Brian Bilbray

CONGRESS APPROVES BILL TO AVOID FISCAL CLIFF; SAN DIEGO DELEGATION DIVIDED

By Miriam Raftery

January 2, 2013 (San Diego’s East County ) – By a 257-167 vote late last night, the House of Representatives approved without changes a “fiscal cliff” deal previously passed by the Senate 89-8.

The stock market reaction to ending the uncertainty was positive, rising 235 points or 1.9% on January 1 for a second-straight day of triple digit gains. It’s a deal that reflects compromise on both sides, averting a potential crisis short-term, but deferring major decisions on spending cuts and raising the nation's debt ceiling down the road.

The decision divided  the Republican leadership, as well as the local Congressional delegation. Lame-duck Republican Congressman Brian Bilbray joined with Democrat Susan Davis in voting for the measure, while Republicans Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa voted against it.  (Bob Filner resigned his seat Dec. 3 to assume his new responsibilities as Mayor, leaving his seat vacant until Juan Vargas is sworn in later this month.)

ELECTION WRAP-UP: TWO CLOSE RACES RESOLVED AS BILBRAY, DANON CONCEDE DEFEAT; SEVERAL EAST COUNTY RACES REMAIN TIGHT

By Nadin Abbott

As the vote counting countinues, the margins in two hotly contested East County races have narrowed, while just three votes separate candidates in another local race. 

Two high profile contests, however, are now resolved.

REPUBLICANS KEEP CONTROL OF HOUSE, BUT DEMOCRATS SEE SOME GAINS

By Nadin Abbott

November 7, 2012 (San Diego)—While Democrats failed to retake control of the United States House of Representatives, right now seats by party are at Republican 232, and Democratic at 191, with 12 seats still not decided. Among those not decided is San Diego’s own 52nd District contest between Scott Peters (D) and Congressman Brian Bilbray (R), where Peters now leads by a narrow margin.

BILBRAY AND PETERS IN DEAD HEAT

By Nadin Abbott

Photos by Tom Abbott and Nadin Abbott

November 7, 2012 (San Diego)—Congressman Brian Bilbray’s slim lead has evaporated in the 52nd Congressional District. With over 95% of the vote now counted, Democrat Scott Peters has edged into the lead--first by just 13 votes, and now by 311 votes. 

Brian Bilbray addressed the press around 10:30 last night, thanking his supporters for knocking on doors, calling voters and walking precincts. This was a very hard campaign for the Congressman in the newly redrawn 52nd District, where the once-strong Republican majority is now razor-thin. Democrats have targeted this race nationally, hoping to unseat the incumbent Congressman who has been the brunt of ads critical of his ties to special interests.

LOCAL REPUBLICANS VOTED FOR RYAN-BILBRAY BUDGET THAT DRASTICALLY REDUCED DISASTER RELIEF AND PREPAREDNESS

November 2, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego’s local Republican Congressmen Brian Bilbray, Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa voted for the Paul Ryan budget which would have deeply reduced emergency response and preparedness to disasters such as Hurricane Sandy and local wildfires. An analysis from Third Way says that the Ryan-Bilbray budget “would set the clock back on disaster preparation to the days before Hurricane Katrina.”

Mitt Romney, in a primary debate, called disaster relief “immoral” and said he would privatize FEMA.  Following Hurricane Sandy, he has sought to blur his stance, though his running mate’s budget would also have radically cut federal aid and hampered states’ abilities to respond when disasters strike.

“WORST ENVIRONMENTAL BILL EVER” IN CONGRESS SPLITS VOTES AMONG LOCAL REPRESENTATIVES

By Miriam Raftery

October 20, 2012 (Washington D.C) – H.R. 3409 has been called the worst environmental bill ever Congress by SustainableBusiness.com. Deceptively titled the “Stop the War on Coal Act”, the bill in fact repeal major public health and environmental safeguards, even overturning Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act protections. 

Duncan Hunter and Darrell  Issa, both Republicans, voted for the bill, Congresswoman Susan Davis, a Democrat, joined with Republican Brian Bilbray in voting no. Bob Filner did not vote.

