Archive for the ‘The Libertarian Lass, Gayle Falkenthal’ Category
It’s a time-honored New Year’s tradition to review all the new laws taking effect starting on January 1. So I thought I’d get a look at new laws affected Rostrafarians in California. I nearly choked on my breakfast when I looked at the number. There are 837 new laws taking effect as of today. Seriously? Our state was so far askew we needed over 800 pieces of legislation passed to patch us up? Holy moly.
Pardon us for just a moment while we at Rostra congratulate ourselves and each other for having our humble political blog honored for the third year running at the 2012 San Diego Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards.
San Diego Rostra won in the following categories:
- Second Place, Websites: Blog – News and Opinion
- Second Place, Websites: Blog – Topic Based
- Third Place, Daily Newspapers and Websites, Headlines for “The Libertarian Lass”
My experience as an American Red Cross disaster responder for the last 20 years has taught me to expect anything and to prepare for the worst. So when I see hurricane experts discussing whether or not Isaac (now a tropical storm but predicted to become a hurricane this weekend) will hit Tampa, Florida during next week’s Republican National Convention, I start assuming it will happen and back it up from there.
It made me wonder: if the convention gets cancelled, what happens to the nomination of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as the Republican candidates for President and Vice President? Does the convention have to be rescheduled? What are the alternatives? Could the hurricane derail the whole process?
Recent revelations about high-interest, long term financing of a school bond measure by the Poway Unified School District cannot have escaped the attention of a single school official in San Diego, the state of California, or nationwide for that matter. Citizens are outraged and sounding off. Watchdog groups are calling for reforms that would prevent this type of financing scheme on future bond measures.
But it appears San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Bill Kowba isn’t too concerned about that pesky fine print. On Tuesday, KGTV 10 News investigative reporter Mitch Blacher interviewed Kowba about the District’s $2.8 billion Proposition Z school bond measure, which will be on the November ballot.
San Diego Rostra’s street reporters have been working their sources all day, and it’s paid off! We’ve gotten our hands on exclusive video from last night’s San Diego County Taxpayers Association Golden Fleece and Watchdog Awards, and we’re sharing it now with our Rostra readers.
OK, who are we kidding? This isn’t like a Lindsay Lohan exclusive. SDCTA granted permission for us to post it. But that doesn’t make it any less funny.
If you need us to explain any of the inside jokes, feel free to ask.
Taxpayer TV: We Can’t Make This $#!% Up
Smart governing decisions saving taxpayer dollars and collaborative initiatives took top honors, while cavalier attitudes and lost opportunities were called out and shamed at the San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTA)’s 17th annual Goldens Awards Dinner, held at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center in Mission Valley.
Remote controls were nowhere in sight as the evening’s theme “Taxpayer TV: We Can’t Make This $#!% Up!” entertained the appreciative audience who shared the details of the exclusive video parodies highlighting the program via social media. As in past programs, elected officials, members of the news media and other public figures willingly humiliated themselves in a good-natured send-up of the year in government news and achievements in San Diego.
Just in time could be my life’s mantra. I am reminded by Thor’s Assistant that no Official Drinking Game has been devised for tonight’s epic 17th annual San Diego County Taxpayers Golden Fleece and Watchdog Awards.
Calling Ms. Tipit to the rescue.
DISCLAIMER: In this litigious, risk-averse society, we must pause here to admonish anyone reading this column that it is strictly for entertainment purposes ONLY. Please drink responsibly if at all. Please do not be a dunderhead and drink and tweet/post/drive, or you will be the next person we write about on Rostra and it won’t be pretty.
As it does every election, the San Diego County Taxpayers Association has analyzed local propositions and selected state ballot measures with an economic impact on taxpayers, and issued its recommendations based on its mission statement, which is “promoting accountable, cost-effective and efficient government and opposing unnecessary taxes and fees.”
SDCTA’s voting recommendations are:
Proposition A – City of San Diego Fair & Open Competition Ordinance. Amends Municipal Code: YES
Proposition B – City of San Diego Comprehensive Pension Reform Initiative. Amends City Charter: YES
Once again, Sacramento has taken away a little more local control from cities over their own business, thanks to approval today by Governor Jerry Brown.
