Politics

GONZALEZ FLETCHER BILL WOULD BAN GUN BUY-BACK PROGRAMS FROM GIVING VOUCHERS TO STORES THAT SELL GUNS

 

East County News Service

January 23, 2018 (San Diego) -- California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) introduced a bill this week that would prohibit public agencies during gun buy-back events from handing out taxpayer-funded vouchers to any store that sells firearms.

SHUTDOWN AVERTED WITH SHORT-TERM FUNDING BILL THROUGH FEB. 8: CHILDREN’S HEALTHCARE FUNDING RESTORED, BUT NOT PROTECTION FOR YOUNG IMMIGRANTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 23, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Both houses of Congress have approved a short-term spending bill to reopen the federal government, but only until February 8th

The compromise measure includes six years of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program which had expired at year’s end.  But Democrats failed to win Dream Act protection from deportation for young immigrants or Dreamers, settling on a mere promise from Republican  Majority Mitch McConnell to address the issue in a separate immigration bill with no guarantee of passage.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: WOMEN’S MARCH 2018 SAN DIEGO

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 21, 2018 (San Diego) - An estimated 37,000 people took to the streets of downtown San Diego for the second annual women’s march protesting policies of the Trump administration, according to San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman.  Zimmerman tweeted photos of the large crowd, adding, “All of us thank you for saying hello throughout the rally and walk.”

CALIFORNIA MAY BUCK CONGRESS WITH ITS OWN HEALTH INSURANCE REQUIREMENT

 

By Elizabeth Aguilera, CALmatters

Photo:  A hospital emergency room entrance. Photo by M.O. Stevens via Wikimedia Commons

January 20, 2018 (Sacramento) - With Congress ending the requirement that all Americans have health insurance, California leaders are preparing to counter that move by securing health care for as many residents as possible in a fortified state insurance exchange.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHUTS DOWN AFTER SENATE FAILS TO PASS SPENDING BILL

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 20, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Congress failed to pass a short-term spending bill by Friday night’s deadline that would have funded the federal government only until February 16th. As a result, the federal government is starting a shutdown effective today—the first anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

The key sticking point was Republicans’ failure to protect Dreamers, or young people brought here as children of undocumented immigrants.  Trump cancelled former President Barack Obama’s executive order protecting Dreamers but gave Congress six months to pass legislation to protect them before deporting them. That timeline is nearly up. The shutdown also means no renewal of funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program, which has expired.

PARK SERVICE ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS RESIGN OVER DEPT. OF INTERIOR NEGLECT

 

By Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service

Photo:  National Park Service Advisory Board members are concerned Secretary Ryan Zinke's Interior Department is not focused on the protection of national parks. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

January 18, 2018 (Helena, Mont.) - After nine of the twelve members of the National Park Service Advisory Board resigned this week, public lands supporters are noticing what they say is a pattern of indifference from Secretary Ryan Zinke's Interior Department.

REPORT: TIPPING RULE CHANGE WOULD COST WOMEN $4.6 BILLION

 

By Suzanne Potter, Public News Service

Photo:  Workers could be forced to turn over tips to their employers under a rule proposed by the Trump administration. (SRandCo/Morguefile)

January 18, 2018 (Sacramento) - As women's marches take place across the country this Saturday, time is running out to put in your two cents about a rule proposed by the Trump administration that a new report says could cost female workers $4.6 billion in tips a year.

LEMON GROVE PLANNING COMMISSION REINSTATEMENT TABLED TO FEBRUARY 20

 

By Jonathan Goetz

January 17, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – On Tuesday, Lemon Grove City Attorney Jim Lough presented to Council Ordinance changes for the Municipal Code that the Council chose to table.  Council wanted more time to review it and compare differences between the new verbiage and the old verbiage.  Lough is expected to bring it back for a vote Tuesday, February 20.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION WANTS TO ARREST LEADERS OF SANCTUARY CITIES AND STATES

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 17, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Leaders of sanctuary cities and states could be arrested and charged with crimes, Kirstjen Nielsen, Secretary of Homeland Security told Senators in a committee meeting Tuesday.

SUPERVISOR DIANNE JACOB IS GUEST SPEAKER AT LA MESA CHAMBER BREAKFAST FEBRUARY 21

 

East County News Service

January 15, 2018 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce invites you to attend its first breakfast meeting of the new year on Wednesday, February 21 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Marie Callender’s, 6950 Alvarado Road San Diego. The speaker for this first breakfast in 2018 is Supervisor Dianne Jacob.

