Tag Archive for Measure I-12 (City of Grover Beach November 2012)

News Media Coverage of Proposed Charters for California Cities – November 2012

Updated as of November 8, 2012 

General Coverage

Supermajority Supercharges Power of Unions, Demswww.CalWatchdog.com – November 8, 2012

On charter city proposals, which would have given cities more leeway to deal with the powerful unions: Costa Mesa’s lost by a large margin, Escondido’s lost, and Grover Beach’s appears to be losing in a close race. Anything the unions supported won big in California. Anything they strongly opposed lost.

Unions Spend Big, Win Big in California – Fox & Hounds (Steve Greenhut, Vice President of Journalism, Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity) – November 8, 2012

In Orange County, the city of Costa Mesa had become something of a national example on how to take on union power, as its council majority promoted outsourcing and pension changes. While voters there re-elected reformers, they rejected a city charter measure that would have allowed the majority to have more latitude in carrying out changes. Unions from across the state flooded the campaign with money, outspending charter- reform backers by 10 to 1.

Eliminating Middle Class Jobs in the Shadow of the Election – Huffington Post (Los Angeles) – blog by Daniel Villao, State Director, California Construction Academy, UCLA Labor Center (part of the pro-union University of California Miguel Contreras Labor Program) – November 5, 2012

City of Costa Mesa (Orange County) – Measure V

City Charter Measure Soundly Rejected by Costa Mesa VotersLos Angeles Times – November 7, 2012

Righeimer Wants to Try for Another CharterNewport Beach/Costa Mesa Daily Pilot – November 7, 2012

Costa Mesa Council Majority Holds but Loses Bid for a City Charter – www.voiceofoc.org – November 7, 2012

Costa Mesa Measure V – KFI (640 AM) – November 7, 2012

Costa Mesa’s Measure V Attracts Big Labor Dollars – www.PublicCEO.com – ‎November 6, 2012‎

City of Escondido (San Diego County) – Proposition P

Escondido Rejects Charter Measure but Approves General Plan UpdateNorth County Times – November 7, 2012

Escondido Voters Split on InitiativesSan Diego Union-Tribune – November 7, 2012

City of Grover Beach (San Luis Obispo County) – Measure I-12

Bright, Lee Leading Grover Council Race; Charter Winning ApprovalSanta Maria Times – November 7, 2012

Peterson Swamps Molnar to Win Grover Beach Mayor Seatwww.CalCoastNews.com – November 7, 2012 (includes this statement: “The race for the city of Grover Beach’s proposal to become a charter city remains too close to call with just late arriving vote-by-mail ballots left uncounted. Currently, there are 11 more votes in favor of the charter proposal than nay votes.”)

Voters in Costa Mesa and Escondido Reject Proposed Charters; Voters in Grover Beach Narrowly Approve a Charter

In the city of Costa Mesa, 59% of voters rejected the proposed charter (Measure V). It appears that two of the three pro-charter city council members retained their seats. Councilman Jim Righeimer vows to bring another charter before voters, but this time have it developed by a citizens’ commission.

In the city of Escondido, 53% of voters rejected the proposed charter (Proposition P), even though labor unions did little to oppose it. An insider with the campaign to pass the charter claims the loss was mainly related to city council elections by district (rather than at-large) and local disputes over the status of illegal immigrants.

In the city of Grover Beach, 50.2% of voters have approved the proposed charter (Measure I-12). As of this morning (November 7, 2012), the YES vote was 1718 and the NO vote was 1707 – an eleven vote difference.

My Report on www.UnionWatch.org: Tracking California’s November 2012 Elections Related to Labor Issues

See my article posted this morning (November 5, 2012) on www.UnionWatch.org called Tracking California’s November 2012 Elections Related to Labor Issues.

