Politics

TERM LIMITS INITIATIVE FOR SUPERVISORS REACHES SIGNATURE GOAL FOR JUNE BALLOT

 

November 16, 2009 (San Diego) – Organizers of an initiative to require term limits for San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors will hold a press conference tomorrow to announce that they have gathered approximately 120,000 signatures—far more than the 77, 587 required to qualify for the June ballot, East County Magazine has learned.

“We know that the signatures are good, because they’ve been verified by the Registrar as they’ve been collected,” Evan McLaughlin, spokesman for the campaign, told East County Magazine this evening.

ECM'S HEALTHCARE REFORM BILL ANALYSIS : WHO WILL BE COVERED--AND HOW WLL IT IMPACT YOU?

COSTS, DIFFERENCES BETWEEN KEY REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC PLANS ALSO WEIGHED
 

November 8, 2009 (Washington D.C.) –H.R. 3962, The Affordable Health Care for America Act approved Saturday by the House of Representatives is widely deemed the most significant social reform since the enactment of Social Security and Medicaid. The bill will next be considered by the Senate. While much media coverage has focused on a public option (i.e., giving qualifying consumers a choice between private healthcare and a government-run system) the bill in fact has many other provisions that, if enacted, will impact nearly everyone in America.

Last-minute amendments, media spin (and in some cases, outright fibs) have many confused about what’s actually in the bill. How will it affect you, what will it cost, and how does the Democratic-backed bill passed by the House compare with alternatives proposed by Republicans? East County Magazine has consulted a wide variety of sources on the left and right as well as nonpartisan fact-checking outlets, government analysts, and major media outlets to provide you with as many answers as we could find.

BREAKING NEWS: HOUSE PASSES LANDMARK HEALTHCARE BILL; LOCAL REPRESENTATIVES DIVIDED

 

November 8, 2009 (Washington D.C.) - The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Affordable Healthcare for All Act last night by a 220-215 margin.  Local Democratic representatives Bob Filner and Susan Davis voted for the landmark measure, while local Republicans Duncan Hunter, Darrell Issa and Brian Bilbray voted no. 

 

In the House, only a single Republican (Joseph Cao of New Orleans) voted for the measure.  In addition, 39 Democrats voted no, including representatives from conservative districts as well as some liberal members.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT’S IN THE HEALTHCARE BILL? TOP 14 PROVISIONS THAT WOULD TAKE EFFECT IMMEDIATELY

 

October 31, 2009 (Washington D.C.) – Many Americans are not aware that The Affordable Health Care for America Act now before Congress has many provisions to help people afford healthcare costs right away. A public option (or choice between government-run healthcare and private insurance) if passed would take time to set up. This week, Speaker Nancy Pelosi released this list of the top 14 provisions that would kick in immediately:

1. BEGINS TO CLOSE THE MEDICARE PART D DONUT HOLE — Reduces the donut hole by $500 and institutes a 50% discount on brand-name drugs, effective January 1, 2010.

2. IMMEDIATE HELP FOR THE UNINSURED UNTIL EXCHANGE IS AVAILABLE (INTERIM HIGH-RISK POOL) — Creates a temporary insurance program until the Exchange is available for individuals who have been uninsured for several months or have been denied a policy because of pre-existing conditions.

AN EVENING WITH GEORGE MCGOVERN: NOV. 4 IN LA MESA

 

October 30, 2009 (La Mesa)--Former Democratic Presidential candidate George McGovern will speak at the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club on Wednesday, November 4. McGovern will discuss his latest book, "Abraham Lincoln" as well as current topics.

Besides running for President in 1972 against Richard Nixon, McGovern also served as a U.S. Senator and two-term Congressman, as well as the food and agricultural ambassador to the United Nations.

LA MESA BANS ALCOHOL IN ALL PUBLIC PLACES WITHOUT A PERMIT

By Miriam Raftery

October 28, 2009 (La Mesa) – At last night’s La Mesa City Council meeting, it came as a surprise to many in the audience to learn that alcohol consumption has been prohibited in City parks since 1991. Last night Council voted 5-0 to extend that ban to all public places including City streets, curbs, and sidewalks—drawing praise from some and criticism from others.
 

WHERE DOES YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE STAND ON HEALTHCARE REFORM?

