Politics

BALLOT INITIATIVE WOULD BLOCK TRANSGENDER BATHROOMS LAW

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 23,2015 (Sacramento) – An effort is underway to put an initiative on the ballot in 2016 that would repeal Assembly  Bill 1266, a California law that allows transgender students to use bathrooms, showers and locker rooms that match their gender identity.  The initiative, if passed, would also have impacts for all government buildings and for business owners.

HERE'S THE BUZZ: HOT COUNCIL ITEMS THIS WEEK

 

East County News Service

April 19, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)—From beekeeping to mobile home park expansion, here are the hot items on local city council agendas this week in Lemon Grove and Santee.

CONGRESS WEIGHS ESTATE TAX REPEAL

 

Update: The House has passed this measure, which now advances to the Senate.

By Miriam Raftery

April 16, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - This week, when most of us paid our taxes due on April 15th, the Republican majority in Congress is trying to push through H.R. 1105, a bill that would repeal the estate tax for millionaires and billionaires.

EL CAJON COUNCIL MOVES FORWARD ON ALCOHOL INITIATIVE

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 16, 2015 (El Cajon) – The City of El Cajon is cracking down on liquor stores and markets that sell alcohol to minors and serial inebriates. Following sting operations that found many stores selling to minors, some repeatedly, on Tuesday the City Council voted unanimously to ask staff to work on preparing a ballot initiative to make alcohol sale restrictions part of the city’s charter so that the limits will be “very difficult to take it out,” Mayor Wells said.

No one spoke publicly against the ballot initiative effort. But Mayor Bill Wells (photo, left)  said he and the council members have been threatened by the liquor industry with punishment if the measure is put on the ballot. The industry and its lobbyists “have said that they will spend tremendous amounts of money to make sure we are never elected again,” said the Mayor, who told citizens present, “We don’t want you to be in a position where your city council changes or your mayor changes and all of that hard work can just be wiped away with a single vote.”

WEBER BILLS ADDRESS POLICE SHOOTINGS AND RACIAL PROFILING

 

April 15,2015 (San Diego)--Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, a San Diego Democrat and African-American, has introduced two bills aimed at stopping  racial profiling and bringing accountability to shootings by police.  The measures are sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU.

LA MESA CITY COUNCIL ROUNDUP

By Kristin Kjaero

April 14, 2015 (La Mesa) – A retirement, traffic circle safety on Harbinson after a crash, and permitting  projects after construction (from a chicken coop to a cave) were topics before the La Mesa City Council tonight.

The unmistakable star at the La Mesa City Council meeting today was Max, who is retiring at the ripe age of 7. That’s because Max is a chocolate lab and Police narcotic dog. Together with his handler, Officer Derek Cox, they have recovered over 2,700 grams of narcotics and made more than 156 felony narcotics arrests. To show he was on the job one last time, Max pawed up to inspect the Councilmembers’ desks as Cox made the rounds shaking hands. As handlers and dogs form such a strong bonds, Max is being allowed to stay with the family he loves.

MAYOR'S BUDGET FOCUSES ON COMMUNITIES

 

East County News Service

April 14, 2015 (San Diego) – Mayor Kevin Faulconer has released plans for a $3.2 billion budget for the next fiscal year focused on services that he says “give more San Diegans in more communities the opportunity to succeed. San Diegans will see more street repairs, better parks and more equality to neighborhood services, so your community is thriving no matter where you live,” the Mayor adds.

HILLARY CLINTON, MARCO RUBIO JOIN GROWING CROWD OF PRESIDENTIAL CONTENDERS

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 14, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State, Senator and First Lady, announced Sunday that she is officially running for President.  Thus far, she is the only Democrat and the only woman to declare candidacy.

Three Republicans have thus far announced and others are expected to join the field. On Monday, Florida Senator Marco Rubio officially tossed his hat in the ring.  Other Republicans running candidates are Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

MANDATORY VACCINATION BILL DRAWS PROTESTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 11, 2015 San Diego's East County) - A bill in the California state legislature, Senate Bill 277, would make vaccinations mandatory for all children, except those with medical conditions that would make it dangerous to have the vaccine.  California is currently one of only a handful of states that allows parents to exempt children from vaccines based on personal beliefs.  On Wednesday, the measure passed the Senate Health Committee.

