Politics

BUDGET WHACKS FUNDS FOR COAST GUARD, ARTS, EDUCATION AND ENVIRONMENT WHILE BOOSTING MILITARY SPENDING

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 27, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- Donald Trump’s proposed federal budget aims to boost military spending by 10% while slashing funds for many other departments and eliminating some completely.

GOV. BROWN WARNS PRESIDENT TRUMP: "DON'T MESS WITH CALIFORNIA"

 

By Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Gov. Jerry Brown on NBC’s Meet the Press. Image from broadcast

March 27, 2017 (Sacramento) -- Gov. Jerry Brown warned the Trump administration Sunday that attacking California over immigration “could blow up in your face in a giant recession.”

Brown, who is in Washington and appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” said the Trump administration should be careful interfering with the Golden State because of its size and economic power.

CAMPO-LAKE MORENA MEETING MONDAY TO INCLUDE PARKS FUNDING, REVIEW OF APPLICANTS FOR VACANCY AND KEY REPORTS

 

East County News Service

March 26, 2017 (Campo-Lake Morena) – The Campo-Lake Morena Planning Group will meet on Monday night, March 27 at 7 p.m.  The agenda includes a proposal to use 20% of new park funding for maintenance of existing parks, as well as review of applicants to fill a planning group vacancy. There will also be standing committee reports including water issues and announcements on items ranging from marijuana regulatory changes to plans for Star Ranch. Below is the full agenda and meeting location details:

TRUMPCARE DEFEAT: TRUMP PULLS OBAMACARE REPEAL VOTE: PLAN WAS LOSING CONSERVATIVES AND MODERATES

 

Reprinted with permission from The Moderate Voice, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

By Joe Gandelman, Editor-In-Chief, The Moderate Voice

March 25, 2017 (San Diego) -- President Donald Trump did not win bigly in today’s vote — that never occurred — in the House of representatives. The one-two step of repealing Obamacare in favor of what many (not the White House) call Trumpcare and others (Trump’s supporters) call Ryancare simply did not happen. They didn’t have the votes. Cable coverage and stories detailed how the bill was hemorrhaging hard-core conservative Republican and moderate Republican support.

SUPREME COURT UNANIMOUSLY OVERTURNS GORSUCH RULING; ALL 8 JUSTICES VOTE TO PROTECT RIGHTS OF DISABLED STUDENTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 24, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. Supreme Court, by a unanimous 8-0 vote, has voted that public schools must provide disabled students with opportunities to achieve “appropriately ambitious” progress, not just a bare minimum education, under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

HEALTHCARE VOTE TODAY ON REVISED BILL WITH LESS DEFICIT REDUCTION, ELIMINATION OF MANDATORY MATERNITY AND NEWBORN COVERAGE, OTHER CHANGES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Tweet sent by ex-Bush White House lawyer Richard Painter, showing all-male White Hosue meeting at which vital healthcare benefits for women were stripped from the bill.  Painter says the bill made "Trumpcare even worse."  But Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) says it will "save America."

March 24, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – President Trump has demanded that the House of Representatives hold an up-or-down vote today on Republican’s American Health Care Act , stating that if it does not pass, the Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare) will remain in place and he will move on to other priorities such as trade reforms.

Lacking enough votes for passage,  Republicans held a closed-door meeting last night on a hastily-revised version of their original plan to woo conservatives with changes such as taking away healthcare coverage for pregnant women and repealing new taxes sooner. The new version  is still estimated to result in 24 million people losing healthcare, but would reduce the deficit by only $150 billion, not the $337 billion in the original bill, according to a revised Congressional Budget Office report.

Healthcare  amendments added to woo the most conservative members of Congress all weaken existing protections.  According to a Washington Post story those stories include:

JUSTICE DEPT. LAUNCHES CRIMINAL PROBE INTO REP. DUNCAN HUNTER

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 23, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – The U.S. Justice Department is conducting a criminal probe into allegations that Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) illegally used campaign finance funds for personal gain, according to a statement issued today by House Committee on Ethics Chairwoman Susan Brooks. (R-Indiana) and Ranking Member Theodore Dutch(D-Florida.)

The statement indicated that the Dept. of Justice has asked  the committee to defer its investigation into potential ethics violations.  The Committee also released  the independent Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE)  report on its findings.  That report reveals that the bipartisan OCE members voted unanimously, 5-0, to recommend that the House Committee on Ethics further review the allegations “because there is  “substantial reason to believe that Rep. Hunter converted campaign funds to personal use to pay expenses that were not legitimate and verifiable campaign expenditures attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes.”

REPUBLICANS HAVE NARROW MARGIN TO PASS HEALTHCARE BILL: SAN DIEGO MEMBERS COULD CAST DECIDING VOTES

 

East County News Service

March 22, 2017 (San Diego) – To pass the Republican healthcare bill will require the support of all but 21 Republicans. So far, 27 have said they are leaning against it or opposed, putting passage in jeopardy.  San Diego Republican Congressmen Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa are both listed as supporters of the measure, according to NBC News.

