Politics

ASSEMBLYMAN VOEPEL ANNOUNCES 71ST DISTRICT "LISTENING TOUR"

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 4, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- Today, Assemblyman Randy Voepel (R-Santee) announced he will be holding a "Listening Tour" through multiple communities within the 71st Assembly District including Santee, Julian, Lakeside, El Cajon, Ramona and Idyllwild.  The Listening Tour will provide an opportunity for constituents to hear a legislative update, ask questions, and offer ideas for how to improve California.

CONGRESS LETS CHILDREN’S HEALTHCARE PROGRAM FOR NINE MILLION POOR KIDS EXPIRE: CHIP FUNDS ALSO COVERED MATERNITY CARE

 

Meanwhile, Congress weighs bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks, but robs babies of healthcare at birth

By Miriam Raftery

October 3, 2017 (Washington D.C. ) – Nine million children in low-income families and poor  pregnant mothers are losing healthcare nationwide due to the Republican-led Congress failing to allow a vote on renewing the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), letting  it expire on September 30th, the Washington Post reports.

CAMPO-LAKE MORENA PLANNING GROUP OFFICIAL THREATENS TO PUNCH SENIOR WOMAN IN THE FACE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 1, 2017  (Campo) – After being blocked on a neighborhood watch forum, Campo-Lake Morena Community Planning Group member Keven Owens posted a profanity-laced podcast on his “Erroneous Opinions” webpage in which he threatened to punch 69-year-old Claudia Millerbragg in the face.

A partial transcript of his more than 20 minute rant is below, asprovided in writing by Owens in an email response after ECM sent him an inquiry. You can hear an audio excerpt at the audio link above published under the Fair Use doctrine on a matter of clear public interest:

Audio: 

Keven Owens threatens Claudia Millerbragg on tape

GOVERNOR SIGNS HUESO BILL TO BAN UTILITY SHUT-OFFS FOR PEOPLE WITH CRITICAL MEDICAL NEEDS, STUDY HOW TO REDUCE DISCONNECTIONS OF POOR HOUSEHOLDS

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 2, 2017 (San Diego) — Residential disconnections for nonpayment of gas and electric bills have gone up sharply in California, from 547,000 in 2010 to 816,000 in 2015.  According to Senate Bill 598, a bill authored by San Diego Senator Ben Hueso, gas and electric service shut-offs threaten the health of two million people a year, causing significant impacts on infants, children, the elderly, low-income families, communities of color, the disabled and persons with life-threatening medical conditions.

GOVERNOR SIGNS PACKAGE OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING BILLS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Governor's Office

October 2, 2017 (Sacramento) - Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law 15 bills that aim to ease the state’s affordable housing crisis, but which also restrict the abilities of local governments, environmentalists and neighborhood groups to block projects in their communities.

In a signing statement, the Governor says, “These new laws will help cut red tape and encourage more affordable housing, including shelter for the growing number of homeless in California.”

Here are summaries of the new laws:

HOUSE COMMITTEE HOLDS HEARING ON SOLUTIONS TO MOVE NUCLEAR WASTE AWAY FROM SAN ONOFRE

 

East County News Service

September 27, 2017 (San Diego) -- Congressman Issa (R-Vista) took part in a hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee yesterday, examining nuclear waste storage policy and solutions that would allow nuclear waste, like that from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), to be moved out of our communities.

BILL TO REQUIRE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES TO RELEASE TAX RETURNS HEADS TO GOVERNOR

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 27, 2017 (Sacramento) -- Donald Trump is the first president in modern times who did not release his tax return. But if he wants to be on the ballot for reelection in 2020, he may soon have to make his tax documents public.

SUPERVISORS BAN WEAPONS AT BORDER WALL PROTESTS AS CONSTRUCTION OF PROTOTYPES BEGINS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Existing border fence in Campo

September 27, 2017 (San Diego) – Construction of eight border wall prototypes, each costing up to a half million dollars, is now underway in Otay Mesa.  After testing of alternative materials and designs built here, President Donald Trump aims to erect a wall along the entire U.S.- Mexico border at a cost of some $60 billion.  But it is unclear why San Diego was chosen for the prototypes and many local officials have raised concerns.

