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LORENA GONZALEZ TO RUN FOR ASSEMBLY; HUESO RUNS FOR STATE SENATE

Elected Officials and Business Leaders Provide Early Support for Pro-Jobs Democrat’s Campaign for Assembly District 80 in South San Diego County

December 5, 2012(San Diego) -- Working families advocate Lorena Gonzalez will run for the 80th State Assembly District, vowing to seek the seat once it is vacated by the current assembly member, she announced this evening.  Gonzalez serves as the chief executive of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, an advocacy organization that represents 200,000 local union workers in the region.  As Secretary-Treasurer of the Labor Council, Lorena led successful campaigns for living wage agreements, local hiring preferences and increased education funding for San Diego County workers and their families.

THE “PEOPLE’’S MAYOR” TAKES OFFICE

“We’re going to see that every community has power.” – Bob Filner

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 4, 2012 (San Diego) – From day one in his administration, Bob Filner has made clear that it won’t be business as usual for the city’s powerbrokers. To emphasize that point, he hosted not one, but a series of inaugural parties including celebrations in disadvantaged neighborhoods.  One such festive event took place last night at the Jacob Center in the Euclid area of east San Diego.

“We’re going to see that every community has power, “ Mayor  Filner, wearing a Hawaiian lei, told an enthusiastic and ethnically diverse crowd. He pledged to include faces from the Latino, African-American and Asian communities working in his mayoral office and city bureaucracy through appointments to the boards and commissions that “do the work of the city.”

SENATORS ANDERSON AND YEE CALL FOR DISCLOSURE OF PUBLIC FUNDS USED FOR CSU CHANCELLOR'S LEGISLATIVE REPORT CARD

Bipartisan opposition to Chancellor’s "waste of tax dollars"

November 30, 2012 (San Diego's East County)--Senators Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) and Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) have sent a letter to Robert Linscheid, Chairman of the California State University Board of Trustees, regarding what they call the gross misuse of state tax dollars to develop and distribute a 2011-12 Legislative Report Card of the administration’s top priorities, which included advocating for pay raises for top executives.

The legislators’ letter asks Linscheid to account for the spending on the report card and asks who approved the expenditure of tax funds.

Rep. Susan Davis Announces Constituent Lottery for Presidential Inauguration

November 28, 2012 (San Diego)--Congresswoman Susan Davis announced a lottery for tickets to the inauguration of President Barack Obama on January 21, 2013. Davis will randomly select inauguration tickets for constituents of the new 53rd Congressional District.

“Some lucky constituents will have a chance to be a part of history!” said Davis. “During inaugurations, Americans come together to celebrate our enduring democracy. Holding a lottery gives everyone who wants a ticket a fair chance.”

BOXER ANNOUNCES MEASURE TO INCREASE MILITARY WOMEN’S ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE SERVICES AND ABORTIONS WHEN RAPED

November 27, 2012 (San Diego)— A startling 28% of all women serving in the military report being victims of sexual assault. 

Now the Senate Armed Services Committee approved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 that would give women serving in our military the same access to affordable reproductive health care as federal civilian employees.  This amendment would allow the federal health care plans of service women to cover abortions in cases of rape or incest. 

ELECTION WRAP-UP: TWO CLOSE RACES RESOLVED AS BILBRAY, DANON CONCEDE DEFEAT; SEVERAL EAST COUNTY RACES REMAIN TIGHT

By Nadin Abbott

As the vote counting countinues, the margins in two hotly contested East County races have narrowed, while just three votes separate candidates in another local race. 

Two high profile contests, however, are now resolved.

VETS FIGHT FOR WILDERNESS: ISSA BILL WOULD EXPAND WILDERNESS IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY

By Lori Abbott, California News Service

November 17, 2012 (San Diego)-Congress returned to Washington, D.C., to begin its lame-duck session, but a veterans' group has not given up the fight for legislation to protect parts of the California desert. A bill  by Darrell Issa (R-San Diego) would designate as wilderness more than 21,000 acres of Beauty Mountain and Agua Tibia in northern San Diego County. 

WRAP-UP ON LOCAL PROPOSITIONS: POT SALES, TAX HIKES, CHARTER CITY STATUS AND MORE

By Miriam Raftery

November 13, 2012 (San Diego) – In Colorado and Washington, voters decided it's high time to legalize recreational marijuana use. But locally, voters in Lemon Grove, Imperial Beach and Solana Beach defeated initiatives that would have allowed medical marijuana dispensaries.

