election 2012

POLITICAL REFLECTIONS: AFTER THE ELECTION...

By Mark Gabrish Conlan

November 20, 2012 (San Diego) – Is it really over? I’ve lived with the 2012 Presidential campaign for so long that it’s become a fixture of my life, sort of like a piece of ugly furniture you never sit on anymore but you can’t bear to get rid of.

INCUMBENTS ARE RETURNED TO LA MESA-SPRING VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD

By Bill Weaver

November 7, 2012 (La Mesa) — Incumbents Emma Turner, Psy.D. was re-elected, as was William "Bill" Baber, a local attorney, to the La Mesa-Spring Valley School Board. Both are Republicans and both have shown support for public education in their district.

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.

EDITORIAL: SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT ON STEVE DANON'S REMARKS RE: SAN DIEGO GUILD OF PUPPETRY

By Lynne Jennings, Board President, San Diego Guild of Puppetry

November 5, 2012 (San Diego)--To our dismay, we discovered last week that our small, hard working, non-profit has been unjustly portrayed for months in Steve Danon's campaign for SD County Board of Supervisors Seat  #3. Although it is clear that he does not feel the arts are worthy of funding(as is his right), he has for some reason made our small arts organization a prime target on his website and in the media. A refrain he has repeated over and over again has been: "No more  $10,000 taxpayer paid funds to the San Diego Guild of Puppetry”. Since we were mentioned specifically in E.A.Barrera's May 23, 2012 article, “Danon Seeks to Shake Up a Stagnant Board of Supervisors” We hope you will help us set the record straight  and let your readers know who we really are, what we actually do, why we were worthy of the one time $10,000 grant we received from the Board of Supervisors in 2004, and why we are worthy of continued funding.

RENO DISPATCH: ONE QUESTION BEFORE YOU VOTE—WHO IS BETTER FOR VETERANS?

By Jamie Reno

Despite the fact that we have been a nation at war for more than a decade, sadly, and surprisingly, the plight of America's veterans has not by any measure been a front-burner issue in this presidential election. But it's not too late for you to make it one.

Full column:  http://therenodispatch.blogspot.com/2012/11/election-eve-question-wholl-be-better.html

NEWSPAPER ENDORSEMENTS ASSESS OBAMA AND ROMNEY STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES

By Miriam Raftery

October 29, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Major newspapers across the nation are making their endorsements for president.  To date, of the 100 largest newspapers in the U.S., 34 have endorsed President Barack Obama and 28  recommended Mitt Romney to their readers. Though the President leads in total endorsements, Romney has the edge among newspapers in swing states, notably the Des Moines Register in Iowa.

CALIFORNIA CLERGY LEADERS SPEAK OUT IN SUPPORT OF PROPOSITION 30

Top Bishops, Rabbis, and Muslim leaders say “our future is at stake” on November 6

October 30, 2012 (Sacramento)-- Leading Christian, Jewish & Muslim clergy and religious leaders from throughout California issued a powerful statement today in support of Proposition 30, the tax initiative on the November 6 ballot that would raise $6-9 billion to fund schools, public safety, and vital services.

POLITICAL REFLECTIONS: THE MEDIA DEBATE

By Mark Gabrish Conlan

I’m writing this article — both a review of the latest Presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney at Hofstra University in New York State October 16 and an overview of how all three of the debates so far have been covered by the media — starting 10 minutes after the October 16 debate ended. It’s important that you know that, and that you know my article about the first Obama/Romney debate 10 days earlier was likewise written just minutes after it was over, because I’ve wanted whatever I had to say about the debates to be uncontaminated. I’ve wanted to write about these events solely from the debates themselves as I watched them on TV and filtered them through my perceptions, unaffected by the media “groupthink” that surrounds these events and, quite frankly, colors how ordinary voters perceive them and use them to guide their decisions.

FORMER TEACHER ELANA LEVENS-CRAIG WANTS TO "GIVE BACK TO MY COMMUNITY" ON THE SANTEE SCHOOL BOARD

By Janis Mork

October 26, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) - Elana Levens-Craig is running against Gabriel Pina and Robin Fries for the Santee School Board Seat 4.   ECM has contacted all candidates; below is Levens-Craig's interview with ECM.

