City council president Todd Gloria’s proposal to increase the minimum wage in San Diego will be presented in its final form on June 11th.
The Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee voted 3-1 on April 30 to have Gloria work with city attorney Jan Goldsmith’s office to craft a plan to place the proposed ordinance on the ballot. At the suggestion of councilman David Alvarez, consideration is also being given to an option that would allow the council to enact a minimum-wage law without having to place it on the ballot.
Neither city council option requires the gathering of signatures from the public. But there are in fact people standing in front of grocery stores being paid to collect signatures for an initiative they’re telling voters will increase the minimum wage.
Today we’ll look at just exactly what this competing ballot measure does and (mostly) doesn’t do. My earlier suspicions about this new measure being a diversionary tactic are proving to be right. We still don’t know who is financing this drive, and that in of itself is suspicious.
Thanks to the Raise Up San Diego coalition, it is easy to see what each plan offers. I’ll call Todd Gloria’s proposal “The Real Minimum Wage Measure” and the competing measure, whose authors have yet to be identified, “The Fake Minimum Wage Measure”.
Real Minimum Wage Measure–
- Covers all businesses, Sets a floor on hourly wages for all employees in the city. Future increases (post 2017) indexed to cost of living
- Provides an hourly raise for all employees, regardless of how many hours they work, including many who are involuntarily part-time.
- Provides a raise for everyone making minimum wage, including many people who work in fast food, other restaurants and retail stores – the people who need it most.
- Improves the lives of more than 220,000 working people in San Diego, including more than 75,000 parents. Only 4% of the people to be impacted are teenagers.
- Puts at least $660 million into the local economy per year when fully implemented.
Fake Minimum Wage Measure –
- Exemption clause allows almost all businesses to avoid paying the increased wage. It exempts more than 93% of businesses.
- The fake measure exempts all businesses with 25 or fewer full-time employees.
- Exemption loophole lets fast food restaurants and many other large businesses off the hook, by treating each location or department as a separate business for the employee count. Fast food outlets and many retail stores are franchises with less than 25 full-time workers. Huge companies like Walmart already count each pharmacy, optical counter, and photo center as separate businesses. Could they spin off other departments to avoid paying the wage?
- Excludes almost all part-time workers by exempting their employers, and provides incentives for employers to reduce more people to part-time work. Employers with slightly more than 25 full-time workers would have an incentive to lower some people to part-time to get the exemption. Some employers already have used this tactic in response to ACA, according to media reports.
- Unknown how many are covered; proponents haven’t said. Maybe nobody, because of exemptions and maneuvering?
- Unknown economic impact, if any.
Another Fast Food Executive Comes Out
CNN broadcast an interview with Dairy Queen CEO John Gainor yesterday, who agreed with Subway CEO John DeLuca by saying not completely negative things about the idea of increasing the minimum wage.
“People need to be paid a fair wage,” Dairy Queen CEO John Gainor told CNN’s Poppy Harlow.
Gainor said his company was trying to figure out how much it might cost to raise wages for its workers, at a time when President Barack Obama and many fast-food workers are pushing to raise the national minimum wage from its current $7.25 an hour. Republicans and some corporate chieftains, including fast-food executives, have opposed the idea, saying it would raise costs and hurt the economy and low-wage workers.
But earlier this week DeLuca seemed to abandon his objection to the idea of a higher minimum wage, saying it probably wouldn’t hurt business. And in a clue to his own thinking about the controversy, Gainor told CNN that low wages made it hard to keep good employees.
Former GOP Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney came out in support of a minimum wage increase yesterday.
Via Talking Points Memo:
“I part company with many of the conservatives in my party on the issue of the minimum wage. I think we ought to raise it,” Romney said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “Because frankly our party is all about more jobs and better pay, and I think communicating that is important to us.”
The President Comes to Town:
Peters vs. DeMaio in the News
President Obama visited La Jolla yesterday for a fundraising function at the home of Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs. The cash raised at this event was in support of Democratic congressional candidates. And nowhere in the country is any contest getting more attention than the 52nd District battle between incumbent Democrat Scott Peters and former city councilman Carl DeMaio.
