Politics

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.

TRUMP IS NOW UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE

 

By Frank Gormlie; reprinted with permission from the OBRag

 

June 15, 2017 (San Diego) --Major news organizations – including the Washington Post – have announced that President Donald Trump is now under investigation for possible obstruction of justice by special prosecution, Robert Mueller.

CONGRESSWOMAN SUSAN DAVIS TO HOLD TOWN HALL MEETING MONDAY AT SDSU

 

 

East County News Service

June 17, 2017 (San Diego) – “I understand how concerned all of you are by the challenges facing our country, and so I look forward to another opportunity to hear from you,” says Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego), who will hold her next town hall meeting on Monday, June 19th from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at San Diego State University’s Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union (6075 Aztec Circle Drive, San Diego).  Her district encompasses San Diego and parts of East County including La Mesa, Spring Valley and parts of El Cajon.

No RSVP is needed; the event will be first-come, first-served. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. The event will also be live-streamed; you will be able to view it here: https://www.facebook.com/RepSusanDavis/

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL APPROVES AID FOR EMERGENCY SHELTER AND CONSIDERS PROPOSALS TO HELP HOMELESS; RESIDENTS EXPRESS CONCERN ABOUT COUNCILMEMBER’S BEHAVIOR

 

By Paul Kruze

June 15, 2017 (El Cajon) -- Aiding El Cajon’s homeless population, disruption of a neighborhood by occupants of a house allegedly inhabited by drug users, and licensing of a new adult daycare center near El Cajon’s city center were the main topics discussed by the El Cajon City Council at its bi-monthly hearings on June 13th.  In addition, a budget workshop was held earlier  to consider El Cajon’s fiscal 2017-2018 preliminary annual budget.  Councilmember’s Ben Kalasho’s concept to draw down El Cajon’s sales tax to 7.75% drew strong broad opposition, with critics arguing it would devastate law enforcement and fire protection in the city.

ATTORNEY GENERAL SESSIONS DENIES COLLUSION WITH RUSSIA, REFUSES TO ANSWER QUESTIONS ON CONVERSATIONS WITH TRUMP

 

View full testimony of Attorney General Jeff Sessions on C-Span.

By Miriam Raftery

June 15, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee June 13th , calling any suggestion of  Trump campaign team’s collusion with Russia to rig the U.S. presidential election “a contemptible lie.” 

 Sessions also denied any “inappropriate” meetings with Russians but repeatedly claimed fuzzy memory. He said he could not recall meeting Russia’s ambassador during a reception at the Mayflower hotel.  After his testimony, the Week published a photo of Sessions speaking with the Russian ambassador at the Mayflower.

He refused to answer any questions about conversations with President Donald Trump about the investigation or possible discussion of pardons, citing a department policy. But Sessions was unable to name that policy, whether it exists in writing, or whether he reviewed it before testifying when grilled by California Senator Kamala Harris. (View Senator Harris questioning Sessions.) 

WHISTLEBLOWING VS. LEAKING: THREAT AGAINST COMEY SPARKS BACKLASH

 

By Jordan Damond

June 14, 2017 (San Diego) -- President Donald Trump and his attorney have accused fired FBI director James Comey of being a “leaker” for providing what they claim was privileged information in memos that Comey arranged for media to receive. But many legal experts contend that Comey may be protected as a whistleblower--and that any actions to retaliate against him could be construed as obstruction of justice. The controversy raises a key question:

Is James Comey a leaker?

EAST COUNTY CHALDEAN CHAMBER LOSES TRADEMARK; DETROIT-BASED CHALDEAN CHAMBER OPENS OFFICES HERE

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 13, 2017 (El Cajon ) -- The U.S.  Patent and Trademark Office has issued an order cancelling Ben Kalasho’s trademark for the San Diego-East County Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce name.  The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board held that the trademark caused confusion with the Chaldean  American Chamber of Commerce based in Detroit, which has been using the name since 2001. 

The board held that the trademarks were similar and that the local group used the entirety of the Detroit group’s name in its branding.

Kalasho founded and served as President of the local Chamber before stepping down earlier this year to avoid conflcts of interest after his election to the El Cajon City Council.  Kalasho’s wife, Jessica, currently serves as President.

SUPERVISORS TO CONSIDER THREE IDEAS TO HELP THE HOMELESS

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 13, 2017 (San Diego) -- The Board of Supervisors will look at ideas next week designed to help get the homeless into homes.  County Supervisors Ron Roberts and Dianne Jacob unveiled the three initiatives to spur the building, renovation and acquisition of affordable housing and stem the growing tide of homelessness.

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