By Doug Porter
Tensions between supporters and opponents of a city council approved increase in the minimum wage /earned sick days have escalated in recent days.
For now, most of the battles are being fought via press releases. GOP Consultant Jason Roe worked the phones on Friday, claiming signature collectors for a referendum effectively suspending the council’s action, were assaulted.
TV News crews and police descended upon a Vons store in Clairemont only to learn that a paid canvasser was claiming his petitions had been stolen. Former Assemblywomen Lori Saldaña is now questioning that claim, based on the fact she was in the area at the time of alleged theft and saw nothing of the kind.
Saldaña hosted a press event this morning, releasing several videos of misleading claims being made by canvassers.
In one, a signature gatherer says the San Diego minimum wage would “increase to $15, like Seattle.” The San Diego ordinance in fact only raises the minimum wage to $11.50 after three years. In another, a petitioner says “in San Diego, they want to double the minimum wage by like 50 percent.” In a third, unaware he is speaking to City Council President Todd Gloria, the author of the minimum wage ordinance, a signature gatherer asks Gloria whether he opposes the minimum wage. When Gloria responds that he supports it, the signature gatherer says tells him that the state is forcing San Diego to increase the minimum wage and his signature “would only place the question of whether we should increase the minimum wage on the ballot,” without disclosing that a local minimum wage increase already was passed into law by the San Diego City Council and the sole purpose of the petition is to force its repeal. In a voice recording Saldaña made herself, a signature gatherer is overhead telling her that the “minimum wage is forcing production out of Seattle…and would double the price of ground beef…”
“…These firms stand to win tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonuses when they qualify these initiatives and the stakes are very high,” Saldaña said. “That’s why you’ve seen three or four police reports alleging violence by petitioners filed in just the first couple days of signature gathering.” Saldaña believes that the consultants and signature gathering firm hired to repeal the minimum wage now are encouraging their petitioners to fabricate stories of harassment to deflect criticism of their tactics. Saldaña was actually in a Vons parking lot on Clairemont Drive close to the time when two signature gatherers say their petition clipboards were stolen there by minimum wage boosters. “I saw nothing remotely resembling what they described,” she said. “This whole signature gathering effort is ruthless and sleazy and I would encourage San Diego residents not to sign.”
Honest Debate as High Comedy in a Press Release
I’ve spent the whole weekend chuckling over the closing line of a press release from the Chamber of Commerce sponsored consultant orchestrating the anti-minimum wage campaign:
We can have honest debate without intimidation or bullying.
Really, now? Does consultant Jason Roe expect anybody to have an “honest debate” after starting off the same press release with:
We knew when Todd Gloria and the Union Goons announced their voter harassment campaign on August 14th, that citizens circulating petitions to put the 44 percent increase on the ballot would have to navigate aggressive harassment to get those signatures, but we had no idea that they would resort to the types of tactics employed in the last three days. As an elected leader and the president of the City Council, Gloria should be ashamed of what he’s incited and ask his followers to cease their anti-democratic and unconstitutional behavior.
So he’s insulted the well-regarded President of the City Council, 100 plus labor groups within San Diego and Imperial Counties (with a membership of more than 200,000 working families) AND made two statements that I’ll generously call half-truths. (The 44% number is really bogus and the “citizens” were bussed in from elsewhere as paid contractors)
I’m sure his statements will encourage… something. But I doubt it will be polite debate.
Personally I’m hoping we’ll get to see photos of councilman Gloria in a wife-beater tanktop leading former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña and City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner armed with ‘Union Yes’ buttons into action.
Jason Roe has released two videos. The first one (4 secs) is very disappointing, showing a white kid being afraid of a black kid following him down the street. A second video shows the white kid running saying “this is harassment”. I’d post them but there’s no embed code.
KPBS set up a link for people to report their encounters with the paid canvassers. One person who signed the petition said the signature gatherers weren’t being honest.
