Progressive News

Dear LMFDC members,

There are two important events for progressive coming up this week: San Onofre public meeting on Thursday, July 17th AND the San Diego Pride Parade on Saturday, July 19th

WHEN: Thursday, July 17, 2014, 3-4:30pm
(Please note ending time change to allow attendees to also attend San Onofre CEP meeting in Oceanside).
WHERE: Mission Valley Library, 2123 Fenton Parkway, San Diego CA 92108 (Next to IKEA)
PRESS RELEASE & MEDIA ADVISORY
COPS and COALITION TO DECOMMISSION SAN ONOFRE

Stop the San Onofre $3.3B Nuclear Bailout!

Ratepayer Advocates Host Public Meeting In San Diego
SAN DIEGO (2014-07-15) – Opponents to the proposed $3.3 billion San Onofre settlement will host a public meeting in San Diego to shine a bright light on the back-room settlement and explain why it is a ratepayer rip-off. The meeting will be held at the Mission Valley branch of the San Diego Public Library, located next to IKEA in mission valley, Thursday July 17, from 3 to 4:30 pm. The public is welcome but seating is limited to the first 100 attendees. Doors open at 2:45, so arrive early to get a seat.

Ratepayer advocates will make presentations and open up the floor to comments. Speakers include Ray Lutz, National Coordinator for COPS, and Mike Aguirre, counsel for a party in the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) San Onofre proceedings. In addition to the public, all candidates, elected and appointed officials are invited to attend, as this settlement will push up utility costs even higher than sky-high costs already a fact of life in California.

The CPUC held a public meeting in Costa Mesa, 35 miles north of the San Onofre Nuclear Station, but have refused to also hold a public meeting in San Diego County. Opponents to the settlement were limited to only 20 minutes, could not distribute materials in the room, and could not make a powerpoint presentation. This meeting will allow the opponents to the settlement sufficient time to make the case against the settlement in a venue convenient for San Diego County ratepayers.

“The worst thing about the settlement agreement is the fact that the CPUC investigation into the failure at San Onofre is stopped dead,” said Ray Lutz, national coordinator for COPS. “ CPUC proceedings were structured so that the Phase 3 investigation into the events that led to the failure at San Onofre Nuclear Station was not even started, although the Commission spent 18 months investigating side issues: what happened after the failure, toying with equations for replacement power costs, and reviewing how much of the failed plant was still ‘used and useful’. “Without a comprehensive review, no lessons are learned and mistakes will be repeated,” Lutz said.

“It’s simple. We are trying to save ratepayers up to $3.3 billion in their electric rates. SCE and SDG&E want us ratepayers to continue to pay for the abandoned plant, to cover not only their investment, but also provide a healthy return on investment “profit” as well,” continued Lutz, and a party in the CPUC investigation under the banner of the Coalition to Decommission San Onofre. “Paying for a plant — with profit — that is not operating for another ten years is well beyond what the average citizen believes is fair and appropriate.”

Michael Aguirre, former City Attorney for San Diego and counsel for a party at the proceeding commented, “We believe not only that the settlement is unfair, but it was negotiated in a manner contrary to class-action law. SCE President Ron Litzinger admitted under oath that the record of the proceeding contains nothing to support proper review by the Commission so as to allow approval. The settlement should not be approved and the proceedings should continue, and proper negotiations held.”

An investigation by Aguirre uncovered the fact that the CPUC had hired a consultant to provide a technical review of the facts surrounding the shutdown, but then inextricably pulled that contract in February, prior to the announcement of the settlement agreement. “This suggests CPUC officials were improperly aware of the settlement prior to the public announcement on March 27, and alludes to official complicity in the coverup,” Aguirre said.

The abbreviated 3-hour evidentiary hearing on May 14th included an extensive cross examination by Aguirre, culminating in cursing and yelling by Commission President Peevey when he was put on the spot regarding any secret and unlawful ex parte meetings with SCE during the many months of settlement negotiation. This outburst has become a YouTube sensation, with some groups even making a cell phone ring tone of his words, “I don’t have to answer your questions. I don’t have to answer your goddamned questions, now Shut up! Shut up!!”

Key clips of the cross examination (including Peevey’s outburst) can be found on YouTube at this URL: http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M1444

A video version of the presentation by COPS can be viewed on line at
http://www.copswiki.org/Common/StopTheUnfairSettlement

Ratepayer advocates request that the public communicate their displeasure with the bailout settlement by emailing public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov

Facebook event – please join and get on the list of attendees
https://www.facebook.com/events/665064766904400

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The Coalition to Decommission San Onofre is a project of Citizens Oversight, Inc. also known as Citizens Oversight Projects, or COPS. Ray Lutz is a founder of the organization, which focuses on promoting civic engagement, and has been involved in many success stories, including helping to stop the expansion of Blackwater in San Diego County and the shut down of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, of course with the involvement of the local community in each case.
####

Happy Pride!!!
Full Slate of Dems for Equality Events Kick-off on July 17th

Stonewall Pride Parade –LMFDC Members will be marching with Dems for Equality, please see directions below

Join marchers from the County Party, several other Democratic Clubs, Carol Kim and her campaign volunteers, Kevin Beiser and his campaign volunteers and your fellow Dems for Equality members. We will all be meeting at the Parade Staging Area, Zone G (East side of Normal Street North of Harvey Milk Street), Contingent 20 at 10am; please arrive no later than 10:30am. The entrance to the staging area is at the corner of Park Blvd and Lincoln Street.

Pride Festival
We are still short of volunteers to staff our booth from 3-5PM and 5-8:30PM on Sunday. Even if you can’t help out during those shifts, let us know HERE when you can help. If you’ve already volunteered, please try to arrive at the booth ten minutes before your selected shift.

