Politics

TROUBLING FINDING IN FBI BACKGROUND CHECK STALLS ISSA TRADE APPOINTMENT

By Miriam Raftery

 

September 19, 2019 (San Diego) – Retired Congressman Darrell Issa has said he will run against Rep. Duncan Hunter if his appointment by President Trump to head up the U.S. Trade and Development Agency is not approved by early November.  But now, both Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee say that an FBI background file on Issa raises red flags.

FINDING MIDDLE GROUND: CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE CAMPA-NAJJAR SPEAKS OUT ON KEY ISSUES, IN HIS OWN WORDS

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor and Miriam Raftery, Editor

View video of complete town hall: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fj9ot7tcbXchttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fj9ot7tcbXc

 

“We are one nation, under God, indivisible. But right now, I think that notion is being tested at our deepest core. I think it is time for us to lead with our values again as a nation." -- Ammar Campa-Najjar

September 17, 2019 (Alpine)—At a town hall meeting in Alpine on August 18, some 100 East County residents heard Congressional candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar field questions on a wide range of issues. He offered thoughtful responses, many moderate positions and at times, maverick views on topics such as healthcare, gun violence, climate change, jobs, education, immigration and more.

The Jamul resident and Democratic contender has worked at the national level on both business and labor issues. Now he’s running for the 50th Congressional district seat held by indicted Republican Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, whose federal corruption trial begins in January.

Dressed in a long-sleeved sports shirt and blue jeans, the 30 year-old hopeful emphasized that to win in 2020, he has to attract voters across party lines. The Republican party still holds a substantial registration advantage, but Campa-Najjar came within three percentage points of ousting Hunter in 2018 in what had long been considered a GOP stronghold.

First, Campa-Najjar gave an overview of his platform. Next he answered questions on 10 topics randomly pulled from questions submitted beforehand. Then came live questions posed by audience members at a microphone.

SENATOR JONES VOICES CONCERNS OVER FIRE INSURANCE CRISIS, SEX EDUCATION PROGRAM AT LAKESIDE TOWN HALL

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

View video of entire town hall: tinyurl.com/SenJonesTownHall

September 14, 2019 (Lakeside) -- California Sen. Brian Jones (R-Inland San Diego County) confidently faced a large mostly well-behaved crowd in a packed community room at the Lakeside Community Center on August 22.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: CORY BRIGGS RUNS FOR CITY ATTORNEY AS ADVOCATE FOR TAXPAYERS, WATCHDOG FOR DEMOCRACY

Listen to our interview: click here.

By Miriam Raftery

September 18, 2019 (San Diego) -- Cory Briggs has a two decades-long record as an attorney challenging insider power brokers who’ve dominated city hall for decades. He’s been described by Times of San Diego as the “bane of downtown developers” and has filed numerous lawsuits successfully championing taxpayers, voters’ rights, the environment and government transparency. He’s also taught law--including professional ethics.

Now he’s running for San Diego City Attorney against incumbent Mara Elliott, promising to be a taxpayers’ advocate if elected.  In our interview originally aired on KNSJ radio, he criticizes Elliott for trying to gut California’s Public Records Act, backing “frivolous” suits thrown out of court, and mishandling allegations of child abuse at the San Diego Junior Theatre, among other issues.  Click the audio link to hear the full interview, and scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

GOVERNOR TARGETS VAPING WITH EXECUTIVE ORDER, BUT APPEALS TO LEGISLATURE FOR HELP

By Ben Christopher | Calmatters

Photo credit:  https://www.ecigclick.co.uk/

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

Photo:  A man vaping with an e-cigarette. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

September 18, 2019 (Sacramento) - California lawmakers ended the Legislative session without doing much on vaping. Now Gov. Gavin Newsom is stepping in.

On Monday morning, the governor signed an executive order which he said would be “pushing the envelope” to regulate the burgeoning e-cigarette industry despite a lack of new legal authority from the state Assembly and Senate.

WALDRON BILL WOULD REQUIRE VOTERS’ APPROVAL FOR CHANGES TO TRANSNET FUNDING ALLOCATION

By Miriam Raftery
 
September 17, 2019 (Escondido) – For months, officials in East County and North County have assailed as “highway robbery” a plan announced by the San Diego Regional Association of Governments (SANDAG)  to cancel some highway projects and instead, spend TransNet extension funds approved by voters in 2004 on transit projects such as high-speed rail and shared electric vehicles instead.

