Wednesday, November 3, 2010
We speak to representatives on both sides of the Proposition D debate about how the city will move forward now that the proposal has failed. Hear from the new city councilman for the 8th District, David Alvarez. And, we talk to County Supervisors, Bill Horn and Ron Roberts, who were re-elected last night. Also, learn more about the propositions that will change California government.
We speak to representatives on both sides of the Proposition D debate about how the city will move forward now that the proposal has failed. Hear from the new city councilman for the 8th District, David Alvarez. And, we talk to County Supervisors, Bill Horn and Ron Roberts, who were re-elected last night. Also, learn more about the propositions that will change California government.
Gloria Penner, KPBS Political Correspondent and host of Editors Roundtable and San Diego Week.
Todd Gloria, San Diego City Councilmember representing the 3rd District.
Carl DeMaio, San Diego City Councilmember representing the 5th District.
David Alvarez, San Diego City Councilmember-elect for District 8.
Ron Roberts, San Diego County Supervisor for District 4.
Bill Horn, San Diego County Supervisor for District 5.
Joanne Faryon, KPBS reporter and producer of the Envision San Diego documentary "The Marijuana State".
Tom Fudge, KPBS News Reporter, and author of the "On-Ramp" blog on KPBS.org.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Why do you think it failed?
CARL DEMAIO: Well, I think obviously the economy is quite difficult right now, I think that general voter sentiment really across the country has been one of wanting to see change, and this probably wasn't the best political environment for us. But it doesn't alter the financial circumstances the city finds itself in, which is that we have a $72 million budget gap that will come due on July 1st, and we are looking at substantial cuts for core services. And -- but that's really been our game plan for the last five years or so, and the magic wand is not gonna be there to relieve what will be, I think painful cuts to neighborhoods.
GLORIA PENNER: Before we talk about what does this really been for the City of San Diego, gentlemen, many people are interpreting the GOP sweep last night, and it was a sweep especially in the house, as a call for smaller government. Carl, do you see that applying to San Diego as well.
CARL DEMAIO: I wasn't characterize it as a sweep, certainly as it relates to Prop D. We believe, by the gay, Gloria, that we carried every single council district in this election on D according to our poling. We really feel it's not smaller government but smarter government. San Diegans want government to work again. They don't want the pot holes and the cuts to services and library hours and police staff. We need to really see that as our man date, and I would say to my colleague, we need to change the playbook from the past five years. Service cuts are not the answer. We need to tackle pension reform, the cost of the operating, labor contract, open up the city services to computation, and most personal think about employing new ways of delivering services. We have to really rethink the service delivery model at city hall in a that you feel and comprehensive manner.
GLORIA PENNER: Are you saying, then, Carl, that no additional revenues are needed that we really can work within the revenue structure that we have?
CARL DEMAIO: Gloria, and Maureen, from day one of this campaign, I have said that not only could we balance the budget without tax increases but we could also balance the budgets without cuts in police and fire services which we know are priorities for San Diego residents. On Friday at 10:00 o'clock at city haul I will be releasing a roadmap to reform, it's a five-year plan that balances the FY12 budget without cuts to police and fire, it also, Gloria and Maureen, puts on the table $3 million in restored funding for fire stations that have been browned out, and we accomplished these budgets -- this budget, the balancing of the budget through trimming nonessential services like arts and culture programming, requiring that the city council and the mayor cut their budgets ten percent, we have over a hundred and 20 political staff working for the mayor and city council. And finally it involves the implementation of a number of pension reforms to cut our over all pension costs by 20 percent over five years, and all of these reforms, by the way, have been signed off by the city attorney, they are legally documented, and all we need are five votes on the city council to make these pension reforms a reality.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Carl DeMaio, I'm sure that people will be analyzing that budget very carefully when you release it on Friday. Counsel man Gloria, I'm wondering, Carl DeMaio just said that in order to pay tribute to the people who did vote for Prop D, that there should be a guarantee that no public safety cuts are made in order to be able to satisfy the $70 million deficit that the city faces. Do you think that that can be done?
