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A contrast in leadership

Sometimes it’s hard to connect the dots and to spot the glaring contradictions in public comments by elected officials. New member Irv Lefberg noticed how dramatically different were the responses of two elected officials as they addressed the controversy over migrant children attempting to enter the U.S. Would it surprise you to know that one is a Republican, and the other a Democrat (though representing a pretty conservative area)?

Sam Abed photo

Mayor Abed

Mayor of Escondido, Sam Abed: “Our goal is say, ‘President Obama, you created this. You did not secure our borders. And you have so many kids there. And you want to put in local communities.’ I don’t think it’s fair for our communities.” — KUSI News, June 27.
“We don’t want it in Escondido. I think it is a federal issue. President Obama and the Obama administration has failed to resolve the immigration issue and created an environment that put the children at risk.” — UT San Diego, July 13.

Judge Clay Jenkins

Judge Jenkins

Dallas, Texas, County Executive, Judge Clay Jenkins: “I support increased security at the border, but increased security at the border doesn’t take care of the security of the children that are here now. Dallas County will partner directly with the federal government. We will identify facilities and we will work to open those facilities to them… so that we can provide compassionate care and complete wrap services, that’s education, medicine, psychological, etc. to the children who are scared and alone on our border.” — NBC Channel 5,, July 2014.

Hunziker announces for Escondido Council District Two

photo of Shad Hunziker

Shad Hunziker

Shad Hunziker, an Escondido businessman, has announced his candidacy for the Escondido City Council in District Two. Hunziker seeks to unseat John Masson, who was appointed to the seat in 2012 and has never stood for election. Though papers have not been filed, Rick Paul and Nicole Downey have also said they will seek the position. Voters will choose this November.

Hunziker spoke to Escondido Democrats at their July 12 meeting, saying that he supports Olga Diaz for Mayor and “if we can get her elected… and I can get on the Council, I’ll have a team I can work with.” Hunziker admits he has not been attending Council meetings, because he “hasn’t spent a lot of time on things I can’t do anything about,” but added that when on the Council he would be effective. He plans to learn as he works as a Council member, and says the job is tough because Councilmembers “do the best you can do” to “make both sides happy” in public policy issues.

Hunsiker operates Our Planet Recycling, which provides electronics recycling services in the Escondido area. He has lived in the city since 2000 and has been married for 21 years. Like all the other candidates in the Second District race, he is not registered as a Democrat. District Two covers the northern part of Escondido, generally from El Norte Parkway north, but also western areas of the city north of Valley Parkway east to include City Hall. See map.

See video of Hunziker’s comments to Escondido Democrats on the EDC YouTube channel.

See video of Rick Paul at the April, 2014 meeting on the EDC YouTube channel.

July meeting: Carey says turning migrant kids away violates American values

photo of Andrew Carey

Andrew Carey

“I’m all about the kids. I don’t care where they’re from,” Andrew Carey told the July 12 meeting of Escondido Democrats. Carey is executive director of the U.S.-Mexico Border Philanthropy Partnership, which brings together more than 120 groups, individuals and institutions from the U.S. and Mexico that work and care about the border region. The partnership works to cultivate leadership, philanthropy, and collaboration.

Residents of Escondido who attended a Planning Committee meeting and were successful in stopping designation of a building as a temporary holding facility for migrant children from Central America, and those whose demonstration near Murrieta, CA caused busloads of migrant children to turn back from an immigration facility there “don’t represent the values” of Escondido as a whole or Southern California, Carey said. He said turning migrant children away from an appropriate facility forced them into jail-like locations he compared to “the humane society — we put the kids back in a cage.”

Watch video of Carey’s remarks on the EDC YouTube Channel.

Continue reading…

Primary results: 75% of votes cast by mail

election graphsThe historically low June 3 turnout in San Diego County reinforces the conventional wisdom that primary voters are disproportionately older, less ethnically diverse, and more Republican than general election voters.

Republicans here voted at an 8% higher rate than Democrats, tilting the results rightward despite our Democratic registration advantage.

But underlying the differences by party are demographics: 57% voters aged 65 or higher participated, compared to just 8% of registered voters younger than 35. More than 75% of all votes were cast with vote-by-mail ballots.

While we pursue ways to boost engagement in lower-profile elections, there are bright spots even in last month’s results. Among the voters targeted for turnout by County Party volunteers, those we contacted voted at a 7% higher rate than those we did not reach. And despite some difficult losses, fully 85% of the Party’s endorsed candidates either won outright or will continue to the runoff — with higher turnout — in November.

(From “The Blue View” newsletter published by the San Diego County Democratic Party.)

What’s at stake with the proposed charter?

Logo of Associated Builders and Contractors - San Diego

Associated Builders and Contractors were caught in an attempt to influence local politics.

by Don Greene, President

In a 4-1 vote, the Escondido City Council approved the draft of the proposed city charter to be put on the November ballot. Incredibly, the charter was approved with at least two of the council members not understanding the document that they were approving.

Case in point:  During the June 18th hearing, Council member Ed Gallo very magnanimously told the assembled crowd and those watching at home that the council “could have done themselves, but they chose to put it on the ballot.”  Um, no.  Charters must be approved by a majority of the residents of the affected city according to state law.  Mr. Gallo also stated that “this is the same document that we started with in May” and that the city had gone through “4 public hearings” on the matter.  Neither of those points is correct. It would be nice to be sure that our Council members actually understood what they were voting for.

And then there’s Council member Masson.

Continue reading…

Charter set for November ballot

charter city graphicEscondido voters will decide in November whether to change from general law to charter city status. The City Council voted 4 to 1 June 18 to place a proposed charter on the ballot. Deputy Mayor Olga Diaz was the single opposition vote. She has said she does not feel charter status is necessary and could create problems. Council member Ed Gallo moved passage; council member John Masson seconded Gallo’s motion. There was little discussion.

The vote was expected. It followed a workshop and two public hearings in which there were dozens of comments from residents, but not one in support of the charter proposal.

Continue reading…

Diaz recall appears dead

The effort to force a recall vote on Council member Olga Diaz appears to have ended with a whimper. The deadline for filing signatures of 10 percent of registered voters in the newly drawn third Council district passed at 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 18, 2014 without any petitions being filed with the Escondido City Clerk. Missing the critical deadline means the issue cannot appear on the November ballot. (Thanks to Pat Mues, who waited at the Clerk’s office to see if signatures were submitted.)

Read coverage in UT San Diego.

See history in the following posts:

Epp: Diaz recall a district vote

Diaz recall petition circulated

Golf course initiative qualifies

The initiative brought forward by Developer Michael Schlesinger challenging the City Council’s decision to stop development of the old Escondido Country Club golf course has qualified, says the County registrar of voters. The City Council can vote June 25 to put it on the ballot in November.

If city-wide voters approve the initiative, Schlesinger’s “Stuck in the Rough” firm would be clear to build up to 430 homes on the former golf course site.

Read more in U-T San Diego.