U.S. ATTORNEYS ACCUSE DUNCAN HUNTER LAWYER OF DISTORTING JUDGE REMARKS

By Ken Stone

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

Photo:  Devin Burstein of downtown San Diego’s Warren & Burstein is Rep. Duncan Hunter’s lawyer before the 9th Circuit. Photo via warrenburstein.com

September 16, 2019 (San Diego) - Rep. Duncan Hunter’s lawyer left out facts and distorted a federal judge’s remarks when he asked an appeals court to hear arguments he hopes would lead to the Alpine Republican’s corruption case being dismissed, prosecutors say.

FIREFIGHTERS AND VOLUNTEERS IN LEMON GROVE SEEK TAX PARITY WITH LA MESA

By Jonathan Goetz 

 

Signature drive not on track to meet end of September deadline to make it on the ballot without massive last-minute influx of signature gatherers

 

September 15, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Firefighters led volunteers who spread out through Lemon Grove yesterday to collect signatures on a ballot measure that would bring Lemon Grove's sales tax on par with La Mesa, raising it by ¾  a cent. The measure, if approved, which would nearly double the amount the City receives as its share of the sales tax.

BOARD OF EQUALIZATION HOSTS PUBLIC MEETING SEPT. 19 IN SAN DIEGO ON MODERNIZING PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM

East County News Service

 

September 15, 2019 (San Diego) – County Assessor Ernie Dronenberg invites you to a meeting of the California Board of Equalization on Sept. 19 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. in San Diego. 

COUNTY BOARD VOTES TO MOVE AHEAD ON COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY

By Tracy DeForeCounty of San Diego Communications Office

Image credit:  Shutterstock

September 12, 2019 (San Diego) - The County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 Tuesday to continue exploring the idea of getting into the business of buying and selling electricity. Supervisors Kristin Gaspar and Jim Desmond opposed the motion.

NEWSOM SIGNS AMENDED BILL TO BOOST VACCINATIONS AMID HEATED PROTESTS

By Miriam Raftery

September 12, 2019 (Sacramento) – Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a pair of bills aimed at increasing vaccinations of children in California.  The measures will allow the state to investigate doctors who write more than five medical exemptions from vaccines in a year and also empowers officials to investigate schools with less than 95 percent of students vaccinated.

In San Diego’s East County, some schools have vaccination rates as low as 10 percent, according to data compiled by Shots for Schools, as ECM reported last month.

The actions come after doctors and public health officials voiced growing concern over the rising number of measles cases in California, including recent exposures at Disneyland and other tourist attractions--and amid vocal protests at the Capitol.

RAY LUTZ, CITIZENS OVERSIGHT FOUNDER, IS LATEST TO WEIGH RUN FOR CONGRESS IN 53RD DISTRICT SEAT AFTER SUSAN DAVIS ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

By Miriam Raftery

September 12, 2019 (El Cajon) – Ray Lutz, founder of the nonprofit watchdog group Citizens Oversight in El Cajon, announced today that he has formed an exploratory committee for a possible run for the 53rd Congressional district seat.  Congresswoman Susan Davis announced last week that she will not be seeking reelection.

Lutz, a Democrat, lives in the 53rd district since redistricting in 2010, though he previously ran against Rep. Duncan Hunter back in 2008.

Lutz and the organization he founded have been instrumental in attaining several landmark actions in our region ranging from a lawsuit that won $775 million for local ratepayers to a succesful fight that helped save East County's peforming arts center,as well as leading efforts to improve safety of  nuclear waste storage and battling to keep Blackwater out of the backcountry.

WHO'S IN, WHO'S OUT OF AB 5?

By Judy Lin, CALmatters

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

Photo: Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez hugs Speaker Anthony Rendon on September 11, 2019, after passage of her landmark bill AB 5, requiring California businesses to treat legions of contract workers as employees. (Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters)

September 12, 2019 (Sacramento) - Doctors, real estate agents and hairdressers can keep their independent contractor status. But not truckers, commercial janitors, nail salon workers, physical therapists and — significantly — gig economy workers, who will gain the rights and benefits of employees in California under sweeping workplace legislation passed Wednesday.  

