By Doug Porter
You’d think that One San Diego, the sort-of government operated non-governmental organization (GONGO) charged with drumming up tea and sympathy for the under-served parts of the city, would be smart enough to stage an event in one of those neighborhoods without engaging in petty partisan politics. But you’d be wrong.
Take, for instance, the Community Forum on Jobs scheduled for this evening (April 28) at the Barrio Station. Mayor Kevin Faulconer will be joined by representatives of the Workforce Partnership, UC San Diego and the Chamber of Commerce to present the “next generation of jobs programs.”
None of the organizations or politicians involved even informed–much less invited–David Alvarez, the City Councilman representing both the locale for the event and a district facing serious challenges in employment.
Alvarez’s office responded to a forwarded email about the event via a member of the Barrio Logan planning group saying, “Thanks for forwarding this since our office wasn’t notified.”
Liam Dillon at Voice of San Diego took note of One San Diego’s ambiguous nature in a article last month.
…it’s impossible to miss the close ties between One San Diego and the efforts to boost Faulconer’s standing in advance of his re-election bid next year and any future run for higher office. The people who donate to One San Diego certainly know this, said Richard Hasen, a law professor at UC Irvine and expert in campaign finance.
There are always people with interests before the city who are always happy to give to civic purposes and also curry favor with elected officials,” Hasen said.
Indeed, the lines separating the mayor’s nonprofit and the mayor’s political ambitions are pretty blurry. One San Diego is the mayor’s nonprofit. But it also isn’t.
Local Ambitions for 2016
So far no Democrat of consequence has indicated an interest in challenging incumbent Republican Kevin Faulconer in 2016. City Councilman Todd Gloria passed. Termed out Assembly leader Toni Atkins, who certainly has access to a war chest big enough to put up a fight, has seemingly abandoned the idea.
I’m told that’s because polling shows the seemingly always agreeable Faulconer with a commanding set of advantages beyond the incumbency. And let’s face it, the mayor’s PR machine has been running at full steam lately. It’s not unheard of to see a half dozen press releases/media events each day.
So Councilman David Alvarez, who went from next-to-nothing name recognition to a credible showing in last year’s special election is emerging as distinct possibility in the 2016 mayoral sweepstakes.
Three things could make this brand name Democrat a viable challenger.
- The possibility that the initiatives to keep a football team in town will fail, combined with a lack of action on the Civic Center expansion and a reluctance to face reality about San Diego’s long term infrastructure needs will tarnish his image.
- November 2016 is a presidential election. More Democrats will vote. And the residual bitterness from the 2013 special election primary will have faded.
- It’s probable that the 2016 election will include an initiative (or two) legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. I’m not saying potheads won’t vote for Faulconer; but there are a bunch of people with skin in this game who have money and are really unhappy with the way the city has treated medical marijuana dispensaries.
I should also mention rumors–not worth much at this point–that Alvarez may opt for another opportunity in 2016 and that there could be a certain well-known person who may take an interest in the mayoral race for personal reasons. I have heard variations on this theme from multiple sources… Don’t make any bets based on this info.
Auto-Voting Bill Moves Forward
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez proposal to automatically register Californians to vote when they get a driver’s license cleared an important hurdle yesterday.Secretary of State Alex Padilla testified before an Assembly committee, saying there are about 6.7 million state residents who are eligible but not registered.
From the Los Angeles Times:
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) modeled her bill on a new law in Oregon and said it is needed after the 42% record-low turnout in the November statewide election.
“These concerning new lows are unacceptable,” Gonzalez told the Assembly Transportation Committee. “We cannot allow this trends to continue.”
Padilla said that 40,000 people went to his agency’s website for information on registering to vote after the deadline for signing up in the last election. Under the new law, people who get a driver’s license will be notified they have 21 days to object or they will be registered to vote if eligible.
