Politics

SUPERVISORS BOOST SALARIES DESPITE PUBLIC OPPOSITION

 

East County News Service

January 11, 2017 (San Diego) - At Tuesday’s meeting, San Diego Supervisors voted 4 to1 to raise their own pay by 12.5 percent, an increase of over $19,000 a year. Supervisors will now be making $172,450 annually, after they approved a final reading of the ordinance. The pay hike also means an increase in pensions for Supervisors, four of whom will leave office due to term limits when their current terms end.

SECRETARY OF STATE NOMINEE REX TILLERSON NAMED IN COMPLAINT AGAINST EXXON MOBIL ALLEGING SERIOUS HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES

 

On the eve of confirmation hearings, an article by investigative reporter Antonia Juhasz finds that the former Exxon Mobil CEO is personally named in a current case alleging that security forces employed by the company engaged in serious human rights abuses, including murder, in Aceh, Indonesia.

Juhasz also reveals the company’s long record, under Tillerson’s leadership, of alleged human rights violations; unsafe working conditions; investor and public fraud; destruction of the environment, climate and public health; support of dictators; contributions to global instability and inequality; and being party to wars and conflict.

East County News Service

January 9, 2016 (Chicago) -- Rex Tillerson is scheduled to appear Wednesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to be considered for U.S. secretary of state.

A new In These Times cover story by Antonia Juhasz—“Rex Tillerson Could Be America’s Most Dangerous Secretary of State”—reveals for the first time that Tillerson himself is named in a suit alleging “murder, torture, sexual violence, kidnapping, battery, assault, burning, arbitrary arrest, detention and false imprisonment” by security forces employed by Exxon Mobil in Aceh, Indonesia from 2000 through 2004, including while Tillerson served as senior vice president and then president of Exxon Mobil.

BILL WOULD MOVE CALIFORNIA PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY TO MARCH

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 8, 2017 (Sacramento) – California has the most delegates of any state in the nation during presidential primary elections.  But states that vote early, even small states, have excessive clout in helping to choose front runners and narrow the fields of candidates in both Republican and Democratic races.

EX-LEMON GROVE MAYOR MISSED CAMPAIGN FILING DEADLINES, DRAWS FPPC NOTICE

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 10, 2017 (Lemon Grove) – The Fair Political Practices Commission published a notice of a possible $1,013 fine against Mary Sessom, former Lemon Grove Mayor for missing campaign filings and annual fees.  

REP. DAVIS CALLS FOR INDEPENDENT PROBE OF ‘CHILLING’ RUSSIAN HACKING

 

By Chris Jennewein

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

January 7, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- Rep. Susan Davis on Friday called for a “truly bipartisan and independent” probe into Russian hacking during the Presidential election.

Davis, a Democrat who serves on the influential House Armed Services Committee, described the reports of Russian hacking as “chilling.”

ISSA BILL WOULD UNDO MULTIPLE OBAMA ACTIONS IN A SINGLE VOTE

 

East County News Service

January 3, 2017 (San Diego) – San Diego Republican Congressman Darrell Issa has introduced the Midnight Rules Relief Act, or HR 21.  If approved, it would make it easier for Congress to undo regulations issued in the final weeks of President Barack Obama’s administration.

OPPOSITION GROWS TO SESSIONS’ NOMINATION AS ATTORNEY GENERAL: NAACP PROTESTERS ARRESTED IN ALABAMA

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Screenshot of video on NAACP Facebook page at sit-in in Rep. Sessions’ office in Mobile, Alabama

January 3, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – Over 1,100 law professors from across the nation have sent a letter urging the Senate to reject Donald Trump’s nomination of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General.  In addition, NAACP members in Alabama have been detained after launching a sit-in at Sessions’ office in Mobile, Alabama in protest of racial equality, civil rights and voting rights issues dogging the nominee, who formerly served as U.S. attorney in Mobile.

FIRST ACTION OF NEW GOP CONGRESS: GUT ETHICS OVERSIGHT, RESTORE IT AFTER PUBLIC OUTCRY

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 3, 2017 (Washington D.C) –The first action of the 115th Congress was a closed-door vote by House Republicans to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics’  (OCE) independence and oversight powers.  But hours later,  after media reported on the action and members received a flood of calls from angry constituents, a new vote was held to scrap that plan and keep the OCE intact, for now.

The OCE was created in 2008 by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in response to the corruption scandal involving lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who was later convicted of multiple felonies.  The House Ethics Committee did nothing about that scandal. Nor did it take any action against Randy “Duke” Cunningham, a San Diego Congressman sentenced to a decade in prison for bribery and corruption charges. It also took no action against Congressman Bob Filner when he was charged with trespass after pushing past a TSA agent at an airport.

In light of the House Ethics Committee’s impotence, the OCE  was created to conduct independent investigations, including probes based on tips from staffers, the public and anonymous sources.  

WEDDING BELLS RING FOR LOCAL POLITICIANS LORENA GONZALEZ AND NATHAN FLETCHER

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 2, 2017 (San Diego) - On New Year’s Day, two prominent San Diego politicians posted a wedding announcement on Twitter.  Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, former head of the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council, married former Assemblyman and ex-mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher in Balboa Park. 

LOCAL REPUBLICAN PARTY’S NEW ACTING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MADE NAZI JOKES AS TEEN

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 28, 2016 (San Diego) - San Diego Republican Party Chairman Tony Krvaric has named a new acting executive director, Sage Naumann.  But there’s controversy surrounding the appointment due to photos of Naumann making Nazi jokes while wearing a German military uniform for Halloween seven years ago in 2009, when he was 18 years old. 

