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POLITICAL WRANGLING: GAFFES, GOOFS AND MUDSLINGING IN EAST COUNTY RACES

 

By Buck Shott

October 25, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) -- The mud is flying as the clock ticks down to the November 4th election.  Here are some of the latest juicy stories, scandals and mud-slinging tactics on the campaign trail in San Diego and East County.

HIT PIECE TARGETS ALPINE SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 24, 2014 (Alpine) – A negative campaign mailer  targeting Alpine School Board candidate Lou Russo (photo, left) was funded by the Public Safety PAC based in San Carlos.  Russo is, in fact, endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police in San Diego County. 

Among those contributing major funds to the Public Safety PAC is local Diamond dealer, CK Diamonds who is owned by Charles “Chuck” Kaderabek. Kaderabek withdrew his nomination from the Alpine Planning Group after Russo exposed Kaderabek’s string of tax liens, tax delinquencies and lapsed law license.

The Public Safety PAC has also been exposed as being behind mailers targeting La Mesa City Council candidate Mary England, who has the endorsement of La Mesa’s police, fire and public safety unions.

READER’S EDITORIAL: BIG MONEY AND HIT PIECES INFLUENCING OUR LA MESA POLITICAL SEASON

 

By Marcia Tolin

Editor’s note:  La Mesa Today reports that Guy McWhirter has admitted to funding the negative mailers targeting his opponent, Mary England, and funneling the money through the non-local “Public Safety Advocates” PAC. England in fact has the endorsement of La Mesa’s police, fire and public employees’ associations. The same PAC sent a hit piece on an Alpine candidate found to contain false information including endorsements denied by some inidividuals named.

October 24, 2014 (La Mesa)--For the first time that I can remember, defamatory mailers or “hit pieces” have been delivered in La Mesa from big money and outside interests.  Mary England who has the only endorsement by the La Mesa Police Officers’ Association is being attacked by a “PAC”, or Political Action Committee calling itself “Public Safety Advocates” out of Encinitas.  The PAC is specifically targeting just one candidate, the only woman and the one with the most experience running in a field of five for the two open seats on the La Mesa City Council.  Why now and for this position?  Who is really behind this?

If we follow the money, we don’t have to look very far. Public records (Form 496) shows a contribution from Guy McWhirter, who donated $5,000 on 10/13/2014.  The “Public Safety Advocates” who have thus far put out three hit pieces on Mary have received their money not only from Guy McWhirter, but from many builders and developers, and a local Diamond dealer, CK Diamonds who is owned by Charles “Chuck” Kaderabek from El Cajon.

HEAR OUR IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS WITH CONGRESSWOMAN SUSAN DAVIS & HER OPPONENT, LARRY WILSKE

 

Listen now! (audio files may take a few moments to load)

Congresswoman Susan Davis: http://kiwi6.com/file/xfmt493q90

Challenger Larry Wilske: http://kiwi6.com/file/41cph92w6r

October 23, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – We sat down for in-depth interviews with Congresswoman Susan Davis, a Democrat, and her opponent, Republican Larry Wilske, a Navy Seal.   Hear their views on jobs, the economy, energy, women’s issues, education, healthcare, Social Security, military actions in the Middle East and the refugee crisis, immigration, border security, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the needs of veterans and military families, the prospects of another government shut-down, and more.

Wilske called for boots on the ground in Syria, reform of NAFTA to encourage manufacturing in the U.S., creation of a cross-border rail line, increased use of oil refineries, nuclear and algae fuels, arming teachers to reduce school violence, stopping employers from hiring illegal immigrants, and allowing veterans to receive private healthcare when VA hospitals are backlogged.  

Davis discussed ideas to increase commerce at the border, boost funding for National Institute of Health research on Ebola, strengthen public education and keep college affordable, boost the economy through immigration reform, protect healthcare , Social Security and women’s rights, address climate change and seek a long-range strategy for addressing the ISIL terrorist threats in Syria and Iraq.

HEAR INTERVIEWS WITH SANTEE COUNCILMAN JOHN MINTO AND CHALLENGER MAGGIE ACERRA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

East County News Service

East County Magazine invited all five candidates running for Santee City Council to be interviewed on our radio show on KNSJ.  Two have participated thus far. (We hope to add more soon, so check back.)

