Saturday, October 30, 2010

Preparing to Govern

The Tea Party has already shaped the political agenda of the next Congress and achieved impressive victories. Some quotes from this weekend's The Economist:

Whether they have worked hard enough they will not know until votes are counted after next week’s mid-terms, but in one way their labours have already borne fruit. In primaries all over the country they have secured the election of Republican candidates who are “true” conservatives, not the big-spending counterfeit Republicans whom they blame for leading the party astray under George Bush.

The article goes on to compare the American Tea Party protests to those in France, and quite favorably to our side, I might add. But the article ends up asking some challenging questions that we need to be ready to answer.

Not French, not fabricated and not as flaky as their detractors aver: these are the positives. Another one: in how many other countries would a powerful populist movement demand less of government, rather than endlessly and expensively more? Much of what is exceptional about America is its ideology of small government, free enterprise and self reliance. If that is what the tea-party movement is for, more power to its elbow.

Can they be serious?

Ideology is one thing. But if the tea-partiers do well next week, especially if the Republicans capture the House, they need to move past ideology into the realm of practical policy. This means having something serious to say about how actually to bring spending under control.
The early agenda will be easy, as I have previously discussed. Ending stimulus, returning unused porkulus to the treasury and repealing Obamacare are the easy pieces of the work ahead. But this will only bring the deficits to the levels of the last years of the Bush administration, when Democrats controlled the Congress. What else is to be done?

I have some suggestions that I hope to roll out in subsequent posts. A quick synopsis of a couple ideas follow:
  1. Tie the doctor fix to repealing a portion of Obamacare. If the Democrats want to renege on the budget estimates they used to pass Obamacare, they should have to pay the price for defunding the exact portion of Obamacare needed to fund doctors to appropriate compensation levels under Medicare.
  2. Save social security. This doesn't sound very Tea Party, but I have a long term plan. We need to shrink the reliance on social security both in percentage terms as part of an individuals portfolio and by reducing the numbers who depend on it for their primary income.
  3. Defund huge and useless portions of the budget that also funnel money to left wing causes. Start with the Department of Education.
More to follow.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Weekend Music Chill

It's Halloween Weekend and the last weekend before the election. See picture below for someone who get scarier every week. Our weekend's music is David Bowie singing his Halloween classic "Scary Monsters" but introduced in French.

Referendum on Obama

No Mr. President, it's we who should be angry with you. We are all Americans, we are not each others enemies.

Let me be clear, this election is a referendum on the Presidency of Barack Obama. From the Hill, Looming anti-Obama mid-term vote may not carry through to 2012:
Seventy percent of respondents in The Hill’s latest survey of 10 battleground districts said their feelings about President Obama will play an important role in how they vote on Nov. 2.

From The Economist, Obama and the Mid-Terms, How did it come to this?
At his swearing-in in 2009, the Democrats enjoyed comfortable majorities in the House and the Senate and Mr Obama himself basked in a worldwide sunshower of goodwill. Pundits started to wonder whether the defeated Republicans had been smashed for a generation. How is it possible, just 21 months later, that the Democrats are expecting a thrashing next week and the Republicans look poised to take control of the House of Representatives, and maybe even the Senate?

Both linked articles say that the public blames him for moving too far to the left on health care, especially, and ignoring the economy. He's reputedly a smart guy, so why did he ignore the economy and focus on health care? Because he is ultimately ideologically driven in a way that is incompatible with a free market. This has led him to make policy errors that the public understands. I believe that the internet has allowed understanding of free market economics to spread in the public. The same anger that gave rise to the nascent Tea Party even before George Bush had left office is now channeled at Obama's policies. It has nothing to do with racism, and everything to do with policies that are antithetical to American traditions of free markets and Obama's ignorance of basic economic principles. (The link is to a nice history of the origins of the Tea Party movement in today's WSJ. I would love to hear what Dawn, Leslie or Sarah think.)

People knew instinctively that politics as usual had failed them when they elected Barack Obama in 2008. The Republicans had cast away all principle and the Democrats were already starting to ratchet up the spending through their control of the Congress. Obama promised tax cuts and a change to the culture of corruption of Washington DC. Instead he delivered more deficit spending, which the public understands will mean tax hikes down the road. He also delivered a health care bill characterized by give-aways to special interests, corrupt back room deals and soaring insurance costs for the average American. He demonstrated that he cared not one whit about their concerns which center around getting the economy, so that people can go back to work and small businesses can make a profit. For these reasons, I propose voting Republican, for the most part (not you Abel Maldonado), to send a stinging rebuke to a President who failed to deliver on his promises and a Congress that also violated its promises concerning ethics and deficits.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lost in all the Hubbub - Unemployment vs. Deficits

Little notice facts about unemployment and the deficit, Mr. Krugman, take note. Germany's unemployment rate fell to an 18 year low, in spite of, no, because of a budget deficit that is a paltry 4.39% of GDP.

Some interesting comparisons:

Note how high deficits do not seem to be correlated with preventing unemployment. Some of the nations most similar to the U.S. that have the lowest deficits also have the lowest unemployment rate. I'll be asking Mr. Krugman for a nomination for that prize.

Exit question: Which party is advocating more and larger deficits? This is all you need to know to vote Republican.

Projected U.S. Budget Deficits Under Obama

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tea Party Ballot Recommendations Recap - Propositions and Candidates

Since many of you are voting by mail right now, I am providing a convenient summary of unofficial Tea Party ballot recommendations with links to more detail. Please get your votes in soon. It won't be enough for us to win, we have to win by more than the margin of fraud.

California Propositions

Prop 19 - Yes* (Marijuana Decriminalized)
Prop 20 - Yes (Resdistricting commission)
Prop 21 - No (Vehicle License fee for parks)
Prop 22 - No (Transport and other tricky provisions)
Prop 23 - YES, Heck Yes (Suspend Cap and Trade)
Prop 24 - No (Repeal of Tax changes)
Prop 25 - No, Heck No (Legislative majority on budget)
Prop 26 - Yes (Supermajority for new taxes and fees)
Prop 27 - No (Eliminate redistricting commission)

*B-Daddy and SoCalTaxRevolt not agreeing on this one.

San Diego Propositions

Prop A - Yes (Prohibit County project labor agreements)
Prop B - Yes (City Attorneys like civil servants) (my weakest recommendation)
Prop C - Yes (Pacific Highlands Ranch development)
Prop D - NO, Heck NO (Half Cent Sales Tax)
Prop J - No (Parcel tax increase for schrools)

Richard Rider adds:

Prop G - Yes (Citizen vote to raise pensions) Carlsbad
Prop H - No (Raise phone tax) Chula Vista
Prop K - No (School bond) San Marcos
Prop L - No (School bond) Julian
Prop M - No (School bond) Dehesa
Prop O - No (School parcel tax) South Bay
Prop P - No (School bond) Encinitas

California Statewide Office (This is more from W.C. Varones than me, I note my changes with asterisks*.)

