Politics

OPEN SEATS IN LEMON GROVE ATTRACT 3 MAYORAL CANDIDATES AND 5 COUNCIL CANDIDATES; BALLOT STATEMENTS NOW UP FOR PUBLIC REVIEW

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Scroll down for complete ballot statements from all candidates

August 23, 2016 (Lemon Grove)-- The Lemon Grove City Council is undergoing some major changes. Mayor Mary Sessom is stepping down. Council members Racquel Vasquez and George Gastil are running for the open mayoral seat, along with Teresa Rosiak, former president of Lemon Grove’s Chamber of Commerce.

Although the races are officially nonpartisan,Gastil has won endorsement from the County Democratic Party, an advantage in Lemon Grove, a heavily Democratic community.  Vasquez is also a registered Democrat,while Rosiak is a Republican. 

Both Gastil and Vasquez have their terms end this year, meaning they are giving up their seats by running for Mayor and there will be no costly special election to fill their seats. Five candidates are hoping to fill those slots.

Below are highlights on all Mayoral and Council candidates' qualifications, along with their full ballot statements submitted to the cities. (Note,  statements are within the public review period which ends August 29; statements may change on official ballots if any information is challenged.)

PROPOSITION 61 WOULD LET STATE OF CALIFORNIA NEGOTIATE FOR LOWER PRESCRIPTION DRUG COSTS

 

East County News Service

August 23, 2016 (Sacramento) - Proposition 61, the California Drug Price Relief Act, on the November ballot aims to limit price-gouging on drug prices by pharmaceutical companies.  Some drug prices have skyrocketed for no valid reason, only corporate greed. For instance, the cost of an Epi-pen, which delivers life-saving medication for people suffering severe allergic reactions, has recently gone up 800%.

8 CANDIDATES IN RUNNING FOR 2 SEATS ON GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 19, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – For the first time,  the Grossmont Union High School District will elect its board trustees by individual trustee districts this fall, not at-large elections.  The two seats up for grabs have each attracted four candidates (eight total) offering candidates some diverse choices.

IT’S OFFICIAL: 10 CANDIDATES QUALIFY FOR EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL RACE

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 18, 2016 (El Cajon) — Planners, business and marketing leaders, a teacher, a restaurant partner, and a mother/ex-deejay are among the ten candidates who have qualified for the ballot to run El Cajon’s City Council in November, the city clerk confirms.

SAN DIEGO BERNIE SANDERS SUPPORTERS TO PLAN “NEXT STEPS FOR POLITICAL REVOLUTION”AUG. 20

 

East County News Service

Photo by Ron Logan

August 18, 2016 (San Diego) -- Local supporters of the Bernie Sanders campaign are meeting to plan next steps for building the political revolution that Sanders called for.  The event, dubbed “Beyond Bernie: Uniting the Political Revolution” will take place on Saturday August 20, 2016 at the Logan Heights branch of the public library (567 S. 28th St., San Diego) -- from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

HELIX WATER TO CONSIDER FEES, CHANGES AT LAKE JENNINGS CAMPGROUND

 

East County News Service

August 17, 2016 (La  Mesa) – At today’s 2 p.m. meeting of the Helix Water District Board (7811 University Ave., La Mesa), directors will consider addition of fees and other changes at Lake Jennings, including adding kayak rentals and a tee-pee rental venue at the campground.  These are the latest improvements proposed by a committee led by director Joel Scalzitti.    As a result, the lake that some board  members sought to close due to budget shortfalls is now operating at a profit.  View board package and agenda.

At its last meeting, the board voted 3-2 for hefty rate hikes of 10.1%, effective on water use after  November 1,2016 and billings starting January 1,2017. That action has inspired five challengers to run against two board members who voted for this hefty rate hike as well as earlier recent increases—moves that fueled outrage in public comments and emails sent to the board.

TRUMP’S TROUBLING TIES TO KREMLIN AND PRO-RUSSIAN DICTATORS

 

East County News Service

August 17, 2016 (Kiev) — Ukraine’s new anti-corruption bureau has revealed that handwritten ledgers list $12.7 million in secret and illegal cash payments earmarked for Paul Manafort, campaign chairman for Donald Trump, from 2007-2012, the New York Times reports.  Manafort was a consultant at the time for Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russian president later deposed.

