Ben Kalasho

RACISM AND DIRTY POLITICS IN EL CAJON COUNCIL RACE

By Miriam Raftery

October 4, 2012 (El Cajon)—Three challengers running for office in the El Cajon Council race have made allegations including sign-stealing, racism and pressure on local merchants to back incumbents and suppress messages from other candidates.

On September 25, John Gibson with the Hamann Companies, a backer of  incumbents Bill Wells and Tony Ambrose,  made racially-charged remarks  about Iraqi Chaldean candidate Ben Kalasho in a City Council meeting.  The comments came after the Kalasho campaign accused Gibson, along with an incumbent Councilman, of involvement in removing and defacing Kalasho campaign signs.


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BEN KALASHO SEEKS TO BRING VOICE OF DIVERSITY, BUSINESS SAVVY TO EL CAJON COUNCIL

Three incumbents and four challengers are vying for three seats on the El Cajon City Council. ECM has requested interviews with each. Below is the first in our series of in-depth candidate profiles.


By Miriam Raftery


September 6, 2012 (El Cajon)—Earlier this year, when a vacancy opened on the El Cajon Council due to a resignation, the Councilmembers refused to accept applications from the public – including an Iraqi Chaldean immigrant and an African-American woman who wanted the job. Instead, they appointed an insider like themselves--a white male, who served on Planning Commission. 


To Ben Kalasho, that action exemplifies what’s wrong in El Cajon –and why  the Council needs people from diverse backgrounds.


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DEMOCRATS OPEN CAMPAIGN OFFICE IN EAST COUNTY

 
By Miriam Raftery
 
August 30, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Congresswoman Susan Davis and Congressman/Mayoral candidate Bob Filner were among the many candidates on hand last weekend for the grand opening of a Democratic Party campaign headquarters at 7839 University Ave., Suite 106, La Mesa.
 
County Democratic Party Chairman Jess Durfee spoke of “fulfilling a promise” to help Democrats in East County.  While much of East County remains solidly “red”, redistricting has shifted many communities in East County into Democratic districts and voter registration is increasingly favoring Democrats in some areas that have long been considered Republican strongholds. 

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ECPAC FOUNDATION MAKES ITS CASE

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 27, 2012 (El Cajon)– At a press conference on June 22, members of the new ECPAC Foundation provided details to media on their proposal to reopen the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC) in time for the city’s centennial celebration in November.

Leaders presented City Manager Doug Williford with their 60-page plan in a meeting that extended from a planned 10-15 minutes to an hour and a half.  Foundation members expressed optimism, noting that Williford asked many questions and showed genuine interest in plans to revive the theater with innovative and cost-effective improvements.


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SIGNS OF THE TIMES: THEFT, VANDALISM OF CAMPAIGN SIGNS TAKE NEW TWISTS IN EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery
 

October 24, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – A rash of sign-stealing and defacement has marred the campaign trail in East County communities including Santee, Lakeside, El Cajon. The latest targets are large signs criticizing gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman.

 

Vandals in Santee cut the name “Meg” out of numerous 4 x 8 foot signs that read: “What’s Meg Hiding? $200 million to buy election; didn’t vote for 28 years; caters to the rich and corporations. What’s her REAL agenda?” ECM photographer Dennis Richardson spotted at least four of the damaged signs this afternoon--and noticed several others had gone missing completely.


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