Double fumble! Proponents of a new football stadium failed big-time on Election Day as two measures went down to defeat. There’s little hope for a Hail Mary since a whole bunch of obstacles still stand in their path.
Our Scott Lewis lays them out: The timeline isn’t forgiving, there are no good answers on how to pay for the thing or where to put it, and “a lot of San Diegans find it repulsive to subsidize professional football to such a degree with public funds.”
• Take a listen: Lewis appeared on 1090 AM to talk about the stadium debacle. His topics: Alternatives, a high-profile political failure and the reason why a countywide vote wouldn’t have made a lick of difference.
Gomez: An Outsider Becomes an Insider
Georgette Gomez was the outsider, of a sort, among the two Democratic and Latino candidates vying to replace retiring Councilwoman Marti Emerald. She won and will represent Mid-City’s District 9. (No, it’s not Hollywood’s District 9.)
“She’ll now transition her anti-establishment campaign to representing a district full of immigrants and refugees that may be shaken by the outcome of the presidential election,” our Ry Rivard reports. Gomez has been associate director at the nonprofit Environmental Health Coalition.
School Board Victors Are More of the Same
This was a very good election for local teachers unions: Sharon Whitehurst-Payne, labor-backed candidate vying to represent the southeastern San Diego neighborhoods on the San Diego Unified board, won. All five trustees are union-endorsed. And another labor-backed candidate on the obscure-but-influential San Diego County Board of Education likely won as well. Charter school advocates spent an unprecedented amount boosting the candidates who came up short.
The Day in Trump: Protests, Looming Lawsuit
Protesters gathered around the city to rally against the victory of President-elect Trump; a student suffered major injuries when she was struck by a car during a march to Interstate 5 near UCSD. (KPBS)
• Remember the Trump University lawsuit? It’s still alive and heading for trial here in San Diego on Nov. 28, Reuters reports, “barring any delays or if Trump decides to settle the case.” Being president won’t prevent him from being the defendant; nor is it legally supposed to get him a get-out-of-hearings-free card.
Election Roundup: More Top Races
• Scandals don’t seem to have stopped Dave Roberts, the only Democratic county supervisor, from (probably) winning a second term in his coastal North County district. (KPBS)
• “Most bond measures in community college and K-12 districts appear to have been passed by voters countywide, with the exception of two measures in East County and one in Bonsall,” the U-T reports. The biggest bond in the county, the one in coastal North County’s Miracosta Community College District, passed and will raise a stunning $455 million for construction and a job program.
• Our local transit measure failed, but other cities are spending big on transportation projects: “Los Angeles passed a mammoth, 40-year, half-cent sales tax that will pour $120 billion into the construction of light rail and other transportation improvements. The Bay Area voted to raise $3.5 billion in bonds to fund Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART. Seattle passed a 25-year, half-cent sales tax to fund 62 new miles of light rail, as well as bus rapid transit and commuter rail. Raleigh and Durham will fund a connecting commuter rail line; Atlanta will fund new light rail construction,” Slate reports.
• It looks like San Diego County voted in huge numbers Tuesday, though there’s some quibbling about just how huge. According to the state’s figures, San Diego County had a massive 87 percent turnout. But James Riffel says to pump the brakes on that number: “Important for media followers: county says Calif Secretary of State’s local turnout figures are wrong. Not 87% but will end up in area of 80% by time counting is done. Error from local 2-card ballot. State counted each card as separate ballot.”
Pot Is Legal — Right Now. But …
Now that all the “Good timing!” jokes are behind us, we can take Prop. 64 seriously.
We don’t need to wait for the election to be certified for the marijuana measure to become official: Recreational pot is now legal in California. As the L.A. Times notes, if you’re 21 or older, you can possess an ounce of pot and up to six plants in your home legally.” Also, “some sweeping changes to the California criminal code go into effect. For example, law enforcement can no longer use the smell of marijuana or the presence of paraphernalia as a basis for broad searches.” “Industrial” hemp is legal too.
But: Don’t smoke in public, don’t sell pot to minors and keep in mind that it’ll be tough to legally obtain weed: “Medical dispensaries cannot sell to recreational users. Cultivators cannot legally sell it until they get licensed by the state, which won’t happen until January 2018.” And there are other complications.
North County Report: Del Mar Turns Down Slow Growth?
This week’s VOSD North County Report takes note of elections across the region. Among them: The tiny city of Del Mar seems to have rejected a measure that would have made it harder to build in the city; the idea was to protect its “small-town vibe,” but foes called it “NIMBYism on steroids.” In other news, incumbents won in the Escondido City Council race.
Quick News Hits: Exit, Pursued by Trump?
• The city is paying so much into the pension accounts of former municipal workers that budget cuts are on the horizon next year. The mayor took the opportunity to back-blame: “We’re still paying off the pension promises made by past city leaders.” (City News Service)
• Social media buzzed with talk of a “Calexit,” which isn’t a town by the border in Imperial County but instead refers to secession by the Golden State from the Union. Indivisible, indishmisable!
The idea didn’t just pop up yesterday. In fact, Sa Diego-based secessionists previously planned a “meet and greet” in Sacramento for Wednesday.
Um “Meet and greet”? Wow. They’re really trying to put the “civil” in the Second Civil War.
Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. He is also immediate past president of the 1,200-member American Society of Journalists and Authors (asja.org). Please contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.