Governor - Meg Whitman* (She made the right enemy: SEIU)
Lt Gov - Karen England (Write In)
Senator - Carly Fiorina
Secretary of State - Damon Dunn
Controller - Tony Strickland
Treasurer - Mimi Walters
Attorny Gen - Steve Cooley
Insurance Commissioner - Dave Jones (Perhaps only Dem I have ever endorsed.)

San Diego Candidates:

City Council District 6 - Lorie Zapf (Not a great campaign, but unions are heavy for Wayne)

San Diego School Board - Steve Rosen (only candidate opposing Prop J)

I realize that this isn't every race, but I don't have more to say, and "better is the enemy of good enough."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Speculation About the Birth Certificate and Other Scandals

Let me be clear, our President was born in Hawaii, but there is still something amiss with his birth certificate. This link to Hillbuzz is for longtime reader and commenter Road Dawg, who complains occasionally about this issue. It's possible that the President is an American citizen by birth, but is still hiding something or things. See Hillbuzz for heaps of gory speculation. It is so speculative that I hesitate to link, but it also makes too much sense.

The one set of quotes that does not seem speculative, merely observational:

He married a crass, stereotypical, big-bottomed black woman name Michelle LaVaughn Robinson whose family was not only part of the Daley Machine, but was close with Jesse Jackson. At every step of the way, Obama cultivated as many ties as possible to black leaders so that he would not be seen as an outsider. Michelle’s crassness was the most important aspect of all this — her abrasiveness and scowling, grievance-driven demeanor, when carried on his arm, made Obama seem “Southside black” in her company.

U-T Endorses Proposition D - But Not Enthusiastically

Today's U-T editorial headline was "Prop D's Advocates Must Step Up Their Game" as if it is lack of game that has the electorate doubting the efficacy of handing over $100 million more in taxes in return for promises from politicians. The editorial makes the case for why these guys can't be trusted:
The mayor worked with Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, R-San Diego, to get the Legislature to pass with zero scrutiny or public debate a bill lifting the limit on how much property tax revenue the city could divert to downtown redevelopment, possibly clearing the way for a new Chargers stadium.
. . .
The same holds for the City Council’s moves to block Walmart from selling groceries despite warnings from planning commissioners that it was acting hastily and without following normal procedures.

Hmm . . . violating procedures, cutting back room deals, rewarding your labor union supporters. And we're just supposed to hand over our hard earned cash to these jokers on their promise that they'll certify they have met specific conditions? As I quoted earlier:
Sanders acknowledged the financial thresholds in the resolution aren’t binding legally.
Yes, the same mayor urging you to vote yes on D.

Here's the deal with this election. The political class in this country has broken faith with the people. They have rewarded government labor unions with sweetheart salaries and pensions, they have refused to enforce the borders, they have spent your grandkid's and great-grandkid's money. Kick those bums out. Don't give them another cent until they take action on behalf of "we the people." That is why I am voting No on D, why I support Lorie Zapf over Howard Wayne, and even Christine O'Donnell, who lacks a compelling record of achievement. Anyone who has sided with the political class or government employees' unions such as the supporters of Proposition D, Howard Wayne or Chris Coons does not deserve office. It's our country, these people asked for our trust and rewarded it with treachery, throw them out or keep them out of office.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Perfect Closing Argument - UPDATE

P.J. O'Rourke makes the perfect closing argument this election season as to why one should vote Republican, and surprise, it's not because Republicans are so worthy of our love and devotion, because they aren't. Please allow this little rant. They ran up deficits and expanded government power through Medicare Part D and extra-legal of the prosecution of the war on terror. They invented TARP and the first bailouts. They took the public good will over the war on terror and used it feather their own nests and further their own power. They caved on free trade. Their total incompetence made the supermajorities that Obama enjoyed, the vehicle on which the largest power grab in American history was transported. They sucked eggs and deserved to be thrown out of office for the bums they were.

So after that resounding endorsement, why should we vote for "dese bums?" 'Casue dose uddah bums are worser. As P.J. O'Rourke points out in his inimitable style, Democrats hate you:

Democrats hate Democrats most of all. Witness the policies that Democrats have inflicted on their core constituencies, resulting in vile schools, lawless slums, economic stagnation, and social immobility. Democrats will do anything to make sure that Democratic voters stay helpless and hopeless enough to vote for Democrats.

. . .

Democrats hate immigrants. Immigrants can’t stay illegal because illegality puts immigrants outside the legal monopoly on force. But immigrants can’t become legal either. They’d prosper and vote Republican.

Democrats hate America being a world power because world power gives power to the nation instead of to Democrats.

And Democrats hate the military, of course. Soldiers set a bad example. Here are men and women who possess what, if they chose, could be complete control over power. Yet they treat power with honor and respect. Members of the armed forces fight not to seize power for themselves but to ensure that power can bestow its favors upon all Americans.

This is not an election on November 2. This is a restraining order. Power has been trapped, abused and exploited by Democrats. Go to the ballot box and put an end to this abusive relationship. And let’s not hear any nonsense about letting the Democrats off if they promise to get counseling.

The whole article is worth a read. My closing argument? Nancy Pelosi makes my case for me:


Ed Koch, former Democrat Mayor of New York, must be channeling P.J. as he predicts a Republican tsunami because of Democrat ineptitude. He says that if the Republicans had any decent leadership it would have been worse. Worse? Just read the article.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Close Vote on Proposition D

Today's U-T reports that the survey it commissioned shows the vote on Proposition D, the half cent sales tax increase, is a very tight contest. Unlike Proposition J, this only needs a 50% vote to pass. That's actually all of the bad news, because I see quite a bit of good news in the survey.

  • The survey shows that the more people know about the proposition the less likely they are to vote for it.

  • The survey is of registered voters, not likely voters. My belief is that Tea Party energy makes the No's more likely to vote.

  • Some of those interviewed were considered reluctant supporters, who didn't trust politicians to carry out the reforms.

This last bullet reinforces my point that the best way to argue against this proposition is to demand that the politicians first keep their promises to us and pass all of the reforms that are purportedly part of the package before we give them more money. For all the reasons to vote No, please see the No on D website, and get a yard sign or donate.

Graphic courtesy of San Diego Union-Tribune.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Firing of Juan Williams Was Racist. . .

