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August 19, 2010 (San Diego's East County) -- It may be the hottest political show of the season. On Friday, the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce hosts its annual “Politics in Paradise” event, giving the public an opportunity to hear from top elected officials. This year, confirmed participants include Congressional representatives Duncan D. Hunter (R-El Cajon) and Bob Filner (D-San Diego), as well as State Senator Denise Ducheny (D-San Diego), Assemblyman Marty Block (D-Lemon Grove), and Supervisor Dianne Jacob.


The bipartisan lineup includes some of San Diego’s most influential and powerful legislative leaders. Ducheny chairs the Senate budget committee in Sacramento. Block chairs the Higher Education committee n the Assembly. Filner chairs the House Veterans Affairs Committee. Jacob, with decades of experience, has previously chaired the County Board of Supervisors. Hunter, a first-term Congressman, is a member of the House Armed Services Committee that his father formerly chaired.


The event takes place Friday, August 20th from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Water Conservation Garden, 12122 Cuyamaca College Drive West in El Cajon, 92019. Tickets cost $50 and include heavy hors d’oeuvres and a hosted bar. Guests will have the opportunity to mix, mingle, and pose questions of their elected officials.

Jacob has been a vocal leader in opposing Sunrise Powerlink and has also been striving to improve fire protection for our region. Block, though a first-term legislator, has already had several bills enacted and has also been battling to restore guaranteed student admissions for local students at San Diego State University. Filner has enacted measures to help veterans and has also supported key elements of President Obama’s legislative agenda including healthcare and financial reforms. Hunter, an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran, has not passed any measures as a first-term Congressman but has focused on fiscal responsibility in Washington and hosted job fairs locally.

While Chamber guests savor political debate inside the Garden, Rep. Hunter’s political opponents, Democrat Ray Lutz and Libertarian Michael Benoit, are staging a hunger strike to urge Hunter to engage in early debates. Lutz posted a notice on a Facebook page announcing a protest rally outside Friday’s event. Hunter has thus far refused to debate before October—but with 60% of San Diegans voting by absentee ballots that are mailed the first week in October, his opponents are objecting.

Hunter has told media that his legislative schedule precluded him visiting the district to debate Lutz and Benoit in August or September. However his presence at the Chamber legislative panel, as well as Congressman Filner’s announcement of numerous appearances in his San Diego district over the next week, have led his opponents to question that rationale.

Expect some lively exchanges at this year’s “Politics in Paradise” -- if last year’s event is any indication. Officials on the panel last year clashed on issues ranging from healthcare to taxes to global warming, fielding questions both from a moderator and audience members in a panel discussion that was both informative and entertaining.

Advance registration and payment are required. For more information, visit http://www.eastcountychamber.org/component/content/article/4-rok-stories....

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"Each year the Chamber hosts our Federal, State and County lawmakers, in an attempt to offer the voters of East San Diego County an opportunity to interact with their elected representation. .." ( From the Chamber website.) My Comment. Bull poop! It's a fundraiser for the chamber. Watch me not spend $50.00 in user fees to debate with my elected representatives.