Daily Business Report-Sept. 25, 2017
Moving California’s Presidential
Primary to March is a Fool’s Errand
By Dan Walters | CALmatters Columnist
Two aphorisms come to mind in weighing the import of Senate Bill 568:
— If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.
— Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
SB 568, which would shift California’s primary elections from June to March, beginning in 2020, whipped through both legislative houses on party-line votes in the final hours of the 2017 session, and now awaits Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature or veto.
It should be the latter, because it’s an ill-conceived effort to make California more relevant in presidential elections that probably will fail, but will befoul elections for state offices and ballot measures.
Actually, making California more relevant is not its true purpose. It’s really aimed at making California’s Democratic politicians more influential in choosing their party’s presidential nominees, and perhaps helping U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris or Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti flirt with White House bids.
Usually, by the time California’s June primary rolls around, the parties have picked their presidential candidates. That grates on the state’s Democratic politicians, who would like to be courted by White House hopefuls and resent that candidates come here often to raise money, but rarely to campaign. Therefore, they have periodically attempted to push the state into the presidential game by moving its primary to earlier in the year – March in 1994, 2000 and 2004 and February in 2008.
None of them succeeded in making California a major factor, mostly because other states moved their primaries in response. And in fact, most national politicians don’t want California to move up, because campaigning in such a populous and sprawling state is hugely expensive and would make it even more a money game.
California could even lose presidential convention delegates if it chooses to ignore party rules governing primary dates. So if enacted, SB 568 would probably fail in its supposed purpose, but the bill would require primaries for state offices also to be moved to March, even in non-presidential years, which could have disastrous results. Candidates for those offices would have to start campaigning and raising money at least a year before the November general election because of the pivotal role that the top-two primary system plays in the final outcome, and after the March vote, there would be eight more months of campaigning.
Campaigning would, in other words, absorb even more time and attention, taking it away from the actual business of governing the state. Moreover, if the Legislature wanted to place measures before primary voters, they’d have a much-shorter time frame to do that, as was demonstrated in 2004.
Arnold Schwarzenegger had just been sworn in as governor after Gray Davis was recalled and had just a few weeks to forge an agreement on a plan to save the state from insolvency, so it could be placed before voters in the March 2004 primary. The plan was a hot mess that failed to curb spending and haunted Schwarzenegger’s governorship for years.
If California is once again embarking on a fool’s errand to gain clout in choosing presidential candidates, at the very least it should continue having primary elections for state offices and legislative ballot measures in June. Yes, that would require two primaries every four years, and there would be some cost attached to that schedule, but it would be a small price to pay for retaining some morsel of political sanity.
CALmatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters. For more stories by Dan Walters, go to calmatters.org/commentary.
Scripps Transplant Doctor
Named Physician of the Year
Catherine Frenette, M.D., medical director of the liver transplantation program at Scripps Green Hospital, has been named Physician of the Year by the American Liver Foundation’s Pacific Coast Division, which includes San Diego and Imperial counties.
The foundation’s medical advisory committee, composed of leading liver disease specialists, selected Frenette for the honor based on her extraordinary dedication to the fields of liver disease treatment, research and education.
Frenette received the Physician of the Year honors on Sept. 24 at the 14th annual Flavors of San Diego Culinary Gala, which is the foundation’s largest fundraising event of the year. Founded in 1976, the American Liver Foundation is a nonprofit organization that facilitates and promotes education, support and research for the prevention and treatment of liver disease.
Frenette’s clinical practice focuses on providing comprehensive care to patients with all stages of liver disorders. She has a special clinical expertise in liver transplantation to treat cirrhosis, hepatitis, liver cancer, acute liver failure and end-stage liver disease.
In addition to her medical practice, Frenette leads several active research trials and teaches residents and fellows at Scripps Clinic. Her research has been published in more than 40 peer-reviewed medical journal articles and she has made more than 100 presentations at national medical conferences, universities and health care centers.
