By Doug Porter
The effort to sabotage a proposed minimum wage increase in San Diego was funded almost entirely by corporations dependent on government anti-poverty programs to support their workers.
This information came out via a November 4 campaign financial disclosure statement filed with the San Diego city clerk’s office reported on by Matt Potter at the Reader. The campaign was sponsored by a group calling itself the San Diego Small Business Coalition., While the Greater San Diego Chamber of Commerce, headed by former Mayor Jerry Sanders, made no secret of its involvement, they consistently claimed they were acting on behalf of and funded by small businesses.
Now we know that more than 95% of the group’s funding came from big business Political Action Committees. Out of town monies included: $100,000 from the American Hotel and Lodging Association, $40,000 from The California Restaurant Association Issues PAC, and $25,000 from the International Franchise Association of Washington DC.
Local corporate/big business support included $152,499 from the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce PAC, $95,000 from the San Diego Restaurant and Beverage PAC and $45,000 from the San Diego Lodging Industry Association PAC.
A whopping $15,000 in “small business support” came from two entities: Phil’s BBQ of Point Loma, Inc. ($10,000) and the Baumann family, operators of the Bali Hai and Tom Ham’s Lighthouse ($5000). (Please don’t eat there!)
The petitions for referendum sponsored by the Small Business Coalition called for the City Council passed ordinance to be placed on the ballot. They gathered 56,000 signatures, enough to qualify the issue for a vote, following a contentious campaign. Canvassers were video-taped using lies and misleading information to solicit signatures.
A counter-campaign run by Raise Up San Diego was accused of “bullying” in press releases and media appearances by a SBC spokesman. Despite being unable to substantiate their intimidation claims, the local media (mostly) dutifully reported them as truth.
In the end, when it came time for the City Council to either repeal the ordinance or accept the petitions to put it on the ballot, the Chamber and their friends revealed their true intentions, saying no to even the idea of putting it in the ballot. The bottom line is they spent nearly a half million dollars telling people a lie in order to get them to sign a petition.
As I said back on August 22nd:
The guy who is spokesman (He seems to get a thrill from seeing his name published, so I’ll pass) for the anti-minimum wage campaign once reportedly mailed a knife to a ex-cop to express his displeasure (h/t John Lamb) at a deal gone bad. He’s proud of his involvement in a political campaign that made fun of a double amputee Iraq war veteran.
Proud. Think we should trust anything this guy says?
The Chamber of Commerce should really think about changing their name to the Chamber of Corporate Welfare Defense League. Their leader Jerry Sanders can appear in parades in a convertible wearing a crown and blowing kisses to taxpayers as a thank you for their continued support.
This anti-minimum wage campaign was (and is) about the sustaining an economic model asking taxpayers to subsidize lower tiers of workers via government programs while corporations rack up record profits. It was also about moneyed conservative interests in San Diego seeking to use their wealth to impose their agenda.
Taxi Industry Showdown at City Council Set for Monday
A City Council hearing on taxi cab regulations set for Monday (Nov 10th) afternoon has been relocated to Golden Hall in order to accommodate the large crowds expected. An earlier hearing by the Public Safety Committee attracted over 400 supporters and opponents.
Taxi permits, which are public property, are originally released by the City for $3,000. Because of a cap limiting the number of permits an artificial value has been created allowing them to be traded for well over $100,000 each.
Drivers, faced with near poverty wages and an almost feudal “independent contractor” relationship with permit holders, want the cap eliminated. The owners are trying to stall any reforms, calling for more study on the issue.
Unfortunately for them, many studies already exist that highlight the benefits of moving to an open market for taxi permits. The failures of the San Diego taxi industry to serve either the public or protect the interests of its workers were well documented in a joint San Diego State University/Center on Policy Initiatives study, Driven to Despair.
There are a lot more drivers than permit holders, but there is big money at stake here.
The United Taxi Workers of San Diego have been leading a grassroots effort to reform the industry. They’re asking people to email City Council in support of reforms and to show up on Monday at 1pm to be a part of what could be a historic moment in worker organizing.