Levens-Craig says she “is focusing on the ABC’s: Academics (innovate and improve classrooms), Budget (protect students’ education from financial cuts), and Communication (involve the community with their schools).”

GABRIEL PINA STRIVES FOR "A GREAT EDUCATION" FOR KIDS IN SANTEE SCHOOL DISTRICT

By Janis Mork

October 26, 2012 (Santee)- Small business owner Gabriel Pina is running against small business owner Elana Levens-Craig and real estate agent Robin Fries for seat 4 on the Santee school board this November. The seat is opened since Dan Bartholomew will not be up for re-election. ECM has asked all candidates to respond to questions; below are Pina’s responses.

SCALZITTI CHALLENGES SMITH FOR HELIX WATER DISTRICT SEAT 5, SAYS DIRECTORS ARE "ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL"

October 25, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Water Company President Joel Scalzitti is squaring off against incumbent Helix Water District board member Richard K. Smith for the District 5 seat.  ECM sent a questionnaire to both candidates.  Smith declined to answer the questions, instead responding, “I refer you to my web site, www.richardsmithforhelixwaterdistrict5.com.

Scalzitti , who previously served on the Helix Board but left office 13 years ago due to residency questions as a result of a divorce, says he now meets residency requirements and owns and runs a  small ranch in Granite Hills.  He answered each question in detail and his responses are below.  Scalzitti’s website is http://www.joel4water.com/index.html

OTAY WATER DISTRICT SEAT 2: MITCH THOMPSON MAKES CASE FOR REELECTION

October 23, 2012 (Otay) -- Three candidates are running for Otay Water District’s seat 2. ECM sent questionnaires to all three candidates. Only the incumbent, Mitch Thompson, responded. Thompson was appointed to fill a vacancy and his answers are below. Other candidates are David Krogh, a business financial analyst, and Tracy Lopez, an immunization program manager. 

68 NOBEL PRIZE WINNERS URGE SUPPORT OF OBAMA, WARN ROMNEY WOULD UNDERMINE SCIENCE AND TAKE U.S. IN "DEVASTATING STEP BACKWARD"

October 22, 2012 (Washington D.C.) – In an open letter to the American people, 68 Nobel Prize winning scientists and physicians write:

“America’s economic future, the quality of our health, and the quality of our environment depend on our ability to continue America’s proud legacy of discovery and invention. As winners of the Nobel Prizes in science, we are proud of our contribution to the extraordinary advances American science has made in recent years. But we’re deeply concerned that without leadership and continued commitment to scientific research the next generation of Americans will not make and benefit from future discoveries.

LEGAL PROFESSIONALS CALL ON VOTERS TO SAY NO TO UNQUALIFIED JUDGES, OPPOSE JIM MILLER'S CANDIDACY

By Nadin Abbott

October 22, 2012 (San Diego)—At a press conference called by active and retired members of the legal profession, prominent legal experts urged voters to reject Superior Court candidate Jim Miller. The County Bar Association found Miller “lacking qualifications.” Miller had previously been removed for cause as a Judge Pro Tempore and two weeks ago, had his endorsement by the Lincoln Club revoked.

The Honorable Howard Wiener, a retired judge, told media that “this press conference is to highlight the importance of a judicial election and the need to cast an informed vote.”

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS' SMART VOTER WEBSITE AVAILABLE

October 19, 2012 (San Diego) -- SmartVoter.org, the popular election website managed by the League of Women Voters, offers comprehensive easily accessible online election information for voters. 

This website offers all candidates free space to post their own messages to voters.  Voters just enter their address and they will see which races and propositions will be on their ballot.  The candidates’ information will include biographical highlights, priorities, political philosophy, a photo, list of endorsers, position papers, and links to their websites.

JOHN REVELS WANTS VOTERS IN SAN MIGUEL FIRE DISTRICT TO HAVE A CHOICE ON RESTORING INDEPENDENCE FROM CAL-FIRE

By Janis Mork

October 16, 2012 (Spring Valley)- Civil engineer John Revels is running for the San Miguel Fire Board. In an exclusive interview with East County Magazine, he shared his views on his candidacy and the future of the fire district.

