Politics

ZELT DROPS OUT, ENDORSES BILL WELLS IN RACE AGAINST HUNTER

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 8, 2018 (San Diego) – Andrew Zelt, a sergeant at the Sheriff’s Department, has withdrawn from the 50th Congressional District race and endorsed El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells.  On his Facebook page yesterday, Zelt posted this announcement:

REP. HUNTER GETS ENDORSEMENT OF STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 4, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-Alpine) has received endorsement of the California Republican party.  The GOP chose the incumbent Hunter over Republican challengers including El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, Sheriff’s sergeant Andrew Zelt, and businessman Shamus Sayed.  

REPS HUNTER AND PETERS SEEK TO BLOCK QUALCOMM TAKEOVER

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

March 1, 2018 (Washington D.C.) -- Following up on efforts last week to have the Trump Administration initiate a review of the proposed takeover of San Diego-based Qualcomm by Broadcom, Ltd, Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-50) sent a letter to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis requesting his personal and direct involvement before a shareholder meeting occurs on March 6.  Subsequently,  Congressman Scott Peters (D-52) joined the call to halt the merger.

DICK’S SPORTING GOODS TAKES AIM AT ASSAULT RIFLES

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 28, 2018 (San Diego) — While Congress remains paralyzed over gun control legislation, with the Republican leadership refusing to even allow a vote on measures to ban or restrict sales of military-style assault rifles used in many recent mass shootings, at least one major retailer has taken action on its own.

COMPANIES DROP TIES TO NRA

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 27, 2018 (San Diego) – Students in Parkland, Florida are taking aim at the proliferation of military-style assault weapons too often used to commit mass murder in schools—and they’re gaining some powerful allies. Major corporations have announced that they are dropping partnerships with the National Rifle Association, or NRA, in protest of the NRA’s opposition to reforms such as banning or limiting access to assault weapons.

STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY ENDORSES CAMPA-NAJJAR AND ELIA IN KEY EAST COUNTY RACES; DECLINES TO ENDORSE IN TOP STATEWIDE CONTESTS

STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY ENDORSES CAMPA-NAJJAR AND ELIA IN KEY EAST COUNTY RACES; DECLINES TO ENDORSE IN TOP STATEWIDE CONTESTS

By Miriam Raftery

February 26, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – At the California Democratic Convention held in San Diego over the weekend, an overwhelming 97 percent of delegates voted to endorse Ammar Campa-Najjar in the June primary race for the 50th Congressional District seat held by Congressman Duncan Hunter.  Campa-Najjar, a former Labor Department official with many local Democratic club endorsements, won the endorsement over former Navy Seal Josh Butner.

In other local Congressional races, the party endorsed incumbents Susan Davis, Juan Vargas and Scott Peters, but failed to reach consensus in an endorsement in the hotly contested 49th Congressional district seat left open by the retirement of Darrell Issa.

The state party also officially endorsed James Elia, who is running for the East County Assembly seat held by Republican Randy Voepel, as well as endorsing incumbents Shirley Weber and Ben Hueso in East County’s state Senate seats up for reelection in 2018.

The party decided to remain neutral, however, issuing no endorsement in several prominent statewide races including Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General as well as U.S. Senate.

That decision came as a rebuke to long-serving Senator Dianne Feinstein, who has served in the Senate for 25 years but now faces a challenge from Kevin De Leon, a state Senator from Los Angeles.  Critics contend that Feinstein hasn’t stood up forcefully enough against President Donald Trump’s policies, though as a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee she posed tough questions in the Trump Russia probe and has been a leading voice calling for restoring the assault weapons ban that she authored, which Congress allowed to expire. De Leon had sought to win endorsement, a rarity against an incumbent, but fell short of the 60 percent required.

With Governor Jerry Brown stepping down due to term limits, the gubernatorial primary race on the Democratic side of the aisle pits Gavin Newsom, current Lieutenant Governor and former San Francisco Mayor, against State Treasurer John Chiang, Assembly Speaker and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and Delaine Eastin, former Assembly member and past Superintendent of Public Instruction. For details on these candidates as well as Republican contenders, see http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-california-governor-list-2018-htmlstory.html.

The Lieutenant Governor seat is also open. Delegates gave 42 percent of votes to State Senator Ed Hernandez of Azusu and 41 percent to former Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis, with neither getting enough for a pre-primary endorsement.

State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is termed out of that office and is running for Attorney General against incumbent Xavier Becerra.  Jones got 56 percent to Becerra’s 42 percent, but still not enough to reach the 60 percent threshold required for a state party endorsement.