 Incumbent Councilman John Minto, a former detective and chair of the East County Economic Development Council, says Santee is enjoying a robust economy and takes pride in his accomplishments, such as creating a public-private partnership to build a sports park and creating jobs.

Challenger Maggie Acerra, a budget and finance specialist, says she is running to be a voice for the people, increase public awareness of upcoming issues, and believes the council is too cozy with developers.

Hear our interviews ( note: audio files may take a few moments to load):

Maggie Acerra interview: http://kiwi6.com/file/dubmlczdpo

John Minto interview: http://kiwi6.com/file/9a9jrsqh0b

MUD FLIES IN LA MESA MAYORAL RACE

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 22, 2014 (La Mesa)—The campaign for La Mesa’s Mayoral race has turned negative.  Mayor Art Madrid’s campaign committee has sent a mailer to voters titled “The Real `Dr. A’ regarding his opponent, Councilman Mark Arapostathis. 

Arapostathis has responded with a detailed e-mail to East County Magazine saying the claims are untrue and “intended to deceive.” He added that La Mesa residents are “sick and tired of negative politics; that is why we need to change.”

2 CANDIDATES AIM TO HALT RATE HIKES IN HELIX WATER DISTRICT

 

 

East County News Service

Four candidates are running for two seats on the Helix Water District Board.  We invited all four to be interviewed on our radio show and two of them responded. In our radio interviews, we asked candidates their views on the drought, creating new regional water supplies, the tiered rate structure, budget priorities, the future of Lake Jennings, and transparency, among other issues.

You can listen to their interviews here:

Kathleen Hedberg interview: http://kiwi6.com/file/cg9yf06gmm

Steven Rotsart interview: http://kiwi6.com/file/o49k8zokbs

Hedberg is an incumbent and civil engineer who is running as a ratepayers’ advocate. She voted against rate hikes passed by the board majority.  Her opponent is Maria Mariscal, who has worked for the County Water Authority. 

Rotsart says he’s running because rates are too high, having nearly tripled in the past nine years. He He believes his experience in nonprofits will help him bring financial accountability to the board. He is running against incumbent Deana Verbeke, whose website says she is a voice of ratepayers but who voted consistently to raise rates despite objections from the vast majority of ratepayers who submitted public comments.

CAL FIRE CHIEF DISPUTES CANDIDATE STATEMENTS IN SAN MIGUEL FIRE RACE

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 22, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—CAL FIRE Tony Mecham, head of the County Fire Authority,  has contacted East County Magazine to dispute statements and factual claims made by two candidates running for the San Miguel Fire District Board in their responses to our candidate questionnaire.  

Chief Mecham states that he is not endorsing any candidate but adds, “There are numerous statements that are factually false.”

SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD RACE IS HOT

 

Updated October 22, 2014 - CAL FIRE Chief Tony Meacham, head of the County Fire Authority, has written to dispute statements made by two candidates in this race, which he says are "factually false."  You can read details of the Chief's statements here

By Nadin Abbott

October 18, 2014 (San Diego)--In 2012, the San Miguel Fire Board voted for CAL FIRE to take over firefighting operations. The board voted unanimously for the five-year contract because the agency was deep in a hole economically and had already closed a fire station. Those in favor argued that this decision would allow the board to continue operations, recover financially, reopen the closed station and keep service at comparable levels. But critics including at least one challenger running for the board have sharply criticized the deal with Cal-Fire,  citing loss of local control and potential delays in response times, also faulting other board actions.

East County Magazine e-mailed questions to all candidates, including inquiries about the CAL FIRE arrangement and a letter the district received from the State Comptroller raising questions over the board’s finances.

The six candidates include two incumbents (Chris Winter and Rick Augustine) seeking reelection and four challengers. Three of the challengers are running together as a slate (Theresa McKenna, Jim Ek, and Mike Vacio). The other challenger is Cindy Croucher. Bios for incumbents Winter and Augustine are available on the San Miguel Fire district website

Three candidates, challengers Theresa McKenna and Jim Ek, along with incumbent Chris Winter, have responded.  Below are the questions, and their answers, posted in full in the order received.

