Politics

MEDIA REFORM, INITIATIVE PROCESS & CLEAN ELECTIONS TOP COMMON CAUSE AGENDA

By Miriam Raftery March 16, 2009 (San Diego)--At a San Diego fundraising dinner for Common Cause last week, speakers addressed the latest priorities taken on by the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to protecting the public interest and holding government accountable to the voters. Media reform (including a conference this weekend in Southern California), clean elections and revising the California initiative process top the list of priorities for local Common Cause leaders.

 

SEMPRA/SDG&E LOBBYIST NOMINATED BY OBAMA AS DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF INTERIOR: VOTE SLATED THURSDAY, MARCH 12

By Miriam Raftery March 12, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) -- East County residents opposed to Sempra Energy’s Sunrise Powerlink project are mobilizing opposition to President Barack Obama’s nomination of David Hayes as deputy director of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Hayes served as Deputy Director of the department during the Clinton Administration, but later went to work for the lobbying firm Latham & Watkins representing Sempra Energy and SDG&E.

OBAMA BUDGET INCLUDES BIG INCREASE IN FUNDS FOR VETERANS, FILNER SAYS

March 1, 2009 (Washington, D.C.) -- House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bob Filner (D-CA) provided the following statement on President Obama’s Budget Outline for the Department of Veterans Affairs for Fiscal Year 2010. “I applaud President Obama’s budget request for the Department of Veterans Affairs. After sixteen years on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I am very encouraged that this outline is consistent with recommendations made by the veterans’ groups who co-author the Independent Budget. This has never happened in the IB’s 23-year history!

 

RESIDENTS STAGE PROTEST IN LAKESIDE OVER POWERLINK; SUPERIVSOR JACOB LEADS FIGHT TO HALT SEMPRA/SDG&E PROJECT

By Miriam Raftery

"This line is really about bringing fossil fuels up from the plant owned by SDG&E in Mexico," said Dianne Jacob, chair of the County Board of Supervisors. "We do not need this line to meet San Diego County's energy needs now or in the future...Follow the money to see who supports Sunrise Powerlink."

February 28, 2009 (Lakeside) — “We do not need this line to meet San Diego County’s energy needs now or in the future,” Dianne Jacob, chair of the County Board of Supervisors, told a crowd of 200 to 300 Lakeside residents at a February 25th community meeting on Sunrise Powerlink. She accused the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) of ignoring fire safety warnings raised in an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which concluded that the line was rated “the highest fire risk possible” and that “fire risk could not be mitigated.” Jacob added, “Follow the money--Some public officials supported the line even before there was an EIR report. Their votes were bought, in my opinion.”

 

View Rob Constantine’s video of officials and Lakeside residents speaking. Also view the new "Save El Monte Valley from Sempra Powerlink Towers" (includes footage of valley during the Cedar Fire, now, and images with computer-generated towers) or visit www.saveelmontevalley.com. Video of Dianne Jacobs’ speech, compliments of Rob Constantine.

BURNED UP: LAKESIDE PLANNERS, FIRE OFFICIALS AND RESIDENTS VENT ANGER OVER STATE'S APPROVAL OF POWERLINK WITH NO NOTICE TO THEIR COMMUNITY

By Miriam Raftery

Before and After images of El Monte Valley

February 18, 2009 (Lakeside) — Lakeside planners, fire
officials and residents expressed shock and outrage that the California Public
Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved construction of Sunrise Powerlink through
the El Monte Valley, a designated scenic area, without ever notifying officials
or the public in Lakeside.

Sempra Energy/SDG&E added Lakeside to its proposed Southern Route back
in March 2007, but local officials said they never had a chance to provide
input on an environmental impact report. Officials warned that adding
high-voltage power lines and 20-story towers would not only impede pristine
views of El Capitan Mountain,but also prevent firefighting planes from scooping
water from a reservoir to douse wildfires, putting San Diego at risk of another
catastrophic fire.

CONGRESSMAN FILNER REINTRODUCES THE VISITORS INTERESTED IN STRENGTHENING AMERICA ACT

March 1, 2009 (Washington, DC -- Congressman Bob Filner has re-introduced H.R. 937, the Visitors Interested in Strengthening America (VISA) Act. The bill gives Port Directors the discretion to issue humanitarian visa waivers to Mexican children making brief, pre-scheduled visits to the United States for medical, educational or recreational purposes. This legislation does not affect the number of legal or illegal immigrants living in the United States - the children and accompanying adults will visit for one day and then return home to Mexico.

 

STUDENT NOMINEES SOUGHT BY ASSEMBLYMAN ANDERSON FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

March 1, 2009 (San Diego's East County)--Assemblyman Joel Anderson seeks student nominations for his "Outstanding Achievement Award" program, available to students in all schools in the 77th Assembly District.

"It is important for all of us to recognize those students who strive for excellence in everything they do. Rewarding the great work of East County students is perhaps the greatest aspect of my job," says Assemblyman Anderson.

To enroll your school or classroom in this program, or to nominate an outstanding student, please contact Lori Brown at 619-441-2322.

