Politics

REP. HUNTER AND TRUMP WANT TO ELIMINATE BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP FOR IMMIGRANTS’ BABIES, BUT SUPREME COURT RULED THIS UNCONSTITUTIONAL

By Miriam Raftery

November 5, 2018 (San Diego) – President Donald Trump, in an interview with Axios, declared his intention to eliminate birthright citizenship by executive order – a move that reputable legal scholars on both the left and right agree would be unconstitutional.  Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-Alpine) has previously supported a bill in Congress to similarly end granting citizenship to most children of immigrants born here.

Trump stated,  "You can definitely do it with an Act of Congress. But now they're saying I can do it just with an executive order." 

But the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. is crystal clear that everyone born in the U.S. must be granted citizenship.  It states: "all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." Moreover, the Supreme Court has upheld that the amendment does cover children of immigrants, regardless of their parents' legal status.

FALSE AND MISLEADING HIT PIECES TARGET DEMOCRATS IN LA MESA

Updated with comments from Councilmembers Baber and McWhirter, plus additional information on the Public Safety Advocates PAC.

By Miriam Raftery

November 4, 2018 (La Mesa) – A flurry of deceptive mailers have been sent to Democrats in La Mesa, where two Democratic candidates, Dr. Akilah Weber and retired Sheriff commander Dave Myers are challenge Republican incumbents Bill Baber and Guy McWhirter.  

One mailer paid for by the Baber-McWhirter campaign urged Democrats to vote – on the wrong date. (The election is Tuesday, November 6th.) The flyer had photos endorsing Republicans McWhirter and Baber as well as Mayor Mark Arapostathis, who is running unopposed. Baber says this was his mistake. "It was a typo. I wish I had Miriam as my editor!" he quipped. His campaign later sent a corrected copy, which he forwarded to ECM.

Two other mailers were sent by the “Public Safety Advocates” PAC in Encinitas and include negative information on the two Democrats, including false statements about Weber

THREE CANDIDATES VIE FOR OPEN SEAT IN SANTEE DISTRICT 3: HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Zack Gianino, Laura Koval, and Lynda Marrokal

November 4, 2018 (Santee) – There will be at least one new face on Santee’s City Council soon, since District 3 is an open seat with no incumbent.

Three candidates are running in a race where development issues, traffic, and the city’s looming deficit are key issues.  They are Zack Gianino, a community college district liaison, Laura Koval, parks and recreation director at Santee Lakes, and Lynda Marrokal, a retired manager. 

Hear our in-depth interviews with all three candidates by clicking the audio links (Gianino, Koval, Marrokal) and scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

Zack Gianino interview
Laura Koval interview
Lynda Marrokal interview

MCNELIS LEADS ALL SANTEE CANDIDATES IN CONTRIBUTIONS

 

By Mike Allen

November 2, 2018 (Santee) -- Running in his fourth city election, Santee Councilman Rob McNelis has been around the block a few times asking for funds to pay for such things as campaign signs and mailers so it’s no surprise that he easily leads the pack of seven candidates for the City Council with about $23,000 collected as of late October.

DEVELOPMENT IS KEY ISSUE IN SANTEE CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 1 RACE: HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS



 

East County News Service

November 1, 2018 (Santee) – This is the first election in which Santee residents cast votes by district. In District 1, Councilman Rob NcNelis, a market leader with a mortgage banking company and former Chamber of Commerce president, is running against Evlyn Andrade-Heymsfield, a software engineer and business owner who worked at U.C. Berkeley’s school of public health as a program manager and chair of the staff advisory council.

Key issues are development vs. quality of life, as well as how to address the city’s budget deficit. Andrade-Heymsfield claims her opponent puts developers’ interests over those of residents; she pledges to oppose Fanita Ranch. McNelis says he’s voted against some developer donors’ projects and votes for what's best for Santee. He pledges to keep government small and out of people’s pockets; Andrade-Heymsfield says she has ideas for new revenue sources to address the city’s deficit without raising taxes. 

