Politics

TAX BILL PASSES HOUSE, OPPOSED BY 4 OF 5 SAN DIEGO CONGRESSIONAL MEMBERS: SENATE ADDS HEALTHCARE REPEAL TO TAX MEASURE

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 19, 2017 (San Diego) – House Republicans rammed through passage of a sweeping tax reform measure without holding a single hearing on the 400-page bill and without allowing any input from Democrats.   The measure, hailed as the first major legislative victory for President Donald Trump, was opposed by San Diego’s three Democratic representatives as well as by Republican Darrell Issa, but was supported by Republican Duncan Hunter. 

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE CONVENES SESSION WITH GREEEN BUILDING INDUSTRY LEADERS TO BRING MANUFACTURING JOBS TO EAST COUNTY

 

“We can create at least 6,000 jobs here.” – Pete Beauregard

By Miriam Raftery

November 17, 2017 (Ramona) – Out of the ashes of the 2007 firestorm in Ramona, Casa Aguilar arose.  The home of Pete  Beauregard and his wife, Amy McQuillan, just won the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2017 Innovation Award for zero net energy use. It’s also built to withstand wildfires. 

On October 24, Beauregard, a rancher, veteran, ex-rodeo bullrider and candidate for Congress in the 50th Congressional district took the bull by the horns and convened a think tank meeting at his visionary home. The event brought together top green industry leaders to brainstorm ideas for bringing green manufacturing and building jobs to East County.

TAX PROPOSAL WOULD REVERSE PROGRESS IN ENSURING ALL CALIFORNIA VETERANS HAVE A PLACE TO CALL HOME

 

East County News Service

November 15, 2017 (Sacramento) – CalVet Secretary Dr. Vito Imbasciani has issued a stating warning veterans about the impacts of the tax proposal in Congress.

He says, “Former service members living in California could end up on the streets if Congress passes its draft tax proposal. This hasty plan would eliminate tax-exempt bonds, which help us fight homelessness and find affordable housing for California veterans.”

DID TRUMP TAMPER WITH A WITNESS IN MUELLER INVESTIGATION?

 

By Miriam Raftery

Judicial nominee Brett J. Talley failed to disclose that his wife, a White House lawyer, is a witness in the Mueller investigation

November 14, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – A former White House ethics lawyer is accusing President Donald Trump of tampering with a witness in special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia and whether Trump has obstructed justice.

TRUMP REMARKS ON PUTIN ELECTION MEDDLING DRAW DENIAL BY PUTIN AIDE AND CRITICISM FROM CIA

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 11, 2017 (San Diego) – President Donald Trump told reporters on Air Force One that Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied meddling in the U.S. election-and that Trump believes Putin, The Hill reports.  But now Putin’s aide has denied any such conversation took place – and the head of the C.I.A. says Russia definitely did meddle in the 2016 presidential election. 

DEMOCRATS SWEEP ELECTORAL VICTORIES IN STATE AND LOCAL RACES NATIONWIDE

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 8, 2017 (San Diego) — Across the nation, Democrats scored decisive victories in elections held Tuesday.  As CNN put it, “Across the map, in mayoral contests, state legislative races and ballot measures, everything broke Democrats' way.”

LEGAL FILINGS TIE KALASHO TO FAKE SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS USED TO SMEAR TACO SHOP, OFFER DETAILS ON “FAKE” NUDE BEAUTY QUEEN PHOTOS

 

Kalasho claims he’s being framed by beauty queens and taco shop owner suing him;

Kalasho’s wife admitted visiting friend In Cerritos, when the allegedly fake nude beauty queen photos were posted online from her friend’s home

By Miriam Raftery

November 6, 2017 (El Cajon) – Today, plaintiffs suing El Cajon Councilman Bessmon “Ben” Kalasho filed an anti-SLAPP motion asking that Kalasho’s countersuit against two beauty pageant contestants and a taco shop be dismissed as retaliatory and violating their First Amendment rights to speak to the press about their case.   

