Emerald Melt Down On KPBS

Mr. Murphy Mr. Murphy 41 Comments


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.

Is it really paranoia if people really are out to get you, though?


Comments 41

  1. There is talk in the Council offices this morning about the potential of a recall. It’s been talked about before but the general feeling is its more serious now. The real question is whether the business community gets behind it. If so, I think Emerald is toast.

  2. I got a phone call a few nights ago with a bunch of questions about city politics several of the questions concerned Marti Emerald and whether I would support a recall of her based on various things.

  3. No doubt the forces interested in an Emerald recall are emboldened by the overwhelming success of the Betty Rexford recall in the city of Poway. Poway isn’t all the different in many ways from District 7.

    The number of signatures needed to put a recall on the ballot is surprisingly small. It’s 15% of the registered voters in District 7. That’s 10,808 (out of 72,056, according to the San Diego City Clerk).

    For those interested in how such a thing works, the City Clerk has helpfully published instructions on its web page: http://www.sandiego.gov/city-clerk/elections/process/recall.shtml

  4. 15% is a pretty tough requirement, as both voters and petitioners too often don’t know if a DISTRICT voter is in the appropriate location to sign the petition. It’s a bit different when it’s a city or county measure.

    It’s doable, but per sig it is harder than getting the 15% needed in clearly defined jurisdictions.

  5. The recall comments are really just people that can’t deal with the fact that Marti won the 2008 election. The election is over.

    In less then two years the voters of DISTRICT 7 or whatever the districts that then will cover the area of District 7 will be able to vote for who they want to represent them for 4 years.

    Lastly, I find it interesting to look back at the comments from this blog about the recall attempt of Oceanside Councilmember Jerry Kern. Comments about attempted power grab, should only be about malfeasance, cost of recall to taxpayers, etc…

    So, I wonder if those same people and organizations then that came out to denounce that recall will now step-up make the same case here.

    If you need help with what you said, then here are a couple lines you can re-use:

    – This is a bogus recall effort and a blatant attempt to get a ….. Council in place.

    – gratifying to me that the general public rejected a “recall” of a duly elected person not based in actual malfeasance, but rather, personality / policy bias

    – My sense is that unless a recall is based upon some serious criminal activity, the proponents of any such recall exercise should put up a bond to cover the cost

    – blatant ……. power grab

    Any brave conservatives ready to stand-up now?

  6. Poway is VERY different from D7. For one you have two communities (Tierrasanta and Navajo/College which do not necessarily have coterminus issues even though both are high propensity and both skew R. In contrast, Poway remains something of a banana republic, with very well organized North Poway disproportionately controlling much (all?) of what goes on there. Until Marti stumbles on a _D7_ issue I am not seeing her that vulnerable – and it will have to be “grass roots” like the Linda B. recall or else the neighborhoods will instinctively push back on the downtown interests trying to “kill off” a neighborhood advocate. Proponents of the recall would be smart to force her to take a hard vote – get an SDSU or Tierrasanta Blvd or Montgomergy Field issue on the ballot and watch Marti squirm.

  7. Marti has the audacity to talk about special interest money when the unions spent $200k plus on her race in 2008.

    And then she lies about not blocking Managed Competition when she VOTED AGAINST IT in October 2009 and rejected the Mayor’s proposal.

    Her arrogance is disgusting!

  8. OK. Now I listened. Emerald is in meldown mode. In a well run recall campaign she would be toast. Gotta be grass roots though – maybe draft Judy M and run it “for the good of the district”?

  9. From the Twitter feed…

    From: @SDRepublicans
    Sent: Jun 17, 2010 1:56p

    The @MartiEmeraldD7 #meltdown during debate with @CarlDeMaio on @KPBS is now online. Grab the popcorn. http://ow.ly/1ZSCc


    I love how DeMaio basicly gave Marti Emerald the “Trouble Shooter” Treatment.

    Talk about turning the tables!

    Marti’s arrogance reeks through her comments, and DeMaio hammered her like the Trouble Shooter used to hammer her suspects when she was a 10-News reporter.

    Hit tip to DeMaio!

  11. Boy is her majesty pissed off today.

    Hey Marti… calm the hell down its annoying the rest of us.

  12. “Is there hypocrisy here” so you are admitting that those arguments were 100% valid for the Kern recall and the unions should be ashamed?

