3 local representatives vote yes, 2 oppose
August 1, 2011 (Washington D.C.) -- By a 269-161 vote, the compromise measure hammered out by President Barack Obama and bipartisan leaders of both houses passed the House of Representatives. It now advances to the Senate, which is expected to vote before tomorrow's deadline to raise the debt ceiling or face default on our national debt.
Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-El Cajon) voted no on the measure, citing concerns over defense spending cuts. Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) voted in favor, calling it the "best of no good alternatives." Both have issued statements explaining their positions in detail. (Scroll down for full text). San Diego Republican Congressmen Brian Bilbray and Darrell Issa voted for the measure, while Democrat Bob Filner voted against it.
In a moment of drama, Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords returned to the House floor for the first time since being shot in the head, drawing bipartisan applause as she entered the chamber to vote for the bill.
Update August 1: The House has passed the compromise measure 269-161 late today. Rep. Hunter voted no. His explanation may be found here: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/6852
August 1, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) –Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon) has served in combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan. But now he’s facing fire from both sides of the political aisle as tomorrow’s deadline draws near to approve a plan to raise the debt ceiling, or see the U.S. default on its debts.
Rep. Hunter has reportedly not yet made up his mind how he will vote on the high-stakes measure.
By Miriam Raftery
August 1, 2011 (Washington D.C.) – President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders from both parties reached a last-minute deal last night aimed at forestalling the U.S. from defaulting on the national debt by tomorrow’s deadline. But the agreement hinges on getting both sides of Congress to pass it swiftly.
Who wins, who loses? The most detailed and impartial analysis we’ve seen, including an easy-to-read chart, is in the Washington Post article titled “Who Got What?” http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/who-got-what/2011/07/31/gIQAZDDUm...
A new direction—starting with Boehner debt reduction plan—is needed, says Hunter
July 30, 2011 (Washington D.C.) - Yesterday Congressman Duncan Hunter (CA-52) responded to release of the second quarter report on America’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), calling the report one more example of why “the country needs a new direction.” The GDP report shows the economy grew at a rate of 1.3% from April through June, which, according to the Los Angeles Times, is a “sign that the recovery has faltered dramatically.”
WITH 1 WEEK LEFT TO STOP DEBT DEFAULT, OBAMA TAKES CASE TO PEOPLE: URGES VOTERS TO ASK REPRESENTATIVES TO HAVE WEALTHY PAY THEIR “FAIR SHARE”
“Would you rather reduce deficits and interest rates by raising revenue from those who are not now paying their fair share, or would you rather accept larger budget deficits, higher interest rates, and higher unemployment? And I think I know your answer.” – Ronald Reagan
Protests planned nationwide at Congressional offices over deficit issue
View video and read full text of President Obama’s speech and full text of President Obama’s speech
View full text of Republican Speaker John Boehmer’s response
July 26, 2011 (Washington D.C.) – In a special address to the nation last night, President Barack Obama invoked the words of Ronald Reagan and urged the American people to let their representatives know if they support a balanced approach to resolving the deficit that would include a combination of deep spending cuts but also ask “millionaires and billionaires” to make some sacrifices to avoid cuts that would hurt senior citizens, students and working people.
Thus far, Republicans have insisted on a cuts-only plan as a condition of raising the debt ceiling to prevent the nation from defaulting for the first time in history on its debts. Republican Speaker John Boehmer insists Congress and the nation must "live within their means" as small businesses and families must do.
July 22, 2011 (Tierrasanta) – San Diego City Councilwoman Marti Emerald has issued the following statement in response to inquiries regarding her decision to sell her home Tierrasanta.
The move follows the death of her husband, Mike Klarfeld, in February, and has raised questions as to whether she intends to continue representing the district.
By Miriam Raftery
July 22, 2011 (San Diego) –Just how tough is it to balance the federal budget? While Congress wrestles with the issue on Capitol Hill, a roomful of ordinary citizens got the chance to find out on Tuesday, when Congresswoman Susan Davis’ office sponsored a workshop at San Diego State University to get constituents’ inputs on budgetary priorities.
I planned to go as a neutral observer. But since our table was short one participant, i found myself recruited for a lively and enlightening session. Creative minds proved adept at thinking outside the box—challenging conventional wisdoms, expanding the choices presented for cutting costs and raising revenues, plus citizens came up with some innovative ideas of their own.
CONGRESSWOMAN SUSAN DAVIS SPEAKS OUT AGAINST ENERGY BILL THAT SHE SAYS WOULD HURT SAN DIEGO’S CLEANTECH INNOVATION
by Shannon Michael
July 21, 2011 (Washington D.C.) – Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) has issued a press release blasting an energy spending bill that seeks to gut funding for clean energy, including biomass and solar programs. The bill would hit San Diego hard, since it has a large concentration of clean technology companies, Davis indicated.
