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Did that headline make you read this? Good, because this is boring yet so exciting!

Unless you don’t neurotically check your twitter, don’t get breaking political news email pushed to your blackberry, or don’t regularly troll the City Clerk’s office (see: you’re normal), you are just now finding out that Carl DeMaio’s Fair and Open Contracting Ballot Measure, henceforth known as Turbo-Managed Competition, is currently in qualification limbo (see VoSD story).

The measure has by no means ultimately failed to qualify, and the Turbo-MC campaign has posted a press release that presents a pretty solid case for why it will likely end up on the ballot, but for now everyone is in a still awe. This development is extremely significant in more ways than one, as always in politics certain scenarios exist, and what sort of political blogger would I be if I didn’t painstakingly analyze them now.

First and foremost, I do absolutely believe the measure will qualify for the November ballot. The reasons Turbo-MC is in limbo:

The campaign submitted 134,441 signatures, needing 96,834 to legally qualify. The City Clerk doesn’t initially count all 134,441 signatures, instead they take a random sampling of 3%, or 4,033 signatures, and verify those. Of those sampled, 3,212 came back as valid, and there were 30 duplicates (that’s relevant, stay tuned).

Well, since 79.6% of the sample was valid that likely means the same percentage, or 107,072 of the 134,441 signatures, should statistically be valid! Measure Qualifies!

But no. The City Clerk doesn’t just take the valid percentage of the sample and apply that to the total, they apply certain formulas based on how they were invalid, including number of duplicates. After all is said and done with the Clerk they project only 74,732 were valid. Measure Fails! So the breakdown is over how exactly to project the full number accurately, which leads us to our first of many scenarios…

1) A full recount takes place and the measure qualifies! In this scenario very little is different, labor has a little bit of ammo moving forward because of the initial bump, but overall it doesn’t weigh in on the outcome. Eventually (step 1: Wednesday in Council Rules Committee) the City Council puts 3 anti-business initiatives (or some fraction thereof) on the November Ballot. The politics of those measures may or may not lead to the recall of Councilwoman Marti Emerald.

2) A full recount takes place and the measure fails to qualify! Lorena Gonzalez and Evan McLaughlin get to keep their jobs, saving face in SD after losing bad in CV. Councilman DeMaio retains his position fighting for taxpayers after being put on a brief suicide watch. The Council Rules Committee had foresight and did not place any of those three poison pill initiatives on the November ballot. San Diego continues with business as usual. Marti Emerald gets to keep her job, for now (*glares at Marti*), and San Diego continues with the “get out of the hole by digging directly down and eventually you’ll hit China” mentality of running a city.

3) A full recount takes place and the measure qualifies (version B)! All the same hilarious banter as the first, except this time the Council either anticipates failure or has a moment of moral clarity (Doubtful, *glares at Ben Hueso*) and doesn’t put any of the three “F#$k you, San Diego” measures on the ballot. The Yes On MC Campaign and the No on MC Campaign proceed with calm, civil, and honest discussion of the issu…err, I mean, it’s an all out war.

4) A full recount takes place and the measure fails to qualify (version B)! In their infinite wisdom (see: hahaha) the Council still places the three Voldemort measures on the ballot (I’m trying to think of bad things without “Jerry Brown”ing it). That, ladies and gentlemen, is the interesting scenario; and the ultimate gamble by the unions. IF IF IF the unions really do think that DeMaio’s prop will fail the recount or one will not take place, then they will not use their last bit of political capital to push their shills on the Council to place the three measures for November, some of whom would be committing political suicide doing so (see: Marti Emerald circa 2008, I have the recording). The only-most-of-the-time-but-not-always union votes (Lightner, Frye, Young) would be hurting themselves big-time if they had to push the three ballot measures for no reason. They can justify screwing the City with these ballot measures with the “we had to do it to fight Carl” propaganda, but if Carl isn’t around to fight and they do it anyway the standard response from taxpayers and business groups when Lightner runs for re-election, Frye runs for Mayor, and Young tries to get that business money is going to be “WTF!”.

DeMaio has until Friday to find someone to request a hand recount of the signatures for Turbo-MC, but we’ll know Wednesday after the Council Rules Committee if the unions think it will qualify. Also, with this limbo status, the ever present Marti Emerald recall possibility is ramped up. Now, we’re not just looking at a scenario where Marti is recalled for, among other things, supporting the three initiatives, but where she is recalled for, among other things, supporting them for no reason since Turbo-MC failed to qualify! How funny would THAT be!

There is a fifth scenario in all this by the way. Counting 135,000 signatures takes a while, and we’re already well past the safe qualification date for November. If the necessary signatures are certified too late to place the measure on the November ballot, even too late for the Council to validate it for November, Turbo-MC forces a special election. Special elections mean low turnout, energized turnout, and conservative turnout, which if you’re keeping track means unions lose.

Lots of choices in the days a head, lots to be determined. Will Marti support the unions or the taxpayers on Wednesday, gambling whether she will face a recall (hint: it isn’t a bluff); will the unions gamble on whether Turbo-MC will qualify by making their puppets walk the plank; will Turbo-MC qualify at all, and if so for what election?


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