Politics

FORMER FIRST LADY BARBARA BUSH, CHAMPION OF LITERACY CAUSES, DIES AT 92

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 17, 2018 (San Diego) – Former first lady Barbara Bush died today in her Houston home at age 92.  Wife of George H.W. Bush and mother of George W. Bush, she is only the second woman in history (after Abigail Adams) to have both a son and husband who served as president.

SANTEE ADOPTS DISTRICT ELECTIONS WITH MINTO-MADE MAP

 

By Mike Allen

 View full-size map B adopted by Council here.

 April 14, 2018 (Santee) -- Santee’s ongoing process of shifting from voting for their representatives by all city voters to a system of district elections took another step to reality last week when the council adopted a map made by Mayor John Minto and held the first reading instituting the change.

 Minto offered a map he drew that divides the city into four areas and with a close balance of some 13,000 people in each district. His motion also called for a change in the cycle of elections that results in two council seats being elected every four years starting in 2020. The mayor’s position will remain at large, or selected by all city voters.

 His motion, which was seconded by Councilman Ronn Hall, passed 3-2 with Council members Brian Jones and Rob McNelis opposed. The second reading and adoption of the law and the map is scheduled for April 25.

SAN DIEGO SHIP LAUNCHES CRUISE MISSILES IN SYRIA CHEMICAL WEAPONS ATTACK

 

By Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Navy photo: A Tomahawk cruise missile blasts off from a vertical launch tube on the USS

April 14, 2018 (San Diego) -- A San Diego-based destroyer was among four Navy vessels that fired dozens of cruise missiles early Saturday morning local time in the attack on Syrian chemical weapons sites.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins, which departed San Diego in November, was joined in the action by the Norfolk-based cruiser USS Monterey, destroyer USS Laboon and submarine USS John Warner.

RAMONA TEA’D CANDIDATES FORUM APRIL 28

 

 

East County News Service

April 13, 2018 (Ramona) – Conservative candidates will be participating in a candidates forum hosted by Ramona Tea’d on Saturday, April 28 at 11:30 at the Ramona Mainstage, 626 Main Street in Ramona.

Twelve candidates for Sheriff, Judge, State Assembly, State Senate and Congress were invited.  Confirmed participants so far include Judge Gary Kreep, Vicky Rothman, Tom Palzer, Dr. Robert Newman, and Larry Wilske. Other invitees include John Cox, Travis Allen, Rep. Duncan Hunter, Bill Wells, Brian Jones, Judge Herbert Exarhos, and Steven Bailey.

You’re invited to bring your questions and comments. Doors open at 11 a.m.

BILL TO KEEP SENIORS AND DISABLED RESIDENTS IN THEIR HOMES PASSES COMMITTEE; SB 1130 ADDS MOBILHOMES TO PROPERTY TAX RELIEF PROGRAM

 

East County News Service

April 11, 2018 (Sacramento) -- Legislation authored by Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) that will help keep California senior, blind and disabled residents in their homes if and when they encounter financial difficulties passed from the Senate Governance and Finance Committee earlier today with strong bipartisan support.

FBI RAID ON PRESIDENT’S LAWYER RAISES STAKES IN MUELLER PROBE

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 11, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Prominent Republicans are speaking out to debunk claims made by President Donald Trump after the FBI raided the office and home of Trump’s long-time attorney Donald Cohen this week under orders of the U.S. Attorney’s office.

SPEAKER RYAN TO STEP DOWN AFTER ELECTION

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 11, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – House Speaker Paul Ryan has announced that he will not seek reelection, the Washington Post reports. 

Some political pundits have speculated that predictions that Democrats may take back control of Congress after the November mid-term elections could have been a factor in Ryan’s decision.

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL GETS DOWN TO WORK; ACCEPTS MAJOR DONATION BY PETSMART FOR NEW ANIMAL SHELTER

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

April 7, 2018 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon City Council members temporarily set aside their differences and got down to work Tuesday in what some say was one of their most productive sessions in recent months.

MEDIA WATCH: SINCLAIR STEPS UP PROPAGANDA BROADCASTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 4, 2018 (San Diego) – Free press advocates and some anchors at Sinclair Broadcast Group are raising objections to Orwellian scripts that Sinclair is forcing its news anchors nationwide to read, including scripts denouncing “false news” that “national media outlets are publishing.”

SANTEE MOVES RELUCTANTLY TO ADOPT DISTRICT ELECTIONS

 

 

 

Today is last day to submit a map for final consideration at next Council meetings

By Mike Allen

 April 4, 2018 (Santee) -- Like it or not, and all five council members absolutely do not, Santee is adopting a system of district elections in advance of this November.

 Starting in late January, the council has been holding public hearings and soliciting comments about how boundary lines dividing the city into four quadrants should be drawn.

