Politics

POLITICAL WRANGLING: NEWSHOUNDS CHALLENGE A WATCHDOG--& SANTA HITS THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL

 

By Buck Shott
 

July 14, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – The political scene in San Diego’s eastern regions runs the gamut from follies to jollies.  Here are the latest juicy stories—starting with a watchdog who may need some watching, according to newshounds at a local newspaper who turned up a pungent trail involving a prominent elected official.  Another media outlet found itself the target of criticism, however, after running a political cartoon portraying a one-eyed veteran running for Congress as a pirate. Plus a candidate in an East County council race has an illustrious resume that includes this jolly avocation: Santa Claus!

 

VARGAS DECLARES VICTORY: UP BY 22 VOTES AFTER ALL BALLOTS COUNTED

 

July 11, 2010 (San Diego) Juan Vargas has declared victory in the tight race against Assemblymember Mary Salas for the Democratic nomination for the State Senate's 40th District seat.
 

It's been a long road, but we've reached the finished line tonight. I'm very proud to be the Democratic nominee for our State Senate seat. Tonight, I'll be celebrating with my family and friends. Tomorrow, we begin the fight to reform California government, promote job creation, and put public safety first,” Vargas said in a press release issued last night.

SALAS CALLS FOR HAND RECOUNT IN 40TH STATE SENATE RACE

 

Only 22 Votes Out of 48,542 Separate Salas and Vargas
 

July 12, 2010 (San Diego) – Assemblymember Mary Salas, candidate for State Senate in the 40th District, has filed the necessary paperwork calling for a recount in the race for the 40th Senate District. A mere 22 votes, or less than one half of one percent, separates the two candidates.

 

Unlike other states, California does not have an automatic recount no matter how close the race.  So costs of the recount will be born by the Salas campaign, not taxpayers.  Costs of the count have not yet been determined.  A campaign insider indicated that discussions are underway to determine how widespread the recount will be in the race, which spans portions of Riverside, Imperial and San Diego Counties. 

COURT-ORDERED COUNT OF 12,563 BALLOTS COMPLETED, BUT OUTCOME NOT YET CLEAR

 

Note: An earlier version of this story stated that two media outlets reported Salas the victor today. However one of those, the Riverside Press Enterprise, has since issued a correction and indicated that Vargas won.  The Riverside Registrar's office is closed until Monday, when a certified count will be sent to the Secretary of State.

July 10, 2010 (San Diego) – This morning, Riverside County’s Registrar of Voters completed counting 12,563 previously uncounted mail-in ballots,including the 40th State Senate Democratic primary race which includes portions of Riverside, Imperial and San Diego Counties. The count was ordered to begin yesterday by superior Court Judge Mac R. Fisher.

BLOCK'S BILL SIGNED INTO LAW: WILL PREVENT THOSE WHO SOLICIT MURDER OF A SPOUSE FROM PROFITING OFF CRIME

July 9, 2010 (Sacramento) --Assemblymember Marty Block (D-Lemon Grove) announced today that AB 2674 has been signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger. This legislation closes a loophole in state law that allowed a spouse convicted of soliciting the murder of a husband or wife to reap financial benefits such as community property in retirement and pension benefits from the injured spouse.

STATE CONTROLLER SUES TO BLOCK MINIMUM WAGE ORDER FOR STATE WORKERS

July 9, 2010 (Sacramento ) State Controller John Chiang has filed a lawsuit in Superior Court to block Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s order that would reduce state workers’ pay to the federal minimum wage, $7.25 an hour. The decision could determine whether 200,000 state workers ranging from DMV employee workers to Cal-Trans highway workers will face pay cuts of two-thirds or more of their salaries in some cases.

BOXER MEETS WITH SAN DIEGO BUSINESS LEADERS, BRINGS "JOBS FOR CALIFORNIA" TOUR TO TOWN

July 8, 2010 (San Diego) – “We have to make sure that California is the hub of a new clean energy economy,” Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) said in a press conference Tuesday in San Diego. She added, “If we do this right, we’re going to see the words `made in America’ again.”