BLOCK BILL REQUIRING VOLUNTEER SERVICE HOURS FOR CALIFORNIA LAW STUDENTS HEADS TO GOVERNOR

 

East County News Service

August 17, 2016 (Sacramento) - A bill requiring law students to complete 50 hours of supervised volunteer or pro bono service before taking the bar exam will go the governor after the state senate voted late Monday to approve changes made in the Assembly.

FILING DEADLINE EXTENDED TO WEDNESDAY IN THESE RACES WHERE INCUMBENTS ARE NOT SEEKING REELECTION

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 16,2016  (San Diego’s East County)—The deadline for candidates to file, submit signatures and run for local offices has been extended to 5 p.m. tomorrow in  races where incumbents  did not file ot seek reelection. This includes key city council and mayor races in East County, as well as many school boards and special districts such as fire and water boards,as well as community planning boards.

WELL-KNOWN NAMES IN GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE DISTRICT RACE

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 16, 2016 (La Mesa) -- Six candidates are running for three seats on the Grossmont Healthcare District board of directors.  In addition to incumbents Bob Ayres and Michael Emerson, four other candidates have filed papers to run—including some prominent challengers.

CRIMINAL COMPLAINT SENT TO JUSTICE DEPT. OVER TRUMP CAMPAIGN SOLICITING FOREIGN DONORS

 

East County News Service

August 16, 2016 (Washington D.C.) — It’s illegal for U.S. federal candidates to solicit or receive campaign contributions from foreign donors.  So why has Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign repeatedly sent fundraising letters to foreigners including elected officials in other countries—despite repeated warnings that this violates federal election law?

MALLOY SEEKS DEBATE WITH HUNTER

 

East County News Service

August 16, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) - Patrick Malloy, candidate for Congress in the 50th District, has challenged the incumbent, Duncan Hunter of Alpine, to two debates in October.  In a letter sent to Hunter on August 15, Malloy said there should be two debates.  The first should be on veterans’ issues and the second on the economy and the environment because these issues are of top concern in the District, according to Malloy.

CPUC REFORM PACKAGE REVEALED

 

East County News Service

Photo:  San Bruno pipeline explosion in 2010, Creative Commons image by MisterOh

August 15, 2016 (Sacramento) - Governor Jerry Brown and Assemblyman Mike Gatto, Chair of the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee, have announced an agreement to extensively reform the California Utilities Commission with an aim to improve how the state’s utility regulators service the public.

CLINTON DELIVERS ECONOMIC PLAN TO EMPOWER WORKING FAMIILIES, CREATE JOBS

By Miriam Raftery

(file photo)

August 12, 2016 (Warren, Michigan) –Speaking at a  Futuramic aerospace factory in Warren, Michigan on Thursday where a new rocket to Mars is being built,  Democratic presidential nominee and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton laid out a detailed plan to revitalize the American economy including a “manufacturing Renaissance” and policies aimed at helping working families, students, women, people of color, and themiddle class.  She also sharply criticized Republican rival Donald Trump’s economic plan for benefitting primarily wealthy individuals such as himself on the backs of working families.

IT’S OFFICIAL: EL CAjON COUNCIL VOTES TO PUT DISTRICT ELECTIONS ON THE BALLOT

 

By Jonathan Goetz

August 11, 2016 (El Cajon) -- The El Cajon City Council voted 4-0 (with Councilman Bob McClellan absent) on Tuesday, August 9, to put district elections on the ballot.

If approved by voters in the November 8, 2016 election, districts will be finalized in 2017 and utilized from 2018 forward.

Mayor Bill Wells first directed staff to look into the issue back on July 14, 2015. He was concerned that numerous state and federal Voting Rights Act lawsuits have forced similar sized cities and jurisdictions to switch from at-large seats to district elections.

You can read questions and answers from a public forum here:  http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/22153

The question on the ballot will read:

Do you approve amending Section 201 of the City of EI Cajon Charter to require election of City Council members by geographic districts in which they reside beginning with the general municipal election to be held in 2018?

The full text is as follows:

EL CAJON REJECTS FINDINGS OF GRAND JURY REPORTS ON HOMELESSNESS AND POLICE OVERSIGHT

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photos:  Councilman Tony Ambrose, left, leveled harsh words at Richard Graydon, right, a citizen seeking more help for homeless people.

