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THE NOONER for July 18, 2013
Back home in Davis this morning and, yes, Bob Filner is still mayor of America's Finest City. Tonight, the San Diego Democratic Central Committee will be meeting behind closed doors to decide whether to take a position on whether Filner should resign. The UT's Mark Walker quotes Democratic consultant Chris Crotty:
"There are two factions — one that is substantially large which says what he has done is inexcusable and he has to go, and one that echoes Bob's own words and says he should be afforded due process and allow it all to play out," Crotty said. "But you also have the reality that the only way Bob is going to leave the mayor's office is if someone drags him out kicking and swinging. It’s going to be a long, ugly process."
. . . San Diego Mesa College political science professor Carl Luna agreed the party is in a pickle: Those standing by Filner or remaining silent may regret that six months from now, while those calling for his head could be subject to retribution should he survive the storm.
"The question really is how long can you let the bleeding go on," Luna said. "The party would be better off to have this resolved and indecision is not going help."
Congressman Juan Vargas broke his silence yesterday, stating:
"It is my sincerest hope that this matter is addressed in a dignified manner and that all San Diegans display the utmost respect for all those involved," Vargas told U-T San Diego. "Sexual harassment is an especially cowardly offense and my prayers go out to all the courageous survivors of this senseless act."
Hmmmm...seems like he is defending Filner's decision to wait it out while also convicting him in the court of public opinion. Oh, yes, Filner and Vargas have never been fond of each other.
As a recovering former Democratic party chair (in a county in which the Democratic sheriff faces similar allegations), I don't know what the SD party should do. I'm a big believer in due process, and that organizations (rather than individuals) should generally not weigh in unless the allegations are confirmed. That said, Filner himself has admitted to having a hostile work place, albeit just not of a sexual nature. Filner should not be mayor, but if I was the SD party chair, I would work to keep the party out of this mess.
AD52: While San Diego may be a headache for California Democrats, the Inland Empire is becoming a migraine. There is a large amount of worry that next Tuesday's special election in Norma Torres's seat could result in the NPP (Paul Leon) and Republican (Dorothy Pineda) coming in the top-two. What is not helping is infighting among the Democrats, with the latest being Danielle Soto attacking Manuel Saucedo over the use of Nell Soto's image. Danielle is the late senator Soto's granddaughter, while Manuel is the late senator's former chief of staff.
And, yes, if the Democrats are squeezed out of this solid Democratic district, I'll be eating crow, and Abel Maldonado will be declaring victory for the top-two system.
RANDOM THOUGHTS: Farm Bill and Filner [Jon Fleischman @ FlashReport] - "At at a time when local government budgets are being squeezed under the weight of massive, unfunded employee pension liabilities, San Diego taxpayers will be thrilled to know that they may be out millions of dollars as the bad behavior (which is an understatement) of their Mayor shifts to formal complaints, litigation, and resulting court verdicts or settlements. Even if Filner resigned tomorrow, taxpayers would still be on the hook. Nothing says "file a lawsuit" than a Mayor who releases a video statement admitting that he has engaged in inappropriate behavior."
LET THERE BE LIGHT: The UC Regents yesterday confirmed Sadia Saifuddin as student regent -- the first Muslim student to hold the post -- and today will act to appoint Janet Napolitano as UC president. Both actions have been met with controversy, as Saiffudin pushed an Israeli divestment campaign while a senator in Berkeley's student government and Napolitano has supported crackdowns on undocument immigrants and has little academic leadership experience.
$$$: California Grand Jury Probing Shadowy Money Groups [Peter H. Stone @ Daily Beast] - "A grand jury is now involved in a high-stakes California probe that is looking into whether a PAC and three so-called dark-money groups—including one with ties to the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch—broke a campaign disclosure law by funneling $11 million from secret sources to influence ballot initiatives in the state’s 2012 election, The Daily Beast has learned."
GOOD CALL: Small Calif. publisher wins public records case - "A state Court of Appeal has ruled that a small-town California newspaper publisher does not have to pay legal fees to a school board he sued over his public records request —a decision hailed by First Amendment advocates as a victory for government transparency."
The key was that the appeals court determined that the records request--seeking to show a school district was spending public funds on a political campaign--was not frivolous, even though the hypothesis did not prove true.
EMMYS: For the second year in a row, the networks don't have a single nominee for best drama series. The last was The Good Wife in 2011, which is still a great show.
