Sunday, December 22, 2013

San Diego Election News from KPBS for the week of the Solstice

This is still a Detroit-based blog, but I’m also an expatriate southern Californian.  Lately, I’ve been indulging that part of me by monitoring the special mayoral election in San Diego for Daily Kos.  It gives me an opportunity to get science, health, and environment stories from two top notch public universities (UCSD and SDSU) and an outstanding public broadcasting station (both radio and TV) in KPBS.  I’ll plan to continue this until the third week in February, as the runoff election will be held February 11th.  I don’t know if my readers like this (my page views have gone down this past week), but I’m enjoying it.  Here’s to hoping my readers turn around, or at least I get some new ones.

Under my policy of “if it moves, it leads,” here is the video summary of the week’s political news from KPBS: From Barrio Logan To San Diego's Economy, An Update From Interim Mayor Todd Gloria

The Barrio Logan plan heads to the ballot, and San Diego pays out $98,000 in legal fees for its former mayor. We get an update on city business from Interim Mayor Todd Gloria.
Follow over the jump for much more on the mayoral election, Barrio Logan, legislation outlawing special elections, and the disgraced former Mayor, all of which appeared in the tip jar to Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Winter Solstice 2013).

KPBS: San Diego Mayoral Runoff Set For February 11
By City News Service
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
The City Council Tuesday set Feb. 11 as the date for a runoff election for San Diego mayor, which will pit two of its members against each other.

The date was proposed by City Clerk Elizabeth Maland, who said she had to take into account numerous factors, including giving the county Registrar of Voters up to 28 days to certify results of the Nov. 19 special election, allowing the state-mandated 29 days of early voting, and avoiding holidays.
KPBS: Three Things to Know About San Diego’s Mayoral Runoff
By Joe Yerardi
Friday, December 20, 2013
Welcome to the runoff.
As in the primary, inewsource will be following the money with a database and visualization we intend to update daily.

Here are three things to know about money in the runoff.
KPBS: Slippery Slope Between Campaigns and Super PACs In San Diego Mayoral Race
By Sandhya Dirks
Monday, December 16, 2013
There’s been a brief break from campaigning in the special election for San Diego’s next mayor, but the new year is sure to bring with it more political television ads and glossy mailers clogging up mailboxes.

Often those aren’t paid for by the candidates themselves – but by independent expenditure committees, colloquially known as super PACs.

In San Diego, the first leg of the special election was crowded. There were multiple candidates in the race and some had multiple super Political Action Committees behind them. That isn’t really a surprise, but there was one name that kept popping up in all the groups supporting Republican candidate and San Diego City Councilman Kevin Faulconer.

All those groups, even the ones that were supposed to be independent from each other, shared a treasurer -- April Boling.
KPBS: Barrio Logan Community Plan To Go To Voters
By City News Service
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
The San Diego City Council decided Tuesday to place the fate of new zoning regulations in Barrio Logan into the hands of voters.

The update of the Barrio Logan Community Plan was approved by the council on a pair of 5-4 party-line votes in September and October. However, the document was opposed by shipyards, which collected enough petition signatures to force the council to decide whether to repeal the plan or put it on a ballot.

The council opted to put the issue on the ballot on June 3.
KPBS: Shipyard Union Switches Sides on Barrio Logan Community Plan Update
By Sandhya Dirks
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
The passage of the Barrio Logan Community Plan Update was five years in the making and more than 30 in the dreaming.

When the plan passed the San Diego City Council by a 5-4 vote this September, it was considered by many a win for the mostly low-income Latino neighborhood; Barrio Logan activists say residents have for too long taken the brunt of pollution caused by a lack of clear zoning.

But the maritime industry said the plan would come at the expense of a working waterfront: it would cost jobs, many of them jobs that are staffed by people who live in Barrio Logan, the industry said.
KPBS: State Legislature To Consider Doing Away With Special Elections
By Claire Trageser
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
The San Diego region saw its fair share of special elections for state legislature seats this year. Now a retired California lawmaker is proposing an alternative: empty seats would be filled by the governor, not voters. The state legislature could take up the issue next month.

Here's a refresher on San Diego's recent musical chair elections: Congressman Bob Filner was elected mayor, leaving his congressional seat open. Juan Vargas won that spot, leaving his state senate seat free, which was filled by Ben Hueso in a special election. But that left Hueso's state assembly seat vacant, so another special election was called to fill it, which labor council leader Lorena Gonzalez won.

The special elections for Vargas and Hueso's seats cost San Diego County $1.5 million and $1.05 million respectively (the assembly seat election was consolidated with a special election to fill San Diego City Council's District 4), according to Registrar of Voters Michael Vu. The turnout for both state elections hovered around 14.5 percent.

San Diego isn't the only place with costly and low turnout special elections—there have been 13 special elections for the state legislature this year, all with turnouts less than 30 percent.

Retired state Senator Gary Hart has a solution.
KPBS: Filner Lands Top Spot On 2013 Worst Boss List
By City News Service
Friday, December 20, 2013
All those allegations of groping, bullying and belittling employees landed former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner atop the 2013 list of America's worst bosses released today by the website eBossWatch.

Filner, the only San Diegan on the list of the top 50 worst people to work for, stepped down Aug. 30 after around 20 women made sexual harassment claims against the former 10-term ex-congressman.

Two former city employees have filed lawsuits against Filner and the city, and the City Attorney's Office is processing several other claims.
Good riddance!

May all the weeks between now and February 15th, when I plan on finishing my coverage of San Diego, be so rich in news!

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