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

October 18, 2009 – The House and Senate are grappling with several versions of major healthcare reform measures that could dramatically transform our nation’s healthcare system. Four of the five measures would include a public option, which give Americans a choice between private health insurance or opting for coverage under a government-run system similar to Medicare.

Where do your Congressional and Senate representatives stand? All have now taken a firm position either for or against the public option. Here are statements directly from San Diego County’s five Congressional representatives and California’s two U.S. Senators. If you wish to contact your Congressman or Senator to voice your views, you can find their contact information in our Citizens Action Center.

BILBRAY AMENDMENT TO SUPPORT INNOVATION IN FUEL-EFFICIENT VEHICLES PASSES HOUSE

Poway’s Aptera among companies that will benefit from measure

October 18, 2009 (Washington D.C) .--The United States House of Representatives passed a bi-partisan measure led by North County Congressman Brian Bilbray (R-CA) and Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) that will expand production of domestic fuel-efficient vehicles.

 

The amendment, included in the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act (H.R. 3183) which passed by a 308-114 vote, would expand the type of cars eligible for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Incentive Program so that new companies and designs can compete on an even playing field with more traditional automakers.

ASSEMBLY JOBS COMMITTEE TO HOLD HEARING IN SAN DIEGO MONDAY ON STATE EFFORTS TO HELP SMALL BUSINESSES

 

October 18, 2009 (San Diego) -- On Monday, October 19, members of the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy, including Chairperson V. Manuel Pérez (D-Coachella), Marty Block (D-San Diego) and Mary Salas (D-Chula Vista) will hold a hearing and press conference in San Diego. Both focus on small business development during the recession and state efforts to support small businesses during the  economic recovery.

GOVERNOR SIGNS FIVE KEHOE BILLS INTO LAW

SACRAMENTO – Sen. Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) announced today that Gov. Schwarzenegger recently signed five of her bills into law, including ones dealing with redevelopment funds, solar energy, and hybrid vehicles.

 

“I’m grateful for the governor’s support of these bills that will improve the quality of life for Californians,” Kehoe said. “Government can work for the people, and I think the public will see that with these new laws.”

GOVERNOR VETOES BILL TO INCREASE FIRE PROTECTION

AB 666 WOULD HAVE REQUIRED COUNTIES TO ENSURE THAT FIREFIGHTING SERVICES EXIST BEFORE APPROVING NEW BUILDING SUBDIVISIONS

October 13, 2009 (Sacramento)--Governor Arnold Scharzenegger has vetoed legislation by Assemblymember Dave Jones (D-Sacramento) to require counties to ensure that adequate fire protection exists before approving new subdivisions in high fire hazard areas.

“I am very disappointed that the Governor chose to ignore the safety of firefighters and residents in very high risk areas,” said Jones, a candidate for state Insurance Commissioner. “My bill simply required counties to make sure there is adequate local fire protection before approving new subdivisions in high fire risk areas. This legislation would have avoided putting the lives of firefighters and the lives and property of homeowners at risk.”

HOUSE PASSES FILNER'S BILL TO SECURE TIMELY FUNDING FOR VETERANS’ HEALTH CARE

 

2ND BILL TO BUILD MORE V.A. CLINICS ALSO APPROVED

 

October 11, 2009 (Washington D.C.)– On Thursday, the House of Representatives approved an amendment to H.R. 1016, a bill to secure timely funding for veterans’ health care delivered through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

“Today, the House of Representatives took action to respond to years of chronic underfunding of VA medical care,” said Congressman Bob Filner (D-San Diego), Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs and author of the bill. “Over the last 23 years, 20 VA budgets have been passed late – and our veterans pay the price with fewer doctors, longer waiting times, and more restricted access for the 6 million veterans using VA health care."

BOXER SECURES FUNDING FOR KEY INVESTMENTS IN CA

Agriculture Spending Bill Includes $6 Million for California Sought by Boxer'

Projects Range From Food Safety to Water Efficiency

October 8, 2009 (Washington D.C.) -- The U.S. Senate today passed the Agriculture Appropriations conference report, which includes more than $6 million requested by U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) for key investments throughout California.

 

Senator Boxer said, “This crucial funding will not only help our state’s farmers and ranchers, but it will also help protect our state’s $32 billion agriculture economy. I am so pleased that this bill makes critical investments to protect consumers by safeguarding public health and growers from economic losses due to pests and food-borne illness outbreaks. I look forward to watching President Obama sign this bill into law.”