. . . but not in the manner that most people associate with racism. I realize, I am late to the game posting on this subject. (Also having a computer problem with my fairly new iMac, so if anyone who is reading this works for Apple, I expect a call tomorrow.) Ask yourself this, if a white analyst on NPR were to say the thing that Juan William said, would he be fired? My answer is probably not, because his comments would never get the publicity that Williams' received. This is where the racism comes in. Juan Williams was targeted for appearing on Fox, because he was a black man. Every time he strayed from the lefty party line, it was news, because of the racist view that blacks can only have left wing opinions. That's the real racism here, and it is endemic to the whole of the mainstream journalistic community. Exit question, what does it say about those who falsely characterize the Tea Party as racist, when they hold a racist prejudice about blacks?

Postscript: Since I mentioned a product, I almost forgot my FTC disclaimer:

FTC Disclaimer: I may or may not have received valuable consideration in the form of swag, jack and/or coin to endorse these products. I am not saying and have the right not to do so.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Weekend Music Chill

The B-Daddy family recently purchased a Karaoke machine, which helped me rediscover the lack of range in my singing voice. We also bought a pack of 64 karaoke CDs, and I was hard pressed to find anything I could sing until I stumbled across these guys.

Ladies and Gentlemen, from Houston Texas here is ZZ Top.

San Diego Elections - Blog and News Round Up

Dave Maass at Last Blog on Earth asks whether Howard Wayne's pension will be five digits or six when he retires from state government. He also asks the question of whether the city council members and others offering to not take salaries or pensions aren't really offering us a bribe? Is it a gimmick. Check out Dave's blog and you decide. (My position is that the personal salaries are usually chump change compared to the total budget, so I just ignore this stuff.) Dave is an occasional commenter and a great news source for local politics.

Temple of Mut's compares city governance to flatulence and describes a taxpayer funded public employee union rally in support of Proposition J. I haven't devoted much space to Prop J, other than recommend a vote against, because I don't think it stands a snowball's chance of passing. So why are the unions pushing this? Temple of Mut's husband Horemheb had this observation:

To make the evening even more special, Horemheb even overheard a comment from one of the panelists that the Teacher Union Elite Leaders were itching to strike should we rubes not roll over in support of this golden contract. It seems that the Elite Union Leaders anticipate more press, power, and influence in the wake of a strike.
Even if Prop J loses, the unions get a propaganda tool if it gets more than 50%, so make sure you vote against this flatulence.

I saw both Lorie Zapf and Howard Wayne in front of the Clairemont Library today with cameras rolling. I will update this post when I find out where you can watch.

Proposition D opponents have pointed out that under a 2008 contract negotiation, firefighters receive more pay for sitting at a desk. Much of the argument in favor of high firefighter pay and pensions accrues to the purported dangers and shorter life spans of their occupation. This is just one of many areas the city politicians need to reform before they ask us for more of our money.

If you live in San Diego, you may not have taken note of the school district elections. The U-T has a decent run down on the two races, including the positions of the candidates on Proposition J, which I oppose. In my district, I am having a tough time deciding. The incumbent, Katherine Nakamura has to conduct a write-in campaign because she came in third, partly due to loss of teacher's union backing. I like her already. However, as Temple of Mut, points out, she has been speaking out in favor of Proposition J as has "Teacher of the Year" Kevin Beiser. I don't know much about Steve Rosen, but I will probably vote for him as the only candidate opposing Prop J.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Updated Picture - U.S. Deficits vs U.K. Deficits

U.K. Budget Deficits as Proposed by Conservative Government

Projected U.S. Budget Deficits Under Obama

This is an update to my earlier post about the British government making the tough choices to pull back from the brink of de facto bankruptcy. Note how the differences in budget difficulties are not that great at the macro level.
The UK deficit is about 10 per cent of 2010-11 GDP. The US deficit was $1,294bn, or 8.9 per cent of GDP, in the 2010 fiscal year.
But the differences in response could not be different. Obama and the Democrats would increase the deficits if they could get away with it. More reason to kick them to the curb in November.

Mayor Sanders Resign - No on Proposition D

Conniving tax and spender.

I echo Richard Rider's call for Jerry Sanders to resign as Mayor of San Diego for cutting back room deals for the Chargers and lying to the public about the need for full, open and transparent hearings. Best to just read Richard Rider's post.

The relationship to Proposition D?

Earlier this month - while Jerry Sanders was urging voters to approve Prop D's massive sales tax hike – and to trust him to dutifully work with a labor-backed City Council to reduce government spending after he gets a half-billion dollars in new taxes – our Mayor was working behind the scenes to funnel a half-billion dollars toward a new Chargers stadium.

Coincidence? Maybe. But the fact is that these tax dollars are going to public funding of a stadium if the mayor gets his way, not "protecting public safety" as advertised. Still need convincing that we should make the politicians demonstrate good faith budget cuts and outsourcing before we pass Proposition D?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Union Bailout in the Lame Duck Session?

Shane Atwell links to a Washington Examiner story by Mark Hemingway pointing to a potential budget busting morass that could be created by the lame duck pairing of Pelosi and Reid.

The other piece of legislation is, not surprisingly, a bailout bill offered by Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and co-sponsored by Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill. (A similar piece of legislation is being offered in the House by Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D.) The bill would make failing union pension plans fully backed by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., a government-sponsored entity.

In the plain language of the bill, "obligations of the corporation which are financed by the fund created by this subsection shall be obligations of the United States." It creates a fund that these pension plans will be able to go to that will be filled by taxpayer funds as needed through the normal appropriations process.

The Tea Party will have to keep a very close eye on the lame duck session of Congress. The bigger the Democrat losses, the more mischief they will try to create.

British Tea Party?

Well who would have thought it? First the Greeks go in for some austerity, then the Irish, French and now the Brits? The country that was the object of a rebellious party in 1773, is now on the bandwagon? From the UK Financial Times.

The UK’s Conservative-led coalition has announced the most drastic budget cuts in living memory, outstripping measures taken by other advanced economies which are also under pressure to sharply reduce public spending.
. . .
The UK cuts of £81bn ($128bn) over four years are the equivalent of 4.5 per cent of projected 2014-15 gross domestic product. Similar cuts in the US would require a cut in public spending of about $650bn, equal to the projected cost of Medicare in 2015.

What the heck is happening to Europe? Simple, reality is setting in. Things that can't go on, don't. One must ask if U.S. politicians that are elected this November will show similar fortitude and rise to the occasion. I especially like the way the spending cuts are being handled:
Declaring that “today is the day where Britain steps back from the brink”, George Osborne, the chancellor of the exchequer, revealed dramatic reductions to core departments over the next four years, a £7bn fall in welfare support and 490,000 public-sector job cuts by 2014-15.
All of the inchoate hatred inveighed against the Tea Party fails to respond to our central question: How is the current path of spending and deficit sustainable? Where is the plan to change the shape of this curve?