The party did issue these endorsements for other statewide offices:

Secretary of State: Alex Padilla

Treasurer: Fiona Ma

Controller: Betty Yee

Superintendent of Public Instruction: Tony Thurmond

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Ammar Campa-Najjar with supporters at state Democratic convention, via his Facebook page

February 26, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – At the California Democratic Convention held in San Diego over the weekend, an overwhelming 97 percent of delegates voted to endorse Ammar Campa-Najjar in the June primary race for the 50th Congressional District seat held by Congressman Duncan Hunter.  Campa-Najjar, a former Labor Department official with many local Democratic club endorsements, won the endorsement over former Navy Seal Josh Butner. 

Campa-Najjar, Butner and other contenders will face El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, a Republican, as well as embattled Congressman Hunter and potentially other challenges, with the filing deadling fast appraoching on March 9th. Hunter is viewed as vulnerable by many political experts due to the federal criminal investigation into allegations of misusing campaign funds for personal use and other controversies.

SUPREME COURT GIVES SAN DIEGO DREAMERS REPRIEVE FROM POSSIBLE DEPORTATION

 

By Chris Jennewein

Photo: U.S. Supreme Court, by D.B. King via Wikimedia Commons

Reprinted from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

February 26, 2018 (San Diego) -- San Diego’s estimated 45,000 Dreamers got a reprieve from possible deportation Monday when the Supreme Court refused to hear a Trump administration challenge.

The court declined to overrule a lower court’s action that temporarily blocked ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program on March 5.

The program, which allows immigrants brought to America illegally as children to live and work in the country, was terminated by President Trump last year, leaving it up to Congress to pass permanent protections.

SUPERVISOR JACOB OUTLINES GOAL FOR 2018 AT LA MESA CHAMBER BREAKFAST, REFLECTS ON HER DECADES OF SERVICE

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 24, 2018 (La Mesa) – In keeping with tradition, La Mesa Chamber of Commerce’s first breakfast speaker of the year was Supervisor Dianne Jacob, now serving her seventh and due to term limits, last term represented her district that encompasses virtually all of East County.

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE RESPONDS TO NEWS STORY ON ANCESTOR'S ALLEGED ACTIONS, AFFIRMS SUPPORT FOR PEACE IN MIDEAST

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 23, 2018 (San Diego) – Few family trees are without some bad apples.  But should the actions of an ancestor you never met haunt you if you decide to seek public office?

Ammar Campa-Najjar was born in America to a Catholic mother of Mexican descent and a Palestinian Muslim father. Now a Democratic candidate for Congress running for Rep. Duncan D. Hunter’s seat, his platform includes calling for a lasting peace in the Middle East that respects both Israelis and Palestinians.  

This week, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz ran a story headlined, Grandson of Munich Massacre Terrorist is Running For Congress – Sounding a Peaceful Tone on Israel. The story claims that Campa-Najjar’s grandfather was in the terrorist organization Black September that was responsible for killing Israeli Olympic competitors in Munich, and was later killed by Israeli security forces.

The newspaper also acknowledges that Campa-Najjar has rejected violence and won endorsements from San Diego rabbis,“winning praise from members of the local Jewish community for his moderate positions on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.”

SPRING VALLEY REVITALIZATION EFFORTS

 

By Jonathan Goetz

February 22, 2018 (Spring Valley) – Approximately 30 community members turned out at a meeting of the Spring Valley Revitalization Steering Committee Thursday, where Supervisor Dianne Jacob received an update from community and law enforcement.

The agenda covered a wide range of topics, from new parks and a community garden to  helping homeless youths and updates on community festivities.

CPUC PRESIDENT’S PROPOSAL TO CHARGE RURAL RATEPAYERS HIGHER RATES SPARKS ANGRY RESPONSES

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

Photo: Sunrise Powerlink high voltage lines in Lakeside, by Billy Ortiz

February 21, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) president Michael Picker has suggested that utilities be allowed to charge residents in high-fire risk areas higher rates for electricity.  The reason would be to cover costs of upgrades to prevent power lines from causing wildfires, including changes to meet tougher new fire safety rules approved by the CPUC in December, the San Francisco Chronicle reports

Picker’s proposal, made during a meeting on fire safety for utilities on January 31st, has sparked outraged responses among East County residents, planners, and County Supervisor Dianne Jacob.

