Politics

HUNTER AND ISSA VOTE TO SELL YOUR ONLINE PRIVACY AFTER TAKING BIG MONEY FROM TELECOM INDUSTRY; TRUMP SIGNS MEASURE INTO LAW

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 30, 2017 (San Diego) – Your Internet provider can now legally sell your browsing history and your email address, without your consent—thanks to legislation signed into law by President Trump.   The measure passed the Senate by just 2 votes and the House by 10 votes. San Diego Republican Congressmen Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa both voted for the measure – after taking $19,000 and $66,275 from the telecommunications industry respectively. 

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: AMMAR CAMPA NAJJAR, CANDIDATE RUNNING AGAINST DUNCAN HUNTER, WITH BACKGROUND IN CREATING JOBS FOR BOTH LABOR DEPT. AND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

 

 

 “This campaign is about solving economic injustice, regardless of your views or hues. Regardless of whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, pain is pain.”—Ammar Campa-Najjar

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

May  29, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Earlier this month, we sat down for an in-depth interview with Ammar Campa-Najjar, a Democrat running for the 50th Congressional  district seat held by Republican Duncan Hunter.  (Hear the full interview, which aired on KNSJ radio, by clicking the audio link and scroll down for highlights.)

 He has a rare combination of qualifications, with  background in helping promote job creation both as public affairs officer for the Labor Department under President Obama and as director of communications for the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. 

A native San Diegan of Hispanic and Arab descent, he’s also  the son of immigrants and a Christian who’s worked with his church to help working people and  deported veterans.   Now he says he’s running to listen to the problems faced by all people in the district,  use his experience in Washington to bring good-paying jobs to East County including rural areas, and bring “national pride, not national shame” as our region’s representative in Congress.

Audio: 

RUSSIA DUPED BERNIE FANS VIA FACEBOOK, SAN DIEGO DEMS TOLD

 

By Ken Stone

Reprinted with permission from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association.

Photo:  John Mattes speaks to San Diego Democrats for Equality, the predominantly gay club in Hillcrest. Photo by Ken Stone

May 27, 2017 (San Diego) - Oliver Mitov was dispatched by the Kremlin to get Bernie Sanders fans to vote third-party in the November election, write in the Democratic primary loser for president — or not vote at all.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING, HEALTHCARE FOR ALL AMONG ATKINS BILLS ADVANCING IN LEGISLATURE

 

Source:  Toni Atkins' office

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday passed nine bills authored by Sen. Toni Atkins, including SB 2the Building Homes and Jobs Act – which would create a permanent source of funding for affordable housing.

EL CAJON APPROVES REDISTRICTING MAP; COUNCILMAN KALASHO THREATENS LAWSUIT

 

By Jonathan Goetz; Miriam Raftery also contributed to this article

May 26, 2017 (El Cajon) – Following a lively public hearing on drawing up city council district lines to comply with Voting Rights Act requirements aimed at increasing minority representation,  El Cajon’s City council voted 3-2 to adopt  Paul Circo’s map PCirco1 for council district elections. 

Councilman Ben Kalasho,  a Chaldean-American and the only minority on the Council,  earlier sent a letter threatening to sue his city if that map was approved and request public records to determine if gerrymandering laws or the Brown Act were violated. 

Mayor Bill Wells, Councilmen Gary Kendrick and Bob McClellan voted to approve the map drawn by Circo, a Republican who ran for Council in 2016.  Councilmembers Steve Goble and Kalasho voted against it.  The district election map  chosen squares Kalasho off against fellow Councilman Kendrick, who also lives in Fletcher Hills, on the opposite side of Parkway Plaza. It also pairs Councilmembers Steve Goble and Bob McClellan, leaving two other districts that will be open seats. The Mayor will continue to be elected at-large by all voters in the city.

The plan chosen creates three majority minority districts.  Two have 70% minorities and a third has 51% . The minority definition used is broad, including language minorities such as Arabic speakers as well as all classes protected under state and federal  Voting Rights Acts.

REPUBLICAN HEALTHCARE PLAN WOULD LOWER DEFICIT BUT AT HIGH COST: 23 MILLION LOSING HEALTHCARE, AND SOME SENIORS WOULD PAY 850% MORE FOR PREMIUMS

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 25, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – House Republicans passed repeal of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and  passage of their own American Health Care Act (Trumpcare) without waiting for a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Now the CBO’s report is published—and shows mostly negative consequences of the Republican plan now before the Senate. 

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.

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