Politics

HOUSE REPUBLICANS BLOCK RAISING U.S. DEBT LIMIT, SEEK CUTS TO SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE

Poll finds only 9% of voters support such cuts, including just 15% of Republican voters.

By Raquel Damus

January 31, 2023 (Washington D.C.) --After the U.S surpassed its debt limit, lawmakers are calling for important decisions to be made so that the government can continue paying bills already authorized by Congress.  


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ISSA INTRODUCES SOIL ACT TO BAN LAND PURCHASES BY AMERICA’S ADVERSARIES NEAR SENSITIVE SITES

East County News Service

January 30, 2023 (Washington D.C.) -- Congressman Darrell Issa (R-48) has introduced the Saving Our Invaluable Land (SOIL) Act, which would prohibit China, Russia, Iran and North Korea from purchasing land within 10 miles of sensitive U.S. agencies and strategic sites, including military bases and federally-funded research labs.


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NAKED DISPLAY OF TRANSGENDER ANIMUS AT SANTEE COUNCIL AS YMCA ALLIES DECRY LIES

 

Story and photos by Ken Stone,Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

January 28, 2023 (Santee) - Former Miss California Carrie Prejean Boller took the lectern at Wednesday’s Santee City Council meeting and declared that she “identified” as Christynne Wood — and thus deserved the same three minutes of public comment time.

Boller, in her mid-30s, followed the real Wood — the 66-year-old transgender woman whose Santee YMCA presence “terrified” a 17-year-old girl in the women’s locker room.
 
So despite all other speakers being limited to two minutes, Boller ignored her time cutoff and rebuffed efforts by two other women to move her away.
 
On a night when dozens of friends and allies supported Wood — many with hand-painted signs reading “We (HEART) Chrissy” — the extremes of the issue were on naked display.

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OTAY WATER DISTRICT BOARD ELECTS MARK ROBAK AS 2023 BOARD PRESIDENT

Jose Lopez elected as Vice President and Ryan Keyes as Treasurer

East County News Service

Photo:  Mark Robak

January 26, 2023 (Spring Valley) - At its January meeting, the Otay Water District board of directors elected new officers to lead the District's board for 2023.


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EL CAJON PBID SETTLES SUIT OVER PUBLIC ACCESS: CITY COUNCIL HEARS PLANS FOR EXPANDED FESTIVALS, HELP FOR HOMELESS AND MORE

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo: Rich Riel announced settlement in lawsuit over violations of open government laws by Downtown El Cajon Business Partners

January 25, 2023 (El Cajon) – Downtown El Cajon Business Partner is settling a lawsuit over Brown Act violations, according to testimony presented at Tuesday’s El Cajon City Council meeting. But complaints remain over no-bid contracts for downtown events.  The City Council also heard plans to bring back Foodie Fest during the America on Main festival, expand a tiny homes program for the homeless, and build a veterans’ memorial.


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STORM DESTROYS FISHING FLOAT AT LOVELAND RESERVOIR – AFTER SWEETWATER AUTHORITY DRAINED WATER TO HISTORIC LOW

Updated January 25, 2023 at 6 p.m.: Sweetwater Water Authority has advised ECM late today that it has reopened its meetings for the public to attend in-person, will update its website to provide more information on its January 11 meeting,  has enhanced audio of the January 11 meeting, and provided insurance valuation on the damaged dock.

By Miriam Raftery

January 25, 2023 (Alpine) – When Sweetwater Water Authority authorized draining Loveland Reservoir down to dead pool status over public objections, it left an L-shaped floating fishing dock paid for by taxpayers through a federal HUD grant perched on dry land.

 

Then came the deluge of rainfall in mid-January, which ripped apart the fishing dock.


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LA MESA CITY COUNCIL APPROVES PALM AVE. APARTMENTS AND SWEARS IN A NEW FIRE CHIEF

By Christianne McCormick

Photo: Project approved for 4757 Palm Ave. in La Mesa’s downtown village, courtesy City of La Mesa

January 23, 2023 (La Mesa) -- On January 10, La Mesa’s City Council ratified the Design Review Board’s approval of the Palm Avenue Apartments, which are slated to be built at the same site where the historic Randall Lamb building burned down during the 2020 George Floyd riots. The vote was 4-0, with Councilmember Laura Lothian abstaining because her office is close to the site.  

