Politics

POLITICAL WRANGLING – A SHOE-IN RALLY, THROWING STONES, & LAST-MINUTE ENDORSEMENTS

By Buck Shott

June 7, 2010 – With Election Day tomorrow, last-minute endorsements and attacks are rolling out. Here’s a wrap-up on the latest political wrangling on the campaign trail:

 

VIDEOS NOW POSTED: LEGISLATIVE CANDIDATES OFFER DIVERSE GOALS & VIEWS AT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE FORUM

JOBS! ECM PUBLISHER MARK HANSON LEADS EFFORT TO TRAIN LOCAL WORKERS FOR GULF OIL SPILL CLEANUP; SAN DIEGO TEAM HEADS TO LOUSIANA JUNE 13

 

HUNDREDS OF JOBS FOR LOCAL WORKERS: 

LMI teams up with Urban League, Heartland Coalition,  Progressive Environmental Services and Job Corps to address nation's worst environmental disaster

 

Update June 14:  LMI's team of 50 trained local workers have been delayed departing for the Gulf because BP has failed to provide payment for their transportation.  Hanson has called for President Obama to set up an escrow fund with BP money to be used to expedite cleanup of the spill. 

  

By Miriam Raftery
 

 

June 5, 2010 (San Diego) – “This is an unprecedented oil    spill,” Lakeside resident Mark Hanson, chief executive officer of Leadership Management International in San Diego, told a crowd of eager job applicants assembled at Urban League in San Diego yesterday. “Oil is now landing on one of the most pristine coasts in Florida and satellite images show a reddish glob of goop in the ocean that’s the size of several states.” 

 

Hanson, who also heads up Heartland Coalition, publisher of East County Magazine, led the successful effort for LMI to obtain a contract from Progressive Environmental Services (PES) of Virginia to provide hazardous materials training locally and ultimately send hundred of San Diego-area workers to Gulf coast states to assist in cleaning up oil from beaches, coastal wetlands, waterways and wildlife.

LUTZ URGES NEW U.S. ATTORNEY LAURA DUFFY TO REOPEN INVESTIGATION INTO EX-CONGRESSMAN HUNTER

 

 

June 2, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – Ray Lutz, Democratic candidate for the 52nd Congressional District, praised the U.S. Senate's confirmation of Laura Duffy as new U.S. Attorney in San Diegio.  Duffy, appointed by President Barack Obama,  fills the position once held by Carol Lam, "who was surprisingly dismissed after she successfully prosecuted Randy 'Duke' Cunningham, Dusty Foggo and Brent Wilkes," noted Lutz.

 

Lam, along with numerous other U.S. Attorneys, was fired by the George W. Bush administration despite winning a conviction against then-Congressman Cunningham for bribery and other charges. Suggestions have long been made by critics of the Bush administration that Lam’s abrupt dismissal may have been an effort to squelch her investigation into another powerful Congressman – Duncan Hunter, then chair of the House Armed Services Committee.

“OPEN” PRIMARY MEASURE,PROP 14, OPPOSED BY ALL POLITICAL PARTIES IN CALIFORNIA

 

Prop 14 would ban party primaries, allow candidates to run without disclosing party, ban write-in candidates, and allow a general election run-off between two candidates in the same party

June 2, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) - A recent poll shows 60% of voters support Prop 14, the so-called “open primary” initiative on the June 8 ballot. But the measure goes far beyond “open primary” measures elsewhere. Opponents say most people don’t understand the implications of the measure, which is opposed by both the Democratic and Republican parties in California as well as minor parties including the Libertarian, Green and Peace & Freedom Parties.

CHAMBER TO HOST CANDIDATES FOR 36th STATE SENATE AND 77th ASSEMBLY SEATS JUNE 1st IN EL CAJON

 

May 31, 2010 (El Cajon) -- The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce will present its“Conversations with the Candidates” legislative dinner on June 1st. All candidates running for the 36th Senate seat and the 77th Assembly district have been invited. Both are important electoral positions for the East County community and both are open seats this election cycle.

