Imagine Councilwoman Marti Emerald’s statement on the mayor in a different light…
“I commend (insert name of any Republican) for the courage to admit he has made mistakes and for his commitment to change his behavior. I hope the people of San Diego will support (insert same name) in his effort to make a change and continue to make a positive difference in our city.”
Wouldn’t happen. Ever.
I don’t have to say there’s a word for that.
Councilwoman Marti Emerald was shocked at the results of District 6 a week ago. The day of the election she was smilingly predicting a Wayne win, if not walk over. What would a Wayne win have meant? With just two seats in GOP hands and another resounding labor victory, it would have meant a disheartened small business community that would finally cave into the Chamber of Commerce ‘corporate welfare’ types who long since gave up the fight. A Wayne victory in D6 would have meant an easier re-election campaign for Emerald. Now, of course, the small business community and the local GOP smell blood in the water.
It seems after being publicly humiliated at a recent Council meeting Marti Emerald is taking steps to reach out to the community and push her message of, umm…well, I’ll try and get back to you when I find it.
She has reinvented her monthly community newsletter although spelling seems to not be a concern. “Subject: We need to restore borwned-out fire engines.” You’d think with a paid staff someone knows how to spell brown.
Before today I heard very little about a serious decision to recall Marti Emerald. Today, I’ve had the conversation a dozen times. There is a movement afoot. I don’t know if this movement will succeed or fail, but it is afoot. What I think is that Marti is rather foolish for bringing it up the way she did — it got other people thinking about it who otherwise might have thought it belonged to the fringe.
It’s no secret that community leaders in the 7th Council District have been seriously discussing a recall of Councilwoman Marti Emerald. Recently, though, more serious ‘downtown’ types have also been overheard having similar discussions. A poll taken several months ago showed pretty conclusively that a funded recall would succeed.
Apparently the buzzing is getting to Emerald, never known for stability. On KPBS this morning (I just happened to hear it) she and Councilman Carl DeMaio were going back and forth about DeMaio’s labor initiative when Emerald outright accused DeMaio of masterminding a recall against her. More amusing, her source was “blogs”. I’m hardly an unbiased source, but I thought she just sounded paranoid, at best. Now I guess we know what Emerald does with her time though, sifting through blogs instead of balancing the budget.
At the end of the 2008 election cycle everyone thought Marti Emerald had the least debt of all the city candidates. Turns out she had the most, and yesterday the City Ethics Commission ruled that her intentional or negligent non-disclosure of that debt would cost her $3,000. Emerald avoided the possible $10,000 fine, probably because of her cooperation (a point made by her attorney at least 482 times during her hearing) once the discrepancy was discovered. If you add this fine, and the political fallout that is sure to follow endlessly, to the ever growing list of Marti Emerald’s troubles the outlook for 2012 is worse and worse for her every day. She can still probably avoid a recall or a resignation if she keeps her head down, way down, but from what I hear the local Dems and union bosses might “ask” her not to run again in 2012 and are already looking for a replacement.
What a rough few weeks for City Councilwoman Marti Emerald. After having a rather public falling out with her former Chief of Staff, Xema Jacobson, Marti is facing rather serious ethics charges related to her campaign finances. The ethics hearing regarding that case was today, and after a full day of witnesses and questions it seems to have made little progress.
It’s not time YET, but as the city of San Diego runs out of options, and Carl DeMaio keeps hammering on real solutions, look for cracks in the Dem CC members’ heretofore unflinching loyalty to their bosses — the public employee labor unions
The one Dem who has for years sometimes failed the union loyalty tests has been iconoclast Donna Frye — the best city council member we’ve had in the last 10 years — after Carl DeMaio, of course.
This city council split with the unions HAS to come. It’s only a question of “when.”
Turns out “Troubleshooter” Marti Emerald is going to deal with her looming Ethics Commission judgement like a screaming, writhing child being led out of a crowded grocery market… she’s going to fight every step of the way. Delightful. This week, her lawyer argued that one of the three Commissioners (apparently now the Ethics Commission is so busy the Commissioners delegate judgement to smaller groups than the group as a whole) should excuse himself because of previous comments in the Voice of San Diego. After much eye rolling this was done, leaving two Commissioners, which is too few to deal with the issue. I’ve got to state for the record I think this policy of irritating the “judge and jury” is brilliant… should give me much to write about later.
Sometimes, you hope its possible that both sides in a contest of some sort lose. Today at 9am “Troubleshooter” Marti Emerald, embattled and embroiled in a major ethics mire, goes before the Ethics Commission.
Emerald vs. Ethics Commission
So the “Troubleshooter” doesn’t like it when the shoe is on the other foot. As investigations from the Ethics Commission move her closer and closer to a large fine for various violations, Emerald is going to have the gall at the next meeting to “openly challenge the ethics panel over an enforcement action” while at the same time “her argument isn’t that she is innocent”. This is delightful. I think anyone who watched the “Troubleshooter” over the years knows she was Judge, Jury, and Executioner… right or wrong. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, listen to the squeal. My key question: in what looks like a Republican year will the scandals finely catch up with her?
At breakfast Friday morning (Hob Nob Hill, of course) guess who I ran into? A few of our local ‘Emerald Investigators’ pouring over some of the copious material garnered from the public information request generated from this blog a few months ago. They showed me two interesting lines of investigation, totally unrelated, that I imagine will be worth reporting on.
Ethics Commission sets February 25th “Showdown” date with Marti Emerald ——- Table stakes —— $5,000 a Count !
San Diego city council member Marti Emerald has been “invited”
to the Feb. 25th meeting of the San Diego City Ethics Commission.
