Ben Hueso

JONES WINS OPEN STATE SENATE SEAT; INCUMBENTS REELECTED IN OTHER EAST COUNTY RACES

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Brian Jones, shown at Politics in Paradise, has returned to the Legislature

November 8, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Brian Jones, a familiar face in East County Politics, will be the new State Senator in the 38th State Senate District. Jones, a Republican former Assemblyman and current Santee City Councilman,  has defeated Cal Fire Captain Jeff Griffith a Democrat, by a 56 to 44 percent margin with 72% of precincts counted.

“PROMISE ZONE” BILL BY HUESO AIMS TO HELP BLIGHTED RURAL AND TRIBAL AREA

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

February 10, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) -- Legislation introduced by State Senator Ben Hueso aims to expand a successful “promise zone” program originally used to improve inner city areas in the city of San Diego.  If enacted,  Senate Bill 635 would allow blighted rural and tribal communities as well as cities with populations under 200,000 people to also apply for promise zone designation.

GOVERNOR VETOES SB 649, HUESO’S CELL TOWER SITING BILL OPPOSED BY MANY COMMUNITIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 17, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed Senate Bill 649, a bill by State Senator Ben Hueso, a San Diego Democrat whose district includes large portions of rural East County.  The bill would have allowed wireless technology companies to install 5G mini and micro cell sites on any government-owned property without county or city oversight.

GOVERNOR SIGNS HUESO BILL TO BAN UTILITY SHUT-OFFS FOR PEOPLE WITH CRITICAL MEDICAL NEEDS, STUDY HOW TO REDUCE DISCONNECTIONS OF POOR HOUSEHOLDS

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 2, 2017 (San Diego) — Residential disconnections for nonpayment of gas and electric bills have gone up sharply in California, from 547,000 in 2010 to 816,000 in 2015.  According to Senate Bill 598, a bill authored by San Diego Senator Ben Hueso, gas and electric service shut-offs threaten the health of two million people a year, causing significant impacts on infants, children, the elderly, low-income families, communities of color, the disabled and persons with life-threatening medical conditions.

HUESO BILL WOULD HELP PROTECT TIJUANA RIVER VALLEY AFTER SEWAGE SPILLS

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 26, 2017 (San Diego) – State Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) has introduced Senate Bill 507 to help protect the Tijuana River Valley in the wake of repeated severe sewage spills from Mexico, including a spill in February that dumped an estimated 28 to 100 million gallons of raw sewage into the valley.

CA SENATE APPROVES SB 999, TO PROVIDE WOMEN WITH UP TO A 12-MONTH SUPPLY OF CONTRACEPTIVES

 

East County News Service

May 24, 2016 (Sacramento) -- Voting to remove a barrier to consistent, effective access to birth control, the state Senate today approved Senate Bill 999, which would require health plans to cover up to a 12-month supply of hormonal contraceptives when such a prescription is requested by a woman’s health care provider.

SENATOR HUESO’S “EQUAL GENDER PRICING BILL” HEADS TO STATE SENATE FLOOR

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 17, 2016 (San Diego) — California women and girls are spending $41 billion  more than men and boys for similar products that everyone needs, according to the Senate Judiciary Committee analysis of Senate Bill 899, the “Equal Gender Pricing Bill” authored by Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego).  Yet they earn $39 billion less than men each year.

HUESO BILL CREATES BUSINESS TAX CREDIT FOR HIRING HIGH-RISK YOUTH

 

East County News Service

February 26, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - State Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) has introduced Senate Bill 1216, which would establish a business tax credit for employers who hire high-risk youth.  The credit applies only to jobs for young people ages 18-25, who have been convicted of a crime and completed a work readiness program through a qualified job training provider.    

HUESO SUED OVER ALLEGED CAMPAIGN FINANCE VIOLATIONS--AGAIN

 

 

East County News Service

February 7, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – State Senator Ben Hueso, a San Diego Democrat, and his campaign treasurer Nancy Haley are being sued by activists Ken Mosher and  retired Marine Colonel Richard Shigley  for allegedly failing to properly disclose campaign expenditures.  The action is the latest in a string of controversies involving Hueso's campaign finances.

INCUMBENTS WIN HANDILY IN STATE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY RACES

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 4, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – By large margins, legislative candidates representing East County have won their reelection bids. Republican State Senator Joel Anderson leads Democratic challenger Fotios “Frank” Tsimboukakis by a 69.29% to 30.71% margin, with 37.7% of votes counted in the 38th district. 

In the 40th State Senate District, where two Democrats are in a run-off due to the top-two primary system, incumbent Senator Ben Hueso leads challenger Rafael Estrada 55.29% to 44.71% with a third of all precincts counted in San Diego County, though results from Imperial County are not yet available. Hueso enjoys the substantial lead despite an arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol.