PROP 17 WOULD HURT VETERANS & CONSUMERS, EXPERTS WARN


INSURANCE-BACKED INITIATIVE DECEIVES CONSUMERS, SAY PUBLIC INTEREST GROUPS 

By Miriam Raftery

May 28, 2010 (San Diego) – Mercury Insurance is the sole sponsor of Proposition 17, though it hides its identity behind the deceptively name Campaign for Consumer Rights. Mercury wants to repeal portions of a law that prohibit it from charging higher rates to consumers who dropped insurance coverage for 90 days, missed a single payment, or were not previously insured (even if a teen had a perfect record driving a paren'ts car).

 

Yesterday, Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee Chair Mary Salas held a press conference with Votevets.org chairman Jon Soltz to warn that Prop 17 unfairly penalizes veterans who drop coverage while serving overseas or in the U.S. “Soldiers and veterans would be required to pay up to $1,000 more a year for auto insurance when they sought to restart coverage,” Salas cautions.

ANDERSON SPEAKS OUT ON CAMPAIGN FINANCE ISSUES

 

"There was no money laundering...I'm endorsed by the  Deputy Sheriffs, police, the CHP. Do you think they would endorse me if I was a money launderer?" - Assemblyman Joel Anderson

 

May 28, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – Assemblyman Joel Anderson (R-El Cajon) has been dogged by the whiff of scandal since the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) fined his campaign $20,000 for accepting five contributions over the legal limit of $3,900 per individual.

 

Opponents and some media reports have made references to money-laundering. For months, Anderson has said little on the matter, on the advice of attorneys. But in a phone call with ECM editor Miriam Raftery today, Anderson flatly denied any intentional wrongdoing and defended his integrity.

POLITICAL WRANGLING: GREATEST "HITS" OF THE PRIMARY SEASON

 

By Buck Shott

May 28, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – With just 10 days until the June 8 primary, hit pieces are out in droves--like killer bees swarming to finish off hapless victims. As usual, there’s a fair amount of truth-stretching going on. Greatest “hits” of the season include:

A TALE OF 3 BUDGETS: STATE LEGISLATURE GRAPPLES OVER DUELING PROPOSALS

May 27, 2010 (Sacramento) – Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Senate and Assembly Democratic leaders have proposed three separate budgets with drastically different approaches to closing a $20 billion gap.  Should California completely eliminate safety nets for children, poor families and the elderly? 

 

That's what the Governor has proposed -- and what Republican leaders in both houses support. Or should corporate tax breaks be delayed to help balance the budget, as Senate Democrats propose?  Or should a compromise measure from Senate Assembly leaders, that includes both cuts and a tax on oil companies, plus outsourcing management of bottle bill revenues, be considered?  

 

Those are among the touch choices facing state legislators.  

TWO REPUBLICANS SQUARE OFF IN 78TH ASSEMBLY PRIMARY RACE; WINNER TO FACE MARTY BLOCK

 

Update: Rick Powell won the Republican primary and will face off against Democratic Assemblyman Marty Block in November.

EDUCATION IS KEY ISSUE IN THE RACE

   

May 27, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – Two military veterans square off in a Republican primary in the 78th Assembly District. Republican Emma Turner, a 27-year Navy veteran, is president of the La Mesa-Spring Valley School Board and says she’s running to fight for more funding forpublic schools, particularly K-12 education.

 

Col. Rick Powell, who also has a distinguished military career, thinks the answer to education is not more money for public schools, but instead providing vouchers and supporting charters that would let parents use public funds to send their children to private schools.

The winner in the GOP primary will run against Assemblyman Marty Block, an educator and former San Diego State University administrator who now chairs the Assembly Higher Education Committee. Block has championed education causes, particularly efforts to help college students and their families.

SAN DIEGO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE JOINS LABOR , CONSUMER & ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS IN OPPOSING PROP 16



Utility company spent $45 million to support measure that would make it harder for cities and counties to provide cheaper power alternatives to consumers



May 26, 2010 (San Diego) – Politics makes strange bedfellows—and in the case of Proposition 16, almost nobody is being swayed by Pacific Gas & Electric's efforts to woo voters. One of the largest coalitions in memory against a ballot proposition has been forged to oppose the utility giant's efforts, uniting business, labor, consumer, seniors, and enviornmental groups opposed to the measure.

