A protest against the visual pollution and littering throughout the region associated with the run-up to the June 5 primary is set for Thursday (5/17) at 11am.
Event organizers are asking people to meet at the intersection of Midway Drive and Rosecrans Street, a busy intersection cluttered with campaign signs paid for by Independent Expenditure committees in support of Sheriff Bill Gore and interim District Attorney Summer Stephan. I suspect, given the location and the timing, attendance will be limited. The symbolism of the protest will be huge, reflecting the concerns of people wanting to see our criminal justice system reformed.
The group will be rallying in front of the local offices of Déjà Vu, a strip club company with 132 locations in 41 states. Campaign signs for Gore and Stephan are prominently displayed on locations around the property. It will be an interesting juxtaposition, given the appointed DA’s reputation based on fighting human trafficking and the reputation of the adult entertainment industry as a facilitator in such activities.
John Mattes, an organizer with the local 1400 member chapter of Our Revolution, an activist group that grew of the Bernie Sanders campaign for President, told me; “It is ironic that they have put up their signs on a property where Déjà Vu has an office. So our question is is a local strip club endorsing their candidacy or were they or their supporters illegally posting signs?”
The signs are being hung mostly in the dead of night by crews using ladders to keep them from being removed. Clean up crews paid by taxpayers simply can’t keep up.
In an age of digital marketing, placing campaign signs on commercial properties and along highways seems a little out of date. Unless, of course, you happen to be campaigning for a top law enforcement position.
These signs, according to reports filed with the County Registrar of Voters on March 12, were paid for by the Deputy Sheriffs Association PAC, with $6080 for Gore signs and $6080 for Stephan signs. An additional $3920 for each candidate was reported for sign placement.
The San Diego County Deputy District Attorneys Association contributed $2062 for Summer Stephan signs on two more occasions (3/27 & 4/12). The following week the Deputy Sheriffs PAC kicked in another $1031 for each candidate.
Both Gore and Stephan are being challenged by candidates supporting reforms in law enforcement and the criminal justice system.
Sheriff’s Commander Dave Myers has made cleaning up mismanagement of the department, having a higher standard of ethics for leadership, and building trust with the community as centerpieces in his campaign for Sheriff.
Public Defender Geneviéve Jones-Wright has made the slogan “No one is above the law” the centerpiece of her campaign for District Attorney.
Challenging the double standard of law enforcement officers somehow being above the law demonstrates the need for these kinds of reforms.
Today’s Union-Tribune once again sheds light on the turmoil within the San Diego County Democratic Party.
What the article doesn’t say is that the roots of the conflict go back to the party leadership’s refusal to acknowledge and/or resolve the controversies surrounding labor leader Mickey Kasparian’s (now-settled and sealed) lawsuits and his role in leading a subsequent split with the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council.
This dispute within the party is symptomatic of division between long-time stalwarts who often seem more concerned about major donors’ interests and activists demanding a more active organizational role in support of those being victimized by the current administration’s policies.
Kasparian’s breakaway group is now spending hundreds of thousands of dollars opposing the Democratic Party’s endorsed candidate for District 4 Supervisor, a move some observers believe will result in a victory for Republican Bonnie Dumanis in the general election.
While Kasparian has stepped down from his role as an alternate delegate on the party’s central committee, his surrogates continue to play a role in the organization.
Protests in support of the women whose claims of inappropriate sexual behavior and harassment dogged the organization for months. Party chair Jessica Hayes relocated the group’s monthly central committee meetings in an attempt to silence the demonstrators.
The latest conflict stems from incidents alleged to have occurred at the party’s annual Roosevelt dinner in early April. A resolution in support of the Martin Luther King, Jr Democratic Club, which asserts their members were relocated to an obscure location and disrespected when plans for a silent protest about sexual harassment surfaced.
The party has sent a letter to clubs throughout the county, warning against circulating or repeating the allegations made in the resolution.
Clubs were advised that a defamation lawyer had been “contacted” in response to the resolution, which the letter said has “no factual basis.”
“Because of this, repeating the information or circulating the information could have unforeseen consequences to the clubs or for the presidents or club proponents themselves…”
…It is recommended, generally speaking, that clubs try not to place themselves in harm’s way by adopting documents that attack as egregiously and harmfully as this document does, especially without any investigation or outreach to those attacked.”
I personally doubt the San Diego Democratic Party would risk exposing itself to the discovery process resulting from any legal action they might initiate. There are a LOT of skeletons in that closet.
The resolution at the heart of this matter demands refunds for MLK club members who attended the dinner, a public apology to the club, and a written personal apology to executive board member Tasha Williamson.
Via the Union-Tribune story:
The MLK club’s members expected to be seated at a table in the front of the banquet hall in order to watch one of their members receive an honor. Some attendees planned to hold a silent protest against sexual misconduct and gave party leaders advance notice of their intentions. The resolution claims that Hayes retaliated by reassigning the MLK club members to a table in the back of the ballroom.
“The unequal treatment made it nearly impossible for those attendees to feel they are full, welcome, equal and valued activists,” the resolution said.
MLK club members participated in a protest at the party’s monthly summit in April. Phone logs released by the San Diego Police Department show a half-dozen phones were made complaining about disruption, including one claiming violence was in progress.
The alleged aggressor was detained by police at the scene but released after phone video shown to officers at the scene disproved the claims being made.
The party leadership was either blind to the realities of police overreacting on calls made referencing the race of suspects or asking the SDPD to be their personal racism valet. You pick.
The Central Committee meeting for May, scheduled for last night, was canceled.
Today’s Racism in America Reminder:
Congratulations to Virgin Atlantic passengers once again!
A lady just confused me for a hostess and asked me to clean up her mess and increase the flight temp.
What I’m wearing… what the staff are wearing. pic.twitter.com/MXcQr6tQDs
— Michaela Coel (@MichaelaCoel) May 15, 2018
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