By Doug Porter
The status quo types around San Diego seem to think there’s nothing wrong with our police department’s enforcement methods, particularly when it comes to not-really-human types like strippers.
You haven’t seen our District Attorney or our City Attorney holding a press conference, promising to investigate the SDPD’s recent “enforcement raids.” Mayor Faulconer can’t be bothered by questions about violations of people’s constitutional rights.
And the UT? Nothing to see here, folks… Just cops doing their jobs…
At least the Los Angeles Times editorial board knows an outrage when they see one.
In San Diego, adult entertainment establishments such as strip clubs must be licensed by the city. But police enforcement of the city’s licensing codes has led to egregious violations of the 4th Amendment’s protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.
In three raids on two strip clubs — Cheetahs Gentlemen’s Club and Club Expose — police detained the licensed, nearly nude dancers and photographed them against their will and without their permission — actions beyond the scope of the city’s licensing laws. Notably, none of the dancers was detained in connection with a criminal allegation or investigation.
Some 30 dancers have now sued the city and the San Diego Police Department, accusing them of false imprisonment and conducting unreasonable searches, among other things. Small potatoes, you think? No, it isn’t. Police violating the U.S. Constitution under the guise of regulatory enforcement should never be tolerated, no matter the victim or the circumstances.
Big Oil’s Stand in Favor of Air Pollution and Profits in California
I remember the days when smog was the defining feature of San Diego’s skyline for much of the year. We’ve come a long way in the past four decades. But we’re a long way from where we need to be when it comes to mitigating climate change.
The big oil companies are running a scare campaign, hoping to delay California’s groundbreaking solution to reducing carbon emissions, Assembly Bill 32, better known as the cap-and-trade law, as pollutants from transportation fuels are included come January 2015.
Perhaps you’ve seen the internet ads warning about LOOMING GAS PRICE HIKES. Or the “concern” stories that just happen to be popping up at UT-San Diego, wherein authoritative voices express dismay about the impact of higher gas prices on the “poor.”
Those infomercials and infotorials are courtesy of the California Independent Oil Marketers Association’s publicity campaign called “Fed Up at the Pump.” The California Chamber of Commerce says implementing this phase-in of cap-and-trade is an illegal money grab by the state.
The irony here is that cap-and-trade started out as a “free market solution” to environmental pollution. Newt Gingrich was for it before he was against it.
Here’s a one paragraph explainer, courtesy of Smithsonian Magazine:
The basic premise of cap-and-trade is that government doesn’t tell polluters how to clean up their act. Instead, it simply imposes a cap on emissions. Each company starts the year with a certain number of tons allowed—a so-called right to pollute. The company decides how to use its allowance; it might restrict output, or switch to a cleaner fuel, or buy a scrubber to cut emissions. If it doesn’t use up its allowance, it might then sell what it no longer needs. Then again, it might have to buy extra allowances on the open market. Each year, the cap ratchets down, and the shrinking pool of allowances gets costlier. As in a game of musical chairs, polluters must scramble to match allowances to emissions.
California’s carbon-cap program currently requires power plants and other heavy manufacturers to buy permits to breach preset emission targets.
From Fox News:
Sixteen state Democratic lawmakers wrote a letter to the head of the California Air Resources Board earlier this month warning this could trigger a cost increase of roughly 15 cents per gallon of gasoline.
The Assembly Democrats said they were “concerned” about the impact on their constituents, and urged the state to either delay the expansion or “change the program” to minimize the impact at the pump.
Their letter to the Air Resources Board failed to sway the current administration. So now they’ve introduced legislation in hopes of accomplishing their goal.
From the Los Angeles Times:
Nine Assembly and Senate members, led by Assemblyman Henry T. Perea (D-Fresno), want to delay putting motor vehicle fuels under the state’s system for buying and selling the right to release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Perea and colleagues worry that requiring refineries to buy credits could add at least 15 cents to the price of an average gallon of unleaded gasoline, which now tops $4 in many parts of the state.
To the frustration of environmentalists, the bill, AB 69, would postpone bringing vehicle fuel under “cap and trade” until Jan. 1, 2018.
“The cap-and-trade system should not be used to raise billions of dollars in new state funds at the expense of consumers,” said Assemblyman Perea, in a statement announcing the AB 69.
The good news is that those companies already covered under cap-and-trade are afraid delay of the standards will hurt their bottom line.
From UT-San Diego:
San Diego-based utility holding company Sempra Energy says electricity and natural gas providers already shoulder the costs of reducing heat-trapping gases linked to global warming.
With the legislature on summer recess, the company wrote a letter of its own to the Air Resources Board, asserting that a delayed expansion of the cap-and-trade program would unfairly thrust more responsibility for emissions reductions onto utilities and other areas of the economy.
“It simply shifts the burden onto others,” wrote a vice president at Sempra, the parent company to San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Gas. “Delaying the transportation fuel sector could also destabilize the market-based cap-and-trade program, leading to higher prices for carbon credits and exacerbating compliance costs.”
