Politics

CONGRESSMAN BILBRAY ACCUSED OF BEING "SLUMLORD"

September 22, 2012 (San Diego) – A local organization is accusing Congressman Brian Bilbray of being a “slum lord.”  The independent expenditure group, Much Better Choices, has filmed a video revealing numerous apparent building code violations.   Fox 5 aired the video on Sept. 21.

The video shows old boats, gas cans, a trash-littered weedy lot, and a dilapidated trailer with a growth resembling mold or fungus around windows--all on an unfenced lot adjacent to a school. Neighbors confirm the allegations and have said that they hope to see fines levied and the mess cleaned up.  

"47% WELCOMING COMMITTEE” TO GREET MITT ROMNEY’S ARRIVAL IN SAN DIEGO SATURDAY

Days after a video was released in which Mitt Romney dismissed half the country for taking federal benefits and/or paying no taxes -- taking a swipe at students, veterans, seniors, the unemployed, and average wage-earners -- the Republican presidential nominee will be in Carmel Valley tomorrow for a $1,000-a-head fundraiser. 

The County Democratic Party is organizing a "47% Welcoming Committee" protest on the route to the event on Saturday, Sept. 22, from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. on the Carmel Country Road / Highway 56 Overpass. Click here for more details on how to participate.

DEVELOPMENT ISSUES DOMINATE LA MESA CANDIDATES’ FORUM

 

Candidates Clash Over Their Visions for City’s Future

By Mark Gabrish Conlan

September 15, 2012 (La Mesa)--Five candidates for two seats on the La Mesa City Council — Kristine Alessio, Patrick Dean, Laura Lothian, Shannon O’Dunn and 20-year incumbent Ruth Sterling — met September 13 for the first candidates’ forum of the campaign. Held at the La Mesa Community Center on Memorial Drive and sponsored by the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce, the 90-minute forum centered mostly around finances and development, specifically around downtown and the La Mesa Village area, but it also touched on issues like the city’s responsibility towards homeless people and whether it should declare itself a fair-trade zone.

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INCUMBENTS AND CHALLENGERS CLASH IN SANTEE DEBATE

Editor's note: Also see video interviews with Santee mayoral and council candidates posted here.

By Nadin Abbott

September 20, 2012 (Santee)—Candidates for Santee’s City Council and Mayoral races met at the City Council complex for a candidate forum organized by the League of Women Voters and moderated by Dana Quitner. Mayor Randy Voepel squared off against Rudy Reyes, while long-time Councilman Jack Dale faced off against challenger Maggie Acerra.

The mostly-friendly debate touched on a series of issues of importance for the city. These ranged from the budget and how the end of redevelopment agencies has affected the city to public safety, including how the Cedar fire affected both Reyes and Voepel. Marijuana medical collectives, also a hot issue, drew some fiery responses.

EAST COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICTS ASK VOTERS TO SUPPORT BOND MEASURES

By Janis Mork

September 18, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)- Several local school districts have ballot propositions on the November ballot, including Cajon Valley, Mountain Empire, San Diego Unified, Dehesa, Ramona Unified, Grossmont- Cuyamaca Community College, Chula Vista, and South Bay. All need 55% to pass instead of the usual 2/3 majority vote, according to Prop 39 that was passed several years ago. Below are details on each proposition, along with comments from Superintendents in each district.

DUANE SWAINSTON SEEKS TO BRING “NEW IDEAS, A NEW FOCUS AND NEW ENERGY” TO EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL

Swainston is one of four challengers and three incumbents running for El Cajon City Council.

By Miriam Raftery

September 15, 2012 (El Cajon) – Duane Swainston wants to end the “good ole boy” network on El Cajon’s City Council.  “There seem to be a lot of back room deals and not enough transparency where people know what’s going on,” he says of the current council members. 

Swainston aims to bring his 16 years of experience in management at private sector manufacturing companies  to the job as councilmember if elected.   He holds a degree in business management and has worked for two of El Cajon’s largest employerse, Senior Aerospace Ketema and GKN Aerospace Chem-Tronics. 

“It’s a cost-conscious, schedule-dominant world focused on quality,” he told ECM in an exclusive interview.  “If you’re not doing things faster, better, cheaper, then you’re getting bypassed by your competition.”