Even the rosy picture painted by the White House shows a deficit far worse than any ever produced by George W. Bush for every year in perpetuity after Obama was sworn in. How much more damage to the economy do we want to allow?

Note to Republicans, you better start showing you are as serious as David Cameron, or the Tea Party will be coming after you.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Obama Deletes Creator from Declaration - Again and Again

A few weeks ago I complained about the President improperly quoting the Declaration of Independence, mangling the passage "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights" by omitting reference to the Creator. I was willing to accept that perhaps the President had ad-libbed and muffed the quote. Indeed, that was what Robert Gibbs said. But Obama has managed to do it two more times. To quote Ian Fleming:
Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.

Here is the video, H/T Weaselzippers:

By the way, it matters that the rights are considered endowed by our creator. It means that they are not a grant of kings, presidents, or congress.

Image of the Day

Questions for Democrat members of the House of Representatives: "How are those votes on porkulus and Obamacare working out for you?" "Doing any campaigning with Nancy Pelosi?

Graphic from Realclearpolitics showing the trend in leans/solid Republican House seats (red line) vs. leans/solid Democrat House (blue line) seats over time.

Temple of Mut
repeats a warning from Stromata Blog, that bears repeating here (the whole article is worth a read):

5 reasons not to get cocky.

1. It’s not enough to win; you have to win by more than the margin of fraud.
2. An unenthusiastic vote counts just as much as an enthusiastic one.
3. Money still talks, and Dem money talks louder and smarter.
4. If lying didn’t work, nobody would do it.
5. The pollsters are skating on stilts.

Howard Wayne's Campaign Called

This evening a campaign worker for Howard Wayne called. Here is the transcript:

Caller: Good evening, I'm calling on behalf of "Prosecutor" Howard Wayne.

B-Daddy: Hello, how are you.

[unintelligible due to background noise, I have teens in the House] ...Caller: supported by the firefighters.

B-Daddy: Sorry, what were you saying?

Caller: Did you know that Howard is supported by the firefighters.

B-Daddy: Yes.

Caller: Are you supporting Howard Wayne?

B-Daddy: No, he is supported by the firefighters.

Caller: Can I ask why?

B-Daddy: He is supported by the firefighters, I am not voting for any candidate in this election supported by the the public employees unions.

Caller: Thank you, goodbye.

I posted earlier, where I thought that Howard Wayne's campaign understood the problems with support from public employees unions, but I guess this caller didn't get the memo. Also wondering why I got called again, apparently they aren't keeping good track of who they call. Also, notice how they refer to him as "prosecutor," not former Assemblyman, Howard Wayne.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Deregulation and Limited Government

The U-T article by James Durfee alleging partisanship by the Tea Party in Sunday's paper kicked off something of a food fight in the comments section. Leslie Eastman calls out the lie that is central to the article:

If all Tea Party Participants are "Republicans", then how do you explain the 13% of us DEMOCRATS who are involved in this citizens movement? Data Here:

Over 40% of SCTRC's members are Democrats, Independents, Libertarians, undeclared or are not otherwise connected to the GOP.
What also caught my attention was the frequently posted criticism that the Tea Party candidates do not have specific plans for spending cuts and deregulation. Leslie again responds:

True -- but I understand their hesitancy. Anything the candidates say that indicate specific programs (like Social Security), are distorted into vile, ineffectual attack ads by their opponents. Citizens need to research candidates thoroughly, and not rely on party literature, when selecting representatives.
But I also wanted to point to specific programs of cost cutting and deregulation that could easily be proposed, along with pointers to Tea Party candidates with specific proposals. Here are some easy ones from your author.

Really easy spending cuts:
  • End all stimulus spending. Return all unspent funds to the Treasury.
  • End all TARP spending. Return all unspent funds to the Treasury.
  • Freeze the pay of federal workers, since the CPI stayed flat last year, so too should have federal pay, but it went up. (Full disclosure, I work for the federal government.)
  • De-Fund all of the committees, czars and regulatory boards for Obamacare.
  • De-fund the Department of Education, for starters, since it doesn't educate anyone.
Really easy deregulation:
  • Repeal Obamacare. It is chock full of regulations.
  • Simplify banking regulation by ending too big to fail, and requiring increasing capital reserves the larger any financial institution gets. Little additional regulation would be required.
  • Simplify clinical drug trials, by only requiring that safety be proved, not efficacy. This will lower the cost of drugs.
  • Require a cost benefit analysis be conducted for all new regulations proposed by any federal agency. Require a public comment period and allow court challenges to new regulations on the basis of lack of benefit commensurate with cost.
There, that wasn't too hard, was it?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Tea Party - Dedicated to Core Principals - UPDATED

Radical Tea Party Extremists Protest Obamacare

In today's U-T, fellow SLOB and Tea Party leader Sarah Bond has co-authored a piece with Gary Gonsalves, in the opinion section, laying out the case that the Tea Party is a response to the abuses of the political class and that we are a genuinely grass roots movement dedicated to the principals upon which our nation was founded. In the print version of the newspaper is the opposing view from the chair of the Democratic Party of San Diego arguing that the Tea Party is extreme and Republican, using talking points straight from the White House. I recommend reading both articles, so that you understand what we are up against and how to better make our case.

In the rebuttal, Jess Durfee reaches for the tired ploy of painting the Tea Party as extremist on social issues, when in fact, social issues are not in play. Further, the one social issue that does incense the Tea Party movement, lack of immigration law enforcement, is never mentioned. He never really addresses the chief complaint of the Tea Party, out of control government spending. I have no respect for any spokesman for either party, that won't attack that issue, it is THE issue of the day, as all others fade in comparison.


In the comments, W.C. points out that even illegal immigration is not primarily a social issue, "Education, health care, welfare, courts, and prisons aren't free," he correctly points out. I agree, but there is a social component that is important to Tea Party core principals, respect for the rule of law. Further, we have a vested interest under the constitution and customary law and treaty in ensuring that the federal government maintain sovereignty of our borders.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Elections Odds and Ends

It's a slow news weekend here at The Liberator, so I have a few odds and ends from the California campaign trail.

First, in my Congressional District (CA-53) Susan Davis is almost sure to beat challenger Michael Crimmins due to gerrymandering. I voted for Tea Party supporter C. Mason Weaver in the primary, after hearing him speak. However, I have to give credit to the Crimmins campaign. His campaign signs are everywhere in the district, especially on my drive to work.

His message is simple and spot on, taxes, jobs, spending are in fact the key issues facing Congress. I got an email from his campaign, that could have only been generated by an individual, not a program, scanning social media for like minded conservatives.

Dear Big Daddy,

Are you available to volunteer in the Crimmins For Congress Campaign Headquarters between now and election day?

