Publisher-activist Jim Holman

This week’s World Magazine includes an article on my former boss (when I wrote a weekly column at the San Diego Reader), Roe v. Wade: Counterculture clash. The article details Holman’s activism for the pro-life movement while he publishes a “urban alternative” weekly.

A city councilman, who is also an ordained minister running on a morality platform, accepts campaign contributions from a strip-club owner.
2003: A rising-star mayor moonlights as a slumlord, pocketing millions while evicting impoverished tenants who complain.
2005: A prestigious hospital chain tests a synthetic blood substitute only on trauma victims too ill to consent in poor and minority neighborhoods.
Those are among the sidewalk-pounding investigative reports that appear in the archives of the San Diego Reader, the kind of urban alternative weekly found in free stacks in bohemian coffeehouses and other bastions of cool. You might expect the publisher of such tough expos?©s on religious hypocrisy and social injustice to be a card-carrying liberal, take his political cues from George Soros, or at least wear Birkenstocks to work.
Instead, Jim Holman is a bit of a square peg in the alternative-weekly universe, a devout Catholic of libertarian leanings with Horace Greeley newsman instincts coursing through a persona that seems two parts Renaissance man and one part Mr. Rogers.
Mr. Holman’s name became news in 2005 when he became the major financial backer of Proposition 73, a California ballot measure that would have required abortionists to notify parents before performing abortions on minor girls. Discreetly wealthy and passionately pro-life, Mr. Holman helped brainstorm the initiative and contributed $1.2 million to pay for signature gathering, media, and grassroots outreach. While the governor’s reform package weathered a brutal media storm, Prop 73 was unrelated to it and enjoyed winning poll numbers as late as November. But on Election Day, it failed, dragged down in Mr. Schwarzenegger’s political undertow.

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