TAKING SAN DIEGO OFF-GRID: FILNER SHARES PLANS FOR REGIONAL ENERGY INDEPENDENCE AND ULTIMATELY, UTILITY SERVICE OWNED BY THE PEOPLE
February 24, 2012 (San Diego) -- What if San Diego produced its own electricity with solar on rooftops and parking garage covers? Imagine if San Diego became its own utility provider—instead of SDG&E.
That’s exactly what Congressman and mayoral candidate Bob Filner proposed in a brainstorming session with top regional experts at part I of “Forging a Sustainable Future.” (Part II takes place March 3-4 at San Diego State University. Filner will be among those speaking.)
The implications of his proposals are staggering.
Learn how the Navy is going green, plus hear national and local leaders' visions for the future of our region and nation
February 20, 2012 (San Diego)-- Navy Captain Marko Medved, Congressional members Susan Davis and Bob Filner are the latest speakers confirmed to join UnitedGREEN’s Forging a Sustainability Symposium March 3-4 at San Diego State University. They join a long list of distinguished national and international presenters and panelists, including keynote speaker Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
“SPINELESS RUBBER CHICKEN” AWARD PRESENTED TO JUAN VARGAS, CANDIDATE FOR CONGRESS IN KEY RACE FOR EAST COUNTY
By Miriam Raftery
February 16, 2012 (San Diego) – State Senator Juan Vargas came to the California Democratic Convention hoping to find support for his campaign to fill Bob Filner’s seat in Congress. He won the party endorsement—but has lost support from many here. A group of activists surprised Vargas in the hall and presented him with a “Spineless Rubber Chicken” award for twice ducking a vote on SB 810, a landmark healthcare reform bill opposed by the insurance industry.
Insurers reportedly spent $1.46 million to elect Vargas to the Legislature. His Congressional campaign has taken another $140,000 in insurance and pharmaceutical contributions, as ECM previously reported http://eastcountymagazine.org/node/8577
“The official casualty count of Iraq and Afghanistan is 5,000 plus killed and about 45,000 wounded…You know how many men and women have approached the VA for help for war-related injuries from those two wars? Almost a million," said Congressman Bob Filner. "We need to take care of these kids when they get back here…Veterans are THE issue for Democrats.”
By Miriam Raftery and Mia Mykleberg
February 16, 2012 (San Diego) –Thousands of soldiers are returning home to San Diego County as the Iraq war ends and troop draw downs occur in Afghanistan.
At the California Democratic Party’s newly formed Veterans’ Caucus, Congressman and Mayoral candidate Bob Filner, former Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives, laid out detailed plans to welcome home veterans with respect and hands-on help--including establishing a Veterans' Office for San Diego if he is elected Mayor.
2 LOCAL CONGRESSIONAL MEMBERS COAUTHOR BILL TO REQUIRE DISCLOSURE OF CORPORATE CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS
By Miriam Raftery
February 12, 2012 (San Diego) – At this weekend’s California Democratic Convention, the statewide party issued pre-primary endorsements in three Congressional races but declined to make an early endorsement in two other races.
- Grossmont High School teachers vote to explore becoming charter (La Mesa Patch)
- Fire Chief Augie Ghio chats about state of San Miguel Fire District following release of RFPs (La Mesa Patch)
- City Council okays livestock for city residents (10 News)
- A Guide to Understanding the Sweetwater Scandal (Voice of San Diego)
- San Onofre shutdown costing up to $1 million a day (KPBS)
- Secrets of the Centennial: How suffrage put progressive town on path to self determination (La Mesa Patch)
- Light on cockroaches (Valley Roadrunner editorial on Supervisors’ recent actions)
- Bob Filner to La Mesa: You have a stake in who is mayor of San Diego(La Mesa Patch)
- Nuke inspections focus on unusual wear on tubes (Sacramento Bee)
- Federal appeals court: CA gay marriage ban is unconstitutional (AP)
- Governor signs bill that allows internal borrowing (Sacramento Bee)
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.
By Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
November 8, 2011 (San Diego)--In an earlier Op Ed I pointed out that according to the U.S. Constitution, the Federal government has no legal right to impose criminal law on marijuana both grown and sold within the State of California (Reader's Editorial: Medical Marijuana and States Rights, October 25, 2011, http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/7674).
