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What's Wrong with San Diego's City Finances? (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democrats for Equality heard a presentation July 26 from "Paradise Plundered" author Vladimir Kogan. The book, co-written with professors Steven P. Erie and Scott A. MacKenzie, argues that San Diegans have long wanted their city government to do far more in services than they're willing to pay for in taxes -- and recently they and the politicians seeking to lead the city, most notably Right-wing Queer Mayoral front-runner Carl DeMaio, have been scapegoating city workers and their unions for the city's pension crisis and other financial shortfalls.

San Diego Mayoral Candidates Address Queer Community (tags)

When this year's major candidates for Mayor of San Diego — City Councilmember Carl DeMaio, County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher and Congressmember Bob Filner — addressed the Queer community March 28, the irony that gripped the room was that the two openly Queer candidates, DeMaio and Dumanis, were running to the right of the non-Queer Fletcher and Filner. DeMaio, who in other contexts has said he wants to be "the Scott Walker of San Diego," dominated the event with his anti-labor pension "reform" proposal and his refusal to acknowledge the leadership of San Diego's Queer community even though he is Queer himself.

The San Diego Mayoral Candidates That Didn't Bark (tags)

When A Better San Diego, a coalition made up largely of labor unions and their affiliates, sponsored a debate among the four leading candidates for Mayor of San Diego in next year's election, only two showed up. The no-shows were City Councilmember Carl DeMaio, whose whole campaign is based on targeting city workers as the source of San Diego's economic woes, and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, both Republicans. A third Republican, Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher, and Democratic Congressmember Bob Filner attended and differed on city workers' pensions, outsourcing city jobs to private companies and many other issues.

“Paradise Plundered” Takes Aim at San Diego’s Political Culture (tags)

Once upon a time, San Diego had a reputation for being an efficiently governed city whose taxes were low -- and so was its level of services, especially to working-class and lower-income people. Today the level of services is even lower and the city is so wretchedly governed the New York Times called it "Enron by the Sea." What happened is explained in the new book "Paradise Plundered," whose co-author, Vladimir Kogan, came to the Hillcrest Town Council October 11 and talked about the city's infamous pension crisis.

Labor Representatives Under Attack, Seek Queer Democrats’ Help (tags)

Three San Diego union leaders — Central Labor Council CEO/secretary-treasurer Lorena Gonzalez, Municipal Employees’ Association general manager Michael Zucchet, and SEIU Local 221 head Eric Banks — spoke to the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club April 28 on the state of the local labor movement. They focused on the attacks on public workers by the Republican party and the radical Right, which is aimed not only at driving public-sector wages and benefits below those offered by the private sector but also denying the one source of substantial campaign funding available to Democrats and thereby winning elections by eliminating effective competition. They also talked about the Right-wing bias of San Diego’s media and their success in demonizing public workers’ pensions as the source of San Diego’s financial ills.

Right-Wing Queer Councilmember DeMaio Dominates San Diego Economic Debate (tags)

Openly Queer Right-wing San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio dominated a forum on the city’s budget woes sponsored by the Hillcrest Town Council February 5. Three other panelists spoke ¬— former San Diego City Attorney Mike Aguirre, who stunned his supporters in the progressive community by joining DeMaio in campaigning against a proposed city sales tax increase last fall; former City Councilmember Michael Zucchet, a lobbyist for the city workers’ main union; and economics professor Alan Gin — but DeMaio and his proposed “Roadmap for Recovery,” a plan to balance the city’s budget by privatizing city jobs, slashing pensions and reducing supposedly “nonessential” city services, was the basis for the discussion and provided the context to which the other three panelists responded.

Two Openly Gay Councilmembers Debate Sales-Tax Increase (tags)

Rival City Councilmembers Todd Gloria and Carl DeMaio — the first two openly Gay men elected to the San Diego City Council — spoke at the Hillcrest Town Council September 14 and debated Proposition D on the November 2 ballot. This would allow the city to raise its sales tax one-half cent for five years to plug the $72 billion hole in its current budget — but only after the city implements 10 “reforms” reducing its pension obligations to workers and making it easier to privatize city jobs. But even in Gloria’s relatively liberal district, the polite but hostile response from the audience made it clear the measure will be a tough sell to city voters.

Queer Democrats Hold Love-Fest for School Board Candidates (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club overwhelmingly endorsed three candidates in local school board races in a love-fest meeting February 28 that contrasted dramatically with their previous one on January, a knock-down, drag-out debate between incumbent city attorney Mike Aguirre and two of his challengers (one of whom has since left the race). They also rated openly Gay Republican Carl DeMaio "unacceptable" as a candidate for the San Diego City Council.

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