By Doug Porter
Voters in the 52nd Congressional District come November will get to make their choice between the former City Councilman and incumbent Democrat Scott Peters. Today I’ll argue that this choice is more than ideological; it’s a question of character.
What differentiates DeMaio in my mind from others who I disagree with (including Congressman Peters from time to time) is the way he does business. A couple of recent examples serve to illustrate my point. (And I’ll remind you of some past incidents that bolster my contention.)
Having lost out on an endorsement from the US Chamber of Commerce last week, candidate DeMaio sought to change the subject by rolling out what he insisted was a series of women-friendly proposals.
This was odd, considering his previous stances on what he calls “social issues.” In the 2012 mayoral contest, DeMaio twice refused to fill out questionnaires sent to him by Planned Parenthood.
His core proposal, ripped from the pages of Reason.com and in vogue with other Republican candidates seeking traction in close contests, is to promote the concept of over-the-counter birth control pills. It’s a ‘common sense’ proposal (there is no medical reason why they shouldn’t be available OTC) with a not-so-obvious consequence.
Kelly Davis at CityBeat put this into perspective:
Here’s the thing: A Republican embracing over-the-counter (OTC) birth control isn’t new. It kind of becamea trend this week, actually, a synchronized—and hence, disingenuous—appeal to women voters by Republicans in tight races.
Why is OTC birth control not a good thing? Right now, under the Affordable Care Act, there’s no co-pay for prescription birth control. Insurance generally doesn’t cover over-the-counter medication, and paying out-of-pocket for birth control could run a woman $600 a year. Not to mention the fact that this would give employers a reason to cut coverage for other birth-control options (IUDs, Depo-Provera) from employee insurance plans.
Yesterday the The American Congress of Obstetricians denounced candidates or election officials who call for making birth control available over-the-counter as a “political tool.”
From Talking Points Memo:
In the statement, ACOG president John C. Jennings stressed that the organization supports making oral contraceptives available over-the-counter and that this kind of access should be part of a broader increase of “affordable, reliable access for American women to the contraceptives they need.”
“We feel strongly, however, that OTC access to contraceptives should be part of a broader dialogue about improving women’s health care, preventing unintended pregnancies, and increasing use of contraception, including long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). Over the counter access should not be used as a political tool by candidates or by elected officials.”
As you’ll see, Carl DeMaio’s political technique involves plausible deniability. If this issue breaks bad for him, it will soon be decreed to be somebody else’s fault.
Over at Voice of San Diego Andy Keatts points out a deceptive portion of Carl DeMaio’s recently released TV ad.
Carl DeMaio’s new campaign ad features an endorsement from a local politician recently re-elected overwhelmingly, and in a district overlapping the one he’s running to represent.
Oddly, the ad goes out of its way to make her seem like just another resident who thinks he’d be a good congressman.
Councilwoman Lorie Zapf, a Republican just re-elected to her second term in the coastal district that sits entirely within the 52nd Congressional District that DeMaio’s running to represent, is identified in the ad simply as “Lorie – Republican.”
By itself, maybe this isn’t such a big deal. But let’s put it into context.
Small Things Add Up
There was the story about his plagiarizing a National Journal report on double-dipping pensions earlier this year (and then throwing campaign staff under the bus after promising not to). The only significant change from the original document was the inclusion of his opponent, who long ago donated that income to the San Diego Public Library and was very public about it.
Then there’s the trashing of his offices just prior to the June primary (which now appears to have been an inside job).
Remember this bit of hysteria (via National Review)?:
“They destroyed everything — they wiped us out entirely,” DeMaio, a libertarian Republican who served a term on San Diego’s city council, told Fox News on Friday. “It was designed to silence the campaign very clearly.”
Doesn’t it strike you as a little odd that DeMaio’s staffers are the primary suspects? And why would staffers in a political campaign commit such an act?
From UT-San Diego:
Two former staffers may be the ones responsible for a burglary at GOP congressional candidate Carl DeMaio’s Mira Mesa campaign headquarters on the eve of the June 3 primary election, a San Diego Police Department spokesman said Friday.
Lt. Kevin Mayer said police have concluded that a burglary did occur at the office late in the evening of May 27 or in the early morning hours of May 28. Several thousand dollars of hardware was damaged or destroyed, including computers, telephones, a copy machine and an Internet router and cable modem.
Mayer said the DeMaio campaign identified two former staff members as potential suspects early on in the investigation.