Labor scored a win in Escondido, where a charter city ballot proposition was defeated by a 47.29% to 42.71% margin. Meanwhile in In Santee, a bastion of conservatism, voters approved raising transient occupancy taxes for hotel guests and campers from 6% to 10%, a move expected to generate $239,000 in revenues.  

AS COUNT CONTINUES, SOME RACES NARROW WHILE OTHERS WIDEN; JUST 7 VOTES SEPARATE CANDIDATES IN ONE EAST COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT

By Bill Weaver

November 13, 2012 (San Diego)—On Election Night, several important races in San Diego and East County were too close to call.  Counting is underway of mail-in and provisional ballots at the County Registrar of Voters, where about 210,000 ballots countywide remain to be counted. 

GROSSMONT-CUYAMACA COLLEGE DISTRICT LEADERS HAIL PASSAGE OF PROP V

By Bill Weaver

November 10, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)—Leaders in the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College are speaking out to thank voters for passing Prop V, a $398 million bond measure that passed by about 56.5 percent. 

“We’re pleased that voters understand the critical facilities and technology upgrades needed to better educate and train our students in today’s ultra-competitive world,” said Governing Board President Bill Garrett. 

Prop V will fund upgrades, repairs and renovations  to classrooms, roads, labs and infrastructure, including helping to meet the needs of our region's many veterans.

BLOCK WINS STATE SENATE RACE OVER PLESCIA

By Miriam Raftery

November 9, 2012 (San Diego)—In an election where voters overwhelmingly showed support for public education, education champion and Assemblyman Marty Block easily won his race to take a seat representing the 39th State Senate district.

With 100% of precincts counted and only absentees remaining, Block has captured 57.4% of the vote, while ex-Assemblyman George Plescia got 42.57%.

POLITICAL WRANGLING: BIGGERS WINNERS AND LOSERS—WHO WEREN’T ON THE BALLOT

By Buck Schott

November 9, 2012 (San Diego) –Some of the biggest winners and losers in this election weren’t candidates—though they’ll clearly be feeling the impacts of the election outcomes.

So who in town needs crying towels, and who should be popping champagne?  From our region’s not-so-influential media mogul to techie geeks who proved social media can help defeat special interests, here are our picks for the biggest post-election winners and losers:

ASSESSING THE OBAMA VICTORY AS WELL AS OUTCOMES IN CALIFORNIA AND SAN DIEGO COUNTY

November 8, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) –  In startling contrast to numerous national polls that had predicted a near-tie in the presidential race, President Barack Obama won a sweeping victory.  Obama captured 303 electoral votes, Romney 206, winning not only Democratic strongholds, but also nearly all swing states.  According to CNN, the President also trounced Romney in the popular vote by more than a million vote margin.

Similarly, Democrats gained power in Sacramento and San Diego, taking control of the Council and Mayor’s office with wins looking increasingly likely to oust Congressman Bilbray and seat a Democrat on the all-Republican Board of Supervisors. 

What lessons can be learned from the outcomes?

CONGRESSWOMAN SUSAN DAVIS WINS REELECTION; NEW DISTRICT INCLUDES MUCH OF EAST COUNTY

By Nadin Abbott

November 9, 2012 (San Diego)—Democratic Congresswoman Susan Davis has won reelection, beating Republican challenger Nick Popaditch by a solid 60.42% to 39.58% margin.  With redistricting, Davis now represents areas as far east as El Cajon. 

For Popaditch, a  military veteran, this was his second defeat at the polls; in 2010 he ran unsuccessfully against Congressman Bob Filner.

MEET CONGRESSMAN JUAN VARGAS, WHO WINS SEAT IN 51ST CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

By Janis Mork

Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

November 7, 2012 (San Diego)- After Juan Vargas beat Republican Michael Crimmins 69.9% to 30.1%, Vargas’ supporters shouted, “Sí se puede!” (Yes we can!) and, “Juan! Juan! Juan!” After his impressive win, Vargas told ECM, “I’m very excited and very happy about the results I’m seeing so far, and very excited to be working with social justice.”

An American success story, Vargas who graduated from Harvard Law School is the son of farmworkers , where he was a classmate of President Barack Obama, before serving on San Diego's City Council and in the California Legislature. Vargas will replace Congressman Bob Filner, who has been elected Mayor of San Diego.

The 51st Congressional district spans the southern portions of San Diego County and extends into Imperial County.  Below are Vargas' goals in Congress and details his legislative record.

DEMOCRATS WIN SUPERMAJORITY IN BOTH HOUSES OF CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE

By Miriam Raftery

November 7, 2012 (Sacramento )- For California Democrats, the biggest plum of yesterday’s election is the sweeping victory of state legislative candidates that has given the Democratic Party a two-thirds "supermajority" in both the Assembly and State Senate.  