STOP-PAYMENTS TO FOSTER FAMILIES RAISES CONCERNS FOR CHILDREN

By Miriam Raftery

February 16, 2009 (San Diego) — A letter sent by the County of San Diego last week to foster parents warned that the State of California planned to halt payments to counties for foster parent services immediately. While County officials joined with 23 other counties to file a lawsuit against the state, the prospect of losing funding to care for needy children has sparked concern among local foster parents.

”My wife and I have 12 foster girls under our supervision and the letters from the County were horrible,” Herb Cawthorne, head of community relations for Viejas Enterprises, told East County Magazine. “These children are already without the normal family relationships - fathers gone, mothers in rehab or jail or incapable of good parenting, brother and sisters scattered across the county and, wham, this letter comes saying that they may not be able to stay in the places where they have become accustomed.”

HUNTER INTRODUCES RIGHT TO LIFE ACT: BILL WOULD DECLARE LIFE BEGINS AT CONCEPTION; NO EXCEPTIONS FOR RAPE, INCEST, OR SAVING A MOTHER'S LIFE

February 13, 2009 (Washington DC) --“Congressman Duncan Hunter has introduced H.R. 881, which would declare that life begins at conception. The Right to Life Act would establish “personhood of the unborn” by requiring equal protection under the 14th amendment of the Constitution to the “born and unborn” beginning with the moment of fertilization or cloning.

HOUSE PASSES STIMULUS BILL THAT AIMS TO CREATE 396,000 JOBS IN CALIFORNIA; LOCAL LEADERS SPLIT VOTES

February 13, 2009 -- The House of Representatives passed the
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act by a vote of 246-183. Local Democratic
representatives Bob Filner and Susan Davis voted for the measure, while Republicans
Duncan D. Hunter, Brian Bilbray and Darrell Issa voted no. According
to the White House, the measure will create or save 396,000 jobs in California
by the end of next year.

STATE OF THE COUNTY ADDRESS: "OMINOUS DAYS BEFORE US," JACOB WARNS

County to Sue State Over Funding Cuts

By Miriam Raftery

Supervisor Dianne Jacob

February 12, 2009 (El Cajon) — Dianne Jacob, Chairwoman
of the County Board of Supervisors, presented a bleak outlook in a State of the County
address
presented
last night at Cuyamaca College. As a result of falling revenues
and state budget cuts, lay-offs and deep cuts in County services will be necessary,
she warned. “Apparently, state legislators see nothing wrong with collecting
their paychecks, while aid checks to more than 63,000 `at risk’ San Diego children
hang in the balance,” said Jacob, who revealed that the state plans to delay
some $100 million in aid payments to foster families, disadvantaged children
and their parents.

FILNER JOINS 20 MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO ESTABLISH POPULIST CAUCUS FOR MIDDLE CLASS ECONOMIC ISSUES

By Miriam Raftery

February 12, 2009 (Washington, DC) Today, Rep. Bob Filner (D-San Diego) announced that he has joined with 20 other Democratic members of Congress to form the Populist Caucus, the only caucus in Congress devoted solely to addressing middle class economic issues.

FILNER SEEKS TO AMEND CLEAN WATER ACT: REQUIRE DOD COMPLIANCE WITH EXISTING ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS

February
9, 2009 (San Diego) —
Congressman Bob Filner introduced the Military
Environmental Responsibility Act, H.R. 672, which would require the Department
of Defense (DOD) to fully comply with Federal and State environmental laws.

"Military exemptions from environmental requirements harm human health by
polluting our water, air, and soil. Communities around military bases should
be protected equally from harmful waste and by-products, just like any other
American town," said Filner. "Cleaning up after ourselves is the responsible
course of action."

FEB. 25 HEARING ON WIND TURBINES & WIND TESTING

February 2009 (San Diego)--The County Board of Supervisors will deliberate February 25 whether to ease permitting requirements for installing industrial-scale meteorological testing units (MET towers) on private and county properties. The county is also debating the turbine ordinance to allow for more options, such as industrial-scale turbines on private property or more than one turbine per lot, including the smaller scale turbines.

LA MESA SAVES FLAG DAY PARADE: DONATIONS ROLL IN FROM RESIDENTS, BUSIENSSES AND CIVIC LEADERS

February 9, 2009 (Mesa) “ Thanks to the generosity of La Mesa citizens, business leaders and elected officials who donated out of their own pockets, La Mesa’s annual flag day parade has been saved from the budget chopping block. The 14th annual event will take place on Saturday,

“We met the goal and then some,” an e-mail signed by Council members Ernest Ewin and David Allan stated. “Thank you, Shannon O’Dunn for your leadership in this effort.” O’Dunn (photo), a La Mesa resident, ran for La Mesa Council in the last election.

PROP L SPARKS DEBATE AT LA MESA OPEN FORUM MEETING

By Yuliana Cerda

February 6, 2009 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa City Council held an open forum meeting in the auditorium at Rolando Elementary School last Thursday night. The meetings are meant to provide an opportunity for citizens to voice concerns or input on issues throughout their city. La Mesa citizens voiced their views on an array of issues ranging from proposed cuts in police and fire budgets to road maintenance.

