<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - San Diego Politics and Political News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/politics http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Sun, 23 Nov 2014 17:47:59 -0800 Sun, 23 Nov 2014 17:47:59 -0800 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Obama's Immigration Plan to Be Revealed]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 09:31:49 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/immigration-obama-generic-1.jpg President Barack Obama is expected to announce plans that could keep some 5 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. legally. NBC 7's Elena Gomez is along the Embarcadero with how this issue is divided among many Americans.]]> <![CDATA[It's a Tie in Chula Vista City Council Race]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 09:25:46 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Padilla-McCann-Chula-Vista2.jpg

The razor-thin race for a Chula Vista City Council seat has ended in a tie, two weeks after Election Day, San Diego County officials say.

John McCann and Steve Padilla each won 18,450 votes for the District 1 seat, according to Wednesday's last tally from the San Diego County Registrar of Voters. The registrar reports there aren't any other provisional ballots left to be counted that could break that tie.

Ultimately, it will be up to the city of Chula Vista to determine who takes the seat.

Padilla said his campaign is pleased with the results from the provisional ballots.

“We’re just focused on making sure every vote is counted,” Padilla said.

However, McCann told NBC 7 on Wednesday he believes what he called "dirty politics" played a role.

“We had over 900-point lead and every day it seems to continuously vanish. Obviously it raises some questions,” McCann told NBC 7.

The registrar's office will begin making sure all the votes are accurately counted ahead of the Dec. 2 deadline for certifying results.

While Chula Vista is be the second-largest city in San Diego County, the city council race came down to the narrowest of margins as the final 1,000 county-wide provisional ballots were counted Wednesday.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

<![CDATA[Chula Vista City Council Candidates Exactly Tied]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 08:00:20 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Padilla-McCann-Chula-Vista-.jpg As of 5 p.m. Monday, the race for the Chula Vista City Council District 1 Seat was a dead tie. Both Republican John McCann and Democrat Steve Padilla have 18,450 votes, with 100 provisional ballots left to be counted countywide. NBC 7’s Omari Fleming has reaction from the candidates and what happens next.]]> <![CDATA[Final Results in for Tight South Bay Races]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:50:10 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/5PT_PKG_MAIL_BALLOTS_PU_KNSD4HBG_1200x675_313432643791.jpg

More than two weeks after Election Day, final numbers are in for the razor-thin races for Imperial Beach mayor and Chula Vista City Council District 1.

Thursday's last tally from the San Diego County Registrar of Voters has Serge Dedina ahead of two-term incumbent Jim Janney by 43 votes.

And in historical race, John McCann is exactly tied with Steve Padilla in the race for Chula Vista City Council's District 1 seat. Both have 18,450 votes.

The results will not be certified until Dec. 2.

The Chula Vista City Clerk told NBC 7 a tie has never happened in the city's history, and the winner could now be determined by a coin toss.

According to the Chula Vista charter, election ties will be broken by drawing lots, which could be a flip of a coin or some other game of chance. The exact method has not been determined.

But first, the registrar has 12 days to make sure all the votes were counted accurately. Both McCann and Padilla say they'll wait until Dec. 2 to determine whether they will ask for a recount.

In this and the Imperial Beach races, every single vote mattered.

Of the roughly 11,000 voter in Imperial beach, about 4,000 people cast ballots. That is just slightly higher than the countywide voting average of one in three registered voters.

Dedina said as a longtime resident of the city, the win is an exciting one.

"I've lived here since I was seven years old, hung out on this pier since I was a kid," said Dedina. "I'm still here and it's really exciting, really rewarding."

He said he ran a grassroots campaign based on helping kids and families, walking door-to-door for five months. In that time, Dedina said he reached more voters than Janney did.

For his part, Janney blamed his loss partially on the hotel workers union that backed his opponent.

“I’m disappointed in the way the race went. To lose is not a problem; to lose this way doesn’t feel good,” said and small business owner Janney.

Still, he said he is proud of where Imperial Beach is today and that it will be able to move forward.

Before the results were released, Dedina told NBC 7 he is ready to move on.

“Really, I ran to support neighborhoods and kids in IB, and that’s what we will be doing,” he said.

<![CDATA[San Diego Approves $3.5B Recycled Water Project]]> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 18:13:05 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/water-purification-drought.jpg

With drought relief in California a long way off, San Diegans are now getting a giant step closer to a more reliable, long-term water supply.

