Politics

SENATOR ANDERSON’S OFFICE BANISHES VOTER WHO ASKED TOUGH QUESTIONS

Anderson running against Supervisor Jacob, but refuses to answer questions about his special interest ties

A podcast of this interview is now online. Listen now at:  http://k003.kiwi6.com/hotlink/lckbr8zs0o/Newsmaker-BiggersTom-AndersonVoter.mp3

Hear the full show from Feb. 23, 2015 here: http://k003.kiwi6.com/hotlink/octrm252x1/ECMShow2-23-15.mp3



This interview originally aired Monday, February 23rd on KNJS 89.1 FM during our East County Magazine show which airs Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5 p.m.. You can also listen live at www.knsj.org or download the TuneIn Ap to hear KNSJ on your cell phone.

By Miriam Raftery

February 22, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)—State Senator Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) has been endorsed by the County Republican Party for his candidacy challenging East County’s Dianne Jacob for her seat on the County Board of Supervisors next year.  But increasingly, media and constituents are raising serious questions about Anderson’s motives for running and his close ties to special interests—questions that Anderson has refused to answer.

Thomas Biggers is a constituent who voted for Anderson previously.  But after doing some research, he became concerned and visited Anderson’s local office. He asked four questions--which led Anderson's staffer to ban Biggers from the office:

SUPERVISOR HORN: 2015 WILL BE "YEAR OF THE VETERAN"

 

View video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=fTobU9pt0ds

East County News Service

February 19, 2015 (San Diego)—Supervisor Bill Horn, Chairman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, declared 2015 the “year of the veteran” in his state of the county speech last week.

Horn said, “These men and women have made sacrifices that often take terrible tolls on their personal lives. As a county and as a community, we have a responsibility to take care of our veterans.”

An ex-Marine Corps officer and veteran, Horn said programs will be ramped up and new programs rolled out in the coming year.  One is the Vet Connect program being rolled out East County libraries, prompted by an East County Magazine special report that found a lack of veterans’ services in rural areas.

CONFIDENT OF LICKING CANCER, EMERALD TO RUN AGAIN

 

Photo: San Diego City Councilwoman Marti Emerald at Metropolitan Transit System board meeting, Feb. 12, 2015

By Donald H. Harrison

Reprinted with permission from San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Network. Originally published on February 15, 2015.

February 17, 2015 (San Diego) – Confident of her recovery from breast cancer, for which she currently is undergoing radiation five days a week, City Councilwoman Marti Emerald says she plans to run in 2016 for another four-year term in part because she wants to protect the children of the 9th District against violence and future PTSD.

HELIX WATER TO HOLD WORKSHOP ON WATER RATE STRUCTURE FEB. 18

East County News Service

February 17, 2015 (La Mesa) – The Helix Water District Board meets Wednseday, February 18 at 2 p.m. (7811 University Ave., La Mesa).

The agenda includes a workshop on water rate structure cost of service. Oddly, as of Tuesday afternoon, the agenda packet did not include any details on a proposed water rate structure for the public to review prior to the meeting, raising questions over adequacy of public notice under the Ralph M. Brown Act.

CA STATE SENATE, IN UNANIMOUS VOTE, ASKS CONGRESS TO GIVE IMMIGRANTS A PATH TO CITIZENSHIP

 

East County News Service

February 17, 2015 (Sacramento)—A clear partisan divide separates Congress on immigration issues. But in a rare show of bipartisan unity, California’s State Senate unanimously approved a strongly worded resolution asking Congress to provide undocumented immigrants with a path to citizenship.

SOITEC BACKERS HOST FUNDRAISER FOR DAVE ROBERTS—AFTER ROBERTS CASTS VOTE FOR SOITEC

By Miriam Raftery

February 12, 2015 (San Diego's East County)--Six days after Supervisor Dave Roberts voted for the highly controversial Soitec industrial-scale solar projects in Boulevard which were approved 4-1 on February 4th,  he sent supporters an e-mail with an invitation to a fundraiser for his campaign at the La Jolla home of Jim Waring, co-founder of CleanTech San Diego.

Waring lobbied and testified on behalf of Soitec, which has a manufacturing facility in San Diego, at the Feb. 4th hearing.  Co-hosts of the fundraiser also include Jim Whalen, whose firm, J. Whalen and Associates, represents Sempra Energy and Hamann Companies. Hamann owns land on which the Soitec projects are slated to be built. Whalen, too, testified before Supervisors on February 4th and other occasions in favor of the Soitec projects.

These cozy ties raise a serious question: just how impartial was Roberts when casting a vote to scrape bare  more than 1,100 acres of habitat in East County including land along a scenic highway, putting a town’s groundwater supply at risk as two hydrologists have warned, and increasing fire danger with an unmitigatable fire risk as Supervisor Dianne Jacob observed?  Whose interests was Roberts really representing?