California’s anti-SLAPP statute prohibits public officials from filing what are known as SLAPP suits to retaliate against members of the public for exercising their free speech and right to petition the government for redress of grievances.  Kalasho’s countersuit took issue with plaintiffs talking to the media, specifically the Reader, about their case.

LORENA GONZALEZ FLETCHER LAUNCHES “FAIR SCHEDULING” BILL TO GUARANTEE WORKERS ADVANCE NOTICE OF SHIFTS

 

Measure aims to help workers balance needs of work, family and school

East County News Service

November 5, 2017 (San Diego) -- State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) announced this week that she will author legislation in 2018 to prevent erratic scheduling practices that have become common in part-time workplaces.

SANTEE COUNCIL CHOOSES CINEMARK FOR THEATRE MULTIPLEX; APPROVES TRAFFIC FLOW PLAN WITHOUT MAST BOULEVARD EXTENSION

 

By Paul Kruze

Link to audio of Santee City Council Meeting, Oct. 25, 2017

November 3, 2017 (Santee) -- Cinemark Theatres won unanimous approval from the Santee City Council Wednesday to operate a multiplex movie theater. The multiplex theater is to be built on a seven-acre parcel purchased last spring from the County of San Diego near the Santee Town Center shopping mall and Parc One apartment complex at 320 Town Center Parkway.

TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER, 2 OTHER AIDES INDICTED IN MUELLER PROBE: CHARGES INCLUDE CONSPIRACY AGAINST UNTED STATES

By Miriam Raftery

October 31, 2017 (Washington D.C. )  -- George Papadopoulos, foreign policy advisor to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, has pled guilty to criminal charges pertaining to his dealings with Russian foreign nationals. Two others,Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and his business associate  Rick Gates, have been arrested and indicted on felony charges, court documents unsealed on Monday reveal. 

The 12 counts include charges of conspiracy against the U.S., failing to register as foreign agents, making false statements to federal investigators, tax fraud, and laundering tens of millions of dollars through offshore accounts for clients in the Ukraine,  including former Ukranian president Viktor Yanukovych, Associated Press reports. Yanukovych was a staunch ally of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

KALASHO THREATENS EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE—AND LOSES NONPROFIT STATUS OF HIS BEAUTY PAGEANT

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 1, 2017 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Councilman Bessmon "Ben" Kalasho has escalated his war on media outlets that have published factual investigative reports on his business, political, legal and ethical controversies.

After first threatening litigation against the San Diego Union-Tribune and ridiculing its reporters, Kalasho has now threatened to sue East County Magazine (ECM), though he has not disputed the accuracy of any specific points in our reports. He has also made provably false, defamatory and malicious statements about our media outlet and reporters, as we have documented clearly in this article.

Ironically, amid his baseless efforts to smear our reputable nonprofit, his own nonprofit beauty pageant has had its nonprofit status revoked by the State of California, the Attorney General confirmed to ECM.

VOTER FRAUD QUESTIONS HAUNT LA MESA'S NEW SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER

 

By Ken Stone

Originally published by Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Rebekah Basson, 25, was appointed to the La Mesa-Spring Valley school board in August. Photo by Ken Stone

November 1, 2017 (La Mesa) - La Mesa’s new school board member voted in Georgia’s November 2016 election despite later swearing that she had been a resident of the East County district for 1 1/2 years — going back to about January 2016.

KALASHO OBJECTS TO CITIZEN CALLING FOR HIS RESIGNATION; EL CAJON COUNCIL BANS FEEDING OF HOMELESS IN PARKS OVER HEPATITS CONCERNS

 

By Paul Kruze

November 1, 2017 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon’s City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to ban feeding of the homeless in public places due to hepatitis concerns, fill a vacancy on its veterans’ commission, and approve a residential housing development. But the most contentious moments came during an impassioned plea from a citizen calling for Councilmember Ben Kalasho to resign, over objections of Kalasho, who sought to silence the resident from speaking out.

ATTORNEY GENERAL BECERRA OPPOSES TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S ATTEMPT TO REPEAL CLEAN WATER RULE

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 31, 2017 (Sacramento) – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has filed opposition to the Trump Administration’s attempt to repeal the 2015 Clean Water Rule, which protect California’s lakes, rivers, and streams from pollution discharges.