LA MESA MAYOR DELIVERS UPBEAT STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS; VIEW FULL TRANSCRIPT

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo: Mayor Mark Arapostathis Mayor’s State of the City Report, January 9, 2018.  Photo courtesy City of La Mesa

January 15, 2018 (La Mesa) – On Tuesday, La Mesa Mayor Mark Arapostathis delivered an optimistic State of the City, in which he cited low crime, a 2017 survey that said 91% of La Mesa residents rate the quality of life in La Mesa as being excellent or good, and $8.5 million in local infrastructure improvements, plus further investments from SDG&E and San Diego County Water Authority that strengthen the "long-term stability for the infrastructure under our streets."

LEADERS FROM SAN DIEGO TO UNITED NATIONS DENOUNCE TRUMP’S SLUR AGAINST IMMIGRANTS FROM NATIONS OF COLOR

 

By Miriam Raftery

This is a moment of truth, a moment to reflect on our values -- values of decency, respect, and compassion -- and call this president to account for his treatment of others.” – Andrea Guerrero, Alliance San Diego

January 13, 2018 (San Diego) – The Washington Post, citing multiple sources, reported  Friday that during a meeting with several Senators meant to hammer out bipartisan immigration legislation, President Donald Trump made a vulgar racial remark. “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” the President reportedly said of immigrants from Africa, Haiti, and El Salvador.

THE NEW TAX LAW AND YOU: REP. SUSAN DAVIS TO HOLD INFORMATION FORUM ON JAN. 13 AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE

East County News Service

January 11, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Congresswoman Susan Davis will be hosting a tax information forum at Grossmont College on Saturday, January 13 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at Grossmont College (8800 Grossmont College Drive, El Cajon) in the Griffin Gate Auditorium.

Congresswoman Davis will be bringing together experts to discuss the larger implications of the new tax law and how to navigate the changes.  The event is intended to provide information and answer questions.  Following brief remarks, speakers will be available for a Q&A session and resource tables with helpful information will be present throughout the event.

GRAND JURY ISSUES SUBPOENA IN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION OF CONGRESSMAN HUNTER, UNION-TRIBUNE REPORTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 11, 2018 (San Diego) – A federal grand jury has subpoenaed documents from a local business as part of a criminal investigation into Congressman Duncan Hunter’s campaign finances, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported yesterday.

The newspaper’s award-winning journalist Morgan  Cook reports that the grand jury will hear evidence and testimony from a witness also ordered to appear in San Diego later this month.  Potentially, the grand jury could issue one or more criminal indictments, casting a pall over Hunter’s effort to win a primary race in June and reelection to Congress in November.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION REMOVES FLORIDA FROM OFFSHORE DRILLING

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in the Gulf Coast

January 10, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Just days after Trump’s Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced plans to open up 98% of our nation’s coastlines to offshore oil drilling and fracking, Zinke said he is removing Florida off that list, stating, “I support the governor’s position that Florida is unique and its coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver.”

CONGRESSMAN ISSA TO RETIRE, SETTING UP A BATTLE TO FILL THE 49TH DISTRICT SEAT

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 10, 2018 (San Diego) – Congressman Darrell Issa announced Wednesday that he will retire at the end of his term, creating an open seat in the 49th Congressional District for the first time in 18 years.  The action sets the stage for a battleground in the November election, since the 49th is considered a swing district that Democrats hope to capture in their effort to retake control of Congress.

ASSEMBLY CANDIDATE JAMES ELIA SUPPORTS INVESTIGATION OF OUTAGES PLANNED BY SDG&E

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 9, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – 71st Assembly candidate James Elia is speaking to support an investigation into the SDG&E planned power outages in December that left many thousands of residents across the county without electricity, in some cases for a full week.

KRISTIN GASPAR TO CHAIR BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

 

Supervisor Kristin Gaspar was unanimously voted chairwoman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors for 2018 on Tuesday. The Board also named Supervisor Dianne Jacob to serve as vice chairwoman and Supervisor Greg Cox as chairman pro tem.

RUSSIA'S HACKING OF THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE

 

Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House, by Donna Brazile (Hachette Book Group, Inc., 2017, New York, NY, 268 pages).

 

Book Review by Dennis Moore

 

January 5, 2017 (San Diego) - Donna Brazile, former Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman has written a provocative and timely book about election politics and alleged Russian influence in our political process; Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION PROPOSES OPENING COASTLINES FOR OFFSHORE DRILLING, INCLUDING SAN DIEGO

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Santa Barbara oil spill, 1969, dumped up to 100,000 barrels of crude oil off California's coast, killing 3,500 sea birds as well as marine mammals such as dolphins and seals. (Dick Smith Collection, University of Santa Barbara)

January 5, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke yesterday issued a sweeping proposal to open up 98% of all outer continental shelf areas for offshore oil drilling -- including off San Diego’s coastline.  By contrast, drilling is currently allowed in only 6% of those areas.

