The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine.

Editorial - Proposition 8: An Irrational Assault on Civil Liberties, the 1st Amendment, and Gays

By Joel A. Harrison

Prop 8 Opponents at November 15th March.
Photo credit: Rick Greenblatt.

Updated December 4, 2008 — Though heterosexual,
I was both saddened and angered at the passage of Prop 8. In California it
takes a two-thirds majority to pass a tax law, i.e. the state taking personal
material property from an individual; but it takes a mere majority to deprive
someone of a civil liberty. Supporters of Prop 8 were angered by the State
Supreme Courts "thwarting the will of the people" in
overturning a previous anti-gay marriage proposition. In Federalist Paper 10,
James Madison, considered the Father of Our Constitution and author of our
Bill of Rights, writes that one of the key purposes of our Constitution was
to [restrain the ability of] "a majority or minority of the whole, who are
united and actuated by some common impulse or passion, or of interest, adverse
to the rights of other citizens." When all else fails, it is the role of our
courts to protect the rights of individuals.


By Wren Osborn

Early voting at the San Diego Registrar of Voters, where
some people waited up to six hours in line.

December 1, 2008 (El Cajon) — I cannot understand why it is so easy to change
the California Constitution. "All it takes is an initiative with 50% of
the vote plus one voter and voila a new amendment to the Constitution." Yes,
it takes 8% to qualify the proposition instead of the usual 5% but does that
bring mature reflection to the process? "I would say not." Especially
since the process is now dominated by moneyed interests who hire paid signature
gatherers -- We've created a slam dunk process for those with money.


By the Rev. Michael C. Boblett

Editor’s Note: Proposition 8 seeks to overturn the legality of same-sex
marriages in California.

believe that Proposition 8 is a perfect example of an important fault line
dividing the conservative movement in America today.  On one side of this
line are people like me, fiscal conservatives who prefer a government
that does not seek to legislate private morality.  On the other side are
those who seek, whether they admit this or not, to turn this republic into
a theocracy. 

Editorial - Seizing the Moment

San Diego County’s Green Energy Future

By Martha Sullivan

California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is poised to take action any
day now on Sempra Energy’s proposed Sunrise Powerlink project, which
the CPUC’s own ratepayers’ advocate division has concluded is unnecessary.
In this editorial, Martha Sullivan, former CPUC staffer, lays out a plan of
action for consumers interested in halting the Powerlink project. Sullivan,
now a San Diego resident, also reveals why major environmental groups are opposing
ballot propositions 7 and 10, which she describes as “seriously flawed.”


“School Boards have become a dangerous institution,” warns
Doug Dean, Chair of the East County Chamber of Commerce Business Education
Committee. “One of the poster children in San Diego County for problematic
school boards is the Grossmont Union High School District Governing Board.
Many years ago, one of our political parties made school boards the target
for social change, and the GUHSD was one of the victims. Although it has improved
lately, that board has been contentious and non-collaborative for decades,
resulting in a district that is rotting from the inside out. Current new candidates
threaten to throw it back into the past.”


(Editor’s note:  The name of this author has been withheld
upon request, due to privacy concerns. All details have been fact-checked
for accuracy.)

Proposition 4 would outlaw abortion for minors unless parental notification
or a judicial order is obtained.

What's wrong with restricting abortion access for teens? We already
require girls to obtain a parent's permission for piercings or other
medical procedures, right?

The answer is not so simple. If you are pro life, be aware that voting "yes" on
Prop 4 could jeopardize the health or even the life of your daughter and other
teens. As a reporter for nearly 30 years, I've interviewed countless
women, girls, fathers, counselors and medical professionals on this issue. What
I've learned is that there are many grey areas where moral clarity is

Editorial - Voting by Mail: Enhances Democracy? Not if Votes Aren't Counted

Assemblyman Joel Anderson

Any registered voter may vote by vote-by-mail ballot.
Rather than go to the polls to cast a ballot on election-day, you may apply
for a vote-by-mail ballot, which you will need to complete and return to your
elections official.

-The California Secretary of State

According to results from recent elections
in San Diego County, we can expect as many as half a million citizens to vote-by-mail
this November. What we don't
know is how many of the ballots are actually counted by the registrar of voters.
Or more specifically, how many are invalidated because they arrive too late
to be included in the election results. Not surprisingly, Registrars of
Voters don't publish those facts.