The invite is from Alison Adema, the still-new General Counsel
for that body, and it alleges Emerald’s campaign committee
violated the San Diego Municipal Code’s elections statute. The
proposed punishment goes as high as $5,000 a count, on two
alleged violations of the rules.
You can read their full “Final Administrative Complaint” against
the Emerald campaign at this link to a City PDF file:
UPDATE: Comments reveal that this isn’t as under the radar as I thought. Add commenter Jefferson to the hat-tip list.
Hat tip to Mr. Murphy’s post on Marti Emerald advocating for new city revenues and Thor’s Assistant’s posting of the link to the transcript. This interview is filled with marvelous insight from Marti.
The hidden gem: her disclosure of funding plans for building the proposed new million-square-foot, and half a billion dollar City Hall building (obviously, I’ve added the bold emphasis):
I’m not exactly sure what would get me up in the morning if I didn’t think I’d have another move by Marti Emerald that put her one step closer to resignation (I’ll save the rumors on this for a later post) or recall.
What did I awake to this morning? Half a dozen emails circulating around town which quote Emerald from a KPBS interview supporting new taxes, in direct contradiction to her campaign pledge. To paraphrase: For too long we’ve only focused on one side of the ledger. We must right the financial ship and put these tax initiatives on the ballot…
From this morning’s Union Tribune, an absolutely brutal article that demonstrates Councilwoman Emerald’s hypocrisy, arrogance, and simple inability to follow the laws she’s spent years demanding others to follow. Directly to you Marti (since you are a reader): this is not the cumulation of efforts to hold you accountable, it’s the beginning. You’ll know exactly what I mean shortly.
Link to the Union-Tribune:
Last week, San Diego News Network carried this article, which I missed. Brian Peterson, the author and President of the Grantville Action Group, was a pretty big Emerald supporter during the election if my friends in D7 speak the truth…
EMERALD’S BUDGET MEETING OFFERS NO CHOICES FOR CITIZENS
Last week’s meeting of the Grantville Action Group was billed as “Councilmember [Marti] Emerald to seek budget ideas at GAG meeting.” Some where along the way, though, the event morphed into a parallel universe version of the “District 7 Advisory Council.” At least now, I think I know how it must feel to be a D-7 Advisory Council member.
While I don’t have the endless sources that Mr. Murphy does, I did get an interesting email from one of my friends in Grantville last night. It sounds like the local community groups in the 7th Council District are still none too happy with Emerald’s Advisory Councils. The email:
Got an email from a friend to a friend to me this morning… Councilwoman Marti Emerald went to a San Carlos community meeting last night, chewing a double wad of gum the whole time. The crowd was not exactly friendly. The highlights:
Marti took some time to attack the Ethics Commission for picking on her… that they were being unfair about actually investigating complaints against her! She also blamed the Boling for Council campaign for filing the complaint… and since old Mr. Murphy knows exactly who filed the complaint I can assure Marti that the actual filer is much, much more amusing.
Well… I was sent this document that is allegedly the agenda of Marti Emerald’s Advisory Committee meeting. Anyone notice anything odd? That’s right… only the “pro” side of the new city hall and new downtown library were given a hearing.
So at the end of the day her campaign donors held a meeting, were given a presentation from her point of view, and were ‘independent’ voices advising her to move on and support the projects. No big deal.
What is going to be even more amusing is seeing exactly who was there.
A public information request will be formally filed in re the ‘Emerald Advisory Council’ in the next several days. In the meantime, I’d love to see the agenda of the meeting with the Mayor’s staff member. Anyone who has it can just send to MIGHTY THOR, I’m sure he’ll pop it over, or click the ‘I want to advertise’ button on top and use that email and I’m sure it will work its way to me.
Local community activists (I’m referring to real ones, not the campaign donors Councilwoman Marti Emerald gets her ‘independent’ insights from) might want to take note of tomorrow’s city council docket. Our Councilwoman will have the opportunity to either vote for a $500,000 ‘study’ for a downtown library, or to come to the conclusion that this type of wasteful spending is exactly why the city is deep in the hole and vote against it.
When asked about her community “Advisory Council” (which was the following day found to be largely her political campaign donors) Councilwoman Marti Emerald stated that the reason for the group was that she wanted “something a little more independent”. Really, that sounds great.
But with old Marti, the Devil is in the details, and it’s increasingly clear there is a gap between what she tells reporters and how she acts. On a lark, I asked a friend to run the voter registrations of Emerald’s Advisory Council. The results were strikingly not Independent.
I went back this morning and re-read the Voice of San Diego. A number of Marti’s answers look… disingenuous… after Mr. Murphy’s last post. For example:
“She said she cited the group in her endorsement of a new downtown library and City Hall because its support for the capital projects “surprised” her.”
Given that either most or all of the original 20 people Emerald met with were campaign insiders and donors, who she obviously knows very well, why was she ‘surprised’?
“I don’t want to get myself cut off from the community.”
Rostra analysis shows 67 percent of Advisory Members are Donors
Last night Marti Emerald took a short interview where she said she was “surprised” that her District 7 Advisory Council would support the massive taxpayer expenditures required for a new downtown library and city hall.
I’d be pretty surprised too, since every public poll I’ve seen says taxpayers hate both ideas, both of which Emerald publicly supports. But then some little elves took a quick look at Marti’s “Advisory Council” and, stunningly would anyone have guessed that some 67% of the members of this group (the larger group of 34, not the original group of 20 her press release claimed were members) are Emerald campaign donors? Unless 67% of the district were Emerald campaign donors, I’d say this is a pretty unrepresentative voice of the community. (The info culled from online campaign resources is below.)