 

PG&E has spent over $45 million on its “Yes on 16” campaign. If passed, the initiative on the June ballot would make it almost impossible for local cities or counties to start a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program to provide electricity at lower rates--or from cleaner sources--than a utility company.

4TH SUPERVISORIAL CANDIDATES TO PARTICIPATE IN FORUM MAY 27

 

Mission Valley News is sponsoring a forum for the public to hear from candidates running for the County Board of Supervisors 4th Supervisorial District. The forum will be held Thursday, May 27 from 4-5 p.m. at the Mission Valley Branch Library, 2123 Fenton Parkway, San Diego.

JUDGING THE JUDGES: CHRISTIAN RIGHT TAKES AIM AT FOUR ON JUNE BALLOT

 

Conservative group's candidates found not qualified for judicial positions by County Bar

 

May 24, 2010 (San Diego) – Judicial races are rarely headline news. But an organization called “Better Courts Now” founded by the late Don Hamer, an East County pastor, has lined up a slate of right-wing candidates to challenge four incumbent judges.

The group’s website states that judges should be accountable, uphold the law and make fair, impartial decisions—yet does not cite a single instance in which the incumbents failed on any specific point. (Better Courts Now notes that doing so would violate Canon 5 of the California Code of Judicial Ethics, which prohibits judicial candidates from leveling specific criticisms against opponents.) 

Better Courts Now’s candidates were not found qualified for the positions they seek by the County Bar Association.  In response, Better Courts Now has accused the Bar of "blatant political bias" and noted that Larry Stanwood Johnson, chair of the Bar's Certified Family Law Specialists Committee, has solicited donations from Committee members for the incumbent judges.  

DECEPTIVE SLATE MAILER TARGETS DEMOCRATIC VOTERS

May 25, 2010 (San Diego) – Voters, be wary. A slate mailer titled “Election Education Guide” claims to list official endorsements of the California Democratic Party for statewide candidates and propositions. But the deceptive paid political flyer is not affiliated with the Democrats. While some positions listed accurately reflect the Party’s endorsements, others falsely misrepresent the Democratic Party’s position.

For the Democratic Party’s official list of endorsements, click here.

The “Election Education Guide” slate mailer contains the following misrepresentations:

ETHICS, ECONOMY & EDUCATION AMONG TOP ISSUES IN 36th STATE SENATE RACE

 

UPDATE:  Assemblyman Joel Anderson won the Republican primary and will square off against Democrat Paul Clay, a teacher, in the 36th State Senate election November 2.  Scroll down for profiles on both candidates.  

WANT TO VOTE IN THE JUNE PRIMARY? REGISTRATION DEADLINE MAY 24

May 21, 2010 --The deadline to register to vote in time for the June 8 statewide primary election is this Monday, May 24. Remember, voters who have moved, changed their name, or would like to change their party affiliation must re-register to vote!

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS ISSUES RECOMMENDATIONS ON JUNE BALLOT INITIATIVES


May 25, 2010 (San Diego) -- The nonpartisan League of Women Voters of San Diego County has issued recommendations on several propositions on the June 8th statewide primary election ballot.  They include Prop 15 (Fair Elections), Prop 16 (2/3 requirement for local public utility providers), Prop B (term limits for Supervisors), and Prop D (strong mayor form of government). Positions and rationales are as follows:

SALAS PROTESTS MASSIVE SPILL - DONATES BP CONTRIBUTION TO LOCAL CONSERVATION GROUP

 

May 18, 2010 (Chula Vistas)– Assemblymember Mary Salas, Democratic candidate for State Senate in the 40th District, donated a $500 contribution she received from British Petroleum (BP) to the San Diego League of Conservation Voters in protest of the company’s response to the massive Gulf Oil spill.She also accused her primary opponent, Juan Vargas, of being "in the pocket" of big oil companies.

SALAS PROTESTS MASSIVE SPILL - DONATES BP CONTRIBUTION TO LOCAL CONSERVATION GROUP

 

May 18, 2010 (Chula Vistas)– Assemblymember Mary Salas, Democratic candidate for State Senate in the 40th District, donated a $500 contribution she received from British Petroleum (BP) to the San Diego League of Conservation Voters in protest of the company’s response to the massive Gulf Oil spill.She also accused her primary opponent, Juan Vargas, of being "in the pocket" of big oil companies.

