Democrats Retain Majority on City Council
By Doug Porter
The general election is still three months away and Republicans have already lost their first local down-ballot contest.
Republican candidate Ray Ellis has conceded the District One city council seat contest to Democrat Barbara Bry.
This council race was supposed to be the marquee local contest, with the winner’s party having the political balance of power. An up and coming Republican mayor in a big city could have paved the way to a political future for his party.
I have little doubt Bry would have won the seat come November. She projected strength and savvy in the face of the typical “I’m a smart businessman and I know what’s best” reactionary campaign. And she came just short of winning the contest outright in the June primary.
Here’s an excerpt from the Ellis pre-election concession statement:
City Council elections are officially non-partisan, as they should be. There is no Republican or Democratic way to address the numerous opportunities and issues facing our City. Most voters, however, have little bandwidth for local elections, and many rely on party affiliation when casting their vote.
We know Republican registration is down in District 1 and Democratic registration is up. That and other factors at the top of the ticket contributed to a 17% swing for Democrats in District 1 compared to the June 2012 primary. Back then, Republicans enjoyed a 4% turnout advantage in District 1. This past June, Democrats enjoyed a 13% advantage.
As we look to November, I believe the toxicity and the divisiveness at the top of ticket will get worse. My values are important to me and I will not support presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Due to these conditions, I do not believe there is a viable path to victory in November’s City Council runoff. Without a viable path, I can’t in good faith ask supporters to finance another effort. After much thought, I have decided my time is better spent getting back to work as a community volunteer.
Union-Tribune columnist Logan Jenkins interviewed Ellis about the decision:
The X — or better, the DT (for delirium tremens) — factor is the specter of Donald Trump and his effect on the bottom of the ballot.
Though Ellis despises Trump — “His values are not my values,” he said — and says he will not vote for the Republican nominee, it’s nearly impossible for a Republican in a Democratic-leaning district to insulate himself from the toxic seepage on the ballot.
In addition to this structural political problem, Ellis conceded that in Bry he faced a formidable opponent, an unusually astute first-time candidate with, in Ellis’ estimation, “a strong background, a strong resume, very capable.”
Thank you, Donald Trump. Thank you, fear-mongers for driving voters away from the Grand Old Party.
Now it’s time to get to work on some other important local contests.
Getting rid of Congressman Darrell Issa would be a great start. Electing Mara Elliott as City Attorney would be another good idea. And sending Duncan Hunter home from the House of Representatives would be the icing on the cake.
Duncan Hunter Really Is That Dumb
Whether it’s firing up his e-cig during a hearing on vaping, throwing his wife under the bus for campaign finance violations, or confusion about whether it’s imaginary ISIS or Al Qaeda terrorists flooding through the border, Congressman Duncan D. Hunter has never failed when it comes to demonstrating that he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed.
Now, after telling reporters in June “What I’m done with is trying to articulate or explain or answer for what Donald Trump says,” Rep. Duncan is articulating and explaining the GOP’s presidential candidate in an op-ed in Politico.
Entitled Why Donald Trump Has the Temperament to Be President, the essay –which I strongly suspect was ghost written by the Trump campaign, given that it has sentences & stuff–is just embarrassing:
Trump is not some uncontrollable misfit who just happened to stumble on the Republican nomination for President. Intuitively, he’s applied his savvy business sense to the art of politics and in doing so he decimated a deep bench of Republican hopefuls. His victory cannot be ascribed to luck, but rather an innate and unmatchable ability to focus on the shortcomings of his opponents and brand only the way Trump can.
The regular incorporation of Trump-isms, from “Make America Great Again,” to “Corrupt Hillary,” continue to resonate. His latest statement, branding President Barack Obama as the founder of the Islamic State, repeats a true but unspoken belief that’s held within military circles that the President’s foreign policy and abandonment of Iraq is responsible for the growth of the Islamic State and the territory it holds.
This morning Trump has retreated from his position in the Islamic State and now says the media is dumb because they can’t recognize sarcasm.
Gangsters in Diapers
Kudos to Assemblymember Shirley Weber, who pushed the legislature to ask for an audit of the CalGang database, a program used by California law enforcement to identify people associated with criminal gangs.
