Stay informed!

Receive weekly emails from EDC. Your address is kept private.
My Email:  

Read Our Latest Email Update

EDC's weekly emails contain the latest news, action alerts and reminders about upcoming events. Check out the most recent message.

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow EDC on…

Follow EDC on FaceBook

Follow EDC on Twitter

Visit the EDC YouTube Channel

‘Like’ EDC on Facebook!

See all of EDC's posts on your Facebook page! First, go to your account on Facebook and log in. Then use the search area at the top of the page to search for "Escondido Democratic Club." Once there, cliick the 'Like' button at the top, next to our name. That's all there is to it!

Escondido Democrats Endorsements

Mayor — Olga Diaz

Council District 1 — Consuelo Martinez

Council District 2 — Chad ‘Shad’ Hunziker
(rated acceptable)

Elementary School District Area 4 — Martin Hranek
(rated acceptable)

High School District Area 2 — Lou Barrios

High School District Area 5 — Georgine Tomasi

Measure E (School Bonds) — YES

Measure G (Charter City) — NO

Measure H (Lakes Specific Plan) — YES

See more detail from the EDC election coverage page.
See Democratic Party recommendations for State positions and propositions. 

Is Mayor Abed bragging about embarrassing data?

by Irv Lefberg (cross-posted from

upeconomy-questionReal economic information has always been a casualty of electioneering.  Since campaign loony tunes have been  put on steroids by Tea Party style dialogue, it’s even worse,  if that’s imaginable.   I offer a little case study here from the City of Escondido, near San Diego, where I live, which illustrates the problem.   This case has some humorous features that should alleviate the inclination to cry or pound the table.  It has its counterparts in most of the U.S. Senate and Governor’s races we follow across the country.

“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts,” said the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, about American political campaigning.

The Mayor of Escondido has either never heard this wise and oft quoted remark, or doesn’t agree with it, especially as it applies to the local economy. The Mayor, or his publicists, have indeed brought new manufacturing to Escondido (as he claims) – the manufacture of numbers about the City’s economy during his tenure.

These numbers are either lies, sloppily concocted because its too much effort to get them right,  or just picked out of thin air because they have a nice ring to them. It’s more likely one of the latter two, than outright lying, because some of the “facts” (amusingly) subvert the Mayor’s case.  The examples are from the Mayor’s stump speeches and campaign mailers blanketing the city.

Continue reading…

Former Mayor Harmon calls for investigation

photo of Jerry HarmonFormer Escondido Mayor Jerry Harmon has called upon public officials to investigate Escondido Mayor Sam Abed, City Manager Clay Phillips and City Attorney Jeff Epp. Harmon believes the officials used public funds for political purposes when they allegedly attempted to stop former Police Chief Jim Maher from running for public office in the city. Harmon’s action follows publication of a letter, attributed to an employee in the city attorney’s office, that was published in The Paper, a weekly newspaper. The August 20, 2013 letter, which appears to have been written for Maher to sign, states “I have no intention whatsoever to seek elective office or to assist any candidate in running for elective office in the City of Escondido during the next election.”

Watch video of the news conference on the EDC YouTube Channel. 

Continue reading…

Council votes 4 to 1 against shelter

Olga Diaz photoAs expected, the Escondido City Council voted October 15 to support the recommendation of the city Planning Commission and to reject the application for a migrant children’s shelter in the southwest part of the city.

Mayor Sam Abed and Council members Ed Gallo, Mike Morasco and John Masson voted against the shelter proposal; Deputy Mayor Olga Diaz supported it by voting not to approve the Planning Commission recommendation.

In her usual style, Diaz went through a long list of comparisons that answered, for her, the question of whether the proposed shelter was an appropriate use of the former nursing home — it was. And when she moved from that part of the decision to the “conscience” part, she said recalled the failure of President Franklin Roosevelt to admit a ship of Jewish refugees during World War II. She called his failure “a mark of shame” on his leadership. She declared “I may lose an election but I will not lose my humanity,” by voting against the shelter.

Southwest Key, a firm that operates similar facilities in other parts of San Diego County, had sought a conditional use permit to convert the nursing home to a shelter. Its application had been denied by the Planning Commission, but was appealed by the ACLU. Dozens of public speakers addressed the issue  in a Council meeting that lasted more than three hours.

Read coverage in UT San Diego.
Read coverage from NBC7.
See video coverage from News 8.
Read coverage in the Los Angeles Times.

Watch video from the City of Escondido website.

Measure H – the Lakes Specific Plan

photo of October meeting

Michael Crews presents the case for Measure H to Escondido Democrats.

Those promoting and opposing Escondido Measure H, the Lakes Specific Plan that would allow construction of 430 homes on the now-closed Escondido Country Club golf course, appeared before Escondido Democrats at the October 11 meeting. Each side had 15 minutes to state their case and each brought a slide show to support their presentation. Videos and the slides are available below for review.

