Francine Busby, Chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party, issued the following statement to the press regarding San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and his association with extremist presidential candidates and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
“Today I stand here to join the voices of the nearly 2,000 people who asked Mayor Kevin Faulconer to cancel his speech at the ALEC meeting in the building you see behind me.
“I want to make it clear that this isn’t just about politics. It’s about values that Americans hold dear. It’s about equality, opportunity, sustainability, and prosperity. For San Diego. For the United States. For our democracy.
“Our government functions at its highest level when we can hold our elected officials accountable for their actions. The American Legislative Exchange Council and the American City County Exchange damage that ability, and we don’t want San Diego associated with corruptive forces.
“We don’t want San Diego associated with bigotry. Mayor Faulconer marched in the Pride parade on Saturday, but just a few days later he is rubbing elbows with known anti-LGBT politicians like Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz.
“We don’t want San Diego associated with racism. Why would Mayor Faulconer associate himself with xenophobic politicians who oppose humane treatment of immigrants? Why would he speak to the group who helped spread the “Papers Please” law, which allowed for the profiling of Latinos in Arizona and four other states?
“We don’t want San Diego associated with climate change denial. While Mayor Faulconer says he supports the Climate Action Plan, he is granting legitimacy to an organization that not only actively denies climate change, but writes legislation to reverse the progress we have made on this issue.
“We don’t want San Diego associated with voter suppression. Mayor Faulconer claims to be a leader for all of San Diego. Why, then, would he be supporting ALEC, which works to disenfranchise minority, elderly, and lower-class voters by authoring voter ID laws?
“We don’t want San Diego associated with hurting women and families. But Mayor Faulconer is aligning himself with extremist politicians who want to shut down health clinics that provide everything from birth control to cancer screenings. They don’t support programs that feed starving children, or help parents keep a roof over their heads.
“We don’t want San Diego associated with dark money. Lobbyist disclosures exist for a reason. Campaign finance laws and the Brown Act serve a purpose. We need to be able to hold our elected officials accountable. Mayor Faulconer should not be lending his name to an organization that flagrantly violates the spirit of these rules by pretending to be a charity. He should not be standing with candidates like Scott Walker, who benefit hugely from Citizens United and the Koch brothers’ right-wing money machine.
“We don’t want San Diego associated with gun violence. So why is Mayor Faulconer speaking to the group that backed reckless “Stand Your Ground” laws and got them passed in 30 states, making it more dangerous for people to simply walk down the sidewalk?
“We don’t want San Diego associated with poverty-wage jobs. Mayor Faulconer led the charge against the minimum wage increase. ALEC and ACCE members dumped nearly $500,000 into our city to defeat the minimum wage and paid sick leave ordinance.
“I ask members of the public to call Mayor Faulconer’s office. Tweet him. Post on his Facebook page. Express your disappointment that he has endorsed this extremist group. And let the legislators and lobbyists at the Manchester Grand Hyatt know that California, and specifically San Diego, is a ‘No ALEC Zone’!”