Politics

SANTEE CITY COUNCIL TO SEND LETTER TO SHERIFF GORE REQUESTING CHANGE IN CONCEALED WEAPONS POLICY

 

East County News Service

 

July 17, 2017 (Santee) – In a 5-0 unanimous vote, the Santee City Council has authorized Mayor John Minto to send an official letter from the council to San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore requesting a change in Gore’s internal policy regarding the issuance of concealed weapon permits. Specifically, the council is asking Sheriff Gore to accept self-defense or personal protection to fulfill California’s requirement of “good cause.” 

SENATE REVISES HEALTHCARE BILL, DRAWS OPPOSITION FROM GOVERNORS AND INSURANCE INDUSTRY

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 16, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. Senate has introduced a revamped bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Healthcare Act with a new provision aimed at getting conservative votes. The newest version would allow insurance companies to sell skimpy “bare bones” insurance plans provided they offer at least one that meets the requirements of Obamacare.  So, insurers could exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions, maternity care, drug addiction, mental health and more, under the mantra of offering consumers a “choice.”  The CEOs of major insurance companies sent a joint letter to Senate leaders Friday calling the plan “unworkable in any form” and warning it will lead to “widespread termination of coverage.”

SUPERVISORS’ AGENDAS THIS WEEK INCLUDES FUNDS FOR PUBLIC SAFETY AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 15, 2017 (San Diego) – The San Diego County Board of Supervisors meets Tuesday and Wednesday, July 18 and 19.   The agendas include funding for numerous public safety projects, affordable housing construction, and more.

EVIDENCE TRUMP CAMPAIGN COLLUDED WITH RUSSIA MOUNTS

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 14, 2017  (Washington D.C.) – President Donald Trump, his top aides and family members have repeatedly dismissed claims that his campaign conspired with Russia to win the election as “fake news” and “lies.”   (See a timeline of denials compiled by the BBC.)  But evidence is now clear that those statements were untrue. 

The email chain released  by the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., shows "an intent to collude with Russia, veteran prosecutors and white-collar defense attorneys.” Politico reports, handing special prosecutor Robert Mueller a “smoking gun.” A Time Magazine cover shows Trump Jr.’s face and the headline, “Red-handed: the Russia scandal hits home.”

Trump Jr. released emails,  the Washington Post reported, after learning the New York Times was about to do so, which reveal that  he set up a meeting with an attorney who was “part of Russia and its government support or Mr. Trump.” specifically because the attorney claimed to have “official documents” that would “incriminate Hillary.” 

RESTRAINING ORDER REQUEST AGAINST LEMON GROVE COUNCILMAN DENIED BY JUDGE; ARAMBULA SAYS HE PLANS SUIT ALLEGING DEFAMATION AND MALICIOUS PROSECUTION

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 13, 2017  (Lemon Grove) – A judge has denied  a permanent restraining order sought against Lemon Grove Councilman David Arambula by a local lawyer for whom he once worked as a paralegal. The restraining order request was denied with prejudice, meaning that it cannot be refilled.  The judge found no evidentiary basis for a civil harassment order.  View the judge’s Minute Order.

HOUSE PASSES REP. SUSAN DAVIS’ LEGISLATION TO PROTECT CHILDREN AND COMBAT TRAFFICKING

 

Bill takes aim at stopping sex trafficking at schools, training educators how to identify victims

East County News Service

July 12, 2017 (San Diego) -- The House of Representatives passed legislation by U.S. Rep. Susan Davis (D-San Diego) to combat sex trafficking. The Empower Educators to Prevent Trafficking Act (H.R. 2268) was included in a package of legislation - The Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Protection Act (H.R. 2200).

ATTORNEY GENERAL BECERRA TO U.S. HOUSE: OPPOSE BILL FORCING CALIFORNIA TO WEAKEN WATER QUALITY STANDARDS

 

East County News Service

July 12, 2017 (Sacramento) -- California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to oppose legislation that would force California to accept water quality standards that are over 22 years old and give up all enforcement of its own higher state standards. The so-called Gaining Responsibility on Water Act (H.R. 23) would forbid only California from regulating the waters within its own borders.

