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Ben Kalasho




RALLY TO SAVE IRAQI CHRISTIANS: FRIDAY, JULY 18

 

 

July 18, 2014 (El Cajon) – East County is home to an estimated 40,000 Iraqi Chaldean Christians as well as many Assyrians and Syriacs. 

Local Iraqis including the Chaldean-American Chamber of Commerce, churches and other groups, ask the community to join them in a rally today, July 18 at El Cajon City Hall , 200 Civic Center Way, to urge protection and humanitarian help for those now fleeing Iraq, where a terrorist group has declared an Islamic caliph and is slaughtering Christians and other minorities.

A petition has also been launched calling on U.S. representatives to consider creating a safe haven for Assyrians and other minorities in the Nineveh Plains.

IRAQ VIDEO: BEFORE THE WAR

 

East County News Service

July 2, 2014 (San Diego's East County) -- Ben Kalasho, president of the East County Chaldean-American Chamber of Commerce, has posted a video on his Facebook page to show what Iraq was like before the war and the violence currently tearing the nation apart.  He writes,

"A lot of people always ask me what IRAQ was like before U.S. intervention. I always hear the same things; Was it all desert? Was it hard to live there? Was it safe? Was it clean? Sometimes I wondered if they thought we were nomads living in tents. Perhaps even huddled on a sidewalk somewhere begging for change.

I am glad to see this video being made. For those who have never been to IRAQ pre U.S. occupation, this should serve as a great visual tool." 

EAST COUNTY'S CHALDEAN CHAMBER AWARDED TRADEMARK AMID CONTINUING DISPUTE

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 7, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—The U.S. Patent and Trademark office has issued a trademark to the San Diego East County Chaldean Chamber of Commerce.

IRAQI ELECTIONS APRIL 30; LOCAL VOTING APRIL 27 & 28 IN EL CAJON

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 25, 2014 (El Cajon) – Iraq will hold elections for parliamentary offices including Prime Minister on April 30.  All Iraqi-born people living in the U.S. are eligible to vote, the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce announced today.  Locally, eligible voters can cast their ballots on April 27-28 at the Crystal Ballroom, 414 North Magnolia Avenue in El Cajon from 12-2 p.m.

“This is arguably the biggest election since the fall of Saddam Hussein due to the unique circumstance of post-troop withdraw and immense violence,” said Ben Kalasho, president of the Chamber.

CHRISTIAN VOTERS POLITICAL PAMPHLET SENT BY DEMOCRATIC BACKER IN EL CAJON VIOLATED CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAW, FPPC ENFORCEMENT OFFICER ADVISES

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 23, 2014 (El Cajon)—The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) is weighing a proposed stipulation order that if signed, would impose a $2,000 fine against Bonnie Burns Price for a mailer from “ Christian Voters for a More Transparent Government in East County."  Price is the former chair of the East County Democratic Club and a supporter of Ben Kalasho, a candidate who ran for El Cajon Council and lost by a narrow margin in 2012.

MISS MIDDLE EAST BEAUTY PAGEANT SET FOR APRIL 3

 

March 26, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) --The  San Diego East County Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce is proud to sponsor the Miss Middle East Beauty Pageant.

IRAQI CHALDEANS FORM NEW CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

By Miriam Raftery

December 5, 2013 (El Cajon ) – The newly formed San Diego East County Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce has elected Ben Kalasho as president during the organization’s gala event at Sycuan Resort on November 22.   Kalasho hailed the event, which drew about 100 attendees, as “a great turn out of professional movers and shakers.”

CANDIDATES FOR EL CAJON COUNCIL REFLECT DIVERSE POPULATIONS AND VIEWS

Photo:  Ben Kalasho, Instar Bales, Humbert Cabrera, and Vickie Butcher are among 27 candidates vying for appointment to the El Cajon City Council.

By Miriam Raftery

December 12, 2013 (El Cajon) – Twenty-seven El Cajon residents have applied to fill an open seat on the El Cajon City Council.  This past Tuesday night, Council members interviewed half of the applicants during the Council meeting.  The rest will be interviewed next Tuesday at 6 p.m.

The candidates came from all walks of life – reflecting diverse races, ethnic backgrounds, religions, political parties and economic status.

