Politics

GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE DISTRICT TO HOST JAN. 7TH PUBLIC HEARING IN EL CAJON ON TRANSITION FROM AT-LARGE TO ZONE-BASED ELECTIONS

 

East County News Service

January 2, 2019 (El Cajon) – The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) has announced a public hearing will be held as part of its future transition to district-only or zone-based elections. The public will be invited to address the GHD board of directors at a public hearing scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., Monday, Jan. 7, at the Ronald Reagan Community Center, 195 E Douglas Ave., El Cajon.

SANTEE-BASED GUN OWNERS POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE FILES AMICUS BRIEF IN HAWAII CONCEALED WEAPONS CASE

 

East County News Service

January 2, 2019 (Santee) – San Diego County Gun Owners (SDCGO), a Santee-based political action committee promoting Second Amendment rights, has announced it recently filed an amicus curaie brief, a Latin phrase meaning “friend of the court,” in a Hawaii case that ruled in favor of the right to openly carry firearms in public.

TEMECULA’S MAYOR RAHN ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY AGAINST REP. HUNTER

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 1, 2019 (San Diego) – Temecula Mayor Matt Rahn has filed papers to run against Congressman Duncan Hunter, a fellow Republican, in 2020, the Valley News reports. A scientist and land use consultant with background in ecology and sustainability, Rahn has represented San Diego State University  and the Pechanga tribe in their battle against the proposed Liberty Quarry, the Riverside Press Enterprise reported.

TRUMP THREATENS TO SHUT DOWN BORDER AS FEDERAL SHUTDOWN CONTINUES

By Miriam Raftery

December 28, 2018 (San Diego) – As a government shutdown over a budget impasse enters its second week, President Donald Trump today threatened to shut down the entire U.S.-Mexico border indefinitely unless Congress passes a budget with billions of dollars in funding to build a border wall.

“We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with,” Trump said in a morning tweet. 

But in fact, Republicans still control both the House and Senate until January 3, when Democrats will become the majority party in the House of Representatives—and Congress adjourned for the holidays without passing the President’s budget.

The San Diego and Imperial County Chambers of Commerce estimated that a one-day border shutdown at San Ysidro, one of the world's busiest border crossings, over Thanksgiving weekend cost an estimated $5 million in lost revenues to the San Diego County economy. 

TRUMP ORDER TO WITHDRAW TROOPS FROM SYRIA AND AFGHANISTAN SPARKS BIPARTISAN CONGRESSIONAL CONCERN AND RESIGNATION OF DEFENSE SECRETARY MATTIS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned in his resignation letter of Russian efforts to "shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model...to promote their own interets at the epxens of their neighbors, America and our allies."

December 21, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Prominent Congressional leaders in both parties have voiced alarm over President Donald Trump’s announcement yesterday that he plans to immediately withdraw U.S. troops from Syria. He also ordered the Pentagon to withdraw half of America’s forces from Afghanistan starting in January.

While that may come as welcome news to families of long-deployed military members, the decision was made without consulting Congress, military leaders or key cabinet officials. Many experts warn that this could plunge the region into chaos, allow ISIS terrorists to regain power, also benefitting Russian president Vladimir Putin, who has backed Syrian strongman Bashar Assad, as well as Russia’s ally, Iran.

It has also resulted in resignation of Defense Secretary and retired General Jim Mattis, known as the "warrior monk" for his deliberative approach to fully studying military matters before making key decisions.

SHUTDOWN SHOWDOWN LOOMS IN SENATE

By Miriam Raftery

December 21, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – President Donald Trump says he will shut down the government at midnight  unless the Repubilcan-controlled Senate passes a budget with $5 billion in funding for a border wall.  Trump claims this would be a “Democrat shutdown.”  The House already passed the measure yesterday down party lines.

But dozens of Senators have already left Washington for the holidays and it appears ulikely that enough votes will be mustered for passage.

Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming), chair of the Senate’s budget committee, has stated flatly, “No, he won’t have 60 votes over here.”

TRUMP FOUNDATION TO SHUT DOWN UNDER COURT ORDER; PROSECUTOR FINDS “SHOCKING PATTERN OF ILLEGALITY” DIRECTED BY THE PRESIDENT

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via New York Attorney General's website: Trump Foundation raised funds for veterans but failed to deliver the money to veterans' charities, a Washington Post report found.

December 18, 2018 (New York) –President Donald Trump has agreed to close down  his Donald J. Trump Foundation after New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood filed suit over “a shocking pattern of illegality involving the Trump Foundation – including unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing, and much more,” Underwood announced today. 