LOCAL GOVERNMENT REPORT

GRAND JURY PROPOSES CHANGES TO COMPENSATION OF CITY OF SAN DIEGO ELECTED OFFICIALS

 

February 3, 2015 (San Diego) - In the above titled report issued today, the 2014/15 San Diego County Grand Jury found that the process mandated by the San Diego City Charter for setting the salary for the Mayor and Councilmembers is fundamentally flawed. Once every two years, a citizens’ group, the Salary Setting Commission, recommends an appropriate salary for the Mayor and members of the City Council. Councilmembers must then vote to accept, reduce, or reject that recommendation.

SUPERVISORIAL RACE KICKS OFF EARLY

 

Could Senator Joel Anderson challenge Jacob in 2016?

East County News Service

February 1, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) -- Supervisor Dianne Jacob has announced plans to seek reelection in 2016 for what would be her final term of office, under term limits approved by voters.

BILL TO PREVENT VETERANS' SUICIDES PASSES SENATE

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 3, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - It’s rare for members of  Congress to agree on anything these days. .Both both the House and Senate voted unanimously to approve the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act.  The measure now heads to President Obama’s desk for signature.

HOUSE PASSES 10 BILLS TO COMBAT HUMAN TRAFFICKING

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 29, 2015 (San Diego) – It’s rare for both parties in Congress to agree on anything these days.  But the House of Representatives has just approved 10 bills to help combat human trafficking.  All five of San Diego’s Congressional representatives voted in favor of two of the bills and the rest passed by voice vote without a roll call of members.

CHANGES ON HORIZON FOR GROSSMONT CENTER & VICINITY

 

By Miriam Raftery; Kristin Kjaero contributed to this story

Big changes could soon be coming to Grossmont Center

January 28, 2015 (La Mesa)--At the La Mesa City Council meeting on Tuesday night January 27th, Steve Cushman  gave a presentation  regarding the future of the regional shopping mall and surrounding properties owned by the Cushman family.

A 50-year lease with developers of the shopping center expired in mid-January and now the shopping mall and adjacent properties are reverting back to the Cushman family.  That includes 125 acres, extending beyond the mall itself to many surrounding sites.

HOUSE INDEFINITELY POSTPONES BORDER ACT

 

By Hayden Parsley

January 28, 2015 (Washington D.C.) - Leaders of the United States House of Representatives have decided to postpone a vote on the “Secure Our Borders Act.” Otherwise known as H.R. 399, the bill was called for by Republicans and would require the Border Agency to stop all illegal border crossings within five years or be penalized.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT REPORT

 

 

East County News Service

January 25, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Here are some of the most important items on agendas of our local boards, commissions and councils this week in San Diego’s East County.

CAMPO-LAKE MORENA PLANNING GROUP TO VOTE MONDAY ON STAR RANCH

East County News Service

January 24, 2016 (Campo)—The Campo Lake Morena Planning Group meets Monday evening at 7 p.m.  The agenda includes a staff update and vote on the latest version of the Star Ranch plan.  Officers will be elected and vacancies on the board filled.  In addition planners will discuss concerns raised by Boulevard and Jacumba planners over the addition of large battery storage facilities at the proposed Soitec Solar project.

To view the full agenda, click “read more” and scroll down.

PRESIDENT LAYS OUT POPULIST PLANS TO HELP MIDDLE CLASS IN STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS

 

By Hayden Parsley

Note: Full text of the President's speech is posted below this story.

President Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union Address this Tuesday. With the eyes of the nation on Washington, he focused on middle class economics. His main goals are child care, labor, education, and healthcare. President Obama called on Congress and the American people to advance these goals.

He also cited his administration’s accomplishments, including ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as implementing policies that he says resulted in “the fastest economic growth in over a decade, our deficits cut by two-thirds, a stock market that has doubled, and health care inflation at its lowest rate in 50 years.”

Still, he acknowledged that middle class families are struggling, and proposed solutions.

REPUBLICAN RESPONSE TO STATE OF UNION OFFERS SHARP CONTRAST TO PRESIDENT’S VISION

By Miriam Raftery

January 21, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – The official Republican Party response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech was delivered by Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa, a mother and  Lieutenant Colonel in the Army National Guard.

Ernst stated that “rather than respond to a speech, I’d like to talk about your priorities.” She said the newly elected Republican majority in Congress “understands how difficult these past six years have been” citing economic concerns and “frustration with Washington’s dysfunction.”

She then laid out priorities of the Republican party, casting clear differences for voters between the President’s goals and those of the GOP Congress.

WHAT OBAMA’S STATE OF THE UNION MEANS FOR SAN DIEGO

 

By Chris Jennewein

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

White House photo: President Obama speaking to Congress.

January 21, 2015 (Washington D.C.) --President Obama’s nearly hour-long State of the Union speech on Tuesday had good news for a number of constituencies in San Diego, from veterans to scientists to immigrants.

The speech drew praise from Democrats in the San Diego congressional delegation, but criticism from Republicans. Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican, labeled it “old ideas” while Rep. Scott Peters, a Democrat, said he was encouraged by the president’s commitment to scientific research, tax changes and wider educational opportunity.

