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THE NOONER for July 23, 2013

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DISTRICT CHANGES:
  • GOV: added author Luis Rodriguez (G)
  • AD45 (West San Fernando Valley): added businesswoman Armineh Chelebian (R)

NOONER SUBSCRIBERS can download a spreadsheet of all candidates, with district geography, analysis, and outlook.

 

ELECTION DAY: Voters will be going to the polls (largely to drop off late absentees and cast provisionals) today in SD16, AD52 and Los Angeles council district 6. Each race has been close, and lots of money has been spent. Here are my predictions, which are pretty stupid to do in such low turnout elections, at such a bad time of the year, and with so many friends working in the different races.

However, these are based on conversations with at least several people on the ground in each case, knowing that each of these may be decided by a hundred votes.

SD16: While close and suspenseful as absentees are tallied over the next week, I believe Andy Vidak will edge Leticia Perez in the runoff. There just weren't enough consolidated Dem votes to spare from the primary, and this is late July, not exactly a good time for Dems to be fighting for seats in the Central Valley.

AD52: In this crowded field of 6 Democrats, 1 Republican, and 1 NPP candidate to succeed the seat Norma Torres left behind, it's looking like Paul Leon (NPP) will come in first, and Freddie Rodriguez (D) will come in second. However, Democrats will retain the seat when Rodriquez easily wins a September 24 runoff. Of course, some still believe a NPP-R top-two is possible.

CD6: Los Angeles City Council will get the only elected woman in city government after today's election, and I believe it will be Cindy Montanez.

LEGGO MY SANDY EGGO! If anyone thought the Filner ordeal would resolve itself because a bunch of adults came to town and played dress-up in the slow month of July, they were wrong. We now have a Gloria Allred-led lawsuit, and this will be ugly. The lawsuit is against both the City of San Diego and Bob Filner.

I would say that city government will come to a standstill, but the mayor has already acknowledged his ineffectiveness and handed the operational keys over to former county CAO Walt Eckard.

Here are the grafs you need from Craig Gustafson's article in the UTSD for today's water cooler discussions:

Irene McCormack Jackson, who served as the mayor’s communications director from January to June, is the first woman to identify herself as one of Filner’s accusers since anonymous allegations of sexual harassment were made earlier this month. She told her story alongside attorney Gloria Allred who specializes in high-profile cases involving powerful men and female accusers.

McCormack Jackson accused the mayor of making several sexually suggestive comments to her and telling her he loved her and wanted to get married. The comments included: "I would do a better job if you kissed me," "When are you going to get naked?" "Wouldn’t it be great if you took off your panties and worked without them on?" and "When are we going to get married? Wouldn’t it be great if we consummated the marriage?"

McCormack Jackson added, "I am coming forward today to lay the blame at the feet of the person responsible, Mayor Bob Filner. He is not fit to be the mayor of our great city. He is not fit to hold any public office. A man who lacks character makes a mockery of his ideas."

In a statement, Filner said he was saddened by the charges made in the lawsuit and once again called for due process.

Here is the lawsuit, provided by the UTSD (outside firewall).

This will be interesting from a legal standpoint. The city (and its insurers) will want to settle early on and not risk the public kitty with too much liability. Filner then would be stuck with a dragged out case, that could last through his term as mayor, which ends in 2016. The 70-year-old then doesn't run for reeelection, citing need for fresh blood. However, if it ever goes to trial, remember that this is just one of many women who likely have a claim against the city and the mayor.

Remember this from Craig Gustafson's July 20 article "In a television interview, Filner said 'I brought this on through my own personal frailties and the biggest monster right now is, you know, inside me.' Later he described himself as 'a hugger' of both men and women.'"

That's the type of quote that will be fatal in front of a jury. One can be a hugger while not working to suppress a monster. So, why will he let it get there?

The San Diego mayor is part of the San Diego Employees Retirement System. While the issues of pensions in San Diego is currently a huge debate, this may also factor into the mayor's calculations about whether to resign or not.

He had 4 years of service from his 1987-1993 stint on the council. If he resigns now, he would receive $1,172/month for the rest of his life, while if he stays through the end of his current term, he would receive $2,344. (This assumes his time on the San Diego Unified board is accounted separately in PERS, although there may be reciprocity that pumps it up to $4,395/month.) Anyway, an extra $1,172 per month might just be enough to stick it out. 

QUESTION: What should a city's liability be when there is a knowingly hostile workplace, but the offender is an elected official whose job is determined by the people?

UP IN THE AIR: Making approximately 80 flights per year, I'm not one who is at all scared about flying. I'm usually asleep for takeoff, and have only been nervous on two occasions of touch and go landings, that time when the cabin power had to be turned off because of the smell of burning wiring, and, oh, that one time when my plane lost cabin pressure. Nevertheless, it is freaky to land yesterday and read that, at about the same time you landed, the exact same aircraft model on the same carrier had its landing gear collapse. We'll see if that bugs me when I fly to America's Finest City on Thursday.

YEAAAAHHHHHHHHH: Howard Dean re-enacts famous scream for NYC mayoral hopeful Bill de Blasio

 

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TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Former California Governors Help Brown On Prisons
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California's four living former governors have filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of current Gov. Jerry Brown's plea for relief from a court order to drop the state's prison population by nearly 10,000 more inmates. But while trying to support Brown they – wittingly or otherwise – have joined critics of realignment, one of Brown's proudest achievements.

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California Tells Court To Reject San Diego Clerk's Prop. 8 Bid
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Closure Of Seven Sacramento Schools Upheld
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Few Lawmakers Accept Free Tickets To The California State Fair
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BART Strike: Rail Line's Employee Costs Soar Even As Pay Remains Flat
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With revenue surging to record levels and riders flocking to standing-room only trains, BART would seem like an unlikely place for a bitter showdown over employee pay hikes as workers threaten another strike in two weeks. But a closer look at the agency's financial data by this newspaper shows a fast-growing problem is threatening the future growth of the Bay Area's biggest train line: Half of the $69 million in new revenue BART raked in since 2010 has gone toward the rising cost of employee health care and pensions.

California Prison Officials To Meet With Advocates Of Striking Inmates
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Cuccinelli backed anti-adultery laws
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Deputy Director Of State Mental Hospitals Takes Unexplained Leave
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California Water Agencies Urge Overturn Of Court's Sucker Fish Ruling
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