We interviewed both candidates on KNSJ 89.1 FM radio. Hear the full interviews by clicking the audio links (Evlyn Andrade Heymsfield audio and Rob McNelis audio) plus read highlights below.

Audio: 

Evlyn Andrade-Heymsfield interview
Rob McNelis interview

ECM EXCLUSIVE: EL CAJON COUNCILMEMBER BEN KALASHO SETTLES LAWSUIT OVER ILLEGAL USE OF CITY RESOURCES

 

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

November 1, 2018 (El Cajon) - El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho today signed a settlement to end his latest legal battle with the city he represents, after his fellow Councilmembers voted unanimously on Monday to sue Kalasho for illegal use of city resources in his campaign to unseat incumbent Gary Kendrick.

The City had intended to bring the matter to the attention of the County of San Diego District Attorney, the California State Attorney General, and the California Fair Political Practices Commission.

VOTERS TO DECIDE BOND TO RENOVATE MOUNTAIN EMPIRE SCHOOLS IN RURAL EAST COUNTY

 

Source: Alpine-Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce

November 1, 2018 (Alpine) - Residents in the Mountain Empire Unified School District are being asked to find out more about Measure JJ, a $15-million bond to renovate aging facilities at eight schools in sprawling rural East San Diego County.

EXCLUSIVE: EL CAJON MAYOR CANDIDATE JOEL SCALZITTI’S TRAIL OF TAX LIENS AND LAWSUITS

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

October 27, 2018 (El Cajon) -- An extensive background check on Joel Anthony Scalzitti, the challenger running against El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, shows that the local politician and businessman has had his share of legal problems and tax liens.

HUNTER LEAD DWINDLES TO JUST 3 POINTS OVER CAMPA-NAJJAR, POLL BY KGTV AND SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE FINDS

 

East County News Service

October 31, 2018 (San Diego) – Every vote counts in the 50th Congressional District, where an upset win by Democrats is looking increasingly possible depending on voter turnout.

Under felony indictment, Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter’s lead over Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar has slipped to a slim three points, 48% to 45%, according to a new poll conducted by Survey USA for KGTV 10 News and the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper. 

Among voters who say they already turned in ballots, the margin shrinks to just 1 percent, 49% to 48%.

KENDRICK FUNDRAISING MORE THAN DOUBLE KALASHO’S

 

By Miriam Raftery

View Kendrick Schedule A contributions report

View Kalasho Schedule A contributions report

October 30, 2018 (El Cajon) – Council Ben Kalasho has raised $10,259.77 for the reporting period ending October 20th, and 100% of that was donated by  Kalasho, who lists no other donors to his campaign. By contrast, his opponent, Councilman Gary Kendrick, has raised $23,170 this reporting period.  For the campaign to date, Kendrick has raised over $46,000 while Kalasho has received $22,200 total, according to reports filed with the city of El Cajon.

BOULEVARD PLANNING GROUP TO VOTE ON WIND TURBINE HEALTH STUDY AND SEXUAL PREDATOR PLACEMENT NOV. 1

 

By Miriam Raftery

View full agenda

View minutes from last meeting

View letter from Mark Wardlaw on wind health impacts study

October 30, 2018 (Boulevard) – The Boulevard Planning Group will meet Thursday, November 1st at 7 p.m. in the Backcountry Resource Center (39919 Ribbon Rd., Boulevard  behind the old fire station).  Action items include Chair Donna Tisdale’s request to respond to a letter from County Planning Department Director Mark Wardlaw in which Wardlaw advised that the County Health and Human Services Agency is preparing a report on human health effects of wind turbines.  The group will also vote on opposing placement of Alvin Quarles, a sexually violent predator, in Jacumba.

PROMINENT DEMOCRATS SUPPORTING REPUBLICAN IN EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL RACE

 

East County News Service

October 29, 2018 (El Cajon) – Even Democrats are supporting the Republican in the El Cajon City Council race.

Republican Gary Kendrick, who has served on the city council since 2002, has gained the support of a number of prominent Democrats in his race against Ben Kalasho, a city councilman since 2016.

