Randy Voepel

WHY IS ASSEMBLYMAN VOEPEL DODGING DEBATES?

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Randy Voepel, left; James Elia, right.

October 10, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) — James Elia, the Democratic nominee running for State Assembly in the 71st Assembly District, has been clamoring to debate his opponent, incumbent Randy Voepel, a Republican. But Voepel has gone to extremes to dodge debates and candidate forums, even ducking out of the building when a fire alarm conveniently went off at a recent even where Voepel was slated to speak and spotted his opponent in the room.

ELIA LEADING WILKES IN RACE TO CHALLENGE VOEPEL FOR ASSEMBLY SEAT

 

Update June 6, 2018 -- Across both San Diego and Riverside County, with 100% of precincts tallied but not late mail-in or provisional ballots, according to the Califiornia Secretary of State the results are:  Randy Voepel 44.5%,  James Elia 31.3%, and Larry Wilske 24.2%.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Jonathan Goetz, who also contributed to this report

June 5, 2018 (San Diego's East County) -- In the 71st Assembly district held by  Republican Randy Voepel, with 15.3% of precincts counted, Voepel is on top in San Diego County with 44.13% but Democratic challenger James Elia is in second with 32.2% of the vote among the roughly 34,000 ballots tallied so far. 

Republican challenger Larry Wilske, a retired Navy Seal, had attacked Voepel with accusation of stolen valor, claiming Voepel inflated his military record.

In conservative Riverside County, which has a small percentage of voters, Wilske is actually ahead of the incumbent. Among Riverside's roughly 3,000 votes counted thus far, Wilske has 35.26%, followed by  Elia at 33.17%, and Voepel at just 31.57%. Voepel has strongest name recognition in East County, where he formerly served as mayor of Santee.

"We laid it all on the line, we've knocked on as many doors as we can and we look forward to the end of the night and we're confident we're going to November," Elia, an accountant, said tonight.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: LARRY WILSKE, RETIRED NAVY SEAL RUNNING FOR ASSEMBLY

 

 

May 18, 2018 (San Diego's East County)-- Larry Wilske is a retired Navy Seal, running as a Republican challenger to incumbent Randy Voepel in the 71st Assembly district. Voepel, also a Republican, is facing allegations of "stolen valor" or inflating his military record.

Wilske belives integrity is the core issue in his race against Voepel. In our interview aired originally on KNSJ Radio, Wilske talks about the ethics concerns, as well as his stances on issues impacting California statewide such as education, sanctuary state laws, and healthcare.

A resident of Descanso in San Diego's East County, he also shared his views on rural issues including fire preparedness, water, power shut offs and jobs.  Hear our full interview with Larry Wilske by clicking here.

Audio: 

Larry Wilske, 71st Assembly candidate

GOP RIVAL CALLS ON ASSEMBLYMAN VOEPEL TO RESIGN AS NEW VIDEOS SURFACE

 

 

By Ken Stone, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

May 2, 2018 (Santee) - Assemblyman Randy Voepel should resign for lying about his service record, says his Republican rival and an allied military critic in the wake of new videos of Voepel claiming combat experience.

ASSEMBLY TAPES REVEAL VOEPEL CLAIMING “HEAVY COMBAT” EXPERIENCE WITH TIGER BATTALION

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 25, 2018 (Santee) – In the latest round of claims that Assemblyman Randy Voepel has inflated his military record, audiotapes and transcripts from two California legislative hearings last year reveal Voepel speaking of being in “heavy combat” in Vietnam and serving with the “Tiger Battalion.”

ASSEMBLYMAN VOEPEL ACCUSED OF "VALOR THEFT" BY GOP RIVAL, NAVY VETERAN

 

By Ken Stone

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

Photo:  Voepel wearing the Combat Action Medal.

April 18, 2018 (San Diego) - Republican Assemblyman Randy Voepel is taking heavy flak from a GOP rival, who along with another Navy veteran is accusing the former Santee mayor of having “Stolen Valor.”

Monday morning on KUSI TV, 30-year Navy SEAL veteran Larry Wilske brought up claims by retired Master Chief Petty Officer Terence Hoey* that Voepel misrepresented his military service record.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: JAMES ELIA, ASSEMBLY CANDIDATE RUNNING AGAINST RANDY VOEPEL

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 21, 2017 (San Diego's East County) -- Last week, East County Magazine sat down with James Elia, a Democrat running in the 71st Assembly district against Republican Assemblyman Randy Voepel. Hear our interview, originally aired on KNSJ radio, by clicking the audio link.

