By Doug Porter
Voters in the city of San Diego will get a chance to weigh in on an ordinance providing stepped increases in the minimum wage and up to five earned sick days annually in the June 2016 primary election.
A historic wrong will be righted with public approval of the measure, implementation of which was delayed by a deceptive petition campaign financed by out of town interests whose business model depends on government assistance to their employees.
The original ordinance was approved in the summer of 2014, following months of City Council president Todd Gloria attempting and essentially failing to get business community input. Mayor Kevin Faulconer vetoed the measure. The City Council overrode the veto, 6-3, voting along party lines.
The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce then facilitated the creation of the Small Business Coalition, drawing on ‘business consultant’ Jason Roe as a spokesman. Roe now serves as campaign manager for Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s re-election campaign.
The Small Business Coalition managed to find all of two local businesses to chip in to the half million dollars raised to fund signature gatherers who regularly misled people into thinking they were actually doing something good for low-income workers.
Councilman Todd Gloria actually took a cell phone video of a guy claiming to be gathering signatures to stop the state of California from blocking San Diego’s minimum wage increase.
The public stance taken by the Small Business Coalition was that they wanted the people of San Diego to have a say in any decision. Their petition effort gathered enough signatures to force the question of a referendum.
At that point the city council had two choices: rescind the ordinance or put it for up a public vote. The Chamber of Commerce emerged from behind their front group to urge reversal of the council vote. It surprised exactly nobody that Chamber CEO Jerry Sanders and company had no desire to force the matter to a public vote.
Yesterday the city council voted unanimously to put the measure on the June ballot. Supporters estimate that at least 172,000 city residents will receive raises if the measure is passed while 279,000 will be given the opportunity for earned sick leave.
City News Service, which provided coverage of the council’s action for many local media outlets, quoted Mayor Faulconer’s campaign manager, repeating the same exaggerated claims made back in 2014.:
“The proposed 44 percent increase for San Diego only, puts our small businesses at a competitive disadvantage,” said Jason Roe of the Small Business Coalition.
“The result will be that small businesses — the biggest creator of jobs in the nation — will be forced to lay off workers in order to absorb the increased costs,” Roe said.
Let’s do the math. If the voters approve the council ordinance:
- Employees within city limits will go to to $10.50 an hour shortly thereafter.
- On January 1st, 2017 the rate will increase to $11.50 hourly.
The current minimum wage in California is $10 per hour. So raise #1 amounts to 5%. Raise #2 amounts to 15%, (And that’s assuming the statewide increase on the November ballot doesn’t pass.)
As you can see, Roe and his sponsors at the Chamber engage in what I like to call Republi-Math(™). It’s the same mathematical system that brought us trickle-down, the 2008 recession and the myth of the 401(k) as a functional vehicle for retirement.
Roe, by the way, is the guy who once reportedly mailed a knife to an ex-cop to express his displeasure 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. He achieved local notoriety during Carl Demaio’s failed 2012 mayoral campaign.
When we vote for executive-type leaders like a mayor, governor, president, etc., what we’re actually voting for is the kind of leadership team we expect the candidate to pout together. Faulconer’s relationship with this ‘consultant’ and the nefarious aims of the chamber of commerce need to be kept in mind, come the June election.
Over the coming months, we’ll get to see campaigns for and against this now seemingly nominal pay boost. Ultimately this will come down to voter turnout. Will the majority view supportive of a minimum wage increase held by the public be enough to overcome the typically low–and skewering conservative– showing in at the poll in June?
The Chargers ‘Good Cop Bad Cop’ Ploy
Have you heard the news? Dean Spanos and the San Diego Chargers are ready to work out a stadium deal. Or are they?
Former chairman and CEO of the Centre City Development Corporation Fred Mass is now the nice-guy public persona for the Chargers. The locally dubbed Spawn of Satan (Mark Fabiano) has been relegated to the background.
Mark Fabiani, longtime special counsel to Spanos, told NBC 7 in an email conversation that the team would commit major financing to a stadium initiative campaign: “It will be quite expensive to write the initiative, qualify it and then campaign for it,” Fabiani said. “$10 million or more, all in.”
The statement released on behalf of the Chargers speaks of creating “the infrastructure necessary to give the Citizens Initiative process the best possible chance of success”, and says Maas will be working with “an established team of legal, financial and land use advisers.”
There seems to be some confusion about whether this “Citizens Initiative” is the same one as the proposed measure drafted by activist attorney Cory Briggs.
NBC’s story says this is the case. ESPN also thinks this is true.
The proposed measure, drafted by activist attorney Cory Briggs would hike and reconfigure the city’s hotel room tax structure and, according to its backers, could pave the way for the Chargers’ East Village vision to become a reality.
I’m not so sure. Briggs isn’t saying. (I asked.)
The rest of the stories I saw this morning didn’t mention the Briggs measure. My educated guess is the Chargers need a lot more than an expedited environmental impact process on the ballot.
DeMaio Gets Some Drama
Former city councilman-turned-radio talk show host Carl DeMaio had quite the day on Monday.
It turns out that newly anointed football consultant Maas and DeMaio are bitter enemies. Here’s his take:
“Nobody knows more about taxpayer giveaways than Fred Maas — he will fit right in with the Chargers as they demand hundreds of millions more from San Diego taxpayers.”
DeMaio was also involved in a KOGO radio debate featuring candidates for the 2016 US Senate contest on Monday.
Things didn’t exactly go as planned.
From the Union-Tribune:
Assemblyman Rocky Chávez dropped out of the U.S. Senate race Monday in an attempt to give a fellow Republican a better chance of ending up on the November ballot and possible victory in a state where Democrats have a commanding lead in voter registration.
“It’s so important that we as Republicans win this seat, because if we do not win it, it will go to a Democrat, conceivably for two or three decades,” Chávez said in the first minutes of a debate on San Diego’s KOGO radio with GOP candidates Tom Del Beccaro and Duf Sundheim.
No Republican candidate is likely, according to current polling, to make it past California’s top-two primaries. State Attorney General Kamala Harris and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, both Democrats, will likely square off in November.
Chávez’s also surprised local observers by announcing his re-entry into the 76th Assembly District. Oceanside City Councilman Jerry Kern and Encinitas’ Phil Graham – former Gov. Pete Wilson’s stepson – have been campaigning for what they thought would be an open seat.
On This Day: 1825 – The U.S. House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams president. No candidate had received a majority of electoral votes. 1950 – Sen. Joseph McCarthy falsely charged that the State Department was riddled with Communists. This was the beginning of “McCarthyism.” He ultimately was officially condemned by the Senate and died of alcoholism. 1961 – President Kennedy asked Congress to approve creation of the Medicare program, financed by an increase in Social Security taxes, to aid 14.2 million Americans aged 65 or older.
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