Connie Conway replaces Martin Garrick as Assembly GOP leader

November 4, 2010

Flash has the news…


SWEEP… Conservatives take all the “BIG 5” races in San Diego’s November 2010 Election Showdown

November 4, 2010


San Diego’s Right Alliance, a conservative-libertarian coalition, can NOW claim victories in the five most hotly-contested local election battles which came to an end Tuesday.

What a difference two years make! In 2008 it was our turn to mourn close losses for SD City Council, the State Assembly and other key posts.

But 2010 is very different. Here are the “Big 5”, chosen because they drew the most controversy, spending, volunteer labor, and intense conflict between local business and union forces.

In random order, the Big 5 races are:

(1) Lorie Zapf — San Diego City Council 6th district (open seat as Donna Frye termed out). A classic battle between ex-Assemblyman Howard Wayne and businesswoman Lorie Zapf. The Republican Party of San Diego dueled with the Labor Council here, in addition to the candidates’ own very active operations. (Zapf 52.5% ) wins it, 16,787 to 15,217. John Hoy helmed the winning team in an effort to be remembered and carefully studied.

(2) Prop. D — San Diego City proposed 1/2-cent sales tax increase. Gayle Falkenthal and Councilmen Carl DeMaio and Kevin Faulconer took the lead here, engaging their seasoned opponents from the firefighters and police association PACs. It was over when the first returns were posted Tuesday night (62.5% No). Running totals now are 160,154 No votes, to 97,590 Yes.

(3) Supervisor Bill Horn — Every four years local liberals take a run at the tough retired U.S. Marine, and every four years they wake up with a loss. The United Domestic Workers led the attack this time, with the SD Labor Council adding a major radio buy. Tom Shepard and Aimee Remanick guided the Horn effort, ably aided by business independent expenditure efforts. The low point of this campaign was a local magazine cover depicting Horn being flushed down a commode. But election day it was Bill Horn with his hand on the plunger! (Bill Horn 53.4%) Running count: 63,073 for Horn, to 55,117 for Vista councilman Steve Gronke.

(4) Supervisor Ron Roberts — The Kearny High and SDSU grad faced his toughest contest since beating Peter Navarro back in 1994. Stephen Whitburn was the Demo challenger and ran an energetic campaign. The SD Labor Council did a radio buy for him, and midtown liberal activists threw in their weight. Shepard and Remanick guided the Roberts effort here too, and again business groups helped with independent efforts. Roberts’ longtime roots in the district were important in these neighborhoods where your High School affiliation still matters… a lot! (Roberts 57.3%) Running count 57,096 Roberts, vs. 42,537 votes for Whitburn.

(5) Assessor/Recorder/ClerkErnie Dronenburg made a memorable comeback to elective office, challenging appointed Democratic incumbent David Butler, in a race which spanned a full year of competition. After forcing Butler into a runoff in June, Ernie picked up the pivotal endorsement of Jeff Olson, the strong 3rd-place finisher. Dronenburg backed up his beliefs by investing plenty of his own funds in the race. Veteran statesman John Dadian did a yeoman’s job assisting Ernie along the way with wise counsel. Republican veteran Dronenburg now has a career campaign won-loss record of 8 wins, 0 losses. (Dronenburg 51.2%), 255,780 votes to 244,408.

Republican Party of San Diego Role

Credit to the Republican Party of San Diego for endorsing all five of these candidates and causes, and then getting the word out to rank-and-file Republicans. Hat Tip to Tony Krvaric and Barrett Tetlow for their jobs. Very well done.

Election Post-Mortem with Gonzalez, Faulconer & Roe

November 3, 2010

By Erica Holloway

With the Election Night sugar-plum fairies still swirling in my head, I’m surprisingly eager for more jawing even after a marathon two hours live blogging for our cool folks at San Diego CityBeat.

Thankfully, I and all of you will get your chance to hear about the media strategy side of politics from some folks in the know at a PRSA Politics in PR: Winners & Losers in the November Election on Nov. 10 starting at 11:30 at The Yardhouse. Register before Nov. 5 and save $5.

The panelists include:

* Kevin Faulconer, San Diego City Councilmember
* Lorena Gonzalez, Secretary-Treasurer/CEO, San Diego & Imperial Counties, Labor Council, AFL-CIO
* Jason Roe, Managing Partner, Revolvis Consulting

Follow me @erica_holloway.

