Politics

TEJEDA TAKES LEAD IN HELIX WATER DISTRICT; ALPINE SCHOOL BOARD RACE TIGHTENS

 

Update December 1, 2016: Lou Tejeda has taken the lead over Dan McMillan by 103 votes in the Helix Water District One race.  In the Alpine Union School District race,  Travis Lyons' lead over Lou Russo has shrunk to 25 votes.

The elections will be certified December 8 after all votes are tallied.

By Miriam Raftery

November 27, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) — Three weeks after the election, races in the Helix Water Board District and Alpine Union School District have tightened, with a potential for upsets once the final votes are tallied. 

NEW TRUMP APPOINTMENTS RAISE ETHICS AND CONFLICT OF INTEREST CONCERNS

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 30, 2016 (Washington D.C.) — President-Elect Donald Trump’s holdings in hundreds of companies around the world, as well as his financial holdings, have raised serious concerns over potential conflicts of interest.  Surprisingly, there is no law prohibiting a President from making decisions that may profit him personally, unlike laws that ban such conduct for other elected federal officials.

ISSA BILL TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN ONLINE REVIEWS HEADS TO PRESIDENT'S DESK

 

East County News Service

November 29, 2016 (San Diego) — The Consumer Review Freedom Act, a measure to protect freedom of speech in online consumer reviews, has been approved by both the House and Senate and now heads to President Barack Obama’s desk for signature.

GASTIL CONCEDES LEMON GROVE MAYORAL RACE TO VASQUEZ

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 27, 2016 (Lemon Grove) — On election night, George Gastil held a lead over Racquel Vasquez in the Lemon  Mayoral race.  But by morning, Vasquez was on top. Her margin has now grown go 120 votes, close to 1%. 

On Saturday,  Gastil posted on Facebook, “There are still some provisional ballots being counted, but not enough to make a difference. (You can see the latest results for races at Registrar of Voters website, sdvote.com.) The early absentee votes went more for me, and the later absentee and poll votes went more for Vasquez. It was an energetic and positive campaign, with a record number of people voting in a Lemon Grove Mayoral election. I called Racquel Vasquez and congratulated her.”

CLINTON JOINS ELECTION RECOUNT EFFORT

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 27, 2016 (San Diego) - Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign has announced it will join in the effort to recount ballots in key swing states.  That effort was launched by Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who has raised millions of dollars to fund recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and possibly additional states. 

TRUMP’S CABINET PICKS A MIX OF OUTSIDERS AND WASHINGTON INSIDERS

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 25, 2016 (Washington D.C.) – President-Elect Donald Trump ran as an outsider, a TV celebrity and business mogul with no political experience, who pledged to shake up the status quo in Washington D.C.  His cabinet appointees thus far reflect a mix of people outside the D.C. beltway as well as seasoned Washington insiders.

GREEN PARTY’S JILL STEIN TO LAUNCH RECOUNTS IN THREE SWING STATES

By Miriam Raftery

Some hackable voting machines used in 2016 presidential election were banned in California after investigative reports by Miriam Raftery,  now ECM’s editor

November 24, 2016 (San Diego) – After election security experts urged presidential candidates to seek recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan due to anomalies that could indicate hacking by Russia or someone else, Green Party candidate Jill Stein launched a fundraising page for recounts in those three states.  She has raised over $4 million – enough to fully fund a recount in Wisconsin—and is well on the way toward attaining the estimated $6-7 million for recounts in all three states including filing fees, attorney costs and funding recount observers.

The concerns are valid. Here’s why. First,  Russian operatives already have hacked an election—in the Ukraine. The wrong winner was prevented from taking office only because Ukrainian officials discovered the vote-stealing software,  says J. Alex Halderman, professor  of computer science at the University of Michigan whose election technology class regularly tests –and succeeds in hacking into—voting machines used in the U.S.

