TRAVEL WARNING ISSUED DUE TO PROTESTS, CIVIL UNREST IN MEXICO INCLUDING ACAPULCO AND HIGHWAY TO MEXICO CITY
By Miriam Raftery
November 27, 2014 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning due to the continued threat of protests and violent incidents in Mexico. U.S. citizens are advised to avoid road travel within all areas of Guerrero including along the main toll road 95D to and from Mexico City and Acapulco.
U.S. citizens are also warned not to participate in protests in Mexico, since the Mexican constitution prohibits political activities by foreigners. Americans are urged to avoid areas of demonstrations, which could result in detention, deportation, or worse.
The region has been rocked by protests over the disappearance of 43 student protesters in Iguala. Burned bodies found in a mass grave may be those of the missing students. There are allegations that they were abducted by police on orders of a mayor and turned over to a gang that murdered them. Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto has called for constitutional reforms to allow the federal government to takeover local police departments, CNN reports. The Mayor of Iguala and dozens more have been arrested by federal police.
IMMIGRANTS’ ADVOCATES VOICE JOY, THANKS FOR PRESIDENT’S ACTIONS ON IMMIGRATION AS CONSERVATIVES DENOUNCE THE CHANGES
By Miriam Raftery
November 23, 2014 (San Diego) – Families who no longer need to live in fear of separation or deportation have much to be thankful for following President Barack Obama’s immigration reforms announced last week. Locally, immigration activists are sharing their reactions, including Border Angels founder Enrique Morones, who was with President Obama during his historic executive action speech at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas.
“It was wonderful to join old friends that have fought and continue to be with us in the struggle for humane immigration policies, and as we discussed, we still have a long ways to go,” Morones wrote in a letter thanking supporters. “As I told President Obama, `Gracias, this executive action is why many of us voted for you,” Morones added. “We have much more work to do, more to be included, Si Se Puede!’”
By Miriam Raftery
Satellite: Photo: Strip mining of Athabasca oil sands, courtesy NASA
November 18, 2014 (Washington D.C.) – By a single vote, the Senate blocked passage of a measure to authorize building the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. The measure previously passed the House of Representatives 252-161.
But with Republicans taking control of the Senate in January, Senate Majority Leader-elect Mitch McConnell vowed to bring the matter up again soon after the new Congress convenes. Even if passed, however, the measure could face a veto by President Barack Obama.
California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer opposed the XL Pipeline, calling it the “Extra Lethal Pipeline.” She cited health risks from chemicals that can cause lung damage as well as serious environmental concerns. "The facts are the facts are the facts," she said. "If you're not a scientist then be humble and listen to the peer-reviewed scientists.”
By Miriam Raftery
April 9, 2014 (Washington D.C.) – As a slap in the face to women on Equal Pay Day today, Senate Republicans blocked passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act for women – for the third time. The measure failed due to lack of a single Republican vote. The bill had aimed to provide more effective remedies for women who are paid less than men for the same work.
California's Senators, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, both Democrats, support the bill. On the House side, San Diego Democratic Congresswoman Susan Davis is pushing for passage of a similar measure, H.R. 377. San Diego Democratic Congressman Scott Peters is a cosponsor of the bill, which local Democratic Congressman Juan Vargas also supports.
East County Republican Congressman Duncan D. Hunter has previously voted no on a similar paycheck fairness measure for women, along with San Diego Republican Darrell Issa.
Update October 17, 2013: President Obama signed the measure into law last night, ending the shutdown.
By Nadin Abbott
October 16, 2013 (San Diego)--Tonight both the House and the Senate voted to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling—just in time to prevent the U.S. from defaulting on our national debt by tomorrow’s deadline. The measure will fund the Government until January 15 and raise the ceiling until February 17. Moreover, a conference committee between the House and the Senate to discuss the budget has finally been appointed.
Among San Diego’s Congressional delegation, only Republican Duncan Hunter was unwilling to prevent a default on America’s debts, casting a “no” vote. Republican Darrell Issa joined with Democrats Susan Davis, Juan Vargas and Scott Peters to vote in favor of the continuing resolution to find the government and end the shutdown. Overall in the House, 285 voted yes and 144 voted no.
The vote in the Senate was overwhelming, with 81 of 100 Senators voting for the bill, including most Republicans. California Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein both voted yes.
4 of 5 local Congressional members not sure yet how they will vote; both CA Senators support military intervention
By Miriam Raftery
September 4, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Three days ago, NBC news reported that San Diego’s Congressional delegation had “mostly positive” reactions to news that President Obama had decided to ask Congresss for approval before waging a military air strike on Syria. But a poll by CNN of Congressional members found San Diego’s representatives remain mostly undecided on whether to vote for war or not. Both California Senators, however, support the President’s call for military action.