 

The bill also includes $350 million in emergency funding to help struggling dairy producers.

LA MESA TO VOTE TUESDAY ON “HEALTHY EATING, ACTIVE LIVING” RESOLUTION FOR CITY

New measure follows city’s recent award for excellence in community health and wellness programs
 

community gardenOctober 9, 2009 (La Mesa) – A whopping 60% of La Mesa 5th, 7th and 9th grade students sampled and over half of all adults in California are overweight or obese, putting them at risk for stroke, high blood pressure, or other serious medical problems. To combat obesity, the League of California Cities has adopted a resolution encouraging cities to embrace policies that foster healthier lifestyles and communities, including a healthy diet and exercise.

On Tuesday, La Mesa’s City Council will consider whether to adopt the measure which calls for a redevelopment plan that would include community gardens, design plans to make La Mesa more accessible via bicycles and walking, improve access to fresh foods, and more. The proposed resolution also calls for promotion of employee wellness and urges the City to set an example for other area businesses by establishing an employee wellness program. Read the full text of the resolution here.

STATE LAUNCHES PROBE OF ANDERSON FINANCES; CASE PROMPTS CALL FOR CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM

By Miriam Raftery
 

October 8, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)—The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has launched an investigation into allegations that Assemblyman Joel Anderson’s campaign may have received funds funneled illegally through the Fresno County Republican Central Committee. (Read details.) Anderson (R-Alpine) has announced plans to run for the State Senate.

The news sparked heated comments from Simon Mayeski, a state board member of Common Cause, a citizens watchdog organization committed to holding government officials accountable for their actions and encouraging citizen participation. “It is extremely discouraging that the constant need to raise campaign dollars now places Joel Anderson, my very own Assembly representative, under the investigative eye of the FPPC,” Mayeski, a San Diego resident, told East County Magazine. “It is even worse that he is under investigation because of the Commission’s own decision, and not by complaint of another politician.”

ANDERSON BILL TO PROTECT HOMEOWNERS FROM FORECLOSURE AWAITS GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

October 8, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)—AB 1046, authored by Assemblyman Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) has passed both houses of the Legislature unanimously and is now on the Governor’s desk. If enacted, would protect homeowners from having their home seized by creditors as payment for debt that is unrelated to their mortgage.

 

“Hard times can fall on anyone and it is important to have basic legal protections for their greatest investment - their life savings,” Anderson said.

WHITMAN CLAIMS SACRAMENTO BEE DISTORTED HER VOTING RECORD

October 5, 2009 (Sacramento) – Last week, the Sacramento Bee published an article stating that Meg Whitman, Republican candidate for Governor, did not register to vote in the past 28 years. Initially, Whitman responded by stating that her voting record was “inexcusable,” adding, “I failed to register and vote on numerous occasions throughout my life. That is simply wrong and I have taken responsibility for my mistake."

Today, however, the Whitman campaign has issued a press release accusing the Sacramento Bee of distorting her voting record and asking the newspaper to correct the record. Whitman “clearly remembers voting on multiple occasions, including the 1984 and 1988 presidential elections,” the release states. The release also asserts that the San Francisco registrar has no records for voters prior to 1992—and that the registrar could not produce voting records before 1992 for Senator Diane Feinstein or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, either.

USDA OFFERS HELP TO FARMERS & RANCHERS IN SAN DIEGO & IMPERIAL COUNTIES

 

October 5, 2009 (Washington D.C.) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently designated San Diego and Imperial counties as part of a contiguous natural disaster area due to drought that began January 1, 2009, and continues. Farmers have eight months from the date of the USDA declaration – September 17, 2009 – to apply for assistance to help cover their losses.

 

“I am pleased that the USDA is acknowledging the hardship and heavy financial burden suffered by our farmers and ranchers due to water scarcity,” said Congressman Bob Filner (D-San Diego). “This declaration is a starting point to provide assistance, as the state and federal authorities work to ensure stable water supply.”

HUNTER ANNOUNCES FUNDING STEP TO INCREASE SAN DIEGO’S WATER SUPPLY—BUT VOTED “NO” ON BILL

By Miriam Raftery

October 5, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) issued a press release announcing that the House of Representatives passed a conference report on H.R. 3183, the fiscal Year 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations Act. The legislation includes $120,000—funding secured by Congressman Hunter, according to the release, to perform a feasibility study of the water system in San Diego County and determine an approach to connect under-utilized reservoirs.

