Professor Jacobson just noted that voter intensity is likely to be a critical factor in the 2014 elections this November.

However, I assert that a petition drive being held in San Diego, focused on revoking the City Council’s minimum wage mandate, shows that voters are quite intense right now.   Given the complete collapse of effective national policy on either foreign or domestic matters, I believe the drama that is occurring shows that citizens are desperate for some control over the increasing chaos in their lives.

Following the questionable lead of progressive cities like Los Angeles, earlier this summer the City Council voted to increase the minimum wage to $9.75 in January, $10.50 in January 2016 and $11.50 in January 2017.  Our newly elected mayor, Kevin Faulconer, vetoed it; however, this veto was over-ridden on August 18.

At that point, fresh from the success of the petition drives organized to remove our previous mayor, Bob Filner (facing numerous sexual harassment charges), members of the San Diego community organized.

A group of small businesses kicked off a campaign to trump the city of San Diego’s minimum wage increase ordinance.

They’re trying to gather enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot and let voters decide.

“I can’t magically increase the number of books that I sell or the number of charts that I sell just because Todd Gloria and his associates think I should be paying people more money,” said Ann Kinner, who’s owned Seabreeze Books and Charts store in Point Loma for over 10 years.

She’s one of several businesses men and women upset over the city of San Diego’s recently approved ordinance to raise the minimum wage.

“It’s coming out my pocket, it’s going to come out of your pocket,” she added.

However, the original community organizers are pushing back on the petition gathering process. There are reports that petition gatherers are being harassed, verbal and physical intimidation has been used to coerce people into not signing, license plate numbers of petition supporters have been taken, and petition documents stolen.

Videos provided by [Jason Roe of the San Diego Small Business Coalition] show what they say is signature gatherers being intimidated and, in one case, chased by supporters of raising the minimum wage.

One signature gatherer said four of his clipboards containing more than 120 signatures were stolen. Roe said a police report was filed but that the signature gatherer was told he won’t receive a copy for a few days.

My husband was appalled by a robo-call from Democratic Councilman Todd Gloria, who specifically asked people not to sign the petition and report the petitioners’ locations. Upset that a duly elected representative would try and prevent a vote on a subject of such importance, and the poltical targeting of people engaged in legal civic activities, Ben called Gloria’s office to complain — one of the rare instances of him being a “citizen activist”. He usually leaves such activism to me.

Ann Kinner, owner of the local Seabreeze Nautical Books & Charts, makes a great case for simply getting the measure on the ballot

So the bottom line — my bottom line — is that this is simply another expense I cannot afford. I want to hire people — young people included — to work at my business. I want to pay my employees a fair wage for the work they do. But the increasingly hostile business climate is making that nearly impossible.

That is why I support putting the 44 percent increase on the ballot.

Yesterday, Glenn Reynolds made some great observations about young adults being adrift because of the nature of today’s college education. I would simply like to add that a contributing factor to the lack of young adult engagement is the fact they can’t get an entry level job, due to the escalating minimum wage requirements. Subsequently, they fail to learn the basics about how to work and how to function economically.

So, to those opponents of the petition, I say: “We’re doing it for the children.”

This video, from Libertarian pundit Skyler Lehto, fisks the favored “raise the minimum wage” arguments (including several by Sen. Elizabeth Warren).

If voters are this passionate about a petition in September, I can only imagine the level of intensity in November.

[Featured Image: From YouTube].


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