Republican committee members opposed the bill, with Assemblywoman Catharine Baker saying, “I haven’t heard any evidence that the lack of registration is the reason people don’t vote.”
‘Job Killer’ Bills at Heart of Special Election
Dan Walters at the Sacramento Bee noted the California Chamber of Commerce’s concern about a little noticed special election that could impact its “job-killer” list of bills to oppose this year.
In three weeks, voters in the affluent East Bay suburbs of Alameda and Contra Costa counties will decide whether Democratic Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla or Democratic campaign consultant Steve Glazer will fill a vacant seat.
Unions and other liberal groups have spent millions to support Bonilla and trash Glazer while business groups and conservative individuals have done the same for Glazer and against Bonilla. Their contest has been filled with charges, countercharges and personal invective.
Underlying the political nastiness is the arithmetic of the Senate’s Democratic majority. Only 19 or 20 Democratic senators, just short of a majority, are reliable votes for the most contentious business-related bills, such as those on the CalChamber’s target list.
The May 19 election could tip the balance either way. A Bonilla win would enhance the bills’ chances in the Senate, while a Glazer victory would make their passage even more difficult.
Baltimore and #BlackLivesMatter
One again we’re seeing some lazy-ass coverage of civil unrest. So before you jump to conclusions about what’s going on in Baltimore, here are a few articles (with a quote or two) I think offer nuance and insight into a situation that’s way more complicated than a 30 second sound bite or a Facebook post can convey.
Ta-Neshi Coates at the Atlantic: Nonviolence As Compliance
I grew up across the street from Mondawmin Mall, where today’s riots began. My mother was raised in the same housing project, Gilmor Homes, where Freddie Gray was killed. Everyone I knew who lived in that world regarded the police not with admiration and respect but with fear and caution. People write these feelings off as wholly irrational at their own peril, or their own leisure.
Arturo Garcia at Raw Story: Fox’s Shep Smith schools ‘The Five’: Start covering Baltimore and stop trying to ‘indict’ it
“We’ve got a major American city that has decades of turmoil within this neighborhood,” Smith said, pointing at an image of the rioting and citing Fox reporter Doug McKelway’s accounts of residents saying police had made them feel “powerless and hopeless.”
Quoting the COO of the Baltimore Orioles:
The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, and ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importances of any kids’ game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards. We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don’t have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights, and this makes inconvenience at a ballgame irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.
Local Demonstration Scheduled
More on the Smart San Diego Infomercial
This UT-San Diego reporter either has gotten the word or refuses to believe that our “SuperBowl Impact” documentary on the National Geographic channel is really just an infomercial.
The documentary featuring San Diego as one of the “World’s Smart Cities,” was supposed to air at 8 a.m. on Saturday, but because of apparent confusion over the airtime across different time zones, the program in some cases was shown at 5 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. in the San Diego area. That was the explanation provided by National Geographic to representatives of the San Diego Tourism Authority, which has worked with National Geographic on the yearlong effort to deliver the production.
Adding to the confusion was the absence of the program on the guides of the various cable and satellite TV providers days before the Saturday air date.
“We’re not happy that we did not know that the time zones would vary, and National Geographic is pulling for us proof (of official air times),” said Kerri Kapich, senior vice president of marketing for the Tourism Authority. “We are working with them now as to how to make up for that error on Saturday morning.”
Believe it folks. This Smart Cities story isn’t in the official National Geographic Channel schedule at any time. Its upcoming Saturday morning time slot is listed as “Paid Programming.”
On This Day: 1967 – Muhammad Ali refused induction into the U.S. Army and was stripped of boxing title. He cited religious grounds for his refusal. 1970 – Congress creates OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The AFL-CIO sets April 28 as “Workers Memorial Day” to honor the hundreds of thousands of workers killed and injured on the job every year. 1986 – For the first time, a compact disc of an album was released before its vinyl version. The album was “The Art of Excellence” by Tony Bennett. It was his first album upon re-signing with Columbia Records.
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