Politics

CONGRESSWOMAN DAVIS CRITICIZES DEVOS FOR ROLLING BACK PROTECTIONS FOR SURVIVORS OF CAMPUS SEXUAL ASSAULTS

 

 

East County News Service

September 4, 2018 (San Diego) — Last week, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos sent a letter to college campuses reversing a campus sexual assault policy established by President Obama.  DeVos’ action would bolster the rights of those accused of sexual assault and reduce liability for colleges and universities, as the New York Times reported.

ON LABOR DAY WEEKEND, TRUMP TAKES ANTI-LABOR ACTIONS

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 3, 2018 (Washington D.C.) -- President Donald Trump started the Labor Day weekend by issuing an executive order cancelling a modest 2.1% pay raise for federal workers, and ended the weekend Monday by denouncing Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest labor union.

The President did Tweet, “The Worker in America is doing better than ever before. Celebrate Labor Day!” But his administration has taken a string of  actions to undermine the wellbeing of workers taken since Trump took office.

BENCH WARRANT ISSUED FOR ARREST OF JESSICA KALASHO

 

 

Judge issues warrant because of no-show by Councilman’s wife at key court hearing

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

September 1, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Life got way more complicated on Friday for Jessica Kalasho, wife of embattled El Cajon City Council member Ben Kalasho.

Jessica Kalasho was scheduled to appear on Friday morning at a judgement debtor’s conference in San Diego Superior Court, however she was a no-show--much to the dismay of presiding Judge Timothy B. Taylor and attorney Jimmie Parker. Parker is representing three contestants who participated in a beauty pageant put on by the Kalashos in 2017 and the owners of an El Cajon taco shop. Plaintiffs allege sexual harassment, fraud and defamation by the Kalashos.

TV AD HAMMERS HUNTER ON INDICTMENTS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 2, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – A new TV ad takes aim at Republican Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, who has been indicted on criminal corruption charges along with his wife. View it here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSPbbLKlQug&feature=youtu.be

“Every citizen has a responsibility to read this indictment. Forty-seven pages of  corruption and greed. Duncan Hunter Jr. stealing campaign funds for lavish vacations and gifts, defrauding wounded warriors, insulting our military,” states the ad funded by Hunter’s opponent, Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar.  

CANDIDATES TURN OUT AT POLITICS IN PARADISE

 

 

Photos:  East County Chamber President Eric Lutz and three fresh faces running for local offices:  Laura Koval for Santee City Council, Teresa Rosiak-Profitt for both Lemon Grove Council and Grossmont-Cuyamaca school board, and Jeff Griffith for State Senate.

By Miriam Raftery

September 1, 2018 (El Cajon)—Some 20 candidates and public officials flocked to “Politics in Paradise” hosted by several local chambers of commerce Thursday night at the Water Conservation Garden.

This year, the format did not include a panel discussion or questions, but rather guests had the opportunity to speak one-on-one with candidates. Each candidate also had 30 seconds to introduce themselves, with moderator Barry Jantz indicating any who ran over would get the “hook.”  Most gave just the basics – name, what they’re running for and how to find them – though a few managed to get some zingers in.

SEN. JOEL ANDERSON ACCUSED OF MAKING VERBAL THREAT TO LOBBYIST AT SACRAMENTO RESTAURANT

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

August 31, 2018 (San Diego's East County) --Long-time East County politician Joel Anderson (R-Alpine), likely didn’t intend to end his tenure in the California State Senate with accusations that he recently made a threat to strike a female lobbyist at the Diplomat Steakhouse Restaurant, across the street from the state Capitol in Sacramento.

Anderson, who is running for State Board of Equalization now that he is termed-out in the Senate, denies making a threat and says his words were misunderstood in a noisy restaurant.

Lobbyist Stephanie Roberson with the California Nurses Association has filed a complaint with the Senate Rule Committee. Another lobbyist who witnessed the incident said that Anderson approached Roberson to complain that the group didn’t endorse him. He allegedly made harassing comments about Roberson’s appearance and then said, “You better shut up before I bitch slap you.”