The proposal, which also includes plans to drill in the Arctic, elsewhere along the west coast, the Atlantic coast and the Gulf coast, has drawn strong opposition from environmental groups and from California’s Attorney General.  View map of proposed drilling sites. The public will have an opportunity to weigh in however in public comments and public meetings to be held around the country.  A schedule of those meetings will be posted here.  Online comments at regulations.gov will be accepted starting January 8th.

CHILDREN'S GROUPS PRESS LAWMAKERS TO PASS DREAM ACT

 

By Suzanne Potter, Public News Service

Photo: Avid Creative

January 4, 2018 (Sacramento) -- Almost 250 California businesses and children's groups have sent a joint letter to the state's members of Congress, urging them to pass the Dream Act, which would give certain undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children a work permit and a path to citizenship.

DEMOCRATS LOSE SUPERMAJORITY IN SACRAMENTO

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 3, 2018 (Sacramento) – As the state Legislature reconvenes to consider important matters including the state budget, the process just got more complicated for Democrats.  Resignation of three Democratic members means the party has lost its supermajority.  So even though Democrats still retain a majority, without the two-third supermajority required, they won’t be able to pass any measure that raises taxes without Republican support.

TRUMP APPROVES DISATER AID FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

 

East County News Service

January 3, 2018 (San Diego) – President Donald Trump on Tuesday approved a request by California Governor Jerry Brown for a federal disaster declaration due to wildfires in southern California that began December 4th, including the Lilac Fire in San Diego as well as devastating fires in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

TRUMP TAUNTS KOREAN LEADER ON NUCLEAR BUTTON SIZE

 

By Miraim Raftery

January 3, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – President Donald Trump starting the New Year off with a Tweet mocking North Korean President Kim Jong Un’s power and the sizes of his nuclear button. The action came in response to Kim’s New Year’s announcement in which the North Korean strongman stated that “The whole territory of the U.S. is within the range of our nuclear strike,” though adding that he would not attack first unless threatened, and he voiced support for talks.

SANTEE WANTS A HIGH-END HOTEL, BUT MAY NOT HAVE A PLACE TO BUILD IT

 

By Paul Kruze

December 29, 2017 (Santee) – Santee’s City Council would like nothing more than to follow in the footsteps of El Cajon and lure a large hotel chain to build a business-class hotel in the growing city. But at Council’s December 13th meeting, it became evident that the biggest question these days is not whether the sprawling community could support such an investment, but rather where to put it. So says a San Francisco-consultant firm that was hired by Santee last Spring to develop a feasibility study on what it would take for it to happen in short order.

KALASHO’S COUNTERSUIT AGAINST ACCUSERS THROWN OUT BY SAN DIEGO JUDGE

 

By Paul Kruze

Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

Read Judge Taylor’s full decision dismissing Kalasho’s cross complaint.

December 27, 2017 (San Diego)--San Diego Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor gave his early Christmas gift Friday to embattled El Cajon City Councilman Ben Kalasho: a proverbial piece of coal.

The judge dismissed a countersuit filed by Kalasho against two beauty pageant contestants and a taco shop owner who are suing Kalasho on serious allegations of abusive behavior including sexual misconduct, fraud, defamation, and cyberharassment.

With Kalasho stoically standing next to his attorney, Judge Taylor found that the countersuit filed by Kalasho, a public figure, met the definition of a SLAPP suit meant to intimidate individuals’ constitutional rights of freedom of speech and petition for the redress of grievances. SLAPP suits are illegal under California law. The judge affirmed that the plaintiffs have a right to redress their grievances against Kalasho in a court of law and to speak about their grievances in the media. “Lawsuits are public proceedings,” Taylor admonished Kalasho’s attorney, Stephen J. Liosi.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: EL CAJON MAYOR BILL WELLS

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 28, 2017 (El Cajon)—El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells was our guest for an in-depth interview on our radio show last week.  You can hear the full interview, originally aired on KNSJ, by clicking on the “audio” link.  Our topics included the performing arts center, a major new goal for helping the homeless, and economic revitalization in the community.

Mayor Wells shared details about the city’s exciting new partnership with Live Nation to reopen the East County Performing Arts Center.  The Mayor, who plays several musical instruments, recalled how music made a big difference in his own life.  “It was the first thing I was really good at,” he reflected, also sharing a humorous anecdote about how he talked his way into the school band as a youngster growing up.

Audio: 

MORE NEW CALIFORNIA LAWS TAKE EFFECT IN 2018

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 26, 2017 (San Diego) – Besides new laws affecting motorists, there are several other important new laws taking effect in 2018, including a minimum wage increase, legal marijuana sales, new protections for workers and job applicants, new requirements for employers and general contractors, limits on where you can buy ammunition, and more.

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