TODD GLORIA: Well, that's a nice goal to have, and I certainly understand and acknowledge that public safety is our top priority, and that was why I supported Prop D, because if Prop D had passed, we would have been able to make sure that we did not make any reductions to public safety. If you do take public services off of the table, that money has to come from somewhere. And even when the mayor was contemplating cuts to police and fire, you're looking at the closure of libraries, how many more rec centers do you close, how much more street revision? The money has to come from somewhere, and I think what we were trying to articulate is that we want to be very forthright with the public, and you can't do Sacramento style budget shell games where you promise that, you know, you can have your cake and eat it too. There was never a representation that Proposition D was not tough medicine. It certainly is. But you know, it was responding to what I always hear in my community, you asked the question earlier about the role of government. No constituent has ever told me that their library's open too much, that their park is maintained too well, or the firefighter gets to the door too quickly. What I typically hear is that people want more services. At the end of the day, we have a $72 million problem on July 1st, and that's gonna get resolved one way or the other. And I believe that many of the reforms that Mr. DeMaio will reveal on Friday will be not be implementable by July 1st.
GLORIA PENNER: Now that preparation D has gone down to defeat, what's gonna happen to those ten proposed reforms? I know some of them have been implemented or started. What about the others?
TODD GLORIA: Some are on their way now, managed competition, we had two competitive bids that are out. And we'll continue down that road. The thing about Prop D was it was the opportunity to expedite those ten reforms that the tax could not be levied until the ten reforms were in place. And really it was an enforcing mechanism to get those done quickly. I believe the council and the mayor will continue down that path and get them done as quickly as possible. But even all those ten reforms issue the true savings are in the out years. You need people to retire from the new pension system, to get the cost savings from the old one. Those are years down the line, and we need a solution by July 1st.
GLORIA PENNER: Carl, we have those ten reforms still on the table according to councilman Gloria, and then we have whatever reforms that will be part of your budget package. Will they be blended? Will they be in competition? What will happen there?
CARL DEMAIO: I think what we've done with the roadmap to recovery plan we're rolling out on Friday, we've taken some of the reforms from Prop D as a starting point, and we've looked At how to more comprehensively reduce our pension liability. How do we really get the low hanging savings from managed competition, and we've been very conservative on our estimates, in fact, in most cases we're using the city's only financial estimates for what cost savings could be implemented. So I would just urge my colleague as I called on the mayor and the council last night, we have to stop saying we can't do things. We have to start embracing creative ideas, working together, putting everything on the table, and having more of a can- do attitude in city government. So let's have a race to the top. How many ideas can city leaders come up with to improve cost efficiency, to improve our service delivery model? Let's get them all implemented. Let's put ourselves under an accountability system to produce results and if we have that sort of approach and team work at city haul, I believe he will be able to create a city government that we can be proud of again.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Well, I want to thank you both, gentlemen, I know you both had very long nights last night. Thank you for being with us this morning. That was San Diego city councilman Carl DeMaio and councilman Todd Gloria. And we're speaking of the San Diego City council, and the lineup is going to be different on the council because of yesterday's vote. Gloria, Donna Frye's seat will be filled by Laurie Zapf.
GLORIA PENNER: Yes, and Lorie Zapf is the first Republican to be elected to San Diego City Council. With Lorie Zapf, there will be three Republicans on the eight-person council. Of course that council will grow after the new year when the ninth council district is brought in. But at this point, starting in, I guess January is when she will take her seat. It will be three Republicans and six Democrats. But even more personal, there will be another more than representing business. Because business supported Lorie Zapf, and at this point, we are a labor heavy city council with a lot of labor backing, a lot of labor affiliation, a lot of prolabor votes. So that may make may difference on the council this year.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: One of the things people were saying about that District six race is how much money was spent by both Howard wane, who was running against Lorie Zapf, and Lorie Zapf. And I guess one of them saw that money pay off. But that was nearly a million dollars.
GLORIA PENNER: It was, it was at least $800,000. And that's quite a bit for a city council race. So this was a lot at stake there. And it was interesting to see the -- the support that came through for both of them. It was fervent support. It wasn't mild support. Howard Wayne backers really pulled out all stops if are him, as did Lorie Zapf backers. And of course she won.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And we know that's a swing district. So this time, it swung Republican.
