By Doug Porter
It’s time to give the Lincoln Club and their allies a dose of their own medicine. They’ve collectively decided to wield veto power over our elected officials, effectively turning San Diego into a case study of rule by initiative.
Fine. It’s likely the City Council will have a veto-proof 6-3 majority for the foreseeable future. If there’s one issue that polls well with the general public, would actually benefit people not in a position to belong to the yacht club and will simply drive Jerry Sanders along with the rest of Kevin Faulconer’s transition team crazy, it’s raising the minimum wage.
Putting such an initiative on the November ballot, which the council can do without hiring professional truth twisters to harass shoppers, will have the additional benefit of increasing voter turnout, something favoring Democrats and progressive causes.
In his State of the City address, iMayor Todd Gloria proposed using the initiative process to raise the minimum wage to a level that would lift city residents out of poverty.
No one who works full-time should live in poverty. According to the Center on Policy Initiatives, 28% of full-time, year-round employees earned less than the $30,000 which is what is needed to live self-sufficiently in San Diego. A full-time minimum wage job in San Diego pays about half that amount. Although
California’s minimum wage is scheduled to increase in 2016, that translates into an annual salary of less than $21,000, which is simply not enough in a city with a high a cost of living like ours.
The Economic Policy Institute and other experts state that raising the minimum wage will stimulate the economy and benefit taxpayers. Lower-income workers are more likely to spend their additional wages on basics like food, housing and transportation. That’s good for businesses. It’s good for San Diego. And it’s good for all of us.
Minimum wage earners would also rely less on public assistance to meet their most basic needs. In recent months, we have vigorously debated the most effective way to provide affordable housing to our low-income citizens. Let’s reduce the need for subsidized housing. Let’s start paying people enough to be able to afford the rents and mortgages in our city.
The City Council should place a measure to raise the minimum wage before the voters this November. Working together we can and we must do this.
Over at Voice of San Diego, Scott Lewis calculates that an actual non-poverty wage for the area calculates out to about $14.50 an hour. That may seem like a lot when the Lincoln Club starts yelling from the rooftops about how this would represent an 81% raise, but it’s not out of line once you consider what wages would be if the minimum wage had simply tracked U.S. productivity gains since 1968.
That wage would amount to $21.72 an hour. So the low wage earners of San Diego would be cutting the city’s one percenters nearly a 33% discount. Food prices have gone up, utilities have gone up, housing has gone up and the net wealth of the bottom 90% of the population has plummeted. $14.50 sounds like a good deal for everybody.
I know the economics of the minimum wage are not as simple as I’ve made them out to be here. I could crank out 10,000 words pro or con on the subject and people would still argue against whatever position I took.
The reality is that a lot of people in this economy and especially in this city feel poor. And they don’t see any way out of this economic nightmare we’re in. They’ve been promised manna from heaven for better than thirty years via the invisible hand of lower taxes on the rich creating opportunities. By any measure it has not happened.
If the Chamber’s Jerry Sanders and the Lincoln Club’s TJ Zane want to argue against raising the minimum wage, let them live on it for a month or so. I’m sure CPI or somebody could set them up in a real-life simulation of what their lives would be under those circumstances.
So now it’s time to try something different. And it’s my fervent hope that, along with the opportunity to improve the quality of life for many of their fellow humans, San Diego voters will get to see just how evil and greedy the Lincoln/Chamber types really are.
If there’s one thing you can expect should this measure get on the ballot it will be the biggest pile of big lies this city has ever seen.
The SDPD’s Driving While Female Scandal Continues to Unfold
San Diego policeman Chris Hays will be appearing before a judge to officially hear the charges against him stemming from allegations of sexual misconduct while on duty.
10News interviewed attorney Dan Gilleon, who is representing two of the seven women who have come forward with accusations against Hays yesterday:
Gilleon said the charges will likely include several felonies — possibly false imprisonment and sexual battery. The charges could be more serious than the charges against former SDPD officer Anthony Arevalos, who is now serving an eight-year sentence.
“With Mr. Hays, the spectrum goes even further,” Gilleon said. “He actually required a woman to give him oral sex, and that’s something we didn’t see in the Arevalos case.”
Gilleon said San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis is heavily involved in this case and believes she and her staff will come down hard on Hays.
“This is a serious case for her because it seems like the Arevalos case didn’t send a message, and I think it’s time for Bonnie Dumanis to show just how good of an attorney she is. With her involvement in this case, it’s pretty ugly for Mr. Hays.”
