Politics

GRAND JURY WANTS CITY OF SAN DIEGO TO CONSOLIDATE COMMUNITY PLANNING GROUPS

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 20, 2018 (San Diego) – The County Grand Jury has released a report  recommending that the city of San Diego considering consolidating some of  its 43 community planning groups and develop policies to increase diversity in the groups.

DEMOCRATS FILE SUIT ALLEGING RACKETEERING AND CONSPIRACY IN 2016 ELECTION

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 20, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – The Democratic National Committee has filed a lawsuit against the Trump campaign, Russia, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and associates of President Donald Trump. The suit alleges racketeering, computer hacking, fraud and conspiracy to win the 2016 presidential election and harm Democrats.

The suit provides evidence of how the Trumps allegedly used their family business to curry favor with Russians as well as how Russia allegedly shared findings of a cyber-attack on Democratic National Committee headquarters with the Trump campaign. The evidence includes numerous written communications between Trump advisors and Russians, the Washington Post reports.

BILL WOULD BAN SALE OF AFRICAN TROPHY ANIMAL PARTS IN CA

 

East County News Service

April 19, 2018 (San Diego) – Senate Bill 1487, the African Species Protection Act, is set for hearing in the California State Senate’s Public Safety Committee, where members include Senator Joel Anderson, whose district includes most of East County.  Wildlife conservation groups are urging the public to contact legislators on the committee to urge passage of the measure, which would ban possession in California of body parts from elephants, rhinos, giraffes, lions and other iconic African species.

LEMON GROVE REJECTS CLAIMS OVER POTHOLES AND BUCKLED SIDEWALKS



By Miriam Raftery

April 19, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – Lemon Grove’s City Council on Tuesday voted to reject, per staff recommendation, liability claims submitted by three separate individuals plus a lawsuit filed, all claiming injury or harm due to allegedly poorly maintained city streets and/or sidewalks.

ASSEMBLYMAN VOEPEL ACCUSED OF "VALOR THEFT" BY GOP RIVAL, NAVY VETERAN

 

By Ken Stone

Reprinted with permission from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Voepel wearing the Combat Action Medal.

April 18, 2018 (San Diego) - Republican Assemblyman Randy Voepel is taking heavy flak from a GOP rival, who along with another Navy veteran is accusing the former Santee mayor of having “Stolen Valor.”

Monday morning on KUSI TV, 30-year Navy SEAL veteran Larry Wilske brought up claims by retired Master Chief Petty Officer Terence Hoey* that Voepel misrepresented his military service record.

POLL WORKERS NEEDED FOR JUNE 5 ELECTION

 

 

By Tracy DeFore, County of San Diego Communications Office

April 18, 2018 (San Diego) - Poll workers, especially those who are bilingual in any one of six specific languages, are needed for the June 5 Gubernatorial Primary Election. The Registrar’s office is required by federal law to provide bilingual speakers and voting materials to voters who speak Spanish, Filipino, Vietnamese and Chinese. In addition, a survey conducted by the University of California, Berkeley showed a need for speakers of Arabic and Korean at just under 90 precincts across the county so the Registrar’s office is also recruiting poll workers who are bilingual in those languages.

CAL FIRE CAPTAIN JEFF GRIFFITH RUNS FOR STATE SENATE TO FIGHT FOR PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY

 

Hear our interview on KNSJ on these hot topics and more by clicking the audio link:  Protecting residents from wildfires and frequent power outages,  setting state standards to shorten ambulance response times and beef up fire protection, make healthcare more accessible,  create opportunities for middle class jobs, and stop special interest influences.

By Miriam Raftery

April 15, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – “I’ve bene fighting to save lives and protect people my entire adult life,” says Cal Fire Captain/paramedic Jeff Griffith, who is also an elected member of the Palomar Health District board.  Now he’s running for the 38th State Senate district seat being vacated by Joel Anderson due to term limits, which includes most of East County’s urban, rural and mountain areas.