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL SAYS “NO” TO KALASHO

 

Council votes against reimbursing Kalasho for settlement with activist Mark Lane

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

October 28, 2018 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon City Councilman Ben Kalasho did not get the answer he wanted to hear from his colleagues on Tuesday.

The El Cajon City Council voted 3-0 this week that it would not fork over $1,500 to reimburse Kalasho for his legal settlement with San Diego activist Mark Lane. El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells was not present due to illness, leaving the decision up to Mayor Pro Tem Gary Kendrick and Councilmembers Bob McLellan and Steve Goble. Kalasho was required to recuse himself.

BOMB SUSPECT ARRESTED ATTENDED TRUMP RALLIES, TARGETED LIBERAL LEADERS AND MEDIA

By Miriam Raftery

October 26, 2018 (Washington D.C.)  – The FBI today announced the arrest of Cesar Altieri Sayoc, a 56-year-old Florida man suspected of sending at least 14 pipe bombs that targeted former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, as well as other prominent Democrats, a CNN commentator and critics of President Donald Trump. 

Sayoc, a Republican, attended rallies held by Trump at which Trump vilified Democrats and the media. Rally images show him wearing a red Make America Great hat.

Sayoc has a criminal record that includes making a prior bomb threat in 2002, theft and sale of illegal steroids.

Kicked out by his parents, he was living in his van plastered with pro-Trump, anti-liberal stickers  and messages critical of CNN, the network reports.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH MAYOR BILL WELLS ON HIS REELECTION CAMPAIGN





Listen to our interview by clicking this link



East County News Service

October 26, 2018 (El Cajon)—Mayor Bill Wells sat down for an in-depth interview with East County Magazine Show’s producer Miriam Raftery.

You can hear the full interviewed aired on KNSJ Radio at the audio link, or scroll down for highlights as he discusses his achievements as Mayor and his goals for the city if reelected.

Audio: 

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: CHARDÁ FONTENOT, LMSV SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE ON RESTORING RESPECT AND CLOSING ACHIEVEMENT GAP

 

Reform candidates’ slate reveals opponents used deceptive tactics, including fake photo, misleading claim on backing by teachers, and scare tactic over theater program

Listen to our interview aired on KNSJ

East County News Service

October 26, 2018 (La Mesa) – Chardá Fontenot is representing a slate of three candidates running to bring changes to the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District board. She says  she wants to increase transparency, bridge the achievement gap between minority and white students, bring back sixth grade camp, increase revenue sources and restore respect by board members to students, teachers and parents. 

She’s also criticized an opposing slate for deceptive tactics used in their campaign, including running a fake candidate photo and misleading voters on which slate has backing from the LMSV Teacher's Association.

Fontenot has served as a district advisory council representative, parent volunteer, and currently chairs the school site council. A mother who once attended schools in the district herself, she’s also  a certified lactation counselor who owns a lactation business.

Hear her full interview on KNSJ 89.1 FM at the audio link and scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

Interview with Charda Fontenot, LMSV candidate

POLITICAL WRANGLING: LOCAL CAMPAIGNS HEAT UP, FROM MUDSLINGING TO SINGING

 

 

By Buck Shott

 

Hot on the campaign trail in East County, we’ve got the latest claims, controversies, mud slinging and... singing!

Here’s our rundown of the juiciest campaign tidbits as Election Day draws near:

BOMBS TARGET LIBERAL LEADERS AND MEDIA IN ATTEMPTED TERROR ATTACKS

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 24, 2018 (San Diego's East County) - Bombs sent to former president Barack Obama, former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, liberal funder George Soros, media outlet CNN, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and other targets are being denounced as acts of terrorism.

The first was a pipe bomb mailed to Soros. The CNN package containing a bomb was mailed to former CIA director John Brennan, a commentator for the network whose criticism of President Donald Trump resulted in Trump revoking Brennan’s security clearance earlier this year.

MOST LMSV SCHOOLS ELIMINATED AS POLLING PLACES

 

Updated October 25 with additional information from the Superintendent regarding this decision.