LEADERSHIP PROFILE: EL CAJON COUNCILMAN GARY KENDRICK, A HERO FOR THE HOMELESS

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo, left to right: Councilman Gary Kendrick with his son, TJ, and two formerly homeless men they have taken into their home, Tony and Michael

November 24, 2016 (El Cajon) -- It’s rare to find elected officials willing to stand up to special interests or cast votes unpopular with vocal constituents, doing what he or she believes is right for the community and for people in need.

TRUMP NAMES ALABAMA SENATOR SESSIONS AS ATTORNEY GENERAL, SPARKING CIVIL RIGHTS DEBATE

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 20, 2016 (Washington D.C.) – Civil rights activists are voicing concerns over President-Elect Donald Trump’s appointment of Alabama Senator Jefferson “Jeff” Beauregard Sessions III to serve as Attorney General, the nation’s top law enforcement officer.  A staunch conservative politically, Sessions was once rejected for a federal judicial seat by the Senate under President Ronald Reagan’s administration due to reported racist statements and opposition to the Voting Rights Act.  

TRUMP TO PAY $25 MILLION TO SETTLE LAWSUITS OVER TRUMP UNIVERSITY

 

East County News Service

November 19, 2016 (San Diego) — President-Elect Donald Trump has agreed to pay $25 million to settle lawsuits representing thousands of students alleging fraud and racketeering involving the now defunct Trump University, which was never an accredited school.

SENATOR FEINSTEIN CALLS ON TRUMP TO DUMP BANNON, RACIST AND ANTI-SEMITIC ADVISOR

 

California Senator Dianne Feinstein today released this statement on reports that President-elect Donald Trump will hire Steve Bannon as senior advisor:

East County News Service

November 16, 2016 (Washington D.C.) — “I became mayor of San Francisco when my predecessor was assassinated—I know how fear can tear apart a community. Today we’re again seeing the spread of fear, this time caused by a series of racist and xenophobic attacks.

“In the last week, Muslim university students were attacked for their faith, Latino students humiliated by peers who say they’ll be deported, Confederate flags and racist slurs used to intimidate African-Americans, and swastikas and Nazi propaganda spray painted on buildings. That’s not the America I know.

DEMOCRATS GAIN SUPER MAJORTY IN CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE

 

Update December 1, 2016:  With all races counted,  Democrats have attained a super-majority in both houses of the California Legislature.

By Miriam Raftery

November 16, 2016 (Sacramento) — Democrats are just one seat away from gaining a super-majority in both houses of the California State Legislature, meaning they could over-ride a Governor’s veto and pass revenue-raising measures or amend spending laws without a single Republican vote.

CLOSE RACES IN EAST COUNTY

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 16, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- More than a week after the election, several East County races remain too close to call, as counting of mail-in and provision ballots continues.

In the hotly contested Lemon Grove Mayoral race, Democrats George Gastil and Racquel Vasquez are battling it out at 43% and 42.25% respectively, separated by just 47 votes.  In a distant third place is Republican Teresa Rosiak, who received less than 15% of the vote.

TWITTER SUSPENDS RACISTS’ ACCOUNTS

 

East County News Service

November 16, 2016 (San Diego) — Twitter is taking aim at racism.  In dual actions, the company announced it will suspend accounts of prominent ‘alt-right’ leaders who are promoting white supremacy and bigotry.  Twitter also released new anti-harassment tools that allow users to block offensive tweets containing key words.

BOXER INTRODUCES BILL TO ELIMINATE ELECTORAL COLLEGE

 

East County News Service

November 16, 2016 (Washington D.C.) — For the fifth time in U.S. history, the president who won the popular vote has lost the presidency.  Hillary Clinton received nearly a million more actual votes than Donald Trump, yet Trump is poised to be named president by the Electoral College after receiving more electoral college delegates.

REP. HUNTER COULD BE NAMED SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 15, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) could be the next Secretary of Defense.  His name, along with several others, appears on a list of possible Defense Secretary nominees who could be appointed by President-Elect Donald Trump, Politico reports.