“San Diego has 767 clean technology companies and has become an innovation hub, especially in solar power, energy storage, and advanced biofuels,” said Davis. “If we’re going to remain competitive in the global economy, we must invest in clean energy innovation.” According to the San Diego Association of Governments, the algae energy section alone provides the region with 410 direct jobs and $108 million in economic activity each year.
July 21, 2011 (Washington D.C.) -- Washington D.C.—U.S. Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon), a member of the House Armed Services Committee and veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said yesterday that he will oppose any debt ceiling proposal that arbitrarily cuts spending—in particular, a “Gang of Six” agreement.
Hunter cited the military’s existing mission requirements, aging inventory and the cost of containing emerging threats and strengthening force projection.
July 19, 2011 (La Mesa) -- Helix Water District will hold an informational public meeting on the proposed water rate increase on July 21 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive in La Mesa.
July 18, 2011 (Washington) -- Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) has introduced legislation, the Universal Right to Vote by Mail Act (H.R. 2084), that would end restrictions many states impose on a person’s ability to vote by absentee ballot.
July, 16, 2011 (Washington, DC) – Congressman Bob Filner applauded the announcement of more than $1.4 million for San Diego area school-based health centers. The Department of Health and Human Services, along with the Department of Education, today. The announced awards went to Family Health Centers of San Diego, Inc. $500,000; La Maestra Family Clinic was awarded $406,733; and the National City based Operation Samahan, Inc. was awarded $493,885.
July 15, 2011 (East County) -- The Alpine and Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce invites you to join your elected representatives for a lively evening discussing important hot topics on Monday, July 18. Bring your questions, enjoy appetizers and the opportunity to meet your friends and neighbors at this informative event, which is cosponsored by Viejas and San Diego Gas & Electric Company.
July 14, 2011 (San Diego) – “The Middle Class in America is endangered. Every single day, we work hard and do our share in supporting ourselves, our families and our country. Yet, we see our incomes cut, our assets gambled, and our quality of life threatened,” reads the webpage for the newly-formed Middle Class Taxpayers Association (MCTA) in San Diego.
The group aims to represent middle class people and small business owners, who founders believe are “not served by big business-funded taxpayer groups.” Case in point: MTCA points out that most board members for the existing San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTA) work for major corporations including Wal-Mart, Sempra/SDG&E, Chevron, healthcare industry interests and big businesses.
Will Not Release Second Draft Maps in Order to Gather More Public Input Throughout Line Drawing Process and Produce Best Final Maps Possible
July 10, 2011 (Sacramento) -- The California Citizens Redistricting Commission decided at a recent meeting, that in order to produce the best district maps possible, it would amend its schedule and not release a second round of draft maps. The Commission will be posting visualizations of proposed districts, and make equivalency files available for organizations and news outlets to provide greater detail to the public on the visualization proposals. The visualizations are proposed options for districts and are considered and discussed by the Commission at their meetings instructing the line drawers.
At a previous meeting, the Commission set July 28th as the deadline for submission of public comment on the Commission's second round of draft maps to be released July 14th. The Commission encourages the public to submit their written comment as soon after July 14th as possible so the testimony can be fully considered.
MAJORITY OF PUBLIC OPPOSES CUTS IN MEDICARE, SOCIAL SECURITY AS GOP PUSHES TO ELIMINATE OR SLASH PROGRAMS AS MEANS TO REDUCE DEFICIT
“The average income for a senior woman is $14,420 a year…The healthcare costs under the GOP plan for that woman would be $12,500. She wouldn’t even have $200 for the rest of the needs of her life. This is really a sick proposal.” – Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California), on the Republican budget plan to eliminate Medicare and replace it with a voucher system for seniors to buy private insurance
“We cannot allow politicians and special interests to stand between patients and the care they need. The American people deserve the freedom to choose the health care that is best for their families.” – Republican GOP) Majority in Congress website
July 5, 2011 (Culver City) -- The California Citizens Redistricting Commission, in order to accommodate and incorporate greater public input, voted to move its release of second draft district maps to July 12th. The Commission is charged by voters to draw California Congressional, Legislative and Board of Equalization districts.
Fire parcel fee, redevelopment cuts, tuition hikes, freeze on teacher lay-offs, and "crippling" cuts in border crimes enforcement among the budget impacts on our region
By Miriam Raftery
June 30, 2011 (Sacramento) –Governor Jerry Brown and Democrats in the state Legislature have approved a majority-vote budget without a single Republican vote. The move ends a months-long impasse in which Republicans held out for an all-cuts budget, while Democrats sought revenue increases to prevent slashing programs ranging from healthcare to law enforcement. The budget includes $7.9 billion in cuts which aim to reduce the state’s $26 billion deficit to $5 billion.
By Miriam Rafery
June 29, 2011 (San Diego)—The California Citizens Redistricting Commission heard input from area residents this month, including some residents of East County and Imperial County who objected to the redrawing of Congressional and state leglsiative district lines to lump the two regions together.