WHO WILL BE LA MESA’S MAYOR?

 

Key issue: Does the city need a full-time mayor, or can the job be done part-time?

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Mayor Art Madrid (left) and Councilman Mark Arapostathis (right)

October 15, 2014 (La Mesa) – La Mesa’s mayoral race is shaping up to be one of the hottest political contests in East County this election season, with two long-time community leaders vying for the city’s top job.  Both are long-time La Mesa residents with extensive experience in politics and community service. East County Magazine sat down for in-depth interviews with both candidates to talk about their records, their views on leadership, and their visions for La Mesa.

LA MESA MAYOR ART MADRID RUNS ON RECORD OF SUCCESS, SEEKS TO FULFILL HIS VISION FOR CITY IN A FINAL TERM

 

 

Hear our interview with La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid, originally broadcast on KNSJ radio:  http://k007.kiwi6.com/hotlink/b9yva37xb6/Newsmaker-ArtMadrid-FINAL.mp3

By Miriam Raftery

October 16, 2014 (La Mesa)—La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid has been serving the city for the past 33 years, as Mayor since 1990 and on the Council before that since 1981. He led the city through its centennial celebration and has held numerous other leadership positions including chair of the San Diego Association of Governments, president of the League of California Cities San Diego Division, and as a member of 125 different boards and commissions.

In an in-depth radio interview on the East County Magazine Show on KSNJ, Mayor Madrid discussed his history of accomplishments, his views on leaderships, and his vision for La Mesa for the future if reelected.  To read highlights of our interview, click "read more" and scroll down.

MARK ARAPOSTATHIS, “DR. A” AIMS TO BRING “POSITIVE” ATTITUDE TO MAYORAL JOB IN LA MESA

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 15,2014 (La Mesa) – Councilman Mark Arapostathis, twice named Teacher of the Year (by the County and La Mesa-Spring Valley School District), says a lesson he’s taught his students for 23 years is to always “be positive.”  He’s running against long-serving Mayor Art Madrid and says that if elected, he wants to bring “greater unity to the Council, which has been a bit divided.”  He holds a PhD degree and also heads up the Peter Pan Jr. Theater and C. Hook Theatre programs. 

He’s served on the La Mesa City Council for eight years.  Now with a term limits initiative on the ballot, he observes, “My window of opportunity may close” to run for mayor, since passage of the measure would limit the ability of long-serving council members to later run for mayor.

READER'S EDITORIAL: THE PUBLIC SAFETY CHOICE FOR JUDGE

 

By: Ernie Susi, President, San Diego County Probation Officers Association;

Ben Kelso, President, San Diego Black Police Officers Association;

Alan R. Alvarez, President, National Non-Partisan Latino Peace Officers Association for Law and Order; and

Kevin McQuillen, President Fraternal Order of Police (San Diego Lodge #10)

October 11, 2014 (San Diego)--We expect judges to understand public safety issues.  We hope they come to the bench with a track record of experience and supporting law enforcement and the community.  In the November election there’s only one contested Superior Court Judge race, seat #25.  The obvious choice is clear: Deputy Attorney General Brad Weinreb.

COMMUNITY COLLEGE RACE PITS RELIGIOUS CONSERVATIVE AGAINST SOCIAL JUSTICE ADVOCATE

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 13, 2014 (San Diego)--One of the more colorful election contests locally this year is a race for a seat on the San Diego Community College Board of Trustees between Donna Woodrum, a religious conservative, and  Maria Neito Senour, a professor with a commitment to social justice and diversity.

MAYOR PRO TEM GARY KENDRICK VIES FOR RE-ELECTION AGAINST CHALLENGER ELWOOD ALEXANDER

 

By Janis Russell

October 14, 2014 (El Cajon)- Mayor pro tem Gary Kendrick is up for re-election this November against challenger Elwood Alexander. Kendrick served on the City Council and was then elected as Mayor Pro Tem a year ago.