We will be open at least from 10am to 4pm each week day and could really use your help.

Please e-mail me back and let me know.

Thank you,

HQ Office Manager & Deputy Finance Director Michael Crimmins, Republican Nominee For Congress (CA-53)
I was a little amused to be addressed as "Big Daddy" not B Daddy, since the B stands for something other than Big. I haven't replied, because I am more involved in other efforts, but I applaud the Crimmins campaign. He definitely has my vote, though.

I neglected to link to W.C. Varones guide to California candidates earlier, but after further review, I have to disagree with a few. It is a sad commentary on the state of the Republican party in California that Tea Party types can not find consensus on whom to endorse for statewide office.

So here are some reasons for disagreeing with a couple of his selections.
  • I am supporting Meg Whitman for governor, holding my nose, perhaps. Here's why, the public employee unions are going all out to defeat her and they have clearly become public enemy number one. The enemy of my enemy...
  • I cannot support Gavin Newsom ever, for anything, not dog catcher, to even to drink a glass of Lagunitas with. Abel Maldonado may deserve our scorn, but can one really vote for Newsom? As W.C. points out: "Yes, he screwed his best friend's wife. And yes, he has his own body count, having protected an illegal alien gang member who went on to murder a family in cold blood." And he will no doubt, raise your taxes if he can. I'll be voting Libertarian.
The conventional wisdom is that Carly Fiorina has only an outside chance of beating Barbara Boxer. I fervently hope for this to be a stunning upset. What gives me hope? Boxer seldom breaks 50% in any poll. I just can't see the undecideds breaking heavily her way. Fiorina has been running devastating commercials. Short on substance, but they hammer away that Boxer is part of the problem in Washington. It's true, but I hope she will have more to say.

BTW, as a follower of the IT industry, I was never impressed by her tenure as CEO of HP. However, I never thought that disqualified her from the Senate, governor maybe, but the Senate, not so much. She had a very successful career before HP, and took sensible positions on H-1B visas and other issues while CEO.

Meanwhile, Meg Whitman consistently trails that lying jackass, Jerry Brown. This drives me nuts, that people can't remember how incompetent he was as Governor last time, and what a bad job he did as mayor of Oakland.

Start getting those ballots in the mail, if you are voting absentee.

Friday, October 15, 2010

City Beat Doesn't Get It - District 6

On Wednesday, the San Diego City Beat endorsed Howard Wayne for San Diego City Council, District 6. They claim he is more knowledgeable than Lorie Zapf and point to questions about her past business dealings and alleged homophobia. My reaction, so what? Who is going to lower my taxes? Their editorial board refuses to think through the tough questions like: "What is the source of our budget woes?" and "Who is best suited to tackle those issues?" Have two years of demonstrations by the Tea Party on the size and voraciousness of government passed them by?

If they had made an argument that it only Wayne, on the "only Nixon could go to China" theory, could tackle the pension problem, I might have had some respect. Instead they stick their heads in the sand, as if pensions and budgets are not serious issues. I agree that Howard Wayne is very knowledgeable, and I reported that earlier. It's not the point, how can he be trusted when he seeks out public employee endorsements and donations and has been inconsistent on outsourcing city services?

The U-T seems to get it, at least on this race. Here is a part of their endorsement:

Zapf, meanwhile, has faced deserved criticism over her personal finances and for some past remarks about gays for which she has apologized. But she displays an increasingly strong command of fiscal issues and far more of a willingness to demand the changes San Diego must make to end its budget nightmare.

Weekend Music Chill

Dean has called out Patti Smith as a beacon for female singers who came after, but I always liked Joan Baez, despite her politics. Here is something sung by Joan, originally by Woodie Guthrie, sure to stir things up among my readers. But just remember that that the tragedy of which this song makes mention is really the result of the failure of the federal government, see my discussion on the meaning of compassion. So I am, without irony, adopting "Plane Wreck at Los Gatos" as the unofficial secure the borders song, from your unofficial chief ideologist, from your leaderless and unaffiliated Tea Party movement.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

After We Secure the Border

Some day, a President is going to enforce the laws of our country and take the action needed to slow cross-border flows of illegal immigrants to a trickle. It might involve completing the fence and use of technology, but will eventually get done. It will never be 100%, because we will always have creative people, overstay of visa, and other means by which persons gain residence illegally. However, the problem will be reduced by two orders of magnitude.

When that happens, we still need a serious debate about immigration policy, because the cost of maintaining such a state of border security will be burdensome and because we need immigrants to strengthen our economy. Here are B-Daddy's fearless proposals for a new immigration policy for the United States.

  1. Vastly expand the H-1B visa program for skilled workers. Bringing skilled workers to the United States has multiple benefits. It reduces the temptation to outsource work. Also, the skilled workers also help keep U.S. workers employed, because businesses know that work groups are more effective when teams are geographically co-located. There is a fear that the foreign workers will displace native Americans, but in fact, there presence will increase the overall number of jobs here in America. Currently the cap is 65,000 per year. A Heritage Foundation review concludes these are highly skilled workers that are an asset to the nation.
  2. Vastly increase the investor immigrant category of visa (EB-5). Immigrant investors are far more likely to start up new companies than native born Americans, and start ups create jobs. Lowering the threshold for this category, to anyone who could show they have $250,000 in venture capital would also be a pro-growth and pro-jobs policy. More on this idea in the WSJ.
  3. Increase the guest worker program for low skilled occupations in agriculture, food services and janitorial services. I think we also need a sub-minimum wage for these guest workers and a requirement to return to their country of origin when they are not employed. The lower labor costs would benefit those who employ them, freeing up wealth for other uses including job creation. This is not exploitation, these workers will be far better off than they would be in their home countries such as Mexico. Meanwhile, we economically benefit from their labor.
Once the labor markets were normalized with these reforms, the pressure at the border would certainly subside, making it easier to patrol. We should continue to have security controls for entry, to prevent terrorists from coming to the United States, but the effort to protect the border would be made much easier with a reduction of economic pressure.

The other reduction in pressure for cross-border flows would be to end the drug war, but that is an article for another day.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chilean Miners and Capitalism

With the Chilean miners' rescue dominating all media, I thought it appropriate to point out a column from Daniel Henninger that points out that Capitalism Saved the Miners.

What happened over the past 25 years that meant the difference between life and death for those men?

Short answer: the Center Rock drill bit.

This is the miracle bit that drilled down to the trapped miners. Center Rock Inc. is a private company in Berlin, Pa. It has 74 employees. The drill's rig came from Schramm Inc. in West Chester, Pa. Seeing the disaster, Center Rock's president, Brandon Fisher, called the Chileans to offer his drill. Chile accepted. The miners are alive.