As Sarah Libby at Voice of San Diego pointed out:
Among the explosive findings included in a new audit of the state gang database, CalGang, auditors say they found “42 individuals in CalGang who were supposedly younger than one year of age at the time of entry—28 of whom were entered for ‘admitting to being gang members.’”
Libby went on to say it’s likely that the ages given were merely the result of sloppy paperwork.
From the Union-Tribune, which failed to give the San Diego angle on the story beyond the participation of the SDPD:
The California State Auditor called on lawmakers Thursday to give the state Department of Justice control of the statewide gang intelligence sharing database, which auditors found riddled with problems possibly related to its unusually autonomous governance structure.
Auditor Elaine Howle called for legislation removing the intelligence-sharing database’s governing board, which includes the San Diego Police Department and fourteen other member agencies, mostly local law enforcement.
The board and committee that oversee the CalGang database “operate free from the typical safeguards that are the foundation of government programs,” the report said. They “act without statutory authority, transparency or meaningful opportunities for public engagement,” leading to flawed data, violation of people’s rights, and misuse of the database, the report said.
The injustice associated with the CalGang database came to light (it’s long been known in minority communities) thanks to District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’ failed attempt to prosecute rapper Brandon “Tiny Doo” Duncan and Aaron Harvey for allegedly associating with gangs accused in being involved in crimes.
Although there was no evidence tying them to any crimes, the fact they were identified in the database as gang members made them eligible for prosecution. The charges were tossed out by San Diego Superior Court Judge Louis Hanoian.
Harvey later told me that his original inclusion in the database came as the result of a police officer observing him sitting on the front porch of his home. (Bad neighborhood, y’ know.)
Here’s Assmblymember Weber in the Voice of San Diego article:
“Probably people are pretty shocked about just how deep the problems are in the CalGang system in terms of lack of transparency, lack of consistency in terms of how the standards are used,” Weber said.
Weber herself was not one of them.
“I was not shocked at all. If you don’t live in a community that has had concerns about this … I’ve heard these complaints for years. As most folks know, my own son was threatened to be put on the gang list, and he hadn’t done anything. I hear these things from parents on a regular basis. But I think some of my colleagues were shocked,” she said.
Weekly Progressive Calendar: Upcoming in San Diego
Get your event listed: I try to list the next 10 days or so of mostly non-commercial events I think our readers might find of interest. I source my material from social media listings and press releases. In cases where there are competing but similar events or campaigns of the progressive persuasion, I do my best to list everything.
Unfortunately, my subscription to the psychic hotline has lapsed so if you don’t tell me or Facebook, etc., about your event it won’t get listed. See my email address at the end of this column.
Sierra Club Film Night “The True Cost”
Friday, August 12, 6:30pm
8304 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. #101
More info Jean Costa 619-463-0721 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This 2015 documentary explores the impact of fashion on people and the planet. Filmed in countries around the world, from the brightest runways to the darkest slums, this groundbreaking documentary pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider who really pays the price for our clothes. Free
A Requiem for the Dead Horses at Del Mar
Saturday, August 13, 11:30am
Del Mar Race Track
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd
Info & Updates
A dozen horses died at this racetrack during July. Please wear all black. If you have a black veil please bring it. I have a small supply of veils. Bring lots of water (no plastic bottles). Also please leave your companion animals at home. The pavement is extremely hot and there is no safe place for dogs or other animals.
Chicano Park Museum & Cultural Center Fundraiser
Saturday, August 13, 5pm
Bread & Salt
1955 Julian Ave
Info & Updates
We invite you to imagine a state of the art Chicano Park Museum and Cultural Center next door to our beloved Historical Chicano Park and Monumental Murals. A place our community, our children and youth, and all visitors could come and learn about the many contributions made by local Chicano Artists, Community Activists, and residents of Barrio Logan, a repository of photographs, articles, and all things related to the park and community, a learning center, performance and exhibition space, and information center, the unfinished dream carried for decades by all of us involved one way or another with Chicano Park.
Don’t miss a chance to help make history by attending this very important fundraiser on August 13, 2016 from 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM at Bread and Salt, 1955 Julian Avenue, San Diego, CA 92113. Tickets will be sold at the door.
Jackie Benson Band
Christopher Dale Trio
The GO is thrilled to have Jackie Venson return to our stage after her 2nd tour of Europe, and this time with her band!