TRUMP APPOINTS WHITE SUPREMACIST AND ANTI-SEMITE PUBLISHER TO KEY POST

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 14, 2016 (Washington D.C.) — In contrast to his election night promise to bind America’s wounds and pull people together, President-Election Donald Trump has announced the appointment of a white supremacist and anti-establishment media site publisher as his chief White House strategist and put an officer in an anti-immigrant hate group in charge of his immigration transition team.

VETERANS ELECTED TO JAMUL-DULZURA UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 12, 2016 (Jamul-Dulzura) — Two military veterans have won seats on the Jamul-Dulzura Union School Board.  Running on a platform of giving back and continuing to serve their community, the pair won two open seats.

Sam Manis is an Army veteran once assigned to the White House communications agency. He is a farmer and cheesemaker, father of triplets  and has served as treasurer of the San Diego County 4H Club.   He stated on his Facebook  page, “I am running for the Jamul-Dulzura Union School Board because I have devoted my life to serving my community and children. As a long time Jamul resident I am deeply rooted in this community and want to support our local schools so every child is able to grow and learn to the best of their ability. As a US Army veteran, I firmly believe in giving back to this great nation that has been so generous to me.”

TIGHT RACE IN ALPINE UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT

 

Update December 1, 2016:  Lyon has pulled back ahead of Russo by 25 votes as the count contiunes.  The election will be certified  December 8th.

Update November 16, 2016:  Lou Russo has pulled ahead of Travis Lyon.

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 12, 2016 (Alpine) — With 100% of precincts counted but provisional and some mail-in ballots remaining to be counted, Joseph Perricone has won reelection to the Alpine Union School District board. But a second seat is still too close to call, with Travis Lyon leading Louis Russo by just 19 votes.

CAL FIRE SLATE WINS 3 OF 4 SEATS IN SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD RACE

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 12, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – In July, San Miguel’s Fire Board voted by a slim one-vote margin to cancel its contract with CAL FIRE a year early and go back to being a free-standing district, but kept the action on hold pending outcome of the election.

THE ELECTION WAS STOLEN – HERE’S HOW

 

By Greg Palast

Reprinted with permission of Greg Palast, award-winning investigative reporter published in Rolling Stone, the Guardian and BBC News. His New York Times bestseller, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, is now a major motion picture documentary.

Editor’s note: I interviewed Palast before the election, when he warned that Trump operatives were conspiring to steal it by purging 7.2 million minority voters off voting roles in key swing states. Now Palast has evidence that Trump’s winning margin in these states was far less than the number of voters wrongly removed by software called “Crosscheck.” It purported to remove duplicate voters with common minority names, even when middle names were different, denying millions of Latinos, blacks and Asians their right to vote. The mastermind behind Crosscheck is Kris Kobach, now head of Trump’s immigration policies transition team. If you believe this election should be investigated, send this story to your elected officials or party leaders.  You can also Support The Palast Investigative Fund. E

Fund and keep our work alive.

November 12, 2016 -- Before a single vote was cast, the election was fixed by GOP and Trump operatives.

Starting in 2013 – just as the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act – a coterie of Trump operatives, under the direction of Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, created a system to purge 1.1 million Americans of color from the voter rolls of GOP–controlled states.

KAMALA HARRIS WINS CALIFORNIA SENATE SEAT

 

By Amber Henry

File photo by Ron Logan

November 11, 2016 (San Diego) — Kamala Harris will be California’s first African-American U.S. Senator and the first Indian-American in the U.S. Senate.  Harris, 52, a Democrat currently serving as California’s Attorney General, won over 62% of the votes,  AP reported, winning a landslide victory over Loretta Sanchez, a Democrat who represents California in the 46th Congressional district.

CALIFORNIA LEADERS REACT TO TRUMP ELECTION

 

"Let's repeal ObamaCare, abolish Common Core, and get constitutional judges on the Supreme Court,"-- California Republican Party

"For the more than 20million Americans who gained health insurance coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act, repeal and replace means death and despair.”-- California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones

By Miriam Raftery

November 11, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Leaders in the California Republican and Democratic parties are speaking out following the election of President-Elect Donald Trump. Reactions range from praise to condemnation.