And if those recent stories aren’t enough, check out City Beat’s Carl DeMaio A to Z, published back in the 2012 Mayoral campaign. From having staffers re-write his Wikipedia biography, to telling voters the streets of San Diego would get repaired faster (how’s that working out for you?) if they voted for Proposition A, it’s all there.
DeMaio’s Shushing Librarian Lie
Since I’m Carl DeMaio’s case this morning, I want to give due attention to a bit of truth from SDFP’s own Anna Daniels, left as a comment recently:
Carl DeMaio, the misogynist who would be mayor, is going after the women’s vote? He just recently was playing “aint it awful” by reviving the shushing librarianwho has a larger pension than a four star general.
DeMaio couldn’t be bothered with the facts–the highest city pension recipient is a male assistant attorney who happens to receive $72K/yr more than the shushing librarian. But what DeMaio lacks in truthfulness he more than makes up for in misogynist as well as his usual anti-public worker dog whistles.
The shushing librarian is crafted to bring to mind the library lady who reads books to your pre-schoolers, and about whom you were warmly inclined until DeMaio told you she’s going to bring down a pension that is higher than a 4 star general. (Not true) And the shushing librarian also brings to mind the woman who thinks she’s queen or something and can tell you to shut up in the library. You don’t like that, do you? As a hard working tax payer, you paid for that library and her salary. Doesn’t it make you mad?
What DeMaio doesn’t tell you of course, is that the “shushing librarian” was actually the head of a city department, responsible for a $37 M annual budget, the operation of a 34 branch system and the old central library as well as ongoing capital projects and oversight of the new main library construction.
By choosing a professional woman with decades of experience and substantive responsibilities as his poster child for city pension excesses, DeMaio reveals his nasty little misogynist id.
DeMaio doesn’t agree with women receiving equal pay for equal work. He doesn’t value certain kinds of work that women do– he didn’t want salary increases associated with a masters in library science (MLS), which is required to be a Librarian, to count toward pensionable base pay.
Women voters out there might want to keep this in mind.
( Disclaimer: I worked for 26 years at the information desk of the Central Library downtown. Now retired, my city pension is significantly less that a 4 star admiral’s. Shhhhhhh!)
While none of these shenanigans are likely to ever land Carl DeMaio in the hoosegow, they do have a certain odor about them.
“Job Killer” Sick Days Now the Law
While the local Chamber of Commerce is busily trying to undermine an earned sick day (and increase in the minimum wage) law for San Diego, Gov. Jerry Brown will be signing Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez’ AB 1522 today.
Nearly all California employers will be required to provide a minimum of three paid sick days annually to employees. 40% of the state’s workforce–6.5 million workers– will be covered.
From UT-San Diego:
The law will create the nation’s largest expansion of paid worker sick leave, requiring businesses large and small to comply. Connecticut is the only other state that requires the benefit though it applies only to businesses with 50 or more employees and excludes manufacturers.
Business groups in San Diego County and across the state opposed the legislation, known as the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, with many initially calling it a job killer. Some employer protections were added to the bill before the Legislature passed it early this month. Following negotiations with the governor, in-home care workers were excluded from the benefit.
The law would go into effect July 1, 2015.
The Public Market: Gone, But Not Forgotten
Catt Fields White and Dale Steele have thrown in the towel on the San Diego Public Market, a repurposed factory space in Barrio Logan promising to provide an experience akin to that of Seattle’s Pike Place Market, where boutique businesses, farmers and craftspeople could sell direct to the public.
Here’s a snippet from their farewell email to supporters (I was one):
It is not for lack of effort that the project did not succeed, and we extend heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you who supported it with donations of time, energy, talents, funds, and relentless enthusiasm and encouragement.
The project had a promising beginning. We located a property big enough to develop a permanent home for farmers and vendors, create a food incubator and an urban farm lab, and a setting for multi-cultural community events. We secured a long lease. We attempted to finance the project first via equity fundraising and later by taking the first steps to create a non-profit entity, with encouragement from local government agencies. Generous supporters donated over $135,000 to kickstart the factory building rehab and farmers’ market launch and we invested several times that in personal funds and loans from brave family and friends.
San Diego Schools: Ve Vill have Order!
inewsource.com broke the story yesterday about the San Diego Unified School District’s acquisition of a rather large armored vehicle (for free!) from the Department of Defense.