A two-thirds majority means that Democrats can now pass tax increases without a single Republican vote. It also means that the Legislature has the power to override a veto by Governor Brown.

Governor Brown today called for "the prudence of Joseph,” a Biblical reference to planning for years of both prosperity and famine. "We have to make sure over the next few years that we pay our bills, we invest in the right programs, but we don't go on any spending binges," the Governor said in a press conference at the state capitol.

TWO INCUMBENTS WIN HANDILY IN EL CAJON; THIRD SEAT STILL IN CONTENTION AS REGISTRAR COUNTS REMAINING ABSENTEE AND PROVISIONAL BALLOTS

Update November 8, 2012,  5 p.m.:  McClellan's lead has grown to over 600 votes, making it appear likely that he has secured reelection.

November 8, 2012 (El Cajon) – Councilmen Tony Ambrose and Bill Wells  appear to have won reelection to the El Cajon City Council, while Councilman Bob McClellan retains a slim 114-vote lead over challenger Ben Kalasho. The Registrar of Voters still has 475,000 absentee and provisional ballots left countywide to count.  Asked how many are in El Cajon, the Registrar’s office declined to provide that information but said updates will be posted daily at http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/voters/results/election.xml. The election must be certified by December 4, meaning close races could take weeks before a final outcome will be know.

GOOD NEWS FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS: CALIF. STATE UNIVERSITIES TO ROLL BACK TUITION HIKES DUE TO PASSAGE OF PROP 30

By Bill Weaver

November 8, 2012 (San Diego) –Tuition at 23 California State University campuses—including San Diego State University and Cal State San Marcos locally, will rescind a $249-per-semestser tuition fee hike that had taken effect in the fall term. Fees will now revert back to $5,472, the same rate as last year.

“We are hopeful that the passage of Proposition 30 will be the beginning of the state’s reinvestment in higher education,” CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed said in a statement issued yesterday.

HOT FIRE BOARD RACES IN EAST COUNTY: FIRED CHIEF WINS SEAT ON BOARD IN LAKESIDE, 2 NEW FACES ADDED TO SAN MIGUEL BOARD, PLUS MORE LOCAL RESULTS

By Janis Mork

November 7, 2012 (san Diego)- In the hotly contested Lakeside Fire District, former Lakeside fire chief Mark Baker captured 39.6% of the vote while fire captain/paramedic/ and board director Jim Bingham clinched 36.6%, beating out challengers.

There has been controversy over these two figures, since Bingham voted to fire Baker as Chief, a move that sparked a backlash among community members and questions of influence by firefighting union members on the board. (http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/11356). Nonetheless, these two will have to set aside their differences and work together in this district, where some of East County’s largest wildfires have occurred.

CALIFORNIANS SAY YES TO FIVE OF ELEVEN PROPOSITIONS

By Mayan Avitable

November 8, 2012 (San Diego) -- The most watched proposition by many who are involved in education was California's Proposition 30. This proposition was highly promoted by Governor Jerry Brown as a solution to school funding in the time of budget cutting. During the evening, the proposition changed from passing to not passing as the vote counts came in. Ultimately, the measure passed 53.9% to 46.1%, increasing taxes on earnings over $250,000 for seven years and sales taxes by ¼ cent for four years, to fund schools. In addition, it guarantees public safety realignment funding. School districts had prepared for spending reductions in case the proposition didn't pass.

DEMAIO CONCEDES: FILNER IS NEW MAYOR OF SAN DIEGO

By Nadin Abbott and Miriam Raftery

November 7, 2012 (San Diego)—Today, Carl DeMaio called Congressman Bob Filner and conceded defeat, then wished the Mayor-elect good luck. 

With this concession, one of the most divisive races in recent San Diego memory is over. Filner will be inaugurated on December 3.

With the victory of Sherri S. Leightner at 54% over her challenger Ray Ellis with 46%, the City Council will also be in Democratic hands, though FIlner has pledged to consult with people who opposed him as well as those who supported him as he sets up his administration.

INCUMBENTS ARE RETURNED TO LA MESA-SPRING VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD

By Bill Weaver

November 7, 2012 (La Mesa) — Incumbents Emma Turner, Psy.D. was re-elected, as was William "Bill" Baber, a local attorney, to the La Mesa-Spring Valley School Board. Both are Republicans and both have shown support for public education in their district.

