s one of the U.S. Border Patrol’s most controversial practices: shooting at migrants and suspected drug runners who throw rocks and other objects at agents. Many law enforcement experts say the best option is to take cover or move elsewhere, rather than use lethal force.
A law enforcement think tank — hired last year by parent agency U.S. Customs and Border Protection to review the Border Patrol’s practices — recommended restraint when agents encounter rock throwers who don’t pose an imminent threat of serious injury or death.
But when the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general released a report in September on the Border Patrol’s use of force, officials blacked out that call for holding back in such incidents, among other recommendations, according to an uncensored copy reviewed by the Center for Investigative Reporting.
North Park Continues the Fight Against Jack in the Box
Residents of North Park are staging a rally and fundraiser on Thursday, Jan 30th in support of their lawsuit against the illegal renovations made by fast food giant Jack in the Box at a location near 30th and Upas Street. The bottom line here is that the City of San Diego (also being sued) chose to be sued by residents rather than take on a corporation. We can thank City Attorney Jan Goldsmith for that legal strategy.
Attorney Cory Briggs will be the featured speaker at the event, sponsored by Care About North Park, the citizens group that is continuing to fight on behalf of the neighborhood. the group is urging people to come to Cardamom Cafe and Bakery, (2977 Upas St, San Diego) from 5:30-7:30 pm. Wine, Hors D’oeuvres and soft drinks will be provided. For more information and to RSVP, go to their Facebook event page.
Another SeaWorld Protest
Not everybody was watching the President’s State of the Union address last night, or the four GOP responses that couldn’t seem to agree on much more than “we don’t like that man”.
Fox5 News reports that some activists spent the evening over in Mission bay protesting:
Protesters lined up outside SeaWorld San Diego Tuesday evening to send a message to an international trade organization holding an event at the park.
The protest comes in the wake of CNN’s documentary “Blackfish,” which addresses killer whales in captivity and the 2010 death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau.
However, Tuesday’s protest was directed at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. The organization is holding a week-long event in San Diego, with a reception at SeaWorld Tuesday evening.
On This Day: 1850 – Henry Clay introduced in the Senate a compromise bill on slavery that included the admission of California into the Union as a free state. 1962 – Warner Bros. Records signed Peter, Paul & Mary. 1987 – “Physician’s Weekly” announced that the smile on the face of Leonardo DeVinci’s Mona Lisa was caused by a “…facial paralysis resulting from a swollen nerve behind the ear.”
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