August 11,2016 (El Cajon) – Tempers grew heated during Tuesday’s El Cajon City Council hearing, where  Council member Tony Ambrose scolded a citizen, Richard Graydon, who had criticized the City's approach to homelessness.  The agenda included the city’s responses to two critical Grand Jury reports, one on homeless issues and the other calling for formation of a citizens’ police oversight board. 

The City determined it already does enough to help homeless people--more than other East County cities-- and also concluded there is no need to allow citizens'oversight of any complaints against El Cajon Police.

6 CANDIDATES RUNNING FOR EL CAJON COUNCIL—BUT DEADLINE MAY BE EXTENDED IF COUNCILMAN AMBROSE DOESN’T FILE BY THURSDAY

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 10, 2016 (El Cajon) – Three seats are up for election on the El Cajon Council. All are currently held by incumbents.  Council members Bob McClellan and Star Bales have filed to run for reelection and qualified to appear on the ballot, according to Monica Zech, the city’s public information officer.  But so far, Councilman Tony Ambrose has not.

TRUMP DENOUNCED FOR INCITING GUN VIOLENCE AGAINST CLINTON

 

East County News Service

Rep. Duncan Hunter defends Trump's remarks



August 10, 2016 (Washington D.C.) – Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is drawing fire for remarks that many believe were intended to incite gun owners to shoot Hillary Clinton, his rival, and potentially, justices she may appoint to the Supreme Court if elected. Trump’s campaign has said he only meant to encourage political action, not violence.

SAN DIEGANS SUING HILLARY CLINTON OVER 2012 BENGHAZI ATTACKS

 

Originally published by Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association (SDONA)

by Chris Jennewein

Photo by Ken Stone

August 9, 2016 (San Diego) -- The San Diego parent of an American killed during the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, is suing Hillary Clinton over the incident.

 

The conservative advocacy group Freedom Watch filed the suit Monday in Washington on behalf of Patricia Smith of San Diego, whose son Sean Smith was a State Department officer, and Charles Woods of Portland, OR, whose son Tyrone Woods, a former Imperial Beach resident, was CIA security contractor.

JUDGE: SAN DIEGO ELECTIONS AUDIT WAS IMPROPER—BUT RESULT STANDS, SINCE DECISION COMES AFTER CLINTON CERTIFIED AS WINNER

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Updated August 9, 2016 to include clarification provided by County spokesman Michael Workman.

August 8, 2016 (San Diego) — Superior Court Judge Joel Wohlfeil has issued a preliminary decision finding that San Diego Registrar of Voters Michael Vu erred in failing to include provisional and late vote-by-mail ballots in a hand-count of votes from one percent of precincts—an audit intended to assure accuracy.

TRUMP SPEAKS ON ECONOMIC PLAN: CUT TAXES, HALT TRADE DEALS, BRING BACK COAL PLANTS AND END OBAMACARE

 

Clinton slams plan as “lower wages, fewer jobs, more debt, tax breaks for the 0.1.%.”

By Miriam Raftery

August 8,2016 (Detroit) –  Donald Trump laid out his economic agenda, promising to “jump start” the American economy in a speech in Detroit today.  The plan calls for tax cuts, dismantling trade pacts, slashing regulations on businesses, eliminating Obamacare and boosting production and burning of coal, a greenhouse gas blamed by scientists for climate change.

LA MESA COUNCIL REFUSES GRAND JURY REQUST TO CREATE CITIZENS’ POLICE OVERSIGHT BOARD, ACCEPTS RECOMMENDATIONS ON HOMELESSNESS

By Tasha Matthews

ECM Editor Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

August 4, 2016 (La Mesa)--Councilmember Guy McWhirter opened the La Mesa City Council meeting on Tuesday, July 26th by expressing concern for our country in the wake of recent shootings of police officers. He thanked police for their brave work helping to protect citizens—two days before two San Diego Police officers were shot, one fatally.

But the Council rejected a Grand Jury recommendation to create a police oversight board aimed at assuring that citizens’ rights are protected if officer misconduct is alleged. The Grand Jury made its recommendations to La Mesa and other local cities in a report on Citizens Oversight Boards of Police Behavior.

EDUCATIONAL WORKSHOP FOR EL CAJON DISTRICT ELECTION PROCESS DRAWS A CROWD

 

By Janis Russell

August 5, 2016 (El Cajon) - Yesterday evening, the City of El Cajon held an educational workshop at Lexington Elementary School. It was for the public to attend and get information on the district election process that the city’s voters will get to vote on this November. The voters will vote to either approve and change to district election, or vote to not approve it. The district election would be for the El Cajon City Council.