FIRST AMENDMENT GROUP SUES TRUMP OVER BLOCKING TWITTER USERS

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 12, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – Is Twitter a public forum?  The Knight First Amendment Institution says yes—and has filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump and White House officials seeking to halt the President from blocking Twitter users with whom he disagrees.

NY TIMES: DONALD TRUMP JR. GOT EMAIL FROM RUSSIAN LAWYER TELLING HIM OF RUSSIAN PLOT TO AID TRUMP CAMPAIGN

 

By Joe Gandelman, Editor-In-Chief , The Moderate Voice, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo: Creative Commons by Gage Skidmore

July 10, 2017 (Washington D.C.) -- Yet another journalistic bombshell from the New York Times: the paper reports that Donald Trump, Jr. was informed in advance of his meeting with a Russian lawyer that she had negative info about Hillary Clinton — and that the info came from the Russian government.

PUBLIC DEFENDER GENEVIEVE JONES-WRIGHT RUNS FOR DISTRICT ATTORNEY ON PLATFORM OF “JUSTICE, FAIRNESS AND ACCOUNTABILITY”

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 10, 2017 (San Diego) — Genevieve Jones-Wright has served as deputy public defender in San Diego for more than a decade.  Now Wright, a Democrat, has announced plans to run for District Attorney against Summer Stephan, who was recently appointed by Supervisors to fill the vacancy left by Bonnie Dumanis’ retirement.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING BILL ADVANCES

 

East County News Service

July 10, 2017 (San Diego) – The Building Homes and Jobs Act, a measure to increase affordable housing in California, has passed the state Senate by a vote of 27 to 12.

The measure authored by San Diego Democratic Senator Toni Atkins would create a permanent source of funding for affordable housing though a fee on certain types of real estate documents, excluding sales of residential and commercial property.

MEDIA WATCH: TRUMP’S TWEET OF PRESIDENT ASSAULTING CNN IN WRESTLING RING DRAWS CONDEMNATION

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 4, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – President Donald Trump hit below the belt, in the view of professional journalists, when he tweeted a 28-second video altered to depict Trump wrestling and punching a figure with the CNN logo transposed on its head. The video also alters the CNN logo to read, “FNN: Fraud News Network.”

220 CITIES LOSING ALL PASSENGER TRAIN SERVICE PER TRUMP PLAN TO ELIMINATE ALL FEDERAL FUNDS FOR AMTRAK’S NATIONAL NETWORK

 

Source: National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP)

Photo: Donald Trump, by Gage Skidmore

July 4, 2017 (San Diego) -- The National Association of Rail Passengers denounced the budget outline released by the Trump Administration, which slashes investment in transportation infrastructure. These cuts to Amtrak, transit, and commuter rail programs, and even air service to rural towns, would not only cost construction and manufacturing jobs, but place a disproportionate amount of pain on rural and working class communities.

1500 SAN DIEGANS MARCH FOR IMPEACHMENT

 

By Frank Gormlie , OB Rag

July 2, 2017 (San Diego) -- An estimated 1500 San Diegans rallied and marched in downtown San Diego today to impeach the president of the United States. The first rally began around 11am in front of the County Admin building. About 45 minutes into the event, the crowd moved off the site onto the streets for a march around the western edge of downtown.

HOUSE APPROVES REP. ISSA’S RESOLUTION CONDEMNING ANTI-LGBTQ PERSECUTION IN CHECHNYA

 

East County News Service

July 2, 2017 (San Diego) -- Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista), a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives approved the bipartisan resolution he co-led condemning the recent murder, torture and detention of gay men by the Chechen government.

HOUSE PASSES BILLS TO BLOCK FUNDS FOR SANCTUARY CITIES AND STATES, RAISE PENALTIES FOR ENTERING U.S. AFTER MULTIPLE DEPORTATIONS OR CONVICTIONS

 

By Miriam Raftery

File photo: Pro-immigration protest in Washington D.C.

July 1, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. House of Representatives has passed House Resolutions 3003 and 3004, measures aimed at cracking down on undocumented immigrants.  The measures, which punish sanctuary cities and states by withholding key funds, also boost penalties for certain immigrants who reenter the U.S. illegally after being deported three or more times. 