TRUMP NAMES CLIMATE SKEPTICS, ENERGY LOBBYISTS TO KEY POSTS,TAKING AIM AT DISMANTLING CLIMATE ACCORD AND POLLUTION PROTECTIONS

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 11, 2016 (Washington D.C.)—President-Elect Donald Trump has wasted no time in appointing environmental and health experts’ worst nightmares to key cabinet posts, though oil energy executives are praising the moves.

Energy lobbyist Mike McKenna has been named to head Trump’s Department of Energy transition team; his recent clients include Dow Chemical and the oil tycoon Koch brothers,  Climate Wire and Scientific American report. Trump has also named infamous climate change denier Myron Ebell to lead the Environmental Protection Agency transition team. Ebell has said climate change is “nothing to worry about” in an interview with Vanity Fair

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: A HARD NIGHT FOR HILLARY SUPPORTERS

 

November 10, 2016 (San Diego's East County) -- Some dressed in white, paying silient homage to the woman's suffrage movement, as they cast their votes for the first woman president.  But Election Day soon became a nightmare for supporters of Hillary Clinton,  despite weeks of walking precincts and phone-banking voters across the country for their candidate, when news broke of Donald Trump's victory.

Photo, left, by Devorah Fox:  Clinton supporter Debbie Boyd speaks with a local newscaster. (Click "read more" to view more photos.)

MARKETS REACT TO TRUMP VICTORY

 

Coal companies, private prison stocks rise sharply

By Jonathan Goetz

November 9, 2016 (New York) -- America just became much more interesting to watch with the election of reality TV mogul Donald Trump as the 45th president. Trump has exceeded 270 delegates in the electoral college despite trailing Hillary Clinton by just over 200,000 votes nationally in the popular vote.

GASTIL TAKES LEAD IN LEMON GROVE MAYORAL RACE

 

 

Council members elected, marijuana measure fails

By Miriam Raftery

Update November 10, 2016:  This evening George Gastil has retaken the lead by a slim 19-vote margin as counting of mail-in and provisional ballots continues.

November 9, 2016 (Lemon Grove) — The race to fill Lemon Grove’s mayoral seat vacated by retiring Mayor Mary Sessom is still too close to call.  Councilman George Gastil jumped into an early lead, but today Councilmember Racquel Vasquez has pulled into the lead by a mere 12 votes.  If elected, she would be the first African-American mayor in San Diego County.

PROP C REJECTED BY VOTERS

UPDATE:  CLICK READ MORE TO READ STATEMENT FROM CHARGERS CHAIRMAN DEAN SPANOS

By Liz Alper

Photo courtesy chargers.com

November 9, 2016 (San Diego) - Proposition C, the measure that would allow the Chargers to build a new downtown stadium and convention center near Petco Park in the East Village and raise the hotel tax to 16.5 percent from its current 10.5 percent, failed to garner the two thirds it needed to pass last night, with a vote total of 56.96 percent (168,677) no and 43.04 percent (127,433) yes. 

DEMOCRATS WIN SEAT ON LA MESA CITY COUNCIL

 

Medical pot measure also passes

By Miriam Raftery

November 9, 2016 (La Mesa)—Attorney and affordable housing advocate Colin Parent, a Democrat, has won election to the La Mesa  City Council,  narrowly defeating incumbent Ruth Sterling, a Republican.  Councilwoman Kristine Alessio,  an attorney, won reelection.  Parent will be the lone Democrat on the five-member Council.

Sterling has long been one of La Mesa’s most popular politicians, winning past reelections by wide margins. But she missed a key La Mesa debate this election cycle due to falling and breaking her arm.  Sterling had initially announced she would not seek reelection,  but later changed her mind after constituents urged her to run.

With 100% of precincts counted but late mail-in ballots and provisionals remaining to be tallied,  Alessio has 35.55% of the vote (6675 votes), Parent has 35.35% (6450 votes) and Sterling 30.11% (5654 votes).

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