NATIONAL PARK FEES TO DOUBLE AND TRIPLE UNDER PROPOSED PLAN: PUBLIC COMMENTS NOW ACCEPTED

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 25, 2017 (Washington D.C.) -- The public has until November 23rd to weigh in on a proposal by the National Park Service to hike up entry fees to $70 a vehicle at 17 of the most popular parks, mostly in the West.

THE CALL FOR THE IMPEACHMENT OF A PRESIDENT

 

The Dangerous Case Of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President, by Bandy Lee, M.D., M.Div. (Thomas Dunne Books, 2017, New York, NY, 360 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

October 24, 2017 (San Diego) - Bandy X. Lee, M.D., M.Div., Assistant Clinical Professor in Law and Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, has written a timely and provocative book about our President; The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.

CA ATTORNEY GENERAL SEEKS EMERGENCY INJUNCTION TO HALT TRUMP FROM CANCELING HEALTH INSURANCE SUBSIDIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 19, 2017 (San Francisco) — President Donald Trump’s executive order to cancel cost-sharing subsidy payments required by the Affordable Care Act passed by Congress is being challenged in court by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.  Becerra has filed a motion asking the court to compel the federal government to “follow the law and pay the subsidies that millions of Americans rely on to lower the out-of-pocket costs in their insurance plans,” according to a press release issued by his office.


A GOLD STAR MOTHER’S LETTER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP

 

After President Donald Trump drew criticism for not calling families of U.S. soldiers killed in Niger, he accused former presidents of not calling fallen soldiers’ families to offer condolences, though all other presidents did so. Trump then insulted the widow of Army Sgt. La David Johnson, saying he “knew what he was signing up for," failed to praise Johnson as a hero, and left her crying after his call. Trump called the Congresswoman who reported his remarks a liar, even after the slain soldier’s mother confirmed the Congresswoman told the truth. Other families of soldiers killed confirm Trump never called them. Now Gold Star mother Candie Glisson has penned this open letter to the President, originally published by Common Defense PAC:

October 19, 2017 (Washington D.C.) -- My son was killed in Iraq. Here’s my message to Trump: On October 4th, 2017, four of our troops were killed in an ambush in Niger. For twelve long days, we didn’t hear a word from this Commander in Chief. Twelve days. Total silence.

BROWN SIGNS BILL TO LET SAN DIEGO WAIVE BUILDING CODES FOR THREE YEARS TO PROVIDE SHELTER FOR HOMELESS

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 19, 2017 (San Diego) – Governor Jerry Brown has signed Assembly Bill 932 authorizing suspension of state and local building standards for three years upon declaration of a shelter crisis in specified areas, including the City of San Diego, in order to create homeless shelters on an emergency basis.

BIPARTISAN HEALTHCARE DEAL ANNOUNCED IN SENATE

 

By Jonathan Goetz

October 17, 2017 (Washington, D.C.) – Days after President Donald Trump announced cancellation of Affordable Care Act subsidies to insurance companies, an action critics contended would destabilize the health insurance marketplace, Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Democratic Senator Patty Murray of Washington have announced a plan to fund healthcare cost-sharing reduction payments until 2019 and offer states more flexibility in healthcare regulation.

GOVERNOR VETOES SB 649, HUESO’S CELL TOWER SITING BILL OPPOSED BY MANY COMMUNITIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 17, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed Senate Bill 649, a bill by State Senator Ben Hueso, a San Diego Democrat whose district includes large portions of rural East County.  The bill would have allowed wireless technology companies to install 5G mini and micro cell sites on any government-owned property without county or city oversight.

CAMPA-NAJJAR LEADS IN FUNDRAISING AMONG HUNTER CHALLENGERS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Rep. Duncan Hunter and challengers Ammar Campa-Najjar and Josh Butner

October 17, 2017 (San Diego) -- The latest campaign fundraising data available through the Federal Elections Commission revealsthat  two strong Democratic challengers to Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter, at least from a financial standpoint, have emerged in the 50th Congressional district: Ammar Campa-Najjar and Josh Butner.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH ANDREW ZELT, 50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT CANDIDATE

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

October 17, 2017 (San  Diego’s East County) -- Recently we sat down with Andrew Zelt, a Republican challenger running against Rep. Duncan D. Hunter in the 50th Congressional District. He’s a sergeant in the Sheriff’s Department, where he’s spent his career, and a resident of Rancho San Diego.