EL CAJON MAYOR BILL WELLS ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR CONGRESS AGAINST INCUMBENT DUNCAN HUNTER

 

 

By Paul Kruze

Hear audio: http://www.mediafire.com/file/5a742c5cj30npzp/BillWellsCampaignAnnouncement.mp3

February 21, 2018 (El Cajon) – If San Diego’s East County politics aren’t complex enough, another chess piece got moved on Tuesday with El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells announcing his intention to run against the troubled 50th District Republican incumbent, Congressman Duncan D. Hunter. 

TRUMP TRIES TO ELIMINATE FUNDS FOR EARTHQUAKE EARLY WARNINGS

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

February 20, 2018 (San Diego) – Earthquake warning systems have been proven effective in Japan, Taiwan and Mexico, where residents received warnings ranging from a few seconds to a minute before major earthquakes struck. 

Even a short warning can be enough to save lives at hospitals, airports, power plants, schools and other locations.

MOMS AND ACTIVISTS RALLY FOR GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION OUTSIDE CONGRESSMAN HUNTER’S OFFICE

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo: Cheri Robertson and Vicki Shepperd Chin

February 20, 2018 (El Cajon) - Gun violence was at issue on Monday, President's Day, to protesters outside of Congressman Duncan D. Hunter Jr.'s office in El Cajon. Approximately 25 people showed up to hold signs and an American flag to protest Hunter's acceptance of National Rifle Association (NRA) money and his opposition to gun safety legislation.

SUPREME COURT LETS STAND CALIFORNIA’S WAITING TIME TO BUY GUNS

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

February 20, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear a challenge by gun rights advocates to California’s law requiring a 10-day cooling off period before buying a new gun. 

The CalGuns Foundation’s lawsuit contended that the waiting period violated the 2nd Amendment and was unreasonable, since it applied even to people who already owned other guns. A lower court agreed. However, an appeals court rejected those claims and the Supreme Court allowed the appellate decision upholding California’s law to stand.

STUDENTS LEAD CALL FOR GUN REFORMS, ANNOUNCE NATIONAL “MARCH FOR OUR LIVES” MARCH 24

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

Photo cc by Fabrice Florin

You can sign up to join or lead a march in your community at www.MarchForOurLives.com.

February 20, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida have a message for lawmakers and the national media in the wake of a mass shooting that killed 17 people on their campus last week.

LA MESA OFFICIALLY INVESTIGATES HELIX USE OF FORCE INCIDENT

 

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo: Barry Aninag, B.A.investigations, via Linked In

 

February 16, 2018 (La Mesa) – La Mesa's City Manager Yvonne Garrett and City Attorney Glenn Sabine signed an agreement today with Barry Aninag, B.A. Investigations, LLC, in connection with the January 19, 2018 use of force incident by a La Mesa Police school resource officer on a handcuffed female student at Helix Charter High School.

Aninag's LinkedIn profile states that Aninag is the owner of B.A. Investigations and is a “retired police executive after having served thirty years in law enforcement.”

13 RUSSIANS INDICTED BY SPECIAL PROSECUTOR MUELLER FOR INTERFERING IN 2016 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

By Miriam Raftery

February 16, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – It’s official:  Russia actively worked to sabotage American democracy and put Donald Trump in the White House.

Today, Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller released copies of indictments filed against 13 Russians and three Russian entities on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and other charges ranging from bank fraud to identity theft in their quest to violate laws that prohibit foreigners from spending money to influence U.S. elections.  Read the full indictment here.

The indictment language is damning, documenting how the Russian organization Internet Research Agency plotted “information warfare against the U.S.” paid for in Russian rubles at a budget of $1.25 million a month. 

Russians posing as Americans used social media to post positive information on Trump and negative information,  much of it false, disparaging other candidates opposing Trump including Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton.  They also organized pro-Trump and anti-Clinton marches and rallies in the U.S.

They were aided by at least 100 U.S. citizens and and communicated with members of the Trump campaign, the indictment makes clear, and funneled illegal contributions into electing Trump.  At least some of those contacts were "unwitting."

POLITICO REPORT: REP. HUNTER’S WIFE AT CENTER OF FBI INVESTIGATION; PROBE INCLUDES QUESTIONS OVER ALLEGED WOMANIZING AND HEAVY DRINKING

 

By Kendra Sitton

February 14, 2018 (Jamul) — The media has revealed new details on the F.B.I. investigation of an East County lawmaker, as well as his alleged behavior in Washington D.C. According to reports, the investigation is intensifying, as Representative Duncan Hunter’s parents and a female lobbyist have been subpoenaed in the improper spending probe. Fellow Republicans are reportedly worried about his election prospects.

