Photo: Mayoral candidate Mark Arapostathis and Mayor Art Madrid (top); City Council candidates (left to right) Bill Baber, Patrick Dean, Mary England, Pete Gregorovic, Guy McWhirter
September 25, 2014 (La Mesa)—Candidates for La Mesa’s mayoral and city council races made their cases to voters at a forum held by the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce last week, tackling issues ranging from future development to public safety, pensions, and homelessness.
Art Madrid, who has served as La Mesa’s Mayor for over 24 years, faces a challenge from Councilmember/teacher Mark Arapostathis. Five candidates are vying for two open seats on the La Mesa Council. They are Bill Baber, an attorney and La Mesa-Spring Valley school board member; Patrick Dean, a chef and member of La Mesa’s Community Services Commission; Mary England, president of La Mesa Chamber of Commerce; Pete Gregorovic, a business attorney and youth sports leader; and Guy McWhirter, an insurance agent.
For key points made by each candidate, as well as links to video opening statements and raw audio of the debate, click "read more" and scroll down.
Last day to register for Nov. 4 election is Oct. 20
September 23, 2014 (San Diego) - San Diego State University's Rock the Vote campaign officially launched this week and will continue through Election Day on Nov 4. To kick off the campaign on Sept. 23, Associated Students hosted a barbecue on campus with live music, free food, and voter registration tables. Students can also register to vote online at SDSU.edu/Rockthevote.
September 19, 2014 (San Diego)—The public is invited to submit questions for Republican Congressman Duncan D. Hunter and his Democratic challenger, James Kimber. The two candidates for the 50th Congressional District have agreed to debate on Friday, September 26 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Cuyamaca College’s Performing Arts Center, 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway in El Cajon.
Both candidates are veterans. The debate is sponsored by the Veterans’ Campaign and by the National Association for Uniformed Services. The questions are not limited to veterans or military issues, however; all topics are open for debate.
September 16, 2014 (San Diego)—San Diego’s City Council meets twice a week, but allows public comments on non-agenda only once a week, on Tuesdays. That may be illegal-- violating requirements of the Ralph M. Brown Act for open government, says City Attorney Jan Goldsmith.
September 25, 2014 (La Mesa) –The last hearing on a proposed high-rise development in La Mesa ended in a shocker, when an American Legion spokesman announced his organization was withdrawing its support as a co-applicant of the controversial Park Station at the Crossroads of La Mesa project.
Photo: Donna Frye presenting Sunshine Award to CALAWARE’s Terry Francke
September 15, 2014 (San Diego)--Californians Aware, or CALAWARE, a nonprofit group that protects the rights of citizens and journalists to access public information, has sent a letter to Governor Jerry Brown urging him to veto Senate Bill 1300.
September 14,2014 (Sacramento) – Senate Bill 1300, now on the Governor’s desk awaiting signature , was touted as a means of strengthening safety regulation of oil refineries. But last-minute amendments in the bill mean it would “eviscerate the state’s freedom of information law, the Public Records Act,” warns Peter Scheer, executive director of the First Amendment Coalition. The group is urging the public to contact Governor Jerry Brown and ask him to veto the bill.
September 13, 2014 (Sacramento)—The Secretary of State’s office has found that backers of a ballot initiative that would divide California into six separate states fell short of the required 807,615 signatures needed. Supporters turned in over 1.2 million signatures, but a random check to verify the validity found only 752,685 signatures were valid—66.1% of those turned in.
September 10, 2014 (El Cajon)- At yesterday’s El Cajon City Council meeting, many people expressed their views once again on the city’s proposed long-term lease of East County Performing Arts Center to Rock Church—with the majority present opposed to the deal.
September 13, 2014 (Washington D.C.) -- Congresswoman Susan Davis marked 20 years since President Bill Clinton signed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) on September 13, 1994 with a call to redouble efforts to end violence against women.
September 12, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - A debate has been announced between Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter and his Democratic opponent, James Kimber. The debate is set for Friday, September 26th from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Cuyamaca College’s Performing Arts Center in Rancho San Diego.
Photo, left to right: John Minto, Rob McNelis, Maggie Acerra, Ronn Hall, Keshav Damoor
September 11, 2014 (Santee) – Santee City Council candidates introduced themselves to the Santee Mobile Home Owners Association on Saturday, drawing sharp distinctions betweenchallengers who seek to represent citizens, youth, and smart growth vs. incumbents on a council long dominated by business and development interests.
Mobile home owners make up more than 10% percent of registered Santee voters and they turn out to vote in huge percentages. Mobile home owners tend to be engaged and well informed, leading to some very pointed questions.
Two incumbents and three challengers are running for three seats on the Council. Council member John Ryan will not be running for reelection, leaving one seat open.
September 11, 2014 (La Mesa)--East County Magazine recently sat down to interview Kristin Kjaero and Dexter Levy, organizers of The No Term Limits for La Mesa Campaign. Levy chairs the City’s Planning Commission and Kjaero serves on La Mesa’s Sustainability Commission. In our interview, originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM Radio, the two long-time La Mesa residents share their concerns about the proposed term limits initiative on the November ballot—including why they believe the measure reduces choices for La Mesa voters and could open the door for special interests to buy influence in La Mesa, a century-old city often likened to Mayberry for its sense of community.
September 9, 2014 (Sacramento)--The state of California is cracking down on slick thieves who have been snatching used cooking oil from restaurants to sell on the black market for use as biofuels. It’s selling for over a dollar and a half a gallon though it may smell like French fries or fried chicken.