GLORIA PENNER: Yes, it did.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: We have to take a short break, and when we return, we will welcome councilman elect Alvarez from district 8 and talk about the winners of the supervisors race in San Diego county. You're listening to These Days on KPBS.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I'm Maureen Cavanaugh and you're listening to These Days on KPBS. We're talking about election results in San Diego. And we have been talking about the San Diego City council, we're about to move on to district eight, and welcome the new councilman elect, David Alvarez, who won that seat over his challenger, Felipe Hueso. And good morning, councilman Alvarez.
DAVID ALVAREZ: Good morning, Maureen. How are you?
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I'm well. I want to introduce, of course, KPBS political correspondent Gloria Penner who joins me in studio. So, Councilman elect Alvarez, how does it feel that you will be the next council representative for district eight?
DAVID ALVAREZ: Well, it's a great feeling. I think overwhelming support, results showed it last night. And I'm ready to get to work. And I'm hoping that this -- the work begins as soon as possible because there's so much to do in our city.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Now, what will be your first priorities when you take office in January. ?
DAVID ALVAREZ: Well, I believe actually it'll be in December.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Oh, I'm sorry, yes, you're absolutely right.
DAVID ALVAREZ: Well, up, one of the first things that hopefully will start to get addressed is this budget shortfall that I'm facing inure city. And I'm hoping that we can put together a coalition on the council, people who are gonna be willing to make some tough choices and tough sacrifices in order to create a real solution, a permanent solution to our structural budget deficit. So that's definitely top priority.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: If I remember correctly when you were here for your debate, you were a supporter of Proposition D. Of; is that correct?
DAVID ALVAREZ: That's correct.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And so what do you think the city faces now with this projected $72 million budget deficit and no additional revenue.
DAVID ALVAREZ: Again like I said, it's gonna be really, really painful, some tough cuts, I'm hoping that the current council steps up as soon as possible to address these. It's not longer time to be waiting. They could have been taking action on this a long time ago. We know about this coming for a while. And I do hope that the message is clear now that we have to get going on some -- making some real reforms that are gonna be long lasting but also making some really tough, difficult painful cuts to the services that people really care about in our city. And we cannot continue to close down libraries and parks and not fill our pot holes. So it's gonna be tough, but I hope that the council begins to act on this very, very quickly because some of these measures can go into effect soon. Some of them will require longer discussion, and will have to happen over the course of the next couple of months. But I'm looking forward to bringing people together. That's what my campaign was about, bringing people together. And having broad support from the whole, entire political spectrum. And I'm looking forward to bringing those people to the table to find some solutions.
GLORIA PENNER: You know, Mr. Alvarez, it's interesting where people emerge from. Of course Felipe Hueso who ran against you was known because of his relationship with his brother, Ben Hueso who has gone on to the assembly race. You came out of office of councilman -- or rather state senator Denise Ducheny. And you're known as an activist. How do you plan to become an activist for the people of district eight? Because they're the ones who elected you.
DAVID ALVAREZ: Absolutely, I'm glad you mentioned that, because sometimes what gets lost in this conversation is that I'm a member of the city council and making decisions for the entire city, which is entirely the case. But the people of district eight, I think were very, very clear that they wanted to go in a new district. They wanted a fresh start for this district. They wanted to elect someone who was gonna get to work on the issues that impact our neighborhood. We go all the way from the border, in golden hill, basically to downtown San Diego. They all have their unique needs and desires. It's gonna take a lot of work with our community to make sure we want to bring about the changes and the programs we want to see, the economic development, the job creation. It's an amazing district, so diverse, and there's so much opportunities and I'm just excited about the chance we have to make long lasting change in this district and also for the region and for San Diego.
GLORIA PENNER: What is it that you would do that would be different from your predecessor? From ben Hueso? He did move up to become president of the city council which is quite a distinguished position. But what would you do differently for your district than he did?
DAVID ALVAREZ: You know, again, going back to your previous question, I really want to focus on my communities and neighborhoods in district eight which have been neglected for a long language time. That message was loud and clear from voters when I was talking to them, walking door to door, we had a succession of politicians who get elected to the seat, going back 20 years now, where they basically each select who their council member is gonna be, and this is a drastic change in that. It's because people want to see who's gonna be accountable to them and their needs. And like I said, our neighborhoods are so diverse, and each individual needs individualized attention and focus to see the things that people want to see get done. So my focus will be first and foremost on the people of district 8 and the neighborhoods of district eight. And most definitely on the challenges facing our city and how that impacts district 8 directly.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: David Alvarez, congratulations on your victory in district eight, and thanks for joining us this morning.
