Politics

JESSICA KALASHO BRINGS OWN ATTORNEY TO HEARING IN FRAUD AND HARASSMENT CASE; BEN KALASHO ARRIVES SEPARATELY WITHOUT LEGAL COUNSEL

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo, left to right: Linda Charry, Jimmie Parker, Donald Wolf, Jessica Kalasho, and Ben Kalasho  

TRUMP ATTORNEY SENTENCED TO 3 YEARS IN PRISON, IMPLICATES PRESIDENT IN FELONY CRIMES

By Miriam Raftery

December 12, 2018 (Washington D.C) – President Donald Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, was sentenced today to three years in prison after pleading guilty to crimes and admitting to prosecutors that Trump ordered him to commit felony crimes regarding payoffs to hide affairs. Cohen further provided evidence that the President was actively negotiating with Russia on business dealings during the campaign, contrary to what the president told voters at the time, the New York Times reports.

Cohen pled guilty to crimes filed under two separate cases, one filed by U.S. Justice Department prosecutors in New York and the other by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.

While Mueller recommended leniency for Cohen due to his cooperation with the probe into illegal election interference,  federal prosecutors in New York indicated Cohen was uncooperative in their investigations. Investigators also seized computer and other records of Cohen.

In court, Cohen said of Trump, “I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds.” He apologized to the American people and said his loyalty to Trump “led me to choose a path of darkness over light.”

Judge William H. Pauley III stated that Cohen’s crimes were serious and implicated “insiduous harm to our democratic institutions.”

RESIDENTS FLOOD LA MESA CITY COUNCIL WITH COMPLAINTS OVER PROPOSED PAROLE FACILITY

By Miriam Raftery

December 12, 2018 (La Mesa)--  Following the swearing in of newly elected Councilwoman Akilah Weber and reelected Councilman Bill Baber, the La Mesa City Council heard public comments last night from numerous area residents concerned about a state parole office proposed in a new building on Grossmont Summit Drive next to the Brigantine restaurant, other businesses and home.

FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH, GLOBAL LEADER AMID TURBULENT TIMES, DIES AT 94

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Former President George H.W. Bush and his late wife, Barbara, U.S. Defense Dept.

December 1, 2018 (Houston) – George Herbert Walker Bush, the oldest living former president in U.S. history, died yesterday at his home in Houston at age 94. 

The Republican president led the nation through globally turbulent times that included the fall of the Berlin Wall, breakup of the Soviet Union leaving the U.S. as the only global superpower, an end to the cold war nuclear threat, and military success in the short-lived Persian Gulf War. Controversies of his presidency included a military invasion of Panama, a taxpayer bail-out of the failed savings and loan industry, and the pardoning of key figures in the Iran-Contra scandal of the Reagan administration.

President Trump has declared Wednesday, December 5th a national day of mourning and announced that a state funeral will be held; flags have been ordered flown at half mast for a month at the White House and at federal facilities worldwide. Most federal agencies will be closed Wedneday, though some related to national security will remain open.

BEN AND JESSICA KALASHO SLATED TO APPEAR DEC. 7 AT JUDGMENT DEBTOR’S EXAM IN FRAUD AND SEXUAL HARRASMENT CASE

Judge orders bench warrant with $5000 bail to compel Jessica Kalasho to appear after no-show; Kalashos reportedly take post-election vacation, loaned failed campaign $10,000, vow to drop social media

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo, left: Councilman Ben Kalasho and his attorney, James Finigan

November 30, 2018 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon City Councilman Ben Kalasho and his wife, Jessica, are slated to return to Judge Kenneth Medel’s San Diego Superior Court room next week for yet another judgment debtor examination, a proceeding used by judgment creditors to find ways to collect a judgment from a defendant. What will be different this time is that Jessica Kalasho may be arrested by the Sheriff’s Department (with bail set at $5000) should she not follow Medel’s order to appear.

The hearing, coincidentally, is set to take place on the U.S.’s “Day of Infamy,” Dec. 7th, the 77th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii by Imperial Japan upon the United States which caused the United States to enter World War II. Ominously, Kalasho received a warning not to rile the judge's "dark side" at the close of the proceeding.

CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIRMAN ERIC BAUMAN RESIGNS AMID ACCUSATIONS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT

 

Update November 30, 2018:  Bauman has now resigned, stating, "I have made the realization that in order for those to whom I may have caused pain and who need to heal, for my own health, and in the best interest of the Party that I love and to which I have dedicated myself for more than 25 years, it is in everyone’s best interest for me to resign my position as chair of the California Democratic Party."

By Miriam Raftery

November 29, 2018 (Sacramento) – Prominent Democrats including San Diego County Democratic Party Chair Jessica Hayes are calling for the resignation of state party chairman Eric Bauman after a Los Angeles Times investigation revealed credible and serious sexual harassment allegations made by 10 party staffers and activists.

