Politics

JUSTICE SCALIA’S DEATH PROMPTS BATTLE OVER SUPREME COURT VACANCY

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 13, 2016 (Washington D.C.) – The sudden death of prominent conservative Justice Antonin Scalia today leaves a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court and the prospect of numerous high-profile cases deadlocking 4-4.  President Barack Obama has announced he intends to appoint a replacement, but  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has suggested any nomination would be blocked by Senate Republicans and stated that in this election year,  Obama should leave nominating a Supreme Court justice for the next administration.

McConnell’s remark may be viewed as hypocritical, since he voted for Republican President Ronald Reagan’s appointment of Justice Anthony Kennedy in an election year.  Kennedy was confirmed by the Senate, which was controlled by Democrats.

In fact, since 1900 there has not been a single case of the Senate refusing to confirm a presidential appointment to the Supreme Court in an election year due to the pending election. The stakes are high for both sides in filling the void left by Scalia, but so are the consequences of leaving a seat vacant for nearly a year.

HOUSE VOTES TO REQUIRE WATER OFFICIALS TO ALERT CUSTOMERS OF ELEVATED LEAD LEVELS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photos: Lead contaminated drinking water in Flint, Michigan; photo by Jessica Owens

 

February 11, 2016 (San Diego) -- In response to the crisis in Flint, Michigan, the House of Representatives voted to require water system officials to alert their customers if the EPA notifies them of increasing level of lead.  The Safe Drinking Water Act Improved Compliance Awareness Act (H.R. 4470) passed the House on a strong bipartisan vote of 416-2 with all five of San Diego’s Congressional members voting for the bill.

SANDERS, TRUMP TROUNCE OPPONENTS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Bernie Sanders, by Troy Page; Photo, right: Donald Trump, by Gage Skidmore

February 10, 2016 (San Diego) – Last night’s presidential primary in New Hampshire proved historic on several fronts.  By huge landslides, voters in both Democratic and Republican parties cast their ballots for candidates running outside the mainstream political framework: mavericks Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.  Sanders is also the first Jewish candidate ever to win a presidential primary. 

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders pulled in 60% of the vote to win the Democratic primary, trouncing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who got 38%. Sanders, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, is running on a platform of closing the wealth gap by reining in Wall Street, taxing the rich and providing free healthcare for all. 

On the Republican side, billionaire businessman and former reality TV show host Donald Trump won with 35% of the vote. Ohio Governor John Kasich took second at 16% in an upset over the Iowa caucus winner, Senator Ted Cruz, who got 12%, narrowly edging out Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who had 11% and 10% respectively. Other candidates placed in single digits, with 100% of precincts now reported.

BALLOT MEASURE WOULD EXTEND PROP 30 INCOME TAXES ON WEALTHY TO FUND EDUCATION

 

 

By Suzanne Potter, California News Service

 

February 7, 2016 (Los Angeles) -- Teams are hitting the streets gathering signatures for a ballot measure this fall that would extend part of Proposition 30, which raised income taxes on the wealthy and raised the sales tax by a quarter of a percent, then funneled the money to public education. 

DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS HOLD NEW HAMPSHIRE DEBATES

 

East County News Service

February 7, 2016 (New Hampshire) - In preparation for this week’s New Hampshire primary and others to follow, Democrats and Republicans each held debates among their presidential candidates.

View Republican debate on ABCRead  Republican debate transcript

 View full Democratic debate on MSNBC; Read Democratic debate transcript

For highlights, scroll down.

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.

OIL INDUSTRY WAS BIGGEST SPENDER ON CALIFORNIA LOBBYING IN 2015

CRUZ WINS IOWA REPUBLICAN CAUCUS; DEMOCRATS CLINTON AND SANDERS IN VIRTUAL TIE

 

 

 

East County News Service

Update: With all precincts counted, Clinton received 699.57 delegates and Sanders received 697.77 delegates, the Des Moines Register reports. The Register has called for a recount due to numerous irregularities, but thus far the Iowa Democratic Party has not complied.