EL CAJON TO WEIGH VAPING RESTRICTIONS OCT. 8; FEDS ANNOUNCE BAN ON FLAVORED E-CIGARETTES

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: Young woman vaping, image via Pixabay
 
September 11, 2019 (El Cajon) – El Cajon’s city council will be considering a ban or other restrictions on sales of vaping products, such as banning flavored vapes, at its October 8th meeting at 3 p.m.  
 
Councilman Gary Kendrick, who asked that the issue be added to the agenda, told  ECM, “I may take some heat for this, but it’s the right thing to do.”

LA MESA APPROVES COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY PLAN AS WRITTEN

Motion to amend voted down 3/2, final resolution passes unanimously

By Jonathan Goetz

September 11, 2019 (La Mesa) – The City of La Mesa is one step closer to competing with SDG&E on electricity acquisition, after approving the first reading of a resolution authorizing specifics on a joint power agreement, or JPA, with the cities of San Diego, Chula Vista, Encinitas and Imperial Beach at its September 10 meeting. It still requires a second reading in La Mesa and ratification in the other cities. The specifics can be found here. https://www.cityoflamesa.us/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Item/4095?fileID=8858

DARRELL ISSA SAYS HE'LL RUN FOR HUNTER SEAT IF TRADE JOB ISN'T HIS BY NOV. 3

By Ken Stone

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

Photo:  Former Rep. Darrell Issa was chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee from January 2011 to January 2015. Photo courtesy Issa’s office

September 11, 2019 (San Diego) - Former Rep. Darrell Issa says he’ll run for Congress in Rep. Duncan Hunter’s East County district if the Senate continues to drag its feet on his nomination to a trade post.

PETITION CALLS FOR HOUSE TO INVESTIGATE, CENSURE REP. HUNTER FOR WAR CRIMES

By Kendra Sitton

 

September 10, 2019 (El Cajon) -- A Muslim group is pushing for the House to formally investigate and censure San Diego Representative Duncan Hunter for alleged war crimes. On Monday, Sept. 9, they delivered a petition with 8,000 signatures to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. 

 

COUNTY BOARD MEETINGS MOVE TO KEARNY MESA: DOWNTOWN CHAMBERS RENOVATION PROMPTS TEMPORARY MOVE

Source: County News Service

September 9, 2019 (San Diego) -- The County Board of Supervisors will hold its next 12 board meetings at the County Operations Center in Kearny Mesa starting September 10th while the downtown chamber undergoes renovation. 

DEMOCRATIC REP. SUSAN DAVIS RETIRING FROM CONGRESS IN JANUARY 2021

By Ken Stone

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

Photo:  Rep. Susan Davis celebrates her victory at Golden Hall on Nov. 6, 2018. Photo by Chris Stone

​September 4, 2019 (San Diego) - In a stunning announcement Wednesday, Rep. Susan Davis said she would retire after the current term in Congress — her 10th since election in 2000.

“I have struggled to make this very difficult decision,” she said in a statement. “I will not seek another term in Congress. My decision today represents a desire to live and work ‘at home’ in San Diego.”

LA MESA WEIGHS LEGALIZING ADULT-USE CANNABIS SALES AND MANUFACTURING SEPT. 10: HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH COUNCILMAN BABER

Hear our interview with Councilman Bill Baber

By Miriam Raftery

September 1, 2019 (La Mesa) – After years of battling illegal marijuana dispensaries and recently licensing the city’s first legal medicinal cannabis dispensary, La Mesa is considering an ordinance to legalize recreational adult-use sales and manufacturing. 

Councilman Bill Baber and Mayor Mark Arapostathis served on a subcommittee that recently held a meeting with cannabis industry representatives. Next up, staff is preparing ordinance language for the City Council to consider on September 10th, when the public can weigh in with comments.

We sat down for an interview with Councilman Baber that originally aired on KNSJ radio.  You can hear the full interview by clicking the audio link, or scroll down for details.

Baber says if the measure is approved Sept. 10 and at a second reading Sept. 24, La Mesa could see its first legal recreational cannabis sales starting as early as January 2020. The first sales of recreational marijuana would be through dispensaries already approved for medical marijuana sales, providing they have operated without significant complaints or legal issues.