Revels was motivated to run because, “I got a flyer of what was going on at San Miguel fire board. I have nothing against Cal Fire; they are a great organization. I wanted to keep San Miguel independent as it’s always been [before the merger with Cal Fire]. So a year ago, I started attending meetings and talking to people, and I also went to meetings to speak to the board at Cuyamaca College.”

A CONVERSATION WITH THE DARK HORSE: ASSEMBLY CANDIDATE PAT HURLEY SHARES HIS PLAN TO BRING JOBS, IMPROVE LIVES IN EAST COUNTY

By Leon Thompson

October 16, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--Pat Hurley is the Democratic candidate for State Assembly District 71 (formerly the 77th), a district that holds a huge voter registration advantage for the Republican incumbent Brian Jones. Pat Hurley is the dark horse in this race.  As a nonprofit executive, he’s experienced at creating good-paying jobs and helping to transition our region to a green economy.  Now in an exclusive interview with ECM, he details his plan for jobs and economic growth, making his case for why voters should pick him as the winner to represent the people of East County.

RECREATION, REDEVELOPMENT, TAXES FLASH POINTS IN LEMON GROVE COUNCIL RACE

Upate: Patch.com has coverage of a Lemon Grove Council candidate debate:  http://patch.com/A-zfM4

Six candidates vie for seats

By Mark Gabrish Conlan

October 14, 2012 (Lemon Grove)--When the Republican Party swept the 2010 elections nationwide, their triumph stretched as far down as the small city of Lemon Grove in east San Diego County. The Lemon Grove City Council switched from a Democratic to a Republican majority, and in looking for items to cut from their budget they zeroed in on the city’s recreation department.

The vote wasn’t totally party-line. Democratic Mayor Mary Sessom joined Republican Councilmembers Mary England and Howard Cook in eliminating the recreation department and its annual budget of up to $260,000 per year, while Republican Councilmember Jerry Jones joined Democrat George Gastil in voting to keep it.

But the debate over community services versus fiscal responsibility, and the lingering bitterness of some Lemon Grove residents and civic activists over the Council targeting recreation to balance the city’s budget, has become the main theme of the 2012 Lemon Grove City Council race.

BAFFLED BY THE BALLOT INITIATIVES? OUR GUIDE TO THE PROS AND CONS OF CA'S NOV. 2012 PROPOSITIONS

October 12, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – There are numerous important initiatives on the November 6 ballot. Topics include education funding, clean energy, criminal penalties, taxes and labeling what’s in your food. For our nonpartisan analysis and arguments on both sides of each proposition, click the links below.

Prop 30 aims to raise funds to stem budget cuts in public education

Prop 31 seeks to change state budget cycle

Prop 32: Political reforms or silencing voices?

Prop 33: Insurance reforms or consumer scam?

FOUR CANDIDATES VIE FOR SEAT 5 IN OTAY WATER DISTRICT

October 13, 2012 (Otay)—Incumbent Otay Water District board member Mark Robak faces three challengers for Seat 5: water manager David Charles, civil engineer Ronald Ripperger, and retired civil engineer Tim Stanton. East County Magazine sent a questionnaire to all of the candidates. Ripperger and Stanton did not respond.  Replies from Charles and Robak are published below.

RANDY DIBB WANTS TO BRING CHANGE TO SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD

By Janis Mork

October 11, 2012 (Spring Valley)- Retiree Randy Dibb wants to run for the San Miguel fire board because he has “concern for the district” and wants to bring “changes.” His values include satisfying the needs of the constituents coupled with the dramatic changes in the way the district does business, and putting together a viable budget within the current concerns of the district.

BARBARA STEVENS STRIVES TO "DO THE RIGHT THING FOR PARENTS AND STUDENTS" IN THE GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT

By Janis Mork

October 12, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)- Challenger Barbara Stevens has been a writer/editor for over 35 years. She grew up in San Diego, attended Point Loma High School and San Diego State University.

She wants to focus “on the kids more so than adults, focus on student achievement, education, the students’ and districts’ needs.”Stevens was motivated to run because her daughter went through the district, graduating from Helix Charter in 2008 and recently graduating from California State University San Marcos.