If you are a regular reader of the Dayton Public Policy Institute blog (a project of Labor Issues Solutions, LLC), you know a lot about the following races in California:

  • Proposition 32 – Stop Special Interests state ballot measure (includes “paycheck protection”)
  • Measure V – proposed charter in Costa Mesa
  • Proposition P – proposed charter in Escondido
  • Measure I-12 – proposed charter in Grover Beach
  • Measures Q and R – authorization to borrow $414 million through bond sales for construction at Sacramento City Unified School District (which imposes Project Labor Agreements)
  • Measure Q – authorization to borrow $348 million through bond sales for construction at Solano Community College District  (which imposes Project Labor Agreements)
  • Measure E – authorization to borrow $360 million through bond sales for construction at West Contra Costa Unified School District (which imposes Project Labor Agreements)
  • Proposition Z – authorization to borrow $2.8 billion through bond sales for construction at San Diego Unified School District (which imposes Project Labor Agreements)

There are also some elections for local government offices in California that have significance for people interested in labor policy issues.

City of San Diego

If Republican Ray Ellis defeats Democrat Councilwoman Sherri Lightner for the one undecided city council race (in La Jolla), Republicans will have a 5-4 majority on the city council. What a change from ten years ago, when Republicans almost disappeared from a city council they had long controlled. (I credit the Republican Party of San Diego County for this transformation: see my www.FlashReport.org article The Untold Story: Years of Challenging, Unglamorous Work Led to Big Republican Election Night in San Diego on June 5.

Republican Councilman Carl DeMaio stands a good chance of defeating Democrat Congressman Bob Filner and getting elected as Mayor of San Diego. A few weeks ago I wrote an article comparing DeMaio’s campaign to the 2010 campaign of Rob Ford, a libertarian-oriented city council member who unexpectedly won election as Mayor of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (See Carl DeMaio’s Campaign for Mayor of San Diego Echoes Rob Ford’s Successful Campaign for Mayor of Toronto.) Chris Reed wrote the following in a November 1, 2012 article for The American Spectator (Anger Mismanagement on the Ballot; linked at www.CalWatchdog.com as Will San Diego Elect a Gay Libertarian or a Snarling Misanthrope as Mayor?):

All this is remarkably good news for DeMaio and for libertarians who have long wondered what a government run by a Reason-blessed true believer would be like…If Filner has this [negative] effect on enough people, in five weeks time, America’s eighth-largest city will inaugurate as mayor a brash reformer bent on transforming the government status quo. Thanks to a June initiative primarily authored by DeMaio, San Diego is by far the largest U.S. city to have ended costly defined-benefit pensions for nearly all its new hires. As mayor, DeMaio would ramp up San Diego’s already-aggressive attempts to bid out a wide array of government services. He also wants to end automatic “step” pay increases given to public employees just for years on the job and to finally bring to government the productivity revolution that has fueled U.S. private-sector growth for two decades. The goal, DeMaio told me in April, is to set up a national model for downsized, efficient government. If elected, DeMaio appears likely to have a GOP majority on the City Council. If these more conventional Republicans back him up, San Diego could become Ground Zero for government experimentation – of a sort that many will call radical but that libertarians will call long-overdue.

City of Costa Mesa (Orange County)

In the City of Costa Mesa, three of the four city councilmembers (the 3Ms, Gary Monahan, Steve Mensinger, and Colin McCarthy) who voted in 2011 with Councilman Jim Righeimer to “outsource” government services and put the Measure V charter on the ballot in 2012 are running as a slate. They are challenged by a slate of three candidates associated with a group called Costa Mesans for Responsible Government who oppose outsourcing and the charter. Obviously this a battle based largely on labor issues.

City of Brentwood (San Francisco Bay Area, in Contra Costa County)

In the City of Brentwood, unions are trying to keep Mayor Bob Taylor in office. Taylor voted in 2009 and 2010 to require contractors to sign a Project Labor Agreement to build the city’s civic center and associated parking garage. I wrote about this race in Electrical Workers Union Tries to Salvage Political Career of City of Brentwood Mayor Robert Taylor (Bob Taylor) and Contra Costa Times Recognizes Fiscally Responsible Candidates for Brentwood City Council: Endorsements EXCLUDE Project Labor Agreement Supporters.