VOEPEL'S VETERANS EMPLOYMENT PARITY ACT CLEARS FIRST LEGISLATIVE HURDLE

 

East County News Service

March 21, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- This afternoon, the Assembly Committee on Veterans Affairs voted to support AB 353, the Veterans Employment Parity Act, with unanimous support (10-0).



"The Veterans Affairs Committee took an important step today toward expanding job opportunities for our nation's veterans. With a higher unemployment rate than the national average, it's critical that we provide private employers with the option to give preference to veterans during the hiring process," said Voepel.

KALASHO THREATENS LAWSUIT OVER EL CAJON’S PROPOSAL TO LIMIT NUMBER OF ITEMS A COUNCIL MEMBER CAN ADD TO AGENDA

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

View video:  This agenda item can be viewed from 1:06:16 through 1:57:45

March 17, 2017 (El Cajon) – El Cajon’s City Council spent a full hour Tuesday debating a proposal by Mayor Bill Wells that aims to save Council time and staff resources by limiting how many items a Council member could place on an agenda single-handedly to just one per quarter, a maximum of four a year.  To bring forth any additional item, a Council member would have to gain support of one additional member. 

But that raises potential Brown Act violations andconcerns over suppressing citizen’s representation, the American CIvil Liberties Union (ACLU) warns in a letter sent to the City's attorney, Mayor and  Council members..

Newly elected Councilman Ben Kalasho strenuously objected to the proposal, leading to a testy exchange in which he threatened to sue Wells and fellow Council members to protect what he views as his right to represent his constituents.  Several members of the public also spoke out,  all opposed to sttifling their representatives’ ability to put items of concern on the agenda.

FBI DIRECTOR CONFIRMS INVESTIGATION INTO TRUMP-RUSSIA TIES IN TESTIMONY BEFORE SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 20, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – FBI Director James Comey has confirmed that his agency is investigating alleged collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign.  Comey also made clear that there is no evidence to support President Trump’s claim that he was wiretapped during the campaign.

CA LAWMAKERS PUSH STATE TO DIVEST FROM COMPANIES BUILDING TRUMP’S BORDER WALL

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 20, 2017 (Sacramento) – Assemblymembers Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego), Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), and Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) have announced legislation that would require the state’s pension funds to divest from companies involved in the construction of the president’s wall along the United States-Mexico border.

20% CUTS PROPOSED TO NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTH

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 20, 2017 (San Diego) – President Donald Trump’s budget proposes to slash 20% of funding to the National Institute of Health.  California received $3.69 billion in NIH grants in the last fiscal year, so such deep cuts could put key research projects at risk.  Medical research leaders nationally and locally warn that the cuts will eliminate many California jobs and threaten research to find new treatments and cures for medical conditions.

BILL WOULD BAN MINORS FROM MARRYING IN CALIFORNIA

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 20, 2017 (Sacramento) – A bill introduced in the state Capitol would prohibit anyone under 18 from getting married.

California is currently tied with Tennessee for the sixth highest rate of marriages by minors in the nation, even though some safeguards already exist to protect young would-be brides and grooms. But the state already has laws in place to prevent would-be Romeo and Juliet couples from getting hitched without their parents’ permission.

VOEPEL NAMES ANITA BAUTISTA AS 71ST ASSEMBLY "DISTRICT WOMAN OF THE YEAR" FOR 2017

 

Source:  Assemblyman Randy Voepel

March 19, 2017 (San Diego) - On March 2, Assemblyman Randy Voepel announced that he named Anita Bautista as the 2017 Woman of the Year for the 71st Assembly District.

"Throughout her life, Anita has touched thousands of people with her warmth, kindness, and generosity of spirit," said Voepel. "Whether it's brightening a room with her warm smile, dedicating hundreds of volunteer hours on behalf of our city, or happily cooking for our local first responders, Anita's contribution to this community is invaluable."

TRUMP STARTS PROCESS TO WEAKEN VEHICLE FUEL EMISSION STANDARDS: ACTION COULD MAKE YOU PAY MORE TO FILL YOUR TANK AND INCREASE AIR POLLUTION

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Los Angeles smog in 1972, before the current standards; photo by Gene Daniels, public domain via Wikimedia.

 

March 18, 2017 (Washington D.C.) — California has threatened legal action after President Donald Trump ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to abandon strict fuel efficiency standards for vehicles and rules that limit emission of greenhouse gasses.

CONSUMERS UNION GIVES PROPOSED HEALTHCARE PLAN AN “F”

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 18, 2017 (Washington D.C.) — Consumers have long relied on information from Consumers Union regarding testing and rating of products from appliances to cars.  Now, Consumers Union has issued a report card for the new healthcare bill proposed by Congressional Republicans, which scored an “F” in every category rated.

DEMOCRATS TAKE AIM AT HUNTER: FIVE OPPONENTS TO SPEAK APRIL 20 IN SANTEE

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 18, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – The 50th Congressional district seat held by Republican Congressman Duncan D. Hunter has long been considered a safe seat, with a solid conservative majority.  But Hunter’s unwavering support for Trump administration policies have mobilized activists, sparked protests, inspired at least five Democratic candidates to say they’ll run against Hunter in 2018-- and prompted the San Diego Democratic Party to announce it will invest money to target Hunter’s seat for the first time ever.