The development has brought about much debate among La Mesa residents. The five-story building would house 64 rental units, with only 29 parking spaces – less than one for each unit.  There will also be room for at least one business in the building, where apartment rents are expected to start at around $1,000 for units designated as affordable and run from $2,100 to $2,900 for other units, per the developer, Palm Street Ventures LLC.


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FIRST LEMON GROVE COUNCIL MEETING OF THE YEAR WELCOMES NEW MEMBER AND BRINGS UP THE PAST

View video:  https://fb.watch/i9kwlQIxfd/

By Jessyka Heredia 

January 19, 2023 (Lemon Grove) -- The first Lemon Grove City Council meeting of 2023 included fiery criticisms of a Council member by the City’s retired fire chief, proposed changes to commercial sewer rates, and appointments of members to serve on regional boards.  


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COULD GAS STOVES BE BANNED?

Biden opposes phase-out of gas stoves, but many cities are adopting bans

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Gas stove, cc by SA-NC via Bing

January 12, 2023 (San Diego) – Debate over banning gas stoves is heating up.

Dozens of cities have banned some or all natural gas appliances in new construction, including the cities San Francisco, Seattle, New York, San Diego and Los Angeles. Conversely, at least 20 states have passed laws prohibiting cities from banning natural gas, CNN reports.


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COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS ELECTS NEW CHAIR

By Tracy DeFore, County of San Diego Communications Office

January 12, 2023 (San Diego) - The County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to select Supervisor Nora Vargas as the new Chair of the Board for 2023.


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REVERSAL OF FORTUNE: GOV. NEWSOM OUTLINES PLAN TO DEAL WITH BUDGET DEFICIT

By Alexei Koseff, CalMatters

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters

Photo:  Gov. Gavin Newsom unveils his budget proposal for the 2023-24 fiscal year during a press briefing at the California Natural Resources Agency in Sacramento on Jan. 10, 2023. Photo by Miguel Gutierrez Jr., CalMatters

January 12, 2023 (Sacramento) - California will delay some spending commitments, reverse recent steps to shore up its fiscal health and shift funding sources to limit the cuts it must make to close a projected $22.5 billion budget deficit, Gov. Gavin Newsom said today.


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BECCA TAYLOR POISED TO BECOME SD COUNTY DEMOCRATIC CHAIR IN WAKE OF SEX SCANDAL

By Ken Stone, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Becca Taylor oversaw downtown party celebration of Democrats’ November victories. Photo by Chris Stone

January 5, 2023 (San Diego) - Rebecca “Becca” Taylor was an aviation electrician in the Navy. Now she has the San Diego County Democratic Party wired to become its elected leader.


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IMPORTANT NEW CALIFORNIA LAWS IN 2023

By Miriam Raftery

January 3, 2023 (Sacramento) – Hundreds of new laws take effect in California starting in 2023. Here are some of the most consequential new laws impacting Californians.


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ANDERSON RAISES CONCERNS OVER COUNTY’S PROPOSAL FOR CANNABIS BUSINESSES IN UNINCORPORATED AREAS

East County News Service

December 27, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) -- In early 2021, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors directed staff to develop a "socially equitable" cannabis program as the first step towards implementing commercial cannabis at the County level. The County contracted Womxn’s Work Consulting to create a report called the "Social Equity Assessment for Commercial Cannabis."


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ONLY REP. ISSA IN SAN DIEGO DELEGATION VOTES AGAINST FUNDING GOVERNMENT, UKRAINE AID

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

Photo:  U.S. Capitol, cc by SA

December 24, 2022 (Washington, D.C.) - The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives on Friday passed a $1.66 trillion government funding bill that provides record military spending and sends emergency aid to Ukraine, hours before a midnight shutdown deadline.


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'TIME TO PROSECUTE' -- JAN. 6 PANEL UNANIMOUSLY REFERS TRUMP TO DOJ FOR CRIMINAL CHARGES

"The Justice Department must apply the same standard of law to Donald Trump as they would to any citizen," said Rep. Adam Schiff, a committee member. "That's what Attorney General Garland promised to do. And the country will hold the department to it."