He’s running against Brian Jones, former Assemblyman and current Santee Councilman—and taking Jones to task for a legislative record that he says favored special interests over public health and safety. 

Captain Griffith wants to solve concerns raised recently by residents in San Diego’s inland region, such as  protecting residents not only from wildfires, but also from dangers posed by frequent intentional power outages. He would support legislation to improve ambulance response times, as a paramedic who has seen what happens when patients don’t get to an ER in time.  He also wants legislative to put fire protection as a guarantee in our county's charter and pledges to fight for better access and affordability to healthcare, as well as opportunities for middle class jobs.

Audio: 

FORMER FIRST LADY BARBARA BUSH, CHAMPION OF LITERACY CAUSES, DIES AT 92

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 17, 2018 (San Diego) – Former first lady Barbara Bush died today in her Houston home at age 92.  Wife of George H.W. Bush and mother of George W. Bush, she is only the second woman in history (after Abigail Adams) to have both a son and husband who served as president.

SANTEE ADOPTS DISTRICT ELECTIONS WITH MINTO-MADE MAP

 

By Mike Allen

 View full-size map B adopted by Council here.

 April 14, 2018 (Santee) -- Santee’s ongoing process of shifting from voting for their representatives by all city voters to a system of district elections took another step to reality last week when the council adopted a map made by Mayor John Minto and held the first reading instituting the change.

 Minto offered a map he drew that divides the city into four areas and with a close balance of some 13,000 people in each district. His motion also called for a change in the cycle of elections that results in two council seats being elected every four years starting in 2020. The mayor’s position will remain at large, or selected by all city voters.

 His motion, which was seconded by Councilman Ronn Hall, passed 3-2 with Council members Brian Jones and Rob McNelis opposed. The second reading and adoption of the law and the map is scheduled for April 25.

SAN DIEGO SHIP LAUNCHES CRUISE MISSILES IN SYRIA CHEMICAL WEAPONS ATTACK

 

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

Navy photo: A Tomahawk cruise missile blasts off from a vertical launch tube on the USS

April 14, 2018 (San Diego) -- A San Diego-based destroyer was among four Navy vessels that fired dozens of cruise missiles early Saturday morning local time in the attack on Syrian chemical weapons sites.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins, which departed San Diego in November, was joined in the action by the Norfolk-based cruiser USS Monterey, destroyer USS Laboon and submarine USS John Warner.

RAMONA TEA’D CANDIDATES FORUM APRIL 28

 

 

East County News Service

April 13, 2018 (Ramona) – Conservative candidates will be participating in a candidates forum hosted by Ramona Tea’d on Saturday, April 28 at 11:30 at the Ramona Mainstage, 626 Main Street in Ramona.

Twelve candidates for Sheriff, Judge, State Assembly, State Senate and Congress were invited.  Confirmed participants so far include Judge Gary Kreep, Vicky Rothman, Tom Palzer, Dr. Robert Newman, and Larry Wilske. Other invitees include John Cox, Travis Allen, Rep. Duncan Hunter, Bill Wells, Brian Jones, Judge Herbert Exarhos, and Steven Bailey.

You’re invited to bring your questions and comments. Doors open at 11 a.m.

BILL TO KEEP SENIORS AND DISABLED RESIDENTS IN THEIR HOMES PASSES COMMITTEE; SB 1130 ADDS MOBILHOMES TO PROPERTY TAX RELIEF PROGRAM

 

East County News Service

April 11, 2018 (Sacramento) -- Legislation authored by Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) that will help keep California senior, blind and disabled residents in their homes if and when they encounter financial difficulties passed from the Senate Governance and Finance Committee earlier today with strong bipartisan support.

FBI RAID ON PRESIDENT’S LAWYER RAISES STAKES IN MUELLER PROBE

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 11, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Prominent Republicans are speaking out to debunk claims made by President Donald Trump after the FBI raided the office and home of Trump’s long-time attorney Donald Cohen this week under orders of the U.S. Attorney’s office.