By a 9-0 vote Tuesday, the City Council approved a long-envisioned sewage purification system that'll crank out water you can drink.

Experts say it'll likely exceed current water quality standards – while supplying about a third of the city's daily needs and saving big bucks on wastewater treatment costs.

"It originally met with some opposition,” says Matt O’Malley, a water scientist and attorney with San Diego Coastkeeper, a leading local environmental group.

“You have the moniker 'Toilet to Tap' -- it gets thrown around a lot,” O’Malley said in a City Hall interview Tuesday. “But really, what people have to realize is that every source of water they have is recycled many times over. What we're just doing is maximizing that recycling here locally."

“It's better for the environment at the outfall. It's better for us from a water supply perspective," he added.

The concept started small, with a million-gallon-a-day plant in North City, with the goal of reaching 83 million gallons a day 20 years from now.

But much of the $3.5 billion cost of the project could be offset by avoiding expensive federal mandates to ramp up treatment of sewage pumped from the Point Loma Wastewater Plant into the Pacific.

"Half of the flow that goes to Point Loma will be diverted, treated and then re-used,” said city Public Utilites Director Halla Razak. “So the impact to the environment is definitely positive. When you look at the wastewater and the water costs, this is the right solution for San Diego. It's not only more economical, but it provides a local supply that is sustainable and drought-proof."

Critics say the city hasn't explored enough alternatives or conservation measures and that the project would drive up housing costs and encourage real estate speculation by developers.

But backers call it a 'no-brainer'.

"Why are we taking water from hundreds of miles away -- spending all the money and energy to do that -- just to dump it into the ocean?" O’Malley asks. "We're going to need to squeeze very drop, literally, out of the system that we have. So this is a good first step, we think."

The program was recently profiled on the CBS magazine show “60 Minutes.”

San Diego isn't coming all that late to the party, but a number of other cities and water agencies have gotten an early jump on "wastewater re-use" technology.

Orange County is now recycling 70 million gallons a day to 'potable' -- and is soon expected to reach 100 million gallons a day.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District in the San Francisco Bay area is also considering the idea.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[San Diegans Celebrate New Embarcadero Design]]> Mon, 17 Nov 2014 11:47:43 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/embarcadero-opening-1115.jpg

The weather was perfect Saturday for a public celebration of the new look for San Diego’s Embarcadero.

City leaders including Mayor Kevin Faulconer were there Saturday to cut the ribbon to mark the completion of phase one of North Embarcadero Visionary Plan.

The new open space runs along Harbor Drive from the Midway Museum to Grape Street, the most visited area of the waterfront.

"We have more than 100 feet now of walking space, and that's a huge improvement from what it used to be. We actually widened it to make it less car friendly and more pedestrian friendly,” said Tanya Castaneda, spokesperson for the Port of San Diego.

On Saturday, families were invited to view the project firsthand as they enjoyed attractions ranging from food and music to a zip line on the pier and complimentary boat rides.

Among the features of the new embarcadero design is a new information center for the tourists visiting the downtown area. There is also a new building where a restaurant is expected to open next year.

The project began in January 2012 and cost more than $31 million.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[DeMaio: "False Smears" Ruined D52 Campaign]]> Fri, 14 Nov 2014 18:46:33 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Gene5p1114_1200x675_358643779580.jpg After his loss for the 52nd Congressional District seat, candidate Carl DeMaio is reflecting on the campaign, saying he was falsely smeared. NBC 7's Gene Cubbison has more on Nov. 14, 2014. ]]> <![CDATA[Committee Vote Could Help Curb "Mini-Dorms"]]> Fri, 14 Nov 2014 13:43:17 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/mini-dorm-generic-image.jpg

A San Diego City Council committee approved a proposal to help residents control the number of so-called "mini dorms” near San Diego State University.

The term mini-dorm is used to describe single family homes that are leased to a large number of tenants.

Also called high turnover, high occupancy rentals (HTHO), more than 700 mini-dorms have been reported in the College Area near SDSU.

Bunk beds are used to convert a two-bedroom home into a rental for seven to 10 college students. There have been reports of groups of students sleeping in garages.

The most common complaints range from parking violations to excessive trash or noise.

The College Area Community Council has said that 37 percent of those homes are owned by large businesses looking to profit from the loophole in city code.

In a report released earlier this year, CACC claims that many many violators are not being caught.