Venson’s astonishing mix of raw soul, superb musicianship and laid back grace (Austin American Statesman, June 2014) has been compared to the likes of Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse and fellow Austin native Gary Clark, Jr.
San Diego Homeless Awareness Day
Wednesday, August 17, All Day
Media Throughout San Diego
Info & Updates
Various San Diego media outlets will publish stories about the local homeless population. It’s a collaborative effort aimed at raising public awareness.
From San Diego CityBeat editor Ron Donoho:
The entire San Diego region is faced with the issue of homelessness. It affects those human beings out on the streets and in the canyons, as well as the businesses and residents who co-exist with homeless individuals. The SD Homeless Awareness Day is not a call for media advocacy, rather, it’s wake-up call. Widespread homelessness is on the brink of becoming “the new normal.” That’s an important story the media cannot and should not ignore.
We at San Diego Free Press don’t agree with the “not a call for media advocacy” and are planning a day of stories to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.
Trapped Film Screening
Thursday, August 18, 6pm
SEIU Local 221
4004 Kearny Mesa Road
Sponsored by: National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, San Diego Chapter and Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest
Info & Updates
TRAPPED goes to the front lines of the controversial battle currently being waged over so-called TRAP laws — Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers — which reproductive rights advocates believe are designed to restrict access to abortion.
You’re invited to attend a FREE screening of TRAPPED. Light refreshments will be served prior to the screening and a panel discussion will follow the film. SPACE IS LIMITED. Please contact email@example.com to RSVP or with any questions.
WOSD Free Film Night
Making a Killing: Guns, Greed, and the NRA
Thursday, August 18, 6:30pm
Womens Museum of California
2730 Historic Decatur Road, Barracks 16 (Liberty Station)
Info & Updates
Women Occupy San Diego offers a free film screening of Making a Killing: Guns, Greed, and the NRA, which tells the stories of how guns, and the billions made off of them, affect the lives of everyday Americans. It features personal stories from people across the country who have been affected by gun violence.
Spokesperson Ron Marcus, Brady Campaign, discusses the latest state legislation concerning gun control as well as information on domestic violence and guns.
NO TPP – Push on Congress
Friday, August 19
3130 Moore St (Old Town)
Info & Updates
This is one of many organizing parties across the nation to galvanize people to pressure our Members of Congress to vote NO on the secret, undemocratic Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. We want to do some actions before Congress returns from their August recess after Labor Day. Learn how YOU can help!
There will also be an Overpass Light Brigade after this gathering (8-9p), nearby on the Taylor St/I-8 overpass, with the message: CONG DAVIS & PETERS <STOP Sign> TPP
Beyond Bernie: Uniting the Political Revolution
Saturday, August 20, 1pm
Logan Heights Public Library
567 S. 28th St.
Info & Updates:
Now that the Democratic National Convention is over, what do we do next ? Where do we go next ?
San Diego Progressives, UNITE !!!
Come hear reports from inside and outside the DNC. Participate in workshops about issues you care about. Come with your ideas and proposals to build a populist movement for social and economic justice. Signup on Meetup: http://meetu.ps/2YVxv0
Annual Suffrage Parade
Wednesday, August 24, 5pm
Info & Updates
Celebrate Women’s Equality Day as we commemorate the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, August 26,1920. Dress up in period costume, reflecting this special day. Don’t forget to share photos of yourself dressed up and waving your votes for women signs using #SuffrageParade!
Meet in the lawn area across from the Organ Pavilion for the Suffrage Rally, followed with the Suffrage Parade through the Prado and Organ Pavilion areas. Enjoy light refreshments while listening to the Moxie San Diego Girls Band, 6:30 – 7:30 P.M.
Look for The Women’s Museum of California Banners under the trees near the west entrance to the Organ Pavilion behind the UN Building.
On This Day: 1939 – “The Wizard of Oz” premiered in Oconomowoc, WI. Judy Garland became famous for the movie’s song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” The movie premiered in Hollywood on August 15th. 1981 – IBM unveiled its first PC. 1992 – The North American Free Trade Agreement—NAFTA—was concluded between the United States, Canada and Mexico, to take effect in January, 1994, despite protests from labor, environmental and human rights groups.
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