Overall, the CNN poll found the majority in both houses of Congress have not yet committed how they will vote. In the Senate, 24 Senators say that they will support the war declaration, 16 will oppose it, and 58 remain undecided. In the House, 27 support going to war, 91 oppose, 254 are undecided, and the positions of 61 others are unknown.
This is a rare issue in which the vote does not split down party lines. Both parties are split, with many members on each side of the weighty issue appearing ready to vote their consciences or the will of their constituents, not a party preference.
Senator Boxer seeks “citizen cosponsors” for landmark legislation to protect sexual assault victims
June 1, 2013 (Washington D.C.) – The House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday is expected to hear the Military Justice Improvement Act, a bill sponsored by 17 members of Congress including Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California), who is asking the public to support the measure by becoming citizen cosponsors here.
The number of sexual assaults in the U.S. military rose by 35% from 2010 to 2012, according to a Defense Department report which found 26,000 members of the military had been victims of sexual assault – 70 assaults a day. Yet only 10% were even reported, and far fewer were prosecuted.
Demands for reform have been fueled by two assaults in May in which military sex prevention officers were themselves charged with sexual abuse and other cases in which general overturned guilty verdicts in sexual assault cases.
San Diego Republicans drop opposition, vote to pass measure
By Miriam Raftery
March 1, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Two Republican Congressmen from San Diego, Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa, previously voted against renewal and expansion of the Violence Against Women Act to include protections for Native American, gay and immigrant women.
But this week, both shifted their stance and joined with Democrats to pass the measure 286 to 138. Local Democratic House representatives Susan Davis, Scott Peters and Juan Vargas also voted in favor. (View roll call) The bill has also been approved by the Senate, where California Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein supported it, and is expected to be signed into law by the President.
The law had expired, leaving all battered women without the protections afforded by the Violence Against Women Act, due to the House blocking the measure for over a year. But after mounting public pressure by women’s groups, Native American rights advocates, immigrant and gay rights organizations and others, 87 House Republicans joined with all 199 Democrats to pass the reauthorization bill, expanding rights to include all women.
By Miriam Raftery
Neighbors of proposed local wind farms dismayed at CA Senators Boxer and Feinstein votes for subsidies of industrial wind projects that pose dangers to their communities
April 1, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – The U.S. Senate has voted to kill S. 2204, which failed to receive the 60 votes needed. The measure would have funded wind industry tax credits by eliminating tax credits for oil companies.
Many wind energy proposals in the pipeline may have the plug pulled by energy companies that say those projects would not be viable without federal money. At a hearing last week on the Ocotillo Express wind project, a representative from Pattern Energy warned that “delays can kill a project” since subsidies expire at year’s end.
CONGRESS AVERTS GOVERNMENT SHUT-DOWN, BUT BATTLE LOOMS OVER PAYROLL TAX CUT, UNEMPLOYMENT, AND OTHER KEY ISSUES
By Miriam Raftery
December 16, 2011 (Washington D.C.) – Final votes are expected today in both houses on a compromise funding measure to avoid a government shut-down--just in time for the holiday adjounrment.
The deal came after Democrats conceded to Republican demands to remove extensions on a payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits, which will be voted on separately.
Local pastor visits 60 Congressional offices and meets with CA Senators; Feinstein pledges to oppose new nuclear plants
By Rev. Peter Moore-Kochlacs
Special Correspondent for the Southern California Ecumenical Council, the National Religious Coalition for Creation Care and the Green Ecumenical and Interfaith Religious Communities in California
May 14, 2011 (El Cajon) -- April 29 to May 6 was a working week for me in Washington, DC. I was in the Capitol advocating against our government’s current new nuclear power public policies.
Visiting over 60 Congressional Senate and House offices, I made the point on moral, safety and financial grounds that in light of the Fukushima, Japan nuclear power plant accidents and other problems inherent with nuclear energy, the federal government should stop permitting the building of new US land-based nuclear power plants.
By Jeremy Los
April 3, 2011- President Obama’s decision to intervene in the Libya crisis has divided both Democratic and Republican political parties, with support and opposition on both sides of the political aisle.
President Obama found a surprising supporter in East County’s Republican Representative Duncan D. Hunter. Hunter was one of the few Republican leaders to come out and support the President’s decision to unleash air attacks on Libyan forces. Hunter, a former Marine captain who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, sits on the House Armed Services Committee.
