Politics

DAVIS COAUTHORS LEGISLATION TO SECURE PELL GRANT PROGRAM AND MAKE COLLEGE MORE AFFORDABLE FOR LOW-INCOME STUDENTS

 

President has called for shifting money out of Pell Grants to fund other non-educational programs

By Miriam Raftery

May 21, 2017 (San Diego) — Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) along with three other legislators has introduced the Pell Grant Preservation and Expansion Act to help students offset rising costs of college by permanently indexing Pell Grants to inflation. The bill also makes Pell Grant funding mandatory, providing students with security and stability, raises the maximum award for low-income students, and restores eligibility for students who were defrauded.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: DAVE MYERS, COMMANDER RUNNING FOR SHERIFF

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 20, 2017 (San Diego) -- Dave Myers wants to be the new Sheriff in town.  He says he’s running to restore accountability, transparency, and community trust to policing.  He’s worked in law enforcement for 32 years and is currently a Commander with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

A native of San Diego, he’s always had a “passion for law enforcement” and to “treat everyone who’s calling for help as if my mother was calling for help.”

Recently, East County Magazine sat down with Myers for an in-depth interview on our show on KNSJ radio. Hear the full broadcast by clicking the audio link above, and view highlights below.

Audio: 

CA ATTORNEY GENERAL HELPS LEAD COALITION OF STATES IN LEGAL ACTION TO PROTECT AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE FOR MILLIONS OF AMERICANS

 

Officials intervene in pending case to ensure effective defense of Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Source: Calif. Attorney General’s Office

May 18, 2017 (Sacramento) -- California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman today took legal action to challenge the Trump Administration and protect health care access for millions of Americans.

Below is text from their press release:

INVESTIGATION OF DUNCAN HUNTER WINS “JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR” AWARD FOR MORGAN COOK

 

East County News Service

May 18, 2017 (San Diego) - The San Diego chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) will present its 2017 Journalist of the Year award to Morgan Cook, an investigative reporter at The San Diego Union-Tribune, for her investigative reporting that revealed campaign finance scandals involving Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine).

“San Diego has seen its share of big stories this past year, but our board believes no local journalist did better work than Cook in her relentless accountability reporting on Congressman Duncan Hunter’s use of campaign funds for personal expenses. She broke the story last year and continues to follow it after the Department of Justice made clear in March that it is investigating Hunter, whose district covers Alpine, Escondido and Temecula,” a press release from SPJ states.

HUNTER INTRODUCES BILL TO EASE REGULATIONS ON E-CIGARETTES, HAS BIG CAMPAIGN DONATIONS FROM TOBACCO INDUSTRY

 

By Jordan Damond

May 18, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- Congressman Duncan Hunter has introduced the Cigarette Smoking Reduction and Electronic Vapor Alternatives Act, which eases regulations on vaping and electronic cigarettes.

SPECIAL PROSECUTOR APPOINTED TO INVESTIGATE RUSSIAN ELECTION MEDDLING AND TIES TO TRUMP CAMPAIGN: ACTION COULD BE FIRST STEP TOWARD IMPEACHMENT

 

By Miriam Raftery

An East County Magazine Special report

May 17, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – In a bombshell announcement, the U.S. Justice Department has  issued an order to appoint a special prosecutor  to investigate Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, including any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign.  Far more broadly, the order allows investigation of any matters that arise from the investigation and all other matters within a special prosecutor’s jurisdiction under federal law – including authorization to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation.   

Acting Attorney General  Rod. J. Rosenstein issued the order to appoint Robert Mueller, a former federal prosecutor who served as FBI director from 2001 to 2013 under both Republican President George W. Bush and Democratic President Barack Obama.

HOW SAN DIEGO’S REPRESENTATIVES RESPONDED TO FIRING OF FBI DIRECTOR AND REPORTS THAT TRUMP PUSHED COMEY TO BACK OFF INVESTIGATION INTO FLYNN’S RUSSIA TIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 17, 2017 (San Diego) -- San Diego’s Congressional delegate and California’s Senators are voicing diverse views – and in one case, a crude response to  the firing of FBI director James Comey and a startling report by the New York Times indicating that notes by fired FBI Director James Comey reveal that President Donald Trump  first asked Comey to shut down a federal investigation into fired national security advisor Michael Flynn over his Russian connections, but Comey refused to do so.  (See ECM special report.)

TRUMP PRESSURED FBI DIRECTOR TO HALT FBI INVESTIGATION OF FLYNN RUSSIAN TIES, NY TIMES REPORTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Gage Skidmore

May 17, 2017 (Washington D.C.) –President Donald Trump pressured FBI director James Comey to halt the FBI investigation into former National Security Director Michael Flynn’s Russian connections, but Comey refused, according to a memo written by Comey at the time,  the New York Times reports.  Comey also refused Trump’s demand to jail journalists for publishing leaked materials—shortly before the President fired Comey.   The revelation has top Republican and Democratic Senators preparing to subpoena records that could, potentially, lead to impeachment.