By Miriam Raftery

October 24, 2018 (La Mesa-Spring Valley) – At the request of the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District, San Diego County’s Registrar of Voters has slashed the number of schools used as polling places from 14 in the June primary to just five in the November gubernatorial general election. 

MISSED DEADLINE TO REGISTER TO VOTE FOR NOV. 6 ELECTION? IT'S NOT TOO LATE!

 

State law allows voters who missed the voter registration deadline on Oct. 22 to register on a later date and vote on that same day. However, San Diego County residents who want to take advantage of the Conditional Voter Registration law for the Nov. 6 Gubernatorial General Election must visit the Registrar of Voters office in Kearny Mesa to do so. Conditional Voter Registration is available only during the 14 days prior to and including Election Day. Prospective voters will be able to register to vote, mark and cast their ballot provisionally on-site.

THERE’S A LOT AT STAKE IN INSURANCE COMMISSIONER RACE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Steve Poizner, left, and Ricardo Lara, right

October 22, 2018 (Sacramento) – The next insurance commissioner will determine whether or not California fights to save health insurance for state residents against an onslaught of cuts proposed by the Trump administration,  whether insurance companies will be held accountable for paying victims of wildfires for losses covered under insurance policies, whether cyber-insurance should be available to cover consumers’ losses from fraud, and more. The race pits Democratic State Senator Ricardo Lara against Steve Poizner, a former Republican who previously held the office and is now running as an independent.

EL CAJON COUNCILMAN BEN KALASHO RANTS AGAINST PRESS, TELLS AUDIENCE TO “NOT SPEAK TO ANY REPORTERS”

Councilman’s wife, Jessica, served with legal suit papers during meeting

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

October 18, 2018 (El Cajon)--Troubled El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho launched into a screed at the conclusion of last Tuesday’s City Council meeting, attacking the local news media during the activities portion of the session. He did not directly name a particular journalist or publication.

He opened by thanking the public for coming to express concerns about the city and have their voices heard, noting that the 3 p.m. meetings are a time when many are working or picking up kids from school.

“It does really say a lot to see so many people come in and speak about genuine issues and concerns – whether if they’re homeless or wanting to bring in more police. I thank you for doing that. This is part of our democracy that we hold dear,” he said. “Your freedom of speech to making these statements – whether they are pro or against. Whether you’re for someone or not it doesn’t even matter. It doesn’t matter the political party. I would even say that we have forgotten how to argue without hating each other. That’s something I think we need to bring back.”

REGISTER TO VOTE: DEADLINE IS OCT. 22

 

By Tom Christiansen, County News Service

October 18, 2018 (San Diego) -- The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 6 General Election is Monday, Oct. 22. You can register to vote, check your registration status or request a mail ballot at www.sdvote.com. If you don't have online access, the voter registration forms are available at the offices of the Registrar of Voters, U.S. Postal Service, City Clerk, public libraries and Department of Motor Vehicles.  All forms must be postmarked or delivered to the Registrar of Voters no later than Oct. 22.

HUNTER SMEAR TACTICS BACKFIRE: CAMPA-NAJJAR RAISES FIVE TIMES MORE MONEY THAN INDICTED CONGRESSMAN

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 18, 2018 (San Diego) – Over $1.4 million in donations have poured into the campaign coffers of Ammar Campa-Najjar from June 30th to September 30th, over five times more than his opponent, Congressman Duncan D. Hunter. 

Facing federal felony charges of embezzling a quarter of a million dollars from his campaign for lavish personal expenses including European vacations, overnight stays with mistresses, jewelry, and oral surgery bills. Hunter has tried to blame his wife, blasting his opponent with a racially-based smear campaign touting claims found false by national media fact checkers. 

