October 2, 2012 (El Cajon)--The League of Women Voters of San Diego will sponsor and moderate a forum for candidates running for three seats on the El Cajon City Council. The forum will be held on October 3, 2012 from 7 to 9 pm in the Public Safety Room located in the El Cajon Policy Department at 100 Civic Center Way, El Cajon.
Invited candidates include Tony Ambrose, Ben Kalasho, W. E. “Bob” McClellan, Emily “Lily” Schworm, Christopher Shamoon, Kathy Spacone, Duane Swainston, and Bill Wells. This is the public’s opportunity to ask the candidates questions regarding issues of concern.
Debate starts at 6 p.m. Pacific Standard Time
By Kathleen Ryan, Public News Service, CO
October 3, 2012 (Denver) -- All eyes will be on Denver tonight as the first presidential debate of the 2012 election season gets under way. The debate between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney will focus on domestic issues.
Both candidates could be at risk here, says Ken Bickers, a political science professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder. The economic recovery on Obama's watch has been slow, he says, while Romney was caught on video saying 47 percent of Americans are dependent on government entitlements - comments many said made him seem out of touch with the average person.
By Miriam Raftery
September 30, 2012 (El Cajon)—Councilman Tony Ambrose was appointed in March to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Jillian Hanson-Cox. Now he’s running for re-election, one of seven candidates vying for three seats. After serving more than 20 years on the city’s Planning Commission and previously chairing the East County Economic Development Council, he brings experience along with some new ideas to the Council position. A Republican, like the other incumbent Council members, Ambrose shares some values with his colleagues—but differs on some key issues.
In an exclusive interview with ECM, Ambrose shares his detailed vision for improving the economy and quality of life in El Cajon.
Forum offers candidates a chance to touch on more topics from Parking in the Village, to the Homeless at the Library, to Global Warming.
By Kristin Kjaero
September 29, 2012 (La Mesa, Ca.) – The League of Women Voters hosted the second City Council Candidate Forum.
East County Magazine was there to record so you can hear the candidates in their own words, and we have provided separate video links so you can peruse their responses topic by topic.
Republican maverick has challenged his party on ethical issues in past, says he avoids "special interest money"
By Janis Mork
September 28, 2012 (San Diego)- Republican Michael Crimmins is running against Democrat Juan Vargas for Congress in the 51st district, which includes the entire border with Mexico and Imperial Valley. View a map of the district: http://www.crimminsforcongress.com/map/. The seat is open, since incumbent Congressman Bob Filner is stepping down to run for Mayor of San Diego.
Crimmins says he running because he wants to make a difference. His qualifications include military service and an education background. He is a retired military officer and San Diego teacher with two master degrees in education. Currently he resides in Point Loma, which is not in the district. If elected, he says he would move to Imperial Beach. Married in Florida in 1977, he divorced in 1988 and has a daughter, Ashley, a flight attendant.
Local Democratic candidates will also be on hand
September 27, 2012 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club will sponsor a 2012 Presidential Debate Watch Party at the La Mesa Community Center on Wednesday, October 3rd, at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive in La Mesa. The Club has arranged to have a large screen TV to view the faceoff between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney.
September 26, 2012 (La Mesa) -- Lori Kern-Greenberg is running for the Helix Water Board against long-time incumbent Chuck Muse. In a questionnaire sent by La Mesa Citizens Oversight Group, she answers detailed questions on water rates and accuses board members of "lining their own pockets" while ignoring the needs of ratepayers in the district.
"Water is not a commodity. It is not bought and sold on the stock market. Water is a necesssity and the board has a responsibility to the ratepayers to keep all rates as low as possible," she states, adding that she wants to change the tiered-rate structure so that everyone will pay the same rate.
Drivers hoped For Romney / Ryan Victory in Nevada
September 25, 2012 (Las Vegas, Nevada) -- Competitive Metals has been the primary sponsor of Justin Smith (Pro-Lite), Dave Mason Jr. (Pro-buggy) and Geoffrey Cooley (Pro-Buggy) for the entire 2012 Season of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series. But last weekend when the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series rolled into Las Vegas the Team Competitive cars had a different look. Competitive Metals President Greg Parker of El Cajon opted to utilize his sponsored real estate on the race cars to promote Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan. For race results, see this link.
September 24, 2012 (Washington D.C.)-- Did you know that if you live in a certain town or view certain websites, or if you use a Mac instead of a PC, you could be paying more when you shop online? Most consumers are unaware that Internet companies are now adopting a practice known as “dynamic pricing.” Without their knowledge they are using consumers’ personal information - including browser history or IP address– to alter the price of the products.
