By Doug Porter
So much stupidity, so little time. Here’s what’s clogged up my inbox while I was on vacation:
San Diego’s Board of Supervisors will consider regulating free speech, a third person has come forward to complain about Dave Roberts, and Escondido Mayor Sam Abed actually thinks he can run a campaign for the third district seat stressing integrity. (Cue audience laughter)
SeaWorld supporters have slithered into the red baiting realm, the Chargers continue to play the mayor like a finely tuned violin and a local non-profit news outfit is apparently flouting the same state law it has accused attorney Cory Briggs of violating.
County “Free Speech Zones”
I expect the Board of Supervisors will want to make a few modifications to the new regulations being considered for would-be dissidents who dare to exercise their First Amendment rights outside the County Administration Center.
A proposed ordinance creating three 50 foot square free speech zones and imposing other restrictions on demonstrations will go through its first reading today and be considered for adoption on June 23rd.
Stories in the local news outfits have to pointed out –politely, of course, lest the county limit their access to information– that requiring permits 20 days in advance for groups over 200 people (are they supposed to sell tickets?) or requiring smaller groups not to interfere with “significant government interests” might just be unconstitutional.
The ACLU’s David Loy was quoted by the Union-Tribune, pointing out the many potential issues raised by such an ordinance.
Loy also takes issue with provisions that indemnify the county from problems involving the protest. He said the proposed ordinance allows the county to determine what sort of problems related to the protest are the responsibility of the protesters. This is vague and unfair because it means that protesters can be held responsible for actions by counter-protesters or hecklers and others outside their control, Loy said.
This type of indemnification provision could also be used by the county to not issue permits to groups that they think would create too much of a controversy, he said.
“This kind of limitless indemnification requirement is unconstitutional, I think,” Loy said.
I feel no need to be polite about this proposed ordinance: it is an outrage, a flagrant attempt by elected officials to deny –via byzantine regulations– the right of the people to petition government. I also note that this idea is being seriously considered by an entity with a super-majority hailing from the party of less government.
More Bad News for Supervisor Dave Roberts
Back in the day when there were just two former employees with claims against County Supervisor Dave Roberts, the resignation letter of former Deputy Chief of Staff Lindsey Masukawa was touted as proof of what a great guy the District 3 representative was as an employer.
Now Musukawa has come forward with her own claim, saying she wrote the oft quoted letter hoping to preserve her own future employment prospects.
A third staffer who worked for embattled San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts filed a claim Monday with the county, alleging Roberts misused his public office for political purposes and offered her a higher paying job to lie about it to Human Resources.
According to the claim, Roberts’ former Deputy Chief of Staff Lindsey Masukawa and other employees in the office were asked by Roberts to “engage in campaign-related activities…”
…Attorneys for Masukawa said they do not plan on doing interviews about the claim or the turmoil in Roberts’ office and neither will Masukawa.
According to the claim, other examples of employees working on county time for campaign related activities include:
- Roberts directed staff to assist in his fundraising and endorsement efforts.
- Roberts used county resources to build his campaign finance committee.
- Roberts used a county car and driver for campaign and personal purposes.
Portions of the claim contain even more damning allegations, including instances where Roberts shared information from confidential board meetings with union representatives during negotiations and actions seemingly in violation of campaign finance laws.
Roberts continues to deny any wrongdoing, saying yesterday’s allegations are “completely false.”
Sam the Sham Makes a Move
Escondido Mayor Sam Abed threw his hat in the ring yesterday, saying he would run for the 3rd District Supervisor seat currently held by Dave Roberts.
From the Union-Tribune:
Besides running as a critic of the incumbent’s woes, Abed is running as a fiscal conservative. He’s pointing toward deficit reductions in Escondido as proof that he can help the county maintain its pristine credit ratings.
He said he brings a fiscal conservative approach and promises to cut government waste, while pressing for efficiency and pension reform.
“You name it. That’s what I will provide to the city of San Diego,” he said, apparently misspeaking instead of saying “county of San Diego.”
Abed is the first to officially announce his candidacy and claims he’s already raised $100,000. But some other Republican names have also been mentioned as possible Roberts opponents, including San Diego City Councilman Mark Kersey, Encinitas Mayor Kristin Gaspar and state Assemblyman Brian Maienschein.
Abed’s candidacy is a gift from heaven for journalists. A history of questionable land deals with cronies, his ‘I’m-not-a-racist’ racism towards Latinos and the ability to mis-speak on command should provide the basis for lots of sensational stories.
Here’s Escondido Democrat Don Greene with an appetizer:
That weird shudder you felt on Monday morning was not a change in barometric pressure. In something akin to a “disturbance in the force,” Mayor Sam Abed announced his candidacy for County Supervisor. This is problematic for a number of reasons, not least of which is the fact that he has demonstrated he is neither qualified nor fit for the position.
Abed holds his record on the Escondido City Council high and proud, for all to see. I have often described his description of the job that he’s done as something from the Orwellian Ministry of Truth. Wrapped in a weird double speak, Abed delivers the litany of his destructive policies as proud accomplishments: Sure we closed your library, but think of the money we saved you on glasses.
‘Social Communism’ Comes to SeaWorld
Hundreds of people came out to protest at SeaWorld locations around the country this past weekend. In San Diego and Orlando these demonstrations were met by people apparently being paid to display red flags and signs touting “social communism.”