DAVID ALVAREZ: Thank you both. Have a great morning.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Okay. Great. Thank you. Moving on now to San Diego County, Gloria, the two incumbents on the county board of supervisors have retained their seats. Ron Roberts over Steven Whitburn. And supervisor Roberts, welcome to These Days.
RON ROBERTS: Good morning, Maureen.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Congratulations.
RON ROBERTS: Thank you, it seems like it was just a few days since I was there in the studio with you. And it's a beautiful day here.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I asked you during your debate here what message that the voters sent in June when they decided on term limits for the supervisor I'm going to ask you, what message do you think the voters sent by reelecting you to district four.
RON ROBERTS: Well, it would certainly bear contradictory if you think about it, but I think the voters in district four, they're appreciating the fact that county government is really a model for the way that local government should be run. We're providing more services, we're creating jobs, we're doing things in the neighborhoods of the people that I think people truly appreciate.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: What are your goals if for your next term on the county board of supervisors? This is your 5th term.
RON ROBERTS: It is, and I still have some -- there are some major things. I think I shared with you, I have an incredible fondness for something called the San Pasqual academy that we've been working on every single year, and you'll gonna continue to do that. I've got some other things that we're gonna continue to do out on that campus. But another large project that we'll be bringing forward that not only has the possibility of creating jobs for people, but I think will create a very important public space, and that's the long talked about waterfront park that would occupy the county, or Pacific highway location along with the county administration building. I think you'll see that coming forward here very soon.
GLORIA PENNER: Ron, it's Gloria.
RON ROBERTS: Hi, Gloria.
GLORIA PENNER: Hi. You upon, it's interesting you won with a substantial margin. I didn't see the final figures, but it looked like it was about 56 percent of the votes that you got. Is that about right.
RON ROBERTS: Yeah, I think it was somewhere 56, 57. It was -- yeah, it was very -- for me, I'm very complemented. But as I say, you know, it gives you the energy to work even harder.
GLORIA PENNER: Well, I'm wondering if it will give you the energy to do something else. Because you won in a district that has a democratic registration. Of and you are very clearly a Republican, moderate Republican, but you are a Republican. Let's ask the question.
RON ROBERTS: Sure.
GLORIA PENNER: Are you ready after all of these wins, when your time is up on the county board of supervisors, because certainly term limits is gonna kick in, in what? Ten years? Maybe eight.
RON ROBERTS: No, actually for me it would be eight years.
GLORIA PENNER: Eight years, okay. Higher office?
RON ROBERTS: You know Gloria, the problem, a couple problems. Number one, I officer what I'm doing. I've got some cheer goals of things I want to get done, I like working on kids' programs, I like working with seniors and I really don't like partisan government. It's -- you know, I just -- you know, I don't like the lineup. I'm not a rank and file person so to speak. I like to be able to -- nonpartisan office, which is what it's supposed to be. And you need to know, this is the first time I've seen in San Diego County where you had a candidate putting his political party on his posters and everything else. I've never seen that. And I hope what this election tells you, it's a repudiation of trying to turn nonpartisan seats into partisan elections.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And Ron Roberts, you mentioned in a quote that we had on morning edition this morning, and you just mentioned it now, the fact that this has energized you. And people wonder if you had this boundless energy to keep it up and go to all these meetings and campaign the way you did. Are you looking at this new term as an energetic one for you.
RON ROBERTS: Yeah, absolutely. Well, for me, the energy comes from the people I work with, and getting things done. At the end of the day when you see kids whose lives are gonna be distinctly improved or people that you have helped, and maybe it's, you know, their partisan jobs programs you've worked on, or seniors. I go to the senior center pretty regularly. And it's just -- you know, you feed on that. I think Emerson's explanation of success is that, you know, you've changed a life for the better. And I feel very good about that. And I like connecting directly with the people. You know, you're helping people, you're seeing those people and you're seeing the results. I'm gonna be a speaker here in Washington DC in a few couple weeks. I've been invited by one of the local kids' groups to be a speaker at Georgetown University on the kids' programs that we've launched here. And things like pro kids' golf, and San Pasqual academy, and the barns tennis center, and I think any elected official would be very proud to have one of those in his or her resume, and I've got a flock of them. And it just, you know, yeah, I've got -- I have the energy. No doubt about it.
