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EAST COUNTY DEMOCRATS HOST “UNDER THE BIG BLUE SKY” EVENT, PLAN TO OPEN A CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS


January 18, 2012 (La Mesa) – East County has long been a conservative bastion.  But with changing demographics, party registration has shifted in some communities; La Mesa is now a majority Democratic and El Cajon has only a slight Republican edge. With reapportionment, La Mesa and much of El Cajon have shifted into districts represented by Democrat Susan Davis, raising visibility for the party.

COUNCILWOMAN/CHAMBER LEADER MARY ENGLAND ANNOUNCES RUN FOR ASSEMBLY

By Miriam Raftery

January 11, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Lemon Grove Councilwoman Mary England announced today that she will seek a seat in the state Legislature. She is running in the newly redistricted 79th Assembly District, which has no incumbent. England is also president of the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce.England said her priorities will be to encourage private sector job growth, balance the state budget without raising taxes, and reform of the state’s public pension system.

4 MAJOR MAYORAL CANDIDATES TO DEBATE ON FRIDAY


January 10, 2012 (San Diego) – For the first time, all four of the leading contenders running for San Diego Mayor will debate this Friday, January 13 at 4 p.m.  Bob Filner, Bonnie Dumanis, Nathan Fletcher, and Carl DeMaio have all agreed to participate. 

The event will be held at the U.S. Grant Hotel. In the public interest will jointly sponsor this debate by The City Club, Lincoln Club, Independent Voter Network (IVN.US), and the U-T San Diego.

SUPERVISOR RON ROBERTS BECOMES CHAIRMAN OF THE SAN DIEGO COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS


January 9, 2012 (San Diego) -- In a ceremonial changing of the gavel, Ron Roberts assumed Chairmanship of  the San Diego County Board of Supervisors today, Monday, January 9 at 9 a.m. at the County Administration Center  at 1600 Pacific Highway in San Diego.

LONGTIME COMMUNITY LEADER AND EDUCATOR KICKS OFF CAMPAIGN FOR NEW 79TH


January 6, 2012(San Diego) -- Community leader and educator Pat Washington has announced she is running for the 79th State Assembly seat.

 
“I have worked with San Diegans and for San Diego for a long time to help make this city a better place for us all. Through my leadership and activism, I have helped promote educational access, equity and opportunity for local youth and have bridged communities across the San Diego Region.  I am proud of the work I have done at the local level, and I now want to fight for our hard-working families at the state level.”

 

LONGTIME COMMUNITY LEADER AND EDUCATOR KICKS OFF CAMPAIGN FOR NEW 79TH ASSEMBLY SEAT

January 6, 2012 (San Diego) --Community leader and educator Pat Washington has announced she is running for the 79th State Assembly seat.
 
“I have worked with San Diegans and for San Diego for a long time to help make this city a better place for us all. Through my leadership and activism, I have helped promote educational access, equity and opportunity for local youth and have bridged communities across the San Diego Region.  I am proud of the work I have done at the local level, and I now want to fight for our hard-working families at the state level.”

ROMNEY WINS IOWA CAUCUS BY 8 VOTES; FOCUS NOW SHIFTS TO NEW HAMPSHIRE IN GOP PRIMARY

Bachmann drops out, Santorum and Paul make strong showings

January 4, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney won the Iowa Caucus in the Republican Presidential race by a slim eight-vote margin last night, taking 24.6% of the vote.  

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, a favorite among Evangelical voters, made a last-minute rise in polls and took 24.5% of the vote.  Conservative Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who formerly ran as a Libertarian, also had a strong showing with 21.4%.

GUIDE TO THE GOP CANDIDATES ON THE EVE OF THE IOWA CAUCUS

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

 

 

 

January 2, 2011 (San Diego's East County) – On the eve of Tuesday's Iowa Caucus, polls show the race could be close—with a number of candidates striving to win the Republican Presidential Primary election or prove viability with a strong showing.

All Republican contenders are conservatives who believe in smaller government, lower taxes, less regulation of businesses and corporations, rolling back environmental regulations, and outlawing or restricting abortions.  Each has spoken out against President Obama’s healthcare reforms and all but one has indicated support for either privatizing or eliminating Social Security.  (For detailed, nonpartisan comparisons of candidates’ stances on many issues, visit www.ontheissues.org.)