Longer answer: The Center Rock drill, heretofore not featured on websites like Engadget or Gizmodo, is in fact a piece of tough technology developed by a small company in it for the money, for profit. That's why they innovated down-the-hole hammer drilling. If they make money, they can do more innovation.

Henninger points to other capitalist innovations that were very important to the miners' survival; socks with copper to prevent foot disease and cell phones with projectors, to name two more. Ultimately, the solution to problems created by technology continues to be better technology. Electing a President and Congress ultimately hostile to business and wealth dooms us to being trapped with all our current problems, because we will not get the innovation needed to solve them.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

B-Daddy's San Diego Proposition Guide

My ballot came in the mail over the weekend; since I am a resident of the City of San Diego, it included both the city and county propositions. Here's my run down on the initiatives, and I have to admit, it wasn't that tough. Before we start, I have to give a shout out to Richard Rider, who has been submitting arguments against tax increases for as long as I can remember, at least going back to 1985, when I was first stationed here. He worked on the argument against Proposition J and they are great and will be quoted.

One more shout out, to BallotPedia, a wealth of information about initiatives.

On to the props - I am not using the official titles, my shortened and more accurate version. Don't like my characterizations? Tough, get your own blog, free speech rocks.

Prop A - Prohibits Project Labor Agreements - YES

". . .the county shall not require a contractor on a construction project to execute or otherwise become a party to a project labor agreement as a condition of bidding, negotiating, awarding or performing of a contract."

Labor unions use project labor agreements to set wages on government projects at the union rate. This discourages firms that don't employ union members not to bid and DRIVES UP PROJECT COSTS. This is an easy call. San Diego County already has a law like this on the books, but if the Board of Supervisors shifts left, this could be repealed, so the amendment is needed as part of the county charter.

Proposition B - Makes Deputy City Attorneys Like Civil Servants - yes

This basically says that all of the attorneys below the elected City Attorney can only be fired for just cause, to "protect them from politics." Everyone is for this, even Todd Gloria AND Carl DeMaio, so I guess I should be too. It would certainly prevent the loss of attorneys we saw under Mike Aguirre. But I wonder if we will see a City Attorney bemoaning the fact that no one in the office will do what he says. B-Daddy gives this a yes, barely.

Proposition C - Waiting for Godot - Yes

This proposition is to allow the Pacific Highlands Ranch to continue development even though the current ordnance requires them to wait for Caltrans to finish the I-5/SR-56 interchange. This is currently scheduled for 2020. Of course you have to vote for this. Below is a picture of one of the things not to do while waiting for Caltrans to finish anything on time:

By the way, and speaking of Caltrans, if you were stuck in traffic today, you can thank Jerry Brown, who seriously set back our freeway building programs when he was governor previously.

Proposition D - "Temporary" One-Half Cent Sales Tax - NO NO NO

I've blogged about this extensively, do I really need to say more?

Proposition J - More Taxes for Government Schools - NO

The usual suspects are making the argument that the government schools need more funding and they promise to only spend it on classroom learning. This measure reminds me of Proposition D, they make a big deal of how well the school district will manage the extra money, but do nothing up front to address their prior fiscal mismanagement. Basically, they want to find a way to pay for a teacher salary increase of 7% that starts in 2012 along with other increased benefits. As Richard Rider and others also point out, per pupil spending has increased about 34% since 2003.

Make sure you vote, get those ballots in the mail early. There is little going on that should change our mind. If I missed a local proposition in your area, Richard Rider has some recommendations always guaranteed to keep your taxes low.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The "Fairy Tale" of Green Jobs

Stephen Moore slays all of the lies and hypocrisies behind AB 32 and the campaign to defeat Proposition 23 in today's American Spectator article. Key quotes:

It's hard to know where the fairy tale of "green jobs" first came from. It was probably a clever marketing scheme by radical environmentalists who realized that their anti-growth climate change agenda wasn't going to sell among the American electorate if workers realized how many jobs would be eviscerated by the new taxes and regulation.
. . .
The governor's office study concluded that California's already iron-fisted environmental and workplace regulations translate into about $176 billion in lost output and nearly 4 million lost jobs. This study was so embarrassing to the legislature and the Schwarzenegger administration that it was suppressed for many months, until several Republican legislators demanded its release.
. . .
Even the politicians in Sacramento are starting to realize the tomfoolery of one state trying to stop planetary global warming all on its own. So Mr. Schwarzenegger has been trying to persuade the governors of other neighboring states like Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington to sign a Western state cap and trade treaty. The other governors have declined, no doubt having observed how well climate change legislation has worked in California.
Sorry for the extended quotes, but the utter lies that have been issued arguing for California tackling global warming by itself are utterly preposterous. You could concede that global warming is real, man-made and catastrophic (which I don't) and still believe that AB 32 (which Proposition 23 merely proposes to postpone) is a crappy bill.

Stephen Moore cites examples of a cement plant and a steel foundry, both examples of carbon intensive industries, moving out of state. Not shutting down, mind you, but merely depriving Californians of much needed jobs.

If you click the "green worker" at the top it links to an economic study that concludes:

Unfortunately, it is highly questionable whether a government campaign to spur “green jobs” would have net economic benefits. Indeed, the distortionary impacts of government intrusion into energy markets could prematurely force business to abandon current production technologies for more expensive ones. Furthermore, there would likely be negative economic consequences from forcing higher-cost alternative energy sources upon the economy. These factors would likely increase consumer energy costs and the costs of a wide array of energy-intensive goods, slow GDP growth and ironically may yield no net job gains. More likely, they would result in net job losses.

California State Propositions Ballot Recommendations

My ballot recommendations for the state propositions are the same as that of the Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition with one exception.

PROP 19 - B-Daddy Yes, SoCal Tax Revolt - NO

Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010
• Regardless of one’s position on Marijuana use, this initiative creates an ENTIRELY NEW BUREAUCRACY (i.e. new state employees) to regulate the industry.
  • B-Daddy's response. We will never end drug prohibition unless we first move through some regulation, just like we have with alcohol. Doesn't make it right, just being realistic about what is needed to end the drug war.


Redistricting of Congressional Districts
• A voter-approved independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, vs. politicians, will be in charge of REDISTRICTING OF CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS in addition to drawing state legislative districts.

PROP 21 - NO

Vehicle License Fee for Parks Act
• Would increase vehicle license fees in the state by $18 a year on most vehicles in order to raise about $500 million a year in a dedicated fund for the state's 278 parks. Drivers will be allowed to enter parks for free, but fees INSIDE parks will increase. Just another Car Tax, not budget reform.