LA MESA GREEN LIGHTS, LEMON GROVE RED LIGHTS DISPENSARY APPLICATIONS

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo: Angeles Nelson (left) opposed the dispensary in Lemon Grove, while Kathleen Harmon (right) supported it

April 4, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) -- La Mesa will have its first legal medical marijuana dispensary, after a unanimous vote of approval by the City Council on March 27. An appeal challenging the approval was rejected.

By contrast, the Lemon Grove City Council voted to deny an application for a dispensary due to proximity to a daycare center.  No dispensaries have yet opened in Lemon Grove though at least two have met zoning requirements and are now advancing through the conditional use permit process.

 

Both Councils took the actions recommended by staff in implementing laws established by voter-approved initiatives. At issue in each is the date of completion.

JULIAN CANDIDATE FORUM APRIL 5 TO INCLUDE CANDIDATES FOR ASSEMBLY, SHERIFF, D.A. AND JUDGE

 

East County News Service

April 2, 2018 (Julian) – The public is invited to “Meet the Candidates” on Thursday, April 5th from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Julian Town Hall.  The forum is hosted by Julian Indivisible, a progressive political organization.  Candidates confirmed to appear include Dave Myers for Sheriff, James Elia for State Assembly, Genevieve Jones Wright for District Attorney, and Matt Brower for Judge.

You’re encouraged to bring questions to ask the candidates. Voter registration will also be available at this event.  For more information, contact julianindivisible@gmail.com.

EAST COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MEMBERS TO DIALOGUE WITH ERNEST DRONENBURG ON APRIL 10

 

East County News Service

April 2, 2018 (El Cajon) – The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce’s next “Dine and Dialogue with Elected Officials” event on Tuesday, April 10 will feature Ernest J. Dronenburg Jr., San Diego County Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk.

JUDGE DISMISSSES SUIT OVER CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES FOR DISPLAYING A PRIDE FLAG OUTSIDE FEDERAL OFFICES

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 30, 2018 (San Diego) – A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against several members of Congress, including Susan Davis (D-San Diego) for displaying a rainbow gay pride flag outside her offices.  U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss rejected arguments by the plaintiff, Chris Sevier, who had argued that displaying the flag amounted to establishment of a religion and thus violated the establishment clause of the constitution.

CRITICISM MOUNTS OF ARAMBULA AND LEMON GROVE LEADERS AFTER DISCLOSURE OF ASSAULT CLAIM BY DISPENSARY ADVOCATE

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 27, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – Christopher Williams, the medical marijuana dispensary advocate who has filed a claim against Lemon Grove detailed an alleged assault by Councilman David Arambula, is speaking out to dispute Arambula’s self-defense claim.

Williams also contends that city staff stalled his applications for multiple dispensaries by claiming not to have received results of a Department of Justice screening of all applicants, when e-mails from the DOJ indicate the results were sent to the city earlier.

Arambula is also drawing criticism from current and former councilmembers for failing to disclose the scuffle that sent Williams to a hospital for treatment of significant injuries including a fractured rib, gash on his face and bite marks on his arm. Mayor Racquel Vasquez is named as a potential witness in Williams claim, along with Taisha Brown, a Democratic Party activist, but both have declined to speak with media.  Some members of the council contend they were kept in the dark by Arambula and Vasquez about the violent altercation even when voting on dispensary applications submitted by Williams for Pick Axe Holdings, LLC.

12 STATES TO SUE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION OVER CENSUS QUESTION ON CITIZENSHIP

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 28, 2018 (San Diego) – The U.S. Commerce Department has announced that it will ask a question on citizenship status during the 2020 Census. The question was removed from the Census back in 1950, but Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross claims that the change will permit “more effective enforcement” of the Voting Rights Act. But critics contend the move will instead diminish minority representation in Congress.

The Constitution, in fact, requires that every resident be counted in the census every 10 years, whether or not they are citizens.  The results are used not only to determine how many Congressional districts each state will have, but also the amount of federal grants and subsidies that will be provided.  If minorities fail to participate for fear of answering a citizenship question, California and areas such as San Diego County with high minority populations and areas with high poverty rates could lose billions of dollars in federal funds.

TRUMP SUED FOR VIOLATING CONSTITUTION’S EMOLUMENTS CLAUSE

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 28, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – The attorneys generals of Maryland and Washington D.C. have filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump, alleging that he is violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution.  The emoluments clause prohibits federal official from becoming personally enriched by accepting gifts, titles or emoluments from any “King, Prince or foreign state.

LEMON GROVE SETTLES SUIT ALLEGING RETALIATION AND FREE SPEECH VIOLATIONS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Updated March 31 with Councilman Jones' comments.

March 26, 2018 (Lemon Grove) -- Last week, many Lemon Grove residents were surprised to hear a citizen speaking during public comment at a City Council meeting reveal that the city had settled a case  filed by a former contracted city worker.  The worker alleged that Councilman Jerry Jones and City Manager Lydia Romero violated his free speech rights and retaliated against him for comments he’d posted on social media criticizing Jones.

