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LAST DAY TO APPLY FOR ABSENTEE BALLOT IS TUESDAY MAY 27

 

May 27, 2014 (San Diego)--Tuesday, May 27th is the deadline to request a mail-in ballot for the June 3rd election.  You can download an application from the Registrar of Voters site and e-mail or fax it in.  Your request must include your name, registered address and date of the election, the address where your ballot should be mailed, and your signature.  You can email your request to ROVmail@sdcounty.ca.gov.

PLANNING COMMISSIONER AND ENVIRONMENTAL LEADER TO HEADLINE LA MESA DEMOCRATIC CLUB MEETING JUNE 6

 

“How we can affect our environment” is topic of session

May 24, 2014 (La Mesa)--San Diego Planning Commissioner Anthony Wagner will headline the June 4th meeting of the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive in La Mesa.  Wagner, an area native, also heads up the Allied Gardens Town Council and was recently Chair of Navajo Community Planners.  He’ll discuss the results of the June 3rd primary election, as well as the importance of the updated Grantville Community Plan.  As a board member of the San Diego River Park Foundation, Anthony will discuss the balance planners must reach in protecting our open spaces and valuable natural resources with the plans proposed for high-density development of the Grantville area.

CONGRESSWOMAN DAVIS VISIT AFGHANISTAN, URGES SUPPORT FOR RIGHTS OF AFGHAN WOMEN AFTER TROOPS WITHDRAW

 

May 25, 2014 (San Diego)--While many legislators spent time with family on Mother’s Day, Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San  Diego) went to Afghanistan. Davis, whose district includes much of East County, led a bipartisan group of women Congressional members to visit with U.S. service members and with groups of Afghan women—as she has done each Mother’s Day since 2009.

GOSSELIN ACCUSED OF MISLEADING PUBLIC ON SIGNS IN JUDICIAL RACE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 25, 2014 (San Diego) Campaign signs posted by Ken Gosselin’s judicial campaign  are raising ethical questions In large letters, the words Judge Gosselin are displayed.  Nearly invisible to motorists and passersby, the word “for” in small italics is also present on the signs.

Gosselin, a candidate for Superior Court Judge seat 25, has previously worked as a temporary judge pro tem handling traffic and small claims court cases. He is currently not listed on the Superior Court’s roster of judges pro tem and has stated he is on leave due to the campaign. However, judicial candidates by law are not allowed to call themselves judges, even if  the candidate is currently serving as a judge pro tem.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS WITH COUNTY ASSESSOR/RECORDER/CLERK ERNEST DRONENBURG & CHALLENGER SUSAN GUINN

 

Listen now:  

Ernest Dronenburg interview: http://kiwi6.com/file/pru583v53x

Susan Guinn interview: http://kiwi6.com/file/b0ugg55jps

By Miriam Raftery

May 22, 2014 (San Diego)—San Diego County’s Assessor/Recorder/Clerk is responsible for deciding whether or not you can reassess your property to lower your taxes.   The job also includes marrying couples and providing public records such as marriage, birth and death certificates.  This week, East County Magazine interviewed incumbent Ernest Dronenburg and challenger Susan Guinn , a consumer advocate/attorney, during our show on KNSJ.

Dronenberg, former Chairman of the state Board of Equalization and the Franchise Tax Board, defends his record and says his office has high customer satisfaction ratings.

Guinn contends San Diego County has among the worst rates in the state for unresolved property tax assessment appeals.  She also faults Dronenburg for filing a challenge seeking to avoid conducting gay marriages after Prop 8 was ruled unconstitutional. 

MODERATE REPUBLICAN TONY TEORA CHALLENGES ASSEMBLYMAN BRIAN JONES

Hear East County Magazine’s interview with  Tony Teora: http://kiwi6.com/file/xtdo52vum0 (new link)

By Trevor Hill and Miriam Raftery

May 23, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)- - In the 71st Assembly District encompassing most of East County,  Republican Tony Teora is running against Republican incumbent Brian Jones.