FACT CHECK: KALASHO FALSELY CLAIMS CREDIT FOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF OTHERS ON HIS CAMPAIGN MATERIALS

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 31, 2018 (El Cajon) – On his campaign literature, El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho has made some inflated claims about his record. Here’s how the facts compare to the claims.

POLITICS IN PARADISE TONIGHT AT THE GARDEN

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 30, 2018 (El Cajon) – Approximately 20 elected officials and candidates running for local offices are slated to participate in tonight’s Poiltics in Paradise event.  Sponsored by five local Chambers of Commerce, the event will be held at the Water Conservation Garden from 5:30 to 8 p.m.  Attendees will have the opportunity to meet candidates and ask questions at their candidate booths.

TRUMP THREATENS TO CENSOR GOOGLE SEARCH RESULTS, RAISING FIRST AMENDMENT CONCERNS

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 29, 2018 (San Diego) - President Donald Trump is claiming that Google has rigged search results and is “suppressing voices of conservatives,” a claim Google says is false.

The President bashed Google on Twitter, posting, "Google search results for 'Trump News' shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake News Media. In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out," he claimed, without substantiation.

BILL WOULD PHASE OUT FOSSIL FUELS IN CALIFORNIA BY 2045

 

Update: This bill has been signed into law by Governor Brown.

By Miriam Raftery

August 29, 2018 (Sacramento) – California could become the first state in the nation to generate 100 percent of its power from renewable energy resources. A bill by State Senator Kevin del Leon would require California to reach that goal by 2045. The measure has passed both houses of the Legislature and is now awaiting Governor Jerry Brown’s signature.

PROTESTERS GREET REP. HUNTER AT COURTHOUSE; CONGRESSMAN AND WIFE PLEAD NOT GUILTY

 

By Ana Nita

View video of the arraignment here:  https://youtu.be/I-youN7TlHU

August 29, 2018 (San Diego) -- After being indicted on 60 counts for wire fraud, campaign finance violation and falsifying records, Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) and his wife, Margaret, were summoned last week to appear in front of a federal judge at the Edward J. Schwartz U.S. District Court, San Diego. 

POLL SHOWS HUNTER LEAD SLIPPING OVER PRIOR RACES FOLLOWING INDICTMENT

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 28, 2018 (San Diego) – In his prior five campaigns for Congress, Duncan D. 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. But a new poll by Survey USA of likely voters released Monday, days after Hunter’s indictment on federal corruption charges, shows him with a mere 7%  lead over Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar.

REP. DUNCAN HUNTER AND WIFE INDICTED ON CORRUPTION CHARGES

 

 

Hunter stripped of committee assignments over "deeply serious charges", House Speaker Paul Ryan acknowledges

Update: August 23, 2018: Congressman Hunter and his wife have entered not guilty pleas. ECM news partner 10 News has details: https://www.10news.com/news/rep-duncan-hunter-set-to-be-arraigned-follow....

By Miriam Raftery

August 22, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter and his wife, Margaret, have been indicted on federal charges of conspiring to commit wire fraud and falsifying campaign records to take over a quarter of a million dollars in campaign funds and use them for personal expenses, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced yesterday.

The indictment alleges that the Hunters also falsely represented personal expenses as purchases made to help wounded veterans and other charitable causes. in addition, a letter from Hunter's attorney to the Justice Department reveals, prosecutors suggest campaign funds were spent on "extramarital infidenlities and excessive drinking."

KALASHO LEAVES DEMOCRATIC PARTY, LASHES OUT AT MEDIA

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Councilman Kalasho's Facebook followers have shrunk to just 21 people following his numerous ethical and legal controversies.

August 17, 2018 (El Cajon)—El Cajon Councilman Bessmon "Ben" Kalasho tried to reregister as a member of the Federalist Party earlier this week, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. However, the Federalist Party is not recognized in California, so Kalasho is now officially a “decline to state party affiliation” voter.

Originally the party of founding fathers Alexander Hamilton and John Adams, the Federalist Party advocated for a strong federal government but dissolved in the 1820s.  In 2016, a new Federalist Party formed with a polar opposite view, touting smaller government.