The community group says landlords will often tell tenants not to be truthful with the city to avoid paying for code violations.

The Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee met Thursday and approved a proposal to draft new language into the city’s Rooming House Ordinance (RHO).

Since the RHO was approved in 2008, city officials say it has been difficult to enforce because of a difference in language between the ordinance and other city codes. 

The ordinance will now define a rooming house as having three or more rooms, excluding kitchens and bathrooms, rented individually or separately to multiple tenants under separate rental agreements either written or oral.

Thursday's committee vote will move the proposal to the full council for approval. 

Photo Credit: Courtesy CACC
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Carl DeMaio Appears on "Politically Speaking"]]> Fri, 14 Nov 2014 12:11:58 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/PolSpeak1114.jpg Carl DeMaio will appear on Politically Speaking 9 a.m. after NBC's Meet the Press this Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014. See clips from Politically Speaking here]]> <![CDATA[Prop 47 Supporters Celebrate Passage]]> Thu, 13 Nov 2014 08:45:39 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Prop-47-victory-party.jpg At a victory party for Prop 47, NBC 7's Danya Bacchus finds out there are an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 felonies convicted each year by the SD County courts and many of those are reducible convictions.]]> <![CDATA[DA Receives 1,000+ Early Release Petitions]]> Thu, 13 Nov 2014 13:49:17 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/sb10062143p-001.jpg

Only a week after Proposition 47, a measure aimed at reducing the state’s prison population, took effect, the San Diego County District Attorney’s office has gotten more than 1,000 petitions for reduced sentences and convictions.

The proposition, which took effect November 5, designates non-violent crimes like petty theft, forgery, shoplifting, fraud and possession of small amounts of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine as misdemeanors, not felonies. Not only does it affect those being charged with those crimes, but it can retroactively reduce the prison time for those who have already been sentenced.

The DA's office expects to receive 4,600 petitions from 1,800 in-custody offenders, filed by the San Diego County Office of the Public Defender. That number will grow when offenders on probation, parole and post-release community supervision -- as well as inactive cases -- are taken into account.

The public defender’s office may reach as far back as 1990 to resentence certain felonies to misdemeanors. The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office estimates it convicts 20,000 to 25,000 felonies a year, and many of those are reducible convictions under voter-approved Proposition 47.

Because of the measure, deputies in San Diego County have been directed to no longer arrest people suspected of receiving stolen property or theft under $950. Instead, the suspects are required to sign a citation, promising to appear in court.

While San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore says the department will still arrest and book anyone charged with possession of a controlled substance other than marijuana, he says Prop 47 eliminates the deterrent to certain crime.

“They can get arrested one, two, three, 20 times. Nothing changes,” said Gore.

The crimes made misdemeanors by Prop 47 can only be charged as felonies under specific circumstances, said Gore. That’s if the suspect has been convicted of a crime that requires mandatory registration as a sex offender or carries a sentence of life in prison or death.

Also in that category are suspects with prior convictions for murder, attempted murder, assaulting a police officer with a machine gun, or possessing a weapon of mass destruction. Other violent crimes like carjacking or assault and battery do not qualify.

Without the threat of a felony or arrest, except under the aforementioned circumstances, critics are concerned for public safety.

“I think we’ll see a rise in property crimes: the thefts, the drugs, and then hopefully we won’t see a rise in violent crime,” said Chief Deputy District Attorney David Greenberg. “But a lot of folks that do residential burglaries are drug addicts because they need to steal to support their habit, so those are serious and dangerous crimes and some bad things can happen, especially if you surprise someone during a burglary.”

But some believe there’s enough evidence in states with similar laws to suggest Prop 47 is still good policy.

Public policy analyst Laura Fink told NBC 7 in most states with similar laws, prison populations have been reduced, but so have crime rates.

“Clearly this is something that has worked in the past,” Fink said. “It’s something we’ll need to keep our eye on but it has a lot of promise.”

The savings to the state achieved by reduced prison and jail populations won't be calculated until 2016, and it'll take longer to divide the saved money among rehabilitation programs as the measure intended.

That has critics like Gore asking how and where the offenders will receive treatment if they're being released.

Because of this, the San Diego City Attorney's office, which handles misdemeanor prosecution within city limits, anticipates 3,000 more cases a year.