TRUMP'S PROPOSED BUDGET COULD THREATEN HUNTING AND FISHING'S FUTURE

 

Deep cuts at the agencies responsible for conservation and sportsmen’s access would be felt in every corner of the country

East County News Service

March 18, 2017 (Washington D.C.) -- Hunters and anglers would find less healthy habitat and more public access closures under President Trump’s proposed budget, officially released this morning. In fact, the ripple effect of major budget cuts at the agencies that oversee conservation in America would likely be felt most in the rural communities that thrive off outdoor recreation spending related to public lands and other hunting and fishing access.

ATKINS BILLS TO PROTECT SAN DIEGO RIVER, FUND AFFORDABLE HOUSING ADVANCE IN LEGISLATURE

 

View a video on the San Diego River Conservancy’s report to the Legislature

March 18, 2017 (Sacramento) -- This week, two bills authored by Sen. Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) cleared key policy committees and moved on to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration. One wil help enhance portions of the San Diego River in East County. The other provides funding to build affordable housing.

KALASHO SAYS EL CAJON MAYOR’S PROPOSAL TO BAN COUNCIL MEMBERS' USE OF ELECTRONIC DEVICES IS ILLEGAL

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 17, 2017 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells has proposed banning City Council members from using iPads, cell phones or other electronic devices during Council hearings.

They Mayor says his goal in introducing item 6.3 on the agenda during the March 14th public hearing was to assure that members are giving public hearings their full attention and not engaging in outside communications, assuring transparency.  But Councilman Kalasho claims the move is unconstitutional and targets him.  Members of the public who spoke sided with Kalasho in a testy exchange that can be viewed on video (starting at approximately 52 minutes, 44 seconds):  https://elcajonca.iqm2.com/Citizens/SplitView.aspx?Mode=Video&MeetingID=1049&Format=Agenda

SUPERVISORS, BY A ONE-VOTE MARGIN, BAN ALL MARIJUANA SALES PLUS FARMING CANNABIS AND HEMP

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 15, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – The majority of voters in San Diego County, including most in unincorporated areas, voted to legalize recreational marijuana.  But instead of heeding voters wishes for more access to pot, San Diego Supervisors voted 3-2 on Tuesday to outlaw all marijuana sales in unincorporated areas, including medical marijuana.   (Licensed dispensaries already open and those approved for construction will have five years to shut down.) Supervisors also voted to outlaw all farming of marijuana and hemp.

AS ROAD CONDITIONS WORSEN, SUPERVISORS SEEK NEW FUNDING SOURCES FOR REPAIRS

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 15, 2017 (San Diego) — County Supervisors voted 4-0 on Tuesday to direct staff to come back in 90 days with recommendations on new funding sources to pay for road repairs. 

The latest Pavement Condition Index, or PCI, back in September gave the county a score of just 60, or “fair” – and that was before winter rains and flooding caused cracks and potholes to proliferate.  Supervisors’ set a goal to raise that score to 70, or “very good” within five years.

TRUMP PROPOSES TO END ALL FUNDING FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 15, 2017 (Washington D.C.) - President Donald Trump’s budget contains a radical proposal to completely eliminate all funding for public broadcasting, including National Public Radio, or NPR, and PBS, the Public Broadcasting System which includes KPBS here in San Diego.

GONZALEZ-FLETCHER BILL TO HELP DEPORTED U.S. VETERANS PASSES JUDICIARY COMMITTEE

 

AB 386 creates legal aid fund for veterans seeking to return to United States

East County News Service

March 14, 2017 (San Diego) — When immigrants signed up to serve in America’s armed forced, they were promised that they would be given expedited citizenship. But now President Trump has begun deporting these veterans.  Now, California’s Assembly Judiciary has approved a bill to establish a legal aid fund to help deported veterans.

REALTORS TRADE GROUP WILL HOST ASSEMBLYMAN RANDY VOEPEL FOR MEET-AND-GREET

 

East County News Service

March 16, 2017 (El Cajon) – The Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors (PSAR), a real estate trade group for San Diego-area realtors, will host California Assemblyman Randy Voepel for a meet-and-greet from 8:30 to 10 a.m., Friday, March 31, at PSAR’s East County Service Center, 1150 Broadway, El Cajon. The public is invited to attend. Members of PSAR’s East County Governmental Affairs Committee are organizing the event.

CONGRESSWOMAN DAVIS DRAWS OVER 1,000 CONCERNED CONSTITUTENTS AT TOWN HALL

 

By Miriam Raftery; Jonathan Goetz also contributed to this report

View full video of town hall:  https://www.facebook.com/RepSusanDavis/videos/1499056013470282/

March 12, 2017 (San Diego) -- Concerns over healthcare reforms, deportations, attacks on public education, troops in Syria, climate change, and Trump’s Russian ties were among the issues raised by constituents of Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) at a town hall forum yesterday.  More than 1,000 people filled Montezuma Hall at San Diego State University to capacity.

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