Politics

SANDERS, CRUZ WIN BIG IN WISCONSIN

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Senator Bernie Sanders, by Johnathunder under GNU Free  Documentation license

Photo, right: Senator Ted Cruz, by Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons license

April  6, 2016 (San Diego) –Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Texas Senator Ted Cruz won big victories in Tuesday’s Wisconsin primary, making contested conventions in both the Democratic and Republican parties increasingly likely prospects.

TRUMP CALLS FOR “PUNISHMENT” FOR WOMEN WHO ABORT, THEN WALKS IT BACK

 

Reprinted with permission from The Moderate Voice, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

By Joe Gandelman, Editor-in-Chief, The Moderate Voice

March 30, 2016 (San Diego) -- It’s common in the United States to call talk show hosts or DJs who try to be outrageous “shock jocks.” It’s abundantly clear now that Republican businessman and showman Donald Trump — who at this point seems to be the GOP’s likely nominee — is a shock politician. In yet another match thrown on the GOP’s post 2012 Presidential election “autopsy” that outlined things the party should do to win national elections, Trump now suggests there should be some form of punishment for women who abort.

PUNISHING WOMEN WHO HAVE (OR SEEK) ABORTIONS IS NEW REALITY IN MANY RED STATES

 

 

 

 

 

By Meg Jensen

 

Photos:  New state laws ban abortions even for serious deformities that would result in a chlid doomed to pain, suffering, or death. Shown: Microcephalic fetus with brain deformity, conjoined twins,  infant with two faces.

April 4, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Media headlines have been filled the past few days with news about Donald Trump’s changing stance on abortion. The Washington Post reports Trump took five different stances in three days, after stating on MSNBC that he believed there should be “punishment” for women who have abortions (but not for the men who impregnate them).  

Though Trump later shifted his stance following stinging criticisms, the truth is that in many Republican-controlled states, women who seek abortions or obtain them are already been punished with laws that restrict access even in extreme cases such as to end a miscarriage in progress or help a mother prevent carrying to term a fetus so severely damaged that it could not survive, or would face a brief life filled with suffering.

71ST ASSEMBLY CANDIDATES RANDY VOEPEL AND TONY TEORA SPEAK AT LAKESIDE TEA PARTY

 

By Janis Russell

March 30, 2016 (Lakeside) - At the Lakeside Tea Party meeting on March 28, two of the 71st Assembly candidates, Santee Mayor Randy Voepel and small business owner Tony Teora, both Republicans, spoke and answered questions from the public. Leo Hamel, another Republican candidate, wasn’t able to make it.

CLINTON COMPLAINS ABOUT SANDERS’ “TONE” –THOUGH SHE MADE SIMILAR CRITICISMS AGAINST OBAMA IN 2008 PRIMARY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Mark Nozelle on FlickR, Creative Commons

March 29, 2016 (New York) - Hilary Clinton indicated today she may be “open” to a debate in New York against Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders – but only after being blasted on social media for stating she wouldn’t debate Sanders unless he changed his “tone” and avoided “negative” campaigning.  In particular, she objects to Sanders bringing up hefty donations and speaking fees she took from Wall Street and votes she has cast that favored the financial industry.

POLITICAL PARTIES BECOMING “ALIEN TRIBES”

 

By Ed Barrena

March 29, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- Pew Research Center published an article by Paul Taylor this week with some interesting political analysis, detailing a move toward polarization of the two political parties. The article discusses points from the first chapter of a book that Taylor co-authored with Pew Research entitled, “The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown.” The book was originally released as a hardback in 2014 and now a paperback edition is being released with 100 pages of additional material.

OBAMA CRITICIZES MEDIA COVERAGE OF CAMPAIGN

 
 
Obama urges journalists to cover substance of campaign, not insults


By Liz Alper


March 29, 2016 (Washington, D.C.) - On Monday, President Barack Obama criticized the media’s handling of the 2016 presidential campaign trail coverage, saying “a job well done is about more than just handing someone a microphone.”

GOVERNOR CRAFTS DEAL WITH UNIONS FOR $15 MINIMUM WAGE—WITHOUT A BALLOT MEASURE

 

Update March 31:  Both houses osf the Legislature have passed this measure, which is now on the Governor's desk for signature and is expected to be signed into law.

East County News Service

March 29, 2016 (Sacramento) -- A deal hammered out by labor leaders and Governor Jerry Brown would raise California’s minimum wage to $15 an hour without the need for a ballot initiative, if it is approved by the Legislature.

Under the agreement, most businesses would phase in the increase in wages gradually over several years, starting at $10.50 in January 2017, $11 in January 2018, then rising $1 a year until January 2022, when it would reach $15 an hour.  Businesses with less than 25 workers would have an extra year to meet the new wage requirements. (View full details here.)

OVER 15,000 VOTERS SIGN PETITION ASKING CA SECRETARY OF STATE TO PROVIDE NONPARTISAN “PUBLIC BALLOT” OPTION FOR PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

 

East County News Service

March 28, 2016 (Sacramento) - The petition signatures of more than 15,000 voters have been delivered to California Secretary of State Alex Padilla in support of resolution ACR 145 asking his office to provide an additional, nonpartisan “public ballot” so that all voters ­ regardless of their political affiliation or non­affiliation ­ can cast a vote for the candidate of their choice in the June presidential primary election.

