Politics

OAK WOODLANDS PROTECTION BILL INTRODUCED IN CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE

 

East County News Service

March 21, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Insect infestations and drought have killed off thousands of oak trees in San Diego County and more statewide.  Now Assembly Bill 2162, the Oak Woodlands Protection Bill, has been introduced by Assemblyman Kansen Chu. (Read full text.)

OBAMA NAMES SUPREME COURT NOMINEE, BUT SENATE LEADER REFUSES TO ALLOW HEARING

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 20, 2016 (Washington D.C.) – To fill the vacancy left on the Supreme Court by the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, President Barack Obama has nominated Merrick Garland, a judicial moderate supported overwhelmingly by both Republicans and Democrats when he was appointed to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 1997.  But in a move unprecedented in U.S. history, Senate leader Mitch McConnell has said Republicans will refuse  to allow hearings on any Garland or any nominee made by President Obama for the 11 months left in his term.

KERRY DECLARES “GENOCIDE” BY ISIS AGAINST RELIGIOUS MINORITIES

 

Action is “monumental step forward” – Mark Arabo, Minority Humanitarian Foundation

By Miriam Raftery

March 20,2016 (San Diego’s East County) — Since 2014, local Iraqi Chaldean leaders have been speaking out and urging the U.S. to take action to halt what they termed “genocide” committed by ISIS against religious minorities including Christians, Yezidis, and others.  

COUNTY SETS HEARINGS ON REDISTRICTING PROPOSED BY GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT

 



By Miriam Raftery

Updated March 31 with new info from the County Office of Education.

March 15, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – The County Committee on School District Organization will hold six hearings to get public input on the Grossmont Union High School District’s proposed shift to electing governing board trustees by districts.  The GUHSD board voted 4-1 to adopt a controversial map and seek a waiver of a public vote despite opposition from members of the public who spoke, some alleging gerrymandering to oust a dissenting board member and break up a vocal minority voting block, as ECM reported.

The six hearings are set for March 17 in La Mesa, March 28 in El Cajon,  April 4 in Alpine,  April 5 in Jamul, April 6 in Lemon Grove, and April 11 in Lakeside.  The public can testify at the meetings and also submit written comments up until April 7.  The County’s committee will vote to approve or disapprove the district’s request at its April 13 meeting. The Alpine hearing was added after ECM and community members asked that Alpine be added as a location due to the many controversies involving the Alpine area.

For the full schedule of meetings, rules and details, click "read more" and scroll down.

To view the San Diego County Office of Education hearings announcement in English, Spanish and Arabic, click here.

To view data on the GUHSD redistricting plan including demographic details and maps, click here.

LEO HAMEL’S TIES TO CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY EYED IN ASSEMBLY RACE

 

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

By Ken Stone

Photo: Leo Hamel watches family assemble a puzzle in TV commercial. Photo via YouTube.com

March 18, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- San Diego jeweler Leo Hamel, a Republican candidate for state Assembly, says he joined the controversial Church of Scientology at age 18 or 19 but hasn’t taken part in church functions since the early 2000s.

SENATE UNANIMOUSLY PASSES FOIA REFORM BILL TO INCREASE ACCESS TO PUBLIC RECORDS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 17, 2016 (Washington D.C.)—The U.S. Senate has unanimously passed legislation with rare bipartisan support that would make it easier for the public and media to obtain government records under the Freedom of Information Act.

The bill was authored by Senator John Cornyn of Texas with San Diego Congressman Darrell Issa as the lead sponsor of the bill.

CLINTON AND TRUMP TRIUMPH IN SUPER TUESDAY PRIMARIES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 16, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – The field has narrowed further after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and businessman/reality TV celebrity Donald Trump scored sweeping wins in the “Super Tuesday” primaries held yesterday in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio and North Carolina.