SPEAKER RYAN TO STEP DOWN AFTER ELECTION

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 11, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – House Speaker Paul Ryan has announced that he will not seek reelection, the Washington Post reports. 

Some political pundits have speculated that predictions that Democrats may take back control of Congress after the November mid-term elections could have been a factor in Ryan’s decision.

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL GETS DOWN TO WORK; ACCEPTS MAJOR DONATION BY PETSMART FOR NEW ANIMAL SHELTER

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

April 7, 2018 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon City Council members temporarily set aside their differences and got down to work Tuesday in what some say was one of their most productive sessions in recent months.

MEDIA WATCH: SINCLAIR STEPS UP PROPAGANDA BROADCASTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 4, 2018 (San Diego) – Free press advocates and some anchors at Sinclair Broadcast Group are raising objections to Orwellian scripts that Sinclair is forcing its news anchors nationwide to read, including scripts denouncing “false news” that “national media outlets are publishing.”

SANTEE MOVES RELUCTANTLY TO ADOPT DISTRICT ELECTIONS

 

 

 

Today is last day to submit a map for final consideration at next Council meetings

By Mike Allen

 April 4, 2018 (Santee) -- Like it or not, and all five council members absolutely do not, Santee is adopting a system of district elections in advance of this November.

 Starting in late January, the council has been holding public hearings and soliciting comments about how boundary lines dividing the city into four quadrants should be drawn.

LA MESA GREEN LIGHTS, LEMON GROVE RED LIGHTS DISPENSARY APPLICATIONS

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo: Angeles Nelson (left) opposed the dispensary in Lemon Grove, while Kathleen Harmon (right) supported it

April 4, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) -- La Mesa will have its first legal medical marijuana dispensary, after a unanimous vote of approval by the City Council on March 27. An appeal challenging the approval was rejected.

By contrast, the Lemon Grove City Council voted to deny an application for a dispensary due to proximity to a daycare center.  No dispensaries have yet opened in Lemon Grove though at least two have met zoning requirements and are now advancing through the conditional use permit process.

 

Both Councils took the actions recommended by staff in implementing laws established by voter-approved initiatives. At issue in each is the date of completion.

JULIAN CANDIDATE FORUM APRIL 5 TO INCLUDE CANDIDATES FOR ASSEMBLY, SHERIFF, D.A. AND JUDGE

 

East County News Service

April 2, 2018 (Julian) – The public is invited to “Meet the Candidates” on Thursday, April 5th from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Julian Town Hall.  The forum is hosted by Julian Indivisible, a progressive political organization.  Candidates confirmed to appear include Dave Myers for Sheriff, James Elia for State Assembly, Genevieve Jones Wright for District Attorney, and Matt Brower for Judge.

You’re encouraged to bring questions to ask the candidates. Voter registration will also be available at this event.  For more information, contact julianindivisible@gmail.com.

EAST COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MEMBERS TO DIALOGUE WITH ERNEST DRONENBURG ON APRIL 10

 

East County News Service

April 2, 2018 (El Cajon) – The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce’s next “Dine and Dialogue with Elected Officials” event on Tuesday, April 10 will feature Ernest J. Dronenburg Jr., San Diego County Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk.

JUDGE DISMISSSES SUIT OVER CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES FOR DISPLAYING A PRIDE FLAG OUTSIDE FEDERAL OFFICES

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 30, 2018 (San Diego) – A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against several members of Congress, including Susan Davis (D-San Diego) for displaying a rainbow gay pride flag outside her offices.  U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss rejected arguments by the plaintiff, Chris Sevier, who had argued that displaying the flag amounted to establishment of a religion and thus violated the establishment clause of the constitution.