PROP 22 - NO

The Local Taxpayer, Public Safety, and Transportation Protection Act
• Trickiest measure on the ballot. Worthy intentions of sending tax dollars back to local governments, but the ACTUAL LANGUAGE will codify redevelopment agencies and severely restrict how local governments can use their own tax dollars. Strengthens eminent domain powers. Needs a re-write.


Initiative to Suspend AB 32, the Global Warming Act of 2006
• Would suspend AB32 until unemployment drops to 5.5 percent or less for a full year. AB32 is Cap & Trade...a massive tax and regulation scheme that will cost California 1.1 Million jobs and the average family upwards of $3000 in added household expenses every year. Homeowners, businesses and municipalities will suffer under massive unfunded mandates and regulation. California’s economy is on the verge of collapse and cannot afford to become an even more hostile environment for businesses and families. SAVE A MILLION JOBS.
  • B-Daddy adds - Cap and trade is the lousiest way to advance an agenda of carbon reduction, and will in fact do nothing. Further, carbon production will just move out of state and harm our economy while doing nothing to actually reduce emissions. A single state can not do anything about this issue.

PROP 24 - NO

Repeal of Corporate Tax Breaks
• At a time when unemployment is spiraling, California cannot afford to drive away MORE companies and employers.
  • B-Daddy adds: This proposition will impact small businesses, not just multinationals. While the subject of how to appropriately tax businesses is somewhat arcane, burdening small businesses at this time seems especially fool hardy.

PROP 25 - NO * NO * NO

Majority Vote for Legislature to Pass the Budget
• HIDDEN in the language of this initiative is the authority of the legislature to USE A SIMPLE MAJORITY RAISE SALES, INCOME & GAS TAXES if those taxes are IN the budget...undoing Prop 13’s 2/3’s majority that protects taxpayers. It will also make it too easy to pass budgets that are full of gimmicks.


Supermajority Vote to Pass New Taxes and Fees Act
• Would require a two-thirds supermajority vote, instead of a simple majority, in the California State Legislature to pass many fees, levies, charges and tax revenue allocations. Would stop the growing number of hidden taxes that plague Californians.

PROP 27 - NO

Elimination of the Citizen Redistricting Commission
• Would eliminate the citizen based State Commission on Redistricting and consolidate authority BACK in the hands of the California Legislature.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Today's Rally in Oceanside

Before we we get into today's events, I wanted to let my readers know about Sarah Bond's appearance in today's U-T. She is featured as one of four Tea Party patriots profiled. I am again struck by how this movement is powered by the efforts of ordinary Americans. Dawn is also quoted, with some choice words for the political establishment.

“The Republican Party keeps spoon-feeding us the same crappy candidates,” complained Wildman, 47, a North Park resident and coordinator for Tea Party Patriots
And about Sarah:

A graphics artist by trade, she was a passive Republican until 2008. That year, she watched in dismay as a Republican president signed the Troubled Asset Relief Program, authorizing the Treasury Department to buy up to $700 billion in risky mortgages and other securities. Then, in 2009, came the new Obama administration’s $787 billion stimulus package.

“Capitalism is a self-correcting system,” she said. “Some banks would have collapsed. But let the successful companies take their place.”

It was good to see so many people show up with a Charger game in progress, pathetic though it was. The speakers that I saw hit the nail on the head with the emphasis on smaller government. Richard Rider, who has been speaking on these subjects for many years, hit the nail on the head in this snippet of his speech.

Many of the speakers hit on the Proposition 23 debate, and of course I agree that this is important. I was able to pick up a lawn sign for the proposition. But what caught my eye was Proposition 25. This proposition would suspend the need for a 2/3 majority to pass tax increases in the legislature. Look at what Richard Rider said above, if this proposition passes, then California will lead the country with the highest taxes in all categories. The No on 25 campaign has not been that visible to me, but it gets my vote as the most important proposition campaign going. Here is their web site, so please go there and contribute.

Proposition 25 scares me. Support has dropped from 65% to 46% for the measure but still leads the No votes which polls at 30%. The good news is that when support drops under 50%, propositions tend not to pass, as undecideds tend to go for the status quo. See the article on the polling here. The other good news is that the poll is for registered, rather than likely voters and I think that Tea Party leaning voters are more highly motivated than others.

Jerry Brown Disqualifies Himself

Jerry Brown has been running ads accusing Meg Whitman of axing jobs while she was at eBay. What a tool. By doing so she kept eBay profitable so that those who remained with the company could keep their jobs. More importantly, this proves that Jerry Brown will have no appetite to cut California state employee jobs needed to bring our budget under control.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

See You in Oceanside Tomorrow

Plenty of Tea Party coalition groups are gathering in Oceanside tomorrow to stake out our position for the November elections and generate enthusiasm for our ability to take back our government from the political class and the unions. We'll be rallying from noon to four in the afternoon at the Oceanside Pier Amphitheater, 200 N. The Strand, Oceanside, CA 92054.

Looks like a great line up, with fellow San Diego bloggers Dawn Wildman and Leslie Eastman speaking, along with Richard Rider and New York Myke. There are many other great speakers, click the banner to check confirmed speakers. This rally will show just how many grass roots organizations are working to restore constitutional, limited government in our country. I look forward to seeing you there.

There are some key issues on the ballot that we need to get behind. Yes on 23 and No on 25 top my list of state initiatives. No on D is the local initiative that has got me incensed. Come to Oceanside tomorrow to get educated and get materials to influence your neighbors. I think these initiatives will be very closely contested, we need every vote.

California Tax Day Tea Party from Lipstick Underground on Vimeo.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ready to Govern?

I occasionally read DailyKos to keep abreast of what the left is thinking and also because they occasionally have valid criticism that we should take seriously. Today, David Waldman speculates about how the GOP might behave if it came up a few seats short of taking control of the House of Representatives. He speculates that they might try to flip a few Blue Dogs to the Republican side. You can read the whole thing here. But what caught my eye was the criticism that the Republicans don't take seriously the legislative branch. There is some bombast mixed with truth in this argument.

And just to add a twist, I wonder whether House Republicans really want it. There's a good argument for why Republicans might do best politically by falling just short of enough seats to actually have to govern. There's certainly no indication from their campaign "pledge" document that they've got anything concrete in mind, anyhow, so they might do just as well to play the frustrated minority in what they'll portray as an evenly-divided country, in the hopes of making a credible bid for the White House in 2012.

After all, in truth, Republicans don't believe much in the power of the legislative branch. That, too, is evidenced by their lack of specificity in their pledge. They're pretty solidly dedicated to executive primacy, especially when they hold the executive. Recall that in the 40+ years since electing Nixon (whose executive primacy doctrine it is they still adhere to), Republicans have held the White House more than twice the amount of time as have Democrats.

