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Roundtable: Sanders’ Legacy, Immigration Bill, Bitumen Oil Spill Exposed, Boston Media Madness

Evening Edition

Aired 4/26/13 on KPBS Midday Edition.


Mark Sauer


Claire Trageser, KPBS News

Susan White, Executive Editor,

Jill Replogle, KPBS Fronteras Desk

Bob Lawrence, writer


This week on the Midday Edition Roundtable, reporters, writers and editors examine four stories which have resonance here, including two which actually took place thousands of miles away.

Sanders' San Diego Legacy

As he starts a new job running the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, former Mayor Jerry Sanders spoke with Claire Trageser of KPBS News about his time as the city’s chief administrator.

Looking back, he believes that his biggest accomplishment was balancing the city's budget after a fiscal crisis in which the word "bankruptcy" was mentioned more than once by some civic leaders. He is comfortable that his primary focus was on downtown (at the expense of other San Diego neighborhoods) because he believes a vital downtown is good for the city as a whole.

The collapse of the Irwin Jacobs plan to remove parking from Balboa Park's Plaza de Panama was “unfortunate,” he told Trageser, and he noted that lawsuits, like the one which derailed the plan, are a way of life in the governance of San Diego.

Sanders understands why current Mayor Bob Filner’s actions are so often contentious. Filner, he says, is being tested by others and at the same time is testing the limits of his own power.

Sanders also says he's not concerned about his legacy, and is probably not a very good politician, either.

What's in the Senate Immigration Bill?

The U.S. Senate’s "Gang of Eight" released its bipartisan bill overhauling the nation’s immigration laws. The bill is now in the Judiciary Committee where this week it has faced criticism from conservatives that it gives too much authority to Homeland Security and is too broad and too expensive.

On the other side of the aisle there is concern that same-sex couples have been left out of the bill.

Jill Replogle and her reporting partner John Rosman of the KPBS Fronteras Desk broke down the major components of the monster bill for KPBS viewers and listeners.

The bill gives any unauthorized resident living in the U.S. before January 1, 2012 provisional residential status if they:

--pay a $1,000 fine and back taxes

--learn English

--stay out of trouble.

After 10 years they may apply to become become permanent residents and may apply for citizenship three years after that.

Also in the bill: the tremendous backlog of visa applications will be cleared up, and there are different provisions for highly skilled workers, agricultural workers and DREAMers.

An Ugly, Toxic Oil Spill

Susan White, a Coronado resident and two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, has been honored a third time for a series she edited on an oil spill you probably never heard of.


Photo from the Kalamazoo River oil spill.

In July 2010, just 10 days after the BP oil well stopped spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico, a major spill of Canadian oil goo called diluted bitumen poured out of a pipeline in Marshall, Mich., operated by Enbridge Energy Partners.

The EPA expected the spill to be cleaned up in a couple of months, but the agency was unaware that it was bitumen, the dirtiest, stickiest oil on the market, that was contaminating homes, yards and drinking water in Michigan. Diluted bitumen is the oil that will course through the Keystone Pipeline, should it ever be built.

At more than $756 million (so far), the Marshall spill is the most expensive oil pipeline spill since the government began keeping records.

Boston Media Madness

CNN, Fox News, the NY Post and an infinite number of social media posts had something in common from the time of the bombing at the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, through the capture of Dzhokar Tsarnaev on Friday night, April 19.

They all were wrong about important events, loudly and publicly. And, in some cases, harmfully.

Former San Diego Union media critic Bob Lawrence muses on how the huge mountain of information available through new(ish) technology and social media increased pressure on traditional media, particularly commercial television and newspapers, which are struggling to maintain their relevancy. (Too late, some say).

The mass availability of photos and theories galvanized a horde of amateur sleuths who fingered the innocent and mucked up the search for the guilty.

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Avatar for user 'Brittanicus'

Brittanicus | April 27, 2013 at 3:27 p.m. ― 3 years, 11 months ago

The BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP must be changed, so only children of U.S. citizens ARE entitled to citizenship. Forget the USDA stealth program, offering food stamps to just about everybody including illegal people who arrive here by plane and disappear without being tracked, or the millions who cross the international border and also vanish. Giving automatic citizenship to the progeny of thousands of “foothold” babies is drowning America in hundreds of billions of dollars in debt. What the Liberal Democrats don’t tell you about this important issue, is the citizenship clause was to award citizenship to slaves, not foreigners babies. The sad truth is a family with 3 babies of illegal immigrants gets the food stamps, which other in the family circle share, plus cash payments and government housing. The government mask the foreign nationals as low income.
Everyone these four issues if implemented into the Opportunity and
Immigration Modernization Act would be a massive financial boon for the
shrinking dollars deficits, in the state or federal
funds as well as the U.S. Taxpayer. CONTACT YOUR TWO U.S. SENATORS TODAY and urge them to oppose
S.744! You can call the Capitol Terminal board toll-free at 1-888-978-3094.
Learn more about this new potential Immigration Reform Bill, in relation to the
huge fraudulent 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act at as
well in petitioning your arguments and standing on this new law. INSIST NO PATH
TO CITIZENSHIP? A free petition is available on and read the huge amounts of daily information disclosed on American This is the articles, blogs and media reports that is a must read. Learn so much more about illegal immigration bills at Judicial As I have said many times before, I see no problem for an increase for extra visas for STEM workers, PhDs and cream of the crop—so to speak, as long as there is a serious effort, to locate the same highly skilled workers already here. But before anything as extra visas, AGjobs are available, we must have a tracking system, so they can be detained if they abscond from a farm or other labor that supposedly Americans will not do. However, none of these new complex reforms can happen, until we are assured that a real fence is constructed and the above mentioned policies?