REP. HUNTER NAMED "BEST PARTY ANIMAL" IN CONGRESS BY STAFFERS ON CAPITAL HILL

 

East County News Service

October 15, 2014 (Washington D.C.)—For the past 28 years, the Washingtonian has surveyed Congressional aides about the leadership qualities (or lack thereof) of House members in its “Best and Worse of Congress” annual report .  While some districts’ representatives achieved such honors as being named the top workhorse , rising star or wisest member of Congress, the designation as the top “party animal” in the House  of Representatives was awarded to 50th Congressional district Representative Duncan D. Hunter (R-Alpine).

EXCLUSIVE! ECM RADIO INTERVIEW WITH JAMES KIMBER, 50TH CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, NOW ONLINE

 

 

Listen to our full interview here (it may take a few moments to load): http://k007.kiwi6.com/hotlink/cofd06nvhi/Newsmaker-Kimber-James-.mp3 . For highlights, click “read more” and scroll down.

By Miriam Raftery

October 14, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – East County Magazine invited both candidates for the 50th Congressional District to be interviewed on our radio show.  Congressman Duncan D. Hunter did not respond, but we did sit down for an in-depth interview with his opponent, Navy veteran and medical professional James Kimber, who talked about his views on topics including Social Security, healthcare, education, veterans, women's issues, bringing jobs to the district, student loans, energy issues, the Iraq and Syria conflicts, and the need to bring back compromise and end the partisan divide in Congress. 

Kimber has served in the healthcare field for 30 years, currently as a physician assistant specializing in neurosurgery. Asked why he’s running for Congress, he states, “I see the inaction going on within Congress. There are a lot of issues facing this country and some of them are very serious right now, but Congress has stepped back and they’re not working together very well right now.”

LA MESA SPRING VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES SPEAK WITH ECM

 

 

By Janis Russell

October 5, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)- Four candidates are running for the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District Board. They are incumbents  Bob Duff, Jerry Lecko and Rick Winet, and newcomer David Chong in the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District. (See the district map: http://www.lmsvsd.k12.ca.us/cms/lib2/CA01001633/Centricity/Domain/184/MAP-Schools.pdf).

ECM spoke with Superintendent Brian Marshall about the issues the district is facing. Marshall cited the budget, implementation of academic and innovative programs, wages, and bringing technology into classrooms.

PETERS, DEMAIO DEBATE HIGHLIGHTS

 

By Nadin Abbott

October 11, 2014 (San Diego) Channel 10 hosted a debate this week for candidates in the 52nd Congressional District, sponsored by KOGO and the San Diego Chamber of Commerce. Republican Carl DeMaio and Democrat Scott Peters came ready to answer questions from both LaDonna Harvey of KOGO and former Mayor/current San Diego Chamber of Commerce President Jerry Sanders.

STAFFER ACCUSES CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE CARL DEMAIO OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT

DeMaio denies allegations; accuser passes lie detector test, CNN reports

East County News Service

October 11, 2014 (San Diego) – In a city still reeling from the sexual harassment scandal that led to the resignation of Mayor Bob Filner, sexual harassment allegations have now surfaced in a high-profile Congressional campaign.

Todd Bosnich, a former staffer of Republican Congressional candidate Carl DeMaio, claims that DeMaio called him into his office and masturbated in front of him. Bosnich claims he was also harassed by DeMaio, who is gay, on other occasions, including a crotch-grabbing incident, Voice of San Diego reports.  DeMaio is running in the 52nd Congressional district against incumbent Democratic Congressman Scott Peters.

POLL WORKERS NEEDED FOR NOVEMBER 4 ELECTION

 

October 10, 2014 (San Diego County) - The Registrar’s office is required by federal law to provide bilingual speakers and voting materials to voters who speak Spanish, Filipino, Vietnamese and Chinese. A survey by the University of California, Berkeley showed a need for speakers of Khmer, Japanese, Korean and Hindi at about 20 precincts so the Registrar’s office is also recruiting poll workers bilingual in those languages for the November 4 election.