Here’s one young lady who feels she was misled:
I may have been “duped” by them. On Aug 21 I was approached as I was entering the 99cent store at Clairemont Square. The guy said “Sign a petition to increase the minimum wage.” I knew that it had already passed City Council so I questioned what he was really doing. He was offended and said that he was in favor of increasing the minimum wage and that even though they voted for it, there was a chance it still might not pass and I should sign to guarantee that it passes. He did not use the term “pledge” which I had already signed on line. I asked to read his petition and he handed me a form that read like a petition to increase min wage and guarantee paid sick leave, so I signed.
When i got home I posted on FB what I had done and asked if anyone knew about this petition for the min wage increase. I was bombarded by postings that I had signed the opposition’s petition. I called the hotline for the group in favor of increasing min wage and was told they did in fact have people out there who were gathering signatures, but only for a “pledge” — not a petition. I called the group who is circulating the petition against minimum wage and was told they would email me a copy. As of today, I have not received that. I am still confused and plan to return to Clairemont Square and find anyone with a petition so i can see what I really signed. If I signed this petition that is NOT in favor of increasing the minimum wage then I plan to report them to the SDDA office. They are obviously lying to collect signatures.
Is the NSA Reading YOUR Emails?
The American Civil Liberties Union and the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy are hosting a talk with Cindy Cohn. Legal Director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation on Wednesday, September 10th at 5:30 pm.
It’s being billed as a conversation with “The Woman the NSA Fears the Most.” Unlike most the talking heads you’ll see on TV, she has actual experience litigating cases that involve national security and privacy issues.
Here’s a snippet from her bio at Wikipedia:
She represented Daniel J. Bernstein and the Electronic Frontier Foundation in Bernstein v. United States, [software code was free speech protected by the First Amendment] and in 1997 was recognized by California Lawyer Magazine as one of the Lawyers of the Year for this work. She currently serves as Legal Director and General Counsel for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. In 2006, Ms. Cohn was named one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America by the National Law Journal. Ms. Cohn also serves on the Board of Directors of the nonprofits Human Rights Advocates and the Verified Voting Foundation.
In addition to Bernstein, some of Ms. Cohn’s significant cases include Hepting v. AT&T (class action against AT&T for collaborating with the National Security Agency program to wiretap and data-mine Americans’ communications), In re Sony BMG Tech. litigation (class action against Sony BMG for placing dangerous digital rights management (DRM) on customers’ computers), OPG v. Diebold (Diebold was held liable for sending out unfounded cease and desist notices to internet service providers (ISPs) in an effort to stop public discussion of the flaws in its electronic voting machines), and DVDCCA v. Bunner (representing Andrew Bunner against the DVD Copy Control Association defending his right to republish a computer program that he found republished elsewhere on the Internet).
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is at the vanguard of groups seeking to protect citizen rights in this age of Big Brother writ large.
The program will be at California Western School of Law, 225 Cedar Street, San Diego. RSVP via https://www.acslaw.org/
California’s Getting High(er)
A study published last week in the journal Science by researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the the University of California-San Diego says land in California is actually rising as a consequence of the extended drought.
Using GPS technology scientists are tracking uplift from the massive loss of water, now estimated to be 63 trillion gallons. According to study co-author Duncan Agnew, a professor at the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC-San Diego, most of the movement occurred since last year as the West’s drought has become more and more extreme,
From Scientific American:
The drought that is devastating California and much of the West has dried the region so much that 240 gigatons worth of surface and groundwater have been lost, roughly the equivalent to a 3.9-inch layer of water over the entire West, or the annual loss of mass from the Greenland Ice Sheet, according to the study.
While some of California’s mountains have risen by about 0.6 inches since early 2013, the West overall has risen by an average of about 0.157 inches.
“Groundwater is a load on the Earth’s crust,” said Klaus Jacob, a seismologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, N.Y., who is unaffiliated with the study. “A load compresses the crust elastically, hence it subsides. When you take that load away (by the drought) the crust decompresses and the surface rises. From the amount of rising, one can estimate the amount of the water deficit.”
On This Day: 1819 – Allan Pinkerton, whose strike-breaking detectives (“Pinks”) gave us the word “fink,” was born. 1941 – President Franklin Roosevelt signed the bill appropriating funds for construction of the Pentagon. 1975 – Bruce Springsteen’s album “Born to Run” was released.
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