SAFETY OF U.S. NUCLEAR REACTORS QUESTIONED: CA SENATORS CALL FOR INSPECTION OF STATE’S NUCLEAR PLANTS
“The most inexpensive way to meet your SQ (seismic qualification) is to lie. The industry does it all the time.”
--Greg Palast, former lead investigator in government nuclear plant fraud and racketeering investigations
By Miriam Raftery
March 17, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) –Catastrophic failures at a half dozen nuclear facilities in Fukushima, Japan has led to questions regarding the safety of nuclear reactors in America-- both existing facilities and new ones proposed—including some designed or operated by the same companies responsible for the nuclear meltdowns in Japan.
March 11, 2011 (Washington D.C.) – The Senate has passed S.388, a bill coauthored by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Bob Casey (D-PA). The bill would prohibit Congress or the President from getting paid in case of a federal shutdown by the federal government.
“I am hopeful that this bill will help convince our colleagues to work together to prevent a government shutdown, and I urge the House of Representatives to quickly pass it and send it to the President,” said Senator Boxer.
March 7, 2011 (San Diego) – Foreclosure rates in San Diego County are five times higher than normal, the real estate data firm Foreclosure Radar reports, according to a March 3rd article in the North County Times.
Today, California Senator Barbara Boxer has announced a new “Resources for Struggling Homeowners” web page on the constituent services section of her Senate website at http://boxer.senate.gov/en/services/homes.cfm. The Homeowners page contains useful information and links to federal programs that assist people threatened with the loss of their home. It also includes links to the California Housing Finance Agency’s new “Keep Your Home California” program.
February 19, 2011 (Washington D.C.) – San Diego’s Congressional delegation is speaking out on spending and budget-cutting priorities –with widely divergent views. While Republicans have slammed President Barack Obama’s proposed budget, Democrats are blasting the rival Republican House appropriations bill.
As with any omnibus proposal, the devil is in the details. Issues at stake include funds for local border projects, birth control access, water supplies for Southern California, job training, and more. Here’s what our five local House representatives and both California U.S. Senators have to say about the spending proposals that Congress is weighing.
Bipartisan legislation would create flexible spending accounts to help families save on health care and child care expenses
February 19, 2011 (Washington, D.C). – At a press conference February 17, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-47) announced their new legislation that would provide flexible spending accounts for service members. Flexible spending accounts would result in savings for military families by allowing service members to set aside part of their income before taxes to cover out-of-pocket child care and health care expenses such as co-pays, dental care and eye glasses.
This benefit is currently available to civilian employees at the Department of Defense, but not to uniformed service members.
November 3, 2010 (Sacramento) – After declining to concede last night despite multiple TV networks declaring Senator Barbara Boxer the winner, U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina called Boxer today to concede defeat and offer congratulations.
San Diego’s Congressional representatives earned grades from A to D. Who scored the highest--and the lowest? The answers will surprise you.
October 25, 2010 – Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)'s Congressional Report Card grades members of Congress on support for combat veterans in the past two years. San Diego’s Congressional delegation includes the Chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee, two veterans, a mlitary spouse, the wife of a military contractor, and a veterans' subcommittee member. So how did our legislators rank on supporting the many veterans in their districts?
HOW GREEN ARE SAN DIEGO'S CANDIDATES? FORUM FOCUSED ON LOCAL, STATE & COUNTY ISSUES FROM MASS TRANSIT TO GLOBAL WARMING
Story and photos by Mary E. Paulet
October 3, 2010 (San Diego)- Several East County Candidates were among those who squared off in the Center for Sustainable Energy California’s(CSE) Green Candidate forum held yesterday in San Diego.
The forum gave candidates a chance to discuss their positions on environmentally-related issues such as global warming, green sector jobs, mass transit, and Proposition 23 (which would suspend AB 32, a law that strengthened clean air standards and requirements to curb greenhouse gas emissions), as well as other issues. It also gave third party candidates a chance to be heard.
SYLVIA'S SOAPBOX: CARLY FIORINA'S PLAN TO CONTINUE TAX CUTS FOR THE SUPER-RICH & CREATE JOBS...IN INDIA
By Sylvia Hampton
September 26, 2010 (San Diego) -- As the CEO of Hewlett Packard, Carly Fiorina told the world that giving high-tech jobs to foreign workers using H-1B status nonimmigrant visas was just part of the reality of globalization. Fiorina likes cheap labor. The woman she hopes to unseat, United States Senator Barbara Boxer, understands that preparing our own students to take these jobs is the better way to go. That is because Boxer sees the big picture while Firorina only looked at the bottom line for her company, Hewlett Packard. That is the company whose board of directors had to pay her over $20,000,000 just to get rid of her.