The presidential visit tied up traffic, prompted demonstrations and gave newly elected Mayor Kevin Faulconer a chance to get some media facetime as he greeted Obama on the tarmac at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. (It is NOT true that Congressman Issa has issued a subpoena to see what the mayor might have learned about Benghazi in that brief encounter.)
Then, the motorcade from Miramar to the Bluffs at La Jolla Shores overlooking the ocean. The motorcade came down Torrey Pines Road – a 17 car caravan, trailed by 29 motorcades. They turned on Dunaway Drive and on to the residence of Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs, where guests at the luncheon paid $10,000 a plate. There’s plenty of room; Jacobs added an auditorium attached to the house. Prior to the arrival, the streets were lined with those who support the president – there is, after all, a Democrat majority in the La Jolla.
“He tries to get along with everybody, which is hard to do when you’re the president,” said Obama supporter Jesse Dye. “He’s trying to make it fair for everybody, which is a very hard thing and people are yelling ‘impeach him’, which is ridiculous.”
The president has his detractors as well. There were three vocal groups out in La Jolla, two of which were Democrats upset with some of his policies. Roger Ogden wants the president impeached for abusing his power…
The “Democrat” (can KUSI not know using “Democratic” this way is considered derogatory?) groups protesting were 350.org (Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline) and assorted activists opposed to the secrecy surrounding the current Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. The handful of non “Democrat” protesters were generally associated with local versions of the Tea Party. Note that they’re the ones who made it into KUSI’s photo/graphic of the event.
City Beat Tells Us How They Really Feel…
San Diego’s City Beat made their election endorsements this week, which I mostly agreed with, except for their perennial attempt to find a Republican or two to say nice things about.
The race to focus on here is Peters vs. challenger Carl DeMaio. We’re not always thrilled with Peters’ votes, just as we weren’t always happy with him as a San Diego City Council member. But at least his views and votes match up well with the moderate, politically split 52nd District—Peters is largely about protecting the environment and serving the interests of the district’s high-tech industry and military bases. DeMaio, on the other hand, is rivaled only by county Supervisor Bill Horn as the worst San Diego-area politician in at least the last 15 years and probably a lot longer.
DeMaio is just the most hideous kind of political opportunist. Sure, most politicians do it to an extent, but DeMaio is opportunism and crazed ambition on steroid-boosted steroids.
It’s been quite a show to watch him transform his narrative right before our eyes to this “new generation” Republican who’s so gosh-darn proud of his homosexuality. Believe us, were he running in a more conservative district, he wouldn’t be singing that tune. There’s a reason LGBT groups don’t support him—because he’s only pro-LGBT when it serves his needs.
Part of us wouldn’t mind seeing him go to Washington, D.C., and get buried among 435 members, but knowing him, he’d be running the place within a year. And that’s not good for anyone. We beg you on our hands and knees to vote for Scott Peters in the 52nd.
But Then There’s This…
Via Daily Kos:
The House just voted to call on Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special counsel to investigate the “targeting” of Tea Party groups by the IRS.
Despite all evidence to the contrary, Republicans will not let go of the belief that they were uniquely targeted by the IRS for their political beliefs in a grand scheme designed by the president.
Twenty six Democrats reached across the aisle to vote for this bit of political grandstanding, including Congressman Scott Peters.
It was a resolution, not a bill, and thus it has no legal import. But if you’re going to talk about breaking gridlock and ending the partisanship characterizing this “do-nothing” Congress, it seems like it would be wiser to abstain or take a bathroom break than to give this sort of dreck any acknowledgment.
On This Day: 1960 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for sale an oral birth-control pill for the first time. 1974 – The House Judiciary Committee began formal hearings on the Nixon impeachment. 1990 – Sinead O’Connor refused to perform on “Saturday Night Live” after sexist comedian Andrew Dice Clay was named as host.
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