The 52nd Congressional District Drama
I’ll go out on a limb here and predict that the Friday report from the Registrar of Voters will cinch a win for incumbent Democratic Congressman Scott Peters. A report released on Thursday showed Peters in the lead by 861 votes.
The results won’t be final until Monday. In three prior electoral contests, the 52nd District incumbent has triumphed in later vote counts, which may observers believe favor Democratic candidates.
From NBC7 News:
DeMaio spokesman Dave McCulloch was at the county Registrar of Voters Office Thursday as the numbers were announced to give his take.
“As you said, those numbers have changed a lot, and we still remain optimistic but cautious in that. There is still more data to be analyzed, there are still more votes to be counted and we want to make sure that every vote is counted in this election,” he said.
Peters is out of town with his family, but his campaign manager MaryAnne Pinter released the following statement:
“We are very pleased with tonight’s result and continue to remain optimistic that Rep. Scott Peters will return to the 114th Congress. We are grateful for the hard work and professionalism of the entire team at the County Registrar of Voters. We also want to express tremendous gratitude to all our friends, supporters and volunteers who kept the faith with us over the last 24 hours.”
The big question now is what Carl DeMaio’s reaction to an losing vote count be? Will he demand a recount? Will lawsuits be filed?
The DeMaio campaign sent out a post-election funding appeal yesterday. Stay tuned….
Anti Trade Pact Actions in San Diego Part of National Effort
The International week of #StopFastTrack starts Saturday, November 8th, running thru November 14th.
These actions are hoping to increase public awareness of “fast-track” trade promotion authority legislation, which would be used to usher in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) “trade” (i.e. corporate rights) agreement.
From Economy in Crisis:
This weekend President Obama flies to Asia for a week of meetings. Part of the agenda is to get TPP finalized. In response, a broad coalition of labor, environmental, consumer and other “stakeholder” groups has delivered to congressional leaders a petition signed by more than 500,000 people opposing “fast-track” authority for the pact. It is these groups that are launching a week of action to drive up awareness of the dangers of Fast Track and TPP.
TPP is a twelve-nation pact that setting up new rules for approximately 40 percent of the global economy. While part of TPP is about relaxing tariffs and quotas, more of the agreement gives corporations new rights under financial regulations, limits the ability of governments to require that public procurement be done with in-country suppliers, gives the big pharmaceutical companies new powers over medicine patents and limits the ability of governments to set their own environmental policies. A section of the agreement called “investor-state dispute settlement” lets companies sue governments for doing things that limit corporate profits – even limiting a country’s ability to launch anti-smoking campaigns.
In San Diego much of the local action will be focused on Congresswoman Susan Davis.
Local organizers passed along this list of things to be done by supporters in the coming week:
- Sign up for Saturday’s Thunderclap with BOTH your Facebook and Twitter here à Saturday’s Thunderclap
- Sign up for the social media action team to receive sample Tweets, Facebook memes and Ello stuff.
- Contact Congress early and often expressing your opposition to Fast Track.
Monday evening, Nov 10th at 5 PM on the Taylor Street overpass of I-8 on the gateway to Davis’ district we will have an Overpass Light Brigade display; “STOPFASTTRACK.COM” leading to a website from which the user will be able to automatically connect to their elected representative by telephone. https://www.facebook.com/events/858778814167627/?pnref=story
Then on Wednesday afternoon, Nov 12th, 4 – 6 PM at Susan Davis’ office in University Heights, we will have a rally in opposition to Fast Track. Bring signs, noisemakers, and guitars and drums! https://www.facebook.com/events/783089711732353/?pnref=story
On This Day: 1637 – Anne Hutchinson, the first female religious leader in the American colonies, was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for heresy. 1959 – President Eisenhower’s use of the Taft-Hartley Act was upheld by the Supreme Court, breaking a 116-day steel strike. 1986 – Willie Nelson made a guest appearance the series “Miami Vice” as a corrupt policeman.
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