VOTERS RETURN TWO INCUMBENTS TO GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE DISTRICT BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

 

East County News Service 

November 28, 2018 (La Mesa) – Two longtime Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) board members retained their seats in the recent November 2018 general election on the five-member board that represents more than 500,000 people residing in the district’s 750 square miles in East County.

GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE DISTRICT SHIFTS TO DISTRICT ELECTIONS: HEARING DEC. 3

 

 

Source: Grossmont Healthcare District

November 26, 2018 (La Mesa)  The public is invited to provide input during a public hearing December 3, 2018 at 6 p.m. on the Grossmont Healthcare District’s transition to a new system for electing its board members.

JULIAN ELECTION SET FOR MARCH 11 TO VOTE ON SAVING FIRE DISTRICT

 

 

New members to replace no-shows on fire board at Dec. 11 meeting

By Miriam Raftery

November 20, 2018 (Julian) – A special election will be held in the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District (JCFPD) on March 11 for voters to decide whether to save the county’s last volunteer firefighting district. If over 50% of voters vote yes on the citizens’ initiative, it will reverse the county’s Local Agency Formation District vote that had approved dissolving the district and having the County Fire Authority/Cal Fire takeover all firefighting duties.

HUNTER LEAD SLIPS AS COUNTING CONTINUES; CAMPA-NAJJAR TRAILS BY JUST OVER 10,000 VOTES

 

Update November 28, 2018:  Statewide, Hunter's lead has slipped further. Hunter now leads by 3.6%, with 51.8% to Campa-Najjar with 48.2%.  Hunter has 131,436 votes and Campa-Najjar has 122,255, or a difference  of 8,181 votes. San Diego County has 47,000 ballots left to process, but it's unclear how many are in the 50th Congressoinal District. There may also be a small number of untallied votes left in Riverside County.

By Miriam Raftery

November 19, 2018 (San Diego)—On Election night, indicted Congressman Duncan D. Hunter led challenger Ammar Campa Najjar by nearly 9%.  But as of tonight, Hunter’s lead has slipped to just 4.3% counting both Riverside and San Diego counties, or a difference of 10,046 votes out of 231,800 votes cast.

Importantly, in San Diego, which has  over 10 times more voters in the 50th Congressional District than Riverside, Hunter’s lead is a scant 4.6%, a margin of just 7,782 votes. Countywide, the San Diego Registrar reports 112,000 ballots not yet tallied, though it’s unclear how many are in the50th Congressional district.

 Hunter has 52.17% of the vote locally, compared to 47.83% for Campa-Najjar, who has been steadily gaining ground as late mail-in and provisional ballots favoring Democrats are counted.

Regardless of the final tally, this is clearly the closest race ever in this once reliably conservative district.  In his prior five campaigns for Congress, Hunter waltzed easily to victory over his Democratic opponents with margins of victory ranging from 17% in 2016 to a whopping 42.8% in 2014. His father, the former Congressman, similary won by hefty margins during his many years in office.

NEWSOM STARTS TENURE WITH $30 BILLION SURPLUS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 19, 2018 (Sacramento) -- When Gavin Newsom is sworn is as CaliforniaGovernor in January, hell be starting out on a strong footing. The state has nearly $30 billion in combined reserved and unexpected tax revenues, the Legislative Analysts office just reported, stating, By historical standards, this surplus is extraordinary.

ESCONDIDO MAYOR'S RACE UPSET SHOWS IMPACT OF "AMMAR EFFECT"

 

Source:  Indi Squared

Photo:  Indi Squared Canvass Kickoff, Escondido CA  9/2/18

November 16, 2018 (Escondido) -- Just as Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke is being credited with the “Beto Effect” – a massive voter turnout that lifted down-ballot Democrats to victory in Congress and the Texas legislature – a similar, if smaller, dynamic may be taking place in CA50.

Extraordinary voter outreach on behalf of congressional candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar exceeded any effort on behalf of a Democratic campaign in CA50 history. While ballots are still being counted at the San Diego County Registrar of Voters, with 92,873 votes, Campa-Najjar has more than doubled the vote for Duncan Hunter’s last midterm challenger, James Kimber, who received 45,302 votes in 2014, according to Ballotpedia.

SOME LOCAL RACES FLIP OR GROW CLOSER AS COUNTING BALLOTS CONTINUES

 

 

Hunter lead slips to 4.6% or 11,141 votes; Anderson now trails in Board of Equalization

By Miriam Raftery

November 14, 2018 (San Diego) – Voter turnout was heavy for a mid-term election -at 51%, according to San Diego’s Registrar of Voters. Since election night, late mail-in ballots and provisional ballots have been trending heavily Democratic nationwide and locally. The lead has flipped in some key races here ranging from a mayoral contest to the board of equalization, and other candidates including Rep. Duncan Hunter have seen their leads shrinking.  

