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Blog Archives - 2004 Fourth Quarter

  12/18/04 - The FBI are at City meetings taking notes   
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So who is this guy Frederick W. Pierce, IV Chairman of the San Diego City Employee's Retirement System who has told our City Attorney Mike Aguirre to go pound sand? He has refused to provide the documents Aguirre is demanding.

Well he is a developer and the City retirement system has $2.7 billion to invest, 40% of which can go into real estate according to their Investment Objectives: "The combined value of mortgage debt with security interest and other real estate investments shall not exceed 40% of the total of the Trust Fund, at the time of initial commitment".

Pierce is also the project director for The Paseo Project a huge development by the SDSU  with help from the City. Has anybody taken a look at the Retirement Fund's investment portfolio lately? Is that part of the documentation sought by Aguirre?

It seems that there is a small cadre, mainly developers, who pick men like Murphy who in turn appoints the "right" people to key chairmanships of boards that control large amounts of public money like the Pension Board and then they all protect each other.

The FBI are in town trying to find out what is going on and it seems they and Aguirre are working together while the cockroaches are running for cover. What would have happened if "their" person, Leslie Devaney, had won the City Attorney's race?

No wonder Mike Aguirre asked for 24 hour police protection, which he was denied. This town is getting more like Tijuana every day.
 
 
  12/16/04 - Murphy is the key to the whole mess  
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Murphy will not budge an inch. He can't. In fact he welcomes the present ruckus over counting votes because it is a distraction from the real thievery going on downtown.

The Mayor's cronies went so far as to arrange to have a police car standing by outside the meeting place of the City Employees Retirement Board to arrest Diann Shipione if she turned up for a closed meeting today! What exactly were they going to do at that secret meeting? It must have been something big to involve the City Police.

There are very sinister goings on downtown and not a peek from our Mayor. Is he in on it? That is why it is so important to have all Donna Frye's votes counted.
 
 
  12/15/04 - Beware the Risen People   
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Murphy will eventually lose this argument, even if it has to go all the way to the United States Supreme Court. There is  no way that mechanical counting technicalities will trump the intent of the voter and the will of the people.

Donna Frye's argument was even further advanced yesterday when the media counters noticed that the Register of Voters had already  "interpreted" many votes where voters had put an X in the bubble space but the Registrar had gone ahead and blackened the bubble for them so their vote would be counted. Is that not acceptance that the intent of the voter trumps mechanical counting considerations?

Meantime Murphy is continuing his old ways by insisting on doing the public's business behind closed doors where he and his loyal sycophants routinely breach the Brown Act. Even his supporters at the San Diego Union-Tribune are shocked and are running back-to-back editorials condemning his blatant attempt to get rid of Ms. Shipione the whistle-blower on the City Employees Retirement Board, calling it a "shameless vendetta".

Mr. Murphy will eventually learn that the San Diego citizens deserve better than his "shameless" methods of governing. He will eventually be driven out in disgrace.
 
 
  12/14/04 - Donna Frye IS the real Mayor  
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Donna Frye won the election! The media have just announced that they have found 4,180 uncounted votes for Frye among those cast in ballot boxes and are now going to look at the mail-in and provisional votes. The tally at this stage is that Frye won by 2,072 votes. The people's will should now be affirmed in the courts. How can they do otherwise? If the voter's will means nothing in a democracy what does?

Meantime Murphy told reporters he will disregard the new vote count. He is unfazed by the whole thing. Now we will see the real Dick Murphy, the guy who likes to get his own way on everything, whether legal or not.
 
 
  12/14/04 - The Media are doing the count  
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The "recount" is not a recount, it is the media searching for the truth, according to the Registrar of Voters. That gets everybody off the hook, except Murphy, who tried to insist on a complete recount. He tried to prevent exactly what is happening because he knew it would reveal how many Frye votes were not counted.

Technically all the Registrar of Voters is doing is setting out the uncounted votes in the counting house and allowing the media to count them. That is a good solution, it is based on the public's right to know and the freedom of the press. This does not involve any cost to the Register of Voters although they may charge some kind of "facility" fee as there may be some staff time involved.

Now the issue will be crystal clear for the courts. They will have to decide which is more important, the Register of Voters' right to set technical rules for counting votes or a voter's absolute right to have their vote counted?
 
 
  12/13/04 - Murphy should be recalled  
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According to the San Diegio Union today Ron Saathoff, president of San Diego City Firefighters Local 145, an organization which endorsed Murphy for Mayor, was allowed onto the San Diego City Employees' Retirement Board where he voted himself the right to retire at age 55 at $116,436 a year on a current salary of $84,000!

And that's not all, five other members of that Board are city employees representing various city service sectors! What kind of Mayor would allow such blatant plundering of the public purse? The City is being run for the benefit of its employees not its citizens.

All they had to do was "endorse" Murphy and they could have anything they liked. He threw them the keys. Is it any wonder 155,851 of us wrote in Donna Frye's name? If the recount doesn't remove him he should be recalled.

He is now trying to say that the law requires that the entire 455,000 votes cast must be counted when all that need be counted are the ones that were rejected by the machine because the bubble was not filled in, which should take no more than a few hours.
 
 
  12/09/04 - There will be a recount  
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The San Diego Union-Tribune misinformed us in telling us that whoever called for a recount would have to pay for it. First we were told it could cost up to $2 million then it came down to $150,000 or $200,000. Now voters have found out that the Registrar of Voters must pay for it provided the request is made on behalf of a candidate.