Local Republican Congressmen vote to deny emergency care to save mothers’ lives
By Shannon Michael
October 15, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – The Republican-controlled House this week passed a restrictive measure that would let hospitals refuse to provide an abortion even if urgently needed to save a woman’s life.
“The misnamed Protect Life Act is about allowing women to die if they need an emergency abortion,” said Meghan Rhoad at Human Rights Watch. “It is a vicious attack on women’s rights and on the most basic right to life.”
Local Republicans Duncan Hunter, Brian Bilbray, and Darrell Issa voted for the bill, H.R. 358, while San Diegio Democrats Bob Filner and Susan Davis voted against it.
October 9, 2011 (San Diego) -- San Diego State University (SDSU) has received a joint grant of $1.67 million for its Jobs Accelerator program from the Economic Development Administration (EDA), the Small Business Administration and the Employment Training Administration (ETA).
“Our number one priority is job creation,” said Congressman Bob Filner (D-San Diego), in announcing the award. “Our region has been in dire need of this type of investment in our economy and our students. In a time when school and local budgets are being cut to the bone, this grant will go a long way to creating the good paying jobs we need, training the workforce, and help us move into a new green energy economy.”
MAYORAL CANDIDATE BOB FILNER DETAILS PLANS TO CREATE THOUSANDS OF JOBS AND MAKE SAN DIEGO “A MORE LIVABLE CITY”
Click to view video of speech highlights
September 22, 2011 (San Diego) –Congressman Bob Filner laid out an ambitious plan for revitalizing San Diego in a speech Saturday at the County’s Democratic Convention. He wants to transform the port into a maritime center to employ thousands of people and replace good-paying jobs for skilled middle class workers that vanished when General Dynamics left San Diego. He aims to make San Diego the alternative energy capitol of America, bringing green jobs to our region. In addition, he seeks to create a more “livable city”, moving redevelopment out of downtown and into communities with greater needs.
Why does he believe he can succeed at leading such a major redevelopment effort? Because he already has. “I wrote the Gaslamp plan,” he says of his service on the City Council before his election to Congress.
3 local Congressional members vote to cut funds for disaster relief
Update: A stopgap measure has been approved to fund FEMA partially through Tuesday, but at lower levels than the agency says is needed.
September 23, 2011 (Washington D.C.) – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will run out of funds early next week, leaving victims of recent tornadoes, hurricanes and wildfires without help unless Congress takes action. Republicans in the House refused to approve a stop-gap spending bill passed by the Senate and instead, voted on their own bill with sharply reduced funds for the cash-strapped emergency response agency.
San Diego Republicans Duncan Hunter, Brian Bilbray and Darrell Issa all voted for the measure, which failed by a narrow margin. If no measure is passed by both houses soon, the government faces a potential shut-down and disasater victims may be left to fend for themselves.
By Jeremy Los
Video by Jack Winemiller
Sept. 20, 2011- Congressman Bob Filner and Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher headlined the first mayoral debate of the 2012 election on Saturday.
The two major candidates who participated differed sharply on policies, goals, and visions for San Diego during the lively debate during Politifest, sponsored by Voice of San Diego in Liberty Station on Saturday.
POLITICAL WRANGLING: HOW LOW CAN THEY GO? NATIONAL & LOCAL CANDIDATES TAKE SCAPE-GOATING AND MUD-SLINGING TO NEW DEPTHS
By Buck Shott
September 14, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) –Top Republican presidential candidates this week seemed to be vying to show who was the most heartless. Ron Paul dissed disaster victims, calling for an end to federal aid to survivors of hurricanes and wildfires. Michelle Bachmann suggested lowering the minimum wage might lure corporations back from overseas. Rick Perry disavowed “compassionate conservatism” altogether. All seek to eliminate or slash Social Security.
But the most bloodthirsty of all was the Tea Party crowd at this week’s presidential debate. When CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked whether a 30-year-old man without health insurance should just be allowed to die if he goes into a coma, Tea Party members shouted "Yeah," exhibiting all the zeal of ancient Roman spectators cheering on a a lion vs. gladiator fight.