By Brett Wilkins, staff writer, Common Dreams

View full hearing: Click image at left

Reprinted under a Creative Commons license from Common Dreams

Read executive summary from Jan. 6 committee's report on the Capitol attack 

 

 

December 19, 2022 (Washington, D.C.) - The congressional committee probing the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on Monday concluded its proceedings by unanimously voting to recommend that Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Justice Department investigate former President Donald Trump and some of his associates for four crimes in connection with the deadly insurrection.


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AFSHAN CONCEDES LA MESA COUNCIL RACE; DILLARD AND LOTHIAN WIN BY NARROW MARGINS

By Miriam Raftery

December 12, 2022 (La Mesa) – Patricia Dillard and Laura Lothian have won their races for the La Mesa City Council.  According to the final certified results, Dillard will fill the seat vacated by Bill Baber’s retirement, drawing 8,600 votes, or 23.92%, while Councilmember Lothian won reelection with 8,414 votes or 23.40% -- just 11 votes above civil rights activist Mejgan Afshan, who got 8,403 votes, or 23.37%.


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HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE PASSES ISSA’S AMERICAN MUSIC FAIRNESS ACT

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: CC by NC-ND via Bing

December 12, 2022 (Washington D.C.) -- Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-50) issued  the following statement after the House Judiciary Committee unanimously voted in favor of Congressman Issa’s American Music Fairness Act on Dec. 8.


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PADRE DAM APPOINTS DIRECTOR AFTER NO CANDIDATE FILED TO RUN

By Mike Allen

Photo:   Rocky Qualin (beard) and Brian Fordyce, new directors of Padre Dam Water District

December 12, 2022 (Santee) -- Brian Fordyce was appointed this month as the newest director for the Padre Dam Municipal Water District board of directors, taking over a seat for District 1 formerly held by Doug Wilson.


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ASSEMBLYMEMBER WEBER COMMUNITY RECOGNITIONS CELEBRATION

Source:  Assemblymember Dr. Akilah Weber

December 12, 2022 (San Diego) -  Assemblymember Akilah Weber, M.D. (D-79) held a community recognitions ceremony on Sunday afternoon from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the George Stevens Senior Center in Encanto. The purpose of the year-end event is to honor community leaders and small business owners in District 79 who were recognized for their hard work and public service during the year. Each honoree was nominated by their fellow community members and invited to attend the in-person ceremony with their family. Students who completed Asm. Weber’s Young Legislator’s Program were also invited to the celebration.


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BRIAN JONES ELECTED STATE SENATE MINORITY LEADER, INCREASING SAN DIEGO AREA'S CLOUT

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

Photo:  Sens. Scot Wilk (left) and Brian Jones in Sacramento. Courtesy of Jones’ office

December 9, 2022 (Sacramento) - State Sen. Brian Jones of Santee was unanimously elected minority leader in the California State Senate on Monday, increasing the San Diego area’s clout in the top legislative body.


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SENATOR BRIAN JONES INTRODUCES BILLS TO SUSPEND GAS TAX AND TACKLE HOMELESSNESS ON DAY ONE OF HIS NEW SENATE TERM

East County News Service

December 6, 2022 (Sacramento) -- Senator Brian W. Jones (R-Santee) announced today the introduction of three bills immediately after being sworn into office yesterday.


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REP. JACOBS TO BE ‘VOICE FOR SAN DIEGO’ AS YOUNGEST MEMBER OF HOUSE LEADERSHIP

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

Photo:  Rep Sara Jacobs speaks on election night. Photo by Chris Stone

December 4, 2022 (Washington, D.C.) - Rep. Sara Jacobs, who represents the new 51st District in central San Diego County, was elected a Caucus Leadership Representative for the 118th Congress that will convene on Jan. 3.


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JUST FIVE VOTES SEPARATE LA MESA CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES

By Miriam Raftery

December 1, 2022 (La Mesa)  With two seats open on the La Mesa City Council, the latest returns reported tonight by the San Diego Registrar of Voters are so tight that a recount may be in the cards.


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GAS PRICES DROP SHARPLY; GOVERNOR TAKES ACTION AS OIL COMPANIES REFUSE TO TESTIFY AT STATE HEARING ON PRICE GOUGING

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via Governor’s officeThe five biggest oil refiners — Chevron, Marathon, Phillips 66, PBF Energy and Valero — all rejected invites to the California Energy Commission’s hearing today on gas prices.