PUBLIC MEETING TOMORROW ON PROP 16 & A PROPOSED INITIATIVE TO OVERTURN AB 32

 

Oil and utility industry-backed measures seek to rollback global warming bill and restrict local governments' abilities to purchase clean energy

May 17, 2010 (San Diego) – Two energy measures drawing controversy this election season will be topics of discussion at an event Tuesday evening hosted by the Sustainability Alliance of Southern California.

GOVERNOR PROPOSES TERMINATION OF WELFARE-TO-WORK AND DRASTIC CUTS IN SERVICES FOR SENIORS, DISABLED, & CHILDREN

 

Majority Vote Budget Initiative qualifies for ballot

How would you balance the budget? Take the Next10 budget challenge

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 14, 2010 (Sacramento) – Facing a budget deficit of over $20 billion, today Governor Schwarzenegger proposed deep new budget cuts.  The Governor proposes the complete elimination of the CAL-Works program (which will impact over 80,000 low-income parents and their children in San Diego County), slash in-home care for seniors and the disabled (including 23,000 seniors and disabled persons in San Diego County), and sharply cut funds for the Healthy Families program, among other drastic measures.

 

Hoping to end budget gridlock, teachers, firefighters and nurses last week joined together to submit more than 1.1 million signatures and qualify a Majority Vote Budget Initiative for the November 2, 2010 election.  “Late budgets hurt all Californians and the budget crisis is continuing to be the top issue in the state,” said Kay McVay, President Emeritus of the California Nurses Association, “This initiative will not end all of the gridlock, but it is a step in the right direction.”

POLITICAL WRANGLING: VULTURES, SHEEP & PORK BARREL POLITICS ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL

 

By Buck Shott

May11, 2010 – This week, we bring you a ringside seat for the latest political knock-down, drag-out fights in state and local races.

 

MISSING IN ACTION: Ballot statements have been published for the June primary—but one local candidate’s statement is conspicuously absent.

LEGISLATIVE LEADERS INTRODUCE PACKAGE OF BILLS TO CLOSE CORPORATE TAX LOOPHOLES

 

Bills’ supporters say budget shortfalls will hurt economy, lead to crowded schools and disintegration of safety-net
 

 

May 10, 2010 (Sacramento) -- Legislators held a State Capitol News Conference to announce the introduction of a package of bills to close “fat cat tax” loopholes.

HOLLINGSWORTH BILL TO REDUCE PENSIONS FOR STATE WORKERS IS HEARD IN COMMITTEE

By Miriam Raftery
May 10, 2010 (Sacramento) – Senator Dennis Hollingsworth (R-Murrieta) whose district includes most of East County, had a hearing in the Senate Public Employees and Retirement Today on his Senate Bill 919. The measure would increase retirement age from 55 to 65 and require higher contributions from state employees to their retirement accounts. It would also require that retirement benefits be based on the highest three years of wages, instead of the highest one year.

 

The measure, which would reduce pension benefits while asking workers to pay more into their pension funds, has sparked controversy in Sacramento, drawing opposition from teachers and other state workers.

DEMOCRATS’ JOBS PACKAGE ADVANCES IN STATE SENATE

 

May 9, 2010 (Sacramento) – “The Senate continues to make progress to restore California's economy and put people back to work,” Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) announced. In April, Senate committees passed several bills as part of “Agenda 2010”, Democrats’ plan that aspires to create 140,000 jobs without raising taxes or dismantling workplace and environmental protections.

 

GULF OIL SPILL REIGNITES QUESTION OF OFFSHORE DRILLING IN CALIFORNIA

 

Federal and state candidates, office-holders from our region wade into the fray

 

 

By Lola Sherman

ECM Editor Miriam Raftery also contributed to this story

 

May 6, 2010 (San Diego) --To drill or not to drill is a question that voters may weigh more heavily following the disastrous explosion April 20 on a British Petroleum oil rig off the Louisiana coast.

 

“Drill baby, drill” is still former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's mantra, even though her state suffered one of the worst oil spills in history. But in California, some elected officials and candidates now say they’ve changed their minds about oil drilling off our state’s shorelines in the wake of the Gulf Coast disaster.

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