July 11, 2015 (San Diego) – Everyone likes to get the most amount done or gained for the least amount of work. In all the interviews and surveys I have done, voters have always claimed apathy due to the feeling and evidence that no matter what they do, their vote will never mean anything. No return for any effort. However, we fail to realize that these individuals who feel this way are a silent majority. And as with all majorities are, they are the winning side. It works, if only they would vote.
July 22, 2015 (El Cajon) – San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce invites you to “Dine and Dialogue with Congresswoman Susan Davis” on July 31 from 12 .m. to 1:30 p.m. The cost is $10 and lunch is provided.
July 23, 2015 (San Diego ) – While thousands of people protested yesterday outside the American Legislative Exchange Council’s national convention in San Diego, State Senator Joel Anderson (R-San Diego), California chair of ALEC, told Times of San Diego that is “proud” to have San Diego post ALEC’s national convention where legislators exchange ideas, adding, “ALEC takes on difficult, complicated issues and takes on free market solutions.” (View video, top of story)
As for the thousands of protesters, he said derisively, “There’s a naysayer in every crowd,” adding that the protesters “don’t like the free market.” As for criticisms of secret dealings behind closed doors, Anderson retorted, “We can’t respond to every wack-job” and insisted the process is not secretive, as critics claim. Reporter Ken Stone with Times of San Diego pressed Anderson, pointing out that he had been denied access to cover some key sessions.
The protesters included a prominent local business organization as well as labor, environmental, human rights and political reform organizations. They contend that secretive actions conducted behind closed doors by ALEC result in laws that hurt small businesses in America and weaken protections for workers, the environment, and civil rights.
Participants include Padre Dam Municipal Water District, Helix Water District, the San Diego County Water Authority, Building Industry Association of San Diego, and the Water Reliability Coalition
July 21, 2015 (El Cajon) -- On Thursday, August 13th, 2015 Assemblyman Brian Jones (R-Santee) will be hosting a Drought Town Hall to educate constituents about the ongoing California drought, legislative solutions, and efforts to provide relief to the community.
Photo, San Bernardino Fire Dept.: North Fire in its early stage
July 20, 2015 (Sacramento) -- After a series of serious incidents involving drones interfering with firefighting aircraft, state legislators have introduced bills that would allow firefighters and rescue personnel to damage or disable drones, also increasing penalties for drone operators who impede firefighting.
The latest and most devastating incident occurred Friday, when five drones forced firefighting planes to delay air drops in order to avoid mid-air collisions. The North Fire quickly spread out of control, crossing Interstate 15 in San Bernadino County and destroyed 20 vehicles on the freeway. The blaze swelled to thousands of acres, also destroying homes and other property.
July 19, 2015 (San Diego) – The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) will host its annual convention on Wednesday, July 22 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego. The organization is funded by corporations and pushes state legislators to introduce “model” legislation that it calls “pro-business.” Speakers include Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Scott Walker and Mike Huckabee. The conference also will include other state and national legislators from across the nation.
But progressive organizations are mobilizing thousands of people for a march, rallies and protests against ALEC, which critics say pushes forward anti-worker, anti-environmental measures drafted behind closed doors. Local State Senator Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) chairs ALEC’s California chapter.
July 18, 2015 (El Cajon) --Representatives from Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign spoke at the East County Democratic Club last Thursday at MJ’s Family Restaurant in El Cajon, seeking to fire up local support.
A former Secretary of State, First Lady and Senator, Clinton is focusing her campaign vision on four goals: building an economy for tomorrow, strengthening America’s families, defending America and our core values, and revitalizing our democracy.
Patrick Alexander, JD, added that one of the most important issues in the campaign will be the appointment of up to four Supreme Court Justices that the next president could make – appointments that could shape the high court for the next half century and impact rulings significant for women's rights, voting rights, minority rights, labor, the environment, the enviroment and more.
Photo: Clark Bunting, NPCA President and CEO, Rep. Susan Davis, and Craig Obey, NPCA Senior VP, Government Affairs
July 17, 2015 (San Diego)—When it comes to protecting national parks, the partisan divide between our local Congressional representatives is as wide as the Grand Canyon.
Three of San Diego’s Congressional members were honored with the Friends of the National Parks Award from the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association for their contributions to protection and enhancing America’s national parks. Congressional members Susan Davis, Scott Peters and Juan Vargas all voted to support national parks 100% of the time on bills tracked by the NPCA. California’s two Senators, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, also scored 100%. All five of these legislators are Democrats.
