By Doug Porter
Vladimir Putin may know how to rig an election, as his minions probably did in pulling off 97% approval for Crimean secession from the Ukraine this past weekend, but District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis know how to spin one: don’t bother with actual votes, just claim a unanimous victory.
Following a February vote from the San Diego Deputy District Attorneys Association, the Dumanis campaign issued a press release declaring, “Deputy District Attorneys Announce Unanimous Endorsement of DA Bonnie Dumanis, ” followed by “BREAKING: Deputy DAs unanimously endorse Dumanis” on Twitter.
UT-San Diego ran with a story saying that the board of the Deputy DAs Association unanimously endorsed the incumbent.
Robert Hickey, president of the deputy district attorneys group, did not disclose how its more than 300 members voted, but said the board voted unanimously based on those votes.
Yesterday Dumanis opponent Bob Brewer got his hands on the actual membership vote totals. From their press release:
According to voting results made public today by the Deputy District Attorneys Association, Dumanis received only 169 votes out of 328 eligible members – meaning 48.5% of the membership either voted for someone else or sat out the vote.
The incumbent DA is being challenged in the June primary attorneys: Robert Brewer, a former Los Angeles prosecutor now in private practice, and Terri Wyatt, a former San Diego County deputy district attorney.
Brewer has been endorsed by numerous local law enforcement groups, including San Diego Police Officers Association and the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of San Diego County.
Terri Wyatt has accused Bob Brewer of twice promising the No. 2 position in the District Attorney’s Office to potential candidates to prevent them from running against him — allegations Brewer adamantly denies. Retired Navy rear admiral Pat McGrath, who reportedly briefly considered entering the race, has denied Wyatt’s claim.
California GOP Hails Faulconer, Then Drives Off a Cliff
San Diego’s newly elected Mayor Kevin Faulconer was Exhibit A for the California GOP’s leadership in Burlingame as they gathered the party faithful for the state bi-annual convention this weekend. The candidate who rarely mentioned his party affiliation during the campaign was their ray of hope.
Faced with steadily declining voter registration and slim pickings for viable candidates aiming higher statewide office in 2014, Faulconer’s special election victory in a city with a 13 point Democratic voter edge to replace the ex-mayor-who-cannot-be-named, was THE good news.
The bad news was that the party faithful are apparently completely enamored with gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly, a San Bernadino Assemblyman. The ex-minuteman promptly promised the cheering attendees he’d have the California “frack our way to prosperity.” And then he called out Gov. Jerry Brown–who’s more popular than ever– “a Marxist progressive parading as a Democrat.”
From the Los Angeles Times:
The audience reaction told the story: For Neel Kashkari, polite applause; for his GOP gubernatorial rival, Tim Donnelly, a prolonged roar of cheers.
With that, hundreds of Republicans wrapped up the state GOP convention near the San Francisco Airport on Sunday with a resounding – and unofficial – endorsement of Donnelly’s candidacy for governor on a tea party platform that has left some moderates squirming.
Deep Divisions on Display
From the Sacramento Bee:
Booze-fueled parties Neel Kashkari and Tim Donnelly hosted at the California Republican Party’s biannual convention stretched into the early morning hours Sunday, their supporters dancing in ballrooms within steps of each other at the conference hotel.
Yet the gulf between the two candidates for governor could hardly be wider, and a weekend of campaigning laid bare not only the differences between them, but persistent fissures within the GOP. A vocal, conservative base rallied for Donnelly, the tea party favorite, while Kashkari lobbied a more moderate segment of the electorate, including young Republicans, minorities and the party’s donor and professional class.
“It’s the latest episode of the constant problem you have in the Republican primaries,” said Thad Kousser, a political science professor at University of California,San Diego, “which is between the country club crowd and the pickup truck crowd … between the candidate who is right at the heart of the Republican Party and emphasizes social issues, versus the candidate who is more electable and focuses on fiscal issues.”
Embracing the Occupy Theme
From Sacramento’s KXTV News10:
It was the line that got the loudest applause in Saturday afternoon’s gathering of Tea Party activists at the California Republican Party’s winter convention.