 

BILBRAY INTRODUCES BILL TO REPEAL MEDICAL DEVICE MANUFACTURING TAX

 

 

July 7, 2010 (San Diego) -- Congressman Brian Bilbray (R-San Diego) has introduced the Medical Device Tax Repeal Bill, H.R. 5615, designed to repeal the medical device manufacturing tax that was passed with President Barack Obama’s health care insurance bill earlier this year.

VOTERS FILE SUIT OVER 12,563 UNCOUNTED BALLOTS AS SALAS-VARGAS RACE HANGS IN THE BALANCE

 

 

State Senate candidate Paul Clay calls on Riverside Registrar to resign for failing to pick up ballots from Post Office

 

July 6, 2010 (San Diego) – Candidates in two state legislative districts that span both San Diego and Riverside counties are concerned over a scandal involving 12,563 uncounted ballots in Riverside County.

 

Those ballots could tip the balance of victory in the 40th State Senate district Democratic primary. Juan Vargas now leads Assemblymember Mary Salas by a scant 12 votes a full month after the June 8th election.

BOXER CALLS OUT FIORINA ON FACTS

Senator Boxer to meet with San Diego business leaders today on jobs plan; has support of dozens of technology leaders

July 6, 2010 (San Diego) – Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) has launched a “Fiorina Facts and Fiction” campaign to fight back against misleading statements made by her opponent, Republican Carly Fiorina.

Independent analyses of the facts by nonpartisan groups and major media outlets support claims by Boxer, who chairs the Senate Ethics Committee, that Fiorina has distorted data on jobs, climate change legislation, and impacts of the federal stimulus bill by relying on outdated or biased sources.

 

View a video of Senator Boxer outlining her jobs plan during a speech at the California Democratic convention.

LEMON GROVE PROCLAIMS PRIDE DAY JULY 10

 

July 6, 2010 (Lemon Grove) – The City of Lemon Grove has issued a proclamation declaring July 10th “Pride Day at Your Lemon Grove Library.” Ron deHarte, emcee of the Pride Celebration, was the victim of a hate crime that occurred in Lemon Grove last summer while participating in an equal rights torch relay that passed through Lemon Grove.

 

GOVERNOR SEEKS TO POSTPONE COSTLY WATER BOND INITIATIVE UNTIL 2012

By Miriam Raftery

Photos courtesy of Helix Water District

 

July 3, 2010 (Sacramento) – Due to the state budget deficit, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger this week announced his intent to ask the Legislature to postpone Proposition 18, the $11.4 million water bond measure that qualified for the November 2010 ballot, until November 2012. Postponement would require a two-thirds vote of both the Assembly and Senate. 

 

The measure faced mounting opposition from consumer, environmental and labor groups, with even many supporters urging revision or postponement amid the current economic situation.

BALLOT MEASURE TO BAN LIVING WAGES IN SAN DIEGO FAILS TO QUALIFY; DEMAIO TO CHALLENGE REGISTRAR'S COUNT

Opponents urge voters “tricked” into signing to ask that that signatures be revoked
 

By Miriam Raftery

 

June 28, 2010 (San Diego) – San Diego’s Registrar of Voters has rejected a ballot measure backed by Councilman Carl DeMaio that would have made it easier for the City to outsource jobs and overturned living wage standards. The measure was bankrolled by city contractors and developers who stand to gain from increasing outsourcing and lowering wage standards, along with DeMaio, who calls himself the "taxpayer's watchdog."