There is no Democrat on the ballot (though Democrat Howard Katz has launched a write-in campaign). While Jones takes far-right conservative stances across the board, Teora takes a moderate position on fiscal issues and voices progressive views on social issues and climate change, providing a clear choice for voters.

CAUCUS WANTS MORE FUNDING FOR MOMS AND KIDS

 

By Lori Abbott, California News Service

May 22, 2014 (Sacramento) -- Budget negotiations will begin soon, and many of California's female lawmakers want to make sure the state's spending plan does a better job of helping women and children.

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES SPEAK AT REPUBLICAN/TEA PARTY EVENT IN LAKESIDE

 

By Nadin Abbott

May 19, 2012 (Lakeside)—The East County Cailfornia Republican Assembly  and the Lakeside Tea Party sponsored a joint event tonight at the Veterans for Foreign Wars post in Lakeside. The event had three Congressional candidates for three different districts, the 50th, 52nd, and 53rd.

TEA PARTY, GOP HOST CANDIDATE FORUM IN LAKESIDE MAY 19

 

 

May 17, 2014 (Lakeside) – The East County California Republican Assembly and the Lakeside Tea Party announce a forum with candidates running to represent East County. The forum, titled “How Conservatives  Counter the  Bigotry on the Left” will be held on Monday, May 19 at 6 p.m. in the VFW Hall Post $5867, 12650 Lindo Lane in Lakeside. 

Candidates confirmed include:

LA MESA RESIDENTS ENCOURAGED TO APPLY FOR VOLUNTEER POSITIONS ON CITY BOARDS, COMMISSIONS AND COMMITTEES

 

May 14, 2014 (La Mesa) - Applications are now being accepted for positions on the City’s boards, commissions, and committees. The deadline for submission of applications is 5:30 p.m., Thursday, June 5, 2014, in the City Clerk’s office at La Mesa City Hall, 8130 Allison Avenue. Applications may be obtained at City Hall or by accessing the City of La Mesa website, www.cityoflamesa.com.

JUDGMENT CALLS? CONTROVERSY CONTINUES AS BILLBOARDS COME DOWN IN KEEHN VS. SCHALL JUDICIAL RACE

Judge Schall speaks out, defends her record (photo, left)

By Miriam Raftery

May 15, 2014 (San Diego) –Last week, we reported on a Superior Court candidate, Carla Keehn, who put up billboards drawing attention to judicial admonishments and a conviction for alcohol-related reckless driving (later expunged)  involving her opponent, Superior Court Judge Lisa Schall.

Judge Schall has issued a statement defending her record.  In addition, Clear Channel has removed the billboards, stirring up new controversies over its actions as well as free speech issues in judicial elections.

ELECTED OR APPOINTED CITY CLERK IN LA MESA?

East County News Service

Update May 15, 2014:  by a 4 to 1 vote, with Mayor Art Madrid opposed, Council voted to move forward with this proposal, with voters having the ultimate decision on a future ballot measure to make the City Clerk an appointed position.

May 12, 2014 (La Mesa) -- On Thursday, May 13 the La Mesa City Council will discuss whether to place an item on the November election ballot to change the City Clerk position from one that is elected to a staff position that would be appointed.

Citing the increasing complexity of the position, Council Members Ernie Ewin and Ruth Sterling wrote, “City Clerk responsibilities require professional skills and expertise in areas such as election law, records management and conflict of interest regulations.”

Among other things, the Clerks Office must have a thorough knowledge of election procedures and the public notification requirements of the Brown Act.

LT. GOVERNOR'S RACE PITS GAVIN NEWSOM AGAINST RON NEHRING AND 6 OTHERS

 

Photos: Ron Nehring (L) and Gavin Newsom (R)

By Miriam Raftery

May 13, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--Seven challengers are running against Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom.   The most prominent challenger is Ron Nehring, a familiar name to many San Diegans.  Both leading contenders have long political careers on polar opposite sides of the political spectrum—and both have been lightning rods for controversy.