“Obstruction of justice is what it looks like to anybody who’s looking at it,” Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat working with Republican  Senator Lindsey Graham to investigate the FBI’s role in the federal Russia investigation,  Politico reports. “This is about as lay down a case…as a prosecutor could imagine,” he added.

Republican Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight Committee who has said he won’t seek reelection,  today announced on Twitter that his committee will “get the Comey memo, if it exists,” adding, “I need to see it sooner rather than later. I have my subpoena pen ready.”

TRUMP LEAKED CLASSIFIED INFO TO RUSSIANS, MULTIPLE SOURCES REPORT: MAY HAVE PUT LIVES AND INTELLIGENCE SOURCES FROM ALLIES AT RISK

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 16, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – After the Washington Post reported yesterday that President Donald Trump leaked classified information to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Moscow’s Ambassador Sergey Kisylyak, multiple major media outlets now report that they have independently confirmation this through their own sources, including the New York Times,  Politico, Buzzfeed and CNN.

TRUMP NAMES KOBACH TO KEY POST AT NEW COMMIISSION ON ELECTION INTEGRITY, BUT CRITICS CONTEND HIS GOAL IS VOTER SUPPRESSION

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 15, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – Election integrity experts are voicing alarm over President Donald Trump’s choice to oversee a new commission on election integrity.  Trump signed an executive order creating the commission, which he says is needed to investigate voter fraud.  The chair is Vice President Mike Pence, but the Vice Chair expected to do the lion’s share of the work is Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State who orchestrated the controversial Crosscheck software system that critics say wrongly disenfranchised millions of voters –nearly all of them minorities.

HANNAH GBEH WITHDRAWS FROM 50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT RACE

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 12, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) — Hannah Gbeh has informed ECM that she is withdrawing her candidacy in the 50th Congressional District, after participating in two candidate forums with seven Democrats vying to run against incumbent Republican Duncan Hunter.  Her reason, given fortuitously on Mother’s Day weekend – is that she’s expecting her third child.

JOURNALIST AMY GOODMAN, HOST OF DEMOCRACY NOW! IN SAN DIEGO MAY 16

 

East County News Service

May 12, 2017 (San Diego) — Award-winning journalist Amy Goodman, host of the nationally syndicated Democracy Now! radio show, will speak and sign her book, Democracy Now! Covering the Movements Changing America at a benefit for KNSJ Radio and Activist San Diego on Tuesday, May 16 at St. Paul’s Cathedral Episcopal, 2728 Sixth Ave in San Diego from 7-9 p.m.   Cost is $20 at the door t $16 in advance through Evenbrite.com; see “Amy Speaks to SD.”

EL CAJON SELECTS TOP FIVE MAPS

 

By Jonathan Goetz

May 12, 2017 (El Cajon) – After inviting the public to submit redistricting maps and hiring a consultant to advise the city as it moves toward district elections instead of citywide elections for all council members, the options have been narrowed to five maps.  Three of the five maps square Councilman Ben Kalasho off against Councilman Gary Kendrick by putting them in the same City Council District.  Four of the five maps put Councilman Bob McClellan and Councilman Steve Goble in the same district.  Below are the maps and descriptions of each proposal.

COURT FILING SHOWS FBI HAS ACTIVE INVESTIGATION PERTAINING TO TRUMP’S CALL FOR RUSSIAN HACKING AND ESPIONAGE

 

Source:  Operation 45; Documents & Graphic Excerpts Available HERE

Photo: Kremlin in Moscow

East County News Service

May 11, 2017 (Washington D.C.) -- President Trump’s May 9, 2017 letter firing now-former FBI Director James Comey in part reads, “I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation[.]” 

SENATOR ANDERSON GETS AN “F” FROM COURAGE CAMPAIGN

 

East County News Service

May 11, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – State Senator Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) has earned an “F” grade from Courage Campaign on its “People’s Report Card”  The “courage score” rating measures  how well  legislators “stand up for constituents over corporations or special interest groups that seek to exploit Californians, particularly the poor, disadvantaged, and communities of color,” according  to the website.  Anderson received a zero – the worst possible score.

TRUMP FIRES FBI DIRECTOR AMID INVESTIGATION INTO RUSSIAN TIES, PROMPTING ACCUSATIONS OF COVERUP

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Comey official FBI portrait

May 10, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – President Donald Trump has fired the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director over the weekend, stating that he has “lost confidence” in James Comey.   Comey was scheduled to testify this Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee on the FBI investigation into Russia’s hacking of the U.S. presidential election.