February 2, 2016 (San Diego) – Last night’s Iowa caucus, the opening of the presidential primary season, has made clear that the competition is fierce on both sides of the political aisle.  On the Republican side, Texas Senator Ted Cruz won an upset victory over frontrunner and business mogul Donald Trump by a 28% to 24% margin, with Florida Senator Marco Rubio at 23% --just 1 point behind Trump, emerging as a viable candidate. Neurosurgeon Ben Carson got 9.3%, followed by Kentucky Senator Rand Paul at 4.5%.  All other candidates had less than 3% .

On the Democratic side, as of this morning the Iowa Democratic Party reports that New York Senator and former First Lady Hillary Clinton has 699.57 state delegate equivalents, while Vermont Senator Sanders was awarded 695.49,  a statistical 50-50 virtual tie, with a handful of votes still to be counted.  Six county delegates were  awarded by a coin toss after tie votes--making this the closest Iowa caucus in history-and the first that may be won by a coin toss, under Iowa's quirky procedures. 

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH CONGRESSWOMAN SUSAN DAVIS

 

Listen now: http://k003.kiwi6.com/hotlink/yrgf4jsl9s/NewsmakerSusanDavis1-21-16-Final.mp3

(Note: Sound file may take a few moments to load)

January 31, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) --Congresswoman Susan Davis was our special guest on the East County Magazine radio show on KNSJ on January 21st.

She shared highlights of the past Congressional session, her legislative efforts, and what we can expect in the coming year. Topics covered include education reforms, college affordability, healthcare, hate targeting religious minorities, support for military women, families and veterans. She also spoke out on the need to prevent future infrastructure disasters such as the L.A. natural gas leak and Flint water poisoning, both the results of regulatory failures.

Audio: 

SUPERVISORS AGENDA INCLUDES SANDAG REGIONAL PLAN, FIRE SERVICE EXPANSION IN RURAL AREAS AND HEIGHT LIMITS IN LAKESIDE’S RIVERWAY

East County News Service

 

East County News Service

January 30, 2016 (San Diego's East County) – San Diego supervisors will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday,  February 2nd and 3rd this week.  The agenda includes some important items for East County.

CONGRESSWOMAN DAVIS PRAISES PRESIDENT OBAMA’S PROPOSAL TO END SUMMER HUNGER

 

East County News Service

 

January 29, 2016 (San Diego) -- Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) and Senator Patty Murray praised President Obama’s proposal to reduce child summer hunger by making permanent the Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children (Summer EBT) program nationwide. 

 

During the school year, low-income children have the opportunity to receive free or reduced-price meals at school. However, millions of these same children go hungry during summer break.  The President’s budget will address this summer meals gap by investing $12 billion to scale up the successful Summer EBT demonstration project that has decreased hunger among participating children by about 33 percent while increasing healthy food intake. 

EAST COUNTY CHAMBER TO ‘DINE AND DIALOGUE’ WITH ELECTED OFFICIALS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

East County News Service

 

January 28, 2016 (El Cajon) -- The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce has scheduled three local elected officials to appear at its “Dine and Dialogue” meetings in the coming months. The meetings will be held at the Chamber’s Business Resource Center Room at the Chamber’s headquarters, 201 S. Magnolia Ave., El Cajon.

 

Scheduled speakers include Assemblyman Brian Jones from 8 to 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 29, San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 16 and San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 8.

SALDAÑA TO CHALLENGE FAULCONER FOR SAN DIEGO MAYOR

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 26, 2016 (San Diego)—Former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña announced on her Facebook page that she has filed papers to challenge San Diego’s Republican Mayor Kevin Faulconer. A long-time progressive, environmental leader and former Assembly Speaker Pro Tem, Saldaña was a Democrat for years but will be running as an independent.

Saldaña has said that her main issue will be inequality in income and city services, including lack of high-speed internet in low-income communities, crumbling city infrastructure, and lack of affordable housing, Voice of San Diego reported.

“I’m running to give voters of San Diego a choice,” Saldaña said, adding that she will be “there for people who otherwise feel disenfranchised by the process…I want to encourage more people to turn out to vote and I want to have a very spirited debate on the future of this city.”

