Carlsbad police said traffic was backed up to the Palomar Airport Road exit off I-5.
  • Carlsbad police said traffic was backed up to the Palomar Airport Road exit off I-5.
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News Radio 600 KOGO held a petition-signing event on February 5 as part of afternoon talk-show host Carl DeMaio’s Reform California campaign — an attempt to roll back the new 12-cent-per-gallon gas tax and up to $175 in additional auto-registration fees.

Carl DeMaio

Carl DeMaio

To bring people to the petition drive, for the three hours DeMaio was on the air, the Shell station at the corner of Palomar Airport Road and El Camino Real sold regular gas for $1.99 a gallon.

Even before the 16 low-priced pumps opened at 3:00 p.m., cars backed up for over a mile at each entrance to the Lowe’s shopping center — so much traffic that, as the show opened, DeMaio chose to not give out the address. “It’s on our website,” he told the Reader, adding that “angry voters” would find it.

Hundreds of motorists did find it. Halfway through the event, Carlsbad police told DeMaio that the event was backing up traffic at the Palomar Airport Road exit at I-5, four miles away.

“Thirty Reform California volunteers are working the waiting lines with petitions,” said campaign director Robbie Riley. All the motorists I talked with said they were first there to sign the petition. “The two-hour wait for cheap gas was worth it,” said Marie from Vista. “We’ve got to stop this legislature and the abuse of our tax money.

According to DeMaio, his campaign initiative was 84,000 valid voter signatures away from qualifying for the state’s November general election ballot.

According to DeMaio, his campaign initiative was 84,000 valid voter signatures away from qualifying for the state’s November general election ballot.

Station owner Les Koure said he’d lose about $6000 in the three hours. “This is important. Twelve cents extra means a lot to people,” he said. “It’s my way of giving back to the community.”

With oil companies controlling their dealers’ gas prices, Koure said he received no blowback from Shell Oil. “They fully support us today,” he said. Fifteen of his station’s employees were on duty to help direct traffic into the station and move cars to available pumps.

DeMaio announced on the air that his campaign was 84,000 valid voter signatures away from qualifying for the state’s November general election ballot. “Of course, we’ll collect much more than that, just to be sure,” he said.

Several of DeMaio’s on-air guests, including gubernatorial candidate John Cox, pointed out that gas taxes have been raided by state agencies. “Only 20 percent of our gas taxes go to roads,” DeMaio reported. “The rest goes to trains, buses, bike lanes, and sidewalks. It’s fraud.”

Governor Brown vowed, in a sound bite played by DeMaio, “to do everything possible to keep this measure off the ballot.”

The massive line of cars coming in from different directions did affect businesses in the center, with some restaurants and service establishments shutting down. The manager of Castrol Premium Lube Express closed his business but said he supported the petition drive. Lowe’s employees were in the parking lot to direct their customers through the crowd to available parking spaces.

“I’m just here for a Slim Jim,” joked Rich from Vista. His wife Karen said they’d save about $20 filling up their two cars. “It will pay for his Slim Jims, she said.

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Visduh Feb. 8, 2018 @ 2:24 p.m.

How many of those who lined up actually purchased any fuel? You can only move those lines about so fast, and many who lined up probably fumbled around and took their time. Costco manages the keep their lines moving and one reason is that there are no window cleaning supplies provided. And all the well-trained Costco members know how to get to the pump, swipe the Costco card, pause, swipe the credit or debit card, grab the hose, select the grade, and start the flow and do it quickly.

I'd love to get a tankful of 87 octane for that price myself, but the deal sounded like a real mess to run, and I passed on it. Now I'm happy I did.


swell Feb. 8, 2018 @ 4:28 p.m.

That sleazeball is so desperate for publicity he'll pull any stunt. He and KOGO should just leave town. Even the San Diego gay community can't tolerate him though he is gay. I wonder how much support he's getting from SD republicans and the Lincoln Club. He's very ambitious (in a way that seems selfish to me), but I doubt he's worthy of high office. He'd be a great auto salesperson.


clash84 Feb. 8, 2018 @ 8:25 p.m.

Yeah, you sound like a real winner yourself. Try to stay on topic rather than just making personal attacks. I applaud Carl's efforts to stop Sacramento's never ending attempts to tax Californians into bankruptcy. Jerry Brown doesn't care about the condition of our roads, he just needs more cash flow for all the worlds' charity cases that sponge up whatever money his dirt bag buddies haven't lined their pockets with. November can't come fast enough.


JustWondering Feb. 8, 2018 @ 10:04 p.m.