SUPERVISORS REVERSE TRADITION, REFUSE TO HOLD EVENING MEETING ON BUDGET FOR WORKING PEOPLE TO ATTEND

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 13, 2018 (San Diego) – If you work days and can’t get time off, four of the five San Diego County Supervisors don’t believe you should have an opportunity to testify on the County’s proposed budget

“I don’t want to sit here at night,” Supervisor Bill Horn stated in response to a proposal by Supervisor Greg Cox to schedule a special evening meeting on the budget, which the County has done in the past.

TRUMP’S BUDGET BETRAYS CAMPAIGN PROMISES

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 13, 2018 (Washington D.C.) — On the campaign trail, Donald Trump promised to reduce the federal deficit and to protect those he called the “forgotten men and women of our country.” Specifically, he pledged not to cut Medicare, Medicaid and other programs that benefit middle-class families and the poor. Those promises now appear misleading, given the actual proposal in the President’s budget plan rolled out on Monday.

Trump’s $4 trillion proposed budget would increase the nation’s deficit by over $1 trillion.  It would increase military spending by over 14 percent, with military spending accounting for 59% of the entire federal budget, while cutting funds for nearly every other domestic program. That includes huge cuts to Medicare and Medicaid which benefit one-third of all Americans, the New York Times editorial board reports. 

How deep are the cuts?  

LA MESA TOWNHALL: RESIDENTS RAISE CONCERNS OVER HOMELESSNESS, TRAFFIC, AIRPLANE NOISE, AND USE OF FORCE AT HELIX HIGH

 

City to appoint independent investigator for use-of-force case by La Mesa Police officer on student at Helix Charter High

By Jonathan Goetz

February 11, 2018 (La Mesa) - La Mesa's City Council members heard from local residents in a lively townhall last week that filled Northmont Elementary School's auditorium. The townhall forum, unlike Council meetings, allows discussion back and forth among residents and Council members after residents speak out with concerns or praise.

BALLOT BREAKDOWN: THESE INITIATIVES ARE HEADED YOUR WAY

 

By Ben Christopher, CALmatters

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

February 11, 2018 (Sacramento) - Direct democracy can be an exhausting business.

This year civically engaged Californians will be expected to have informed opinions about affordable housing and park funding, how best to divvy up cap-and-trade money, how to spend the state’s new gas tax money, and when new voter-approved laws ought to be enacted.

And those are just the measures on the ballot so far.

“PROMISE ZONE” BILL BY HUESO AIMS TO HELP BLIGHTED RURAL AND TRIBAL AREA

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

February 10, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) -- Legislation introduced by State Senator Ben Hueso aims to expand a successful “promise zone” program originally used to improve inner city areas in the city of San Diego.  If enacted,  Senate Bill 635 would allow blighted rural and tribal communities as well as cities with populations under 200,000 people to also apply for promise zone designation.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY CANDIDATE TO SPEAK FEB. 15 IN SANTEE

 

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

February 8, 2018 (Santee) – Genevieve Jones-Wright, a candidate running for San Diego County District Attorney, will be the featured speaker at the East County Democratic Club’s meeting on February 15 at 7 p.m. at Jimmy’s Family Restaurant, 9635 Mission Gorge Road in Santee.

DEFIANT TRUMP REFUSES TO IMPOSE SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA PASSED BY CONGRESS; TRUMP LAWYERS SEEK TO BLOCK PRESIDENT FROM TALKING TO MUELLER ON RUSSIA PROBE

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 7, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – President Donald Trump has defied Congress, refusing to impose sanctions against Russia passed by Congress before Monday’s deadline.  The law required the President to sanction companies or individuals doing significant business with Russian defense and intelligence entities, moves that aimed to punish Russia for meddling in the U.S. presidential election including hacking into several U.S. states’ election systems.

ONLY ONE VOTER IN REP. DUNCAN HUNTER’S DISTRICT CONTRIBUTED TO HIS CAMPAIGN

 

By Doug Porter

Originally published in San Diego Free Press

Photo:  Duncan D., Donnie T, and Duncan L., via Facebook

February 5, 2018 (San Diego) -- Congressman Duncan D. Hunter’s dismal campaign finance reports have attracted national attention, and not in a good way. He raised a paltry $50,073 in the last three months of 2017 and spent $264,255, with $178,146 spent with five law firms. At the onset of 2018, the campaign had just $290,904 in the bank, less than half of what it did a year earlier.

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