President calls for trade reforms to bring jobs back to U.S., tax fairness and more
By Mia Myklebust and Miriam Raftery
January 26, 2012 (San Diego)—The State of the Union address traditionally reviews the condition of our nation and previews the President’s legislative plan for the future. This year, Barack Obama’s speech had added importance as his last State of the Union address before the 2012 election. The incumbent presidents challenges were to address successes of his current term and his long-term goals for a potential five more years.
The President provided evidence that economic recovery is underway. He touted his administration’s success in combating terrorism, eliminating Osama bin Ladin, ending the Iraq War and improving America’s relationships overseas. In addition, he laid out ambitious proposals for “an America built to last.” He issued repeated calls to action, among them:
- Trade reforms and tax credits for businesses that bring jobs back to America
- Tax “fairness” to help middle class Americans
- Invest savings from ending the Iraq war into reducing the deficit and creating jobs
- Creation of a Veterans Jobs Corps
- Prevent high school drop-outs and provide incentives to stop tuition hikes
- End oil subsidies, increase U.S. oil production, and support clean energy technologies
CONSERVATIVE AND LIBERAL GROUPS CALL FOR REP.HUNTER’s RESIGNATION OVER “INDEFINITE DETENTION OF CITIZENS” VOTE
February 3 protest planned at Congressman’s El Cajon office
January 25, 2012 (Ramona)—Politics does indeed make strange bedfellows. On February 3rd, members of the liberal Ramona Forum will join forces with conservative members of the TEA party to demand the resignation of Congressman Duncan Hunter. The protest will be held at Rep. Hunter’s office, 1870 Cordell Street in El Cajon, from 1 to 4 p.m.
January 25, 2012 (La Mesa) -- Congressman Bob Filner, the sole Democratic candidate for San Diego mayor, is the featured speaker at the Wednesday, February 1 general meeting of the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club. The meeting, which is free and open to the public, will be held at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive, in La Mesa. Refreshments will be served t 6:30 p.m, followed by the meeting at 7 p.m.
Republicans draw fire for criticizing speech—before it was written or delivered
January 22, 2012 (Sacramento ) – Governor Jerry Brown laid out his vision for restoring California’s reputation as a leader in innovation, job creation and renewable energy in his State of the State speech last week.
“Wherever I look, I see difficult choices,” he said of the budget decisions to come. “But I also see a bright future up ahead and a California economy that’s on the mend.”
By Miriam Raftery
January 21, 2012 (Alpine) – The Alpine Community Planning Group (ACPG) is holding a series of public hearings on proposed land use changes that could impact about four percent (3,000 acres) of all lands in the APCG planning area. The properties are among some 77,000 acres countywide of privately owned lands within Cleveland National Forest.
January 21, 2012 (Sacramento) Assemblymember Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) has introduced legislation to prevent abusive ex-spouses from forcing their victims to pay them spousal support and other financial compensation following a divorce. AB 1522 was inspired by the case of a San Diego area woman who was ordered by a court to pay her husband's legal fees plus monthly spousal support, despite the fact that he was convicted of committing violent sex crimes against her and was ultimately sent to prison.
January 21, 2012 (Washington, DC) -- Congressman Bob Filner recently introduced legislation to ensure that the Department of Defense meets its obligation to contract with small businesses owned and controlled by service-connected disabled veterans.
BROWN ACT VIOLATION ALLEGED BY ALPINE PLANNING GROUP MEMBER; CRITICS CALL FOR REMOVAL OR PROSECUTION
January 25, 2012: Updated to include comments by Terry Francke, General Counsel at Calaware, who concludes this was not a Brown Act violation and a response from the San Diego District Attorney declining to prosecute the matter.
By Miriam Raftery
January 21, 2012 (Alpine) – Alpine Community Planning Group member George Barnett appears to have violated the Brown Act when he expressed his views on an agenda item in an e-mail to members of the ACPG’s Public Facilities Subcommitee meeting, a top County official has concluded. In the e-mail, Barnett voiced strong views regarding a hand-out by the East Alpine Property Owner’s Alliance on proposed land-use changes, calling its conclusions “nuts” and “needlessly alarmist.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
January 6, 2012(San Diego) -- Community leader and educator Pat Washington has announced she is running for the 79th State 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.”
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%.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.