FILNER REINTRODUCES FAIR TAXES FOR SENIORS ACT

February 1, 2009 (San Diego) — Congressman Bob Filner has reintroduced the
Fair Taxes for Seniors Act, H.R. 674, which will provide a one-time increase
in the capital gains tax exemption on the sale of a home for citizens who are
50 years of age or more.

"The Fair Taxes for Seniors Act would give many seniors the additional money
they need for nursing home care, medical costs, and other retirement expenses,"
stated Filner, a Democrat whose district includes southern portions of East
County as well as San Diego's South Bay area. "As a result, family members
and, in many cases, the government will be relieved of the burden of caring
for these individuals as they grow older."

LA MESA HOSTS 2 TOWNHALL MEETINGS & BUDGET WORKSHOP

February 1, 2009 (La Mesa) -- As part of La Mesa's commitment to staying in touch with the community, the City Council has scheduled two Town Hall Meetings for 2009. These open forum meetings provide an opportunity for citizens to provide input on issues in their neighborhood and throughout the City. The two meetings are held in different parts of the City to give all residents a chance to participate. The City Council encourages all who are interested in the present and future of La Mesa to attend and provide their ideas, comments, and opinions.

FACE OFF: SHOULD CONGRESS SUPPORT PRESIDENT OBAMA'S ECONOMIC STIMULUS PROPOSAL?

Dual views on hot topics

The
President's proposed economic stimulus plan has split Congress down party
lines, with Democrats overwhelmingly in favor and House Republicans unanimously
opposed. San Diego's Democratic Congressman Bob Filner and San Diego County
Republican Party Chairman Tony Krvaric face off with drastically divergent
views on the stimulus proposal. Texts below were submitted to ECM as press
releases issues by these political leaders' offices.

FILNER REINTRODUCES BILL TO HONOR FALLEN HEROES FROM VIETNAM

January
28, 2009 (San Diego) —
Congressman Bob Filner has reintroduced legislation
to honor the service and sacrifice of many members of the United States Armed
Forces who fought in Vietnam, the “In Memory Medal for Forgotten Veterans Act”
(H.R. 671).

The bill recognizes veterans who died as a result of their service in the
Vietnam War but who do not meet the criteria for inclusion on The Wall of the
Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Fund “In Memory” program raised money to place a plaque near The Wall. The
plaque honors “those who served in the Vietnam War and later died as a result
of their service.” No names are on the plaque, but all names are recorded
in the “In Memory Book” at a kiosk near The Wall. Families can order
a copy of the book.

CONGRESS SENDS LILY LEDBETTER FAIR PAY ACT TO PRESIDENT FOR SIGNATURE

By Miriam Raftery

 

Congressman Bob Filner (D-San Diego) with Jan Hedlun
of Potrero.

“This issue is as basic as it gets,” said Congressman Filner (D-CA), who voted
in favor of the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which is now on President Barack
Obama’s desk.  ”You should not be paid less because you are a woman. You
should not be treated differently because of the color of your skin or your
religious beliefs. The Supreme Court has tried to roll back the clock on this
issue of basic fairness, but Congress will not stand for it.”   San
Diego Congressional representative Susan Davis also voted for the bill, while
Congressman Brian Bilbray, Duncan D. Hunter and Darrell Issa voted against
the measure.

ASSEMBLYMAN ANDERSON URGES LEGISLATURE TO SUPPORT ISRAEL IN GAZA CONFLICT

ASSEMBLYMAN ANDERSON URGES LEGISLATURE TO SUPPORT ISRAEL

By Miriam Raftery

January 27, 2009 (Sacramento)-- Assemblyman Joel Anderson (R-El Cajon), has introduced Assembly Concurrent resolution (ACR) 10, California's Resolution to Stand with Israel. The move has drawn praise from backers of Israel and criticism from supporters of the Palestinians.

"It's vital that we stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel as they defend themselves from terrorists," said Anderson, who introduced the measure on January 13th.

January Capitol Report: How They Voted

Capitol Report LogoCongress approved several major bills in January, including measures to improve healthcare for low-income children, provide oversight of bail-out funds, delay conversion to direct TV,  set aside public lands and ocean areas as environmental preserves, protect fair pay for women,  and improve remedies for victims of discrimination. The Senate also approved  nomination of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.  Do you know how your elected officials voted?  Find out here!

For more information on these and other bills, visit www.vote-smart.org or www.govtrack.us

SAN DIEGO ASSEMBLYMEMBER LORI SALDAÑA NAMED SPEAKER PRO TEM OF STATE ASSEMBLY

January
27, 2009 (San Diego) —
Assembly Member Lori Saldaña was sworn into her new role as Assembly Speaker pro Tempore in a ceremony in the Capitol on December
1st. The Assemblywoman’s district encompasses most of the City of San
Diego, including neighborhoods east of I-15 between Highways 94 and 52.

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