GLORIA PENNER: Ron before we have to leave, I must ask you this, you know the economy is not showing great signs of improvement and more and more people in San Diego are feeling the pain. Many people are being foreclose the out of their homes and out on the streets. And so we have a big homeless situation. We have a lot of people who really need public assistance. How much of your energy are you going to use to find adequate public assistance for the people of the county of San Diego who are suffering.
RON ROBERTS: Well, we're working hard on that. I think, you know, you're starting to recognize that three years ago when we set out to reform the food stamps program, we've now -- we're up 79 percent when I last looked. We're working for closely with the food bank, we're providing county services, we've got a number of different homeless projects that are under way, including construction of some new facilities over on 5th, and I think it's Beech street. There's a lot that the county's doing. We're spending 50 million a year directly on homeless service, and probably over a helped and 60 million when you look at directs and indirects. And I'm concerned because we have a state that's in a financial melt dun. And I'm more concerned not so much about the county but from the added pressures that may be passed down to us as they cut programs across will board in various areas. We were looking at something in child care just the other day that is an extremely important aspect of what needs to be done to get people, you know, women and men whose kids if they're going to go to working we've gotta have some solutions for them. And we have the state cutting down major programs. So there's a lot of challenges out there, but I'm not gonna use the economy as an excuse. We're gonna try to, again, maintain our posture as a county that knows how to deliver services.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Supervisor Roberts, congratulations. Thanks for joining us this morning.
RON ROBERTS: Thanks to you both.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And we move now to supervisor Bill Horn who won his challenge to a 5th term on the San Diego County board of supervisors. He won over challenger Steve Gronke, and supervisor horn, good morning, congratulations.
BILL HORN: Good morning. Thank you very much.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Now, I'm wondering what are some of your main goals for your 5th term.
BILL HORN: Well, first let me start out by thanking my volunteers and my family, and The People of North County supported us. I really do appreciate that. I think one of the reasons we won the voter support is because of what Ron just said, we've been a very balanced county, we've balanced our billions every year without raising taxes and we can maintain that healthy. And I think the reserves that we have, and the fiscally sound policies that we put in place were are one of the reasons that we were able to win. I think -- we have, you know, both Ron and I have a 16-year track record. And we're proud of the record, and we're proud of the things we've been able to do for the taxpayers of the county of San Diego. Public safety is a top priority for me in my district. I have a number of gangs on the 73 corridor, in the various cities, Oceanside, San Marcos, Vista, Escondido, and it's very important to us that we continue that investment in the sheriff's department and the fire authority. I think that folks in North County recognize that they are safer. So anyway, it was very gratifying. It was a tough race. The -- I think what the voters said yesterday proposition A, which I had put on the ballot, you know, won by over 75 percent.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Right. I was gonna ask you about that. It won a big victory.
BILL HORN: 75 percent.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Why do you think it passed by such a large margin?
BILL HORN: I think people understood the message. You shouldn't have to join a union to bid on government contracts. And I think it was just putting into the county charter a very sound fiscal policy that the board has been practicing for years, but it puts it in so that it can't be changed without a volt of the people. As you know, in my race, the unions spent over a hundred and $20,000 to get rid of me. And I just don't think -- I think the public saw through that. They don't like the union buying these seats, and fortunately for us they don't have a seat on the board yet. And so we're gonna be able to maintain ourselves. If you look at the economies of both the state and the City of San Diego, unfortunately the unions are in charge. And so I don't see any major cuts happening. That's another thing. I don't represent the assistant district attorney of San Diego, but Prop D, the sales tax, I think what the people said to the city council is, you find another way to do this. It's not that the public's not concerned, they're very concerned. Of and I think that's what this election nationwide was about, including the county of San Diego. People are concerned how government is spending their money. And I think as far as the county goes, and you just talked to Ron, I think we're in good shape, and we'll continue that March.