COURT HALTS PROP 63 REQUIREMENT TO DISPOSE OF LARGE-CAPACITY AMMUNITION MAGAZINES

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Vigil following 2015 San Bernardino shooting

June 30, 2017 (Sacramento) – U.S. District judge Roger Benitez with California’s Southern District Court has granted a preliminary injunction sought by the National Rifle Association, temporarily blocking part of Proposition 63 that required Californians to dispose of large-capacity ammunition magazines by Saturday or face fines and potentially, jail time.

PRESIDENT SIGNS VA REFORM INTO LAW

 

East County News Service

June 28, 2017 (Washington D.C.) — President Donald Trump has signed into law the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017. The bipartisan legislation aims to increase accountability at the VA by allowing the Secretary to dismiss poorly-performing employees and those who engage in misconduct while strengthening protections for whistleblowers who expose wrongdoing.

VETERAN JOBS BILLS PASS U.S. HOUSE

 

House approves legislation to cut red tape, help veterans qualify for jobs in commercial trucking

East County News Service

June 28, 2017 (San Diego) – The House of Representatives has approved bipartisan legislation to ease veterans’ transition into civilian employment opportunities by streamlining the process for trained service members to obtain commercial drivers’ licenses (CDL). The move comes as the commercial trucking industry faces a shortage of roughly 48,000 drivers, according to data from the American Trucking Associations. This legislation would allow veterans, many of which are already trained to operate heavy military vehicles, to help fill this gap.

SENATOR JOEL ANDERSON STAFF MEMBER HONORED BY REPUBLICAN PARTY AS LEGISLATIVE STAFF MEMBER OF THE YEAR

 

East County News Service

June 27, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Andrew Hayes, a district representative with California Sen. Joel Anderson (R-Alpine), has been honored with Wendell Cutting Legislative Staff Member of the Year award from the Republican Party of San Diego County. The award, presented at the recent Lincoln Reagan Dinner, recognizes excellence in constituent service and community participation.

HUESO BILL WOULD HELP PROTECT TIJUANA RIVER VALLEY AFTER SEWAGE SPILLS

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 26, 2017 (San Diego) – State Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) has introduced Senate Bill 507 to help protect the Tijuana River Valley in the wake of repeated severe sewage spills from Mexico, including a spill in February that dumped an estimated 28 to 100 million gallons of raw sewage into the valley.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: MORGAN COOK, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALIST, ON HER INVESTIGATION INTO REP. HUNTER

 

By Miriam Raftery

Hear our interview by clicking the audio link above.

June 25, 2017 (San Diego) – East County Magazine sat down for an interview with Morgan,  the San Diego Union-Tribune reporter who has been named “Journalist of the Year” by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) in San Diego. 

In our exclusive interview, aired earlier this month on KNSJ radio, we asked what led her to investigate Congressman Duncan D. Hunter’s campaign finances, how his office responded, and what challenges she faced in her investigation.  Cook’s findings helped lead to an ongoing U.S. Justice Department criminal probe of allegations that Hunter spent lavish sums on personal expenditures and charged them to his campaign, including a family vacation to Italy , expensive jewelry, resort visits, money paid to his children’s school, first-class airfare for his son’s pet rabbit, and more. 

Audio: 

CA GROUPS: SENATE HEALTH BILL "MORE DRACONIAN" THAN HOUSE VERSION

 

By Suzanne Potter, California News Service

June 23, 2017 (Sacramento) --  Health advocates warn the Senate GOP bill to repeal and replace Obamacare would cause millions of Californians to lose their healthcare - by phasing out the Medicaid expansion and then capping the program altogether.

The "Better Care Reconciliation Act" or BCRA, lifts the government mandate for people to have insurance, and lets states allow insurance policies that exclude services like maternity and mental-health care.

Anthony Wright, executive director of the nonprofit Health Access California, says the bill would harm many different groups.  "It still eliminates the Medicaid expansion that 4 million Californians depend on," he says. "But it also has a harsher cap on the entire program, which 14 million Californians depend on - including a third of the state, half of all children, and two-thirds of all nursing-home residents."