Even when they don't hold the White House, they still believe in a kind of executive primacy, which is why it's so very important to them to spend their energy as legislators not legislating, but working to undermine the legitimacy of any Democratic executive. It's more important that people have doubts about Bill Clinton's finances or personal life, or Barack Obama's birth or religion, than that they actually promulgate policy ideas. No matter who wins the White House, most Republican legislators put all their focus on the executive branch: rubber stamping it as a Politburo when the President is a Republican, and opposing and undermining it when the President is a Democrat. Even when the President is a Democrat who proposes adopting what were once Republican ideas.

I don't agree with everything written above, but a few things stand out. First, Republicans have in fact advanced theories of Presidential power that have not been faithful to the constitution. Perhaps facing a Democrat president, should they retake the legislative branch, they will find a new found conviction in asserting the prerogatives of the House and Senate. Some of Bush's extra-legal actions handed Barack Obama precedent to continue to expand Presidential power. (By extra-legal I mean acts that were not illegal per se, but which the President had not been granted specific power by law; the first attempt at military tribunals for example.)

Further, the Republicans need to think seriously about how they set the agenda, even though the President has some built in advantages. Control of the budget is the most obvious way to reshape a smaller federal government. Republicans learned the wrong lesson from 1995, when their showdown with Clinton resulted in cratering poll numbers. Clinton was able to tag the Congress with the blame for the shut down, when he was the one vetoing the spending bills. There are a number of ways to avoid that outcome if one plans ahead. Appropriations can be passed in a manner to address this, or one could just pass continuing resolutions at reduced funding levels to keep essential services alive. Finally, one could start educating the public ahead of time about the issue. Times have changed, the people are more informed, there are more channels to educate the public on the need to reduce spending and they are ready to listen. The first place to start would be with earmarks.

If the Republicans are serious about being the party of small government, then part of that promise has to be seriously examining the executive branch and reigning in its power.

Weekend Music Chill

This weekend's music is dedicated to those lucky hobos in Seattle, Washington who live in the bunks for drunks house. Before our music, let's set the mood with some excerpts from the article (H/T W.C. Varones):

The government-subsidized housing project in Seattle caters exclusively to 75 hard-core alcoholics who came from the streets and are allowed to keep drinking, snub treatment and still keep a roof over their head.
. . .
Seattle's 1811 Eastlake program, however, goes further. Not only is the building limited to extreme inebriates, but the building's staff also will go on booze runs for some residents and then methodically dole out the beer, wine, vodka and other preferred intoxicants like medicine.

Here's our music

Thursday, October 7, 2010

How's That Stupak Deal Working Out?

I have a post tonight on Beers with Demo on the consequences of the Stupak deal on abortion funding in the Obamacare bill. Note to "blue dogs" in OH and PA, dudes, you've been Stupaked.

The Meaning of our Choice in November

On this coming election day, there is a choice between an inexperienced new comer to politics who has had some explaining to do about her past, including personal debt against a more experienced Democrat. (I'm not talking about the Delaware Senate campaign either.) The new comer, a Republican, has come out for reducing union pension costs and for competitive bidding on city services. The Democrat has shown a detailed understanding of the pension problem and the inner workings of city government, and has promised to also tackle the pension problem. However, he is backed by the very unions that are at the root of the problems and his votes in the state assembly supported legislation that was part of creating the pension problem in California.

Of course, I am talking the San Diego District 6 Council race between Lorie Zapf and Howard Wayne. We have to decide if we are willing to accept Howard Wayne's word that he opposes Proposition D and will work to force the city employees to increase their pension contribution share, despite his record and endorsements. Or will we go with Lorie Zapf, who has been consistent in her statements on competitive bidding and union clout, but has been slow to respond to allegations.

B-Daddy's position is that this is the year that we toss out the old politicians who have gotten us into this mess and bring in new people to reform the process. I welcome your comments on the matter.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lorie Zapf Stopped By This Evening

I was starting to wonder what was happening with the Zapf campaign, but who should ring my doorbell but the candidate herself. Unlike when I saw her in the debates she was much more relaxed and personable in person. She had a young man in tow who I thought might be her son, but couldn't tell for sure. He had visited before, so this was a return visit.

Zapf, a slight woman full of energy, said she had been walking the district for about a year. She asked if I had concerns about the election. I introduced myself as the author of this blog and said that I had endorsed her. She asked what concerns I had about the election. I told her that her problems with mortgages had not been sufficiently rebutted, that basically I had not seen an adequate rebuttal. She said that her second mortgage on her home was being renegotiated and that it was a mistake for the bank to have issued the notice of default. She asserted that the bank has since wiped out any back fees owed since she got the new second. She also said that the issue in Las Vegas had to with her husband's real estate transaction on a short sale.

Honestly, she seemed believable, but I am nervous about the situation. Zapf looked at the young man accompanying her and they both agreed that there would be a statement on her web site soon. In my opinion, this very slow response is hurting her campaign. She pointed out that much of the negative press comes from the San Diego City Beat, which she said has been hostile to her candidacy. Candidates probably need to have blog sites, twitter, facebook and youtube accounts so that the can swiftly respond to mud-slinging by their opponents. Regardless, I look forward to reading more of her response.

I told her that my key issue was the pension mess. I pointed out that Howard Wayne seems to be the most knowledgeable candidate on the nuances of the issue, but I didn't trust him because of the union endorsements. She pointed out that Howard Wayne voted for the very pension increases that have gotten the state of California into budget trouble. Read a little about that here.

I am still convinced that I will vote for Lorie Zapf, but I am disappointed in the way her campaign has handled controversy. My make or break issue this year is the issue of pensions and who will be the most aggressive in dealing with the mess prior politicians have left us.

Coincidentally, Kim Tran endorsed Howard Wayne today over the very issue of pension reform among other reasons. You can read the whole article here:

Howard has given me his word that he is committed to revitalizing our communities by creating middle class jobs, restoring fire and police protection and repairing our streets. He is also committed to reforming the pension and reducing the budget deficit.
I interviewed Kim Tran last May and was very sympathetic to her candidacy. I think she is making the classic mistake of going on simple trust when Howard Wayne's endorsements and previous record indicate that he is the worst candidate on the pension issue. A possible motive for her endorsement?

Tran quit the San Diego County Republican Party’s central committee last month, calling the party leaders the committee “ineffective, unethical and tyrannical” and complaining that she was being targeted because she had refused to leave the race after the party endorsed Zapf.

I don't doubt that there are Republican committeeman that are ineffectual, as Kim states, but I am disappointed by her actions. Kim seems like she would feel at home with the Tea Party and we need more people like her on the inside of both Democrat and Republican organizations. I hope to see Kim active in politics in the future; but I hope that Zapf will win this race even more.