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer: Senate Immigration Bill "Right Thing For California"
Carolyn Lochhead @ blog.sfgate.com
California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, both Democrats, wrote California House members Wednesday to urge them to take up the Senateâs immigration bill. Democrats are all on board, so their plea is obviously aimed at Republicans.
Republican Plans Secretary Of State Run On Jerry Brown Platform
Melody Gutierrez @ blogs.sacbee.com
Republican Pete Peterson said Wednesday that he plans to run for California secretary of state on what he called the same "revolutionary platform" used in 1970 by then candidate Jerry Brown.
Republican Candidate For Secretary Of State Plots Campaign
Chris Megerian @ latimes.com
Pete Peterson, a Republican candidate for California secretary of state, says he's the answer to the "Sacramento merry-go-round."
‘stand Your Ground’ Group Pushes Privatization Of Public Education
Valerie Strauss @ washingtonpost.com
The group behind “Stand Your Ground” laws in a number of states has been mighty busy working to get laws passed in the area of school reform — and the aim has been the privatization of public education.
House votes to delay health law mandates
Michael A. Memoli @ latimes.com
WASHINGTON – The Republican-led House has voted again to curtail President Obama’s healthcare law, saying the administration’s decision to delay a key provision showed the plan was unworkable.
Laurel Rosenhall @ blogs.sacbee.com
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said today that Janet Napolitano will be a good leader for the University of California, despite objections from immigration activists about the large number of deportations during her tenure as the U.S. secretary of homeland security.
Becerra: Cantor Dream Act Proposal 'so Yesterday' - The Hill - Covering Congress, Politics, Political Campaigns And Capitol Hill | Thehill.com
Meghashyam Mali @ thehill.com
Sports And Politics: Different Pinstripes, Same Competitiveness
George Skelton @ latimes.com
An encounter with future Hall of Famer Warren Spahn in 1961 prompted a reporter to cover politics, not sports. But they're not so different.
Obama defends health care law, 'glitches' and all
Jennifer Epstein @ politico.com
He defends his health care law insists that despite "glitches," it will be fully implemented.
Obama touts savings from healthcare law
Noam N. Levey @ latimes.com
President Obama, facing a new Republican push to dismantle his healthcare law, redoubled his efforts to sell his signature achievement Thursday at a White House event with Americans who have benefited from the law.
Curtis Tate @ blogs.sacbee.com
California Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein wrote to their House of Representatives colleagues Wednesday, pleading for a vote on an immigration bill as a matter of economic and moral imperative for a state that's home to nearly a quarter of the country's undocumented immigrants.
The Buzz: California lawmaker Tim Donnelly laughs off 'hottest conservative' title
California Attorney General Kamala Harris isn't the only Golden State politician being singled out as easy on the eyes.
Union Contract Trumps Plan For Bart Replacement Drivers | Matier And Ross | An Sfgate.com Blog
Union contract trumps plan for BART replacement drivers
Speaker Perez Touts California's Recovery In D.C.
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
Pérez has already met with Obama administration officials, touting efforts by California to recover from the recession and implement Obamacare.
First-ever Muslim Student Regent Confirmed By UC Board
Local @ mercurynews.com
Saifuddin, a Pakistani-American, is the first practicing Muslim to serve in the position. Groups that opposed her appointment have criticized her involvement in a contentious and emotional campaign at Berkeley this spring to divest university funds from companies affiliated with the Israeli military.
Marin General Hospital To Put $394 Million Bond On Nov. 5 Ballot To Rebuild
Chris Rauber @ bizjournals.com
The Marin Healthcare District's board of directors, which runs Marin General Hospital, has voted to put a $394 million bond issue on the Nov. 5 ballot to fund the rebuilding of the Greenbrae hospital.
Jeremy B. White @ blogs.sacbee.com
Today we turn to San Francisco, where the University of California's Board of Regents is voting on whether Janet Napolitano, until earlier this month head of the Department of Homeland Security, should be the next president of the UC system.
How CHP Officers' Salaries Became Law
Jon Ortiz @ sacbee.com
Of all the state employee unions that bargain with Gov. Jerry Brown, the group that recently got what will likely be the biggest bump this year wasn't even part of a contract negotiation.
Obama to speak on health law
Jennifer Epstein @ politico.com
The president will highlight health care savings that Americans are already seeing this summer.
California Moves Prison Protest Leaders
Paige St. John @ latimes.com
SACRAMENTO -- California prison officials have put 14 inmate leaders of a statewide protest over solitary confinement conditions into yet deeper isolation.