Zelt says he’s running because he can no longer support Hunter, who is under investigation by the Justice Department for  allegedly using campaign donations for personal use. (Hunter has denied wrongdoing but did repay his campaign around $60,000 for vacations, payments to his child's school, oral surgery, jewelry and other expenses.)

“My top priority is listening to the people, finding out what are some of the things that affect you, your day to day lives, and then expand on that to the nation," he says, adding, "What are some of your concerns about the way our nation is going?”

  Hear our in-depth interview at the audio link, which originally aired late this summer on KNSJ radio, or scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

GOVERNOR BROWN SIGNS TONI ATKINS’ BILL TO REESTABLISH “HONORABLE DISCHARGE” PROGRAM FOR YOUTH OFFENDERS

 

East County News Service

October 14, 2017 (Sacramento) -- Governor Jerry Brown has signed SB 625, legislation by Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) that will reestablish the “honorable discharge” program for juvenile offenders who have completed supervision and have demonstrated an ability to be successful.

GOV. BROWN SIGNS “URBAN FORESTS” BILL TO HELP PLANT TREES IN LOW-INCOME COMMUNITIES

 

East County News Service

October 14, 2017 (San Diego) – Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill by California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) that will protect California’s urban forests, a critical step in the state’s efforts to fight climate change.

KALASHO DEFIES EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL RULE ON WIRELESS DEVICES; COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY APPROVES CRACKDOWN ON MARIJUANA

Story, videos and photos by Paul Kruze

October 12, 2017 (El Cajon) – An outburst and verbal kerfuffle between El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells and Councilman Ben Kalasho at the end of Tuesday’s El Cajon City Council meeting almost overshadowed an earlier unified 5-0 decision to ban outdoor growing  of marijuana by individuals and increase penalties for illegal commercial marijuana dispensaries and commercial growing facilities within the city limits of El Cajon.

WILL TRUMP EXECUTIVE ORDER UNDERMINE HEALTH-INSURANCE MARKETS?

 

 

By Suzanne Potter, California News Service

October 13, 2017 (Sacramento) --  Some California groups are predicting that President Donald Trump's new executive order on health care could undermine health-insurance markets and lead to higher premiums for many people. The order, issued Thursday, directs federal agencies to loosen regulations, to allow small businesses to band together and offer low-cost plans across state lines that don't meet the minimum coverage standards of the Affordable Care Act.



Rachel Linn Gish, communications director for the California nonprofit group, Health Access, warns these plans will be similar to those outlawed by the ACA as "junk insurance," that cover very little in the event of a serious injury or illness.

ICE THREATENS CRACKDOWN ON IMMIGRANT NEIGHBORHOODS AFTER GOVERNOR SIGNS “SANCTUARY STATE” BILL

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 10, 2017 (San Diego) — Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law Senate Bill 54, the “sanctuary state” measure aimed at protecting undocumented immigrants in California. In his signing statement, Brown says, “These are uncertain times for undocumented Californians and their families, and this bill strikes a balance that will protect public safety, while bringing a measure of comfort to those families who are now living in fear every day.”

TRUMP TAX PLAN CUTS TAXES FOR WEALTHY AND BIG BUSINESSES, DOUBLES STANDARD DEDUCTION FOR COUPLES AND INDIVIDUALS--BUT MAY RAISE NATIONAL DEBT TO OVER $2 TRILLION

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 9, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – President Donald Trump has rolled out a tax reform plan that would slash the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20% and cap at 25% the rate for “pass through” entities from small businesses to large pass-through entities such as hedge funds.  It eliminates inheritance taxes on large estates and changes tax brackets from seven to just three—12%, 25% and 35%.  So, the poorest taxpayers now paying 10% would pay more, while the wealthiest now paying 39.6% would pay less.

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