CBS8 News interviewed Kerry Armstrong, the defense attorney for Hays, who told them “[the] County District Attorney’s office contacted him and plans to give him 400 pages of evidence and charge Hays on Tuesday with two felony counts of false imprisonment and three counts of misdemeanor sexual battery.”
A total of seven women have accused Hays of wrongdoing ranging from soliciting oral sex, to sexual advances and inappropriate touching during frisks. He has only been charged with the four initial women involving inappropriate touching.
“They are either lying or mistaken,” said Armstrong.
Hays could face additional charges. The attorney says Officer Hays is considering resigning not because he believes he did something wrong but there are certain advantages to resigning now as opposed to the possibility of getting fired later.
District Attorney Dumanis Watch
Incumbent DA Bonnie Dumanis is running for re-election and the increased scrutiny she’s been facing recently can’t be very encouraging.
KPBS is up with yet another story today featuring interviews with campaign experts questioning her response to reports dating back two years about questionable contributions.
Starting with a $100,000 funneled to a political action committee called “San Diegans for Bonnie Dumanis.” and ending with the failure to disclose her own campaign’s relationship with ElectionMall, whose CEO Ravi Singh stands accused of receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal, hidden donations from a wealthy Mexican citizen, there is certainly an air of suspicion surrounding the District Attorney.
Here’s a taste of what’s being offered:
“When people make donations of this size, obviously they’re trying to influence elected officials,” Adams said. “If the elected officials don’t know who you are, that donation is kind of useless. So clearly the donor in this case would have tried to make it known to Bonnie Dumanis or allies of Bonnie Dumanis that he was doing this on her behalf.”
Taking it a step further, Adams added, “if a candidate knows that independent expenditures being made on her behalf are being laundered and being funneled through a third party, clearly she would have an ethical responsibility to talk to the people who are running the independent expenditure committee and say, ‘You know you shouldn’t be doing this.’”
Her highest profile opponent, Robert Brewer, continues to nip at her heels. Yesterday his campaign released a list of political candidates endorsed by Dumanis, since she pledged back in 2007 to “no longer endorse political candidates, except in unusual circumstances.”
The list of those qualifying for her blessing over the past seven years includes: Jerry Sanders for San Diego Mayor in 2008; Jan Goldsmith for San Diego City Attorney in 2008; Bill Horn for San Diego County Supervisor in 2010; Ron Roberts for San Diego County Supervisor in 2010; Dianne Jacob for San Diego County Supervisor in 2012; Greg Cox for San Diego Supervisor in 2012; and Carl DeMaio for San Diego Mayor in 2012.
Along with announcing the expansion of oversight on local elections, she told reporters back in March, 2007 that investigating public corruption “is difficult enough without the possibility of having our motives questioned or impaired by politics.”
Bwahahahaha – UT-San Diego’s Exclusive Events
Taking a page from the always interesting Voice of San Diego forums on topics of public interest, UT-San Diego has announced their own “subscriber exclusive discussion about the future our city as the new Mayor takes office.”
Yes, indeed, you’ll get to hear from Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum this evening as they banter about Publisher Doug Manchester’s wish list and biggest fear.
Via the invite:
Our panelists include:
- Roger Hedgecock: U-T TV Anchor, The Roger Hedgecock Show and Talk Radio Host
- Michael Smolens: Topic Editor U-T San Diego – Government & Politics
- Bill Osborn: Opinions and Editorial Editor U-T San Diego
Voters have elected Kevin Faulconer- find out what our esteemed journalists think this will mean for San Diego. Discussion points will include:
- Prospect of a new Chargers Stadium
- Future of private sector
- Further Pension Reform
- Minimum Wage
No Pot Initiative in 2014
You’ll have to wait a couple of years for California to catch up with Colorado and Washington.
From the Los Angeles Times:
A coalition of investors and strategists, which played a key role in passing most of the legislation to reform drug laws nationwide since 1996, has decided not to put a pot initiative on the ballot in California this year but will wait to push for legalization until 2016.
Signature-gathering efforts for at least two additional pot measures are circulating, but they do not appear to have the high-profile financial backing needed. So the coalition’s decision makes it less likely that marijuana will be legalized in California in the near future.
The group was instrumental in legalizing recreational pot in Washington and Colorado and medical marijuana in Massachusetts in 2012, and it is supporting efforts in November to pass a recreational pot measure in Oregon and a medical cannabis measure in Florida.
On This Day: 1885 – Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” was published in the U.S. for the first time 1970 – The Chicago Seven defendants were found innocent of conspiring to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic national convention. 1998 – Rob Smith (Cure) did battle with the forces of musical evil (Barbara Streisand) on the TV show South Park.
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@