Tsunami ARVR Signs First Lease
at Torrey Point Campus Along I-5
Tsunami ARVR Inc., a Los Angeles-based technology company that builds virtual and augmented reality software platforms and products, has signed a 32,475-square-foot lease at the newly developed Torrey Point Campus, along the west side of I-5 at Carmel Mountain Road.
Tsunami ARVR will occupy the first and third floors at Torrey Point, located at 3430 Carmel Mountain Road, in February 2018. The company plans to hire 200 new tech-related jobs.
Torrey Point is a new, two-building, Class A, Silver LEED certified, 90,596-square-foot office campus. The property offers an on-site bistro, indoor/outdoor collaborative areas, a fire pit, a fitness center with showers and locker facilities.
CBRE represented the landlord, American Assets Trust, and Tsunami ARVR officials represented themselves.
USD to Celebrate Completion
of New Pedestrian Plaza
The University of San Diego will celebrate the completion of Paseo de Colachis, a beautiful new pedestrian plaza, on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. on the west end of campus. Replacing an existing two-way street, “the plaza has already become an inviting and popular location for the USD community to study, socialize and play,” said USD President James T. Harris. “We are grateful for the generous gift from Kathryn S. Colachis that made this wonderful project possible.”
The 152,000-square-foot project includes three distinct areas, a central lawn, garden, and plaza. Led by the USD Facilities, Planning, Design and Construction team, Paseo de Colachis was designed by local landscape architect KTU+A and built by the construction firm Rudolph and Sletten.
Construction began in January and was completed prior to the fall semester earlier this month.
Other members of the USD project team include Planning Design and Construction Director Zack Knipe, Project Manager Brian Litchfield, and Executive Director of University Design and Collections Mary Whelan.
Publisher Named Chair of City’s
Commission for Arts and Culture
Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced the appointment of Janet Konstantin Poutré as the new chair of the city of San Diego’s Commission for Arts and Culture following the term of Larry Baza. Poutré has served on the commission since 2014.
Poutré is the founder, owner and editor of Clairemont Community News. She formerly served as president of the Clairemont Chamber of Commerce and as a board member of the San Diego County Apartment Association. Poutré’s talent for entrepreneurship and innovation led to the creation and launch of AptBiz.com, a website for the owners and managers of apartment communities nationwide.
In 2001, Poutré was chosen as a counselor for a Vassar College program to teach entrepreneurship skills. Poutré was born in New York City and was raised on museums, Broadway shows, and piano lessons. She holds a BA in Art History from the State University of New York, College at Potsdam.
Tyson & Mendes Opens Office in Florida
Civil litigation firm Tyson & Mendes has expanded to the East Coast with the opening of a new office in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., led by former Hinshaw & Culbertson partner Damian M. Fletcher. The new location will serve the entire state of Florida in complex litigation matters, defending clients in all state and federal courts.
Fletcher has more than 20 years of experience defending professional malpractice, products liability, employment, serious personal injury and catastrophic loss matters. He previously served as partner at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in Fort Lauderdale for 11 years before transitioning to Tyson & Mendes.
Caleb Barber Named Marketing Manager for STM Goods
STM Goods, a designer of innovative bags, cases, and accessories for consumer electronic devices, announced the appointment of Caleb Barber as marketing manager. In his new role, Barber will be responsible for developing, implementing and executing marketing strategies that drive revenue and growth for STM Goods.
Barber joins STM Goods with more than 6 years of experience as a marketing strategy and product development professional, in both the digital and traditional spaces. Before joining STM, Barber served as the marketing manager for Bell Rock Growers, where he formulated, designed, and implemented marketing campaigns for the brand. Barber has also held marketing and public relations roles with companies including Pillow Pets, Game Day Consulting and the San Diego Chargers.
Barber holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and public relations from Rhode Island College. Barber will be based in the company’s San Diego headquarters at 12840 Danielson Court, No.B, in Poway.