From the OB Rag:
During the protests on Saturday, June 6th, staged right outside SeaWorld’s gates, it was evident that SeaWorld and or its supporters were certainly playing dirty pool. For right there, in the midst of the over 100 demonstrators lining SeaWorld Drive, were counter-protesters, 2 small groups of which were holding up large red flags identified with either the old Soviet Russia or with modern-day China. This was obviously a ploy to confuse or dissuade possible supporters with the “communist” regalia. In addition, there were at least 2 trucks carrying message boards that stated in large letters: “peta murders animals”. (PETA stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and was one of the organizers for the demos.)
A similar response in Orlando was noted by Crooks and Liars:
They held a nice protest out in front of SeaWorld Florida in Orlando on Saturday, and some uninvited guests showed up. Actually, they apparently were invited — by someone associated with SeaWorld.
“Support Social Communism” the signs read. They featured both a Russian hammer and sickle and a Chinese star. Or something like that.
The invitations came with paychecks to go stand among the protesters with signs that would at once make the protesters look bad and simultaneously express the company’s opinion of the dirty hippies marching out front.
Soooo …. does anyone know exactly what “Social Communism” is? Ever hear of it? Me neither.
And neither, apparently, had the people carrying the signs. Lincoln O’Barry, writing over at his dad’s Dolphin Project website, and one of the people protesting, asked the guy carrying the sign if he actually knew of any communists:
When Dolphin Project spoke with one of them, the unnamed Communist admitted to “just doing this as a job to make so extra money.” When we asked him to actually name a communist, he “couldn’t.”
We also noted that the pre-made sign he was holding was manufactured in Texas. When we suggested that this might ”not look good to some,” should he try to get a job or decide to run for office in 10 years, he began to hide.
A story in the Union-Tribune last week confirms the ongoing protests aimed at the company’s practices with regard to mammal captivity have impacted sales.
SeaWorld San Diego saw its attendance sink by 12 percent last year, making it the worst-performing of the top 20 theme parks in North America, according to a report released Wednesday.
The nonprofit Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and consulting firm Aecom said both the San Diego and Orlando marine parks showed sharp drops in visitors, while SeaWorld rivals, Universal and Disney, registered strong increases, with Universal Studios Orlando jumping a whopping 17 percent in attendance.
The company countered this latest bit of bad news with its own spin. The Los Angeles Times and other outlets ran stories about how the water parks were “bouncing back,” citing company-provided figures claiming a 5.6% increase in attendance at its 11 parks during the first quarter of 2015. The company admitted much of the increase can be attributed to an earlier date for Easter this year.
Faulconer’s Football Funnies
The ‘negotiations’ currently taking place between local governments and the NFL franchise currently located nearby are just. plain. wierd.
Yesterday Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced that, if an agreement of building a stadium could be reached, it would be possible to hold a special election come December 15th.
So, if this were a murder trial, what happened yesterday is that the government announced an execution date, provided, of course, the jury returns a finding of guilt and decrees the death penalty.
From the Times of San Diego:
There were talks earlier this year of a public vote involving residents outside of the city’s limit because the county committed some money for a stadium, but an after a meeting with the Chargers on Monday, Faulconer said only a citywide vote was needed.
The City Council would have to approve any ballot measures by Sept. 18 for the Registrar of Voters to put the issue to the voters by the end of the year. The vote would be a mail-in only ballot, which would save the city money. The county does not allow mail-in only ballot — another reason why the county voters will not have a say in this.
KPBS-associated Non-profit Flouts State Law
Hey, what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander, no?
Over the past few months KPBS-affiliated inewsource has flung a boatload of charges against attorney Cory Briggs.
Some people, including yours truly, think these allegations are ultimately coming from the City Attorney’s office, which has a vested interest in harming Brigg’s reputation as retaliation for the lawsuits he’s filed. An inewsource reporter primarily associated with these stories is basically saying that anybody questioning his cred is full of sh*t.
Some of the recent round of allegations from the stories includes claims (by the City Attorney’s office in court) made that non-profits represented by Briggs were not in good standing. A judge partially agreed with one of those claims, reducing attorney fees paid to Briggs following the city’s loss in a case involving “not” taxes collected by local hotels.
The balance in fees likely to be paid out to Briggs and an attorney representing civic activist Mel Shapiro comes to more than three fourths of a million dollars of taxpayer money. That “fact” apparently wasn’t important to inewsource.
The headline at inewsource was about these claims was “Briggs-associated nonprofits flout state, federal laws.”
Pot, meet kettle:
Here’s the state’s definition of “delinquent:”
Delinquent – Status assigned to charity registrants that are delinquent in reporting to the Registry. This may mean they have not submitted the required annual renewal report (RRF-1) or have not submitted copies of IRS Form 990s as required. Fundraising Events for which the required financial reports have not been submitted also display as delinquent.
I’m sure this is just a matter of a simple clerical error, right? Or could it be, as a certain KPBS-affiliated non-profit likes to infer, something much more ominous?
— Dorian Hargrove (@DorianHargrove) June 8, 2015
I’m told the ads are “free” to “non-profits.” Except that inewsource is delinquent…
On This Day: 1790 – John Barry copyrighted “Philadelphia Spelling Book.” It was the first American book to be copyrighted. 1946 – Mel Ott (with the New York Giants) became the first manager to be ejected from a doubleheader (both games). 1958 – Jerry Lee Lewis took out a full-page ad in Billboard Magazine to explain about his second divorce and third marriage to his 14 year old cousin Myra.
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