WILL HUESO'S ARREST END HIS POLITICAL CAREER? NOT NECESSARILY, BASED ON POLITICIANS BUSTED ON PAST DUI CHARGES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 23, 2014 (San Diego)--As we reported Friday, State Senator Ben Hueso, a Democrat whose 40th district includes the southern portions of San Diego and East County as well as Imperial and Riverside counties, was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in Sacramento.  The Senator has issued an apology and will appear in court this week.

Adding to Hueso’s woes, the Sacramento Bee has posted a photo showing Hueso partying with the Latino Caucus, shirt tail untucked, shortly before his arrest. It was tweeted by fellow legislator Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), who later deleted the image. A reporter at the Sacramento Bee also reportedly received an audio file purporting to be loud singing on a capitol balcony during the evening revelry.

Will Senator Hueso’s arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol spell the end of his political future? Not necessarily, based on an examination of records of prior legislators faced with similar charges.

SENATOR BEN HUESO ARRESTED FOR DUI, WRONG-WAY DRIVING

 

East County News Service

August 22, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – State Senator Ben Hueso, a Democrat whose district includes large portions of East County, was arrested at 3:30 a.m. in Sacramento for driving under the influence.

The California Highway Patrol said Hueso was driving the wrong way on 15th Street in his Ford Excursion when he was stopped, Fox40 TV reported.  He faces charges of driving under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more.

GMO LABELING BILL DIES BY 2 VOTES AS LOCAL SENATORS SPLIT ON MEASURE

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 18, 2014 (Sacramento)--While other states are taking steps to protect consumers from genetically modified foods or give consumers information to make informed choices, California’s Legislature this week voted down a bill that would have required labeling of foods sold in California that are made with genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.  Exceptions were granted for alcoholic beverages and foods sold at farmer’s markets.

WAS IT FRAUD? EXPERTS RAISE SERIOUS QUESTIONS AFTER LOW FIRST-YEAR ENERGY PRODUCTION AT OCOTILLO WIND PROJECT

 

Elected officials suppressed key report, failed to halt project or recover taxpayer dollars

“It was heartbreaking to see this project desecrate such a historically and culturally significant landscape, and it’s even worse when you find out that it was built on false claims by the developer, and with the assistance of the BLM. "-- Anthony Pico, Chairman, Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians

An East County Magazine special investigation

By Miriam Raftery

April 30, 2014 (Ocotillo) – An international wind energy expert has concluded that Pattern Energy appears to have defrauded the federal government in order to obtain lucrative tax subsidies for a wind energy development in southern California that has failed to live up to the developer’s claims.

“I believe we have a clear case for the False Claims Act,” Nicolas Boccard told East County Magazine, after reviewing full first-year wind production data for the Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility on U..S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) public land.  The project produced only about half of the energy that Pattern claimed it would produce—far below levels deemed viable for a wind project, a second expert confirms. 

These dismal results are no surprise to Boccard, who predicted in a report written before construction of the project was  completed that Ocotillo lacks sufficient wind speeds to sustain a viable wind energy project.

So were Pattern's lofty wind speed claims nothing more than spin?

HUESO ASKS FAA TO GRANT RELIEF TO OCOTILLO RESIDENTS FROM WIND TURBINE LIGHTS, APPROVE RADAR-ACTIVATED LIGHTING

 

 

 

 

FAA may approve radar lighting systems, but won’t require Pattern to install

By Miriam Raftery

March 30, 2014 (Ocotillo) – State Senator Ben Hueso has taken heed of his constituents’ complaints about flashing red lights on wind turbines shining into people’s homes at night.  In a February 10, 2014 letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Hueso wrote that flashing red lights on over 100 turbines, each taller than a 40 story building, are harmful to the health of Ocotillo residents.

“As most of them live within two miles of these turbines, the steady light transmitted from these structures is causing them to suffer from migraines, vertigo and loss of sleep,”  Hueso wrote. He added that his staff has looked into the issue and found studies indicated that “residents living in such c lose proximity to turbines often suffer from illnesses including chronic sleep deprivation, hypertension and heart attack. Ocotillo is made up largely of senior citizens, a group which has been found to be exceptionally sensitive to the effects of the turbines.”

HUESO, GONZALEZ AMONG 8 RECALL TARGETS BY GUN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS

Updated November 5, 2013

By Nadin Abbott

November 2, 2013 (San Diego) Colorado has seen successful efforts to recall legislators who voted to regulate guns. Now an organizer of the Colorado effort has announced intent to launch recall efforts against eight California Democrats.

Free California founder Jennifer Kerns announced this recall effort in the Capitol on October 24. Among the legislators targeted are Senator Ben Hueso, who represents sections of the East County, and Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzales from San Diego. 