REPUBLICAN AUTHORS OF HEALTHCARE REPEAL BILL, GRAHAM AND CASSIDY, DEBATED INDEPENDENT SANDERS AND DEMOCRAT KLOBUCHAR ON FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Screenshot, CNN debate

September 26, 2017 (Washington D.C.) -- In a lively debate on the future of healthcare in America hosted by CNN last night, Republicans Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) authors of a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) sought to defend their measure while admitting they lack enough votes for passage. 

TRUMP CALL FOR FIRING OF NFL PLAYERS WHO KNEEL DURING NATIONAL ANTHEM TRIGGERS WAVE OF PROTESTS IN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS

 

By Liz Alper

Cover photo:  several New England Patriots players kneel during the national anthem at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA on Sunday.  Courtesy u/MAINEiac4434 on Reddit

September 26, 2017 (San Diego) - With Puerto Rico walloped by a hurricane and North Korea threatening nuclear war, President Donald Trump has taken time to lob criticisms at NFL players for kneeling during the national anthem, ratcheting up controversy that has now enveloped multiple professional sports.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING DENSITY BONUS, DRAFT MARIJUANA ORDINANCE AND FERRETS ON LA MESA COUNCIL’S AGENDA TUESDAY

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 24, 2017 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa City Council will take up several hot issues at its meeting on Tuesday, September 26th at 6 p.m. The Council’s decision could make it easier for developers to increase density and decrease parking, create new marijuana regulations, and declare La Mesa a ‘ferret friendly” city.

A proposed change in meeting time and openings on several boards and commissions are also on the agenda.

VOTER’S WATCHDOG: RUSSIANS TRIED TO HACK CALIFORNIA ELECTION SYSTEMS, HOMELAND SECURITY REVEALS

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 24, 2017 (Sacramento) -- “Today, my office was informed for the first time by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that Russian cyber actors scanned California’s Internet-facing systems in 2016,” California Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced on Friday.

CALIFORNIA, QUEBEC AND ONTARIO SIGN AGREEMENT TO LINK CARBON MARKETS

 

Photo by Sonia Carcoilo, Government of Ontario:  Governor Brown (right), Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne (left) and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard (center) sign agreement to expand cap-and-trade partnership.

Source: Governor’s office and government of Ontario, Canada

September 24, 2017 (Quebec City) – California Governor Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown Jr. yesterday signed an agreement with the leaders of Quebec and Ontario to officially integrate their cap-and-trade programs, expanding the three-year partnership between California and Quebec to include Ontario, Canada's most populous province and leading industrial region. The agreement takes effect January 1, 2018.

HUNTER CALLS FOR FIRST STRIKE AGAINST NORTH KOREA: DRAWS BLASTS FROM BOTH REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC OPPONENTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 22, 2017 (San Diego) – In an interview aired on KUSI this week, Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-Alpine) repeatedly called for the U.S. to launch an attack on North Korea in response to nuclear threats.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN WEBER FAILS TO DERAIL FLETCHER ENDORSEMENT BY SAN DIEGO DEMOCRATS

 

By Ken Stone

Reprinted from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Network

Photo, left:  Nathan Fletcher said after his endorsement: “Every candidate is going to fight and have their base of support. And what we see as Democrats is we come together, post primary and focus on what we have to do, which is Democrats winning the seat.” Photo via Wikimedia Commons

September 20, 2017 (San Diego) -- Former GOP Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher easily won the San Diego County Democratic Party’s endorsement Tuesday night in his bid to “take back our county government.”