Last week, the state Senate approved SB829, a labor union backed bill. The Senate’s approval of SB829 is an attempt to undercut Proposition A, the Fair and Open Competition Initiative, which is on the June ballot in San Diego.
Competitive Edge Research and its President and founder John Nienstedt are best known for their spot-on research about political candidates and ballot measures. But once in a while, Nienstedt admits he’ll indulge his curiosity and add a few questions on a topic of personal interest.
In February he asked people in a nationwide poll what they thought about Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow. He shared the research with me at a recent Albondigas San Diego lunch event.
Five people who have a lot to do with the news you read, hear and see on a daily basis in San Diego got up early to talk about the role of news media organizations as advocates. What they had to say may surprise you… especially if you’re still living in the era of Walter Cronkite.
The San Diego County Taxpayers Association hosted the panel in the first of its Breakfast Club Forums for 2012. Participants included Mike McKinnon, station manager of KUSI TV; J.W. August, managing editor for KGTV; Scott Lewis, CEO of Voice of San Diego; Jeff Light, editor in chief, U-T San Diego; and Deanna Mackey, station manager, KPBS FM/TV. The assignment moderating this forum was mine.
We’ve gotten Jerry Sanders dropping f-bombs and then it was Ben Hueso doing an impression of Stevie Wonder. Last year, it was SDPD Chief Bill Landsdowne gleefully (my description) aiming his Taser at Councilman Carl DeMaio’s… uh… let’s just say he hit way below the belt.
All of this has been good clean fun in the service of calling attention to the serious business of being the taxpayer’s watchdog with the annual San Diego County Taxpayers Association Golden Fleece and Golden Watchdog Awards. The challenge each year is to figure out a way to up the entertainment quotient from the year before.
For true San Diego poliwonks, New Year’s Eve was just a warm-up act. We know many of you have been saving yourself for the real deal: Political Debate Season 2012.
Starting Friday, January 13 with the first official San Diego Mayoral Debate of 2012, we will soon be subjected to a seemingly endless series of candidate debates and it will all become a blur.
But if you are a diligent citizen, you know you should be paying attention to the debates and learning about the candidates even if they deliver nothing but a painful litany of clichés. It’s enough to drive any red-blooded voter to drink.
In Poland it’s called “election sausage” In the Czech Republic, it’s known as “goulash.” It’s called “sweetener” in the UK. In the USA, we call it pork.
But everywhere including on San Diego Rostra it means government waste and it’s a turkey for taxpayers no matter how you slice it. We serve up plenty of pork around here. Now the San Diego County Taxpayers Association calls on Rostrafarians to submit your finest examples of pork as nominations for the 17th Annual Golden Watchdog and Golden Fleece Awards Dinner on May 16, 2012. This annual event recognizes the very best and worst of local government efficiency, spending and decision-making each year. No poliwonk worth his or her credentials would dare miss it.
Oceanside City Councilmember Jerry Kern received an Excellence in Leadership Award for his pioneering support of fair and open competition from the Associated Builders and Contractors of San Diego at its annual Excellence in Contracting Awards on November 17. “We only recognize one political figure each year, and this year the choice was clear,” said Philip Piel, ABCSD Board Chairman. “Jerry Kern has stood up for fair and open competition early and often.” Among Kern’s accomplishments:
- Kern sponsored a city charter for Oceanside requiring fair and open competition in public contracting for the first time in California, saving Oceanside taxpayer millions of dollars.
While the blogosphere and Twitterverse foams at the mouth over the spectre of hotelier Doug Manchester’s reported purchase of the San Diego Union-Tribune today, far more attention should be paid to the other key player on this team: former radio station owner and executive John Lynch. When it comes to newsroom operations, John Lynch is likely to have far more influence on the day to day product as president and CEO than Manchester.
As originally reported and updated on Rostra, big changes are coming to KOGO-AM Radio, San Diego’s foremost news and talk (make that talk with a sprinkling of news) radio station.
9 a.m. – 12 noon: Rush Limbaugh (No change here, KOGO isn’t about to commit broadcast suicide)
Rostrafarians, isn’t it just like a cool breeze on an unseasonably warm evening when you find out there’s a new wonk at work in San Diego?