KALASHO LIED: PROCESS SERVER DID FILE POLICE REPORT ACCUSING COUNCILMAN OF THREATENING TO ATTACK HIM WITH DOG

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

ctober 17, 2018 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police have released call records documenting that a process server reported being threatened by Councilman Ben Kalasho with an attack dog.  The records were released in response to a records request by East County Magazine, after Kalasho posted this denial on Facebook:

ELECTION FOR STATE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION COVERS FIVE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA COUNTIES

Ethics a key issue in the race

East County News Service

Photo, left: Mike Schaefer; Democrat, disbarred from practicing law in two states for fraud, lost $1.83 million judgment for "slum" conditions at his rental property

Photo, right: Senator Joel Anderson, Republican, fined for campaign finance violations, reprimanded for comments to lobbyist



October 17, 2018 (San Diego's East County) – A low-profile, political race for a state office to represent nearly 10 million residents in five Southern California counties may be falling under the radar for many voters.  

Up for grabs is an open seat for District 4 on the California Board of Equalization (BOE), a state agency that oversees county property tax assessors and sets other taxes, including the alcoholic beverage tax, railroad car tax and taxes for public utilities and insurers. District 4 encompasses all of San Diego, Imperial, Riverside and Orange counties and a small portion of San Bernardino County.

22 CA LEGISLATORS JOIN GLORIA IN DEMANDING THAT FEDERAL GOV'T STOP INHUMANE ROUNDUP OF WILD HORSES IN MODOC NF

 

East County News Service

October 17, 2018 (San Diego) – Approximately 1,000 of California’s wild horses are currently being rounded up by the federal government with many at risk of being sold for potential slaughter by the United States Forest Service (USFS). Today, California State Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) and 22 of his legislative colleagues demanded the USFS cease this inhumane roundup and protect these wild horses from slaughter.

SANTEE COUNCIL CANDIDATES SPEAK OUT, RESPOND TO OUR QUESTIONS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery, Editor, East County Magazine

Photos, upper left to lower right:  Evlyn Andrade-Heymsfelt, Zack Gianino, Laura Koval, Councilman Ronn Hall, Councilman Rob McNelis, Lynda Marrokal, Rudy Reyes

Updated October 18 with responses from Rudy Reyes

October 8, 2018 (Santee) – This is the first time Santee has held district elections, where the winners will each represent a specific neighborhood instead of being voted on by the city at large. We sent questionnaires to the seven candidates running for three City Council seats in Santee, asking the same questions of everyone. All seven candidates replied. Their thoughtful responses address a range of issues such as balancing growth and open space, also offering some fresh ideas, such as creating a community choice energy program for Santee.

Below are their answers in full to our questions, along with a link to their ballot statements for more information, arranged by district and in alphabetical order within each district.

MEDICARE AND MEDICAID CUTS PROPOSED BY GOP BUDGET

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 15, 2018 (Washington D.C.) — A budget proposed by House Republicans would cut Medicare, the federal healthcare program for senior citizens and the disabled, by $537 billion.

That violates a campaign promise made by Donald Trump when he was running for President and pledged, “Republicans believe that a Medicare program that was created for seniors and paid for by seniors their entire lives should always be protected and preserved.”

BUDGET CRISIS TOPS CONCERNS FOR LEMON GROVE COUNCIL CANDIDATES



By Miriam Raftery

Photos, top row--Challengers Kamaal Martin and Teresa Rosiak, bottom row--incumbent Councilmembers Jennifer Mendoza and Jerry Jones.

October 14, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – With Lemon Grove facing a budget deficit and 78% of its general fund spent on public safety, the City Council faces tough choices. Should the city consider the drastic step of disincorporating and reverting back to county control? Or can the city be saved through revitalization by bringing in new businesses, or by raising taxes? Proposals for the latter failed to win passage with the current Council majority, leaving the city faced with dipping into its reserves in the next fiscal year if the finances don’t improve.  

Those are among the issues addressed in our interviews with all four candidates, as well as concerns over crime, marijuana dispensaries, street repairs and more.The candidates are  incumbent Councilmembers Jennifer Mendoza and Jerry Jones, as well as challengers Teresa Rosiak, a medical credentialing specialist and former Chamber of Commerce president, and Kamaal  Martin, an educator with state and county governmental experience.

Hear our interviews aired on KNSJ radio by clicking the audio links below, and scroll down to read highlights from each interview.

 

Audio: 

Kamaal Martin interview
Teresa Rosiak interview
Jennifer Mendoza interview
Jerry Jones interview

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