Elia, an accountant, has set his sights on establishing a state bank -- a goal he estimates would bring in enough revenues to fund universal healthcare for all Californians. 

He is running on a populist platform that includes creating more affordable housing in East County, bringing economic development and good-paying jobs to the 71st Assembly district.

Audio: 

James Elia interview on 71st Assembly candidacy

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS

 

By Miriam Raftery, Editor, East County Magazine

July 4, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – The votes are in!  Congratulations to the winners in our East County Photography Contest.  Below are the winners, chosen by our readers from semi-finalists selected by our editorial staff.  The first place winner in each category will be displayed at the State Capitol, courtesy of Assemblyman Randy Voepel. The top four winners in each category are published in our East County Magazine article below. 

Due to the large volume of high-quality entries, we added extra categories to allow  more winners.  The categories are wildlife, landmarks, communities, close-ups, people, landscapes, waterscapes, sunsets and regional.  

Congratulations to our winners! We thank all who entered, and hope all of our readers will enjoy viewing the amazing works of these talented local photographers!   View winners: 

VOTE FOR WINNERS IN OUR PHOTO CONTEST!

 

East County Magazine

June 3, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Thanks to all who entered our East County photo contest!    There were many great entries , making it tough to narrow it down to semi-finalists. We added extra categories to give more people a chance to be winners!  Please vote for your favorites in each category/

For directions click "read more" and scroll down:

ASSEMBLYMAN VOEPEL AND EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE TO HOST EASTERN SAN DIEGO COUNTY PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST

 

 

Photo by Darin Sefcik:  First place winner in East County Magazine's 2013 photography competition

 

March 15,  2017 (Santee) -- Assemblyman Randy Voepel (R-Santee) and East County Magazine announced today that they are hosting a photography contest that features photographs taken in San Diego’s East County.  The winning photographs will be displayed in Assemblyman Randy Voepel’s Capitol Office and published in East County Magazine.  Categories include wildlife, landscapes, cities and towns, activities, and people. 

“Eastern San Diego County is full of beautiful scenery and iconic landmarks, and I can’t wait to showcase photos of our wonderful community in our State’s Capitol,” Voepel said.  

Miriam Raftery, Editor of East County Magazine said, “We’re pleased to partner with Assemblyman Voepel to showcase the best of East County’s beautiful scenery, unique communities, people, wildlife, and activities.” 

Click "read more" or scroll down for for details:

VOEPEL'S VETERANS EMPLOYMENT PARITY ACT CLEARS FIRST LEGISLATIVE HURDLE

 

East County News Service

March 21, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- This afternoon, the Assembly Committee on Veterans Affairs voted to support AB 353, the Veterans Employment Parity Act, with unanimous support (10-0).



"The Veterans Affairs Committee took an important step today toward expanding job opportunities for our nation's veterans. With a higher unemployment rate than the national average, it's critical that we provide private employers with the option to give preference to veterans during the hiring process," said Voepel.

REALTORS TRADE GROUP WILL HOST ASSEMBLYMAN RANDY VOEPEL FOR MEET-AND-GREET

 

East County News Service

March 16, 2017 (El Cajon) – The Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors (PSAR), a real estate trade group for San Diego-area realtors, will host California Assemblyman Randy Voepel for a meet-and-greet from 8:30 to 10 a.m., Friday, March 31, at PSAR’s East County Service Center, 1150 Broadway, El Cajon. The public is invited to attend. Members of PSAR’s East County Governmental Affairs Committee are organizing the event.

BILL TO MAKE CALIF. A SANCTUARY STATE ADVANCES IN STATE SENATE

 

Two East County representatives oppose measure; Anderson attacks immigrants as criminals despite actual data on crime rates  

By Miriam Raftery

February 2, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) — Two local legislators have taken stands against SB 54, a measure that would prevent state and local authorities in California from cooperating with federal efforts to deport undocumented immigrants.

ASSEMBLYMEMBER VOEPEL SEEKS NOMINATIONS FOR 2017 WOMAN OF THE YEAR

 

Local honoree will be recognized in Sacramento on March 6

January 25, 2017 (Sacramento) -- Assemblymember Randy Voepel, R-Santee, invites constituents to nominate extraordinary women in their communities for consideration as the 2017 Woman of the Year for the 71st Assembly District.