COUNTY BARS ALPINE PLANNING GROUP FROM REMOVING MEMBER LOUIS RUSSO, AFTER ACLU SAYS SANCTIONS UNCONSTITUTIONAL
By Miriam Raftery
June 27, 2011 (Alpine) – San Diego County Counsel Thomas Montgomery has barred the Alpine Planning Group from removing Louis Russo, a member. The board had attempted to oust Russo after he wrote an article published online in the Alpine Community Network criticizing recent board decisions and suggesting that the planning group may need to be disbanded.
June 20, 2011 (Sacramento) – Legislation authored by Senator Joel Anderson (R-El Cajon) aimed at protecting taxpayers and businesses from the impacts of state-issued IOUs has been approved by the State Senate.
“What’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” stated Senator Joel Anderson. “Right now, the state IOU process is a forced-borrowing scheme at the expense of the taxpayers. This measure will offer taxpayers protection by forcing the state to accept its own IOU as payment.”
June 19, 2011 (San Diego) – Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego), whose district may soon extend to include La Mesa, part of El Cajon and other areas in East County with reapportionment, has joined several other legislators in sending a letter asking Attorney General Eric Holder to conduct an investigation into oil speculation. The legislators seek to “determine whether illegal practices may be artificially inflating oil and gas prices” and also ask for “common sense limits" on the trading of oil futures.
“It's infuriating that major oil companies continue to profit from tax exemptions while American families struggle with rising gas prices," Davis said in a letter to constituents. "I joined in sending a letter to Vice President Biden asking him to make sure that cutting unnecessary tax subsidies for major oil companies is part of a deal to reduce the deficit.”
CUTS TO MEDICARE APPROVED BY GOP HOUSE WOULD HAVE MAJOR IMPACTS ON EAST COUNTY SENIORS AND DISABLED PEOPLE, ANALYSIS FINDS
In the 52nd Congressional District represented by Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon), a Democratic analysis estimates the plan would shift thousands of dollars in costs onto individuals --$182,000 to $287,000 per person for those ages 44-54--while sharply cutting benefits for those over age 54 and the disabled.
June 19, 2011 (Washington D.C.) – How will the bill passed in April by House Republicans’ to cut $1 trillion in Medicare costs impact people in East County and San Diego?
The plan would eliminate Medicare for those now under 55, making them use vouchers for private insurance instead. Some benefits for current Medicare beneficiaries and the disabled would be cut immediately. Seniors would pay more for prescriptions and government reimbursement to private insurers would not keep pace with the rising cost of medical care, resulting in seniors paying higher costs. That's based on numerous independen analyses, from the Wall Street Journal to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
Now ranking members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have posted a breakdown by Congressional districts that shows majorl impacts on seniors and even greater cuts to those currently under 55.
Garrick reportedly was set to run for redrawn Senate district in East County
By Miriam Raftery
June 16, 2011 (San Diego) – Assemblyman Martin Garrick (R-74th district), who currently represents North County, was arrested yesterday in Sacramento for driving under the influence of alcohol, after speeding, running a stop sign and fleeing from two California Highway Patrol officers.
Garrick, a former vice chair of the local Republican Party and past GOP Assembly leader, has been put forward by the Republican Party as a potential candidate to run for State Senate in a redrawn 38th State Senate district that would include areas in East County north of Interstate 8 if proposed redistricting plans are approved as drafted.
By Miriam Raftery
June 12, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Who will your future representatives be for Congress, State Senate and Assembly? Starting next year, many East County residents will find themselves in different districts-- if draft maps drawn up by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission are adopted. While most legislators appear likely to keep fairly safe seats, some districts have become more competitive. Key East County districts will have drastically different boundaries, forcing elected officials to campaign on unfamiliar turf--and even adjacent counties.
The commission was formed following a ballot initiative approved by voters. The goal was to take redistricting out of the hands of politicians in Sacramento in hopes of creating more competitive and geographically rational district lines instead of gerrymandering. Public comment is sought in June before the commission finalizes its plans.
ECM’s analysis of the maps yields some intriguing findings. Among them:
Supervisors to consider proposed plans June 28
June 15, 2011 (San Diego County) -- After a series of public meetings that began in February, the County’s Redistricting Advisory Committee voted Monday to forward three proposed redistricting plans to the Board of Supervisors. The citizen’s committee was tasked with gathering public input and forwarding no more than three plans for the Board’s consideration. The Redistricting Advisory Committee finished that work and held its final meeting Monday.
The Board of Supervisors is expected to hear the committee’s proposed plans at its regular Board meeting at 9 a.m. on June 28.The Redistricting Advisory Committee’s three proposals can be viewed at the County’s redistricting website at www.sdcounty.ca.gov/redistricting. Once at the site, please choose “view/submit plan” from the left menu; then choose “view the latest proposed plans.” This will take you to the online viewer, where you can “Choose (a) Plan.”