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Avatar for user 'Brittanicus'

Brittanicus | April 27, 2013 at 3:27 p.m. ― 3 years, 11 months ago

The documents obtained by Judicial Watch show that USDA officials are working closely with their counterparts at the Mexican Embassy to widely broaden the SNAP program in the Mexican immigrant community, with no effort to restrict aid to, identify, or apprehend illegal immigrants who may be on the food stamp rolls. In an email to Borjon Lopez-Coterilla and Jose Vincente of the Mexican Embassy, dated January 26, 2012, Yibo Wood of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) sympathized with the plight of illegal aliens applying for food stamps, saying, “FNS understands that mixed status households may be particularly vulnerable. Many of these households contain a non-citizen parent and a citizen child.”

So it illustrates that a silent conspiracy has been going on for years, using taxpayers money funneled from the U.S. government to illegal aliens whether in the United States or not? To me and the millions of Americans without this is a incredulous traitorous move, that defies logic. This is a seditious secret activity and Americans who are being taxed to serve the interests of a corrupt foreign country need to be held accountable.

We need a National ID biometric card to stop illegal aliens through fraud collecting food stamps and other welfare programs. To me this would be more effective than E-Verify and businesses that don’t comply with the law should receive a mandatory prison sentence.

Americans must demand the double layer fencing that stretches completely from East to West, with skin tearing barbed wire attired at the top. Known as the 2006 Secure Act, this fence was underhandedly deconstructed by Senator Kay bailey Hutchinson.

No more civil misdemeanor for entering America without inspection, but instead should be facing a mandatory FELONY conviction.

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Avatar for user 'Brittanicus'

Brittanicus | April 27, 2013 at 3:28 p.m. ― 3 years, 11 months ago

The documents, obtained by Judicial Watch in August 2012, include the following:
• March 30, 2012 – The USDA seeks approval of the Mexican Embassy in drafting a letter addressed to consulates throughout the United States designed to encourage Mexican embassy staffers to enroll in a webinar learn how to promote increased enrollment among “the needy families that the consulates serve.”

• August 1, 2011 – The USDA FNS initiates contact with the Mexican Embassy in New York to implement programs already underway in DC and Philadelphia for maximizing participation among Mexican citizens. The Mexican Embassy responds that the Consul General is eager to strengthen his ties to the USDA, with specific interest in promoting the food stamp program.

• February 25, 2011 – The USDA and the Mexican Consulate exchange ideas about getting the First Ladies of Mexico and United States to visit a school for purposes of creating a photo opportunity that would promote free school lunches for low-income students in a predominantly Hispanic school. Though a notation in the margin of the email claims that the photo op never took place, UPI reported that it actually did.

• March 3, 2010 – A flyer advertises a webinar to teach Hispanic-focused nonprofits how to get reimbursed by the USDA for serving free lunch over the summer. The course, funded by American taxpayers, is advertised as being “free for all participants.”

• February 9 , 2010 – USDA informs the Mexican Embassy that, based on an agreement reached between the State Department and the Immigration & Naturalization Service (now ICE), the Women, Infants & Children (WIC) food voucher program does not violate immigration laws prohibiting immigrants from becoming a “public charge.”

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Brittanicus | April 27, 2013 at 3:28 p.m. ― 3 years, 11 months ago


Judicial Watch, a leading legal Conservative organization has just uncovered a concealed program, run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Using the Freedom of Information Act, the USDA, although hesitant to comply released a documents that the U.S. government has been complicit in since 2006. They were spending taxpayer money to run Spanish-language television ads encouraging illegal immigrants to apply for government-financed food stamps. a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions questioned the Obama administration’s partnership with Mexican consulates to encourage foreign nationals, migrant workers and non-citizen immigrants to apply for food stamps and other USDA administered welfare benefits. Sessions wrote, “It defies rational thinking, for the United States – now dangerously near $17 trillion in debt – to partner with foreign governments to help us place more foreign nationals on American welfare and it is contrary to good immigration policy in the United States.”

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