A SANDERS TRIFECTA: HUGE WINS IN ALASKA, WASHINGTON AND HAWAII

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Ron Logan (during Sanders' visit to San Diego)

March 26, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- Three states held Democratic presidential caucuses today—and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders soundly defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by hefty margins in all three western states.  (There were no Republican matches today.)

In Alaska, Sanders won a whopping 81.6% of the vote, while Clinton took just 18.4% with 100% of precincts reported. Washington state was won by Sanders with 72.7% of the vote to Clinton’s 27.2% with 99% of precincts reporting.In Hawaii, Sanders won with 70% of the delegates to Clinton's 30%. 

BERNIE SANDERS DRAWS DIVERSE CROWD OF 13,000 SUPPORTERS IN SAN DIEGO

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Miriam Raftery and Ron Logan

East County leaders met with Sanders, share their impressions

To read highlights of Sanders’ speech, click here. Check back for full audio to be posted soon.

Updated March 24 with comments from Rev. Shane Harris, who met with Senator Sanders

March 23, 2016 (San Diego) – “I wanted to be here to be a part of history,” said Esmeralda Abarco (photo, left), a youthful voter who was first in line to see Vermont Senator and Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders at the San Diego Convention Center last night.  She drove down from Los Angeles, arriving at 5 a.m.  to hear Sanders because “Bernie is our only hope. He is for the people.”

Alex Vega, an African-American voter from La Mesa (photo, above right), is supporting Sanders because “he supports politics and things that I believed in even before I knew Bernie, policies that align with what’s best for the black community.  I think he’s the best candidate ever.”

SANDERS SPEAKS OUT ON VOTER SUPPRESSION, EQUALITY ISSUES IN SAN DIEGO SPEECH

 

 

(Click the orange link  to hear full audio)

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Ron Logan and Miriam Raftery

 

Click here to read our interviews with a diverse range of rally attendees, including an East County community leader who met Senator Sanders.

 

April 23, 2016 (San Diego) – Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of over 13,000 people at the San Diego Convention Center last night, informing the crowd that his campaign is doing ”something unusual in politics. We are telling the truth.”  He then stated, “We cannot go forward as a nation unless we are willing to confront real issues.”  

In his opening remarks of a speech interrupted by frequent enthusiastic applause, Sanders took aim at voter suppression tactics on a day when long lines at minority polling places and other questionable tactics drew strong criticism in Arizona.

 “In America today, we are living under a corrupt primary campaign system which is undermining our democracy,” Sanders said.

Audio: 

TRUMP WINS ARIZONA, CRUZ TAKES UTAH

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Donald Trump and his wife, Melania

March 22, 2016 – Tonight’s “Western Tuesday” included two Republican matches.  Businessman/reality TV celebrity Donald Trump won the Arizona GOP caucus with 47.1%. Texas Senator Ted Cruz had 24.4%, while Ohio Governor John Kasich got 10% of the Arizona vote with 74% of precincts counted.

But in Utah, Ted Cruz dominated, wining with 69.2% of the vote. Kasich placed second in Utah with 16.7% , while Trump trailed with 14.1% as of midnight tonight, with 59% of precincts counted, CNN reports.

Both Utah and Arizona are winner-take-all states for Republicans, leaving Kasich shut out for the night.

SANDERS WINS UTAH AND IDAHO; CLINTON TAKES ARIZONA

 

 

Story and photo by Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Senator Bernie Sanders and his wife, Jane, left, in San Diego tonight

March 22, 2016 (San Diego) – Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders gained some momentum for his presidential campaign tonight, winning 74% of the Democratic delegates in Utah and 78% of the delegates in Idaho, the New York Times projects.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won Arizona, with about 59% of the vote. Overall, Sanders won 73 delegates tonight, 16 more than Clinton, who won 57 tonight.

Sanders’ strong showings in conservative Utah and Idaho, where independent voters were allowed to vote, could bode well for his chances to pull in independents in a general election should he win.  Clinton’s win in Arizona and some other key states recently came in places where only Democrats could vote.

FEAR OF TRUMP IS FUELING RISE IN NATURALIZATION AND VOTER REGISTRATION

 

East County News Service

March 21, 2016 (San Diego) – Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric is having some unintended consequences: motivating immigrants to become citizens so that they can register to vote against Trump if he is the Republican party’s nominee in November.

SAN DIEGO TO “FEEL THE BERN”: SANDERS SPEAKS HERE TUESDAY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County News Service

March 21, 2016 (San Diego) – Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders will be in San Diego for a “Future to Believe in” rally  on Tuesday, March 22nd at the San Diego Convention Center.

Doors open at 5 p.m. for the free event. RSVPs and early arrivals are suggested. Sanders has been drawing huge crowds recently, including an estimated 17,000 in Salt Lake City and lines of supporters over two miles long in Michigan.

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.

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