DMV REMINDS MOTORISTS OF NEW 2017 LAWS

 

Source: Dept. of Motor Vehicles

December 24, 2016 (Sacramento)--With the New Year just around the corner, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) wants to inform the public of several new laws or changes to existing law that, unless otherwise noted, take effect on January 1, 2017.

These include new restrictions on handheld wireless phones and other devices, changes to child safety seat laws for children under age two,  and significant new laws. The following are summaries of some transportation-related laws taking effect:

KAMALA HARRIS ASSIGNED TO KEY SENATE COMMITTEES

 

East County News Service

Photo by Ron Logan

December 22, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Senator-Elect Kamala Harris (D-California) has been assigned to serve on four committees in the Senate: Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Select Committee On Intelligence, Environment and Public Works Committee, and the Committee On Budget.

GOVERNOR BROWN, SCIENTISTS FIGHT TO PROTECT CLIMATE DATA

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 19, 2016 (Sacramento) -- Scientists have voiced alarm that the Trump administration might discontinue scientific research into climate science or even destroy decades of data amassed by the government.   But now, scientists and California’s Governor Jerry Brown are pledging a fight to assure that climate science facts don’t disappear into a black hole.

Q&A WITH ONE OF EL CAJON’S NEWEST COUNCILMEMBERS, STEVE GOBLE

 

By Jonathan Goetz

December 16, 2016 (El Cajon) – East County Magazine sat down with new Councilman Steve Goble, who share his views on the most important issues facing El Cajon,  his budget priorities,  background, and thoughts on pressing problems such as homelessness, the refugee crisis, the East County Performing Arts Center and marijuana regulation.

SIMULATED CONGRESSIONAL HEARING AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE SET TO DRAW 400 MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS





Source: Grossmont-Cuyamaca College District

December 15, 2016 (El Cajon) -- More than 400 middle and high school students from throughout San Diego and Riverside counties will converge at Grossmont College Dec. 15 and 16 to compete in a series of simulated congressional hearings testing how well they know the Constitution. Eleven middle and high schools are taking part in the innovative educational program titled We the People… The Citizen and the Constitution, which is now in its 29th year.

ENVIRONMENTALISTS VOICE ALARM OVER KEY TRUMP APPOINTMENTS, FEAR IMPACTS ON PLANET, PUBLIC LANDS AND HUMAN HEALTH

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 15, 2016 (Washington D.C.) — Environmental leaders are bracing for an assault on environmental protections if several key appointees of President-Elect Donald Trump are confirmed by Congress.  The appointees include an ExxonMobil CEO, Governors and legislators who have all denied climate change and lobbied for fossil fuel interests.

KALASHO AND GOBLE SWORN IN TO EL CAJON COUNCIL

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo, left:  El Cajon’s new City Council, left to right:  Gary Kendrick, Bob McClellan, Mayor Bill Wells, Ben Kalasho, and Steve Goble

December 14, 2016 (El Cajon) -- Businessmen Ben Kalasho and Steve Goble were sworn in to their first terms on the El Cajon City Council Tuesday along with Bob McClellan, celebrating his 24th year on the Council.

BOXER PRAISES SENATE PASSAGE OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT

 

Bipartisan legislation includes provisions to increase protections for military whistleblowers and end clawback of National Guard bonuses

Source: Boxer Press Office

December 12, 2016 (Washington D.C.) -- U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) praised Senate passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes two key provisions she authored to strengthen protections for military whistleblowers and permanently halt efforts to claw back reenlistment bonuses and benefits paid to California National Guard soldiers.

CIA REPORTS RUSSIAN HACKING AIMED TO ELECT TRUMP

 
 
Bipartisan leaders in Congress call for investigation; electors ask for intelligence briefing
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo by Gage Skidmore

December 12, 2016 (Washington, D.C.) - The Washington Post published a bombshell report Friday, revealing that the Central Intelligence Agency, or CIA, has concluded that Russia intervened in the U.S. election to help Donald Trump win the presidency.

TRUMP PRESCRIBES NEUROSURGEON BEN CARSON TO LEAD HOUSING AGENCY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Gage Skidmore

December 11, 2016 (Washington D.C.) – Continuing his string of maverick cabinet appointments, President-Elect Donald Trump has announced he will appoint retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, also a former presidential candidate, to serve as Director of Housing and Urban Development. 

A TIDE OF RATEPAYER REVOLT SWEEPS IN NEW BOARD MAJORITY AT HELIX WATER DISTRICT

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Elizabeth Hull, Helix Water District

December 7, 2016 (La Mesa) — Control of the Helix Water District board has shifted from a majority that voted to sharply increase water rates to a new majority that has pledged to resist new price hikes and if possible, roll back part of a five-year rate hike approved by outgoing board members. 

IT’S OFFICIAL: REGISTRAR CERTIFIES ELECTION RESULTS COUNTYWIDE: OUTCOMES CHANGE IN SOME CLOSE RACES

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 8, 2016 (San Diego) — Today, San Diego Registrar of Voters Michael Vu certified results in all races countywide. 

East County saw flips in several key races from election night to the final tally.  Here are the outcomes in some of East County’s closest races:

STEVE GOBLE AND BEN KALASHO TO JOIN EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL DEC. 13

 

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photos:  Ben Kalasho,  Steve Goble and Bob McClellan

December 6, 2016 (El Cajon) -- Challengers Steve Goble and Ben Kalasho have won seats on the El Cajon City Council, and will be joining Bob McClellan, who won reelection. The swearing-in ceremony will be held on December 13th at Council Chambers.

Pages