But there are key differences.  Scroll down for the key qualifications and biographical highlights for each major contender in Iowa, as well as Jon Huntsman, a viable contender in the upcoming New Hampshire primary. Also included are standout statements which differentiate their stances from most competitors and key controversies.

OBAMA SIGNS NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT

 

Amendments address concerns over constitutional rights, detention of citizens; President issues signing statement 

By Miriam Raftery

Update January 6: Senator Dianne Feinstein has announced she will introduce legislation to repeal controversial language in this measure.

January 1, 2012 (Washington D.C.) – President Barack Obama has signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act, just days before military funding was set to expire. The measure allocates $662 billion for 2012 funding, $27 billion less than the President requested and $43 billion less than Congress approved in 2011. 

CHARTER CITY VOTE TOPS BUSY COUNCIL AGENDA IN EL CAJON

 

By Meg Jensen

December 28, 2011 (El Cajon) – After heated testimony, El Cajon’s Council unanimously approved a ballot measure to grant the City Council “supreme authority over state law by having El Cajon become a charter city. Council members also approved a management team for a new planned business improvement district (PBID)in its December 13 meeting.  

The agenda also included a wealth of other items – from banning card playing in public to approving the posting of a religious message in Council chambers.

POLITICAL WRANGLING: INCONVENIENT TRUTHS ABOUT THE GOP PRESIDENTIAL CONTENDERS

 

By Buck Shott

Past presidential fibs have led to impeachment and resignation. Shouldn’t honesty be a key qualification for any presidential candidate?

December 28, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Voters, and the candidates they support, often have drastically different views on the various issues.  But honesty and integrity are two traits we should all agree upon as minimal “qualifications” for anyone seeking the presidency.

Granted, in the heat of a campaign any candidate may have a slip of the lip, forgetting a statistic or misstating an name. But when presidential contenders knowingly tell brazen lies, air campaign ads with outright falsehoods, and then shamelessly defend such fibbing, we should all think twice about the character of those seeking our nation’s highest office.

ASSEMBLYMEMBER BLOCK CONTINUES SEASON OF GIVING DURING HIS HOLIDAY HELPING HANDS TOY GIVE-A-WAY

December 24, 2011 (Sacramento) -- Assemblymember Marty Block, AD-78, continued his season of giving as he distributed toys and baby items to local families at the Grossmont Spring Valley Family Health Center, one of thirty sites operated by Family Health Centers of San Diego.

PROTEST PLANNED MONDAY IN SAN DIEGO TO URGE PRESIDENTIAL VETO ON BILL ALLOWING INDEFINITE DETENTION OF U.S. CITIZENS

 

December 18, 2011 (San Diego) --San Diegans to Save the Bill of Rights, a coalition of local activists from progressive  groups, plan a sit-in at San Diego County Democratic Party offices beginning Monday, December 19.

CONGRESS AVERTS GOVERNMENT SHUT-DOWN, BUT BATTLE LOOMS OVER PAYROLL TAX CUT, UNEMPLOYMENT, AND OTHER KEY ISSUES

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 16, 2011 (Washington D.C.) – Final votes are expected today in both houses on a compromise funding measure to avoid a government shut-down--just in time for the holiday adjounrment. 

The deal came after Democrats conceded to Republican demands to remove extensions on a payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits, which will be voted on separately. 

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES CHALLENGE HUNTER ON HIS RECORD

By Jeremy Los
 
Dec. 13, 2011- The “failed” leadership of Congressman Duncan Hunter was the topic of discussion Wednesday night at the Ramona Forum.  Candidates in both the Democratic and Republican party vying to unseat the incumbent Congressman in the newly created 50th district introduced themselves to the voting public—and took shots at Hunter’s record.  
  
 

RACQUEL VASQUEZ SEEKS TO REVITALIZE LEMON GROVE

 

Click here to view  ECM’s video interview with Racquel Vasquez,Lemon Grove City Council candidate

Story by Miriam Raftery, video by Jack Winemiller

December 13, 2011 (Lemon Grove) – Racquel Vasquez clearly loves Lemon Grove. “I think it has great character, great appeal, and really great people,” she said in an exclusive video interview with East County Magazine. 

Recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2010, she also has a strong track record of public service with the cities of Lemon Grove and San Diego as well as the U.S. Navy. Her platform includes three goals: improving public safety for residents and businesses by creating a safe and walkable community, creating quality neighborhoods, and fostering economic development to help businesses thrive. 

HUNTER NAMED TO HOUSE-SENATE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE FOR NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT


December 11, 2011 (Washington, DC) --
U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter (CA-52), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, has been named to the congressional conference committee that will negotiate differences between the House and Senate versions of the Fiscal Year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. 

COMMUNITY PLANNING GROUPS FUTURE AT RISK; COUNTY TO HEAR RECOMMENDATIONS WEDNESDAY TO GUT OR ELIMINATE RURAL BOARDS

 

Proposals aim to sharply reduce communities’ input on major development projects

By Jeremy Los

Update Dec. 8, 2011 --After hearing a proposal yesterday to streamline the regulatory process for developers, Supervisors postponed a decision until Feb. 29, 2012.

Dec. 6, 2011- Local elected planning groups fear that their days are numbered, as the San Diego County Board of Supervisors will hear recommendations from the Red Tape Reduction Task Force on Wednesday.

Recommendations by the task force could greatly diminish community driven input on major developments in East County communities.

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PEOPLE OF CALIFORNIA FROM GOVERNOR JERRY BROWN

 
Editor’s note:  When Governor Jerry Brown spoke at San Diego State University last year, he pledged to support public education and fight to restore funding. Now he seeks support from voters for a ballot initiative to raise funds to restore deep cuts made in funding for public schools including grades K-12, colleges, and universities in California.


December 7, 2011 (Sacramento)--When I became Governor again -- 28 years after my last term ended in 1983 -- California was facing a $26.6 billion budget deficit. It was the result of years of failing to match spending with tax revenues as budget gimmicks instead of honest budgeting became the norm.
 

MEET CANDIDATES RUNNING AGAINST REP. DUNCAN HUNTER IN TOWNHALL FORUM TONIGHT IN RAMONA


December 7, 2011 (Ramona)-- East County residents will have the opportunity to meet and ask questions of three candidates running against Congressman Duncan Hunter at a town hall meeting on Wednesday, December 7 at 6 p.m. in the Ramona Library, 1275 Main Street in Ramona . The three candidates are David Secor (D), Terri Linnell (R), and Connie Frankowiak (D).
 

LUTZ FILES CIVIL RIGHTS SUIT AGAINST BUILDING MANAGER OVER ARREST WHILE REGISTERING VOTERS AT CIVIC CENTER PLAZA

 

Goldman Sachs is majority owner of property management firm headed by Senator Feinstein’s husband

Story by Miriam Raftery, photos by Ron Logan

November 30, 2011 (San Diego) –Startling ironies came to light today in the case of Ray Lutz, an East County political activist and former Democratic Congressional candidate arrested yesterday for refusing to move a voter registration table out of the Civic Center Plaza.

LEGAL EXPERTS BLAST SAN DIEGO FOR ARREST OF RAY LUTZ, FORMER CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, OVER VOTER REGISTRATIONS AT CIVIC CENTER PLAZA


“This is what they do in banana republics and undemocratic societies.”—former San Diego City Attorney Mike Aguirre, calling arrest a violation of the Civil Rights Act and the First Amendment


By Miriam Raftery and Ron Logan

November 29, 2011 (San Diego) Updated November 30, 2011—Attorneys, civil rights activists and community leaders tonight are expressing outrage at the arrest tonight of Ray Lutz, former Democratic Congressional candidate who ran against Duncan Hunter in 2010 seeking to represent East County.

San Diego Police arrested Lutz late today for refusing to remove a voter registration table at the Civic Center Plaza downtown (dubbed "Freedom Plaza" by Occupy San Diego protesters). View arrest video.

SENATOR JOEL ANDERSON TO HOST HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE DEC. 7

November 23, 2011 (El Cajon) -- Senator Joel Anderson is inviting the local community to a holiday open house, Wednesday, December 7, 6:00 p.m. - 8 pm. at the Ronald Reagan Community Center, 195 East Douglas Avenue in El Cajon.