TONI ATKINS NAMED SPEAKER OF ASSEMBLY

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 11, 2014 (San Diego) - There’s a new Speaker of the Assembly in California-- and she’s from San Diego.Former Sam Diego Councilwoman Toni Atkins was sworn in Monday in Sacramento.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT REPORT: WEEK OF MAY 12

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 11, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--El Cajon’s Council meets Tuesday, May 13.  This week, Council will consider a measure to support creation of a veteran’s memorial in El Cajon.  They will also consider proposals to regulate secondhand shops, create a crime-free motel and hotel program, and establish an incubator businesses program to help local entrepreneurs. The council will also hear a first reading of a moratorium on new hookah lounges.

HOUSE PASSES EDUCATION BILL WITH DAVIS PROVISION ON SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING

 

May 10, 2014 (Washington D.C.)--Last night, The U.S. House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation - Strengthening Education through Research Act (H.R. 4366) - to improve research on education programs and ensure those programs are effective in meeting national education priorities. H.R. 4366 includes language from a bill carried by U.S. Rep. Susan Davis (CA-53) to help schools integrate social and emotional learning (SEL). The provision from Davis’s The Supporting Emotional Learning (SEL) Act (H.R. 4509) would make SEL a topic for educational research.

DEMOCRATIC BASE PROTESTS PRESIDENT OBAMA IN LA JOLLA OVER TRADE AGREEMENTS & KEYSTONE PIPELINE

 

Labor & Community Groups Rally Against the Pending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

May 8, 2014 (San Diego)-- Labor and community groups lined the streets outside a fundraiser featuring President Barack Obama today to protest the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement, a pact they say threatens to ship California jobs overseas.  The Democratic fundraiser was held at the home of Irwin Jacobs, founder of Qualcomm, a high-tech company that already does much of its production overseas and has been lobbying for the TPP.

MORE JUDICIAL CANDIDATES SPEAK OUT, CRITICIZE SAN DIEGO BAR’S RATING SYSTEM

 

Hear a podcast of our interview with Carla Keehn (photo, left), Superior Court judicial candidate: http://kiwi6.com/file/x3reawfy6g.  The interview aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM.

By Miriam Raftery

May 7, 2014 (San Diego) – How fair are ratings for judicial candidates meted out by the San Diego County Bar Association?

Last week, the Bar’s Judicial Election Evaluation Committee (JEEC)came out with rankings in five contested Superior Court judicial races.  The Bar ranked three candidates as “lacking qualifications” including one with extensive experience and no disciplinary actions. The professional lawyers’ group also gave a “highly qualified” rating to an incumbent judge who  pled guilty to reckless driving  with alcohol involved and has faced multiple legal disciplinary actions.

Now some candidates are speaking out to criticize the Bar’s ratings system—calling for its abolishment or dramatic changes to make the system more transparent and fair.

One of those candidates, Carla Keehn, has erected billboards starting today to reveal her opponent’s criminal conviction.  “Vote for Carla Keehn, the only candidate without a criminal conviction. No one is above the law—not even judges,” the billboards read.

DONNELLY, CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR, CALLED ON TO REPUDIATE DEFAMATORY ANTI-MUSLIM FACEBOOK POST

 

Minute Man leader/anti-immigrant candidate is endorsed by East County Assemblyman Brian Jones

By Miriam Raftery

May 6, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a Republican candidate for Governor who founded California’s largest anti-immigrant California Minute Man chapter, is now drawing fire for anti-Muslim remarks made about a prominent member of his own party.  

Donnelly, one of 14 candidates including five Republicans in the gubernatorial primary, has won the endorsement of East County Assemblyman Brian Jones as well as the Tea Party. 

At the state Republican convention, Jones said he believed Donnelly had heeded party leaders’ advice to be more “inclusive” in his message, Huffington Post reported,. Jones added that he believed Donnelly was “saying the same things, but in a more welcoming manner.”