MAYOR WELLS SHARES VIEWS FOR FUTURE IN EXCLUSIVE ECM INTERVIEW

 

 

By Janis Russell

October 7, 2014 (El Cajon)- Mayor Bill Wells is up for re-election this November against challengers Allen Theweny and Jonathan Wright. Wells participated in an exclusive interview with East County Magazine below.  We invited all three candidates to be interviewed, but only Wells responded by deadline. In the interview, he discusses the city's achievements during his tenure on Council and as Mayor, the issues facing El Cajon, and his goals for the future.

OUR RADIO INTERVIEW WITH STATE SENATE CANDIDATE FRANK TSIMBOUKAKIS IS NOW ONLINE: LISTEN NOW

 

Listen to our interview with Frank Tsimboukakis, now online at:  http://k007.kiwi6.com/hotlink/57a2e3ruq7/Newsmaker-TsimboukakisFrank-Sept2014Interview.mp3

 

October 9, 2014 (San Diego's East County)-- Frank Tsimboukakis, candidate for State Senate running against incumbent Senator Joel Anderson, sat down for an interview with the East County Magazine Show. The interview originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM radio on October 1st and is now available online at the link above.

Tsimboukakis talked about his goals if elected, drawing clear distinctions between himself and his opponent on issues ranging from education affordability to jobs. He also questioned Anderson's slogan as a "tax fighter" given that Anderson has had multiple tax liens filed in the past, both personal and business, including business tax liens that records indicate have never been paid. 

For more information, click "read more" and scroll down.

HOMELAND SECURITY: HUNTER CLAIMS OF ISIS ARRESTS AT U.S. BORDER ARE “FALSE”

 

 

"The suggestion that individuals who have ties to ISIL have been apprehended at the Southwest border is categorically false, and not supported by any evidence."--Marsha Catron, Homeland Security

By Miriam Raftery

October 8, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-El Cajon) is drawing flack on national news media for claiming on Fox News  that ISIS (also known as ISIL) terrorists have been apprehended crossing the U.S.-Mexico Border. ( View video.)  Multiple sources within Homeland Security and Mexico now insist that Hunter is wrong.

Hunter told Greta Van Sustern on Fox News that “I know that at least 10 ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the Mexican border in Texas.” He said he got the information from a confidential Border Patrol source.

EARLY VOTING BEGINS FOR NOV. 4 ELECTION

 

October 6, 2014 (San Diego)--Voters interested in casting their ballots early for the Nov. 4 Gubernatorial General Election can now do so at the County Registrar of Voters new office at 5600 Overland Ave. in Kearny Mesa.

REPUBLICAN COMMITTEES FINED FOR MONEY LAUNDERING - AGAIN

 

East County News Service

October 7, 2014 (Sacramento)--California’s Fair Political Practices Commission has proposed fines for “money laundering” against three Republican central committees. .The committees illegally funneled money from major donors into candidates’ campaigns in amounts over legal limits, the FPPC says.

GOVERNOR VETOES FUNDS FOR UC AND CSU CAMPUSES

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 4, 2014 (Sacramento)—Governor Jerry Brown earlier pledged to sign a $100 million funding bill for the University of California and California State University systems ($50 mlilion each)—but only if property tax revenues met or exceeded projections.

READER'S EDITORIAL: PROPOSITION P -- WHAT IS IT, WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

 

By Barbara Nigro

October 3, 2014 (Julian)--PROPOSITION “P” will be on the November 4th ballot. Resident-voters will have an opportunity to staff the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District with paid Firefighter-Paramedics. This would ensure that a Paramedic is always in the District and able to respond within minutes.

CONGRESSMAN HUNTER SPEAKS AT CHAMBER ROUND TABLE

 

By Janis Russell

October 5, 2014 (El Cajon)- At Thursday’s, September 25th round table at Hooleys Irish Pub, the public participated in a Q & A with Congressman Duncan D Hunter about anything they wanted to know. The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce organized this event.

DECEPTIVE ADS SEEK TO DUPE PUBLIC ON PROP 45

 

East County News Service

October 5, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) --The insurance industry is funding a 37 million dollar TV and radio ad campaign attacking Prop 45, a ballot measure that would stop health insurance rates from going up in California unless insurance companies can first convince the State Insurance Commissioner that a rate hike is necessary.

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