There was little new information in either presentation. The developer promoting the project spoke of increased property values, new recreational facilities, water use savings and improved access to the neighborhood. The opponents predicted increased traffic and congestion, higher water use, stress on other support facilities and bemoaned the loss of open space the development would cause. Each focused on challenging claims made by the other side.

The opponents, neighborhood residents from the Escondido Country Club Homeowners group, said their goal was to defeat the developer’s proposal, then identify an independent, objective third party who could facilitate negotiations on the fate of the property. Speaker Jim Ahlers of the ECCHO board agreed the land is likely to be developed, but stressed that the proposal in Measure H is not good for Escondido and needs to be defeated.

Escondido Democrats have endorsed Measure H, as have Mayoral candidate Olga Diaz and Council District 1 candidate Consuelo Martinez.

Watch video of the presentation for Measure H. 
See the slides in the Yes on Measure H presentation. 

Watch video of the presentation Against Measure H. 
See the slides in the No on Measure H presentation.

Latina Olga Diaz Aims for the Top Spot in Conservative Escondido

(Reposted from the San Diego Free Press)

By Don Greene, President

photo of Olga Diaz

Olga Diaz

In North County politics, Olga Diaz is an anomaly. Currently, as the Deputy Mayor of Escondido, Olga has achieved something that no one else has done in 126 years: She is the first Latina elected to the City Council. That’s nothing to sneeze at. Once named the 11th Most Conservative City in the United States, Escondido can be a lonely place for a Latina, especially if she fits the description of Olga Diaz.

Diaz describes herself as an environmentalist. She as championed the rehabilitation of Escondido Creek, turning it from a concrete, channelized flood control basin to a 7-mile linear park in the heart of the city. She also describes herself as a feminist, a progressive, and, if those weren’t enough, a Democrat.

Being all these things should not be automatic detriment to a candidate or politician, but in Escondido, things are a little different. Recently, at a Republican Central Committee meeting, current mayor, Sam Abed, declared that “Escondido is the Republican capitol of San Diego County.” It is much of that type of bravado that gets the city into a lot of legal troubles. It was some of that legal trouble that launched Diaz’s political career.

Continue reading…

Latino Mayoral forum shows cultural chasm

photo of Latino Mayoral Forum

by Rick Moore, VP-Communications

You have to give Mayor Sam Abed credit. He tried his best to ‘make nice’ with Escondido’s Latino community, but all he accomplished was to reinforce his image as a disconnected white guy who cannot comprehend how his policies and actions come across. Stephen Siaw was almost as bad, but one wonders whether he may come from a less judgmental place.

The occasion was a Mayoral candidate forum for the Latino community sponsored by the La Raza Law Association of San Diego County, MANA of North County and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. It was held at the Escondido Senior Center October 3. About 50 people attended. Carlos Gonzalez of Univision moderated.

The questions were tough and focused on Latino issues. (They were provided in advance to the candidates.) The answers held few surprises for those who have been monitoring the candidates so far in the campaign.

Read coverage in UT San Diego. 

Continue reading…

Why school board elections matter

by Tania Bowman and John Ward

school signOnce non-partisan guardians of our children’s education, school board seats have become contentious political prizes.  Understanding the importance of school boards, how they work, their connection to charter schools and the implications of new funding laws are essential in deciding the best candidates to serve Escondido children.

Escondido students are served by two separate school boards: Escondido Union School District (EUSD)  which serves students from kindergarden through 8th grade and the Escondido Union High School District (EUHSD) serving grades 9 through 12.

Each school board district is divided into five regions and each school board member is elected by constituents in their particular region. In the EUSD the current Board of Trustees are; Jose Fragoso Region 1, Joan Gardner Region 2, Paulette Donnellon, Region 3, Marty Hranek Region 4 and Linda Woods Region 5.

In November, elections will take place for the EUSD regions 2, 4 and 5.  Joan Gardner is running unopposed in Region 2. Linda Woods is stepping down from Region 5 and Gary Altenberg is running unopposed in Woods’ region.  In Region 4 Marty Hranek, the incumbent, is being challenged by Zesty Harper.

Currently the EUHSD board consists of Tina Pope for Area 1, Randy Garcia for Area 2, Christi Knight for Area 3, George McClure for Area 4, and Jon Peterson for Area 5.

Incumbents Tina Pope and Christi Knight (who was appointed by the school board and has never been elected) are running unopposed for Areas 1, and 3 respectively. Candidates Lou Barrios and Bill Durney are running for the Area 2 seat left open by Randy Garcia. In Area 5, incumbent Jon Petersen is being challenged by candidate Georgine Tomasi.

Who are all these people and who is supporting and endorsing them?

Continue reading…