Her office’s investigation into Trump and his three oldest children, all officers on the Foundation, will continue.  According to the NY Attorney General, “none of the foundation’s expenditures or activities were approved by its Board of Directors” which had not met since 1991.  “Mr Trump alone made all decisions related to the foundation.”

Trump has agreed to have the charities’ remaining $1.75 million in assets dispersed under court supervision to legitimate charities.  Underwood is also asking the court to order Trump to pay over $2.8 million in restitution and to ban the President and his children from serving on boards of any other charities in New York.

CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT LEAVES THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, CITING KAVANAUGH

 

 

By Dan Morain, CALmatters

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

December 17, 2018 (Sacramento) - California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has quietly given up her Republican registration and re-registered as a no-party-preference voter, saying Thursday she had become increasingly uncomfortable with the GOP’s direction nationally and in the state.

RE-ELECTED MAYOR WELLS REPORTS “OUTSTANDING” STATE OF THE CITY

 

 

Cites accomplishments including addressing city's homeless problem, criticizes Sacramento for  mandates

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

 

Watch video 

 

See Powerpoint presentation

 

December 16, 2018 (El Cajon) --I am proud to report that the State of our City is outstanding,” said El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells on Tuesday to a nearly full council chamber. He added, I believe that the City is moving in a positive directionWe have relied on innovation and creative thinking to tackle difficult issues and we have maintained the City’s strong fiscal health, at a time when other cities have struggled.” 

JESSICA KALASHO BRINGS OWN ATTORNEY TO HEARING IN FRAUD AND HARASSMENT CASE; BEN KALASHO ARRIVES SEPARATELY WITHOUT LEGAL COUNSEL

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo, left to right: Linda Charry, Jimmie Parker, Donald Wolf, Jessica Kalasho, and Ben Kalasho  

TRUMP ATTORNEY SENTENCED TO 3 YEARS IN PRISON, IMPLICATES PRESIDENT IN FELONY CRIMES

By Miriam Raftery

December 12, 2018 (Washington D.C) – President Donald Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, was sentenced today to three years in prison after pleading guilty to crimes and admitting to prosecutors that Trump ordered him to commit felony crimes regarding payoffs to hide affairs. Cohen further provided evidence that the President was actively negotiating with Russia on business dealings during the campaign, contrary to what the president told voters at the time, the New York Times reports.

Cohen pled guilty to crimes filed under two separate cases, one filed by U.S. Justice Department prosecutors in New York and the other by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.

While Mueller recommended leniency for Cohen due to his cooperation with the probe into illegal election interference,  federal prosecutors in New York indicated Cohen was uncooperative in their investigations. Investigators also seized computer and other records of Cohen.

In court, Cohen said of Trump, “I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds.” He apologized to the American people and said his loyalty to Trump “led me to choose a path of darkness over light.”

Judge William H. Pauley III stated that Cohen’s crimes were serious and implicated “insiduous harm to our democratic institutions.”

RESIDENTS FLOOD LA MESA CITY COUNCIL WITH COMPLAINTS OVER PROPOSED PAROLE FACILITY

By Miriam Raftery

December 12, 2018 (La Mesa)--  Following the swearing in of newly elected Councilwoman Akilah Weber and reelected Councilman Bill Baber, the La Mesa City Council heard public comments last night from numerous area residents concerned about a state parole office proposed in a new building on Grossmont Summit Drive next to the Brigantine restaurant, other businesses and home.

FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH, GLOBAL LEADER AMID TURBULENT TIMES, DIES AT 94

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Former President George H.W. Bush and his late wife, Barbara, U.S. Defense Dept.

December 1, 2018 (Houston) – George Herbert Walker Bush, the oldest living former president in U.S. history, died yesterday at his home in Houston at age 94. 

The Republican president led the nation through globally turbulent times that included the fall of the Berlin Wall, breakup of the Soviet Union leaving the U.S. as the only global superpower, an end to the cold war nuclear threat, and military success in the short-lived Persian Gulf War. Controversies of his presidency included a military invasion of Panama, a taxpayer bail-out of the failed savings and loan industry, and the pardoning of key figures in the Iran-Contra scandal of the Reagan administration.

President Trump has declared Wednesday, December 5th a national day of mourning and announced that a state funeral will be held; flags have been ordered flown at half mast for a month at the White House and at federal facilities worldwide. Most federal agencies will be closed Wedneday, though some related to national security will remain open.