PRESIDENT VETOES GOP BILL THAT SOUGHT TO WEAKEN CLEAN WATER ACT

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Contaminated water in Flint, Michagan (Flint Water Disaster on Facebook)

January 20, 2016 (Washington D.C.)—On the heels of the poisoned drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan caused by the state cutting corners to save costs and then covering up the consequences, President Barack Obama vetoed a measure passed by the Republican-controlled Congress that would have killed an Environmental Protection Agency clean water rule that allows the federal government to protect the nation’s waterways and keep them clean. 

San Diego’s Republican Congressmen Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa voted for weakening clean water protections and shifting responsibility for many waterways back to the states, while Democrats Susan Davis, Scott Peters and Juan Vargas voted against.

In Michigan, Republican Governor Rick Snyder’s administration ordered that the polluted Flint River  be used for drinking water to save money and ignored federal law requiring an anti-corrosion additive that would have cost just $100 a day.  That decision caused lead pipes to corrode, leeching lead into the public’s drinking water. For two years, families have been drinking contaminated water. Now children are suffering irreversible lead poisoning including brain damage. Also, 10 people have died of Legionnaire’s disease believed tied to tainted river water.

LOCAL NATURAL FOODS COMPANY LAUNCHES “FEEL THE BERN” ORGANIC RAW KIMCHI IN SUPPORT OF SANDERS CAMPAIGN

 

Joins tradition of naming foods for political figures, from Napoleon pastries to Washington Pie

 

East County News Service

 

January 14, 2016 (Poway) — Just in time for the presidential primary season, Gold Mine Natural Food Company is launching its new “Feel the Bern” Organic Raw Kimchi to drive donations to the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. Online customers can enter a discount code at checkout. The code will discount the entire order by 20%, and that savings can to be donated to Bernie 2016 by following an ActBlue link.

VILLIFY OR EMBRACE? TWO VIDEOS SHOW CANDIDATES’ SHARPLY CONTRASTING APPROACHES TO MUSLIMS AND JEWS

By Miriam Raftery

January 16, 2016 (San Diego) –A Muslim woman and a Jewish man were forcibly removed from a speech being given by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in South Carolina last week.  They were staging a peaceful, silent protest over Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric, both wearing yellow Holocaust stars of David and the word “Muslim.”  The woman also wore a hijab head scarf and a shirt that read, “Salam. I come in peace.”  She stood up after Trump suggested refugees fleeing Syria are affiliated with ISIS terrorists.  Hecklers shouted hateful remarks at the pair and Trump later backed their ouster.

By contrast, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, speaking at a rally in Virginia five days later, stepped from behind the podium to embrace a Muslim woman student who voiced concerns over “Islamophobia” and bigotry voiced by some candidates.  Sanders, stood hand in hand with the woman, then spoke of his father’s family who died in concentration camps and gave an impassioned speech, vowing to stand against racism of all forms.

OBAMA LOOKS TO FUTURE IN FINAL STATE OF UNION ADDRESS, CALLS FOR END TO DIVISIVE POLITICS

 

Gov. Haley's official Republican response also faults scapegoating based on race or religion, supports "stopping immigration" -- while Spanish translation hints at amnesty Haley never mentioned

By Miriam Raftery

January 14, 2016 (Washington D.C.)—In his final State of the Union address, President Barack Obama cited his administrations achievements and goals for his final term.  But he spent most of his speech focusing on “the next five years, ten years and beyond”, urging an end to divisive partisan politics.

Obama voiced hope for bipartisan support to enact criminal justice reforms. He indicated he will keep pushing to fix a “broken” immigration system, protect kids from gun violence and help workers by raising the minimum wage and fighting for equal pay for equal work, despite opposition from the Republican-controlled Congress.

Then he spoke about changes that have occurred throughout our nation’s history—and changes yet to come.

BROWN’S PROPOSED STATE BUDGET BOOSTS FUNDS FOR EDUCATION AND THE POOR, PROJECTS HEALTHY SURPLUS

 

Budget cuts money for enviornmental protection, draws criticism for inadequate increase in funds for developmentally disabled

By Miriam Raftery

January 14, 2016 (Sacramento) – Governor Jerry Brown has proposed a $170.7 billion budget that includes big increases in education funding and modest increases in programs for the poor, while also adding $2 billion to the state’s rainy day fund.