FUROR OVER ROMNEY’S “47%” COMMENTS: FACT-CHECKS REVEAL DISTORTIONS

By Miriam Raftery

September 19, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Author H. Jackson Brown once observed that “Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.” 

Now a video shot secretly during a fundraiser for Mitt Romney with wealthy donors is sparking controversy over his apparent insensitivity to nearly half of the American people. In the video, which Romney admits is authentic, the presidential candidate is seen insulting Americans who receive any form of public assistance—including recipients of Social Security and Medicare, as well as military veterans, students, the disabled and the poor.  He also slammed those who pay no taxes—from retirees to some of his own wealthy patrons.

His remarks have drawn sharp criticisms even from many conservative Republican commentators.

JAY STEIGER SEEKS TO PROVIDE "OUTSTANDING EDUCATION" FOR KIDS IN LA MESA-SPRING VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT

“If I’m on the board, I will have an open door policy and be able to work with all groups.”- Jay Steiger

By Janis Mork

September 17, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)- Challenger Jay Steiger is running against Incumbent President William ‘Bill’ Baber and Board member Emma Turner. He hopes to join the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District Board, which includes El Cajon, Santee, and La Mesa this November. View map of the district here: http://www.lmsvsd.k12.ca.us/cms/lib2/CA01001633/Centricity/Domain/184/MAP-Schools.pdf

KEHOE BILLS PASS LEGISLATURE, AWAIT ACTION BY GOVERNOR

September 19, 2012 (San Diego) – Senator Kehoe (D-San Diego)  has several bills that have passed the Legislature and are awaiting action by the Governor, as well as one measure signed into law.  Pending measures include bills to prohibit charges on homeowners producing solar power, protect open space in San Diego, and require general plans to address fire hazards. Others include measures to require that retired judges draw new lines for County Supervisors’ districts and to extend party central committee terms to four years.

LA MESA CANDIDATE FORUM SEPT. 27

September 15, 2012 (La Mesa)--The League of Women Voters will sponsor and moderate a candidate forum for La Mesa City Council candidates in the 2012 election. The forum will be held on September 27 from 7 to 9 pm at the La Mesa City Council Chamber.

POLITICAL REFLECTIONS: AFTER THE CONVENTIONS

By Mark Gabrish Conlan

September 17, 2012 (San Diego) – Well, now we know. The 2012 Presidential election won’t just be between incumbent Democrat Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, but between two starkly different philosophies not only of politics, or how to revive the economy and preserve the capitalist system, but also of life itself and what it means to be human. It won’t be a serious debate over how much government the American people want, or how they propose to pay for it. Nor will it really be about the budget deficit or the national debt, however much Republicans — especially their vice-presidential candidate, Congressmember Paul Ryan —might claim the moral high ground on that issue even though their giveaway tax cuts to the ultra-rich will actually make the national debt bigger, not smaller.

VIDEO: LA MESA CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE FORUM

By Kristin Kjaero

September 15, 2012 (La Mesa, Ca.) – The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce hosted the first City Council Candidate Forum, and East County Magazine was there to record so you can hear the candidates in their own words.

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LUNCH WITH THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS SEPT. 17

The League of Women Voters of San Diego (including East County) will be having its next "Lunch with the League" on Monday, September 17 at Tom Ham's Lighthouse Restaurant, 2150 Harbor Island Drive, Harbor Island, San Diego.  

The program at the luncheon is "Voting with the League: Why is the League Supporting or Opposing Certain Propositions?"  Propositions 30, 31, 32, 34, and 40.   

REP. DARRELL ISSA (R-SAN DIEGO) EARNS DISHONORABLE MENTION IN CREW'S ANNUAL MOST CORRUPT REPORT

September 13, 2012 (Washington, D.C.) — Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) named Rep. Darrell Issa (R-San Diego) as a Dishonorable Mention in its Most Corrupt Members of Congress report, an annual, bipartisan look at Washington’s worst. According to CREW, Rep. Issa illegally disclosed information from a sealed wiretap, then hid behind his constitutional protections as a member of Congress to avoid the consequences, earning him a spot in CREW’s latest report.