NEWSOM BACKS LEGAL POT

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 9, 2015 (Sacramento) – California politics have gone to pot.  A ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana use is widely expected to qualify for the ballot next year. Now Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom has announced he supports legalization, regulation and taxing of recreational pot-provided the ballot initiative adequately addresses key concerns.

COUNCILMAN TODD GLORIA ANNOUNCES BID FOR STATE ASSEMBLY

 

By Chris Jennewein

Photo by Chris Stone

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

April 9, 2015 (San Diego) --City Councilman Todd Gloria announced Tuesday that he will run for State Assembly in 2016 at the end of his council term.

CONGRESS PASSES MEASURE TO ALLOW SELLING OFF NATIONAL FORESTS AND OTHER PUBLIC LANDS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Cleveland National Forest, courtesy National Forest Service

April 6, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)—The Republican-controlled House and Senate have passed measures that would allow the sale or outright giveaway of most public lands –including national forests, federal wildernesses and  wildlife preserves and Bureau of Land Management properties.  Only Republicans voted for the language slipped into a non-binding budget resolution—which passed without a single Democratic vote. 

The shocking news is revealed in a New York Times editorial by Will Rogers, president of the Trust for Public Lands, titled “Our Land, Up for Grabs.”  

While it’s unlikely that President Barack Obama would support such an extreme measure, if a Republican president is elected in 2016 and Republicans maintains control of both houses of Congress, losing our cherished public lands such could be a very real possibility.

Here in San Diego County alone, that could mean the demise of:  Cleveland National Forest,  Otay Mountain Wildnerness, Hauser Wilderness, Pine Creek , Carrizo Gorge, Sawtooth Mountains Wilderness , Agua Tibia Wilderness, San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge , Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge, McCain Valley National Recreation Area and more.

BILL SEEKS TO END SOLITARY CONFINEMENT OF YOUTHS IN CALIFORNIA

 

East County News Service

April 7, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)—A measure set for hearing this week in the California  Senate Public Safety Committee aims to end solitary confinement of children in our state.

LEMON GROVE COUNCIL AGENDA FOR APRIL 7

 

April 5, 2015 (Lemon Grove) –The Lemon Grove Council will meet on Tuesday, April 7 at 6 p.m. in the Lemon Grove Community Center (3146 School Lane). 

This week, Council will consider  an agreement with San Diego Unified School District to house and staff a mass decontamination unit. Council will also review goals and priorities from its Strategic Planning workshop and hear a motion to reject all bids received on a sewer upsizing project.

SUPERVISORIAL RACE NOW A 3-WAY CONTEST

 

East County News Service

April 6, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Democrat Rudy Reyes, a Cedar Fire burn survivor who has run for Supervisor in the past, advised ECM today that he is entering the race in the 2nd Supervisorial district. State Senator Joel Anderson, a Republican, has also announced plans to challenge incumbent Supervisor Dianne Jacob, a Republican who has held the seat for more than two decades.

A three-way race could make it difficult for any candidate to win outright with over 50% of the vote, making a run-off race between the two top vote getters more likely. There is still time for additional candidates to file to run.

If Jacob is reelected in 2016, this would be her final term of office due to term limits approved by voters. She has received over 200 endorsements including Sheriff Bill Gore, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, Supervisors Greg Cox and Ron Roberts, Congressman Darrell Issa, and dozens of elected officials in East County.

10TH ANNUAL DUNCAN L. HUNTER WOUNDED MARINE GOLF CLASSIC MAY 4 AT COTTONWOOD

 

April 3, 2015 (Rancho San Diego)- - For the10th year, golfers will gather to support needs of wounded Army, Navy and Marine Corps  personnel  in the Naval Medical Center San Diego.