The Senate bill also lets insurance companies charge Americans ages 50 to 64 five times what younger people pay, compared to the current limit of three times. And it lifts a ban on charging much higher premiums to people with preexisting conditions.

NATIONAL HOUSING EXPERT HIRED AS CEO OF NEW REGIONAL TASK FORCE ON HOMELESS: WALKER LED EFFORTS THAT REDUCED CHRONIC HOMELESSNESS 90% IN UTAH

 

Gordon D. Walker will direct agency charged with overseeing regional homeless planning and local distribution of federal homeless and affordable housing dollars       

Source: County News Service

June 22, 2017 (San Diego) -- The San Diego County Regional Task Force on the Homeless (RTFH) has selected Gordon D. Walker as its new chief executive officer. Walker most recently served as director of Utah’s Division of Housing and Community Development where he gained national attention for his efforts to reduce homelessness.

The Los Angeles Times reports in an article today that Utah has reduced its chronic homeless population by 91 percent.  From 2oo5, when Utah state officials began placing people in permanent housing, there were 1,932 chronically homeless people. Today, nearly all of those are housed, with only 178 chronically homeless people in the entire state of Utah – and officials have their sights set on soon bringing that number down to zero through an approach that is compassionate, not punitive.

WHAT’S BREWING IN LEMON GROVE? COUNCIL APPROVES BREWERIES, WINERIES AND DISTILLERIES ORDINANCE, ALSO FILLS VACANCIES ON COMMUNITY ADVISORY COMMISSION

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo: City Commissioners Angeles Nelson (with flowers) and Yajaira Preciado

June 21, 2017 (Lemon Grove) – Breweries may soon be opening up their doors in Lemon Grove, based on action taken at yesterday’s city council meeting. In addition, Angeles Nelson, Yajaira Preciado and James Davis were appointed to the Lemon Grove Community Advisory Commission along with alternates Tom Clabby and Walter Oliwa.

SPEAKERS ON MIDEAST GEOPOLITCS AND VOTING RIGHTS ACT JUNE 26

 

East County News Service

 

June 20, 2017 (Rancho Bernardo) – Farouk Al-Nasser, president of the San Diego World Affairs Council, will offer his perspective on geopolitical events in the Middle at a meeting of the Rancho Bernardo Democratic Club on Monday, June 26th. In addition, former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher will speak on the Voting Rights Act.  Refreshments and registration start at 6:30 p.m. with the program starring at 7 p.m. at The Remington Club II, 16916 Hierba Drive. This event is free of charge and open to the public. 

SUPREME COURT RULES TOP BUSH OFFICIALS IMMUNE FROM PROSECUTION FOR DETENTION AND ALLEGED ABUSE OF MUSLIMS AFTER SEPT. 11 TERROR ATTACK

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 20, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – The US. Supreme Court has ruled that former Bush administration officials cannot be sued for allegedly violating Constitutional rights protecting against illegal search and seizures.  The case, Ziglar v. Abbasi, was filed by Muslim immigrants who allege that they were profiled based on their religion, arrested and detained in harsh conditions after the September 11th terrorism attacks.  

CONGRESSWOMAN SUSAN DAVIS TO HOST VETERANS TOWN HALL SATURDAY IN EL CAJON

 

East County News Service

June 20, 2017 (El Cajon) -- Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) is hosting a Veterans Town Hall to establish a greater understanding between local veterans and the friends and neighbors they fought for.  The town hall will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 24 at the Ronald Reagan Community Center in El Cajon.

HUMANITARIAN GROUPS WARN REFUGEE BILL IN CONGRESS COULD PUT LIVES IN PERIL

 

East County News Service

June 17, 2017 (San Diego) - The Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act has been reintroduced and will be considered in the House Judiciary committee this weekContrary to its name, refugee advocates say the measure would actually endanger the lives of refugees in need ot immediate resettlement as well as any refugees already in the U.S. who travel home to visit family.  A letter opposing the legislation has been sent to the committee’s chair and ranking member, signed by 117 refugee advocate organizations including many local groups ranging from churches to human rights advocates.

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