A spokesperson for that office told NBC 7 it’s putting together a plan to handle the increased workload. In the meantime, the DA’s office has offered to loan the city attorney’s office two of its attorneys.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]> <![CDATA[Chula Vista City Council Race Tightens]]> Wed, 12 Nov 2014 18:53:15 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Chula-Vista-City-Council-05.jpg

If you thought the fight for Chula Vista City Council Seat No. 1, couldn’t get closer, it has.

Only 66 votes separate the candidates.

Republican candidate John McCann is hanging on to a slight lead with 18,334 votes. Democratic candidate Steve Padilla is gaining some steam at 18,268 votes as of 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Still, both candidates are calling each other out right until the very end.

“We know the truth,” McCann said. “My opponent ran the dirtiest campaign in Chula Vista history, and we know we did the right thing and we know we will continue to support the citizens and not the special interests."

McCann showed NBC 7 a mailer which, he says, shows Padilla supporters defaming him by insinuating he was sentenced to a felony and was involved in the Sweetwater pay-to-play scandal.

Meanwhile, McCann says Padilla was kicked out of mayoral office and had a staffer convicted of a felony.

Padilla says he is proud of the campaign he ran and will continue fighting for what’s right for Chula Vista families.

“I’m sorry that Mr. McCann is upset that we drew attention to his record at Sweetwater,” Padilla said. “He doesn’t seem to like to be accountable for his decisions unless they make him look good, but that’s not what leadership is about. That’s not what public responsibility is about.”

The County Registrar of Voters says it still has 14,000 mail-in and provisional ballots left to count.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 ]]>
<![CDATA[Political Landscape Red v Blue]]> Mon, 10 Nov 2014 20:31:00 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/PolSpeakSeg1_1110.jpg T.J. O'Hara, author, national political commentator and 2012 independent Presidential candidate and, Erik Bruvold, political scientist at the National University System Institute for Policy Research, a La Jolla-based think tank discuss with NBC 7's Gene Cubbison on Politically Speaking. ]]> <![CDATA[Peters Still Leading DeMaio in D52 Race]]> Sat, 08 Nov 2014 17:41:33 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/scott+peters+carl+demaio.JPG

The latest numbers show incumbent Democrat Scott Peters beating Republican challenger Carl DeMaio in the highly contentious race for the 52nd Congressional District.

The San Diego County Registrar released new vote tallies at 4 p.m. Saturday. Peters currently has 94,301 votes, or 51.3 percent, while DeMaio has 89,530 votes, or 48.7 percent. The candidates are separated by 4,771 votes.

The county notes there are about 74,000 mail-in and provisional ballots still to be counted. It is unclear how many of those ballots are from District 52.

DeMaio was leading after Election Night, but Peters' lead has since been expanding.

Check back for updates.

<![CDATA[SDPD Investigated Emails Sent to DeMaio Accuser: Warrants]]> Fri, 07 Nov 2014 22:46:12 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Demaio-Peters-Pol-Speak_2.jpg

Search warrant affidavits unsealed Friday show San Diego Police investigated several anonymous, harassing emails sent to former Carl DeMaio campaign staffer Todd Bosnich, who later accused the candidate of sexual harassment.

One of the eight affidavits, obtained by NBC 7 Investigates through a San Diego Superior Court judge, states: “Bosnich provided Sergeant Holden a printed email sent to him on June 2, 2014 from an email account (redacted). The sender wrote ‘Todd, your attempt to lie will quickly be rebuffed by facts. And in your own words no less.’

Forwarded with that email was a message sent to Victoria Znorski, Bosnich’s mother, by Bosnich on May 23.

In that correspondence, Znorksi asked Bosnich if he was still getting paid. Bosnich responded and asked his mother to leave him alone because he was responsible for a “huge f--k up” and had to be fired as the campaign’s policy director.

Znorksi later met with police and told them she doesn’t remember receiving the email from Bosnich and doesn’t think she ever sent him an email asking Bosnich if he was still getting paid by the DeMaio campaign.

NBC 7 Investigates had previously asked Bosnich and his attorney about that email when it was provided to us by someone close to the DeMaio campaign.

Bosnich’s attorney Bibi Fell said Bosnich didn’t send this email either. It “was sent after Todd was fired and his access to his carldemaio.com email address had been cut off,” said Fell.

The anonymous emails sent to Bosnich were the subject of FBI interviews with potential witnesses in late October, sources confirmed.