September 24, 2012 (San Diego)--Who will replace Pam Slater Price, who is stepping down from the County Board of Supervisors? The new Supervisor could be a pivotal vote on major land use issues and much more.Tonight at 7 p.m., a debate will be held between Dave Roberts, a Democrat endorsed by Republican Slater-Price, and his opponent, Steve Danon.
September 24, 2012 (Sacramento)--Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday, September 21 signed into law three bills by Assemblymember Marty Block (AD-78) aimed at assisting military families and returning veterans.
“I’m thrilled that the governor approved my bills – AB 1904, AB 2202 and AB 2462. They will help California repay the tremendous debt we owe our veterans,” Block said.
By Nadin Abbott
September 24, 2012 (San Diego)—La Mesa resident Norrie Robbins, PhD helped organize a San Diego rally yesterday in support of Proposition 37, a ballot measure that if passed will require labeling of genetically modified foods.
PARENTS, PHYSICIANS CELEBRATE GOVERNOR'S SIGNATURE ON NEWBORN SCREENING BILL - "BEST BIRTHDAY GIFT" FOR TODDLER
Block’s AB1731 requires lifesaving testing of newborns for heart disease
September 17, 2012 (San Diego)--Little Caleb Peltier celebrated his second birthday today at the Balboa Park playground with his parents, his brother and some new friends who all celebrated the fulfillment of the one birthday wish they all had for the toddler who has experienced more familiarity with hospitals, surgeries, and emergency rooms than many adults.
By Nadin Abbott
September 23, 2012 (Del Mar)-- Democrats gathered on the off ramp of Ted Williams Parkway at Carmel Country Road, waving protest signs as Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s motorcade passed by yesterday.
Among the crowd of about 50 people were veterans, senior citizens and workers, a cross-section of the “47 percent” slammed by Romney in remarks caught on video released last week. In the video, recorded secretly at a fundraiser with wealthy donors, Romney denigrated the 47 percent of Americans who receive some form of government assistance (including Social Security retirees, the military, disabled and poor Americans) as well as those who pay no taxes.
September 23, 2012 (San Diego) -- For the first time ever, voters in our state can now register completely online -- no paper form needed. Californians whose current addresses match the address they have on file with the DMV can register (or reregister) at www.sandiegovotes.org.
By Miriam Raftery
September 23, 2012 (San Diego)—Back in July, the state suspended the Ralph M. Brown Act. As a result, cash-strapped cities and counties no longer have to provide agendas to the public prior to meetings--opening the door for a return to backroom actions without public scrutiny. On July 24, Supervisors affirmed that they intended to continue following the Brown Act anyhow.
But just two weeks later, Supervisors announced resignation of Chief Administrative Officer Walt Ekard—and named a replacement in the same meeting, with zero public notice. San Diegans for Open Government, which has sued the County for prior Brown Act violations, sent a cure and correct letter to the County on August 14.
The County’s response? County Counsel Ellen Pilsecker fired back a letter stating that there’s “no legal basis” for a lawsuit because the Brown Act “no longer exists.” Clearly, voters can no longer count on open government in San Diego County--a fact confirmed by other recent troubling actions by Supervisors.
September 22, 2012 (San Diego) – A local organization is accusing Congressman Brian Bilbray of being a “slum lord.” The independent expenditure group, Much Better Choices, has filmed a video revealing numerous apparent building code violations. Fox 5 aired the video on Sept. 21.
The video shows old boats, gas cans, a trash-littered weedy lot, and a dilapidated trailer with a growth resembling mold or fungus around windows--all on an unfenced lot adjacent to a school. Neighbors confirm the allegations and have said that they hope to see fines levied and the mess cleaned up.
Days after a video was released in which Mitt Romney dismissed half the country for taking federal benefits and/or paying no taxes -- taking a swipe at students, veterans, seniors, the unemployed, and average wage-earners -- the Republican presidential nominee will be in Carmel Valley tomorrow for a $1,000-a-head fundraiser.
The County Democratic Party is organizing a "47% Welcoming Committee" protest on the route to the event on Saturday, Sept. 22, from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. on the Carmel Country Road / Highway 56 Overpass. Click here for more details on how to participate.
Candidates Clash Over Their Visions for City’s Future
By Mark Gabrish Conlan
September 15, 2012 (La Mesa)--Five candidates for two seats on the La Mesa City Council — Kristine Alessio, Patrick Dean, Laura Lothian, Shannon O’Dunn and 20-year incumbent Ruth Sterling — met September 13 for the first candidates’ forum of the campaign. Held at the La Mesa Community Center on Memorial Drive and sponsored by the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce, the 90-minute forum centered mostly around finances and development, specifically around downtown and the La Mesa Village area, but it also touched on issues like the city’s responsibility towards homeless people and whether it should declare itself a fair-trade zone.
Editor's note: Also see video interviews with Santee mayoral and council candidates posted here.