The group says it is targeting California legislators who actively supported 12 gun-control bills, including SB374, which would have added all semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines to the state's list of banned assault weapons, and AB711, which will ban lead ammunition in hunting by 2019.

BILL WOULD TAKE AWAY VOTERS’ RIGHT TO DECIDE WHETHER TO ISSUE BONDS TO PAY FOR INFRASTRUCTURE INCLUDING ENERGY PROJECTS IN EAST COUNTY

 

 

“SB 33 is being used by wealthy absentee landowners, foreign corporations, and investor-owned San Diego Gas & Electric to industrialize over 10,000 acres of our predominantly low-income and highly fire-prone rural community of Boulevard.” -- Donna Tisdale, chair of the Boulevard Planning Group

By Miriam Raftery

June 3, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – SB 33, a bill that could force voters to pay for big energy projects through bond measures even if the majority of voters don't approve such projects,  is moving forward in the state legislature. The bill has passed the State Senate and is set for hearing June 12 in the Assembly Local Government Committee. It could have a big impact in East County communities such as  Boulevard, where big energy companies have engaged in a stealth campaign to stick voters with the bill for projects they don't want.

BREAKING NEWS: CPUC REJECTS QUAIL BRUSH AND PIO PICO

Commission allows repowering of Escondido plant

“Today’s rejection of Quail Brush is not only a victory for the environment. It’s a victory for our community. It sends a message that San Diego County shouldn’t rely on old-school, power plant technology and that we can accelerate our efforts to develop renewable, cleaner forms of energy, like rooftop solar and fuel cells.”—Supervisor Dianne Jacob

March 21, 2013 (San Diego) – Before a packed audience in San Diego today, the California Public Utilities Commission unanimously denied SDG&E’s requests to build Quail Brush and Pio Pico, gas-powered peaker plants near Mission Trails Regional Park and in Otay Mesa.  The Commission did, however, authorize repowering of an existing but idle gas plant in Escondido.

SAN DIEGO REPRESENTATIVES RECEIVE ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 5, 2013 (San Diego)—Assembly Speaker John Perez has announced committee assignments for the new term. San Diego’s delegation will be well represented on several key committees.  San Diego County members will control 3 of 7 votes on Housing and Community Development, with two or more members on several other key committees, notably education  and the budget committee. Our region lacks representation on several committees however, such as transportation, revenue and taxation, and natural resources, where San Diego doesn’t have a single member.  Below are the assignments of our region’s members.

FLORIDA ATTACK PUTS SPOTLIGHT ON `BATH SALTS’: DANGEROUS DRUGS PUT LOCAL YOUTHS AT RISK, AUTHORITIES WARN

By Sierra Robinson

 

 

June 11, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)—Last month, a tragic incident in Florida, now nationally known as the ‘Florida Zombie Attack’, has been attributed to a dangerous drug most commonly known as ‘bath salts’. But just how dangerous is this new drug? Are we all in danger of such a horrific attack like that in Florida? 

Use of ‘bath salts’ has been dramatically increasing.  The American Association for Poison Control Centers took 303 calls about the drug in 2010; while in the first eight months of 2011, 4,720 calls were received regarding use of such synthetic drugs. Local and national authorities now warn the public about an alarming rise in serious health reactions and violent incidents linked to these drugs.  But what are they, exactly, and what makes them so dangerous? 

MEET ASSEMBLY CANDIDATES AT 2 EVENTS MAY 13


79th district Democrats Ben Hueso, Pearl Quinones in Bonita;

77th district Republican Christine Rubin at Barrett Junction

May 6, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – On Thursday, May 13th, voters are invited to meet local candidates for Assembly at two separate locations. Both events are free and open to the public.
 

SD COUNCIL TO CONSIDER LOCAL JOBS ORDINANCE WEDNESDAY; MEASURE SEEKS TO COUNTER ATTACKS ON LABOR GAINS

 

 

DeMaio pushes to ban living wage, local hiring requirements and more;

Hueso counters with local jobs ordinance

February 20, 2010 (San Diego) On Wednesday, San Diego Councilman Carl DeMaio and the Associated General Contractors are trying to put an initiative on the ballot that would eliminate gains made by labor in recent years. On Wednesday, Councilman Ben Hueso will seek to counter those efforts by introducing a Local Jobs Ordinance that would make local job creation a priority on public works projects.

EMERALD ASKS SAN DIEGO COUNCIL TO HEAR EVIDENCE ON SDG&E SHUT-OFF PROPOSAL ON MONDAY; SDG&E PLANS TO PROCEED WITH SHUT-OFF WITHOUT WAITING FOR CPUC APPROVAL

By Miriam Raftery

 

July 24, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)—The San Diego City Council will consider Monday whether to take a stand for or against SDG&E's controverisal proposed plan to shut off power to rural residents during high fire-risk conditions.  The plan is supported by at least two Councilmembers.