ASSEMBLYMAN VOEPEL HAS REQUESTED SUBPOENA AND FORENSIC AUDIT OF UC FUND RECORDS

 

Source: Assemblyman Randy Voepel

May 6, 2017 (Sacramento) - Assemblyman Randy Voepel requested a legislative subpoena for all financial records and correspondence related to the secret $175 million fund maintained by the Office of the President of the University of California on Tuesday. Additionally, Voepel requested an independent forensic audit to determine if UC administrators engaged in criminal activity.                                             

SENATE UNANIMOUSLY PASSES TONI ATKINS' BILL TO HELP CONVICT SEX TRAFFICKERS

 

East County News Service

May 5, 2017 (Sacramento) - The California Senate this week passed Senate Bill 230, legislation by Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) that will help prosecutors convict predators who traffic in sex slavery. The bill passed by a vote of 36-0.

HOUSE PASSES REPEAL OF AFFORDABLE CARE ACT; BILL MOVES TO SENATE

 

Hunter and Issa cast deciding votes

East County News Service

May 5, 2017 (Washington D.C.) - On Monday, ECM reported that a bill that could repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was heading to a rushed vote in the House on Thursday.  That bill, the American Healthcare Act, passed yesterday narrowly.

The bill passed by a four-vote margin with San Diego Republicans Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa both voting in favor. Had they voted against, the vote would have been tied and the measure would not have passed.

TRUMP TO SIGN “RELIGIOUS FREEDOM” ORDER

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 4, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order today that would order the IRS to take a hands-off approach to churches that endorse political candidates. It also orders federal agencies to exempt some religious groups from a requirement to provide birth control to employees.  

But a third provision has been scrapped, which would have allowed businesses to discriminate based on sexual orientation and other moral grounds.

AARP MAINTAINS FIRM OPPOSITION TO HEALTH BILL

 

Measure slashes coverage for Medicaid, nursing homes, in-home care, and pre-existing conditions, nation’s largest organizations of seniors warns

East County News Service

 May 3, 2017  (Washington D.C.) -- AARP Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer Nancy A. LeaMond sent the following letter today to all members of the U.S. House of Representatives in response to the Upton Amendment to the health care bill, urging them to vote NO on the bill.  

Here is the letter in full:

REP. HUNTER TAKES ON AIRLINE INDUSTRY EXECUTIVES OVER LACK OF COMPETITION

 

By Miriam Raftery

View video:  https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4667910/rep-hunter-ti-hearing

May 3, 2017 (San Diego) – During a Congressional hearing yesterday, Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) grilled airline executives over monopolistic practices and lack of competition in hub markets. Hunter noted that he flies regularly from San Diego to Washington D.C. but that United is the only airline offering direct flights.

AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION: MILLIONS WILL LOSE HEALTH INSURANCE IF CONGRESS PASSES REVISED HEALTH CARE BILL TOMORROW

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 3, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – House Republican leadership is pushing for a rushed vote on a revised proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare and replace it – without bothering to wait for a nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis. But the American Medical Association (AMA), the nation’s largest doctors’ organization, has sent a Tweet warning patients to contact their representatives and urge a no vote.

FIRST AMENDMENT WATCHDOG GROUP SENDS LETTER OBJECTING TO EAST COUNTY MAYORS PARTICIPATING IN PRAYER BREAKFAST WITH DAVID BARTON

 

Update: Two local mayors have cancelled their appearances at the luncheon, ECM has learned.

By Miriam Raftery

May 4, 2017 (El Cajon) – On Monday, ECM reported on objections raised by some local residents to the controversial “Christian nation” advocate David Barton being chosen to speak at the annual East County Mayors prayer luncheon this Thursday, May 4th at the Crystal Palace in El Cajon.  

Now the controversy has intensified, with a First Amendment watchdog group sending a letter to mayors of   El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove and Santee objecting to their participation and asking them to disassociate themselves from the event. The letter was signed by Andrew Seidel , staff attorney with the Freedom from Religion Foundation.

  In addition,  local residents are asking why alternate versions of the flyer were circulated to religious and secular groups – the latter omitting all mention of Barton and presenting the event as "progressive" oriented.

ASSEMBLYMAN VOEPEL LAUNCHES DISTRICT DIAPER DRIVE

 

Invites all constituents from fhe 71st District to participate between May 1st - May 14th

Source:  Assemblyman Randy Voepel

May 2, 2017 (San Diego's East County) - Assemblymember Randy Voepel, R-Santee, invites constituents of the 71st Assembly District to participate in the Assembly Diaper Drive. 

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