Countywide, 254,000 ballots remain to be counted, but there is no breakdown available on how many ballots are in any specific district. Here are updates on some key races to watch:

EDUCATION SUPERINTENDENT RACE FLIPS TO THURMOND AS COUNT CONTINUES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 14, 2018 (Sacramento)  A key statewide race has flipped, with the counting of late mail-in and provisional ballots. Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, a social worker, has pulled ahead in the State Superintendent race. Thurmond now leads over Marshall Tuck by around 74,000 votes and a full percentage point.  

TRUMP FANS FLAMES BY BLAMING WILDFIRES ON CALIFORNIA, THREATENING TO WITHHOLD FEDERAL FUNDS

 

By Julie Cart, CALmatters

CALmatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

November 11, 2018 (San Diego) - With a quarter-million Californians evacuated from their homes and wildfires so far claiming nine lives, President Donal Trump today took to Twitter and inflamed tensions—blaming California for causing the fires by mismanaging its forests and threatening to cut off federal funds.

FULL LOCAL ELECTION RESULTS

East County News Service

November 9, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – The County Registrar of Voters has posted results with 100% of precincts counted in all races, though some 465,000 late mail-in and provisional ballots remain to be tallied.

We've reported on the major races in East County, but with more than 52 districts on the ballot locally, plus numerous local ballot measures, it's impossible to cover them all. 

You can view results for all local races from water, fire and school boards to community planning groups and more at www.SDVote.com and click on election results.

MEASURE TO KEEP JULIAN-CUYAMACA FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT INDEPENDENT QUALIFIES FOR FUTURE BALLOT, BUT FIRE FEE HIKE FAILS

By Miriam Raftery

November 9, 2018 (Julian) – This week brought good news and bad news for Julian residents fighting to halt a county takeover of the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District and save the county’s last all-volunteer fire department.

A citizens’ protest petition seeking to reverse the vote by the Local Agency Formation Agency (LAFCO) to dissolve the fire district obtained enough signatures to qualify for a future ballot, the Registrar of Voters informed advocates this week.  That’s a tough hurdle, since the requirement is more than 50% of property owners in the district. 

“We did it! We are the only ones in the history of LAFCO to ever get this far!” Lori Foss, a supporter of the petition and survivor of the Cedar and Witch fires, stated in an email to East County Magazine on Election Day.

JUDGE KREEP OUSTED BY MATT BROWER

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Judge-elect Matt Brower at an Election Night party downtown

November 9, 2018 (San Diego) – Matt Brower has defeated incumbent San Diego Superior Court Judge Gary Kreep by a 59% to 41% margin. 

It’s rare for a sitting judge to be voted out of office. But Kreep was censured by the State Commission on Judicial Performance for 29 counts on judicial misconduct and running his courtroom in a biased manner, making derogatory comments about minorities, women attorneys, and people with cases before him. He came within one vote of being removed as a judge by the Commission for his misconduct

Brower is a deputy district attorney and judge advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. He was backed by the San Diego County Deputy Sheriff’s Association and other law enforcement groups, as well as by the San Diego County Democratic Party and also had cross-party support including Supervisor Dianne Jacob.

SCHOOL BOND MEASURES: MT. EMPIRE FAILING, SANTEE AND BORREGO PASSING

By Miriam Raftery

November 8, 2018 (San Diego's East County) -- Two East County school districts appear to have reached the 55% majority needed for passage, but a third failed to meet the mark, with 100% of precincts counted but some mail-in and provisional ballots still to be tallied.

TRUMP OUSTS ATTORNEY GENERAL SESSIONS, REMOVES ROSENSTEIN FROM OVERSIGHT OF MUELLER PROBE: PROTESTS TODAY SEEK TO PROTECT SPECIAL PROSECUTOR

 Protests against Whitaker takeover of Trump-Russia probe are slated at 5 p.m. today, including Ramona’s Collier Park  and federal courthouse downtown

By Miriam Raftery

November 8, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Critics are accusing President Donald Trump of obstructing justice after the President forced resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Washington Post reports. The removal of Sessions shits oversight of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Trump-Russia collusion to Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.

Sessions had recused himself from oversight of the special counsel probe due to conflict of interest laws, leaving Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in charge.  But with Sessions gone, Whittaker is now in charge of the investigation that he has long criticized.

CA BALLOT PROPOSITIONS: GAS TAX REPEAL AND RENT CONTROL MEASURES FAIL, BUT VOTERS APPROVE HOUSING BONDS, CAGE-FREE HENS AND ENDING DAYLIGHT SAVINGS

By Miriam Raftery

November 8, 2018 (Sacramento) – California voters will continue to pay a gas tax to fund repairs of roads and bridges, after Proposition 6, a ballot measure that would have repealed the tax, failed by a 55-45% margin. 