By Nadin Abbott
September 20, 2012 (Santee)—Candidates for Santee’s City Council and Mayoral races met at the City Council complex for a candidate forum organized by the League of Women Voters and moderated by Dana Quitner. Mayor Randy Voepel squared off against Rudy Reyes, while long-time Councilman Jack Dale faced off against challenger Maggie Acerra.
The mostly-friendly debate touched on a series of issues of importance for the city. These ranged from the budget and how the end of redevelopment agencies has affected the city to public safety, including how the Cedar fire affected both Reyes and Voepel. Marijuana medical collectives, also a hot issue, drew some fiery responses.
By Janis Mork
September 18, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)- Several local school districts have ballot propositions on the November ballot, including Cajon Valley, Mountain Empire, San Diego Unified, Dehesa, Ramona Unified, Grossmont- Cuyamaca Community College, Chula Vista, and South Bay. All need 55% to pass instead of the usual 2/3 majority vote, according to Prop 39 that was passed several years ago. Below are details on each proposition, along with comments from Superintendents in each district.
Swainston is one of four challengers and three incumbents running for El Cajon City Council.
By Miriam Raftery
September 15, 2012 (El Cajon) – Duane Swainston wants to end the “good ole boy” network on El Cajon’s City Council. “There seem to be a lot of back room deals and not enough transparency where people know what’s going on,” he says of the current council members.
Swainston aims to bring his 16 years of experience in management at private sector manufacturing companies to the job as councilmember if elected. He holds a degree in business management and has worked for two of El Cajon’s largest employerse, Senior Aerospace Ketema and GKN Aerospace Chem-Tronics.
“It’s a cost-conscious, schedule-dominant world focused on quality,” he told ECM in an exclusive interview. “If you’re not doing things faster, better, cheaper, then you’re getting bypassed by your competition.”
By Miriam Raftery
September 19, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Author H. Jackson Brown once observed that “Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.”
Now a video shot secretly during a fundraiser for Mitt Romney with wealthy donors is sparking controversy over his apparent insensitivity to nearly half of the American people. In the video, which Romney admits is authentic, the presidential candidate is seen insulting Americans who receive any form of public assistance—including recipients of Social Security and Medicare, as well as military veterans, students, the disabled and the poor. He also slammed those who pay no taxes—from retirees to some of his own wealthy patrons.
His remarks have drawn sharp criticisms even from many conservative Republican commentators.
JAY STEIGER SEEKS TO PROVIDE "OUTSTANDING EDUCATION" FOR KIDS IN LA MESA-SPRING VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT
“If I’m on the board, I will have an open door policy and be able to work with all groups.”- Jay Steiger
By Janis Mork
September 17, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)- Challenger Jay Steiger is running against Incumbent President William ‘Bill’ Baber and Board member Emma Turner. He hopes to join the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District Board, which includes El Cajon, Santee, and La Mesa this November. View map of the district here: http://www.lmsvsd.k12.ca.us/cms/lib2/CA01001633/Centricity/Domain/184/MAP-Schools.pdf
September 19, 2012 (San Diego) – Senator Kehoe (D-San Diego) has several bills that have passed the Legislature and are awaiting action by the Governor, as well as one measure signed into law. Pending measures include bills to prohibit charges on homeowners producing solar power, protect open space in San Diego, and require general plans to address fire hazards. Others include measures to require that retired judges draw new lines for County Supervisors’ districts and to extend party central committee terms to four years.
September 15, 2012 (La Mesa)--The League of Women Voters will sponsor and moderate a candidate forum for La Mesa City Council candidates in the 2012 election. The forum will be held on September 27 from 7 to 9 pm at the La Mesa City Council Chamber.
By Mark Gabrish Conlan
September 17, 2012 (San Diego) – Well, now we know. The 2012 Presidential election won’t just be between incumbent Democrat Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, but between two starkly different philosophies not only of politics, or how to revive the economy and preserve the capitalist system, but also of life itself and what it means to be human. It won’t be a serious debate over how much government the American people want, or how they propose to pay for it. Nor will it really be about the budget deficit or the national debt, however much Republicans — especially their vice-presidential candidate, Congressmember Paul Ryan —might claim the moral high ground on that issue even though their giveaway tax cuts to the ultra-rich will actually make the national debt bigger, not smaller.
By Kristin Kjaero
September 15, 2012 (La Mesa, Ca.) – The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce hosted the first City Council Candidate Forum, and East County Magazine was there to record so you can hear the candidates in their own words.
The League of Women Voters of San Diego (including East County) will be having its next "Lunch with the League" on Monday, September 17 at Tom Ham's Lighthouse Restaurant, 2150 Harbor Island Drive, Harbor Island, San Diego.
The program at the luncheon is "Voting with the League: Why is the League Supporting or Opposing Certain Propositions?" Propositions 30, 31, 32, 34, and 40.