    This is different because Marti isn’t just doing something we disagree with policy wise (which is what gets settled in regular elections), she is actually and actively disregarding the law for political purposes. It would be illegal for a councilman to accept a bribe and/or vote to cut a supporter a check from City funds for no reason at all, well blocking voter approved legally required managed competition is a more politically cosmetic version of the bribe/pay scheme. This isn’t just politicians favoring their supporters (a story as old as time), this is outright lawbreaking, and it’s time we start calling it that.

  13. The difference between Marti and Kern:

    #1: Emerald has gone back on the campaign pledges which won her the election

    #2: Emerald has already been indicted and fined by the ethics commission, a nonpartisan organization, for unethical behavior]

    #3 Emerald, while running as a moderate, is clearly a radical

  14. I also got a call from a polling company asking me questions, on tuesday. my question is really, does marty emerald really want to get into what I think is coming. I think a serious recall effort is brewing and win or lose she is going to be even more miserable than she is now with people around here complaining at public meetings. just resign. spare us.

  15. — Warning you are entering the Spin Zone —

    Those that attempted to show a difference went to full spin mode:

    Sunshine states, “she is actually and actively disregarding the law.”
    – Survey Says: False
    – If a crime was committed, then the city attorney or district attorney would have done something, right?

    Difference states:
    #1 “gone back on the campaign pledges.”
    Survey Says: False
    – She never signed a pledge form and if that is a litmus, then you should have recalled the Mayor over his turn around on same sex marriage.
    #2 “been indicted and fined.”
    Survey Says: False
    – She was never indicted, but only fined and if fined was a reason to recall, then you should recall Carl for being fined in his campaign.
    #3 moderate to radical
    Survey Says: Just Crazy
    – Don’t know what you think is a radical, but I don’t think you have been to San Francisco.

    — You are now leaving the Spin Zone —

    Still no takers on my challenge?

  16. “The challenge” was met, and there was a lot more in that comment for you to misunderstand, go back and read.

    The law says the Council has to pass a budget, if the Council decided to just say “F#&k it” and not pass a budget at all would the City Attorney and/or District Attorney charge them with a crime? No. Would that be reason for a recall, regardless of Party? Yes.

    The law says the City needs to use managed competition. Has a SINGLE contract been implemented using managed competition? If so did Marti enable that or block it, as in did Marti block implementation of the law? Fact is Marti is disregarding the law on this, and because there is no enforcement clause or punishment for a City Councilperson who disregards a law they have sworn to uphold the only recourse is recall.

    There are plenty of people out there who are good at dramatically missing points as well as taking bad lines from good movies, so your skills aren’t special.

  17. Seriously,

    So if one person jumps off the bridge its fine to do it…. seriously pal your logic is lame at best. We aren’t talking about another person, we are talking about Marti Emerald. In fact, and if you want Ill quote her mailer Im sure I can find it, she said she was opposed to new taxes. Do you dispute that?

    Don’t you see she ran as a reformer? And that at least from what I can see she’s just as big on closed government as the kind of people she as a reporter would go after?


  18. It’s not just DeMaio, Marti. And it’s not just those evil Republicans. You should watch your behavior with your “friends”.

    See you in a couple hours.

  19. Fact Check:

    Sunshine makes the earlier claim “this is outright lawbreaking.” Please state the law broken?

    Karen wants to pull out a mail piece about opposing taxes. I don’t think folks in San Diego asked to impeach President Bush over his famous “read my lips” quote. They waited for the next election and he lost. Anyway, what tax has she raised?

  20. After going (or should I say slogging) through these comments regarding a recall of Councilmember Emerald, I can only say that most of these comments are of a personal nature not related to Ms. Emerald’s performance as a Councilmember. As such, personal
    dislike of a duly elected official is not grounds for a recall. It won’t even matter how many signatures gathered on a petition. Grounds for recall have to be proved. Otherwise, those in charge of setting up this charade will also be subject to the procedure they have set in motion.

    Actually, the personal attacks make the bloggers here look very infantile, incapable of truly assessing the Councilmember’ performance in office. Most thinking individuals in District 7 will be able to see through this feeble attempt to get revenge at not having their candidate elected and will have no stomach for it. Be aware that the actions you all proposed to make can cause a major backlash

  21. Emerald did in fact make quite an issue in the campaign about opposing new taxes. Of course, we thought she was lying, and it turns out she was. Of course she also made a big deal about open government then set up sham community organizations with her campaign supporters to support whatever she proposes, allegedly with community support.