By contrast, San Diego’s two Republican Congressmen, Duncan D. Hunter and Darrell Issa, each scored 0%, voting against every measure to protect national parks that the NPCA tracked in the last Congressional session. That included five measures that passed the House of Representatives, three of which were opposed by the NPCA.
July 17, 2015 (Sacramento)—Advocates of a ballot measure that would legalize recreational marijuana use in California announced Thursday that they have amassed an e-mail list of 70,000 supporters for the campaign.
July 16, 2015 (El Cajon)- The San Diego East County Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce hosted its first Meet Your Candidates event at Nicky Rotten’s Bar and Burger Joint in Rancho San Diego Tuesday evening. The speakers were County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who is running for re-election to the 2nd Supervisorial district seat and 71st State Assembly district candidate Mike Harrison, who has served as a staffer for Congressmen Duncan L Hunter and Duncan D Hunter.
July 16, 2015 (El Cajon) – El Cajon currently holds at-large elections where everyone in the city votes for all five Council races. But on Tuesday, the City Council voted 5-0 to have staff move forward with implementing a shift to individual districts each electing its own representative. The concept of districts aspires to provide greater representation for minorities to elect representatives reflective of their neighborhoods' concerns.
July 16, 2015 (San Diego) – Last month, the county postponed action on a proposal to create “free speech zones” at the Waterfront Park after objections raised by the American Civil Liberties Union and local activists, as we reported. Now the County has shelved those plans indefinitely, ECM has learned.
July 16, 2015 (Sacramento) – A package of bills have been introduced in Sacramento to curb the over-use of psychiatric drugs on foster care youths, the San Jose Mercury News reports. But the bill fails to create new rules for doctors who prescribe such medications.
July 13, 2015 (Sacramento)-- The California State Assembly today passed SCR 35 - a resolution to condemn any act of Anti-Semitism at all publicly funded schools (including University of California and California State University campuses) in the State of California.
July 13, 2015 (San Diego) – The 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 6) has passed the House of Representatives by a 344 to 77 vote. Among San Diego’s representatives, Democrats Susan Davis, Scott Peters and Juan Vargas voted yes, along with Republican Duncan Hunter. Republican Darell Issa voted no. The measure now advances to the Senate.
Despite controversy over violent crimes, new immigrants commit crimes at lower rate than citizens, Pew Research finds
By Miriam Raftery
July 11, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-Alpine) has announced plans to introduce a bill that would cut federal funds to any city, county or state that has enacted laws to prevent enforcement of federal immigration law, Times of San Diego reports.
The measure comes in response to the fatal shooting of Kate Steinle at the San Francisco waterfront by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an undocumented immigrant with five prior felony arrests. San Francisco, a sanctuary city, did not notify federal officials of Sanchez’s release despite pending deportation orders. Mean while San Francisco’s mayor has announced plans to cooperate with the federal government for deportation of immigrants with a history of violent crimes—a small percentage of the total immigrant population.
Mayor Randy Voepel also addresses Republicans in Santee on his Assembly candidacy
By Miriam Raftery
July 10, 2015 (Santee) – How far might the ramifications of the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriages go? Could the rights of same-sex couples to wed be allowed to impinge on the religious freedom s of business owners, schools or churches? Might the ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges open the door for legalization of other alternative marriage arrangements such as polygamy?
Those are among the issues discussed at the California Republican Assembly (CRA) meeting at Jimmy’s Restaurant in Santee last night, where the featured speaker was Brad Dacus (photo, left), president and founder of the Pacific Justice Institute. A frequent guest speaker on national TV news shows and host of a radio program, attorney Dacus specializing in representing people of faith in religious freedom cases.
July 8, 2015 (Santee)—Candidates running for Santee City Council or Mayor can only receive campaign contribution from individuals and for no more than $650.00 dollars. However, that may change due to a proposal that would strike the restriction to individual donors and open campaign contributions up to corporations,political action committees (PACs) and other organizations.
City Attorney Shawn Hagerty made clear that the current law is similar to ones many other California jurisdictions have. Despite recent court rulings on some campaign finance issues, he made clear, “local limits to individuals have not been called into question and there is no requirement to change that.” Despite that, some Council members seemed eager to allow corporate and political action company money into local races to help fund rising campaign costs.
July 9, 2015 (Santee) – Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute will be the featured speaker at tonight’s East County California Republican Assembly meeting. Dacus will address the recent Supreme Court decision which declared same-sex marriage legal nationwide.
July 7, 2015 (Sacramento)--As the legislative session draws near its close, a flurry of bills are making their way through the state Capitol this week. Here is an update on several key measures: motorcycle lane-splitting, discrimination against transplant patients using medical marijuana, a patient right-to-die bill, and sick-time pay for California workers.