BEN AND JESSICA KALASHO SLATED TO APPEAR DEC. 7 AT JUDGMENT DEBTOR’S EXAM IN FRAUD AND SEXUAL HARRASMENT CASE

Judge orders bench warrant with $5000 bail to compel Jessica Kalasho to appear after no-show; Kalashos reportedly take post-election vacation, loaned failed campaign $10,000, vow to drop social media

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo, left: Councilman Ben Kalasho and his attorney, James Finigan

November 30, 2018 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon City Councilman Ben Kalasho and his wife, Jessica, are slated to return to Judge Kenneth Medel’s San Diego Superior Court room next week for yet another judgment debtor examination, a proceeding used by judgment creditors to find ways to collect a judgment from a defendant. What will be different this time is that Jessica Kalasho may be arrested by the Sheriff’s Department (with bail set at $5000) should she not follow Medel’s order to appear.

The hearing, coincidentally, is set to take place on the U.S.’s “Day of Infamy,” Dec. 7th, the 77th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii by Imperial Japan upon the United States which caused the United States to enter World War II. Ominously, Kalasho received a warning from Medel not to rile the judge's "dark side" at the close of the proceeding.

CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIRMAN ERIC BAUMAN RESIGNS AMID ACCUSATIONS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT

 

Update November 30, 2018:  Bauman has now resigned, stating, "I have made the realization that in order for those to whom I may have caused pain and who need to heal, for my own health, and in the best interest of the Party that I love and to which I have dedicated myself for more than 25 years, it is in everyone’s best interest for me to resign my position as chair of the California Democratic Party."

By Miriam Raftery

November 29, 2018 (Sacramento) – Prominent Democrats including San Diego County Democratic Party Chair Jessica Hayes are calling for the resignation of state party chairman Eric Bauman after a Los Angeles Times investigation revealed credible and serious sexual harassment allegations made by 10 party staffers and activists.

VOTERS RETURN TWO INCUMBENTS TO GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE DISTRICT BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

 

East County News Service 

November 28, 2018 (La Mesa) – Two longtime Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) board members retained their seats in the recent November 2018 general election on the five-member board that represents more than 500,000 people residing in the district’s 750 square miles in East County.

GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE DISTRICT SHIFTS TO DISTRICT ELECTIONS: HEARING DEC. 3

 

 

Source: Grossmont Healthcare District

November 26, 2018 (La Mesa)  The public is invited to provide input during a public hearing December 3, 2018 at 6 p.m. on the Grossmont Healthcare District’s transition to a new system for electing its board members.

JULIAN ELECTION SET FOR MARCH 19 TO VOTE ON SAVING FIRE DISTRICT

 

 

New members to replace no-shows on fire board at Dec. 11 meeting

By Miriam Raftery

November 20, 2018 (Julian) – A special election will be held in the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District (JCFPD) on March 19 for voters to decide whether to save the county’s last volunteer firefighting district. If over 50% of voters vote yes on the citizens’ initiative, it will reverse the county’s Local Agency Formation District vote that had approved dissolving the district and having the County Fire Authority/Cal Fire takeover all firefighting duties.

HUNTER LEAD SLIPS AS COUNTING CONTINUES; CAMPA-NAJJAR TRAILS BY JUST OVER 10,000 VOTES

 

Update November 28, 2018:  Statewide, Hunter's lead has slipped further. Hunter now leads by 3.6%, with 51.8% to Campa-Najjar with 48.2%.  Hunter has 131,436 votes and Campa-Najjar has 122,255, or a difference  of 8,181 votes. San Diego County has 47,000 ballots left to process, but it's unclear how many are in the 50th Congressoinal District. There may also be a small number of untallied votes left in Riverside County.

By Miriam Raftery

November 19, 2018 (San Diego)—On Election night, indicted Congressman Duncan D. Hunter led challenger Ammar Campa Najjar by nearly 9%.  But as of tonight, Hunter’s lead has slipped to just 4.3% counting both Riverside and San Diego counties, or a difference of 10,046 votes out of 231,800 votes cast.

Importantly, in San Diego, which has  over 10 times more voters in the 50th Congressional District than Riverside, Hunter’s lead is a scant 4.6%, a margin of just 7,782 votes. Countywide, the San Diego Registrar reports 112,000 ballots not yet tallied, though it’s unclear how many are in the50th Congressional district.

 Hunter has 52.17% of the vote locally, compared to 47.83% for Campa-Najjar, who has been steadily gaining ground as late mail-in and provisional ballots favoring Democrats are counted.

Regardless of the final tally, this is clearly the closest race ever in this once reliably conservative district.  In his prior five campaigns for Congress, 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. His father, the former Congressman, similary won by hefty margins during his many years in office.

NEWSOM STARTS TENURE WITH $30 BILLION SURPLUS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 19, 2018 (Sacramento) -- When Gavin Newsom is sworn is as CaliforniaGovernor in January, hell be starting out on a strong footing. The state has nearly $30 billion in combined reserved and unexpected tax revenues, the Legislative Analysts office just reported, stating, By historical standards, this surplus is extraordinary.