JUDICIAL CANDIDATE SPEAKS OUT, CALLS FOR CHANGES TO COUNTY BAR’S RATING SYSTEM (HEAR PODCAST)

 

 

Missed the show? Listen to our podcast of this interview, now posted here:

http://kiwi6.com/file/aoqg1fau02

May 5, 2014 (San Diego) – Superior Court Judge candidate Michele Hagan was a guest on our May 5 East County Magazine Show on KNSJ 89.1 FM.

“We don’t let football players choose referees. So why are we letting lawyers choose judges?” asks Hagan, a former prosecutor and judge pro tem who also publishes a blog on legal issues.

She contends that the County Bar Association gave her a “lacking qualifications” rating because she spoke out in her blog about a local judge who awarded alimony to a man convicted of a violent sexual act against his wife, then worked to pass a new state law, AB 1522, to protect victims from having to pay alimony to spouses convicted of a violent sexual felony.

She contends that the Bar’s rating system for judicial candidates is flawed, subject to bias, and not transparent.   To read her credentials for the job, click "read more" and scroll down.

POOR PEOPLE EXCLUDED FROM HEARING ON POVERTY

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 2, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - Republican Paul Ryan plans to hold a Congressional committee hearing next week on poverty – but he has refused to let any poor people testify.

COUNTY BAR ISSUES RATINGS FOR JUDICIAL CANDIDATES, RANKS 3 AS “LACKING QUALIFICATIONS”

By Miriam Raftery

April 30, 2014 (San Diego) – The San Diego County Bar Association’s Judicial Elections Evaluation Committee (JEEC) has issued ratings for candidates in five contested judicial races.  The ratings rank three candidates – Ken Gosselin, Michele Hagan, and Douglas Crawford, as “lacking qualifications.”

Two of those have been embroiled in controversy.  Gosselin was required by a court to change statements on his ballot regarding his experience and education that a judge found to be misleading.  Crawford is appealing suspension of his law license due to passing along a threat made by a client to initiate an IRS audit of an opposing party in a lawsuit. 

JUNE BALLOT MEASURES

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 30, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--Several measures have qualified to appear on the June ballot, and others are still pending.  Ballot initiatives approved to appear on your June ballot thus far include measures impacting homeless veterans, health insurance rates, your rights to open government, and more.

JUDGE WITH EXTENSIVE RECORD ON BENCH CHALLENGED BY CANDIDATE FACING SUSPENSION BY STATE BAR

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 25, 2014 (San Diego) – Judge Ronald Prager has been a Superior Court Judge for 26 years, with an unblemished record.

 “I’ve handled more important cases and complex litigation than any other judge,” said Prager, who has presided over many of our region’s most high profile cases.  He told ECM that he has been endorsed by all 125 Superior Court judges as well as Sheriff Bill Gore, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, the Public Defender, Deputy District Attorneys Association, the Lawyer’s Club, and San Diegans Against Crime, a crime victims’ rights group.

His opponent for Superior Court seat 9,  Douglas James Crawford,   faces suspension of his law license for advising opposing counsel of threats made by his client to instigate an IRS audit if settlement talks in a lawsuit were not commenced.  He denies wrongdoing and has filed an appeal.  He has also drawn criticism for racial remarks regarding an African-American judge and for offering free legal advice to white supremacist groups. In addition, an East County Magazine investigation reveals that Crawford has previously been sanctioned by the California 4th District Court of Appeal for “intentionally misleading” a court and bank regarding his mother’s death.  Moreover, the court found that Crawford  claimed to represent his mother’s  estate after allowing his license to practice law to become inactive.

SOMETHING TO SING ABOUT: EL CAJON COUNCIL VOTES TO FUND SAN DIEGO YOUTH CHOIR

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 24, 2014 (El Cajon) – By a unanimous vote, El Cajon’s City Council on Tuesday voted to grant $10,000 to fund the San Diego Youth Choir, a multi-racial, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural community youth choir based in El Cajon. The group’s mission statement is to empower young leaders through musical excellence.  It’s mantra is “Empowering San Diego County youth, one note at a time.”