NOBODY IS RUNNING YET IN KEY EAST COUNTY RACES: DEADLINE IS AUGUST 11

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 2, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – The deadline to file as a candidate to run for local offices is August 11. But so far, many East County races have no candidates declared or qualified for the ballot, according to the Registrar of Voters candidate list for the November election.  Most community planning groups have nobody running.  The same is true in some school, water and fire districts. Races with no candidates will be filled by appointment. In other districts, people are running unopposed—even incumbents on some of the most controversy-riddled boards.

No candidates are listed yet for the city councils in El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove or Santee, nor for the mayoral seats open in Lemon Grove and Santee, nor the La Mesa City Clerk or Treasurer seats.  Candidates have been actively campaigning in some of those races and some will likely file before deadline, but it’s also common for candidates to drop out before qualifying for the ballot.

In the Grossmont Union High School District, incumbent Jim Stieringer is thus far running unopposed in district two (La Mesa/Mt. Helix/Rancho San Diego); in district one (Lemon Grove/Spring Valley) which is an open seat, only one candidate has filed: Pastor Steve Babbitt from Spring Valley Community Church.

IS TRUMP MENTALLY UNFIT TO BE PRESIDENT?

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 3, 2016 (Washington D.C.) - It’s been a bad week for Donald Trump.  A recent poll shows him trailing his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, by 8 points.  Trump has continued to alienate a broad swath of the electorate and prominent Republicans within his own party, even insulting families of fallen military members and showing eagerness to launch nuclear weapons. Now, an online petition is asking the GOP to require a mental health screening of the party’s presidential candidate following his latest erratic actions.

GONZALEZ BILL PROVIDING FAIR CIVIL AWARDS TO PEOPLE REGARDLESS OF IMMIGRATION STATUS HEADS TO GOVERNOR

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 2, 2016 (San Diego) -- A bill by California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) aims to assure that an injured person in California receives fair compensation for future income loss and future medical costs regardless of their immigration status.  It was approved by the State Senate on a bipartisan 28-11 vote yesterday and next goes to the Governor for signature.

VOTERS WATCHDOG: REGISTRAR RESPONDS TO INQUIRY ON WHITED-OUT BALLOTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 1, 2016 (San Diego) — Election observers have contended that they witnessed hundreds of ballots with votes for Bernie Sanders whited out at the San Diego Registrar of Voters office and were prevented from watching further.  Video. Some have contended that Sanders was disenfranchised.

HILLARY CLINTON TOUTS AMERICAN RESILIENCE, OPTIMISM IN CONVENTION SPEECH

 

Full text of Hillary Clinton speech, transcribed by Jonathan Goetz, below

Story by Jonathan Goetz, photo by Jess Durfee

 

July 30, 2016 (Philadelphia) -- Hillary Clinton expressed faith and optimism in America during her acceptance speech before Democratic Convention delegates in Philadelphia on Thursday. She touched on the economy, jobs, education, the environment, health, justice, equality and national security.

“Now we are clear -eyed about what our country is up against, but we are not afraid," she said. "We will rise to the challenge, just as we always have.”

EL CAJON SETS EDUCATIONAL WORKSHOP ON DISTRICT ELECTIONS AUG. 4

 

East County News Service

July 28, 2016 (El Cajon) -- A city-sponsored measure is being proposed for the November 2016 general municipal election. If approved by voters, it would amend El Cajon’s City Charter to establish district elections for City Council seats beginning in 2018.

PRESIDENT OBAMA URGES AMERICANS TO REJECT FEAR AND CYNICISM, ELECT CLINTON

 

“I’m asking you to join me – to reject cynicism, reject fear, to summon what’s best in us; to elect Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States, and show the world we still believe in the promise of this great nation.”—President Barack Obama  (View video ; read full text.)

Other speakers included victims of gun violence, a  retired admiral and ex-CIA director

By Miriam Raftery

July 28, 2016 (Philadelphia) – President Barack Obama delivered a rousing speech to cap off day three of the Democratic National Convention, citing accomplishments of his administration, praising Hillary Clinton as the most qualified candidate for the presidency, and criticizing Republican nominee Donald Trump as unqualified, lacking plans to solve America’s problems, and a dangerous demagogue who would jeopardize international relations and national security.

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