NEW HEALTHCARE REPEAL BILL EVEN MORE SEVERE THAN MEASURE DEFEATED PREVIOUSLY

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 20, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – Like the proverbial Lazarus rising from the dead, efforts to repeal Obamacare have been revived. Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy have introduced a measure that would repeal Obamacare with no replacement.  The bill would give block grants allowing states to let insurance companies deny coverage or charge more for preexisting conditions, and to eliminate lifetime caps on coverage for people needing costly care to survive.  It also cuts funds for Medicaid expansion and eliminates all subsidies for low and moderate income Americans. 

FIRST AMENDMENT LAWYERS CRITICIZE COUNCILMAN KALASHO FOR LAWSUIT THREATS AND INSULTS MADE TO UNION-TRIBUNE REPORTER

 

By Miriam Raftery

“His behavior is extraordinarily irresponsible. A public official should not be in the business of threatening groundless litigation over acts that are things that reporters do every day.”  -- David Snyder, executive director, First Amendment Coalition

September 19, 2017 (San Diego) – El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho sent emails to San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Jeff McDonald repeatedly calling the award-winning journalist a “troll” and threatening legal action after McDonald asked tough questions about Kalasho’s business dealings and apparent conflicts of interests.

BILL PREVENTING WOMEN FROM BEING FIRED FOR PREGNANCY HEADS TO GOV'S DESK

 

Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher bill would protect a woman’s right to make her own reproductive health decisions

East County News Service

September 15, 2017 (Sacramento) -- California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) won final Legislative approval of her bill protecting women from being fired for a pregnancy. The Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act would also prevent an employer for firing or disciplining a woman for making any other decision related to her reproductive health. The bill now heads to the Governor, who has until Oct. 15 to either sign or veto the proposal.

COUNCILMAN FACES NEW TURMOIL: ATTORNEY GENERAL PROBES CHARITY; WASTE MANAGEMENT WITHDRAWS CORPORATE SUPPORT OF KALASHO’S CHAMBER

 

By Paul Kruze

Miriam Raftery contributed to this report.

September 8, 2017 (El Cajon) – With hurricanes in the headlines this week, El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho finds himself in the eye of a storm—or several--yet again.  California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has sent Kalasho a letter of inquiry probing the Miss Middle East Beauty Pageant USA” run by Kalasho. The action follows questions raised by ECM with state regulators over the pageant's nonprofit status.

CITY COUNCIL APPROVES MARIJUANA GROWING AND MANUFACTURING IN SAN DIEGO

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 12, 2017 (San Diego) — San Diego’s City Council has voted 6 to 3 in favor of legalizing marijuana growing, manufacturing and testing operations to supply storefronts selling both medical and recreational pot products.

CALIFORNIA SUES TRUMP ADMINISTRATION OVER DACA REPEAL

 

State joined by Minnesota, Maryland, and Maine in lawsuit standing up for Dreamers

East County News Service

September 11, 2017 (Sacramento) -- Today, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, joined by the attorneys general for Minnesota, Maryland and Maine, filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration over its decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative (DACA). The four States filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California arguing that the Trump Administration violated the Constitution and federal laws when it rescinded DACA.

TRUMP SIGNS DISASTER RELIEF BILL, AFTER PARTNERING WITH DEMOCRATS TO RAISE DEBT LIMIT CEILING

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 9, 2017 (San Diego)—President Donald Trump has signed into law H.R. 601, to provide $15.25 billion in emergency appropriations for disaster response. The measure also extends authorization of the National Flood Insurance Program through December 8th to help those impacted by disasters including Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

The President confounded Republicans in Congress by crossing the aisle to work with Democratic leaders to pass the disaster relief bill, which also extends the nation’s debt ceiling until December 8th.  Conservatives have opposed raising the debt ceiling, wanting to take money from other programs instead and/or avoid further debt ceiling decisions closer to next year’s elections.  In the end, some Republicans joined with nearly all Democrats to pass the bill.

NATIONAL CONSUMERS LEAGUE BLASTS HOUSE VOTE TO EMBOLDEN PYRAMID SCHEMES

 

Source: National Consumers League

September 15, 2017 (Washington D.C.) - The National Consumers League (NCL) is warning consumers over the inclusion of language in an appropriations bill approved today by the U.S. House of Representatives that will enable pyramid schemes to proliferate, putting millions of consumers at increased risk of financial harm.