  22. Dear Joan,
    How you have misconstrued the facts:
    1) I personally don’t remember Ms. Emerald ever promising to oppose any new taxes. That was a falsity perpetrated by the opposing candidate Ms. Boling election committee in their literature. If anything, she took the wise position that all solutions to the City’s financial problems should be considered.
    2) Councilmember Emerald did push for open government. Any community organizations she has formed have been for community enhancement activities that have nothing to do with legal or money issues. They are simply advisory. Please note that other Council members, including De Maio also have community advisory groups.

    So, please get the facts straight next time.

  23. Dear Sunshine,

    I’d like to shed a little light on your comments (no pun intended).
    1) Considering that other Council members voted likewise, does that mean they are all up for recall?
    Who pays for a recall anyway?

    2) Certainly there was a managed competition legislation passed. However, the problem is that the City also voted to have a minimum wage ordinance that would be negated by the current “managed competition” legislation. As you can see, these two entities need to be reconciled. Just spending more money on a recall doesn’t solve the problem….if that is what you are defining as the problem.

  24. Marti never opposed higher taxes, in fact she supported them. If you remember her saying “San Diego is the most under taxed major city in the country…but it would be political suicide for me to go out there and say ‘elect me and i’ll raise your taxes'”. We knew what we were getting there folks.

    On the law, to summarize, the law says the City needs to use managed competition. The City isn’t using managed competition. Marti swore an oath to uphold the law. Marti isn’t upholding the law. In this case recall is the only solution for breaking the law. It isn’t her disagreeing on how to do it, using her duly elected discrepancy to influence policy, or doing it in a manner I disapprove of, she just isn’t doing it.

    What is the punishment for a police officer who refuses to pull people over for speeding because he disagrees with laws on speeding? Maybe he thinks they are to tight so he gives people a few MPH over, maybe he knows the area and he knows the limit just dropped, maybe he sees the flow of traffic, but if someone goes flying by at 135mph and he still refuses to do anything because he disagrees with the law how long will he be a police officer?

  25. Gwen,

    I just read through the comments myself, and while a couple are personal I’d say that this is a reasonable argument.

    From what I remember Marti said that she wouldnt raise taxes in public, then that she would in public. That was what got her in hot water on the Hedgecock Show.

  26. Dear Long Time Reader:

    When ever any political candidate is running for office, the mention of raising taxes always raises blood pressure. That is why Council member Emerald said what she did when she did. I think, unfortunately, Ms Emerald was being rather honest around those who then used it against her. She was speaking reality. If you were a candidate, would you mention raising taxes?

    The only reasonable conclusion to make is that raising taxes is an inevitability in the State of California and in San Diego. Without going into the whys and wherefores, I suggest that those who blog here put their minds together and look at ways to have reconciliation between “managed competition” legislation with the City’s minimum wage ordinance. The Council members have to go through a very messy process of building a budget where cuts will have the least impact on the public and where needed services may continue. Having watched City Council many years, I can say that no one walks away happy.

  27. Dear Sunshine:
    On this issue the City not using managed competition, I believe that the companies hired to do the clean up after the 2007 fires were obtained through “managed competition”. In the end, the City got screwed with over billing. If I were a Council member, I’d take a long look at that incident and check out ways to have better accountability first before moving forward.

  28. Yeah…. and taxpayers are getting a hell of a deal with the salaries, pensions, and health care we pay for the overweight, under-dressed civil servants we have now. Here is a thought – we should make all of these people dress like professionals ie no sweat pants.

  29. “In the end, the City got screwed with over billing.”

    You’re kidding, right? Getting screwed with the billing? If the clean up company screwed the city over with the billing then comparably the unions set fire to downtown, pillaged la jolla, and raped and murdered as they made their way around the City! …screwed over with the billing…give me a break.

    Even if that were accurate and a company ripped the City off as bad as the unions do (impossible) then with managed competition we can always fire them and/or find another company to do the work, with the unions we’re stuck with them.

    and as far as Emerald “being rather honest around those” wasn’t the problem, the problem was her being dishonest around everyone else then, right? It’s a moot point, we all knew she wanted to raise taxes, she said it, end of story, let’s focus on the present and her current malfeasance of failing to uphold the laws she took and oath to.

  30. Dear Yeah,
    What taxpayers get in terms of services from City employees (including fire and police) who are rightfully given pensions and healthcare is fairly comparable to those in the private sector, or at least should be.

    And, as to making them (“under-dressed civil servants”) dress like professionals….. while you sit at home in front of your computer pounding out nonsense wearing your skivvies. Don’t know about that.