HOUSE PASSES MEASURES TO DECLARE ISIS ATTACKS GENOCIDE, CALL FOR SYRIAN WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 16, 2016 (San Diego’s East County ) – The House of Representatives this week has passed two measures aimed at holding ISIS and the Syrian regime accountable for atrocities committed in the Middle East. One would declare atrocities by ISIS to be war crimes, the other calls for a war crimes tribunal to address Syrian actions.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: BEN KALASHO SPEAKS OUT ON CHALDEANS' CONCERNS IN THE ELECTION

 

 

March 16, 2016 (San Diego's East County) -- Ben Kalasho, president of the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce, sat down with the East County Magazine Radio Show on KNSJ 89.1 FM to discuss concerns of the Chaldean community in the presidential primary election. In our interview, which originally aired on KNSJ last week, Kalasho speaks about the issues that matter most to the Iraqi Chaldean and Middle Eastern communities from an international and domestic standpoint.

He also discussed the new Mega TV news network that he helped launch, which debuted earlier this month. In addition, he shared his thoughts on the Grossmot Union High School District's redistricting proposal that divides the Chaldean voting block--and what steps he thinks should be done at the state level to assure fairness in elections for Chaldean Americans.

To hear our interview, click the link above.

Audio: 

BILL WOULD REQUIRE IGNITION LOCKS FOR FIRST-TIME DRUNK DRIVERS

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 15, 2016 (San Diego) — Two San Diego legislators, Senator Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) and Assemblyman Brian Mainschein (R-San Diego) have introduced Senate Bill 1046, a measure that would require people convicted of first-time drunk driving offenses to install an ignition interlock system on each vehicle that they own or operate.  If the device detects alcohol on the driver’s breath, the vehicle won’t start.

BILL WOULD HELP DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS PROTECT THEIR PETS

 

East County News Service

March 15, 2016 (Washington D.C.) -- Many domestic violence victims report staying in abusive and dangerous relationships out of fear of leaving their beloved pets behind. Their abusers often threaten to harm or even kill their pets if they attempt to leave. Studies have shown this is the case for one out of every four women trying to escape domestic violence, Change.org reports.

POLICE: TRUMP LIED ABOUT CANCELLED RALLY, ALSO MADE FALSE CLAIMS ABOUT PROTESTER TIE TO ISIS

 

Cruz wins Wyoming caucus; Trump a distant third

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Screenshot from CBS video of Chicago rally after cancellation was announced

March 12, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign issued a statement indicating police and Secretary Service were “consulted and totally involved” in the the decision to cancel a Trump rally in Chicago Friday evening amid unrest. 

But Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi today told CNN that Trump’s claim was “absolutely untrue…No one from the campaign contacted the Chicago Police Department and we were not involved at all in canceling the event.”  He added that a Secret Service officer standing next to him when the announcement  of cancellation came in was also surprised.

VIOLENCE AT TRUMP RALLIES IGNITES CRITICISMS ACROSS POLITICAL SPECTRUM

 

Trump supporter arrested for punching black protester in face at North Carolina rally; Trump event in Chicago shut down by protesters

By Miriam Raftery

March 12, 2016 (San Diego) — A supporter of Donald Trump has been arrested for punching a black protester in the face at a Trump rally in North Carolina, later stating, “The next time we see him, we might have to kill him,” CNN reports. John McGraw, 78, has been charged with assault, disorderly conduct and making threats.

PRIMARY WINS AND DEBATE HIGHLIGHTS: SANDERS' SURGE, TRUMP'S JUMP

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

 

March 10, 2016 (San Diego) –Senator Bernie Sanders scored an upset victory over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Michigan primary, shocking pollsters who had predicted Clinton would win by as much as 20 points in the delegate-rich state. Clinton won in Missisippi, however, maintaining her edge overall, for now. 