SILVERGATE DEVELOPMENT AT LITTLE FLOWER HAVEN CONVENT SITE BACK UP FOR A REVOTE TUESDAY IN LA MESA; COUNCIL ALSO CONSIDERS ELIMINATING DESIGN REVIEW BOARD

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo: Little Flower Haven circa 1954, via Postcards.com on City of La Mesa's website.

September 10, 2017 (La Mesa) - The hotly disputed Silvergate apartment development proposed at the site of the former Little Flower Haven convent is back up for a vote this Tuesday in La Mesa. The decision to re-hear the item comes under threat of legal action.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: RAY LUTZ, CITIZENS OVERSIGHT FOUNDER, SPEAKS OUT ON BILL AMENDMENT THAT WOULD NEGATE HIS COURT WIN AGAINST SAN DIEGO’S REGISTRAR OF VOTERS

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 10, 2017 (San Diego) – After Citizens Oversight sued San Diego’s Registrar of Voters, a judge ruled that in future elections, the 1% manual tally must include mail-in ballots dropped at the polls or received days after the election, as well as valid provisional ballots.  But now a last-minute amendment slipped into Assembly Bill 840 by an organization of election officials  would eliminate that requirement statewide – a move Lutz says puts election integrity at risk and could allow tampering with certain ballots to occur undetected.

Listen to our interview, originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM Radio, by clicking the audio link.   Also hear about a major difference in votes cast late vs. early – and why Lutz believes if all the local ballots had been examined, it may have changed the outcome in the Democratic presidential primary.

Audio: 

LOCAL, NATIONAL REACTIONS TO TRUMP’S REPEAL OF DACA

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 6, 2017 (San Diego) -- After the Trump administration announced repeal of DACA,  the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, thousands of people have taken to the streets in cities across the nation to rally in support of protecting the dreamers, young people brought to the U.S. as children by undocumented parents.  Those young people now face deportation under President Trump’s executive order, unless Congress takes action within six months to protect them.

TRUMP ENDS DACA, CONGRESS HAS SIX MONTHS TO SAVE DREAMERS FROM DEPORTATION

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Joan Creighton Little, via Facebook

Updated Sept. 10 to include comments from Rep. Duncan Hunter and candidate Josh Butner.

September 6, 2017 (San Diego) -- President Donald Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, has announced he will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that shields young people brought to the U.S. as children from deportation. But he gave Congress six months to pass legislation to change that, leaving an estimated 800,000 “dreamers” in limbo, fearful of being sent back to homelands that some don’t even remember, places where dangers caused many of their families to flee and seek safety in the U.S.

HUNTER OPPONENTS STAGED “EMPTY CHAIR” TOWN HALL

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo, left:  Volunteers, photo by Ariele Brooke

September 5, 2017 (El Cajon) -- Hundreds of people showed up for a rally and empty chair town hall hosted by Indivisible at Cuyamaca Community College, in Congressman Duncan Hunter Jr.’s Congressional District on August 26th  The event was organized  by Indivisible, a group opposed to Hunter, after the Congressman failed to host a second town hall in his district following a contentious town hall back in March in Ramona where hundreds lined up and could not get into the packed venue.

LABOR, CONSUMER PROTECTIONS SLASHED BY TRUMP JUST BEFORE LABOR DAY

 

Changes to cost California retirement savers $1.2 billion

By Suzanne Potter, Public News Service, California

September 5, 2017 (Washington D.C.) -- Just days before Labor Day, the Trump administration announced two policies that consumer advocates say hurt the average worker and favor Wall Street and big business.

On Wednesday, the Labor Department announced it is delaying by 18 months’ enforcement of key parts of the Obama-era Fiduciary Rule, which requires financial advisers to put clients' interests above their own when recommending investments.

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