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS PUBLISHES “EASY VOTER GUIDE” TO NOV. ELECTION FOR SAN DIEGO VOTERS

September 13, 2012 (San Diego) – Baffled over ballot propositions? Not sure who’s running for what? Or maybe you need deadlines for registering to vote or requesting a vote-by-mail ballot.  The San Diego League of Women Voters has published a guide for new and busy voters with all of this information and more. You can also log onto the LWV’s Smart Voter website to access the complete ballot for your area, including information on candidates running for local, state and national races.  Read more for details provided by the LWV:

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION VOTERS AND NATIONAL LCV ACTION FUND ENDORSE SCOTT PETERS FOR CONGRESS

September 11, 2012 (San Diego) -- The national League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Action Fund and the California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV) together announced their endorsement of Scott Peters for the U.S. House of Representatives in California’s 52nd district. In backing his congressional bid, LCV Action Fund and CLCV cited Peters’ long and accomplished record of public service in the San Diego community, leading initiatives to strengthen public health standards, protect the environment, and grow the economy by creating thousands of new local jobs. Peters, a Democrat, will face long-time incumbent Rep. Brian Bilbray in the general election.

LILY SCHWORM RUNS TO LEGALIZE CHICKENS, CUT SOCIAL SERVICES IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

September 11, 2012 (El Cajon ) – Lily Schorm, a teacher, learned some lessons while attending El Cajon City Council meetings. Now she’s among seven candidates running for three Council seats in November.

“It’s illegal to have chickens in El Cajon,” says Schworm, in an exclusive interview with ECM.  She has been working to persuade the City Council to legalize chicken ownership.  During that process, she saw Council  approve expenditures that she considered wasteful.

GOVERNOR SIGNS BLOCK BILLS TO AID IN FIGHT AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND ASSIST STATE UNIVERSITY RULE MAKING

AB 2212 gives law enforcement new tool; AB 2126 streamlines campus administration

September 10, 2012 (San Diego) -- Assemblymember Marty Block (AD-78) today announced that Gov. Jerry Brown signed his measure to give law enforcement a new tool to shut down human trafficking, AB 2212, and another bill, AB 2126, which helps the California State University (CSU) system streamline its regulation process.

ALPINE MOUNTAIN EMPIRE CHAMBER HOST LUNCH WITH CONGRESSMAN DUNCAN D. HUNTER SEPTEMBER 25

September 9, 2012 (Alpine) – The Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber is hosting a lunch with Congressman Duncan D. Hunter on September 25 from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. at the Alpine Community Center, 1830 Alpine Blvd., Alpine.  Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased at www.alpinechamber.com/membership/payments.html.

ASSEMBLYMAN BRIAN JONES HOSTS 2ND ANNUAL 2ND AMENDMENT AWARENESS EVENT SEPTEMBER 22

September 9, 2012 (Alpine) -- California State Assemblyman Brian Jones will host a 2nd Amendment Awareness Event to celebrate “Constitution Week” on September 22 from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.  The event will be held at the Lemon Grove Rod & Gun Club, 16232 Sequan Truck Trail, Alpine.

MEET AND GREET WITH LEMON GROVE COUNCIL CANDIDATE LOU MELENDEZ SEPT 16

September 8, 2012 (Lemon Grove)—A meet-and-greet with Lemon Grove City Council candidate Lou Melendez wll be held on Sunday, September 16 from 2-4:30 pm.

A 15-year resident of Lemon Grove, Melendez has worked as an engineer with CalTrans for 21 years with experience in infrastructure issues. He says he is committed to community development, local history and youth.

OBAMA ACCEPTS NOMINATION; CLINTON MAKES CASE FOR PRESIDENT’S REELECTION

“Ours is a fight to restore the values that built the largest middle class and the strongest economy the world has ever know.” – President Barack Obama

“We believe that `we’re all in this together’ is a far better philosophy than `you’re on your own.’”  --ex-President Bill Clinton, contrasting Democratic and Republican parties

By Miriam Raftery

September 6, 2012 (Charlotte, North Carolina) -- President Barack Obama, accepting his party’s nomination at the Democratic National Convention tonight, said voters have “the clearest choice in a generation…It will be a choice between two different paths for America.”