LEMON GROVE MAYOR VASQUEZ PAINTS OPTIMISTIC PICTURE IN STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS

 

 

Despite positive changes, budget clouds loom as city draws on reserves for operating expenses

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

August 16, 2018 (Lemon Grove) -- Members of the Lemon Grove City Council and other city officials are grappling with concerns about a major budget deficit poised to sour the city’s future. The problem has led to media speculation that Lemon Grove might give up cityhood and become part of the County’s unincorporated area.

Yet, to a packed-to-the-rafters community room, recently-elected Mayor Raquel Vasquez painted a positive picture about the city’s many accomplishments in the past year and its challenges in the coming year. During her first State of the City address last week, the Mayor did raise the city’s financial dilemma, but not seeds for solutions over the long term.

DESPITE PLEDGE TO RUN, REBEKAH BASSON NOT ON LA MESA SCHOOLS BALLOT IN NOVEMBER

 

By Ken Stone

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

Photo by Ken Stone

August 14, 2018 (la Mesa) - A year ago this week, 25-year-old Rebekah Basson attended her first meeting as a newly appointed school board member in East County — based in part on her pledge to run for a full term in November 2018.

COUNCILMAN BEN KALASHO PLED GUILTY TO CRIMINAL WORKERS' COMP FRAUD IN 2015, REMAINS ON PROBATION

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo: Bessmon "Ben" Kalasho, August 2015

August 9, 2018 (El Cajon)--An exclusive investigation by East County Magazine has uncovered a criminal case in which El Cajon Councilman Bessmon “Ben” Kalasho pled guilty to two counts of workers’ compensation fraud in October 2015 (court case #MD094871).  View full documents.

Kalasho was on probation for his crimes, both misdemeanors, when he ran for and won his seat on the City Council in 2016. He remains on probation until October 1, 2018. He was also fined.

Kalasho has pulled papers to run for El Cajon City Council again in November.   

JUDGE DEEMS ADMITTED: KALASHOS COMINGLED ASSETS OF CHAMBER, PAGEANT AND PERSONAL FUNDS, ALSO DEFAMED ATTORNEY LINA CHARRY

 

By Miriam Raftery and Paul Kruze

August 6, 2018 (El Cajon) – The legal spiderweb entangling El Cajon Councilman Bessmon "Ben" Kalasho and his wife, Jessica, has become even stickier. Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor has issued an order granting a motion by plaintiff Lina Charry, deeming admitted the contents of requests for admissions to which the defendants repeatedly failed to respond.

FORMER PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA ENDORSES AMMAR CAMPA-NAJJAR IN 50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

 

East County News Service

August 5, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Ammar Campa-Najjar has picked up a high-level endorsement for his bid to unseat Congressman Duncan D. Hunter in the hotly contested 50th Congressional district race. Former President Barack Obama this week announced his endorsement of 81 candidates, including Campa-Najjar, boosting the local contender into the national spotlight.

U.S. PRESS FREEDOM TRACKER REPORTS ON KALASHO DOG ATTACK THREAT AGAINST ECM REPORTER

 

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine Editor

August 5, 2018 (El Cajon) - Councilman Ben Kalasho’s attacks on First Amendment freedom of the press has drawn national attention.  

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, which tracks attacks on journalists’ First Amendment rights in the United States, has published an article on our reporter Paul Kruze’s police complaint against El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho accusing Kalasho of threatening Kruze with atrained attack dog. 

WHO’S RUNNING FOR CITY COUNCIL AND MAYORAL SEATS IN EAST COUNTY?

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 1, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – The filing deadline to run for local offices is August 10th.   We checked with El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove and Santee to find out which seats are on the ballot, and who has taken out papers declaring an intent to run for city council or mayor so far.  Below is the list of prospective candidates to date, though more candidates may file, and prospective candidates are not confirmed until they turn in signatures and meet verification requirements to qualify for the November ballot. 

If you are interested in running, you have until August 10 to pull papers and turn in the required signatures from registered voters in support of your candidacy. Since some city offices are closed on Friday the 10th, be sure to check with your local jurisdiction.

City Council and Mayoral races are officially nonpartisan; however, some officials tout their endorsements or affiliations with political parties. For those candidates, we have listed their affiliations.