GLORIA PENNER: Supervisor Horn, before you leave, it's Gloria penner, I just wanted to get something based on what you just said. Certainly the people reflected the fact that there is a way of governing that doesn't appeal to them. They don't seem to enjoy this versus kind of approach where you have Republicans versus Democrats, labor versus business. And that it might be a good thing for coming together. I'm just wondering from what you said, do you think this dichotomy, this opposition between labor and business is going to continue to define San Diego? Or do you think there's a way for labor and business to become cooperative?
BILL HORN: Well, I think you're gonna have to give -- labor's gonna have to realize that they're in an untenable situation in the long run. One of the reasons the county was able to make adjustments to our retirement system a couple years ago, or a year and a half ago was because labor -- I mean, we just laid out the scenario, we either go broke or we fix the problem. And I think we haven't come to that yet in the city. But I think that the unions are gonna have to realize, you know, three quarters of a pie is a whole lot better than no pie. And business is hurting right now. I think what you've heard from the electorate is no more taxes. And I happen to be of the opinion, always have been, the government gets enough money. It just spends it in the wrong way. And I'm very proud of the county. We're able to run that balance that's kind of like a guitar with the string tuned just right to make sure it works.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Supervisor Horn, we have to leave you right now, but I want to thank you so much for being with us, and congratulations once again.
BILL HORN: Thank you very much. You have a great day.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Thank you. You do the same. We will continue our recap of election results in San Diego after this short break. You're listening to These Days on KPBS.
I'm Maureen Cavanaugh and you're listening to These Days on KPBS. I'm joined in studio by KPBS political correspondent Gloria Penner, KPBS reporter Joanne Faryon, and KPBS reporter Tom Fudge who is also author of the blog on-ramp at KPBS.ORG. We are talking about election results in San Diego. And Gloria, let's move on to school bonds. Because I'll tell you, not only was Prop D voted down last night, but for the San Diego unified school district, prop J also failed the test. Tell us a little bit about that.
GLORIA PENNER: It did. Proposition J would have placed a $98 a year parcel tax on all properties, a little less on apartments. And that would have been a five-year tax, I believe a five-year tax am and the whole point was to prevent massive teacher lay off it is and reducing kindergarten to half a day. Cuts in math and science and English, nurses gone, janitors gone, librarians gone, counselors gone, and it failed. It needed two thirds and it didn't make it. So there will not be any parcel tax. The people of the San Diego unified school district said no, you gotta figure out something else. Now what's gonna be figured out is still to be determined. But that's not -- it's not a good sign for the people who work in that district.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: The south bay school district too, prop O had another parcel tax on the ballot. Did that get the two thirds?
GLORIA PENNER: No, that didn't get it either. So it sounds as though the community is not ready to tax themselves for the purpose of keeping the schools on an equitable basis 678 maybe not even improving the schools. Upon but certainly not seeing the schools deteriorate. However, those that did pass were the school bond issues. And that's very interesting. Many of them passed, actually. Proposition K in San Marcos, proposition L in Julian, Tahesa, proposition M, and proposition P in Encinitas. But a school bond issue wasn't really felt by people almost because it becomes part of paying it back as part of your property tax. And generally, in most cases, it just means that your property tax is gonna stay at the same rate. Because earlier school bond issues were passed, and the property tax had been increased maybe 5, 10 years ago, well, rather than it going back to the same lower rate it was before that original school bond passed, it's just going to stay the same rate. So you do have new schools being built in some areas like San Marcos, new science buildings in other areas, and the school bonds made it. The parcel taxes didn't.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Parcel taxes did not. Let's move on to a big state proposition that a lot of people thought was really gonna change things in California, Joanne Faryon, voters reflected prop 19.
TOM FUDGE: Prop 19 went up in smoke, man.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Thank you Tom.
JOANNE FARYON: I heard that a hundred times last night.
TOM FUDGE: It was a hundred and 1.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: So what did opponents of the measure tell you about the defeat last night Joanne.