WALMART, NASCAR AND NCAA THROW WEIGHT INTO BLOCKING "RELIGIOUS FREEDOM" LAWS

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 2, 2015 (San Diego’s East County—Religious freedom laws that could allow businesses to refuse service to gay and lesbian customers are stirring controversy Indiana and Arkansas.  But now some heavyweight opposition has emerged, including Wal-Mart and other corporations as well as sports organizations including NASCAR and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

ASSEMBLYWOMAN LORENA GONZALEZ RECEIVES CESAR CHAVEZ FOUNDATION'S LEGACY AWARD

 

Honored for Long Record Supporting Immigrants and Working Families

East County News Service

March 29, 2015 (San Diego)--  Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, a San Diego Democrat, was honored Thursday night with the Cesar Chavez Foundation’s Legacy Award for her career supporting immigrants and working families. In commemoration of Cesar Chavez Day, the awards are presented to those who exemplify excellence and unparalleled commitment to community empowerment and advocacy.

HOUSE APPROVES MEDICARE CHANGES

 

East County News Service

March 28, 2015 (Washington D.C.) - The House of Representatives has passed broad changes to our nation’s Medicare system. The bill would raise premium costs for higher income earners and extend a health insurance program for children, also setting a new formula for paying doctors.

The bill passed by a 392 to 37 vote and now advances to the Senate.

CITY CONSIDERS FEE HIKE FOR LOBBYISTS

 

March 27, 2015 (San Diego) – The City of San Diego’s Ethics Commission will make a presentation at its next meeting on a potential increase in registration fees for lobbying firms and organization lobbyists. Information on this matter can be found in this City Clerk Report.

SANTEE'S MAYOR VOEPEL VIES FOR ASSEMBLY SEAT AGAINST HUNTER AIDE HARRISON

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 26, 2015 (Santee) – Randy Voepel, Santee’s Mayor for the past 15 years, has thrown his hat in the ring to run for the 71st State Assembly seat that Brian Jones is vacating due to term limits, SD Rostra reports. He’ll be running against Michael Harrison, who works for Congressman Duncan Hunter and previously worked for Hunter’s father when he served in Congress.

DAVIS INTRODUCES CAMPUS SEXUAL ASSAULT BILL

 

East County News Service

March 25, 2015 (Washington D.C.)– Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) has introduced legislation in the House to establish an independent advocate on campus for sexual assault survivors. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) introduced the Senate bill last week.

SECRETARY OF STATE: MAKE CA VOTER REGISTRATION AUTOMATIC

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 25, 2015 (Sacramento)--What if every California citizen could be eligible to vote? 

California’s Secretary of State Alex Padilla, wants to register citizens automatically, using Department of Motor Vehicle records and potentially info from other state agencies.

CA BALLOT INITIATIVE SEEKS TO KILL GAYS

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 23, 2015 (Sacramento) – A shocking California ballot initiative proposal calls for legalized murder of gay and lesbian people by “bullets to the head” or “any other convenient measure.” If the state does not act on the measure within a year, the measure would further empower the public to take the law into their own hands—effectively sanctioning murder.

RUSSO SET TO REGAIN ALPINE PLANNING GROUP SEAT AFTER ELECTION WINNER LEFT TOWN

By Miriam Raftery

March 20, 2015 (Alpine) – Lou Russo, an outspoken former member of the Alpine Community Planning Group, may soon be back on the board, the Registrar of Voters office has confirmed.

James Roe defeated Russo on the November ballot, but moved out of the area for a job prior to the election and is thus ineligible to take the seat.

CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET PLANS WOULD SLASH SPENDING ON SOCIAL PROGRAMS, ELIMINATE AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE ACT

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 18, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – The Republican-controlled House and Senate budget proposals call for $5.5 trillion in spending cuts including deep  cuts in Medicare,  food stamps and other social programs. It also includes tax cuts for the wealthy and $40 million in increasing “emergency” war funding for the military.  It would also repeal the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS IN OPEN GOVERNMENT LAWS

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 18, 2015 (San Diego)--This week is sunshine week, when media outlets are supposed to report to the public on just how well – or poorly—public officials and agencies have done in responding to public records requests under open government laws.

Ironically, during sunshine week, the White House announced that it’s Office of Administration will no longer be subject to the Freedom of Information Act, continuing a policy begun by the Bush administration to reject all information requests to that office.  

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