Who Paid the Bills for the Mailers Opposing the Proposed Charter (Measure I-12) in Grover Beach? No One.

The No on Measure I-12 campaign created a web site and sent two mailers to voters in the City of Grover Beach urging them to vote against Measure I-12, which would enact a charter for the City of Grover Beach. What does it reveal about this mysterious campaign?

Campaign Finance Report No on I-12 Charter for Grover Beach Expenditures

Campaign Finance Report No on I-12 Charter for Grover Beach Expenditures

No on Measure I-12 submitted a campaign finance report through October 20, 2012 to the City of Grover Beach that indicates expenditures of $4,369: $3750 to Allied Printing Company in Sacramento and $619 to Valencia Design Studio in San Francisco.

Campaign Finance Report No on I-12 Charter for Grover Beach - Union Donors

Campaign Finance Report No on I-12 Charter for Grover Beach – Union Donors

Only $2500 has come in for the campaign so far: $1500 from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local Union No. 639 and $1000 from the Plumbers and Steamfitters Local Union No. 403. Looks like there’s some debt to be paid!

Who’s going to wait until after the election to pay off the debt? How clever…

Campaign Mailer Opposing the Proposed Grover Beach Charter: Definitely NOT Photocopied at Dave’s Copies & Fax

UPDATE (October 22, 2012): here is the latest information from the Grover Beach City Clerk’s office regarding campaign finance reports for the mailers against Measure I-12:

From: Donna McMahon
Sent: Monday, October 22, 2012 12:00 PM
To: Kevin Dayton
Subject: RE: Request for campaign reports (Form 460s) filed to oppose Measure I-12

Dear Mr. Dayton:

Good morning. The Committee opposed to Measure I-12 has no Form 460 on file with the City Clerk’s Office. The Assistant Treasurer (Mr. Cory Black) was at City Hall on October 16th and stated that the Committee had not spent or raised more than $1,000 for the filing period that ended on September 30, 2012.

I will request the October 1-October 20 campaign finance report of this committee opposing the charter (Measure I-12) on October 26 (the day after the next filing deadline).

UPDATE (October 20, 2012): the mysterious campaign committee opposing Measure I-12 – the proposed charter in Grover Beach – has posted its two mailers on its web site:


An article in www.CalCoastNews.com (Grover Beach Democrats Blast Party Leader Over Flyer – www.CalCoastNews.com – October 16, 2012) reports the following on the mailers:

Two Democratic candidates for the Grover Beach City Council are accusing San Luis Obispo Democratic Central Committee leaders of making false statements in a flyer that aims to persuade voters to reject Measure I-12…

A Sacramento businessman who printed the flyers and a San Francisco designer who created the No on Grover Beach I-12 website refused to disclose the person or people behind the committee…

The anti-measure I-12 flyer also appears to violate disclosure rules. While the flyer asks Grover Beach residents to join the San Luis Obispo Democratic Party and the Tri-Counties Building & Construction Trade Council in voting no on Measure I-12, it does not clearly identify who is behind the mailer as required by law. Instead, small print that blends into the flyer says it was paid for by No on Grover Beach I-12, a group that Grover Beach City Clerk Donna McMahon said has failed to file with the city…

Business as usual.

Irony In Grover Beach - union special interests ARE meddling in the city with this mailer.

Wow! I never heard of a grassroots movement of ordinary citizens in a town of 13,000 producing anything like this before. (They didn’t. But we are meant to think they did.)

Irony In Grover Beach - union special interests ARE meddling in the city.

Irony In Grover Beach – union special interests ARE meddling in the city with this mailer.

This slick campaign mailer in Grover Beach opposing the proposed charter (Measure I-12) on the November 6, 2012 ballot reminds me of the following dialogue in the movie Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope:


The speeder stops before what remains of the huge Jawas Sandcrawler. Luke and Ben walk among the smoldering rubble and scattered bodies.


It looks like Sandpeople did this, all right. Look, here are Gaffi sticks, Bantha tracks. It’s just…I never heard of them hitting anything this big before.