CRITICISM MOUNTS OF ARAMBULA AND LEMON GROVE LEADERS AFTER DISCLOSURE OF ASSAULT CLAIM BY DISPENSARY ADVOCATE

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 27, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – Christopher Williams, the medical marijuana dispensary advocate who has filed a claim against Lemon Grove detailed an alleged assault by Councilman David Arambula, is speaking out to dispute Arambula’s self-defense claim.

Williams also contends that city staff stalled his applications for multiple dispensaries by claiming not to have received results of a Department of Justice screening of all applicants, when e-mails from the DOJ indicate the results were sent to the city earlier.

Arambula is also drawing criticism from current and former councilmembers for failing to disclose the scuffle that sent Williams to a hospital for treatment of significant injuries including a fractured rib, gash on his face and bite marks on his arm. Mayor Racquel Vasquez is named as a potential witness in Williams claim, along with Taisha Brown, a Democratic Party activist, but both have declined to speak with media.  Some members of the council contend they were kept in the dark by Arambula and Vasquez about the violent altercation even when voting on dispensary applications submitted by Williams for Pick Axe Holdings, LLC.

12 STATES TO SUE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION OVER CENSUS QUESTION ON CITIZENSHIP

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 28, 2018 (San Diego) – The U.S. Commerce Department has announced that it will ask a question on citizenship status during the 2020 Census. The question was removed from the Census back in 1950, but Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross claims that the change will permit “more effective enforcement” of the Voting Rights Act. But critics contend the move will instead diminish minority representation in Congress.

The Constitution, in fact, requires that every resident be counted in the census every 10 years, whether or not they are citizens.  The results are used not only to determine how many Congressional districts each state will have, but also the amount of federal grants and subsidies that will be provided.  If minorities fail to participate for fear of answering a citizenship question, California and areas such as San Diego County with high minority populations and areas with high poverty rates could lose billions of dollars in federal funds.

TRUMP SUED FOR VIOLATING CONSTITUTION’S EMOLUMENTS CLAUSE

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 28, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – The attorneys generals of Maryland and Washington D.C. have filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump, alleging that he is violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution.  The emoluments clause prohibits federal official from becoming personally enriched by accepting gifts, titles or emoluments from any “King, Prince or foreign state.

LEMON GROVE SETTLES SUIT ALLEGING RETALIATION AND FREE SPEECH VIOLATIONS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Updated March 31 with Councilman Jones' comments.

March 26, 2018 (Lemon Grove) -- Last week, many Lemon Grove residents were surprised to hear a citizen speaking during public comment at a City Council meeting reveal that the city had settled a case  filed by a former contracted city worker.  The worker alleged that Councilman Jerry Jones and City Manager Lydia Romero violated his free speech rights and retaliated against him for comments he’d posted on social media criticizing Jones.

East County Magazine has obtained a copy of the settlement and release agreement from the city in response to a public records request.

LEMON GROVE COUNCIL HEARS UPDATES ON CRIME AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE TIMES, COMPLAINTS OVER CASES AGAINST COUNCILMEMBERS

 

 

By Jonathan Goetz

March 22, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – Crime rates, emergency response times, and controversies involving Council members embroiled in multilpe claims against the City were among the issues raised during Tuesday’s Lemon Grove City Council meeting.

TRUMP’S WILDLIFE CONSERVATION COUNCIL PROMOTES TROPHY HUNTING

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 21, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – President Trump is drawing fire from wildlife protection groups for launching a “wildlife conservation council” with a mission to promote big-game trophy hunting, not preserve wildlife, Mother Jones magazine reports.

SAN DIEGO LEGISLATOR BECOMES FIRST WOMAN TO LEAD STATE SENATE

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 21, 2018 (San Diego) – San Diego State Senator Toni Atkins this week became the first woman to lead California’s State Senate, as well as the first gay or lesbian person to hold the legislature’s highest office. Atkins previously served as Speaker of the Assembly.

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