In a fittingly timed announcement on Wonk Wednesday, Sean Karafin has been named Economic Policy Analyst for the San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTA). Karafin brings formal education in economics and experience working with numerous municipalities in California conducting economic analysis to his new role with SDCTA. As Economic Policy Analyst, Karafin conducts public policy analysis and contributes to the advocacy efforts of SDCTA. His professional concentration has, and continues to be, providing sound research and analysis to support efficient and effective governance.
Backers of an initiative that would prohibit project labor agreements (PLAs) on City of San Diego construction projects were notified by San Diego City Clerk Elizabeth Maland that the signatures submitted are sufficient to qualify the measure for the next citywide ballot. (The required minimum was 62,057). So it seems voters in the City of San Diego will have the opportunity to consider and vote upon a Fair and Open Competition initiative in 2012.
A bit of poliwonk trivia: the Fair and Open Competition measure is the first City of San Diego initiative to qualify for the ballot via citizen signatures since 1998.
I’m not the first political pundit to focus on the importance of social media in the political campaign mix. What’s also become increasingly important is search engine results.
A political candidate used to consider it a coup to be on the front page of the daily newspaper. It’s still a plus, but the modern version of the “front page” is Google. Getting high-ranking Google placement is like getting an article with a positive headline and color photo above-the-fold. (Don’t tell me if you’re a reader too young to have ever heard this term. Ye Gods).
The San Diego County Taxpayers Association recently took a look at the new labor agreements approved in a number of cities within San Diego County setting terms for wages and pension benefits as part of new budgets for this fiscal year. SDCTA reviewed these new agreements to determine how they stack up against their pension reform recommendations. Better them than me, as they’re way smarter.
So, did taxpayers get a good deal or a bad deal? A little of both. Here with the permission SDCTA, we share The Good, The Bad, and the Costly. Clint, will you do the honors?
Rostra columnist Jim Sills posted a question on my recent post “Calling San Diego Taxpayers: Oppose the “Jobs Tax” asking San Diegans to oppose a proposal by the San Diego City Council to double linkage fees.
Sills had the courage (and the smarts) to ask an obvious question. What the heck is a “linkage fee”?
I called on Chris Cate, Vice President of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association to get a little schooling on this for Rostra readers. Cate was happy to oblige.
Hey, pipe down there, you in the back. Pay attention – this WILL be on the test!
The San Diego County Taxpayers calls upon San Diegans to voice their opposition to a proposal by the San Diego City Council to double the so called “linkage fee” charged to construction projects in the City of San Diego. This fee is yet another short-sighted job killer and SDCTA is strongly opposed to this increase.
The Council will also consider setting this fee on “auto-increase” going forward, a sneaky little maneuver which no longer requires a vote of your elected officials to increase this job-killing tax. This action may be taken despite a historic recession and without regard for the concerns voiced by business leaders that this would further hurt jobs creation and economic recovery in San Diego.
President Obama is expanding his outreach to the American public with the first ever White House Twitter Town Hall on Wednesday, July 6, at 11 a.m. Pacific Time. Moderated by Twitter founder and executive chairman Jack Dorsey, the President will answer questions about the economy and jobs submitted via Twitter using the hashtag #askobama.
North County Times editor Dorrine Mendoza, AKA @AssignmentEditor1 on Twitter, has asked our help to generate insightful questions for the Twitter Town Hall from San Diego County. She’ll follow the event and cover interaction with local participants for the NCT. Who better than the smart people who write for, comment on, and read Rostra?
The National Rifle Association recently held its annual “Youth Education Summit” in Washington, D.C. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for 40 high school students from across the country to learn about the nation’s governance, meet policymakers, and tour the great monuments and sights of our nation’s capitol. The students come away understanding the importance of being an active, involved citizen.
One of this year’s attendees was 16-year-old Ted Mumford of San Diego. He learned about the program from his uncle, actor Ted Abell, who’s an active shooting sports enthusiast and Second Amendment supporter. Mumford received a .22 rifle as a gift from his Uncle Ted two years ago, and he’s been an enthusiastic participant in target shooting and hunting ever since.