Ben is crouching in the sand studying the tracks.


They didn’t. But we are meant to think they did. These tracks are side by side. Sandpeople always ride single file to hide their numbers.


These are the same Jawas that sold us Artoo and Threepio.


And these blast points, too accurate for Sandpeople. Only Imperial stormtroopers are so precise.

Screenplay excerpt from The Internet Movie Script Database (IMSDb) – Star Wars.

California Local Election Report: Three Cities Seek Voter Approval for Home-Rule Charters

Today’s www.CalWatchdog.com (October 16, 2012) has a second article in a series about the 121 charter cities in California and the attempts of additional cities to enact charters and free their municipal affairs from the costly mandates of the California State Legislature. (See Are Charter Cities Taking Advantage of State-Mandated Construction Wage Rate (“Prevailing Wage”) Exemptions?) I am quoted in this article as well as in the first article.

Cities Vying for Local Control on November Ballotwww.CalWatchdog.com – October 16, 2012

But the biggest benefit, according to Kevin Dayton, CEO of Dayton Public Policy Institute, an employment and labor specialist and charter city expert, would be not having to pay prevailing wages on local public works projects. In a recent interview, Dayton said that labor union prevailing wage rates do not accurately reflect the actual industry rates, nor do they accurately reflect the construction industry in all areas within the state…

But the rational discussion about cost effectiveness has turned into an all-out assault. According to Dayton, unions have steamrolled right over smaller cities’ efforts to adopt charters. “Union leaders get very testy when someone points out that a charter city can establish its own policies concerning government-mandated construction wage rates,” Dayton said…

Also, see the first article in the series: Push for Charter Cities Enrages Unionswww.CalWatchdog.com – September 30, 2012

Three cities in California have proposed charters on the November 6, 2012 ballot for voters to approve. Two are medium-sized suburban cities and one is a small beach community. All three charters would give these cities the freedom to establish their own policies concerning government-mandated construction wage rates on purely municipal construction or private construction that gets any form of financial assistance from the city. Here’s the current status of each effort:

1. City of Costa Mesa (Orange County) – population 111,600

In November 2010, Costa Mesa voters elected a 4-1 majority on its city council that wanted to reduce the city’s budget deficit by cutting back on its workforce and contracting out services. Obviously this became a microcosm of the cataclysmic battle over the future of America: smaller government and lower taxes versus bigger government and higher taxes, or, to put it bluntly, free markets and minimalist government versus socialism. As the city council majority found its authority to manage municipal affairs continually suppressed by laws passed by the union-controlled California State Legislature, it decided to present a charter for voters to consider.

The city quickly earned national news media attention for taking on the public employee unions, which aggressively fought outsourcing. Its public meetings attracted every element of the Left intent on preserving and expanding the power and size of government. I have written about the Costa Mesa situation extensively; for more details, see Costa Mesa’s Bold and Meaningful Government Cost-Efficiency Plan on Hold Until November 6, When Citizens Vote on a Proposed Charter (Measure V) and for Three City Council Members.

2. City of Escondido (San Diego County) – population 146,032

Like in Costa Mesa, a 4-1 majority of the Escondido City Council wants to wrest the city from the costly mandates of the union-controlled California State Legislature and get more local control over the city’s budget issues. Opposing this move are unions and other leftist activists (see the Prop V section of the Escondido Democratic Club web site).

Unions tried a clever tactic to derail the charter proposal. As I wrote earlier, the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California engineered a lawsuit against the city based on the California Voting Rights Act of 2001; for more details, see Escondido City Council Votes 4-1 to Approve Proposed Charter for Voters to Consider on November Ballot and California’s Voting Rights Act of 2001: A Weapon for Unions.

3. Grover Beach (San Luis Obispo County) – population 13,275

City councils for a cluster of beach towns on the Central Coast (Pismo Beach, Arroyo Grande, and Grover Beach) have toyed with the idea of passing charters, but Grover Beach was the first to jump. As seen in Costa Mesa and Escondido, unions and certain factions of the Democrat Party are opposing Measure I-12.