The company stock shot up on the news that Fiorina was ousted. So why would anyone want to vote for Fiorina instead of Boxer?
East County News Service
"If she wins, it would destroy California’s clean energy industry,” -- Senator Barbara Boxer on her opponent, Carly Fiorina.
"The American dream has become too hard for too many people." --Carly Fiorina
September 2, 2010 – Journalists and voters questioned U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) and her opponent, Carly Fiorina in a contentious debate last night. Boxer slammed Fiorina for outsourcing jobs, opposing two jobs bills including one to save teachers’ jobs in California, and supporting “billionaires and CEOs” over the needs of working people. Fiorina said California is in the “worst economic crisis” since the Depression and bashed Boxer’s record. In response, the Senator’s campaign releases a fact-check sheet that disproved key Fiorina claims. View the full debate video on C-Span.
September 1, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) will debate her Republican opponent, Carly Fiorina, tonight at 7 p.m. The debate will be carried live at 7 p.m. by KGTV Channel 10 News.
Both candidates call for job creation but have conflicting strategies for how to achieve economic growth, with Fiorina supporting tax cuts for corporations to create new jobs, while Boxer focuses on tax incentives for small businesses as well as stimulus inevestments in infrastructure and sustainable industries to put Americans back to work.
Democrats break Republican filibuster in Senate and win passage of bill
July 23, 2010 (Washingon D.C.) – President Barack Obama yesterday signed into law legislation to extend unemployment benefits for 2.5 milllion out of work Americans.
The law extends unemployment insurance through November for out-of-work Americans who have not yet exhausted up to 99 weeks of aid. Benefits will be retroactive to late May, when the last extension expired. Benefits vary by state but will average $310 per week.
July 8, 2010 (San Diego) – “We have to make sure that California is the hub of a new clean energy economy,” Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) said in a press conference Tuesday in San Diego. She added, “If we do this right, we’re going to see the words `made in America’ again.”
The Senator’s plan includes creation of transportation jobs, including high-speed rail construction. “I’ve been to Otay and 805 and seen the jobs being created,” she noted. “I have an opponent saying nothing is happening from the Economic Recovery Act, and that’s just wrong. I see people every day who say thank you for the jobs that have been created.”
Senator Boxer to meet with San Diego business leaders today on jobs plan; has support of dozens of technology leaders
July 6, 2010 (San Diego) – Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) has launched a “Fiorina Facts and Fiction” campaign to fight back against misleading statements made by her opponent, Republican Carly Fiorina.
Independent analyses of the facts by nonpartisan groups and major media outlets support claims by Boxer, who chairs the Senate Ethics Committee, that Fiorina has distorted data on jobs, climate change legislation, and impacts of the federal stimulus bill by relying on outdated or biased sources.
View a video of Senator Boxer outlining her jobs plan during a speech at the California Democratic convention.
Whitman, Fiorina win by large margins in Gubernatorial and Senate primaries
June 8, 2010 (San Diego) -- Former E-Bay CEO Meg Whitman trounced Steve Steve Poizner by a 64.4%-26.5% margin with 47% of precincts reporting as of midnight. Whitman,who spent more than $71 million on her campaign, will square off in November against former Governor Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown.
By Buck Shott
May11, 2010 – This week, we bring you a ringside seat for the latest political knock-down, drag-out fights in state and local races.
MISSING IN ACTION: Ballot statements have been published for the June primary—but one local candidate’s statement is conspicuously absent.
BOXER WINS NEAR-UNANIMOUS PASSAGE IN SENATE OF AMENDMENT TO PREVENT TAXPAYERS FROM BAILING OUT WALL STREET
May 8, 2010 (Washington D.C.) – In today’s politically divisive climate, it’s rare for Senators to unite on any issue. But an amendment by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) to Wall Street reform legislation to ensure that no taxpayer funds will be used to bail out financial institutions has passed by a 96-1 vote.
“By passing this amendment, we make it clear – in law – that taxpayers will never again bail out Wall Street firms for their costly mistakes,” Boxer said.
ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR BALLOT INITIATIVE TO LIMIT LABOR SPENDING
February 11, 2010 (San Diego) – U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fioriona (www.carlyforcalifornia.com ), speaking at the Fairbanks Republican Women's luncheon on Tuesday, pledged to apply her business leadership skills to “grow the economy and cut spending.”
She is battling two Republican challengers, former Congressman Tom Campbell (www.campbell.org) and Assemblyman Chuck DeVore (www.chuckdevore.com) , in the June primary. The winner will square off against Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer (www.senate.boxer.gov and www.barbaraboxer.com ).