“What it really is, is an investment in children’s future,” Councilman Gary Kendrick told East County Magazine. “$10,000 today could save us $100,000 tomorrow in police costs and property crimes.”  He added that performing together also builds self-confidence and a sense of accomplishment, as well as forging bonds that can last a lifetime.  “My son still has close friendships in Hollywood that started when he was in Christian Youth Theater in San Diego,” Kendrick recalled.

 The San Diego Youth Choir (www.youthchoirsd.org) aims to be housed in a central location in El Cajon with state of the art rehearsal space, practice rooms, dance rooms, and a recording studio.

CHRISTIAN VOTERS POLITICAL PAMPHLET SENT BY DEMOCRATIC BACKER IN EL CAJON VIOLATED CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAW, FPPC ENFORCEMENT OFFICER ADVISES

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 23, 2014 (El Cajon)—The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) is weighing a proposed stipulation order that if signed, would impose a $2,000 fine against Bonnie Burns Price for a mailer from “ Christian Voters for a More Transparent Government in East County."  Price is the former chair of the East County Democratic Club and a supporter of Ben Kalasho, a candidate who ran for El Cajon Council and lost by a narrow margin in 2012.

SPRING VALLEY COMMUNITY PLANNING GROUP VACANCY NOTICE

 

April 23, 2014 (Spring Valley) - This is to announce a vacancy has occurred on the Spring Valley Community Planning Group, due to the resignation of Richard Preuss, Seat 7. The BOARD OF SUPERVISORS makes this appointment. Please refer to the Roster of Boards, Commissions and Committees on our web site at http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/cob/.

JUDICIAL CANDIDATE FACES ETHICS CONTROVERSIES

 

Court stipulation requires changes in ballot statement claims; fundraiser for Issa and large donations raise further ethical questions

By Miriam Raftery

April 22, 2014 (San Diego) –Three candidates are vying for Superior Court Judge, seat 25, on the June ballot. The top two will face off in November.  The official ballot designations list them as Deputy Attorney General Brad Weinreb, attorney/fraud examiner Michele Hagan, and attorney/court volunteer Ken Gosselin.

Controversy has arisen surrounding Gosselin,  after Weinreb filed a legal challenge alleging exaggerated experience and education claims on Gosselin’s ballot statement. 

In addiiton, an ECM investigation has found that a fundraiser that Gosselin held at his home for a non-judicial candidate, Congressman Darrell Issa, may have violated California's Judicial Canon of Ethics, which prohibit judicial candidates from fundraising for or endorsing non-judicial candidates. A second Congressional candidate has also stated that Gosselin endorsed him.  Other violations may have occurred due to hefty campaign contributions made by Gosselin to the San Diego County Republican Party, which later endorsed him, and to the Lincoln Club.

MAYOR MADRID LAUNCHES REELECTION CAMPAIGN, RUNS ON RECORD OF SUCCESS

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 22, 2014 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid held a press conference yesterday, flanked by his supporters,  to formally launch his reelection campaign.  “I pledge that the city will continue to be properly managed and that I will vigorously protect its character and heritage,” said Mayor Madrid.  He cited successes under his leadership during his 24-year tenure as Mayor and his 10 years previously on the City Council, as well as a decade serving on civic boards and commissions.

“In 1990 when I was elected Mayor, my commitment then was to help make La Mesa the best community in the region in which to live and raise a family,” said the Mayor, adding that his leadership, collaborative governance and management skills have helped fulfill that dream.  “I’ve led the transformation of la Mesa into a vibrant, proactive and inclusive community that continues to attract new families and businesses to our city.”

BUDGET BATTLES IN CONGRESS

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 22, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - Three competing budgets have been proposed in Congress-one by House Republicans, another by President Obama, and a third by the House Congressional Progressive Caucus.

All aim to balance the budget over time. The Republican plan focuses on cuts to social services and tax breaks to businesses and wealthier Americans in line with the trickle-down economic theory. The President and progressive budgets focus on raising revenues to closing tax loopholes for corporations and the rich, providing more help to middle class and low-income taxpayers under a rising tide floats all boats strategy.

But how do these three budgets stack up compared to what polls show most Americans want Congress to do?

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