Prop 10, an effort to make it easier for cities to impose rent controls, failed by a whopping 62-38% vote. 

But voters approved ending daylight savings time, passing Prop 7 by a 60-40% margin.  Voters also passed Prop 1, approving bonds to fund affordable housing and housing for veterans by a 54-46% margin.

Below is a rundown on all 11 measures on the ballot (a 12th, Prop 9, was removed by a court due to constitutional concerns.)

JONES WINS OPEN STATE SENATE SEAT; INCUMBENTS REELECTED IN OTHER EAST COUNTY RACES

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Brian Jones, shown at Politics in Paradise, has returned to the Legislature

Update December 13, 2018:  In the final count, Jones won with 53% of the vote to 47% for Griffith, the closest margin in recent history for this district.

November 8, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Brian Jones, a familiar face in East County Politics, will be the new State Senator in the 38th State Senate District. Jones, a Republican former Assemblyman and current Santee City Councilman,  has defeated Cal Fire Captain Jeff Griffith a Democrat, by a 56 to 44 percent margin with 72% of precincts counted.

ANDERSON LEADS BY NARROW MARGIN IN BOARD OF EQUALIZATION RACE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 7, 2018 (San Diego) – Republican State Senator Joel Anderson is in a tight race for Board of Equalization seat 4.  The Secretary of State reports that overall in the race spanning five counties, Anderson leads 50.9% over Democrat Mike Schaeffer, who has 49.1%.   The real shocker is that in his home county, San Diego, Anderson has lost with just 47.7% of the vote to Schaeffer’s 52.3%.

DEMOCRATS CAPTURE HOUSE, BUT REPUBLICANS EXPAND CONTROL OF SENATE; 7 GOVERNSHIPS FLIP FROM RED TO BLUE

 

Update November 9, 2018:  An Arizona Senate race has flipped, with a Democrat now leading, reducing Republican gains to 2 seats if that holds.  A recount is also looming in Florida, where a Republican stlll leads.

By Miriam Raftery

 November 7, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Democrats flipped over 30 seats from red to blue nationwide, regaining control of the House of Representatives in Congress by a 223 to 200 margin.  Only 218 seats are needed for a majority in the 435-seat House, where a handful of races have not yet been decided.

In the Senate, by contrast, Republicans picked up three seats to boost their majority from 51 to 54 in the 100-seat body.

DEMOCRATS SWEEP STATEWIDE RACES AND GAIN VETO-PROOF MAJORITY IN LEGISLATURE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Governor-elect Gavin Newsom (file photo by Ron Logan)

November 7, 2018 (Sacramento) – Maintaining California’s reputation as the bluest state in the nation, Democrats won every statewide office and also regained a two-thirds, veto-proof majority in both houses of the State Legislature –with two votes to spare.

WOMEN WINNING IN LA MESA SPRING-VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD RACE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos, left to right:  Rebecca McRae, Charda Fontenot, and Megan Epperson

November 7, 2018 (La Mesa-Spring Valley) – Three seats are open in the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District due to three conservative Republicans stepping down.  Two slates have been vying for those seats and with 63% of precincts tallied, voters appear to have split among the conservative and reform slates. The common factor among the three currently in the lead is gender: all three are women in an election season that’s seen women winning races across the nation.

Teacher Rebecca McRae and lactation consultant/parent Charda Fontenot, both endorsed by the district’s teacher’s union and by the Democratic party in the official nonpartisan race, are currently in first and second place with 21.25% and 15.34%.  Megan Epperson, a parent backed by the Republican Party, has 15.19%.

FLETCHER AND DESMOND WIN SUPERVISOR RACES

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: left:  Nathan Fltecher toasts victory with champagne and a dance with his wife, Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher; right, Jim Desmond, new Supervisor whose district includes Borrego Springs and some inland mountain towns

November 7, 2018 (San Diego) – Due to term  limits, Supervisors Bill Horn and Ron Roberts are leaving office.

In the race to fill Roberts’ seat, former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher has defeated former District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis by a  65% to 35% margin with 69% of precincts counted, becoming only the second Democrat in three decades to serve on the County Board of Supervisors. Fletcher, formerly a Republican and independent; he is married to powerhouse Democratic Assemblywoman and former labor council leader Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher.

Bill Horn’s seat will be filled by San Marcos Mayor Jim Desmond, a Republican and part-time pilot for United Airlines. Desmond defeated Michelle Gomez, a Democrat and legislative analyst, by a 60/40 margin as of this morning’s tally. Horn’s district includes portions of northeast San Diego County include Borrego Springs, Warner Springs, Ranchita, Pauma Valley and Valley Center as well as north coastal communities. Desmond also serves on the San Diego Regional Association of Governments (SANDAG) the San Diego Regional Airport Authority, and the County Economic Development Corporation.

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