“I was encouraged to hear President Obama engaging on issues of importance to San Diego and the country, and calling for bipartisanship on economic growth,” said Peters, whose district covers most of central San Diego County.

Here’s a synopsis of the Obama’s comments on issues of specific importance to San Diego:

MITT ROMNEY SIGNALS WIFE'S BACKING FOR 2016 PRESIDENTIAL RUN

 

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

Story and photos by Chris Stone

January 17, 2015 (San Diego)--Mitt Romney on Friday gave the clearest hints so far that he is leaning toward another presidential bid, using the historic carrier Midway as a launching pad.

BILL TO BAN MOST ABORTIONS AFTER 20 WEEKS SET FOR VOTE IN HOUSE JAN. 22

 

By Hayden Parsley and Miriam Raftery

January 17, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – A bill pushed forward by the Republican majority in the House of Representatives seeks to ban abortions after 20 weeks—five months-- except in cases of rape, incest, or a serious danger to the mother.

HOUSE PASSES VETERANS' SUICIDE PREVENTION BILL

 

East County News Service

January 15, 2015 (Washington D.C.)—The House of Representatives has unanimously passed HR 203, the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act. This bipartisan legislation – originally passed by the House in the 113th Congress, but blocked by a single U.S. Senator – addresses the epidemic of suicide among our nation’s veterans.

HOUSE VOTES TO BLOCK IMMIGRATION REFORM FUNDING

 

East County News Service

January 14, 2015 (Washington D.C.)--The House of Representatives has voted to block funding for immigration reforms ordered by President Barack Obama. The action puts the status of millions of undocumented people who would have been allowed to stay in America under that order in limbo.  The language to block funding was inserted into a measure to fund the Department of Homeland Security through September.

In addition, the House added an amendment to halt the Deferred Action for Children Arrivals Program, which stopped deportation for some immigrants who were children when they came to America.

LA MESA CITY COUNCIL ROUNDUP

 

Free parking extended, key appointments made

By Kristin Kjaero

January 14, 2015 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa City Council held their first full meeting since being sworn into office in December.  

The annual State of the City address, outside Board council assignments, village parking meters, a marketing and communications plan, and the appointment of two students to the Youth Advisory Commission were the topics of the day.

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FEINSTEIN AND DAVIS MOVE TO EXTEND MARRIAGE EQUALITY RIGHTS

 

January 10, 2015 (San Diego)--U.S. Rep. Susan Davis (D-San Diego) became an original cosponsor of legislation that would end the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in its entirety and ensure marriage equality for all. A companion bill in the Senate has been introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California).

WILL THE POST OFFICE BE DISMANTLED?

 

 

Overnight mail service ends; privatization push triggers boycott of Staples

By Hayden Parsley

Miriam Raftery also  contributed to this report.

Click here to hear our radio interview with Tom Wood and Eddie B. Cooper Jr. with the American Postal Workers Union Local 197 in San Diego.

January 9, 2015 (San Diego) – Many Americans are shocked to learn that effective January 5th, the U.S. Postal Service has stopped all overnight deliveries. Nationwide, 82 mail processing plants are closing, hours have been cut at Post Offices, and patrons are being steered toward competitors such as Staples, triggering a backlash in the form of a Staples boycott.

It’s all part of an effort by conservatives in Congress to slow down, outsource and privatize postal services—a move that could ultimately lead to the demise of the Post Office completely. That could mean price hikes for stamps and delivery services, lay-offs for workers, inconveniences and new costs for businesses, as well as potential cuts in delivery for rural residents.  That’s concerning for those reliant on mail deliveries of vital items such as prescription medications.

GOVERNOR BROWN'S BUDGET BOOSTS EDUCATION FUNDING, AIMS TO STOP TUITION HIKES, BUT FAILS TO RESTORE DEEP CUTS IN SERVICES FOR THE POOR

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 11, 2015 (Sacramento)—Governor Jerry Brown has unveiled his proposed $164.7 billion budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year(including $113.3 billion in general funds), drawing mixed reactions from around the state following several months of healthy revenue growth.   Seeking a fiscally prudent path, the Governor aims to pay down long-term debts and boost California’s rainy day fund for budget reserves by $2.8 billion.

REPUBLICANS SET STAGE TO SLASH SOCIAL SECURITY AND DISABILITY BENEFITS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 10, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – On the first day of the new Congressional session, House Republicans pushed through a rule change that advocates for senior citizens and the disabled warn will lead to major benefit cuts for retirees and people on disability.

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) legislative policy director calls the action “a mistake” that could lead to devastating 20% cuts for people dependent on disability payments as well as negative impacts for retirees--including reductions in benefit payments and another rise in retirement age, which is already set to go up from age 65 to 67.

Without a single Democratic vote, House Republicans pushed through a rule change that prohibits members from approving any financial fix to the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program unless it is tied to broader “reforms” in Social Security that critics including the AARP say will lead to privatization of the program and weakening of benefits.  

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