NATIONAL COMMITTEE TO PROTECT SOCIAL SECURITY/MEDICARE BACKS PETERS OVER BILBRAY

October 9, 2012 (San Diego) -- The National Committee to Protect Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM), one of the most trusted, independent and effective advocates for these programs in the country since 1982, has endorsed Scott Peters for Congress, the Peters campaign announced today.

 NCPSSM President and Chief Executive Officer Max Richtman said they are endorsing Peters over Bilbray because they trust Peters to protect Medicare and Social Security, while Bilbray has voted repeatedly to cut these critical programs which protect many of America’s seniors from living in poverty.

CONGRESSMAN BILBRAY ACCUSED OF BEING "SLUMLORD"

September 22, 2012 (San Diego) – A local organization is accusing Congressman Brian Bilbray of being a “slum lord.”  The independent expenditure group, Much Better Choices, has filmed a video revealing numerous apparent building code violations.   Fox 5 aired the video on Sept. 21.

The video shows old boats, gas cans, a trash-littered weedy lot, and a dilapidated trailer with a growth resembling mold or fungus around windows--all on an unfenced lot adjacent to a school. Neighbors confirm the allegations and have said that they hope to see fines levied and the mess cleaned up.  

PETERS AFFIRMS SUPPORT FOR WOMEN'S RIGHTS

By Miriam Raftery

August 27, 2012 (San Diego)—Democrat Scott Peters’ Congressional campaign has issued a press release blasting his opponent, Republican Brian Bilbray, for a record on women’s rights and choice that “closely mirrors Mr. Akin’s,” Peters’ communications director MaryAnn Pintar said.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA WARS: NEW LOCAL PAC TARGETS PRO-CORPORATE CANDIDATES IN SAN DIEGO

By Miriam Raftery

Taking a page from the independent expenditure playbook that torpedoed John Kerry’s presidential campaign, a San Diego-based PAC, Much Better Choices, is taking aim at  corporate-backed candidates in a series of online video ads. Lacking the funding of corporate-backed campaigns, Much Better Choices has launched its scathing assault ads via social networking sites—swiftly going viral with efforts to “Swiftboat” local corporatist candidates.

The site offers online activists “instant –access technological arsenals” to send out videos such as one with pigs feeding at a trough, targeting “lobbyist turned Congressman Brian Bilbray."

DANON SEEKS TO SHAKE UP A STAGNANT BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

 

By E.A. Barrera

May 23, 2012 (San Diego) -- Steve Danon has been active in Republican politics since his days as College Republican president at San Diego State University. He has worked for Republicans ranging from Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Ron Roberts to Congressman Brian Bilbray.

He is one of a new generation of youthful conservative leaders emerging in San Diego that include Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher and City Councilman Kevin Faulconer (both of whom have endorsed Danon).

9 CANDIDATES IN RUNNING FOR BILBRAY'S SEAT IN CONGRESS

 

May 17, 2012 (San Diego) -- Nine candidates are in the running for the redrawn 52nd Congressional district seat currently held by Republican Brian Bilbray. Eight of them answered a detailed questionnaire provided by the Pomerado News--all but Bilbray himself, who failed to respond to questions.

PETERS CLARIFIES STANCE ON SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 7, 2012 (San Diego) – In the hotly contested 52nd Congressional district race, Democrat Lori Saldaña has recently circulated a video  in which her rival, Democrat Scott Peters,  tells a KUSI reporter that he would support cuts to entitlements such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Today,  in an interview with ECM, Peters sought to set the record straight.   He now says by “cuts” he meant cuts to reduce cost of services to seniors-- not cuts in benefits. 

Both Peters and Saldaña have pledged to strengthen these programs--in sharp contrast to incumbent Congressman Brian Bilbray, who has voted to slash funds and benefits and move toward privatization.

OPPONENTS HAMMER BILBRAY ON VOTES AGAINST WOMEN’S ISSUES

May 2, 2012 (San Diego) – In the hotly contested 52nd Congressional district, incumbent Brian Bilbray is weathering attacks from opponents on both sides of the political aisle for his votes on women’s issues.  With the Supreme Court just one vote away from overturning Roe vs.