July 5, 2015 (Santee) – Currently, only individuals may donate to campaigns for Santee City Council and Mayoral candidates. But on July 8th, the Council will consider eliminating that restriction and allow donations from entities such as corporations, political action committees or organizations to donate to campaigns for city officials.
SB 340 Protects Private Financial Data in Family Law Cases Where the Responding Spouse Cannot Be Located
July 4, 2015 (San Diego)--Senator Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) has announced that his bill, SB 340 was signed by Governor Brown. The measure allows courts to protect people from having to send highly confidential and personal financial information out when it is clear that the intended recipient is no longer at the last known address.
PHOTO: More than 60 organizations have sent a letter calling on Congress to remove a rider in its budget bill they claim would block the FCC from implementing net neutrality rules. Photo credit: Sean MacEntee/Flickr Commons.
June 29, 2015 (Washington D.C.) --- More than 60 civil-rights and public-interest groups have sent a letter urging Congress to protect the Federal Communications Commission's decision to keep the Internet open.
Photo: U.S. Congressional Districts, by Matte, Creative Commons license
June 29, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – By a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the right of voters to approve an independent redistricting commission. In a case that has implications in California, Justice Anthony Kennedy sided with four liberal justices to uphold Arizona’s redistricting plan approved by the state’s voters.
Update July 1, 2015: The Governor has signed this bill, stating "the science is clear" on the benefits of vaccinations.
June 28, 2015 (Sacramento) – A bill that would eliminate the personal belief exemption for childhood vaccines in California has passed the Assembly and now goes to the Senate for concurrence in amendments. The Assembly voted 46-30 to pass the measure, Senate Bill 277, the Sacramento Bee reports.
If the amendments are approved by the Senate and the bill is signed by Governor Jerry Brown, then children who have not been vaccinated for diseases such as measles, mumps and whooping cough would not be allowed to attend public schools in California, unless a child has a medical condition such as an allergy or immune system disorder that could raise the risk of complications.
San Diego State Senators Marty Block and Lorena Gonzalez, both Democrats, are cosponsors of the bill. Republican Senator Joel Anderson voted against it in an earlier Senate vote and Democrat Ben Hueso did not cast a vote. Among local Assemblymembers, Democrats Toni Atkins, Mary Salas and Shirley Weber voted in favor, while Republicans Brian Jones and Rocky Chavez voted no.
June 26, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – In a historic ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court majority has ruled that same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states, protected under the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.
President Barack Obama likened the decision to “justice that arrives like a thunderbolt,” declaring, “When all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free.”
The high court, ruling in the Obergefell v. Hodges case, was asked to decide two issues: can individual states ban same-sex marriage and must all states honor same-sex marriages for weddings performed in other states.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, a Republican appointed by Ronald Reagan, wrote the majority opinion in the 5-4 opinion, joined by the court’s four liberal justices.
Photo: Protest at Senator Feinstein's office, from the Citizens Trade Campaign Facebook page
June 25, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – The controversial fast-tracking of the Trans Pacific Partnership international trade pact passed the Senate by a slim one-vote margin. California’s Senator Dianne Feinstein voted for the fast-tracking, while Senator Barbara Boxer voted no.
Fast-tracking gives President Obama broad latitude to negotiate the trade pact, after which Congress will have only an up or down vote, with no opportunity to make changes. Opponents have voiced concerns over secrecy of the proceedings. The proposed pact has not been made public, nor have members of Congress been allowed to have copies.
Nicole “Kali” Gochmanosky, southern California organizer for the Citizens Trade Campaign, a group opposed to fast-tracking the TPP, had this to say regarding the extensive media coverage of the vote and protests targeting Feinstein.
June 23, 2015 (Sacramento)—A proposed initiative that called for killing gay people won’t be appearing on California ballots. Superior Court Judge Raymond Cadei in Sacramento County has ruled that the measure would be “inappropriate, waste public resources, generate unnecessary divisions among the public, and tend to mislead the electorate.”
June 18, 2015 (San Diego)--On the eve of a special conference in San Diego on aging, groundbreaking initiatives aimed at helping the county’s oldest and most vulnerable residents gained national recognition.
June 15,2015 (Sacramento)—California’s Legislature has approved a $117.5 billion budget -- $2 billion more than Governor Jerry Brown had requested, including $749 in new spending with the rest to pay down debts or be deposited in the state’s rainy day fund. New expenditures include higher payments for doctors serving poor patients, extra money for state universities and community colleges, and expanded child care.