WELLS APPOINTED MAYOR IN EL CAJON, OPENING COUNCIL VACANCY

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 13, 2013 (El Cajon )--El Cajon’s City Council voted unanimously yesetrday to appoint Councilman Bill Wells to fill the vacancy left by Mayor Mark Lewis’s resignation.  Council also voted to have an application and list of qualifications drawn up within a week for residents interested in seeking appointment to fill the vacancy on the City Council  left by Wells’ ascension to mayor.

A crowd filled the Council Chambers, with many community members came to voice their views on how the city should fill its leadership positions.

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.

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.

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%.

ONE STOP SHOP FOR EL CAJON VOTERS: FULL COVERAGE OF COUNCIL CANDIDATES

October 10, 2012 (El Cajon)--Eight candidates are vying for three seats on the El Cajon City Council in a hotly contested race: incumbents Tony Ambrose, Bob McClellan and Bill Wells and challengers Ben Kalasho, Lily Schworm, Kathy Spacone, Chris Shamoon and Duane Swainston.

ECM invited all candidates to be interviewed; six responded.  Below are our in-depth interviews with candidates, listed in alphabetical order. In addition, here are links to coverage of a candidate forum, as well as candidates’ websites and Smart Voter pages from the League of Women Voters, prior stories on candidates who ran before, and additional news stories.

RACISM AND DIRTY POLITICS IN EL CAJON COUNCIL RACE

By Miriam Raftery

October 4, 2012 (El Cajon)—Three challengers running for office in the El Cajon Council race have made allegations including sign-stealing, racism and pressure on local merchants to back incumbents and suppress messages from other candidates.

On September 25, John Gibson with the Hamann Companies, a backer of  incumbents Bill Wells and Tony Ambrose,  made racially-charged remarks  about Iraqi Chaldean candidate Ben Kalasho in a City Council meeting.  The comments came after the Kalasho campaign accused Gibson, along with an incumbent Councilman, of involvement in removing and defacing Kalasho campaign signs.

BEN KALASHO SEEKS TO BRING VOICE OF DIVERSITY, BUSINESS SAVVY TO EL CAJON COUNCIL

Three incumbents and four challengers are vying for three seats on the El Cajon City Council. ECM has requested interviews with each. Below is the first in our series of in-depth candidate profiles.


By Miriam Raftery


September 6, 2012 (El Cajon)—Earlier this year, when a vacancy opened on the El Cajon Council due to a resignation, the Councilmembers refused to accept applications from the public – including an Iraqi Chaldean immigrant and an African-American woman who wanted the job. Instead, they appointed an insider like themselves--a white male, who served on Planning Commission. 


To Ben Kalasho, that action exemplifies what’s wrong in El Cajon –and why  the Council needs people from diverse backgrounds.

DEMOCRATS OPEN CAMPAIGN OFFICE IN EAST COUNTY

 
By Miriam Raftery
 
August 30, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Congresswoman Susan Davis and Congressman/Mayoral candidate Bob Filner were among the many candidates on hand last weekend for the grand opening of a Democratic Party campaign headquarters at 7839 University Ave., Suite 106, La Mesa.
 
County Democratic Party Chairman Jess Durfee spoke of “fulfilling a promise” to help Democrats in East County.  While much of East County remains solidly “red”, redistricting has shifted many communities in East County into Democratic districts and voter registration is increasingly favoring Democrats in some areas that have long been considered Republican strongholds. 

ECPAC FOUNDATION MAKES ITS CASE

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 27, 2012 (El Cajon)– At a press conference on June 22, members of the new ECPAC Foundation provided details to media on their proposal to reopen the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC) in time for the city’s centennial celebration in November.

Leaders presented City Manager Doug Williford with their 60-page plan in a meeting that extended from a planned 10-15 minutes to an hour and a half.  Foundation members expressed optimism, noting that Williford asked many questions and showed genuine interest in plans to revive the theater with innovative and cost-effective improvements.

SIGNS OF THE TIMES: THEFT, VANDALISM OF CAMPAIGN SIGNS TAKE NEW TWISTS IN EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery
 

October 24, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – A rash of sign-stealing and defacement has marred the campaign trail in East County communities including Santee, Lakeside, El Cajon. The latest targets are large signs criticizing gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman.

 

Vandals in Santee cut the name “Meg” out of numerous 4 x 8 foot signs that read: “What’s Meg Hiding? $200 million to buy election; didn’t vote for 28 years; caters to the rich and corporations. What’s her REAL agenda?” ECM photographer Dennis Richardson spotted at least four of the damaged signs this afternoon--and noticed several others had gone missing completely.

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