TEA PARTY REPUBLICAN JOHN STAHL ADDS MAVERICK ELEMENT TO 52ND CONGRESSIONAL RACE

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 2, 2012 (San Diego) – The newly drawn 52nd Congressional district seat (formerly the 50th) currently held by Republican Brian Bilbray has attracted 10 candidates.  Among those is Tea Party stalwart John Stahl, who is challenging Rep. Bilbray’s ethics and conservative credentials. 

Host of the conservative talk show “Solutions for America” on KCBQ radio, Stahl has poured $300,000 of his own money into the race. A businessman with an MBA and a former Naval aviator, he pledges to offer “common sense solutions.” In an exclusive interview with ECM, Stahl shares his perspectives on a wide range of issues.

His views are not cookie-cutter political talking points—and some of his stances may surprise you.

HOUSE REPUBLICANS PASS BUDGET TO SLASH TAXES FOR WEALTHY, RAISES MEDICARE COSTS FOR SENIORS AND STUDENT LOAN INTEREST RATES

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 1, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – House Republicans this week passed a budget that would give massive tax breaks to the wealthy and to corporations, while weakening programs that benefit students, the middle class and senior citizens, including Medicare.

CONSERVATIVE CANDIDATES PROTEST DEBATE SHUT-OUTS IN 52ND CONGRESSIONAL DISTIRCT

 

By Miriam Raftery
 
March 12, 2012 (San Diego) – What criteria should news outlets use in determining who should be included in political debates—and who should be left out?
 
Ten candidates have thrown their hats in the ring to seek the newly redrawn 52nd Congressional District seat currently held by Republican Brian Bilbray.  But which ones receive a seat at debates to bring their messages to voters has become a key point of contention with some debate sponsors restricting the number of participants.

 

FACT CHECK SHINES LIGHT ON 52ND CONGRESSIONAL DEBATE CLAIMS

 

By Nadin Abbott

February 23, 2012 (San Diego)--Four candidates running for the redrawn 52nd Congressional District seat currently held by Rep. Brian Bilbray met Tuesday for a lively debate during a luncheon sponsored by the Conservative Order of Good Government Club in Rancho Bernardo. Participants included incumbent Brian Bilbray, Republican challenger John K. Stahl (a veteran and businessman), and two Democrats: former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña and former City Council president Scott Peters.

Issues discussed ranged from job creation to immigration to working across the aisle with the other party, as well as energy policy. While candidates clashed on views, an ECM fact-check on claims by all candidates reveals mostly—but not entirely—truthful statements.

CALIFORNIA IS “BATTLEFIELD” STATE, LOCAL CONGRESSIONAL RACE AMONG KEY TARGETED DISTRICTS FOR DEMOCRATS, EX-SPEAKER PELOSI ANNOUNCES IN SAN DIEGO

 

Story and photo by Nadin Abbott

February 12, 2012 (San Diego) – Declaring it time to “regain control of the people’s House from the special interests,” California Democratic Party Chairman hosted a joint press conference with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in San Diego, site of the 2012 California Democratic Convention themed “Battleground California.” 

HOUSE PASSES BILL THAT WOULD ALLOW HOSPITALS TO REFUSE ABORTION EVEN WHEN MOTHER’S LIFE IS AT STAKE

 

Local Republican Congressmen vote to deny emergency care to save mothers’ lives
 

By Shannon Michael
 

October 15, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – The Republican-controlled House this week passed a restrictive measure that would let hospitals refuse to provide an abortion even if urgently needed to save a woman’s life.

 

“The misnamed Protect Life Act is about allowing women to die if they need an emergency abortion,” said Meghan Rhoad at Human Rights Watch. “It is a vicious attack on women’s rights and on the most basic right to life.”

 

Local Republicans Duncan Hunter, Brian Bilbray, and Darrell Issa voted for the bill, H.R. 358, while San Diegio Democrats Bob Filner and Susan Davis voted against it.