ESCONDIDO MAYOR'S RACE UPSET SHOWS IMPACT OF "AMMAR EFFECT"

 

Source:  Indi Squared

Photo:  Indi Squared Canvass Kickoff, Escondido CA  9/2/18

November 16, 2018 (Escondido) -- Just as Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke is being credited with the “Beto Effect” – a massive voter turnout that lifted down-ballot Democrats to victory in Congress and the Texas legislature – a similar, if smaller, dynamic may be taking place in CA50.

Extraordinary voter outreach on behalf of congressional candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar exceeded any effort on behalf of a Democratic campaign in CA50 history. While ballots are still being counted at the San Diego County Registrar of Voters, with 92,873 votes, Campa-Najjar has more than doubled the vote for Duncan Hunter’s last midterm challenger, James Kimber, who received 45,302 votes in 2014, according to Ballotpedia.

SOME LOCAL RACES FLIP OR GROW CLOSER AS COUNTING BALLOTS CONTINUES

 

 

Hunter lead slips to 4.6% or 11,141 votes; Anderson now trails in Board of Equalization

By Miriam Raftery

November 14, 2018 (San Diego) – Voter turnout was heavy for a mid-term election -at 51%, according to San Diego’s Registrar of Voters. Since election night, late mail-in ballots and provisional ballots have been trending heavily Democratic nationwide and locally. The lead has flipped in some key races here ranging from a mayoral contest to the board of equalization, and other candidates including Rep. Duncan Hunter have seen their leads shrinking.  

Countywide, 254,000 ballots remain to be counted, but there is no breakdown available on how many ballots are in any specific district. Here are updates on some key races to watch:

EDUCATION SUPERINTENDENT RACE FLIPS TO THURMOND AS COUNT CONTINUES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 14, 2018 (Sacramento)  A key statewide race has flipped, with the counting of late mail-in and provisional ballots. Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, a social worker, has pulled ahead in the State Superintendent race. Thurmond now leads over Marshall Tuck by around 74,000 votes and a full percentage point.  

TRUMP FANS FLAMES BY BLAMING WILDFIRES ON CALIFORNIA, THREATENING TO WITHHOLD FEDERAL FUNDS

 

By Julie Cart, CALmatters

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

November 11, 2018 (San Diego) - With a quarter-million Californians evacuated from their homes and wildfires so far claiming nine lives, President Donal Trump today took to Twitter and inflamed tensions—blaming California for causing the fires by mismanaging its forests and threatening to cut off federal funds.

FULL LOCAL ELECTION RESULTS

East County News Service

November 9, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – The County Registrar of Voters has posted results with 100% of precincts counted in all races, though some 465,000 late mail-in and provisional ballots remain to be tallied.

We've reported on the major races in East County, but with more than 52 districts on the ballot locally, plus numerous local ballot measures, it's impossible to cover them all. 

You can view results for all local races from water, fire and school boards to community planning groups and more at www.SDVote.com and click on election results.

MEASURE TO KEEP JULIAN-CUYAMACA FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT INDEPENDENT QUALIFIES FOR FUTURE BALLOT, BUT FIRE FEE HIKE FAILS

By Miriam Raftery

November 9, 2018 (Julian) – This week brought good news and bad news for Julian residents fighting to halt a county takeover of the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District and save the county’s last all-volunteer fire department.

A citizens’ protest petition seeking to reverse the vote by the Local Agency Formation Agency (LAFCO) to dissolve the fire district obtained enough signatures to qualify for a future ballot, the Registrar of Voters informed advocates this week.  That’s a tough hurdle, since the requirement is more than 50% of property owners in the district. 

“We did it! We are the only ones in the history of LAFCO to ever get this far!” Lori Foss, a supporter of the petition and survivor of the Cedar and Witch fires, stated in an email to East County Magazine on Election Day.

JUDGE KREEP OUSTED BY MATT BROWER

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Judge-elect Matt Brower at an Election Night party downtown

November 9, 2018 (San Diego) – Matt Brower has defeated incumbent San Diego Superior Court Judge Gary Kreep by a 59% to 41% margin. 

It’s rare for a sitting judge to be voted out of office. But Kreep was censured by the State Commission on Judicial Performance for 29 counts on judicial misconduct and running his courtroom in a biased manner, making derogatory comments about minorities, women attorneys, and people with cases before him. He came within one vote of being removed as a judge by the Commission for his misconduct

Brower is a deputy district attorney and judge advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. He was backed by the San Diego County Deputy Sheriff’s Association and other law enforcement groups, as well as by the San Diego County Democratic Party and also had cross-party support including Supervisor Dianne Jacob.

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