November 30, 2022 (San Diego) – Here’s some news to brighten your holiday season: the average price for regular self-serve gasoline in San Diego County has dropped below $5 a gallon, to $4.98.  That’s the lowest since early March -- 21.6 cents less than one week ago and 62.4 cents lower than one month ago, though still 31 cents over a year ago.


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HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION PRESENTS PROCLAMATION TO MAYOR

By Susan Taylor

Photo credit: Tim Taylor

November 26, 2022 (San Diego) ---The City of San Diego’s Human Rights Commission held a press conference, Wednesday, November 16 to present a proclamation to approve Human Rights Week to Mayor Todd Gloria for his signature.


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ABOUT FACE: WHY NEWSOM RELENTED, RELEASED $1 BILLION DESPITE LACKLUSTER LOCAL HOMELESS PLANS

By Manuela Tobias, CalMatters

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters

Photo:  Gov. Gavin Newsom explains why he withheld, then released, $1 billion for local governments to reduce California homelessness. The two sides met in Sacramento on Nov. 18, 2022. Photo by Rahul Lal, CalMatters

November 21, 2022 (Sacramento) - Two weeks after withholding $1 billion in homelessness funding over lackluster local plans, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday that most cities and counties would get the funds as early as next week anyway — as long as in the next round, they commit to more aggressive plans to reduce street homelessness.


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TRUMP LAUNCHES 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN; SPECIAL PROSECUTOR NAMED TO INVESTIGATE ROLE IN JAN. 6 CAPITOL ATTACK AND CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  CC by Gage Skidmore; file image at Arizona rally

 

November 21, 2022 (Washington D.C.) – Twice impeached and under investigation for serious federal and state crimes, former president Donald Trump announced on Nov. 15 that he plans to run for president again in 2024.  The announcement, made at Trump’s Mar al Lago estate in Florida, came just days after most Trump-backed candidates suffered defeats in elections for Congress, Governor and other key positions across the nation.

Meanwhile in Washington D.C., Trump’s reelection announcement prompted Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint a special independent prosecutor to complete federal criminal investigations into Trump’s incitement of violence in the January 6, 2021 capitol insurrection, his refusal to take action to halt it, his removal of numerous classified documents from the White House, and other potentially serious federal crimes.  The appointment of Smith as independent prosecutor aims to eliminate the appearance of partisan politics from any future indictment or exoneration of Trump.

The federal prosecutor, Jack Smith, is a former federal prosecutor who has most recently been working to prosecute international war criminals at the International Criminal Court in the Hague. He formerly served as head of the Dept. of Justice’s Public Integrity Unit, which prosecutes public corruption cases such as bribery and election tampering.


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MEDIA REPORT: ASSEMBLYMAN VOEPEL’S GRANDSON IS MASS SHOOTING SUSPECT AT COLORADO GAY NIGHTCLUB

Voepel drew calls for ouster after he likened the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol attack to Revolutionary War battles “firing first shots against tyranny.”

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Assemblyman Randy Voepel, via his social media

 

Updated Nov. 21 with details on charges filed against suspect

 

November 20, 2022 (Santee) – The mass shooting suspect accused of killing five people and wounding at least 25 more at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs last night is the grandson of local Assemblyman Randy Voepel, former Santee Mayor, the independent media outlet Heavy.com reports

 

Voepel lost his reelection bid to Assemblymember Marie Waldron, a fellow Republican whom he squared off against due to redistricting. ECM has reached out to a Voepel staffer seeking comments but has not yet received a response.

 

The suspect, 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, is the son of Laura Voepel, 44, a support engineer from California who has worked as a support engineer in Colorado Springs for the past several years.  On Facebook, she praised her father in April 2020, stating, “Keep up the work, Dad – You work hard to improve our lives and a lot of us take notice…California State Assemblymember representing the 71st District in San Diego & Riverside Counties. Husband. Grandfather. Veteran.” 

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REPUBLICANS WIN HOUSE, DEMOCRATS KEEP CONTROL OF SENATE, BOTH BY SLIM MARGINS

By Miriam Raftery

November 17, 2022 (Washington D.C.) – Historically, the party that holds the presidency loses substantial seats in Congress during midterm elections – often dozens in the House alone. But the red wave forecast by political pundits failed to appear.


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