POLL SHOWS CAMPA-NAJJAR AND REP. HUNTER IN CLOSE CONTENTION; DEMOCRAT BEATS HUNTER IN FUNDRAISING AND HIRES NATIONAL CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST JOE TRIPPI

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 1, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) — Republican Congressman Duncan D. Hunter may be facing the toughest challenge of his career. His Democratic opponent, Ammar Campa-Najjar, has raised over a million dollars, more than the $848,000 raised by Hunter as of  June 30th. 

Campa-Najjar has hired prominent national campaign strategist Joe Trippi, known for guiding upset wins even in conservative Congressional districts. Plus a new poll shows the two candidates in the 50th Congressional district in a dead heat among likely voters who reviewed ballot statements on both Campa-Najjar and Hunter.

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE TO ATTEND MEET & GREET AUG. 25 HOSTED BY ALPINE RESIDENT

 

 

 

East County News Service

 

July 31, 2018 (Alpine) – Congressional candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar will be at a meet and greet open to the public at the Alpine Community Center on August 25th from 1 to 3 p.m. The event is hosted by Alpine resident Anne Craig-Tillmond. 

MIDWAY THROUGH FILING PERIOD, MOST EAST COUNTY OFFICES HAVE NOBODY RUNNING

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 26, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – The filing period to run for local offices opened on July 16 and closes August 10.  But so far, no candidates have pulled papers to run, let along qualified, in most East County or other inland San Diego County races listed on the Registrar’s site for school boards, water boards, fire boards and community planning groups. In others, only incumbents have filed.

For instance, in the Grossmont Union High School District, heated controversies and lawsuits have erupted over alleged bond misappropriation, failure to build an Alpine High School, and efforts to shut down popular charter schools.  Yet so far, incumbents Jim Kelly, Robert Shield and Dr. Gary Woods have all pulled papers to seek reelection, but nobody has filed to run against them.

Note: City council and mayor candidates apply through cities and will not be listed until after the filing deadline has closed. ECM has requested info from East County cities on those races.

Below are other local races in East County, including names of any candidates who have pulled papers to run (though not yet qualified).

APPRENTICESHIP ACT INTRODUCED BY CONGRESSWOMAN DAVIS

 

East County News Service

July 24, 2018 (San Diego) -- Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-CA-53) and Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-KY-02), ranking member and chairman, respectively, of the House Education and the Workforce Committee’s Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee and co-chairs of the Congressional Apprenticeship Caucus, today introduced the Accessing Professional Partnerships and Resources to Enable Necessary Training and Improve Career Education (APPRENTICE) Act.

“SAFEGUARD OUR SAN DIEGO COUNTRYSIDE” INITIATIVE PROPONENTS SUBMIT SIGNATURES, BUT MAY BE TOO LATE FOR NOVEMBER ELECTION

 

East County News Service

July 24, 2018 (San Diego) -- Proponents of the “Safeguard Our San Diego Countrysideballot initiative have submitted 105,000 signatures to the San Diego Registrar of Voters. But Registrar Michael Vu says it’s unlikely that the signatures can be verified before the August 11 deadline for Supervisors to vote to put the measure on the ballot. Supervisors' last meeting before then is August 8.

EAST COUNTY LEADERSHIP COUNCIL NONPROFIT LAUNCHES FROM EL CAJON DOWNTOWN LIBRARY

 

By Jonathan Goetz

July 23, 2018 (El Cajon) – George Gastil, a former Lemon Grove Councilman and history professor at Grossmont College and San Diego State Univesrity, opened the inaugural meeting of the East County Leadership Council (ECLC).  The newly formed 501c(3) nonprofit organization has a mission statement to promote “quality discussion of politics and public policy in the East County region of San Diego County.”

READER’S EDITORIAL: REVEALED—HERE’S WHAT RUSSIA `HAS’ ON TRUMP

 

By Ricken Patel, Avaaz

July 21, 2018 (San Diego) - It’s now shockingly clear that Donald Trump is Putin’s poodle.

But we need the world to understand why, before it’s too late…

Trump's businesses went bankrupt so many times in the 1990s that many legitimate banks wouldn’t lend to him anymore. He turned to Russian oligarchs -- Putin’s ruling clique -- to bankroll his projects, and launder their dirty money for them. This was, and continues to be, a huge part of his business. He’s a Russian money launderer.

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