JOANNE FARYON: They've basically said what they have been saying all along. Because of the way Prop 19 was written, there were two parts. The first part said small amounts for recreational use is legal. The second part left it up to cities and counties to regulate commercial marijuana sales, to license commercial marijuana sales and finally to tax it. It would be up to every city and every county. Those opposed to Prop 19 said that's where the problem lied in this proposition. And that it was confusing, that it would cost money. By leaving it up to 73s and counties issue you would have to create whole new -- entirely new bureaucracies just to regulate all of this. I actually spoke with district attorney, San Diego district attorney Bonnie Dumanis last night. She was at golden hall of we spoke weeks ago about this, again last night. Of course she said this is gonna make her job easier now that this is something that she's not going to have to worry about regulating. And I also brought a piece of tape because she's brought up an interesting second point as to why she thought that this proposition failed as well so much here she is.
NEW SPEAKER: What we've seen is that as people have really looked at the initiative and seen that it doesn't do what it's supposed to do, tax or regulate, it leaves it up to local government, it's gonna cost a lot of money for local government. And right now it's a hundred dollar fine for less than an ounce of marijuana.
JOANNE FARYON: So I think it was that second part, just recently the state decriminalized marijuana. So now possession of small amounts less than an ounce, it becomes an infraction. Just like a parking ticket. Exactly. So that kind of addressed the first part of Prop 19. So finally the third reason that Bonnie Dumanis sited and others is the fact that the federal government weeks ago came out and said, you know what, if California approves Prop 19 and legalizes marijuana, we're gonna fight this. We're still gonna prosecute the federal marijuana laws which says it's illegal.
TOM FUDGE: And I really feel that that was fundamental, because the attorney general Eric holder had said that when it comes to medical marijuana laws, the feds will look the other way. If it's legal for medicinal reasons other state law then they won't prosecute those. But about three weeks ago, Joanne, I think Eric Holder came out with a very strong statement saying, no, we're not gonna look the other way if Prop 19 passes we're still gonna enforce federal laws. So how are growers gonna grow this state legally in California even if Prop 19 passes? How are governments going to tax it without being conspirators in some effort to violate federal law?
GLORIA PENNER: And it really does bring in this whole state's rights versus federal and probably would end up in the Courts and go to the Supreme Court. Very expensive.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And Joanne? I was gonna ask you though, I don't think we've heard the end, because the people who want to legalize marijuana in California are very dedicated.
JOANNE FARYON: Absolutely not. We actually went up to Oakland and interviewed Richard Lee. He authored this proposition, he also bank rolled. It. And even at the time Prop 19 was doing well in the poles he stilled, you know what? It's okay if it doesn't pass this time because it will pass within the next five years and already in his statement last night, he says look for it on the ballot again two years from now in 2012, and finally there's an assembly member up in San Francisco, Tom Ammiano, he introduced legislation to legalize Marijuana earlier this year. He withdrew it once Prop 19 was on the ballot. You can look to him too.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I want to ask you in closing, do you know how much it failed by? Do you know what the final numbers are?
JOANNE FARYON: No, last night -- oh, I think Gloria's got it. Last night when I left, it was trailing by 12 points. I'm in the sure what the final numbers were.
TOM FUDGE: I think it lost fairly handedly. I can't remember.
JOANNE FARYON: And from early on, there was never a close race. As soon as we started seeing early results it was really down in the poles.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Interesting. Tom, let me move to you, because we spoke just a couple of days ago about the reform measures on the proposition reform measures on the ballot. And we talked about prop 20, and 27, and 25, and 26. So give us an update. What happened to those propositions?
TOM FUDGE: Well, let me talk about two. Prop 20 and prop 25. Prop 20 was an effort to make sure that redistricting of congressional districts in California is not done by the politically motivated state legislature, it's done we a citizens' committee. And that passed. And that was I think clearly an example of reform. And the other one that passed is prop 25. And that is very significant. Because prop 25 said that the state legislature, the California state legislature can pass a budget by a simple majority. It's I constitutional amendment saying they can pass it by I simple majority rather than I two thirds majority, and I think that's gonna make a very dramatic difference in terms of reducing grid lock in Sacramento. If you want to raise taxes in California you still need a two thirds vote of the legislature, because that's what prop 13 tells us. But being able to pass a budget, restore funds that have been eliminated because of a bad economy, for instance, that's something that can go ahead. Majority rules.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Now, reformers like the fact that 25 passed. About you they're not 22 thrilled about the fact that 26 passed. 26 passed, and that was the one that now requires the state legislature to get a two thirds majority if they want to raise fees.