ATKINS, VOEPEL SHARE REACTIONS TO GOVERNOR’S STATE OF STATE

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County News Service

January 24, 2017 (San Diego) – State Senator Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and East County’s new Assemblyman Randy Voepel (R-Santee) today shared their reactions to Governor Jerry Brown’s State of the State address

SHOCKER: LEO HAMEL WILL BE IN RUN-OFF IN 71ST ASSEMBLY DISTRICT—DESPITE DROPPING OUT OF RACE

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 9, 2016 (San Diego)—Seven Assembly seats and one state Senate race in San Diego County were among those on the ballot Tuesday.   Under the rules for state legislative elections, the top two vote-getters in each race will advance to a run-off in November. 

In a startling turn of events, the run-off in the 71st Assembly seat vacated by Brian Jones due to term limits will be between Santee Mayor Randy Voepel and jeweler Leo Hamel in November—despite Hamel announcing he was dropping out of the race shortly after the ballots were printed. 

"In a “top-two” primary, the two candidates with the most votes advance to the General Election. The only way a candidate can be removed from the ballot is by dying or via court order. This must occur no later than 68 days before the election (Per Elections Code 8810)," Sam Mahood, press secretary for Secretary of State Alex Padilla told East County Magazine.  San Diego Registrar Michael Vu confirmed that state election code provides that Hamel will be on the November ballot, once the results are officially certified.

The district spans two counties. In San Diego, Voepel got 61%, Hamel 27%, and businessman Tony Teora 12%.  In Riverside County, the placement order is the same, though Teora had 14% there.

VOEPEL-TEORA ASSEMBLY RACE HEATS UP

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo from www.StopRandyVoepel.com, a site criticizing Voepel's  "insurgent" remarks suggesting he would be a political  hit man for the GOP in Sacramento

May 27, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Santee Mayor Randy Voepel is facing some formidable opposition in his run for the 71st Assembly seat.  An anonymous hit site, www.StopRandyVoepel.com, has posted audio of inflammatory statements made by Voepel—along with past tax lien documents on the self-proclaimed fiscal conservative’s home.

Meanwhile his opponent, Tony Teora, a centrist Republican who leans Libertarian on some issues but green on climate change, has invested heavily in his campaign including freeway signs, newspaper ads and newsletters to voters.  (Leo Hamel, a third candidate listed on the ballot, has withdrawn from the race.)

71ST ASSEMBLY CANDIDATES RANDY VOEPEL AND TONY TEORA SPEAK AT LAKESIDE TEA PARTY

 

By Janis Russell

March 30, 2016 (Lakeside) - At the Lakeside Tea Party meeting on March 28, two of the 71st Assembly candidates, Santee Mayor Randy Voepel and small business owner Tony Teora, both Republicans, spoke and answered questions from the public. Leo Hamel, another Republican candidate, wasn’t able to make it.

LEGISLATIVE CANDIDATES BRIAN JONES AND RANDY VOEPEL SPEAK OUT AT 2ND CHALDEAN CHAMBER'S "MEET YOUR CANDIDATE" EVENT

 

By Janis Russell

August 17, 2015 (La Mesa)- The San Diego East County Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce hosted its second Meet Your Candidates event at Sammy’s Woodfire Pizza in La Mesa on August 5. The speakers were Assemblyman Brian Jones, who is running for Senator Joel Anderson’s seat, and 71st state Assembly district candidate Randy Voepel, who has been Mayor  and served on Santee’s city council since 2000. Voepel is running against Mike Harrison, who currently serves on Duncan D. Hunter, and Tony Teora, an engineer. (Harrison spoke at a prior Chamber event and Teora is invited for the future.)

JONES, VOEPEL TO SPEAK AT MEET YOUR CANDIDATES AUG. 5

 

July 28, 2015 (La Mesa) – The San Diego East County Chaldean-American Chamber of Commerce will host its second Meet Your Candidates Night on Wednesday, August 5 from 6-7 pm.. at Sammy's Woodfire Pizza, 8555 Fletcher Parkway, La Mesa 91942.

Assemblyman Brian Jones, who is running for State Senate, and Randy Voepel, Santee Mayor and candidate for the Assembly seat Jones will vacate next year due to term limits, will be speaking.