  31. News Headline – Hypocrisy from those calling for recall

    San Diego – It was December 2009, when those from the [fill in your name or organization] called the recall of Oceanside City Councilmember special interest’s attempt for a power grab. six months latter those same opposing the recall became the special interest and called for their own power grab by recall.

    The special interest group behind the recall tried for over a year and half to find any reason to embarrass the councilmember, including feeding false stories by anonymous bloggers. While requests for the names of the anonymous bloggers haven’t been released, others close to the recall say the blogger names are x, y and z.

    The group denied they were a special interest and dragged out some unlucky person who agreed to say they supported the councilmember in 2008 and now because of he councilmember’s actions called for the recall. Though, those funding the current recall were the same funding the opposing candidate in the 2008 election. When talking to most voters in the district they said they don’t understand why there is a recall, but we found one person who will agree with the recall and another person who will disagree with the recall.

    In the end, this was just another special election that wasted even more limited taxpayer money and came from repairing roads, keeping libraries open and reducing the impacts from the rotation of brown outs at our fire stations. Though, a special interest will get the vote at council they wanted. The special interest group behind the recall just hoped for the special election to get the lowest turnout possible to pass their recall and win. Higher turnout would have been harder to win and cost themselves even more money, while saving the taxpayers money on election costs. Again, this is about the special interest and not the taxpayers.

    There was no real issues debated in the recall, but the special interest did generate enough salacious quotes to flood voter mailboxes by consultants making some extra money on an off election year. Here are the mail pieces to wow over.

    While the city will re-district in a few months, including adding another council district, the recall got the special interest’s candidate elected to office. This is just in time for the candidate to turn around and submit papers for the upcoming 2012 election. Now the incumbent councilmember will either run unopposed or by a little known opponent. The voters that don’t vote in special elections won’t have to worry about voting during the real primary too.

    Democracy in action.

  32. Thank you “Is Their Hypocrisy Here”.

    SPECIAL INTEREST POWER GRAB. I like that title. Now we have a great name for this bogus endeavor and the special interest group behind it . They don’t have a thing to stand on.
    As you said: ” In the end, this was just another special election that wasted even more limited taxpayer money and came from repairing roads, keeping libraries open and reducing the impacts from the rotation of brown outs at our fire stations. ”

    This group is just @#%! that their candidate, Ms Boling, didn’t get elected. It has nothing to do with anything Council member has or and not done …other than tell the truth…a truth they don’t want to hear. She did not lie to any one.

  33. The way I would like to “reconcile” the city’s living wage with managed competition is to pass DeMaio’s ordinance. In that way we kill two birds with one stone; we finally get managed competition and we get rid of an economically stupid living wage ordinance.

  34. Dear Parker:
    Try to have an open mind, if you can, and look at the possibility of both Managed Competition and the Minimum Wage Ordinance working together.
    As DAVID ROLLAND (San Diego CityBeat) pointed out on KPBS during the Penner interview (6/18)/10:
    “It is possible to do that if you set up a playing field where… set up the competition so that you keep your living wage and you require the private businesses that ultimately might win contracts, you require them to you know, pay a certain wage and supply certain health benefits. Yeah, it’s certainly possible. You know, this is really ideological. Carl DeMaio will say that it’s really about saving the city money. It could save the city money depending on how many services are outsourced, how little you pay those people who will ultimately do that work, and then the more jobs you cut from the city employment roles, the lower your pension costs are going to be in the long term. Certainly. But I think he overstates the impact on the budget. This is really about Carl DeMaio. He is the pied piper of small government. He is a disciple of Grover Norquist, who famously said that you want to shrink government down to the size where you can drown it in a bathtub. And I think that’s what this is about.”

  35. If the City requires private bidders to compensate their private employees as if they were city employees (same pay and benefits as city employees) then competitive bidding is rendered virtually meaningless because there would be no savings in labor costs.
    And labor costs are usually the overwhelming cost in any endeavor that the city would contract out for.

    When the City compensates employees beyond what the market would compensate them then it is favoring a tiny fraction who work for the city at the expense everyone who else who pays taxes to the city. Should my City Council deliberately overpay for a service, via of a living wage ordinance, with my tax money– I don’t think so and neither do most San Diego voters.

    The idea of true managed competition should make the city only a participant in the market place; nothing more. Therefore, the city should not pay more for a service than would a private entity. In that way, the city would be more efficient and, therefore, more responsible with the people’s tax revenue.

    There are already plenty of state and federal labor laws on the books that employers are required to obey. And, lastly, there is nothing stopping the employees of those private bidders to organize themselves into a union.

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