Editorial - My Position on the Financial Crisis

By Bob Hamilton

not surprising that the American people are against the $700 billion financial
rescue plan, which was rejected by Congress on Monday.  We’ve
seen this movie before, where the government steps in with taxpayer funds to
rescue those who overdosed on greed, and we’re not interested in seeing
it again.
After our government lied and mismanaged its way into a
quagmire in Iraq that has increased the burden for taxpayers by trillions,
why should we trust them now?  They say we must fork over another $700
billion to stabilize the financial system, the same financial system that allowed
banks and mortgage companies to knowingly issue bad mortgages and convert them
to risky investments that were sold to investors as safe.  At the same
time, too many of our political leaders in Washington seem more concerned about
the next election than solving the financial crisis, which leaves us disinclined
to trust them either.


Governor Vetoes Health Reforms, Terminates Consumer Protection Bills

By Senator Sheila Kuehl

September 30, the Governor finished wielding his veto pen and, in one sweeping
move, eliminated virtually every health reform measure that would have regulated
the health insurance company monopoly.

Health reform was not alone,
bill after bill that would have benefited consumers, drivers, people
who breathe, people who drink water, and just people who rely on their state
government to protect them, had its throat cut.


By Ken Sobel

It’s impossible to turn on the TV or radio lately without being barraged
by T. Boone Pickens presenting his ambitious plan to save the world from global
warming and wean us off foreign oil. But the decision we need to make in the
days and weeks to come is between creating the energy we need locally—or
leaving control of solar and wind power production in the hands of big utility
companies that aim to sell us back our energy after we build the transmission
lines with our tax money.


by Jeeni Criscenzo

October 1, 2008 (San Diego) - Once again, our president is
badgering Congress to hurry up and approve his plan or something terrible will
happen-this time, he's not threatening us with a mushroom cloud, this time
it's a more ambiguous "distressing
scenario." His solution was an unfettered, unaccountable bailout of Wall
Street with $700 Billion dollars of taxpayer money.


Who would spend $14,300 to win a little rural election?
Big dollars can drown out the voices of Campo community members

By Billie Jo Jannen

When was the last time you donated $2,000 to control the
selection of members for an advisory body in a tiny little rural town? This
may hardly seem worthwhile to you and I, but it clearly is to a number of Star
Ranch development proponents, some of whom have spent much more than $2,000.

Editorial: Where is the Liberty Going?

The Loss of Freedom and the Slide towards Tyranny

By Michael Benoit

What is tyranny?

October 1, 2008 (San Diego's East County) - It is the taking control of your body, mind or property without your consent. Freedom
comes to us naturally and tyranny is a stripping away of that freedom. Our
freedom can be classified into two categories -- the first being personal,
and the second being economic.

These freedoms, of course, are joined, so a loss of one equates to a loss
of the other. I don't believe that there can ever be a consistent
level of freedom from one person to the next. For example, if the politicians
make it mandatory to wear a seatbelt, this is an infringement on our personal
liberty; if we are punished by the state for not wearing the belt, which usually
comes in the form of a fine which diminishes our economic freedom. To the wealthy
the loss of freedom is likely not to be perceived at all.


By Miriam Raftery

October 1, 2008 (San Diego's East County) Legislators
who voted to ban cell phone usage while driving obviously never tried communicating
via a a hands-free device while traversing East County's back roads and
byways, where even normal cell phone service is spotty at best and often non-existent. I'm
certain that if these do-gooders in Sacramento had to conduct their business
in the boonies, they'd repeal the law in a nanosecond.

Vote YES on Proposition 2 - The Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act

by Judy Ki
Photo credit: <a title='Farm Sanctuary' href='http://www.farmsanctuary.org/' target='_blank'>Farm Sanctuary</a>On a flight to Washington D.C. recently, I got stuck sitting in the middle
seat in the last row (where the seats do not recline). Upon my arrival, I was
relieved that I can finally get up, stretch, and de-plane. Can you imagine
spending your entire life crammed in that middle seat, living on top of your
own waste?

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