QUAIL BRUSH APPLICANT ASKS FOR 1 YEAR EXTENSION OF APPLICATION SUSPENSION

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: simulation of plant viewed from campground at Mission Trails Regional Park

April 14, 2014 (San Diego) – One year after the California Public Utilities Commissions suspended an application for the controversial gas-fired Quail Brush power plan proposed near Mission Trails Regional Park and schools in Santee, the applicant has taken steps to keep the proposal alive.

SANTEE COUNCIL VOTES TO APPROVE ANNEXATION OF CASTLEROCK

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By Miriam Raftery

October 17, 2013 (Santee) – Santee’s City Council has voted to allow annexation of the controversial Castlerock Development project, meaning the land will be transferred from San Diego to Santee.  Pardee Homes plans to build 283 single family homes, 147 multi-family dwellings and a public park at the project. 

The Council has fought to oppose Castlerock on the boundary of Santee and San Diego, but the City of San Diego approved it.  Unable to block the project, Santee’s Council decided to allow annexation so that developer fees and property taxes from the new homes will be paid to Santee. In turn, Santee will provide services as fire protection.

SANTEE APPROVES EMINENT DOMAIN TO TAKE HOMES FOR STREET WIDENING

 

 

Friday: Listen to the East County Magazine Show on KNSJ 89.1 FM at 5 p.m. to hear our interview with Stephen Bartholow, editor of Santee Patch, who has been tracking this story.

July 25, 2013 (Santee) – By a unanimous vote, Santee City Council ignored pleas from residents and authorized the city to seize and force sale of four properties, as well as obtain easements for nearly a hundred more.   The declaration of eminent domain was done to allow the Prospect Avenue street widening project, which impacts properties on nine streets.

“We don’t want to leave,” Gloria Duff testified, Santee Patch reported.  Duff, whose family has lived in their home for 50 years, said the family took out a second mortgage for remodeling recently and fears they won’t get enough money.

SANTEE COUNCIL VOTES TO OPPOSE QUAIL BRUSH POWER PLANT

San Diego Planning Commission to weigh changing zoning to allow project at April 26 meeting; Opponents plan march today in Santee

March 31, 2012 (Santee) – Santee Mayor Randy Voepel didn’t mince words. “This is a declaration of war,” he said at Wednesday night’s City Council meeting, where Councilmembers voted unanimously to oppose the gas-fired Quail Brush power plant. 

The 100 megawatt (MW) “peaker” power plant is proposed on 10 acres adjacent to Mission Trails Regional Park, close to West Hills High School and homes. 

EAST COUNTY MAYORS REACT TO HOMELESS COUNT FINDINGS

 

By Jeremy Los

 

“This issue has received band-aid approaches to fix it when it needs a tourniquet.” – La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid

 

“We look at them as a resource… they are the eyes and ears of the community… they certainly know when something is going on.” – El Cajon Mayor Mark Lewis, on the homeless in his town

 

 "I do not feel there needs to be a regional center for the homeless in East County." -- Lemon Grove Mayor Mary Sessom

 

"I am not in the homeless business." - Santee Mayor Randy Voepel

 

April 26, 2011 – Four East County mayors shared their reactions on a new study on the many homeless in our region. Their views differed dramatically on how to address the homeless problem.  In addition, three of the four mayors questioned the study findings and voiced doubts on the numbers of homeless people listed in their cities. 

 

According to the 2011 Point-In-Time Count by the Regional Task Force on the Homeless, East County is now home to 8.9% of San Diego County’s homeless population, with El Cajon staking claim to the highest number of homeless people. However, the majority of El Cajon's homeless are in shelters--while in other East County communities, the homeless are living on the streets, in cars, or camped along riverbeds.  

CA ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE THREATENS LAWSUIT AGAINST PADRE DAM AFTER WATER DISTRICT DEFIES NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE COMMISSION, CONTINUES CONSTRUCTION AT SITE DEEMED SACRED

 

 

Community leaders testify on Viejas’ behalf, ask Padre’s water board to find alternative solution;
Viejas to ask judge on Friday to extend injunction

By Miriam Raftery

June 24, 2010 (Santee) – Improper. Disrespectful. Inappropriate. Embarassing. Those were some of the terms community leaders used at yesterday’s Padre Dam Municipal Water Board hearing to describe the Board’s refusal to halt construction at a planned reservoir and pipeline site near Lake Jennings.

 

“I’ve just come from the site,” Leon Thompson testified, drawing an audible gasp from the crow when he added that he shot video showing “desecration continuing” of areas near a circle of rocks marking grave sites.  View video here.

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