VARGAS PULLS AHEAD OF SALAS—BY SIX VOTES

 

 

June 25, 2010 (San Diego) – It doesn’t get much closer than this. Yesterday, Mary Salas' lead over Juan Vargas had evaporated to a single vote.  Today, in the hotly contested Democratic primary for the 40th State Senate District,Vargas pulled into the lead by a six vote margin with 24,079 votes to Salas' 24,073. But this horse race isn’t over yet, with thousands of votes yet to be tallied in a race spanning three separate counties.
 

BILL TO LET STATE LIMIT HEALTH INSURANCE RATE HIKES ADVANCES IN STATE SENATE

Local legislators split on support, opposition to measure

 


June 25, 2010 (Sacramento) – On Wednesday, the State Senate Health Committee passed AB 2578, the Healthcare Accountability Act. The measure aims to protect California consumers from excessive health insurance rate hikes, such as the 39% rate increase announced by Anthem Blue Cross earlier this year and an up to 75% increase imposed on businesses by Blue Shield.

5 MILLLION GREEN JOBS FOR CALIFORNIA: JERRY BROWN RELEASES DETAILED CLEAN ENERGY PLAN TO REVIVE ECONOMY

June 18, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) –  In the hotly contested Governor's race, last week Republican Meg Whitman refused to debate Democrat Jerry Brown, challenging Brown to release a plan to improve California's economy. Now Brown, former Governor and current Attorney General, has responded by releasing a detailed eight-point action plan for investment in renewable energy technology and creation of over half a million green jobs--a plan  he calls the "key to our economic future."  See Brown's detailed plan here or scroll down for highlights. 

 

Whitman's economic plan relies on tax cuts, tax incentives and spending cuts which she contends will boost the economy.  She has also called for repeal of AB 32--a step that leaders at Clean Tech San Diego (a nonprofit formed by prominent San Diego business leaders to make our region a world leader in green-tech industries) say would cripple the emerging green and clean-tech industries in California.

CONGRESSMAN FILNER CALLS ON BP TO PUT OIL SPILL VICTIMS OVER STOCKHOLDERS

 

 

ASKS BP TO PUT DIVIDENDS IN ACCOUNT FOR OIL SPILL CLEANUP AND VICTIM COMPENSATION

 

June 18, 2010 (Washington D.C.) – As BP board members debate whether to move forward with a scheduled dividend payment, U.S. Congressman Bob Filner joined 31 other members of Congress to call on the oil company to instead direct those funds to an escrow account dedicated to cleaning up the Deepwater Horizon spill and compensating its victims.

VOTERS' RULE DECISIVELY: RELIGIOUS CONSERVATIVES' BID TO OUST JUDGES FAILS

 

June 9, 2010 – Perhaps the most stinging defeat in San Diego’s June 8th California election went to conservative Christian judges backed by Better Courts Now, an organization seeking to oust four incumbent judges.

 

All four sitting judges won by hefty margins, each garnering about two-thirds of the vote. Judges Lantz Lewis, Joel Wholfeil, Robert Longstreth and DeAnn Salcido all won reelection.

ANDERSON WINS--OR WAS IT STONE?

 

June 9, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – In a an error reminiscent of the infamous “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline, the Valley News reported that Jeff Stone won the Republican primary for the 36th State Senate seat. That’s because the district spans both Riverside and San Diego Counties---and the chagrined publisher apparently only checked the Riverside results,  the conservative blog Flash Report revealed today.

 

In fact, Anderson leads by a hefty total of 6,810 votes with all precincts in both counties counted--though tens of thousands or more absentee and provisional ballots remain to be tallied.

SALAS DECLARES VICTORY IN CLOSE RACE

 

But Vargas refuses to concede

June 9, 2010 (San Diego) -- Assemblymember Mary Salas, candidate for State Senate in the 40th District, declared victory today in her Democratic primary campaign for the Senate seat. With 100% of the precincts reporting from all three counties – San Diego, Imperial, and Riverside – Salas leads opponent Juan Vargas by a slim 336 vote margin of 1.2%.