Relative to years past, the state budget is in good shape,” Brown wrote in a Governor’s message attached to a budget summary.  “Education funding is at its highest level ever,  Fifteen million Californians are covered by Medi‑Cal or Covered California, the minimum wage has risen to $10 an hour, and for the first time, the state will provide almost $400 million to low‑wage working families through an  earned income tax credit.”

BALLOT SELFIES: SHOULD THE BAN BE LIFTED?

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 12, 2016 (Sacramento) – If you take a selfie in the ballot box in California, you’ve broken the law. That hasn’t stopped celebrities and ordinary voters from posting ballot selfies on social media. In fact, nobody’s ever been arrested in our state for posting their ballot or a photo of themselves casting a vote, the Los Angeles Times reports.

JONES’ BILL EXPANDING SKATE PARK ACCESS TAKES EFFECT

By Miriam Raftery

January 11, 2016 (Lakeside) – Assemblyman Brian Jones visited the Lakeside Skatepark on Friday to commemorate his measure, Assembly Bill 1146, which became law on January 1st.  The new law allows non-motorized scooters, bicycles, in-line skates, roller skates and non-motorized wheelchairs in skate parks.

SUNDAY: HEAR INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED JOURNALIST GREG PALAST TO BENEFIT KNSJ

 

 

 

January 9, 2016 (San Diego)—Greg Palast, one of the most celebrated investigative journalists on the planet, is coming to San Diego for  a fundraising meet and greet for KNSJ  radio, the Network for Social Justice, on Sunday, January 10th at 6 p.m.  He’ll share results of his investigation into the “theft of the 2016 election and the billionaires behind it.”

The Chicago Tribune said of Palast, “What a journalist should be:  a truth hound, undaunted by power.”  San Diego news anchor Bree Walker called Palast “The best damn reporter in the USA.  Period.”  Britain’s Guardian called him “The most important journalism of our time.” Palast has broken front-page stories for BBC Television Newsnight, The Guardian, Nation Magazine, Rolling Stone and Harper's Magazine

SENATE DEFEATS ANDERSON EFFORT TO OVERRIDE GOVERNOR’S VETO OF BILL TO CRACK DOWN ON DATE RAPE DRUGS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 9, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) — Senate Bill 333, a measure that would have made it a felony to possess drugs used for date rape, was vetoed last fall by Governor Jerry Brown.  The measure had passed both the Assembly and Senate unanimously.

EL CAJON SEEKS APPLICANTS FOR CITY POSITIONS

 

 

East County News Service

 

January 8, 2016 (El Cajon) -- The City of El Cajon City Council is now accepting applications for Commissions as listed below. The filing period ends January 14, 2016, at 5:30 p.m.  Applicants will be interviewed and appointed on January 26, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber, 200 Civic Center Way, El Cajon, CA 92020.

PRESIDENT OBAMA TIGHTENS GUN RESTRICTIONS

 

By Tasha Matthews 

Photo courtesy of WhiteHouse.gov

January 5, 2016 (Washington D.C.) --President Barack Obama has taken executive action to tighten gun control, revealing some restrictions and heightened enforcement of firearms sales on Tuesday.  This is in response to the recent array of violent shootings taking place in the United States and Congress failing to pass any legislation to stem gun violence.

DONALD TRUMP'S ADMIRATION FOR RUSSIAN LEADER VLADIMIR PUTIN

 

Crippled America: How To Make America Great Again, by Donald J. Trump (Threshold Editions, An Imprint 0f Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York, NY, 2015, 193 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

January 2, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - Donald J. Trump, the very definition of the American success story, has now delved into politics with his candidacy for the White House, and explains why in his very provocative book; Crippled America: How To Make America Great Again. Trump, a graduate of the Wharton School of Finance, an accomplished author and having written more than fifteen bestsellers, with his first book, The Art of the Deal, being considered a business classic and one of the most successful business books of all time. There is no question that trump has been a very successful entrepreneur and businessman – but does that necessarily translate into his being a great politician or President of the United States?

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