A nominating speech by former President Bill Clinton laid out arguments for reelecting Obama. Since 1991, Republicans have held the White House for 28 years, Democrats 24 years, yet Democrats have provided more jobs, he noted. 

FILNER AND DEMAIO DEBATE INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY IN A FUTURE MAYORAL ADMINISTRATION

By Nadin Abbott

September 6, 2012 (San Diego)-- Mayoral candidates Carl DeMaio and Congressman Bob Filner met at the Photographic Museum in Balboa Park in a lively debate hosted by Innovation Alliance, moderated by Erik Anderson of KPBS this week.

The candidates sparred over innovation, the arts and education issues, offering clear choices for voters.

EMMA TURNER PLEDGES SHE IS ‘COMPETENT, CARING, AND COMMITTED’ TO HELPING LA MESA SPRING VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT

"Right now, it’s all about finances. It should be our kids’ education." -- Emma Turner

By Janis Mork

Incumbent Emma Turner is up for re-election this November for her spot as a board member in the La Mesa Spring Valley District. The district includes La Mesa, Spring Valley, and El Cajon. View a map of the district.

September 6, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)-Two seats are open in the LMSV.  Emma Turner hopes that she will get re-elected for the board to continue serving the needs of students. She also needs the seat in order to run for Vice President of the California School Board Association later this year. She’s ready to win, insisting she has “all my endorsements ready” for her spot as VP. Other candidates include incumbent William ‘Bill’ Baber, President of the board, and challenger Jay Steiger.

BILL BABER SHARES HIS VALUES FOR THE LA MESA-SPRING VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD

“I don’t think we have a taxing problem; I think we have a spending problem.”—Bill Baber

By Janis Mork

Incumbent La Mesa-Spring Valley School Board President William ‘Bill’ Baber is up for re-election this November, running against Emma Turner and Jay Steiger for two spots on the school board. The LMSV district includes El Cajon, Spring Valley, and La Mesa. View a map of the district.

September 5, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)-Since being in office since 2004 as president of the board, William Baber believes major achievement has been “the fiscal stability of the district with very prudent financial management.” 

BEN KALASHO SEEKS TO BRING VOICE OF DIVERSITY, BUSINESS SAVVY TO EL CAJON COUNCIL

Three incumbents and four challengers are vying for three seats on the El Cajon City Council. ECM has requested interviews with each. Below is the first in our series of in-depth candidate profiles.


By Miriam Raftery


September 6, 2012 (El Cajon)—Earlier this year, when a vacancy opened on the El Cajon Council due to a resignation, the Councilmembers refused to accept applications from the public – including an Iraqi Chaldean immigrant and an African-American woman who wanted the job. Instead, they appointed an insider like themselves--a white male, who served on Planning Commission. 


To Ben Kalasho, that action exemplifies what’s wrong in El Cajon –and why  the Council needs people from diverse backgrounds.

GASTIL AND VASQUEZ TO HOST WEEKLY MEET AND GREET AT COFFEE SHOP IN LEMON GROVE

 

September 6, 2012 (Lemon Grove)--Council Member George Gastil and City Council candidate Racquel Vasquez will host a weekly meet and greet at the Lemon Grove Starbucks, 7801 Broadway, starting Saturday, September 8 at 9 a.m.

Each one-hour event will provide residents with the opportunity to meet the two San Diego Democratic Party endorsed candidates, ask questions about their individual campaign platforms, and enjoy a free cup of coffee.

BALLOT PROPOSITIONS ON AGENDA SEPT. 20

 

August 31, 2012 (El Cajon)--California State Ballot Propositions 30 through 40 will be discussed at the East County Democratic Club Meeting on at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012. 

The main speaker will be Eric Banks, immediate past-president of SEIU Local 221, who will be addressing issues embedded in Proposition 32, focusing on the questionable issue of "paycheck protection" and sharing information about his public employee union.  Diane Cates, a new member of the SEIU Executive Board will be in attendance and adding her insights.  ECDC President John Martes and his wife Gloria will be presenting information about the other propositions.  Also local Propositions C,D,G,and V, which are bond issues for public education, will  be addressed. 

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