Proposition 6 was a San Diego County effort from start to finish.
The ballot measure would have repealed a 12-cent gas tax increase and vehicle registration fee the Legislature passed last year. The effort began with former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio.
On election night, DeMaio stood in the U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego, Republican Party headquarters for the night. He told supporters his campaign would continue the fight to repeal the gas tax despite the proposition failing by 10 points.
Why this matters
inewsource’s precinct maps help voters see how candidates and ballot measures did in each neighborhood.
inewsource reported on how DeMaio used his conservative radio talk show to build a team of signature-gatherers who put Prop. 6 on the ballot. More than one-fifth of the almost 1 million signatures came from San Diego County.
The grassroots campaign raised more than $5 million. The effort became a rallying cry for prominent Republican candidates on the ballot, including governor candidate John Cox of Rancho Santa Fe and 49th Congressional District candidate Diane Harkey of Dana Point. Both donated to the Prop. 6 campaign. Both candidates also lost their elections.
But the gas tax repeal campaign was no match for the opposition campaign, which raised more than $32 million. The money came mostly from labor unions and construction companies. In the days before the election, with some polls suggesting the repeal would pass, Gov. Jerry Brown rallied with the opposition.
inewsource’s maps of election results show Prop. 6 failed in Democratic-leaning counties and succeeded in Republican-leaning ones. Most coastal counties, including San Francisco, Santa Clara, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, voted against the proposition. But it succeeded among inland counties and in Orange and San Diego counties.
The partisan divide appears within San Diego County, too. More rural and Republican-leaning portions of the county supported the measure, including swaths of unincorporated land in East County. It failed in city of San Diego and along the coast.
Overall, 53 percent of San Diego County voters supported the measure and 47 percent opposed it.
The registrar’s office is continuing to count 490,000 mail-in and provisional ballots. The office has 30 days from the election to certify the official results.
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inewsource is a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom dedicated to improving lives in the San Diego region and beyond through impactful, data-based investigative and accountability journalism.
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Below is a breakdown of staffing data at inewsource. We determine the composition of our staff by asking them to self-identify. It is based on a newsroom of 11 and a total staff of 15 as of August 2020. Percentages are based on 15 total survey responses. The numbers include full-time and part-time staff, full-time fellows and full-time and part-time interns.
Percentages are based on 15 total survey responses. The numbers include full-time and part-time staff, full-time fellows and full-time and part-time interns.
Percentages are based on 15 completed survey responses to this question.
Percentages are based on 15 completed survey responses to this question.
|Gender Identity||Gender Identity||Gender Identity|
|Sexual Orientation||Sexual Orientation||Sexual Orientation|
|Not specified||7%||Not specified||7%|
|Speak a language beyond English at home||33%||Speak a language beyond English at home||18%||Speak a language beyond English at home||75%|
|Hispanic or Latinx||20%||Two or more races||18%||Hispanic or Latinx||50%|
|Two or more races||13%||Hispanic or Latinx||9%|
|60 or older||13%||60 or older||9%||60 or older||25%|
* The percentages in the charts have been rounded and may not add up to 100.
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inewsource is a nonprofit organization, whose legal name is Investigative Newsource. It does business as inewsource. The business was incorporated on Aug. 4, 2009 in the state of California. Tax-exempt status as a 501c3 was granted by the IRS on Sept. 15, 2010. inewsource is funded primarily by individual contributions and foundation grants. We are guided by a board of directors.
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inewsource reporters have primary responsibility for reporting, writing, and fact-checking their stories. But before a story is published, the reporter reviews all facts and sources with an editor or another reporter. Facts must be traced to a primary source.
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Lorie Hearn is the chief executive officer, editor and founder of inewsource. She founded inewsource in the summer of 2009, following a successful reporting and editing career in newspapers. She retired from The San Diego Union-Tribune, where she had been a reporter, Metro Editor and finally the senior editor for Metro and Watchdog Journalism. In addition to department oversight, Hearn personally managed a four-person watchdog team, composed of two data specialists and two investigative reporters. Hearn was a Nieman Foundation fellow at Harvard University in 1994-95. She focused on juvenile justice and drug control policy, a natural course to follow her years as a courts and legal affairs reporter at the San Diego Union and then the Union-Tribune.
Hearn became Metro Editor in 1999 and oversaw regional and city news coverage, which included the city of San Diego’s financial debacle and near bankruptcy. Reporters and editors on Metro during her tenure were part of the Pulitzer Prize-winning stories that exposed Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham and led to his imprisonment.
Hearn began her journalism career as a reporter for the Bucks County Courier Times, a small daily outside of Philadelphia, shortly after graduating from the University of Delaware. During the decades following, she moved through countless beats at five newspapers on both coasts.
High-profile coverage included the historic state Supreme Court election in 1986, when three sitting justices were ousted from the bench, and the 1992 execution of Robert Alton Harris. That gas chamber execution was the first time the death penalty was carried out in California in 25 years.
In her nine years as Metro Editor at the Union-Tribune, Hearn made watchdog reporting a priority. Her reporters produced award-winning investigations covering large and small local governments. The depth and breadth of their public service work was most evident in coverage of the wildfires of 2003 and then 2007, when more than half a million people were evacuated from their homes.
Managing Editor: Mark J. Rochester, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark J. Rochester began as inewsource managing editor in April 2021, having served as editor in chief at Type Investigations, a nonprofit investigative newsroom in Manhattan. He was previously senior news director for investigations at the Detroit Free Press. Both newsrooms, he notes, shared a commitment to diversity and inclusion, and their investigative journalism often received national recognition for exposing problems impacting communities of color.
His family looks forward to returning to California, having spent more than seven years in San Francisco where Rochester was a senior manager for the Associated Press. While with the news cooperative, he led computer-assisted reporting training efforts around the West, both inside and outside of AP, and conducted a widely used analysis of the $74 million in campaign contributions that went toward the California gay marriage ballot initiative in 2008. The AP analyzed who gave and why and then made the data available to member newspapers. The resulting series of stories based on the data was AP’s 2009 Pulitzer nomination for Local Reporting.
Rochester, who served as a Pulitzer Prize jurist in 2017, also has held senior leadership positions at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Denver Post, Newsday and The Indianapolis Star. Rochester is vice president of Investigative Reporters & Editors Inc., the 6,000+ member international organization dedicated to improving investigative journalism. He also serves on the national advisory board of the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University in Washington, D.C.
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inewsource is proud to be a member of The Trust Project and support efforts to increase transparency in journalism by displaying the 8 Trust Indicators on our stories. We launched the Trust Indicators on Sep. 16, 2020.
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