TOM FUDGE: Certain fees. And if you want to talk about legal action, I think we're gonna see a lot of legal action on prop 26 deciding which fees it already applies to. And this was a proposition that was already supported by a lot of oil companies who don't like paying fees that the legislature thinks they need to pay to clean up the environment. So they pushed for this, and they got it, so it was going in kind of the opposite direction of prop 25. You're right. So prop 26 did pass, and again, we'll have to see what happens with that, because it's not entirely clear from the proposition which fees this applies to.
GLORIA PENNER: It really isn't, and this probably, as you said, there's probably gonna be some litigation over which fees will be treated like taxes and which won't. Because that's the big question. But you know, the electorate gives, and the electorate takes away. By the way, we did look up the vote on Proposition 19, about seven million votes were cast for or against this proposition, and it lost by half a million so much that's significant.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: All right. It is significant. I want to go back to the original proposition that you were talking about, Tom, and that is prop 20. Of so the voters gave the okay for this fledgling redistricting commission to now redistrict congressional districts in the State of California. But they turned down that idea to get rid of the redistricting commission. That was prop 27.
TOM FUDGE: That was prop 27. It gets a little bit complicated. Because two years ago, California voters voted for a redistricting commission that would redraw state elective office boundaries. So they did that two years ago, and this year they went one step further, and they're doing it for congressional districts as well. But as you said, the major parties in California did put prop 27 on the ballot to try it turn it the other way, to try to get rid of redistricting reform, and that was defeated. So it looks like redistricting reform is here to stay. And I should comment that I once spoke with Leo McElroy, who's the Sacramento political operative, and he said of all the things Governor Schartzenegger has done, redistricting reform might actually be his legacy, something he can point to and say I did this. He never managed to reform the budget process, that's still a mess in Sacramento. He's not gonna do that, but he did get redistricting reform through.
GLORIA PENNER: And very soon, we can put a face on those people who are gonna sit on that commission. There will be 14 of them. They will be selected -- they're being selected even now in a very interesting fashion. Part by experts and part by lottery. And there are several of them right here in San Diego that are being considered to be part of that.
TOM FUDGE: Carl Luna, right?
GLORIA PENNER: Carl Luna was one of them. I don't know if he's still in the mix. But that decision will be made by December 31st.
TOM FUDGE: One last thing I should say about redistricting is explaining why it's important. Leaving redistricting up to the legislature means that the legislature preserves safe seats for with both parties. They preserve the rights of incumbents, and that process has caused districts in California to become either very Democratic or very Republican, and that's one of the reasons you have so much grid lock in Sacramento. Hopefully with redistricting reform those political motivations won't be there. And who knows? We may actually have a legislature that works a lot bit better.
GLORIA PENNER: And it also creates very strange looking districts. There is a district up in San Francisco where -- which begins at one end of San Francisco bay in Marin county, and then runs under the bay and endings up in a southern county.
TOM FUDGE: Is that the one that's only contiguous at low tide?
GLORIA PENNER: That's exactly right. So we do have some strangeness.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Low tide. And just to put a final point on things, because of the way things are districted now in San Diego County, all of our incumbent congressional members were returned to Congress. ; is that correct?
GLORIA PENNER: That is correct. We have six assembly district -- or you want to talk about Congress? Right, every single one of them went back. But they're going back a little differently this time, Maureen. Darryl Issa's going back with much more power now that the Republicans have taken over the majority in the house. And Susan Davis and Bob Filner will probably lose some chairpersonships.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Well, I want to thank you all. Thank you so much Gloria Penner, and Joanne Faryon, and Tom Fudge. I want to tell everyone that they can see more of your writing about this and other topics on your blog, on-ramp at KPBS.ORG. And if you'd like to comment about anything you've heard this morning, please go on-line, KPBS.ORG/These Days. We can hear more about the new alignment in Congress because coming up next, president Obama is holding a postelection new conference, we're carrying it live here on KPBS. Thanks for listening, you're listening to These Days on KPBS.