113,000 SD mail ballots still to count…close races to watch for Escondido Council and County Assessor

November 3, 2010

by Jim Sills

There are an estimated 113,000 absentee/mail ballots still to be tabulated in San Diego county over the next week.  Here are two close contests which could be affected.

Readers are invited to add other cliff-hangers from other races in the “Comments” section available below.

Escondido City Council

It’s pretty clear Sam Abed will be Escondido’s next mayor and that “SD Rostra” blogger Marie Waldron is a runaway winner for a new city council term.   Congratulations to them.

But the last of three council seats at stake is a 47-vote squeaker now beteeen former councilman Ed Gallo (7,299) and out-going Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler (7,252).   The lead changed hands there a few times on election night.

SD Rostra estimates there are about 3,500 Escondido ballots still to process, and that is enough to maintain the suspense for a while longer.

County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk

Republican Ernie Dronenburg leads Democratic incumbent David Butler by 11,372 votes.   Butler would need to take 55 percent of the 113,000 votes still out, which is possible, but statistically not very likely.

CPPR requests investigation of County Planning Commissioner

November 3, 2010

This was sent to the County Board of Supervisors today, by Fred Schnaubelt, president of CPPR…

Citizens for Private Property Rights has requested investigations of Planning Commission Chairman Michael Beck, and the Planning Department and Office of the County Counsel for possible aiding and abetting a Conflict of Interest which could render the new General Plan Update void. Requests recently went to The Grand Jury, Fair Political Practices Commission, District Attorney, U.S. Attorney and California Attorney General. The conflict of interest complaint regarding Government Code 1090 was lodged against Planning Commission Chairman Michael Beck who is also the highest paid member of The Endangered Habitats Conservancy (EHC).

No Tidal Wave in CA…Popaditch one example of missed opportunity

November 3, 2010

by Steve Baldwin

The most striking thing that occurred during yesterday’s tidal wave is how California was seemingly ignored by the voter revolt; yes, we had millions of angry voters but the unions here in California are clearly in control and remain so. No new seats were picked up in either state legislative house and, as of this writing, our congressional victories were meager.

The Tea Party movement in California did very little to change that landscape. Moreover, the leading San Diego County Tea Party candidate, Nick Popaditch, made so many critical errors in his campaign that his loss last night could have been projected a month ago. A Bob Filner defeat was possible but without an effective absentee voter effort, the Popaditch campaign essentially ignored half the vote. And refusing to return questionnaires sent to him by the NRA and Right to Life — even though he was both pro life and pro-gun — led national pro life groups and the NRA to ignore that race.

The NRA had desired to go in and organize their 5,000 members in that distinct but when Popaditch turned his questionnaire in three weeks beyond the deadline, it was too late for the NRA to send a single piece of mail into his district as they normally do with endorsed candidates.

There were independent expenditure groups willing to dump money in this race but couldn’t get polling results early enough and when the Popaditch campaign did do a poll, it was too late and not shared with people having the ability to get resources to his race. Too bad, the poll showed the race as competitive at one point. Popaditch’s failure to hire anyone on his campaign team that knew anything about running a campaign doomed his effort from the beginning.

There are many lessons here for the Tea Party movement which I intend to address in another posting.

Thoughts on the Results…Updates throughout the night (and into the morning)

November 2, 2010

As collected by Barry Jantz

Noon Wednesday…from Scott Barnett, winner of a seat on the SD Unified School Board…

“I am excited about the results but fully understand the huge task that lies ahead of me. I am going to concentrate like a laser on reforming the finances and management of this District. Despite cuts from the state, we still have a $1 billion budget and I am confident we can manage it better and improve the quality of education to our students.”

10:21 am Wednesday…from Bryan Bloom, Priority Moving…

“Californians are best known for riding waves except political ones. We are the only state that allows the Democrats complete control of the government, even after they have proven they cannot effectively govern.

“We have earned our reputation again as kooks, as voters turned down virtually every proposition to increase taxes or government spending yet voted in leaders at every level known for increasing taxes or government spending. Thus my neighbor doesn’t want his taxes increased, just mine. Get ready for more gridlock, more exodus from the state of jobs and wealth, and brace for increased wasteful spending and higher taxes and unemployment.”