East County Magazine has obtained a copy of the settlement and release agreement from the city in response to a public records request.

LEMON GROVE COUNCIL HEARS UPDATES ON CRIME AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE TIMES, COMPLAINTS OVER CASES AGAINST COUNCILMEMBERS

 

 

By Jonathan Goetz

March 22, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – Crime rates, emergency response times, and controversies involving Council members embroiled in multilpe claims against the City were among the issues raised during Tuesday’s Lemon Grove City Council meeting.

TRUMP’S WILDLIFE CONSERVATION COUNCIL PROMOTES TROPHY HUNTING

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 21, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – President Trump is drawing fire from wildlife protection groups for launching a “wildlife conservation council” with a mission to promote big-game trophy hunting, not preserve wildlife, Mother Jones magazine reports.

SAN DIEGO LEGISLATOR BECOMES FIRST WOMAN TO LEAD STATE SENATE

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 21, 2018 (San Diego) – San Diego State Senator Toni Atkins this week became the first woman to lead California’s State Senate, as well as the first gay or lesbian person to hold the legislature’s highest office. Atkins previously served as Speaker of the Assembly.

AS RUSSIAN PROBE WIDENS, SO DO CREDIBILITY GAPS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 20, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – In direct conflict to warnings from top U.S. intelligence agency representatives, The House Intelligence Committee’s Republican majority shut down its investigation and  issued an overview of its report which concluded that Russia’s election hacking and social media attacks were merely intended to cause discord, not help Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election.  The GOP report also concluded that that it found no “evidence of coordination, collusion or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russians. “

CANDIDATE'S SUGGESTION OF MILITARY SERVICE AS CONGRESSIONAL QUALIFICATION SPARKS CONTROVERSY

 

By Chris Jennewein

Originally published in Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

March 20, 2018 (San Diego) - Democratic Congressional Candidate Josh Butner‘s suggestion in an interview that military service should be a requirement to run for national office sparked a controversy Monday.

KEY FARMING ISSUES HIGHLIGHTED AT COMMUNITY EVENT SPONSORED BY INDIVISIBLE RAMONA

 

By Joyce Strand

Photo from left to right: Democratic candidate for Congress Ammar Campa-Najjar, Republican candidate for Congress Shamus Sayed, Luawanna Hallstrom and Warren Bacon.

March 15, 2018 (Ramona) - The topics of water, farm labor, and NAFTA dominated presentations at Indivisible Ramona’s second community meeting to understand issues of importance to San Diego County, held at the Ramona Library Community Room on February 27th.

LEMON GROVE COUNCILMAN DISPUTES ASSAULT CLAIM, SAYS HE ACTED IN SELF DEFENSE

 

Updated March 17. 2018 with photos of Williams' injuries and quote from his wife, courtesy of Candid Chronicle.

By Miriam Raftery

March 14, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – Last week, the San Diego Reader published an article revealing that a claim has been filed against the City of Lemon Grove by Christopher Williams.  Williams, who has applied to open medical marijuana dispensaries in the city, seeks punitive damages and medical costs resulting from what he alleges was an assault by Councilman David Arambula. Now Councilman Matt Mendoza is calling for an investigation.

TRUMP BASHES BROWN IN VISIT TO BORDER WALL

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Frank Gormlie, San Diego Free Press

March 14, 2018 (San Diego) – In a visit to San Diego on Monday, President Donald Trump toured prototypes of a border wall in Otay Mesa.  Hundreds of protesters turned out, San Diego Free Press reports, at the border as well as downtown. 

Trump supporters also came to greet the president including rallies by the anti-immigrant organization San Diegans for Secure Borders, a group led by former San Diego Minutemen organizer Jeff Schwilk.

TRUMP BLOCKS QUALCOMM TAKEOVER

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 13, 2018 (San Diego) – President Donald Trump has blocked a takeover of Qualcomm by Singapore-based Broadcom, which would have been the biggest technology merger in history.

In a a presidential order, Trump cited “credible evidence” that if Broadcom acquired Qualcomm, the foreign corporation “might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.”

TRUMP FIRES SECRETARY OF STATE AFTER TILLERSON CRITICIZES RUSSIA

 

 

Photos, left to right: Rex Tillerson, Mike Pompeo, and Gina Haspel

By Miriam Raftery

March 13, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – President Donald Trump has fired Secretary of State Ralph Tillerson, naming Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Mike Pompeo as his replacement and Gina Haspel, Deputy CIA Director, to replace Pompeo.  Both nominees have controversial backgrounds and will require Senate confirmation.

Tillerson’s ouster comes less than 48 hours after Tillerson blamed Russia for the poisoning of a Russian spy in Britain with a powerful neurotoxin. 

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