The holiday season is a time to reflect on the experiences of the past year and this open house will provide legislative updates. Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be provided (Paid For With Private Funds, Not Tax Dollars). RSVPs are requested to ensure there are enough hors d’oeuvres and refreshment.

SUPER COMMITTEE FAILURE TRIGGERS STEEP CUTS IN DEFENSE, MEDICARE, VETERANS' BENEFITS AND MORE

By Miriam Raftery

November 23, 2011 (Washington D.C.) – The Congressional budtet “super committee” charged with reducing the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years failed to reach a deal by Monday's deadline. This sets in motion triggers forcing automatic deep cuts starting January 2013 in Defense spending and social programs including Medicare, Social Security, veterans’ benefits and food stamps.

The six Republicans on the 12-member committee demanded spending cuts in domestic programs listed above and sought to extend Bush tax cuts. Democrats wanted to raise taxes on millionaires, minimize cuts to social programs and add stimulus spending aimed at creating jobs while off-setting costs with savings from ending the Iraq War.

DAVIS INTRODUCES BILL TO BAN SMOKING IN FEDERAL BUILDINGS

November 15, 2011 (San Diego) – As a way to protect the federal workforce and visitors to federal facilities from secondhand smoke, Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) introduced legislation Friday to ban all smoking in federal buildings across the nation. 

“WORKING MAN” ENTERS RACE FOR CONGRESS: DAVID SECOR CHALLENGES HUNTER ON JOBS, SOCIAL SECURITY, EAST COUNTY POVERTY AND MORE

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 9, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – “I’ve been a working man for 40 years,” says David Secor, a military veteran and resident of Crest who has thrown his hat in the ring as a Democratic candidate for the Congressional seat held currently by Republican Duncan D. Hunter.

“I am running to support the working men and women of this district…to be the representative of all the people in the district and to restore the American dream for all of our citizens.” (View a video of Secor speaking on addressing joblessness: http://www.davidsecorforcongress.com/jobvid.html)

HUNTER PROTESTS SENTENCE FOR BORDER PATROL AGENT CONVICTED OF ASSAULT

 

 
November 9, 2011 (San Diego’s East County)--Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon) has sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder objecting to a two-year prison sentence given to U.S. Patrol Agent Jesus Diaz for restraining a drug smuggler caught entering the U.S. illegally.  
 
Testimony by other agents indicated that the suspect had already been handcuffed and was laying on his stomach, not resisting, when Diaz arrived. "It was Diaz's fellow Border Patrol Agents on the scene who testified they witnessed his misconduct, which they found shocking, and complained about it to their supervisor," the U.S. Attorney's office statement read.

READER’S EDITORIAL: EL CAJON COUNCIL'S CRAZINESS IS HURTING OUR COMMUNITY

Approving a 90% sewer rate hike, killing a commission that helps the elderly, and pushing for broad powers under charter city status were just some of the controversial actions taken

By Karen Marie Otter

November 9, 2011 (El Cajon)--It was fortuitous that I had the opportunity to attend the meeting of the El Cajon City Council last night. All I can say is, "Wow, what just happened?"

BUDGET “SUPER COMMITTEE” IN CONGRESS DEADLOCKS AS DEADLINE LOOMS

 

Members seek deep cuts in Social Security and Medicare, refuse to consider new revenue options

By Jeremy Los

 

November 3, 2011 (Washington D.C.– Deep cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are all on the table as the newly minted “budget super committee” in Congress works to slash trillions of dollars from the nation’s soaring debt.

COUNTY FINDS NO CONFLICT OF INTEREST FOR ALPINE PLANNER OVER POWERLINK


November 4, 2011 (Alpine) – Alpine Community Planning Group member George Barnett did not violate the County’s conflict of interest rules in voting on issues related to SDG&E’s Sunrise Powerlink, according to a letter sent by Jarrett Ramaiya, Planning Manager at the Department of Planning and Land Use. That’s because DPLU has now determined that “the ACPG, including any of their subcommittees, does not have the authority to vote on the Sunrise Powerlink project, or any related action of SDG&E.”

 

“It looks like my purgatory is over,” Barnett wrote in a letter to ECM after learning the news.

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