A record turn-out of 2.5 million people in Michigan helped Donald Trump win big in the Republican primary; the billionaire businessman also won Mississippi and the Hawaiian Republican caucus.Senator  Ted Kruz placed second in all three states, strengthening his position as the only Republican likely to have any chance to top Trump before the Republican nominating convention.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN GONZALEZ PROPOSES OVERTIME EQUALITY FOR FARMWORKERS, GAINS CLINTON ENDORSEMENT

 

AB 2757 would establish an 8-hour workday and 40-hour workweek standard for California farmworkers

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Pixabay

March 10, 2016 (Sacramento) – California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) announced legislation to establish equitable overtime standards for farmworkers in line with other Californians, as well as the support of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for the idea.

ANDERSON URGES NON-PROFIT TO ADDRESS PLAN TO PROTECT STUDENTS' INFORMATION

 

East County News Service

 

March 10, 2016 (El Cajon) -- As a result of the Morgan Hill Concerned Parents Association (MHCP) vs. California Department of Education case, Senator Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) sent a letter (full text below) to MHCPA, urging them to take precautions in protecting former and current student’s data and identity: Parents and former students over the age of 18 can object to the court’s ruling before April 1, 2016. More information can be found on the California Department of Education’s website: http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/di/ws/morganhillcase.asp.

REPRESENTATIVES DAVIS AND SABANES UNVEIL NEW EFFORT TO FIGHT BIG MONEY IN POLITICS

“Government By the People Act”  would make Congress more responsive to needs of everyday citizens

 

 

East County News Service

March 9, 2016 (San Diego) -- During a roundtable discussion at the Copley-Price Family YMCA, Congresswoman Susan Davis (CA-53) and Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD) unveiled the Government By the People Act (H.R 20), a bold new reform that would help everyday people in San Diego and across the country fight back against wealthy and well-connected special interests.

ATKINS’ BILL WOULD CLOSE GAPS IN CARE FOR BREAST AND CERVICAL CANCER

 

East County News Service

March 9, 2016 (San Diego) -- Speaker Emeritus Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) has introduced legislation that would close several gaps when it comes to providing screening and treatment for breast and cervical cancer to low-income Californians.

HARRISON DROPS OUT OF ASSEMBLY RACE

 

Deadline to run is Friday, March 11

Republican Mike Harrison, Deputy Chief of Staff to Congressman Duncan Hunter, has announced he is dropping his race for the 71st Assembly district seat that encompasses most of East County.  As of today, only Santee Mayor Randy Voepel, also a Republican, has turned in candidacy papers to run.

The deadline to file paperwork to run for this office (and other federal or state offices)  is March 11 at 5 p.m. Candidates must first pick up nomination forms at the County Registrar of Voters and submit at least 40 valid signatures of voters in the district by the March 11 deadline (up to 60 may be submitted) and pay a filing fee of $1,090 for the 71st Assembly district. (Fees vary based on the office).  (learn more at www.SDVote.com)   

Tony Teora, also a Republican, pulled nomination papers but has not yet turned them in. Jerald Larkey, a Democrat, is listed as possible candidate at the Registrar’s site but did not yet pull nomination papers or turn paperwork in.

DEMOCRATS STEAMED OVER DNC CHAIR EFFORTS TO GUT PAYDAY LENDER REGULATIONS

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 4, 2016 (Washington D.C.) – Battle lines have been drawn over an income inequality issue in Congress.  Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, who heads up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and was appointed by President Barack Obama, has been fighting for regulations to regulate the payday lenders.

CONGRESSWOMAN SUSAN DAVIS GOES TO FLINT TO LISTEN TO RESIDENTS’ ORDEAL WITH WATER CRISIS

 

Democratic presidential debate to be held Sunday in Flint, drawing national attention to lead poisoning, harm to city’s children

East County News Service

Photo: Roosevelt Mitchell on Twitter

March 4, 2016 (Flint, Michigan) -- Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) went to Flint, Michigan as part of 26-member congressional delegation to hear firsthand from the residents of Flint about the challenges they faced.