 

The campaign for the 40th State Senate seat has been one of the most expensive primaries ever for the legislature. Vargas and his allies spent over $3 million dollars, outspending the Salas campaign by nearly four to one. Salas has pointed to Vargas' hefty donations from the insurance industry, in which he once held a position, to suggest that he has been unduly influenced by special interests.

2 SPECIAL INTEREST-BACKED BALLOT MEASURES, PROPS 16 AND 17, LOSE

PROP 14, “OPEN” PRIMARY MEASURE, MAY FACE CONSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGES
 

By Miriam Raftery

June 9, 2010 (Sacramento) – Two ballot measures heavily backed by powerful utility and insurance industry money failed to win approval from voters. By narrow margins, Proposition 16 and 17 were defeated.  A third controversial measure, which would eliminate party primary elections, won passage by voters but may face legal challenges in court. 

LUTZ SCORES VICTORY IN DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY


HUNTER ALSO WINS EASILY; WATCHDOG TO FACE CONGRESSSMAN IN NOVEMBER

 

June 9, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – Raymond Lutz won a decisive victory in the 52nd Congressional district Democratic Primary, winning 70.63% of the vote. His opponent, community activist Connie Frankowiak of Anza-Borrego, received 29.3% with all precincts counted.
 

In November, Lutz will face off against incumbent Republican Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, who won a resounding primary victory over Tea Party activist Terri Linnell by a 90.5 to 9.5% margin.

BUSBY WINS PRIMARY RACE IN 50TH

 

June 9, 2010 (San Diego) – Francine Busby, who received 43% of the vote in her 2006 run against incumbent Congressman Brian Bilbray (R-San Diego) has won the Democratic primary by a nearly 66% to 34% margin over consumer attorney Tracy Emblem.

“I’m looking forward to working with Tracy and her campaign team to return responsible and representational government to our district,” Busby told East County Magazine. “We worked hard, and it’s good to be moving on from here.” 

 

A member of the Cardiff School Board, Busby has pledged to restore ethics to the district formerly represented by jailed Congressman Duke Cunningham, who was convicted of bribery. Busby has taken zero money from political action committees (PACs), raising $364,000 from individual donors as of the last reporting filing.

TERM LIMITS FOR SUPERVISORS PASSES; HORN & ROBERTS FACE RUN-OFF RACES

Strong Mayor initiative also approved by voters
 

June 9, 2010 (San Diego) – By a resounding 68.9%, voters in San Diego County approved Proposition B, which imposes term limits for Supervisors. The measure is not retroactive to the current Board, but will limit future reigns to eight years.
 

But voters may not need to wait eight years for the opportunity to change two seats on the Board, which is currently composed of five Republicans who have served for decades. Both Ron Roberts and Bill Horn failed to gain the 50% majority needed to win outright in the primary—and both appear headed for run-off races against challengers in the fall.

SHERIFF GORE WINS REELECTION

 

By Miriam Raftery
Richard Darvas also contributed to this report
 

June 9, 2010 (San Diego) – By a solid 56.8% margin, Sheriff Bill Gore won reelection to another four year term. Had he received less than 50%, a run-off race in the fall would have been triggered. Gore was appointed to fill the top lawman’s spot when Sheriff Bill Kolender retired.

Gore’s handling of prominent cases including the Chelsea King murder investigation contributed to his victory. In East County, his office’s efforts to obtain grants that boosted border security may also have raised his approval among voters.

POWELL BESTS TURNER IN 78TH ASSEMBLY GOP PRIMARY

By Miriam Raftery and Richard Darvas

June 9, 2010 (San Diego's East County) - Col. Rick Powell, a retired military officer and Green Beret with an extensive career in law enforcement as well as military service, has defeated Emma Turner, president of the La Mesa-Spring Valley School Board, to win the Republican primary in the 78th Assembly District.

 

Powell will face off in November against Assemblyman Marty Block, who ran unopposed in the Democratic primary.

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