10 am Wednesday…See Steve Baldwin’s post on the Tea Party and Nick Popaditch…

No tidal wave in Ca — Popaditch one example of missed opportunity

9:37 am Wednesday..From Mason Weaver..

“This was not an election, this was a RESTRAINING ORDER.”

11:15 pm…From John Hoy, Lorie Zapf’s consultant…

“Lorie’s numbers are definitely moving in the right direction. We finished strong so I am now in the cautiously optimistic category.”

(Zapf was leading 51-49 percent at the time.)

10:40 pm…from Nathan Fletcher…

“We’re very pleased with the outcome of our election and we are going to continue working to encourage job creation and serve the people of San Diego, Poway, and Escondido at the State Capitol.”

10:36 pm…from Diana Palacios…

“We may have lost the Hispanic vote tonight in the California Governor’s and Senatorial races but overall it was a huge night for Hispanic Republicans. Hispanic GOP candidates picked up two key Congressional seats in Texas, the Florida Senate seat, and New Mexicans elected the first female Hispanic Governor in our nation’s history. Republicans should be very proud of the bridges that were built tonight.”

9:57 pm…from Jim Sills…

“This is the election cycle in which SD Rostra came into its own.

“As individuals, and as a group, we helped win victories for low taxes, local control, and curbing pension excesses.

“The Press Club named us ‘Best San Diego Topic-Based Blog’, and tonight we showed why that honor is deserved. Well done to all Rostra-farians!”

9:26 pm…from Carl DeMaio…

“We are thrilled that the initial returns show a solid defeat of Prop D’s city tax increase. I’m gathering with our supporters here at Golden Hall to celebrate this win for taxpayers!”

9:12 pm…from Janette Littler…

“Um, so Keith, are you still sticking to your message that public safety associations are not unions???!”

9:08 pm…from Lani Lutar, SDCTA…

“2011 will be the year of compensation reform. Voters have sent a clear message to their elected officials: reform, reform, reform!”

9:08 pm…on the Prop A victory…

“This is a historic victory for fair and open competition in government contracting. This opens the door for more job opportunities for more San Diego workers, both union and non-union.”

-Brad Barnum, Associated General Contractors of San Diego

“The real winners tonight are the San Diego County taxpayers. Prop A guarantees more competittion among local construction companies. When contractors compete, the taxpayers win.”

-Scott Crosby, President – Associated Builders and Contractors of San Diego

8:30 pm…From Jim Sills…

The absentee votes posted include over 300,000 mail ballots tabulated.

They represent between 35% and 40% of ALL the votes which will be counted in San Diego this November.

So a candidate who has a substantial now is in pretty good shape.

BILL HORN and RON ROBERTS are almost surely headed back to the Supervisors for new 4-year terms.

MARIE WALDRON has won a new council term in Escondido.

BRIAN JONES and JOEL ANDERSON have won in East County for AD 77 and SD 36.

PROP. D now stands for “Done”.

Congrats to Local Boys

November 2, 2010


SD resident Jason Roe and partner Duane Dichiara score TWO House seat “takeaways” tonight in the state of Florida.

SANDY ADAMS topples Suszanne Kosmas in Florida 24 by a 60% – 40% landslide.

DANIEL WEBSTER ousts controversial Alan Grayson 56% to 38% over in Florida 8.

Roe and Dichiara helped each candidate win tough GOP primaries to get there in August.

Well done to Jason and DDD!

Live Election Night Blog Featuring Rostra Folks

November 2, 2010

By Erica Holloway

Our lively, lefty friends over at San Diego CityBeat once again play host for a LIVE Election Night blog Tuesday – and this time, it’s featuring a few of Rostra’s finest including panelists Republican operative Diana Palacios and the North County Times’ Bradley J. Fikes and one other chick as a guest (her name escapes me).

Be sure to add the stream to your respective war rooms for some juicy chatter from Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, Democrat political operative Chris Crotty, Voice of San Diego’s Liam Dillon and more. They’ll be chewing the political fat over everything from the local savory leavings of media-ink cash cow Proposition D to the flipping of the U.S. House – and possibly Senate – safely back in the hands of the GOP’s Cigarette Smoking Man.

Watch the conversation starting at 6 p.m. and feel free to jump in the mix with something witty, clever or insightful at Use the hashtag #sdvote on Twitter.

Follow this chick @erica_holloway.

Have any predictions?

November 2, 2010

Share your predictions for tonight in the comments section below…