The Story Behind Labor's Rise

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VOSD Podcast: The Story Behind Labor's Rise

This week on the VOSD podcast, hosts Scott Lewis, Andrew Keatts and Sara Libby assess the state of two high-profile races. Plus, reporter Jesse Marx unfurls 20 years of local labor history.

San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council Business Manager Tom Lemmon and Political Director Carol Kim / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

The race for the 50th Congressional District has gotten predictably ugly. This week, a video was released by Darrell Issa — a Republican running for the seat — in which San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer endorses him for Congress. It turns out, that video was recorded in 2016.

Issa’s campaign also aired ads that tore into his opponent, Carl DeMaio, highlighting the fact that DeMaio is gay.

As the primary draws near and likely one GOP candidate will make the cut, Lewis, along with co-hosts Andrew Keatts and Sara Libby discussed what the next month may look like for this race and how nasty it could continue to get.

On to the Mayor’s Race

Looking ahead to another big contest, Lewis, Keatts and Libby assessed the latest developments in the San Diego mayor’s race.

This week, we published bonus episodes featuring three of the mayoral candidates, Assemblyman Todd Gloria and City Councilman Scott Sherman. Also in your podcast feed from October 2019 is an interview with candidate and community activist Tasha Williamson. City Councilwoman Barbara Bry declined VOSD’s request for an interview.

Behind the Rise of Labor

Conservatives in San Diego had been closely following a lawsuit filed by Bill Evans, who owns several hotels in San Diego.

Evans alleged that labor unions had been extorting businesses like his with environmental lawsuits that they would drop in exchange for union-friendly concessions.

A judge didn’t disagree with what was happening. But he did disagree it was illegal. He dismissed the suit saying the unions were exercising constitutionally protected speech. In this week’s podcast, VOSD reporter Jesse Marx explained it all with details from his engrossing story that doubles as a local history of labor and the Democratic Party’s ascent over the last 20 years.

In two decades, San Diego’s politics have changed and the role of labor has grown. For many years, the region was driven by right-of-center business interests. Now, as Evans’ lawsuit drives home, labor has far more leverage.

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