A San Diego Reader story notes that these are the very same vehicles, which weigh 14 tons or more, now being used by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
So I guess we should all feel better, knowing that if Middle Eastern militants storm our border ( a favorite prediction of the bombs away set), the SDUSD will be able to meet them head-on.
From the Reader:
“Our version is an Army version,” says San Diego Unified School District police captain Joe Florentino. “The only cost to the district was about $5000 to ship it from a military storage depot in Texas. It’s a new vehicle, not a hand-me-down….
“We recognize the public concern over perceived ‘militarization of law enforcement,’ but nothing could be further from the truth for School Police,” Florentino added in an email.
“[Rescue Task Force] tactics were born from the painful lessons of the 1999 Columbine tragedy, when officers waited outside for tactical teams while children and teachers were being killed inside of the school,” he continued.
“Our Rescue Vehicle provides the highest-level of protection for law enforcement to make entry under heavy fire while treating/evacuating students. We can actually fit an entire classroom of elementary students inside our Rescue Vehicle.”
The New York Times Made a Boo-Boo
But are they sure?
On This Day: 1897 – In Pennsylvania, Polish, Lithuanian and Slovak miners were gunned down by the Latimer Mine’s sheriff deputies—19 dead, more than 50 wounded—during a peaceful march from Hazelton to Latimer. Some 3,000 were marching for collective bargaining and civil liberty. The shooters were tried for murder but the jury failed to convict 1996 – WalMart banned Sheryl Crow’s 2nd album because of the song “Love is A Good Thing.” 1998 – President Clinton met with members of his Cabinet to apologize, ask forgiveness and promise to improve as a person in the wake of the scandal involving Monica Lewinsky.
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Brent Beltran says
If not for San Diego Public Market I would not be writing for, nor on the editorial board of, SDFP.
Brian Brady says
I make a private bet that you’d mention the MRAP gift to SDUSD this morning–you didn’t disappoint me. Can anyone really defend this piece of equipment? Oh wait…I think it says “RESCUE” on the side of it so it’s okay. Carry on
Doug Porter says
I got a tip about this a few weeks back, but the source said City College had the vehicle. That turned out to be a dead end…. But it did turn out to be in town.
And then there’s the new “let’s ransack the high schools with drug sniffing dogs ” program at SDUSD.
I’d much rather see that money spent on music classes or even, gasp, history.
I’ve always said that whenever a politician declares war on something, be it poverty, drugs or terror, the first thing citizens should look to protect is their wallets.
Brian Brady says
“I’ve always said that whenever a politician declares war on something, be it poverty, drugs or terror, the first thing citizens should look to protect is their wallets”
(Standing up, cheering wildly.)
bob dorn says
The district should be compelled to sell the 14 tons for its meltdown value… but to a local recycler. The money could go to lowering class sizes.
Also, some questions for the district to address:
If a Columbine-style massacre were to occur would it be school security or SDPD that responded? Who’ll repair it?
What sort of training in the use of the vehicle has been received by San Diego Unified’s police?
Frances O'Neill Zimmerman says
Who’s running the asylum over at San Diego Unified to have okayed this armored vehicle? What’s next, a B-1 bomber? According to inewsource, San Jose and Davis already have returned their government-surplus Mine Resistant Armored Vehicles. San Diego should do the same. 9/11 happened thirteen years ago tomorrow. Enough already.
John Lawrence says
And what about the waste of money? Supposedly, these things cost $750,000. And now the government is giving them away free? They have no further military value? The taxpayers in this country are ninnies. We paid $750, 000 for some worthless item that is them palmed off on some school district. Absolutely ridiculous.
bob dorn says
SDUSD got the vehicle for FREE, John. They only had to pay a little over 5K for shipping. It’s a NEW, never been used, GI-surplus, MRAP.
Everything else you wrote is absolutely correct.
John Lawrence says
I realize they got it free. But it cost the taxpayers $750,000. And yes they paid $5K for shipping. The point is the government (and we taxpayers) paid $750K, and then gave it away for virtually free.
sorry, I misunderstood. I thought ‘we paid’ meant SDUSD; you meant ‘we taxpayers’ which is certainly correct.
And … firstly, how the hell does Capt. Florentino picture the vehicle being used to save “an entire classroom”? What, break through the wall, load ’em up and drive out again? I don’t think so.
No, the MRAP would still be parked outside the school in such a situation and SWAT would still go inside … just the same as it would be without the armored vehicle.
Total military-fueled insanity.