WILL PARTY DUMP TRUMP? MORE PROMINENT REPUBLICANS SPEAK OUT

 

 

84 Republican national security and foreign policy leaders say they won’t back Trump if nominated

By Miriam Raftery

March 3, 2016 (Washington D.C.) – An open letter signed by 84 Republican foreign policy and national security leaders condemned Donald Trump, stating, “We are unable to support a Party ticket with Mr. Trump at its head.”

The leaders’ letter comes on the heels of former CIA director and ex-National Security Agency director Michael Hayden stating that if Trump ordered torture which violates the Geneva Convention or ordered the killing of family members of suspected terrorists, the military would disobey his orders.   Hayden told Bill Maher, “If he were to order that once in government, the American armed forces would refuse to act.”

The 84 Republican letter signers included Michael Chertoff, former Homeland Security director under George W. Bush and former Under Secretary of Defense Policy Eric Edelman who served under the senior George Bush.

ROMNEY BLASTS TRUMP AS UNFIT FOR PRESIDENCY

East County News Service 

“His domestic policies would lead to recession. His foreign policies would make America and the world less safe. He has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president. And his personal qualities would mean that America would cease to be a shining city on a hill.” – Mitt Romney

 

March 3, 2016 (San Diego)—Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, today issued an extensive statement urging Republicans not to support Donald Trump’s candidacy.  Romney blasted Trump for his “bullying” personal style, racist remarks, failed business ventures, and “reckless” foreign policy, concluding he lacks the temperament needed in a president.

Trump responded by denigrating Romney as a “loser” and a “failed candidate.”

Below are the full remarks delivered by Romney on the presidential race at theHinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah.  Click here to watch the video of this speech

INTEGRITY QUESTIONS DOG CLINTON CAMPAIGN

By Miriam Raftery

March 3, 2016 (Washington D.C.)—Following her strong showing in the Super Tuesday primaries, Hillary Clinton is the frontrunner in the Democratic presidential primary.  But several revelations this week raise troubling questions for Clinton supporters regarding the integrity of Clinton and her campaign:

  • The U.S. Justice Department has granted immunity to Brian Pagliano, the staffer who set up a private e-mail server in Clinton’s home, as the investigation into allegations over classified emails continues, the Washington Post reports.  What does the staffer know and could Clinton face indictment?
  • The Clinton campaign and Super PACs supporting Clinton have paid pundits who have appeared on major  TV news shows. They were presented as neutral analysts , all touting Clinton’s candidacy and downplaying the electability of her opponent, Bernie Sanders.  TV networks failed to disclose financial ties, a clear violation of journalistic ethics, the Intercept  reveals in an investigative report.
  • Former President Bill Clinton has drawn criticism for holding a rally for his wife outside a Massachusetts polling place, using a megaphone for amplification and even entering two other polling places on election day. Massachusetts law prohibits electioneering within 150 feet of polling places, the Boston Globe reports. No charges were filed despite videos of the activities, though the Secretary of State did sent the Clinton campaign a reminder of the state’s rules.

VOTING FOR PRESIDENT IN THE PRIMARY? MAKE SURE YOU CAN

 

County News Service

March 3, 2016 (San Diego) -- If you are registered as a No Party Preference (or nonpartisan voter) and get your ballot by mail, the Registrar of Voters wants you to know presidential candidates will not be listed on your ballot. If you’d like to vote for a presidential candidate in the June primary, you must take action and request a party ballot.

BOXER, COLLEAGUES URGE PRESIDENT OBAMA TO PUSH FOR A QUALIFIED WOMAN TO SERVE AS NEXT UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL

 

There has never been a female Secretary-General in the more than 70-year history of the UN

East County News Service

March 3, 2016 (Washington D.C.) -- U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) today sent a letter to President Obama in advance of the United Nation's upcoming election for Secretary-General, urging the United States to "reaffirm the UN's founding principle of equality by encouraging the strong consideration of candidates for the first female Secretary-General."

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