Good News!

Center on Policy Initiatives

Linda —

Minimum Wage:  San Diego became a better city last night, with an historic decision that will improve hundreds of thousands of lives.

Six City Council members – David Alvarez, Myrtle Cole, Marti Emerald, Todd Gloria, Ed Harris, and Sherri Lightner – stood up for working people and approved a local minimum wage and access to earned sick time for everyone who works in San Diego.

San Diego is now the largest city in the United States with a local minimum wage, and a leader in a growing national movement.

This vote will mean raises for 172,000 San Diegans and paid sick time for 279,000 working people who now have none. Access to earned sick days and the first phase of the wage increase take effect next January. The minimum wage will rise to $11.50 by January 1, 2017, and will be indexed to inflation starting in 2019.

By helping hard-working people pay their bills and buy necessities, the raises will significantly boost our local economy, to the tune of $260 million in added spending.

Thank you to the hundreds of people who packed City Hall last night to support this momentous decision!

Many low-wage employees bravely spoke out about the reality of living in poverty despite working as hard as they can. Biviana Lagunas explained what the vote means for her family:

“The passing of this measure means my mother will no longer have to choose between a day’s wages and caring for my little brother when he’s sick. Right now, I’m a full-time student and I work to make sure my family can keep up with the rent. The passing of this measure means my sister and I can use more of our time to study instead of stressing about our family’s income.”

All the hard work of the Raise Up San Diego Coalition brought us to this important victory! There will be a second reading of the measure in two weeks, and possibly further maneuvering by opponents, and we will keep you posted. But we have reached a crucial milestone, we have seen what we can do together, and San Diego will only move forward from here!

Please spread the word by forwarding this email to your friends and be sure to thank the six City Council members for their vote. You can find their email addresses here. And take a moment today to cheer!

Warmest Regards,
Clare Crawford
Executive Director
Center on Policy Initiatives
ccrawford@onlineCPI.org
Center on Policy Initiatives · 3727 Camino Del Rio North, #100, San Diego, CA 92108, United States
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You can also keep up with Center on Policy Initiatives on Twitter or Facebook.

 

Bad News!
It’s Only Tuesday
Jul 15, 2014 | By CAP Action War Room

And The Crazy Things Conservatives Have Said This Week Are Piling Up
Is it just us, or does this week seem to already have a particularly large number of right-wing conservatives saying crazy things? Here are six of the most unfortunate:

1. Todd Akin Says He And Joe McCarthy Were Both Victims Of The Liberal Media. Remember Todd Akin? The failed Missouri Senate candidate has recently re-emerged in the public sphere to defend his claim in 2012 that women who were victims of “legitimate rape” could not get pregnant. In a phone interview with St. Louis Dispatch, the former congressman compared himself sympathetically to Sen. Joe McCarthy (R-WI), who spearheaded the infamous Communist witch hunt in the 1950s.

2. Rupert Murdoch Says Climate Change Should Be Approached With Great Skepticism. The chairman and CEO of News Corporation — one of the world’s largest media conglomerates, which includes Fox News and The Wall Street Journal — reflected candidly on climate change in a wide-ranging interview Sunday, saying he thought it should be approached with great skepticism. “At the moment the north pole is melting but the south pole is getting bigger,” he said. “Things are happening. How much of it are we doing, with emissions and so on? As far as Australia goes? Nothing in the overall picture.” Murdoch went on to argue that “we shouldn’t be building windmills and all that rubbish.”

3. Congresswoman Urges GOP To Bring Policy Discussion ‘Down To A Woman’s Level’. Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) is a second-term Congresswoman and chair of the Republican Women’s Policy Committee. In a panel on women and the Republican Party, she suggested that the best way for the party to appeal to women is to talk down to them. “Men do tend to talk about things on a much higher level,” Ellmers said. “Many of my male colleagues, when they go to the House floor, you know, they’ve got some pie chart or graph behind them and they’re talking about trillions of dollars and how, you know, the debt is awful and, you know, we all agree with that.” But, she went on to say, “We need our male colleagues to understand that if you can bring it down to a woman’s level and what everything that she is balancing in her life — that’s the way to go.”

4. Congressional Candidate: Most Energy Problems ‘Are Caused By Environmentalists’. George Cicotte, a Republican candidate for Washington’s fourth congressional district, said at a candidate forum Saturday that if environmentalists hadn’t “stopped nuclear in its tracks” in the 1970s, there would be a lot less greenhouse gas pollution today. “Really, when we talk about energy problems, most of the energy problems are caused by environmentalists,” he said. “Wind energy? I’ll be honest — give me a break.”

5. GOP Congressman: Kids At Border “Gang Members” From Culture Of “Rape”. A Florida Republican congressman called undocumented immigrant children at the border not children at all but gang affiliated persons from a culture of thievery, murder, and violence.
“A lot of these children … quote-unquote … ya know, the first caller mentioned it, ya know, they’re gang members. They’re gang affiliated,” Florida Republican Rep. Rich Nugent said on WOCA radio Monday.

6. TX GOP Lawmaker: Teens He Saw At U.S. Border Looked Like ‘Threat’. The Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security went on “Fox News Sunday” this morning and told host Brit Hume that many of the teenagers he saw at the United States-Mexican border facilities looked like a “threat.” Representative Michael McCaul (TX) said that “it’s very heart-wrenching as a father to see that — mothers with their babies.” He then added, “I also saw some 17-year-olds that I thought looked more like a threat.” McCaul did acknowledge that these teenagers were “caught in the middle, between [administration] policy and what the drug traffickers are doing in Central America.”

SMH.

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LET’S TURN EAST COUNTY BLUE—VICTORY 2014!
Linda K. Armacost, Ed.D
President LMFDC
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