Audio: 

NATIONALLY RENOWNED ACTOR NICK CANNON TO HEADLINE SOCIAL JUSTICE EMPOWERMENT LUNCHEON SEPT. 14 AT PEOPLE'S ALLIANCE FOR JUSTICE’S NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS OPENING IN SAN DIEGO

East County News Service

August 30, 2019 (San Diego) – Actor/entertainer Nick Cannon, a San Diego native and former host of America’s Got Talent as well as MTV’s Wild N Out, will hold a social justice empowerment luncheon with national civil rights activist Rev. Shane Harris at the People’s Alliance for Justice national headquarters opening in San Diego at 7997 Paradise Valley Road on September 14 at 1 p.m.

FORMER CONGRESS DARRELL ISSA READY TO RUN FOR HUNTER’S SEAT

By Miriam Raftery

August 30, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Darrell Issa, who retired in January from the 49th Congressional district, has set up an exploratory committee and put up a campaign website to run for embattled Congressman Duncan Hunter’s neighboring 50th Congressional district seat.

“I have received such a tremendous outpouring of encouragement from supporters inside the district, and around the state and across the Nation,” Issa states on the website.

Issa  once delivered a response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech in 2011.  Among other things, Issa stated, “You know, it doesn't take a genius in the private sector to know that you can save literally hundreds of billions of dollars in federal spending if you can make it more responsive. That's the main job.”

The Republican Congressman was best known on Capitol Hill for leading numerous investigations into the Obama administration, former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder as chair the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. But his record has drawn controversy and even allegations of corruption.

QUESTIONS GROW OVER PRESIDENT’S STATE OF MIND

By Miriam Raftery

August 27, 2019 (Washington D.C.) – Increasingly erratic and irrational statements by President Donald Trump in recent weeks have raised questions in mainstream media outlets and even among former Trump allies over whether he is showing signs of dementia (which his father had) or mental illness, such as that believed to have plagued "Mad King George" III.).

CNN business writer Brian Stelter wrote on Monday, “I spent the week talking with major media figures at networks and newspapers. And that was the consensus: President Trump's behavior is getting worse in type and in frequency. It seems he's acting more erratic more often.”  He accused media of “tiptoeing” around the President’s “complete rejection of reality.”

 Here are some examples:

SAN DIEGO JEWISH LEADERS FACE CHALLENGES RESPONDING TO TRUMP'S TWEETS, NEW 'DISLOYALTY' CLAIM

By Ken Stone

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

Photo:  Chabad of Poway Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein speaks at gravesite of slain Lori Gilbert Kaye. In a White House visit, he praised President Trump as a “mensch par excellence.” Photo by Chris Stone

August 26, 2019 (San Diego) - A week before the November 2018 election, 17 San Diego-area rabbis signed a letter denouncing Rep. Duncan Hunter‘s “fear mongering” attacks on the Palestinian ancestry of Christian opponent Ammar Campa-Najjar.

LAST DAY FOR PUBLIC COMMENT ON PLAN TO DECIMATE FEDERAL FORESTS

By Miriam Raftery

August 26, 2019 (Washington D.C.) – A radical proposal by the Trump administration’s U.S. Forest Service would allow logging and road building on up to 75% of our nation’s public forest lands without environmental review or public input.  

Today is the deadline for public comments, which you can submit at this link: : https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=FS-2019-0010-0001

The proposed changes to the National Environmental Policy Act established in 1970 would allow the agency to also ignore impacts on climate change, habitat, and recreational use of federal forests such as Cleveland National Forest in San Diego County and federal forests surrounding national parks such as near Yellowstone and Sequoia.

ALPINE CHAMBER FORMS GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS COMMITTEE TO ADDRESS HIGHWAY FUNDS SHIFT

East County News Service

August 22, 2019 (Alpine)  Concerned over the potential loss of funds to expand a portion of Interstate 8 in East County due to a shift in priorities at the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), the Alpine Chamber of Commerce has announced the formation of a Government Affairs Committee.

HELIX WATER DISTRICT VOTES 4-1 TO APPROVE RATE HIKE FOR RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES

Board President Dan McMillan votes against the measure

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

August 17, 2019 (La Mesa) -- Water from the Helix Water District (HWD), which serves some 276,000 residents throughout East County San Diego, is going to get a little more expensive in spite of ample water supply in storage.

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