JERRY TETALMAN STRIVES TO "STAND FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD" IN THE 49TH DISTRICT

By Janis Mork

October 18, 2012 (San Diego)- Democrat Jerry Tetalman is running against Republican Congressman Darrell Issa in the 49th District this November.   Issa is among the wealthiest members of Congress and has long been viewed as invincible in a largely Republican district—though Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington (CREW) have documented numerous controversies and most recently, filed ethics and a Department of Justice complaint against Issa.

Tetalman supports a future of peace and prosperity based on building a world ruled by democratic law rather than force, and a sustainable economy  in harmony with the environment.

JIM STIERINGER BELIEVES HE CAN CREATE HARMONY AMONG GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD MEMBERS

By Janis Mork

October 10, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)- Retired La Mesa city treasurer Jim Stieringer is running for the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) board with confidence that he can, first and most importantly, create greater collegiality among the board members by presenting a policy that all board members must abide by, if elected. In this policy, Stieringer expects that “all board members will agree to the standards of conduct amongst themselves, and their relationships with each other and the public.”

DAVE RICKARDS SEEKS REELECTION TO SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD

By Janis Mork

October 10, 2012 (Spring Valley)- Fire captain/paramedic Dave Rickards hopes to get re-elected to the San Miguel Fire Board because “I care about the community I want the best fire protection in the community I live in.” The three-term incumbent is a district resident since 1990, spent 29 years in the fire service in El Cajon, and currently sits on the Heartland Communications Commission. He is also the Districts’ representative Finance Committee.” He adds, “We’re all training each other and we all have agreements that help each other out.” 

He is also a U.S. Navy vet, a USS Midway volunteer, and a private pilot. He is currently a Company Engines Officer in the Fletcher Hills Community of El Cajon.

CANDIDATES' VALUES CLASH IN LAKESIDE FIRE DISTRICT RACE

Former Chief Runs Against One of the Board Members Who Fired Him

By Mark Gabrish Conlan

October 8, 2012 (Lakeside) – The Lakeside Fire Protection District contains 55 square miles of land, 65,000 people, and according to its website, http://www.lakesidefire.net, “is primarily suburban residential but also has several core commercial zones, some light industry, and many rural/agricultural properties.” It has a significant wildland/urban interface — firefighter-speak for places where homebuilders have butted developments up against forests and other wild areas. In the last decade, that has proven a recipe for brewing out-of-control fires that have threatened properties and claimed lives—particularly here in Lakeside, which has been devastated by several of the worst wildfires in county history.

READER'S EDITORIAL: IS SUPPORT FOR VETERANS A FALSE PROMISE TO VOTERS IN EXCHANGE FOR BONDS?

 

By Rick Alexander

October 11, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--As a vet I’m ticked. This great nation has vowed, rightfully so, to never again treat its veterans the way we were treated during the Vietnam Era. But now it seems that if a special interest group wants anything from government or the electorate they simply attach the “veteran” label to the request, whether it is a significant part of the program or not. As vets, we have gone from being abused to used. Better, but still not good.

POLITICAL REFLECTIONS: MITT ROMNEY IN BOCA RATON: AMEN CHORUS OF THE 1%

By Mark Gabrish Conlan

 

October 5, 2012 (San Diego)--Just about everybody who follows American politics at all has heard by now of the surreptitious video recording made of Mitt Romney and his peers at a $50,000 per person fundraiser in Boca Raton, Florida last May 17. In case you need the reminder, it’s the event at which he said, “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what … who are dependent on the government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That’s an entitlement. … These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of lower taxes doesn’t connect. … [M]y job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the five to 10 percent in the center … ”

BILL WEAVER HOPES TO BE A VOICE FOR PARENTS' AND STUDENTS' NEEDS ON GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD

By Janis Mork

October 6, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)- Bill Weaver hopes to replace incumbent board member Dr. Gary Woods on the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) board. He is a parent of a son and a daughter in Alpine schools, soon to enter the district. His two kids are the main reason of why he is devoted to GUHSD. He has championed a high school for Alpine but believes in reaching out to all schools. He also pledges to listen to concerns of every parent, make kids the focus when reaching a decision, use tax money wisely, and be open-minded and considerate of students’ needs.

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