REPUBLICANS KEEP CONTROL OF HOUSE, BUT DEMOCRATS SEE SOME GAINS

By Nadin Abbott

November 7, 2012 (San Diego)—While Democrats failed to retake control of the United States House of Representatives, right now seats by party are at Republican 232, and Democratic at 191, with 12 seats still not decided. Among those not decided is San Diego’s own 52nd District contest between Scott Peters (D) and Congressman Brian Bilbray (R), where Peters now leads by a narrow margin.

DEMOCRATS KEEP CONTROL OF THE U.S. SENATE, EXTREMISTS ON RAPE ISSUES DEFEATED

By Nadin Abbott

November 8, 2012 (San Diego)-- The Democratic Party was expected to lose control of the Senate back in the Summer. Yet, they were able to maintain control, and this was due to a few important victories. 

Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin became the first openly gay woman to be elected to the Senate. Her victory over Republican Tommy Thomson helped the Democrats maintain control. John Tester, a moderate Democrat from Montana, won re-election as well.

PROPOSITION 30 PICKED UP A MAJOR WIN FOR EDUCATION FUNDING IN CA

By Bill Weaver

November 7, 2012 (San Diego)—Governor Jerry Brown has announced victory for Proposition 30. The ballot measure will raise income taxes on the wealthiest citizens in the state and temporarily increase the state sales tax by a quarter of a cent to fund K-12 schools, community colleges and state universities. Prop 30 is expected to raise more than $6 billion in revenue. If it had not passed, schools and colleges would have suffered significant trigger cuts in state appropriations.

DEMOCRAT DAVE ROBERTS PULLS AHEAD IN 3RD DISTRICT SUPERVISOR RACE

By Miriam Raftery

November 7, 2012 (San Diego) – By a slim margin, Democrat Dave Roberts is ahead of Republican Steve Danon with 100% of precincts counted, though provisional ballots remain.  Roberts would replace Republican Supervisor Pam-Slater Price, who is retiring and made a cross-party endorsement of Roberts.

“Tuesday's election is historic in two ways,” a press release from Roberts’ campaign said this morning.”It is the first time in 17 years there has been a new person elected to the San Diego County Board of Supervisors and Dave Roberts will be the first Democrat elected as County Supervisor in 19 years. The last Democrat to serve on the Board of Supervisors was Leon Williams who served until 1994.”

STERLING, ALESSIO WIN LA MESA COUNCIL RACE

By Miriam Raftery

November 7, 2012 (La Mesa) – Councilwoman Ruth Sterling won reelection to the La Mesa City Council, with 28.06% of the vote.  Attorney Kristine Alessio  also won election with 25.27% of the vote, replacing retiring Councilman David Allan, the Council’s only Democrat, for the second of two seats.

Despite more than $37,000 in special interest money from real estate interests poured into an independent expenditure campaign in support of her candidacy, realtor Laura Lothian finished last out of five candidates, with 10.15% of the vote.

WELLS, AMBROSE WIN REELECTION IN EL CAJON; MCCLELLAN LEADS KALASHO BY SLIM MARGIN

November 7, 2012 (El Cajon )—In one of the few victories for local conservatives thus far in the November 2012 elecitons, Councilmembers Tony Ambrose and Bill Wells have won reelection to the El Cajon City Council with 18.25% and 16.26% of the vote in the 8-person field. Councilman Bob McClellan is the likely victor in the third seat, with a narrow edge over challenger Ben Kalasho, 14.95% to 13.95%.

DEMOCRATS REGAIN MAJORITY ON LEMON GROVE COUNCIL

By Miriam Raftery

November 8, 2012 (Lemon Grove) – The election of Racquel Vasquez and reelection of George Gastil restores a Democratic majority to the Lemon Grove City Council.   Vasquez won 29.30% of the votes cast, followed by  Gastil with 23.01%.

“Racquel is a breath of fresh air,” said Gastil, who called the election of Vasquez, an African-American woman, “historic. She is the first person who is not white to be elected to the Council—and she comes in first place, which is a testament to her involvement in the community.”

BILBRAY AND PETERS IN DEAD HEAT

By Nadin Abbott

Photos by Tom Abbott and Nadin Abbott

November 7, 2012 (San Diego)—Congressman Brian Bilbray’s slim lead has evaporated in the 52nd Congressional District. With over 95% of the vote now counted, Democrat Scott Peters has edged into the lead--first by just 13 votes, and now by 311 votes. 

Brian Bilbray addressed the press around 10:30 last night, thanking his supporters for knocking on doors, calling voters and walking precincts. This was a very hard campaign for the Congressman in the newly redrawn 52nd District, where the once-strong Republican majority is now razor-thin. Democrats have targeted this race nationally, hoping to unseat the incumbent Congressman who has been the brunt of ads critical of his ties to special interests.

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