ECM exclusive interview
By Miriam Raftery
Video by Jack Winemiller
September 11, 2011 (San Diego) – Congressman and Mayoral candidate Bob Filner spoke with ECM at last weekend's "Big Blue BBQ" for East County Democrats.
He outlined plans to create thousands of new, good-paying jobs for San Diego's region countywide through a revitalized maritime industry and through policies to make San Diego into the “alternative energy capital of the world.” He also shared his ideas for improving public education and resolving the public employee pension issue as we “turn San Diego towards the 21st century.”
"I left my job to run for Congress - to fight for you - the working men and women who are the true heart and soul of America. Like you, I have known what it is to stand in the unemployment line. I've been without health insurance...Like you, I will not give up. I will not be invisible...All of us, employed and unemployed must make our voices heard, because we have become the new "Silent Majority."
- David Secor, who aims to run against Congressman Duncan Hunter and represent East County
Reprinted with permission from OB Rag; Secor comments added by ECM
September 6, 2011 (San Diego)--Under gray skies, over 350 people gathered along Broadway yesterday in downtown San Diego at a Labor Day “Rally for the Jobless.” Organized by MoveOn and Rebuild the American Dream, the noon event was designed to gather unemployed San Diegans and put pressure on the White House and Congress for jobs.
By Miriam Raftery
August 25, 2011 (Rancho San Diego) – The weather was sultry and the political discourse even hotter at Politics in Paradise last Friday night, hosted by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce in the Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College.
Congressmembers Bob Filner and Duncan Hunter, Assemblyman Brian Jones and former Senator Denise Ducheny fielded questions on a broad range of issues, from jobs and healthcare to a new stadium for the Chargers. The evening yielded insights, humor, and surprises.
By Miriam Raftery
August 21, 2011 (San Diego) – Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas debated at county fairs and festivals. Outdoors and free to the public, Politifest 2011 recaptures that spirit. The event, set for Saturday September 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p..m. at Liberty Station in Pt. Loma, will include a mayoral debate, idea tournament, beer garden, civic booths, media celebrities and old-fashioned outdoor fun.
By Buck Shott
August 1, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Gearing up for another rough-and-tumble campaign season, our Political Wrangling column is back with answers to questions inquiring minds want to know.
- Which Presidential candidate flunked 13 of 13 fact-checks?
- What prominent candidates are eyeing Bob Filner’s seat in Congress, in a redrawn district that includes the southern chunk of East County?
- Which liberal school board member may be living outside her San Diego district, making her potentially ineligible to serve?
- Which local Republican official admits to paying off folks to pack a council hearing in support of hiking rental rates for mobile home owners?
- What national office holder is collecting rent from public servants providing security for his family?
CONGRESSWOMAN SUSAN DAVIS SPEAKS OUT AGAINST ENERGY BILL THAT SHE SAYS WOULD HURT SAN DIEGO’S CLEANTECH INNOVATION
by Shannon Michael
July 21, 2011 (Washington D.C.) – Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) has issued a press release blasting an energy spending bill that seeks to gut funding for clean energy, including biomass and solar programs. The bill would hit San Diego hard, since it has a large concentration of clean technology companies, Davis indicated.
“San Diego has 767 clean technology companies and has become an innovation hub, especially in solar power, energy storage, and advanced biofuels,” said Davis. “If we’re going to remain competitive in the global economy, we must invest in clean energy innovation.” According to the San Diego Association of Governments, the algae energy section alone provides the region with 410 direct jobs and $108 million in economic activity each year.
Poll shows strong public support for plan; Rep. Hunter visits Afghanistan to meet with military officers
By Miriam Raftery
June 29, 2011 (San Diego) – A Gallup Poll shows 72% of Americans support President Barack Obama’s plan announced last week to withdraw thousands of U.S. troops from Afghanistan this year. Just 23% opposed the troop drawdown plan, and some want to see an even faster troop withdrawal.
Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon), a veteran of the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars and member of the House Armed Services Committee, visited Afghanistan this week and met with General David Petraeus. He has voiced support for troop withdrawals, citing erosion of public support. But he called for a shift in focus toward counter-terrorism utilizing special operations forces, intelligence gathering capability and air assets.