The cheers came when it was suggested that the group’s new motto be, “California: We’re Not Lost, We’re Just Occupied.”
Call that a sign of both Republican angst in a state where Democrats dominate… and at least some of the angst over the state GOP’s long running internal battles – a deep disagreement about both the reason for the party’s problems, and what should be the fix to those problems.
Keeping the Koch Brothers Dark Money Flowing
Republicans may not have the candidates to win many elections in 2014, but successfully kept the “Dark Money” pipeline alive in Sacramento yesterday.
Republicans, taking advantage of the recent suspensions of two Democratic senators, blocked Senate Bill 27, by Sen. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana.
From the Sacramento Bee:
During debate on the Assembly floor in February, Republicans decried a bill they said would muffle dissenting voices and unfairly alter the rules in the middle of an election cycle.
By the time it got back to the Senate to sign off on Assembly amendments on Monday, Wright and Calderon were gone and the GOP was able to block it. Democrats mustered all 26 of their votes, but four Republicans voted no. The other seven GOP members did not vote.
Lawmakers and the California Fair Political Practices Commission have sought to crack down on undisclosed campaign donations since outside groups used an elaborate network of nonprofits to funnel millions into the 2012 election.
Women Are ‘Too Busy’ to Support Equal Pay
The head of a Political Action Committee aiming at increasing women’s involvement in Texas GOP elections went off script this past weekend with embarrassing results.
During a Sunday interview with local news station WFAA, RedState Women Executive Director Cari Christman said that the GOP does not support laws like the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which extends the window of time during which women can file pay discrimination claims, because “women want real-world solutions to this problem, not more rhetoric.”
Not that she can offer any such solutions.
When asked to share the GOP’s alternative recommendations, Christman offered a canned (and bizarre) response about how “women are extremely busy.”
Wage Theft Protest at Barrio Logan McDonalds
Last week wage theft lawsuits were filed against McDonald’s restaurants in New York, Michigan and California. What’s significant about these latest actions is that the plaintiffs and their lawyers may have discovered a method to get past past legal defenses using the franchise system as a shield.
This morning community and faith leaders protested at the Barrio Logan McDonalds as part of a nationwide series of actions calling on the fast-food giant to stop its wage theft practices.
Protesters across the country are demanding the corporate powerhouse pay up and return the so-called stolen wages.
McDonald’s earned nearly $5.6 billion in profits last year alone.
In a released statement, McDonald’s corporate says, “McDonald’s and our independent owner-operators share a concern and commitment to the well-being and fair treatment of all people who work in McDonald’s restaurants.”
The lawsuits assert that fast food workers are taken “off the clock” either while working or while waiting on site to start or complete a shift thru company-mandated software in violation of federal law. They allege that many of these low-wage workers are having the cost of their uniforms deducted from their paychecks, effectively reducing their pay to below the federally or state-mandated minimum wage. And they are also making claims about being denied legally-mandated overtime pay.
What’s unusual here aren’t the claims of labor law violations, which are common enough, but rather, who’s being blamed. The wall that fast food workers hope to blast through with these class-action suits is the franchise system. All of the lawsuits name McDonald’s itself as a defendant, even though most of the targeted restaurants are owned not by McDonald’s but by McDonald’s franchisees.
[…] In practice, judges have been reluctant to assign fast-food corporations any indirect responsibility for the employment practices of their franchisees. To make McDonald’s or Burger King or Dominos a target, the plaintiff needs to demonstrate that the franchising arrangement in question is a sham. If a McDonald’s or Burger King or Dominos exercises more direct control over its franchisees’ workers than the franchise agreement lets on, then these companies may be held directly responsible for violations of federal labor law.
On This Day: 1902 – Enrico Caruso recorded 10 arias for the Gramophone Company. He was the first well-known performer to make a record. 1963 – The Supreme Court handed down the Miranda decision concerning legal council for defendants 1969 – President Nixon authorizes Operation Menue. It was the ‘secret’ bombing of Cambodia.
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