So where did the figure of $2 million come from? Was it intended to deter voters from requesting a recount? Did the Registrar of Voters misinform the San Diego Union-Tribune or did somebody make it up in order to keep Donna Frye out?

This town badly needs some honesty in public life. We no longer know who to believe. We can't believe our local newspaper, they suppress columns they don't like and we certainly can't believe our City Councilors, they even lied to Wall Street.

My admiration for the San Diego voters grows by the day. First they in large numbers persuaded Donna Frye to register as a write-in candidate, which she did, it was not her idea it was theirs. 155,851 voted for her and filled in the bubble. Then they went out and discovered for themselves that the Registrar of Voters must pay for a hand recount of those who did not fill in the bubble.

As a result it is now certain that there will be a recount despite Murphy and his cronies' efforts to prevent it. If it turns out that more than 2,108, Murphy's margin of victory, were for Frye but without the bubble having been filled in, there will be an appeal to the courts. Then we will find out which means most, voter intent or technicalities.

Another interesting fact is that Donna Frye has been kept waiting and waiting since the election for a reply from the Cities Ethics Commission as to whether she can establish a legal defense fund to pay her legal fees in these proceedings. Who are they checking with? Murphy? Why will they not give her their answer? It's a simple enough question. It sounds to me like the authors of the bogus $2 million recount fee are at work again.
 
 
  12/07/04 - The Courts agree with Donna Frye  
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Donna Frye's Mayoral write-in candidacy was today declared legal by a California state appeals court. All that remains is to count all the votes that were cast and declare her the duly elected Mayor. There is no doubt but that she received the most votes.

Any voter is legally entitled to call for a recount but they will have to pay the $150,000 to $200,000 cost of the recount. Will the people of San Diego come up with the money? Is democracy worth that much to them?

Their answer will reveal whether democracy is alive or dead in America's Finest City.
 
 
  12/05/04 - Goldsborough's censored column  
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Reading the column that so offended San Diego Union-Tribune's owner and editor David Copley that he pulled it last Monday resulting in columnist Jim Goldsborough quitting leaves one wondering what is going on down there at our local "newspaper". Owner's don't pull columns - or do they?

Here it is on the KPBS web site. Read it for yourself.
 
Copley said he pulled it because it would offend Jews. Do Jews not like being told they are good, moral people who believe in social justice? Or was it that line where Jim's Jewish friend said in relation to Israel's treatment of the Palestinians "we had become the persecutors"? Yeah, that might offend supporters of Israel, Jewish and non-Jewish.

Or was it because Jim pointed out that 75% of American Jews are Democrats and don't all support Sharon. David needs to have a little talk with some of his rich Jewish friends and ask them what they think. He may be shocked to find out that many of them have a social conscience, which includes justice for the Palestinians. He may be even more shocked to discover that they disapprove of his censorship of Goldsborough.

Jim's point was that, like Christians, Jew's have values too, good moral values, but that unfortunately the State of Israel does not practice them in relation to the Palestinians.

It's all a matter of one's point of view. David Copley should allow both Jewish and Palestine sides of the story to be heard in his newspaper. Or perhaps he doesn't have as many Palestinian advertisers in his newspaper as he does Jewish. Even so he should have checked with them first, I doubt very much that they all agree with him.
 
 
  12/03/04 - A deep question for democracy  
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The Donna Frye vote-counting issue is touching deep democratic chords not only here in San Diego but around the country and indeed around the world. Several British and European newspapers have written about it.

The issue is very clear: does the right of a citizen to have their vote counted come second to rules a legislature may set with counting costs uppermost in its mind?

It is a simple issue, yet it is causing all kinds of problems for the judiciary whose job it is to apply the law. But it is also their job to apply priorities when fundamental principles appear to clash. The law should uphold our rights as citizens, not usurp them.

We are waiting to hear whether the great State of California agrees with Frye when she said yesterday:
"If a democracy isn't about counting everybody's votes, then I'm not sure what we're doing here? If we're not going to fight for that, what are we going to fight for". Good question. It all starts with the vote. And I want mine counted - every time.
 
 
 

11/23/04 - Donna Frye: The Real Mayor?

 
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The California Election Code Section 15342(a) says  “no write-in vote shall be counted unless the voting space next to the write-in space is marked or slotted as directed in the
voting i
nstructions”.

This puts the spotlight on the Voting Instructions: were they or were they not clear as to the bubble?

Section 14200(c) says that "
voting information be publicly posted at each polling place on the day of each election ... including how to cast a vote and how to cast a provisional ballot."

What exactly did the Voting Instructions say? I requested and received an official copy from the San Diego County Registrar of Voters.

It says the following (at the bottom in extremely small print) : ".... to vote for a qualified write-in candidate, whose name is not printed on the ballot, write the person's name on the blank line at the end of the list of candidates for the contest and completely darken the oval next to the written name".

Donna Frye should ask the Courts: why was the statutory instructions regarding write-in candidates relegated to the bottom of the placard in tiny print while the rest of it was in huge bold print with graphics? Does that constitute "equal treatment under the law" as required by the United States Constitution?

I voted and studied that placard in the booth. I actually hesitated when writing in Donna Frye's name as to whether I should darken the bubble or not. I remember wondering whether if I darkened it the counting machine might not treat it as a spoiled vote, I wondered if the bubble only applied to candidates whose names were printed. Finally I chose to darken it so I know my vote was counted. But how many chose otherwise?

I suspect few, and certainly not I, noticed the tiny instructions at the bottom. If the print size had been equal I would undoubtedly have read it and so would thousands of others. That's all we had to go on, we don't carry the California Election Code around with us.
 
 

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