This week could be the beginning of the end for Councilwoman Marti Emerald. Today Councilman Carl DeMaio, joined by a coalition of businesses, community groups, and taxpayers, delivered over 135,000 signatures to the City Clerk to place an initiative on the November ballot that mandates voter approved managed competition and ensures it is implemented by the City Council. The labor unions already lost this battle in 2006 in San Diego, and more recently in Chula Vista and Oceanside last week. So what is their last and only hope to prevent savings to the taxpayers at the expense of their massive benefits? Three incredibly deceptive, unrelated, and random ballot initiatives designed to confuse voters in San Diego into voting “No” on all measures in November out of frustration. Essentially the theory is this, bombard the voters with enough terrible propositions that they will just give a blanket “no” vote and an initiative that sets aside $3 of the city budget to save the lives of thousands of puppies would fail in the confusion.
An initiative gets put on the ballot one of two ways, it either qualifies with at least 95,000 signatures or it qualifies with 5 votes from the City Council, the three in question would get on the later way. So where does Marti fall into all of this? Well, remember how I said DeMaio submitted 135,000 signatures, turns out that the number of signatures needed to recall Marti Emerald is less than 8% of that, or 10,808. Now, ‘the Marti Emerald recall’ has been the subject of much debate for some time now, but today after the signatures were turned in a conference call occurred to discuss the current situation. Business and community leaders far and wide were involved and one point was made abundantly clear: no more wishful thinking, no more questioning, no more discussion, if Marti Emerald votes to put these measures on the ballot there will be an unwavering fully funded recall effort. End of story. She sells what little bit of a political soul she has left to the unions and she faces an extremely well funded recall effort. Coming off big losses in Chula Vista and Oceanside, the unions will have to pour everything they have into keeping Marti in office or else they face spreading themselves to thin, and if the unions don’t take the Emerald recall seriously then Emerald, Wayne, Whitburn, and “No on Managed Comp” could all lose! Only time will tell, does Marti side with the unions and face certain political destruction or does she side with the taxpayers and live to bloviate another day?