September 8, 2014 (Sacramento) -- State Senator Ben Hueso, who was arrested on August 22 after driving the wrong way in Sacramento, had a blood alcohol level of exactly .08, the minimum threshold at which charges can be filed, the Sacramento Bee Reports.
Measure faces tough hurdle in GOP-controlled House
By Miriam Raftery
September 8, 2014 (Washington D.C.)--The U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case threw out campaign finance restrictions and ruled that corporations, unions and other special interests can make virtually unlimited contributions to political campaigns. Critics have argued that this is bad for democracy, giving powerful special interests too much influence on elections.
September 7, 2014 (San Diego) –The League of Women Voters invites the public to a “Meet the Candidates Reception and Forum” featuring candidates running in the November 4 election for state legislative offices in San Diego and East County, as well as San Diego City Council, Superior Court Judge, San Diego Unified and San Diego Community College districtsw. The event will be held on Wednesday, October 1st from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park.
Candidates for the following offices are invited to participate:
State Senate, Districts 36, 38 and 40 (District 36 is an open seat; 38 and 40 are held by incumbent Senators Joel Anderson and Ben Hueso)
State Assembly, Districts 71, 77, 78 and 79 (currently held by incumbents Brian Jones, Brian Maienscheim, Toni Atkins, and Shirley Weber)
San Diego City Council, District 6 (open seat)
San Diego Community College, Districts A and E (currently held by incumbents Maria Nieto Senour and Peter Zschiesche
Superior Court Judge, Office 25 (open seat)
San Diego Unified School Board, District B (currently held by incumbent Kevin Beiser)
September 7, 2014 (San Diego) – Eighteen local initiatives will appear on ballots in San Diego County, on issues ranging from school bond for funding schools to measures that would legalize medical marijuana dispensaries.
September 5, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) - The American Civil Liberties Union in San Diego is asking the public to urge Governor Jerry Brown to sign Assembly Bill 1327, which passed the Legislature with bipartisan support. The measure would require police to get a warrant before using drones to conduct surveillance on you, your family, or others in your community.
The Boulevard Planning Group meets Thursday night at 7 p.m. in the Boulevard Fire Training Room, 39919 Ribbon Wood Road in Boulevard. The rural planners will be discussing some hot issues, starting with disclosure of a lawsuit filed against the Planning Group, its Chair, the County and other parties over alleged loss of property values to Lansing Industries, which has been unsuccessful in its effort to develop its property as first a housing development and later, an industrial solar facility, amid large-scale community opposition.
Chair Donna Tisdale and two other incumbents won reelection to the Boulevard Planning Group unopposed.
September 4, 2014 (San Diego) – Educators and business leaders plan a rally today at 10:30 to urge Governor Jerry Brown to sign Senate Bill 850, a bill by Senator Marty Block (D-San Diego) allowing community colleges to offer four-year degrees in areas where a local workforce need for the degree program can be demonstrated. The bill arrived at the governor’s office on Aug. 28, and he has 30 days from receipt of the measure to approve or veto the legislation.
The rally is planned at SeaBotix, a manufacturer of mini-remotely operated vehicle systems with underwater expertise, and will include a demonstration of how the facility could benefit from the bill.
Photo: Constituents join Davis at a press conference in support of her resolution
September 2, 2014 (San Diego) -- With the U.S. Postal Service already beginning to phase out door delivery, Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) has introduced a bipartisan House Resolution stressing that door delivery should not end. Two Republicans joined Davis as lead cosponsors of House Resolution 711.
September 1, 2014 (San Diego) - Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego)--has four measure that she authored now on the Governor’s desk awaiting signature. The measures address medical and education issues, rights of homeowners, and protection for peace officers injured in the line of duty.
August 24, 2014 (San Diego)—Last week, San Diego’s City Council voted to over-ride the mayor’s veto of a minimum wage increase. That means the increase will take effect, giving raises to low-wage workers throughout the city as well as sick days to all workers citywide.
August 23, 2014 (San Diego)--As we reported Friday, State Senator Ben Hueso, a Democrat whose 40th district includes the southern portions of San Diego and East County as well as Imperial and Riverside counties, was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in Sacramento. The Senator has issued an apology and will appear in court this week.
Adding to Hueso’s woes, the Sacramento Bee has posted a photo showing Hueso partying with the Latino Caucus, shirt tail untucked, shortly before his arrest. It was tweeted by fellow legislator Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), who later deleted the image. A reporter at the Sacramento Bee also reportedly received an audio file purporting to be loud singing on a capitol balcony during the evening revelry.
Will Senator Hueso’s arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol spell the end of his political future? Not necessarily, based on an examination of records of prior legislators faced with similar charges.
August 22, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – The California Assembly Rules Committee has stalled an emergency measure, SJR 17, by Senator Joel Anderson (R-El Cajon) that calls for executive action to left a regional immigration ceiling and allow persecuted Iraqi Christians to come to America.
The measure faces imminent death Monday unless legislators act, said Mark Arabo, national spokesman for Iraqi Christians and President/CEO of the Neighborhood Market Association. Concerned citizens are urged to call Speaker of the Assembly Toni Atkins at (916)319-2078 and Assemblyman Richard Gordon, Chair of the Assembly Rules Committee at (650) 691-2121 today to urge passage of SJR 17.