REPUBLICAN HOUSE VOTES TO SLASH FUNDS FOR DISASTER VICTIMS AS GOVERNMENT FACES POSSIBLE SHUTDOWN

 

3 local Congressional members vote to cut funds for disaster relief
 

Update: A stopgap measure has been approved to fund FEMA partially through Tuesday, but at lower levels than the agency says is needed.

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.

LOCAL CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES REACT TO AFGHANISTAN TROOP WITHDRAWALS ANNOUNCED BY PRESIDENT

 

Poll shows strong public support for plan; Rep. Hunter visits Afghanistan to meet with military officers


By Miriam Raftery

 

June 29, 2011 (San Diego) – A Gallup Poll shows 72% of Americans support President Barack Obama’s plan announced last week to withdraw thousands of U.S. troops from Afghanistan this year. Just 23% opposed the troop drawdown plan, and some want to see an even faster troop withdrawal.

 

Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon), a veteran of the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars and member of the House Armed Services Committee, visited Afghanistan this week and met with General David Petraeus. He has voiced support for troop withdrawals, citing erosion of public support. But he called for a shift in focus toward counter-terrorism utilizing special operations forces, intelligence gathering capability and air assets.

HOUSE REBUKES PRESIDENT OVER LIBYA CONFLICT

 

Measure drew bipartisan support in Congress, though local representatives split votes down party lines

 

June 7, 2011 (Washington D.C.)—By a 268-145 vote, the House of Representatives rebuked President Barack Obama for not seeking Congressional authorization for military conflict in Libya. House Resolution 292, authored by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) asked the President to provide Congress with justification for U.S. involvement in NATO-led military strikes. 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PASSES BILL THAT WOULD STRIP WOMEN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE, REDUCE PRIVATE INSURANCE OPTIONS FOR ABORTION COVERAGE

 

By Jeremy Los

 

“This bill is an unprecedented assault on women’s health care. For the first time, restrictions would be placed on how women with private insurance can spend their own dollars in purchasing health insurance.” – Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego)

 

May 31, 2011- Women’s rights are under siege as Republicans in control of the House of Representatives recently passed H.R. 3. The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act would sharply restrict access to abortion.

 

Championed by Rep. Christopher Smith (R- NJ), the bill passed  the House with 251 "aye" votes, of which 235 were Republicans--including San Diego Republicans Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa. (Brian Bilbray (R-San Diego) abstained from voting, while local Democratic representatives Susan Davis and Bob Filner voted "no.")

PRESIDENT INTRODUCES DEBT REDUCTION PROPOSAL, VOWS TO DEFEND MEDICARE AGAINST REPUBLICANS' PRIVATIZATION PLAN

By Jeremy Los

I do not want the government to shut-down, but the bottom line is Washington needs to get its finances in order. Out of every dollar the United States government spends, 40 cents is borrowed. This is unsustainable.” -- Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-San Diego)

 

“Republicans are trying to ram through a disgraceful budget that would destroy Medicare, drive an entire generation of seniors into poverty, but give the wealthiest Americans even more tax cuts. It’s shameful. It’s immoral.” --Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-New York).

 

April 15, 2011-(Washington D.C.)-- President Barack Obama laid out his fiscal agenda in a speech Wednesday, announcing plans to cut our massive national debt while pledging to preserve Medicare, a program credited with lifting millions of seniors out of poverty. View his speech.

 

READERS' EDITORIAL: CONGRESSMAN BILBRAY PROPOSES TO LEGALIZE MONEY LAUNDERING IN TRILLION DOLLAR GIVEAWAY

 

By Jon Mattes

 

March 26, 2011 (San Diego)--Did you miss the proposed trillion dollar government giveaway last week to big corporations? No, that is not a typo, a trillion not a billion, and yes, a Congressman proposed just that.

 

Representative Brian Bilbray of San Diego, a former lobbyist, proposed a bill that would allow US corporations to dodge taxes on a trillion dollars in profits. Forget the debate over the estate tax or a tax break for the super rich; this proposed giveaway has them all beat, hands down!

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