There’s just one problem: Hunter voted “no” on adoption of that conference report on October 1st, according to the roll call vote published in the Washington Post.

TWO CANDIDATES FOR STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION SHARE VIEWS ON STRENGTHENING EDUCATION SYSTEM IN CALIFORNIA

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

October 5,2009 (San Diego)—“Our schools have been left to fall to the bottom of rankings in the nation,” Tom Torlakson told delegates at the San Diego Grassroots Convention in San Diego on September 26th. “In the early ‘70s, we were the best in the nation.”

Gloria Romero, also running for the state’s top education spot, also issued a call to turn around California’s underperforming schools. “It’s shameful that California leads the nation in drop-outs,” she said. “Let’s put education at the top of the Democratic agenda.” She called education “the civil rights issue of our time.” She added, “My mother had a sixth grade education. I have a PhD. That’s the power of education to turn around a life…We spend more on prisons to locok up people than we do on educating our students.”

DEMOCRATIC CLUB RETURNS TO SPRING VALLEY-LEMON GROVE

 

Candidates for Attorney General and Insurance Commissioner Spoke at Festive Gathering

 

September 30, 2009 (Lemon Grove) – Dozens of people packed into the Por Favor Restaurant in Lemon Grove Friday night to celebrate the community’s newly formed Spring Valley-Lemon Grove Democratic Club. The new club hosted an impressive array of guest speakers, including two candidates for statewide offices: Attorney General and Insurance Comissioner. The group’s next meeting is slated for Thursday, October 1st. .

“Valley Grove is back,” Lemon Grove Councilman George Gastil proclaimed, referring to the area’s former Democratic Club, which disbanded several years ago. But victories by President Barack Obama and local Democratic candidates have revived a surge of interest in Democratic Clubs countywide, prompting Gastil to organize the new club.

JERRY BROWN ADDRESSES DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION IN SAN DIEGO; ATTORNEY GENERAL CALLS FOR REFORMS, HINTS AT THROWING HAT IN RING FOR GOVERNOR’S RACE

By Miriam Raftery
 

September 27, 2009 (San Diego) – “Our state is in trouble,” former Governor and current Attorney General Jerry Brown said at the San Diego Grassroots Democratic Convention here yesterday. Massive deficits coupled with tax revenues drying up are crippling education and public safety, Brown suggested during his speech and in an interview with East County Magazine.

Touted as a likely contender to run for Governor next year, Brown stopped short of declaring his candidacy. He urged voters to ask, “Who in their mind wants to be the next Governor?” Then Brown, 71, quipped, “You want somebody who has no future.”

TRIO OF REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR CANDIDATES ADDRESS STATE GOP CONVENTION

  Whitman takes heat for failure to vote for nearly 3 decades

By Miriam Raftery
 

September 27, 2009 (Indian Wells) – Three Republican candidates vying for the California governorship offered contrasting views on how to revive the state’s ailing economy—and lobbed some pointed barbs at each other at this weekend’s state Republican convention.
 

BILL TO EXTEND UMPLOYMENT BENEFITS PASSES HOUSE

 

4 San Diego Congressional representatives vote “aye”; Hunter votes “no”

 

September 24, 2009 (Washington D.C.)—San Diego Democrats Bob Filner and Susan Davis joined with Republicans Brian Bilbray and Darrell Issa in voting  to stimulate the local economy and provide stability to American families by extending unemployment insurance benefits to those hit hardest by the recession. Rep. Duncan Hunter, who represents most of East County, voted against the bill.

 

The Unemployment Compensation Act of 2009 (HR 3548) will provide immediate assistance, extending relief to the estimated 314,000 workers who would otherwise exhaust their unemployment benefits by the end of September, and one million more whose benefits would run out by the end of the year.

ANDERSON BILL ON GOVERNOR’S DESK WOULD MAKE WORK PERMITS EASIER FOR HOME-SCHOOLED AND CHARTER SCHOOL STUDENTS TO OBTAIN

September 25, 2009 (Sacramento)--Assembly Bill 66, authored by Assemblyman Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) has passed the Legislature unanimously and is now on the Governor’s desk.

The bill changes the way schools issue student work permits, giving control over the process to local educators who can best to protect students’ grades,” said Assemblyman Anderson.

Pages