By Miriam Raftery
June 7, 2011 (Potrero) – Following intense media scrutiny and letters from federal and local elected officials, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has retracted its demand that Veronica Lytle of Potrero pay back over $1,600 in disaster funds that she received for damage to her home in the 2007 Harris Fire.
"When I finally opened the letter I just couldn't believe it!" Lytle told East County Magazine (ECM).
But the fate of 36 other local disaster victims who have been asked to refund money to FEMA remains unclear.
Measure drew bipartisan support in Congress, though local representatives split votes down party lines
June 7, 2011 (Washington D.C.)—By a 268-145 vote, the House of Representatives rebuked President Barack Obama for not seeking Congressional authorization for military conflict in Libya. House Resolution 292, authored by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) asked the President to provide Congress with justification for U.S. involvement in NATO-led military strikes.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PASSES BILL THAT WOULD STRIP WOMEN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE, REDUCE PRIVATE INSURANCE OPTIONS FOR ABORTION COVERAGE
By Jeremy Los
“This bill is an unprecedented assault on women’s health care. For the first time, restrictions would be placed on how women with private insurance can spend their own dollars in purchasing health insurance.” – Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego)
May 31, 2011- Women’s rights are under siege as Republicans in control of the House of Representatives recently passed H.R. 3. The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act would sharply restrict access to abortion.
Championed by Rep. Christopher Smith (R- NJ), the bill passed the House with 251 "aye" votes, of which 235 were Republicans--including San Diego Republicans Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa. (Brian Bilbray (R-San Diego) abstained from voting, while local Democratic representatives Susan Davis and Bob Filner voted "no.")
Push comes as major drug busts made at border involving Mexican trucks
By Jeremy Los
May 22, 2011- Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) is leading a bi-partisan push to end a cross-border trucking program that would allow Mexican trucks to use U.S. roadways. Hunter and Illinois Democrat Daniel Lipinski sent a letter to Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood protesting the agreement between the U.S. and Mexico. The letter has rare bipartisan agreement, signed by 42 lawmakers from both sides of the aisle including Rep. Bob Filner (D-San Diego).
The lawmakers claim that the program will tarnish border security as well as hurt the American economy and cost jobs. In addition, concerns have been raised over highway safety.
Congressman Filner, the Freedom Rides, and Three Generations of Civil RIghts Activism
“I was 18. We did this thing, and we changed the whole legal structure of America. The sense that change is possible has been with me since."–Congressman Bob Filner
For the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides, Rep Bob Filner (D-San Diego) shares his memories as a Freedom Rider and of enduring two months in jail to take a stand during the tumultuous Civil Rights movement.
Women’s rights supporters plan protest at Rep. Hunter’s office today at noon
February 24, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) –Republicans in the House pushed through a 240-185 vote to strip all Title X funding from Planned Parenthood, sparking outrage among health advocates and women’s rights supporters, who have organized multiple protest rallies in San Diego this week including a rally today outside Congressman Duncan Hunter’s office in El Cajon.
Rep. Mike Pence (R-Indiana) introduced the amendment to strip Planned Parenthood of all federal funds. “It is morally wrong to take the taxpayer dollars of millions of pro-life Americans and use them to fund organizations that provide and promote abortion,” he said.
But Title X funds have never covered abortion care, so Pence’s statement is misleading, suggests Terry O’Nell, president of the National Organization for Women. Should the measure pass the Senate and become law, she said, “Millions of women, the vast majority of whom have incomes of less than $11,000 a year, will lose access to pap smears, testing for sexually transmitted infections, and contraception.” Calling the bill “dangerous and discriminatory,” she added, “There is little doubt that the WILL kill women.”
February 19, 2011 (Washington D.C.) – San Diego’s Congressional delegation is speaking out on spending and budget-cutting priorities –with widely divergent views. While Republicans have slammed President Barack Obama’s proposed budget, Democrats are blasting the rival Republican House appropriations bill.
As with any omnibus proposal, the devil is in the details. Issues at stake include funds for local border projects, birth control access, water supplies for Southern California, job training, and more. Here’s what our five local House representatives and both California U.S. Senators have to say about the spending proposals that Congress is weighing.