It’s important to understand that the big oil companies could care less about gas prices; these are the very same people getting away with jacking up fuel costs before holiday weekends and any other time an excuse (Iraq, Obamacare, Benghazi) can be found. Don’t be fooled by their current campaign.
The Pitch for Nationwide Non-Partisan Primaries
The New York Times has published an op-ed from Senator Chuck Schumer advocating for the adoption of an open primary system as the solution for the partisan divide in Congress.
We need a national movement to adopt the “top-two” primary (also known as an open primary), in which all voters, regardless of party registration, can vote and the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, then enter a runoff. This would prevent a hard-right or hard-left candidate from gaining office with the support of just a sliver of the voters of the vastly diminished primary electorate; to finish in the top two, candidates from either party would have to reach out to the broad middle.
California, which probably mirrors the diversity of America more than any other state, was racked by polarization until voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2010 that adopted a “top-two” primary system. The move has had a moderating influence on both parties and a salutary effect on the political system and its ability to govern. Louisiana has used a similar system since the 1970s, and Washington State since 2008. Voters in Colorado and Oregon will consider proposals later this year.
I would say the verdict is still out on California’s open primary system. And there have been unforeseen consequences…
Local Dems Debating Changes in Election Law
Local Democratic Clubs are currently debating resolutions (one for the City, and one for the County) calling for changing the system in local elections to make sure that there are two candidates in general elections and that elections are not ‘decided’ in the primary, as happened with the District 2 City Council race this year.
On July 27th Ryan Trabuco (Dems for Equality) will be asking the Point Loma Democratic Club to endorse measures insuring the top two vote getters from the primary election will advance to a run-off at the general election, regardless of the percentage of vote received in the primary. With contests where two or fewer candidates qualify for the ballot, races would not appear on the primary ballot but automatically advance to the general election.
UFCW Grocery Strike Possible Against Food-for-Less
The half dozen or so Food-for-Less stores in San Diego could see picket lines out front in the near future, according to a press release from Local 135 of the United Foodservice and Commercial Workers.
Here’s the issue:
Last month UFCW members throughout Southern California overwhelmingly voted to give Union Leadership the option to call a strike if necessary. During recent negotiations we have repeatedly asked why Food 4 Less workers earn less than Ralphs workers. Their parent company–Kroger is earning record profits but refuses to pay Food 4 Less workers fairly.
The San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council announced its support for a strike, an action that generally indicates things are going poorly in negotiations.
The UFCW membership ratified contracts with Albertsons, Vons, Ralphs and Stater Brothers during the first six months of 2014.
A Message From the Flat Earth Department
The last frontier is apparently the devil’s playgound.
From Raw Story:
Creationist Ken Ham has said that the U.S. space program is a waste of money because any alien life that scientists found would be damned to hell.
“I’m shocked at the countless hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent over the years in the desperate and fruitless search for extraterrestrial life,” Ham wrote in a Sunday column on his Answers in Genesis website.
Ham argued that “secularists are desperate to find life in outer space” as a part of their “rebellion against God in a desperate attempt to supposedly prove evolution.”
No Bus for You, Says SeaWorld
Activist Martha Sullivan is still waiting for answers from MTS, following an incident on Memorial Day weekend when SeaWorld security refused to allow her to access the bus stop at the water park.
Here’s the background on this story, ripped from the pages of Facebook:
On 5/24/14, I took the #9 MTS Bus from Pacific Beach and got off at the SeaWorld stop, then walked through the parking lot with my protest sign — Security told me I had to leave, to which I replied that I had taken the public bus, gotten off at the public bus stop and was walking to the demonstration site. They just followed me off the SeaWorld premises.
Not so easy RETURNING — SeaWorld Security threatened me with arrest for trespass if I tried to return to the same bus stop to get back to PB. Nearest other bus stop is at Ski Beach, over a mile away. I managed to convince an SDPD officer to escort me to the SeaWorld bus stop in his car, and I waited for, and boarded, the 9 bus without incident, albeit watched by 2 SeaWorld Security vehicles. I filed a complaint with MTS to clarify the policy on the public’s access to the SeaWorld bus stop — since there is NOTHING in MTS’ published Route 9 information to indicate that this stop is restricted in any way. Other than the bus doesn’t stop there when SeaWorld isn’t open.
Sullivan’s complaints have now been referred to the MTS legal department.
On This Day: 1886 – Newly unionized brewery workers in San Francisco, mostly German socialists, declared victory after the city’s breweries give in to their demands for free beer, a closed shop, freedom to live anywhere (they had typically been required to live in the breweries), a 10-hour day, 6-day week, and a board of arbitration. 1969 – Aretha Franklin was arrested for disorderly conduct after creating a disturbance in a Detroit parking lot. 2004 – The September 11 commission’s final report was released. The 575-page report concluded that hijackers exploited “deep institutional failings within our government.” The report was released to White House officials the day before.
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