Pot meet kettle as he launches into a personal attack on Jerry Brown.

I too have no love for the Governor so I hope Carl is successful with his repeal initiative. But, you must admit, Carl does seek, and thrive on attention.


clash84 Feb. 9, 2018 @ 6:52 a.m.

Maybe you are just wondering what "personal attack" actually means. Commenting on the job performance of an elected official such as Jerry Brown is hardly a personal attack. I made no comments about his personal life. His job performance is public and the public are free to comment. Commenting on a person's sexuality in regard to an article on a gas tax and how people from the gay community supposedly feel about someone is most definitely a personal attack.


JustWondering Feb. 9, 2018 @ 2:12 p.m.

Guess your saying Jerry has “dirt bag buddies” isn’t personal. You need to thicken up the skin a little.


clash84 Feb. 9, 2018 @ 4:42 p.m.

Let me clarify, I was referring to his fellow politicians in Sacramento, the ones assisting him in taxing Californians to death with nothing of substance to show for it, just a state beginning to resemble a giant shanty town. In the end, I guess you are actually correct though. I really do think they personally are dirt bags.


JustWondering Feb. 10, 2018 @ 8:58 a.m.

Well I suppose that’s up to the voters. They, the voters, are the ones who choose to elect representatives who in turn, write laws and enact policies, which have led to a statewide high tax environment. Sadly our State, once a national leader in more categories than I care to type, is dying under democratic leadership that espouses more and more socialist philosophy and ideas. Gone are the days of self reliance, independence and leadership. They’ve been replaced by idea of “dependence is good” and hand outs are expected or deserved.

Until the voters tire of having their pockets picked clean for any and every hairbrained idea or give-a-way we’re screwed. Our one and only method of taxpayer resistance, other than fleeing the state, is the Citizen’s Initiative. And it’s a complicated and expensive process requiring knowledge and perseverance to overcome the biases of the Sacramento knows what’s good for you.

While I personally would prefer to see someone other than DeMaio leading the charge, because he is, in my opinion, an opportunist and carpetbagger, he also has the knowledge, experience and megaphone necessary to successfully get this tax repeal onto the ballot.

Then it’s up to the voters to not fall the slick and sure-to-be confusing ads. For partisans will cough up hundreds of thousands dollars to hold onto power. Hopefully the voters will follow through and rescind this regressive and debilitating tax.


clash84 Feb. 10, 2018 @ 2:21 p.m.

I couldn't agree more! I do not personally know Carl but I am grateful that there is someone out there that is willing and able to lead the charge, even if there are other motivations involved. I don't have the time to put boots on the ground for this cause, no matter how much I believe in it. I have to work for a living, not only to support myself but also the numerous mouths I have to feed, clothe, and provide healthcare to, via my taxes, whether I like it or not. Further, (my turn to go slightly off topic but sticking with the taxed to death theme), we now have our local government's bright idea to increase property owners' taxes to fund new housing for the homeless. If there is anyone out there that doesn't think we have a big enough problem as it is, just wait until we start giving away free housing to chronic drug abusers and those that simply don't want to work. Every like-minded person in the nation will flock here to get their free home. And seriously, who in their right mind thinks it's logical to try to create "affordable housing" for deadbeats in one of the most expensive cities in the nation? Affordable housing already exists, it's just not in San Diego. The reality is that a large portion of the chronically homeless will never be productive individuals and forcing hard working people to give up more and more of their own paychecks to support them is not only illogical, it's not sustainable. For those San Diegans out there that think a tax increase on property owners will not affect them because they are renters, the reality is that every property owner with a rental property will pass that cost on to the renter. If they think rents are high now, just wait until property taxes go up! We will end up with an even bigger homeless population when even the people who work can no longer afford any place to live.


JustWondering Feb. 13, 2018 @ 5:02 p.m.

Sadly you’re correct. There are only two real solutions. Change government, but if we measure conservative by their current actions, even conservatives are spending way beyond reasonable revenue. That leaves us with fleeing the state. Many wealthy individuals are fleeing high tax states in the northeast taking millions of their tax dollars with them. Maybe this will get the attention of the lame-ass do nothing but tax and spend politicians.


dwbat Feb. 9, 2018 @ 5:22 p.m.

Whatever Carl has to sell, don't buy it. In a previous life, he probably worked as chief hornblower for P.T. Barnum. If you see/hear Carl, run away quickly, and avoid his toxic stew.


AlexClarke Feb. 11, 2018 @ 7:12 a.m.

While I would vote to repeal the "gas tax" I would never sign on to anything that has anything to do with Carl DeMaio.


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