In a CNN interview that aired Oct. 10, Bosnich accused DeMaio of unwelcome touching and repeated sexual harassment.

DeMaio called the allegations “outrageous lies” and in turn accused Bosnich of a May campaign headquarters break-in during which campaign information was stolen.

The San Diego District Attorney and the SDPD both said there was not enough evidence in either the harassment case or the break-in case to file charges.

But the search warrants also reveal that Bosnich was the one who gave confidential DeMaio campaign information to his opponent in the race for the 52nd Congressional District, Scott Peters. Read more about that revelation by clicking here.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Bosnich Gave Peters Campaign Docs: Warrants]]> Sat, 08 Nov 2014 16:28:03 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/carl+demaio+scott+peters.JPG

The man who accused Carl DeMaio of sexual harassment is the same person who provided confidential campaign documents to DeMaio’s opponent Scott Peters, according to newly unsealed court documents.

The newly unsealed search warrant affidavits, obtained by NBC 7 Investigates, show the Peters campaign held on to the controversial documents for four days before alerting the authorities.

Those campaign documents are described as “DeMaio’s media plan” in 211-pages of eight search warrant affidavits issued between the dates of June 13 through August 14.

DeMaio and Peters have been battling it out to serve California’s 52nd Congressional district. As of Friday night, Congressman Peters was leading Republican challenger DeMaio by 4,491 votes.

According to the court documents, Todd Bosnich gave Peters’ campaign manager, MaryAnne Pintar, printed proofs of the mailers from Carl DeMaio’s campaign and a CD containing a recording of his June interview with KFMB’s Mike Slater.

Pintar told a detective that former Demaio campaign staffer -- Bosnich – gave her the DeMaio campaign documents and a CD, on June 5, according to the search warrants.

Pintar told police she took the documents home and copied them.

She gave the originals to her boss, Congressman Peters, the next day. Peters then gave those materials to his wife, Lynn Gorguze, according to the search warrants.

The Peters’ campaign kept the documents and the CD for “three more days," according to the search warrant affidavits.

It wasn’t until June 9 that the Peters’ campaign told police they had DeMaio’s campaign strategy documents. The search warrants detail a phone conversation between Pintar and a detective, where Pintar provides a play-by-play of how she obtained the documents from Bosnich.

The DeMaio campaign headquarters was broken into and vandalized May 28. Cords and cables were cut, water was poured over laptops and printers, computer screens were smashed in and one important item was taken: DeMaio’s campaign playbook.

On an October 17 episode of “Politically Speaking,” DeMaio confronted Peters about the book.

“And Mr. Peters, I just want to ask a very simple question. Did your campaign come into possession of our strategy book, all of our direct mail pieces in the last five months?” asked DeMaio.

Peters responded with: “In early June, information was forwarded to our campaign which we immediately turned over to the police.”

DeMaio pressed the issue, asking Peters why he did not let his opponent’s campaign know that he had seen DeMaio’s playbook all along. (The Peters campaign disputes the information provided by Bosnich should be considered a "playbook.")

“I’ve obviously never seen it,” said Peters. “We turned it directly over to the police within 24 hours of getting it because what was contained in it was potentially part of a criminal investigation.”

A Superior Court judge unsealed the more than 200 pages of documents Friday. The documents were part of a police investigation into the DeMaio campaign office break-in and Bosnich’s claims of sexual harassment.

The District Attorney and San Diego Police investigated the sexual harassment claims and the break-in but no charges were filed.

NBC 7 Investigates reached Pintar, who said she was confused about the dates because she was on vacation. She later said that when Peters said the information was turned over in 24-hours, he was referring to emails Pintar received that she immediately forwarded to the police.

Throughout the campaign, both candidates and Bosnich have made a variety of claims against  each other. The interviews referred to in these search warrant affidavits do show that Bosnich and DeMaio have been consistent in their explanation of what happened. They did not change their stories, either to police or to reporters, in the final, especially bitter days, of this Congressional campaign.

Bosnich said everything that he gave to Pintar were items that he had been working on and had access to without breaking-in to DeMaio’s offices.

“If I had given Pintar information that only Carl had access to in this so-called “bible” or “playbook,” I’d be in jail right now,” Bosnich said, adding that he had worked on many of the mailers he provided to Pintar. “And that’s exactly why they didn’t prosecute me.”

In an official statement, Pintar said:

“Rep. Peters and I contacted the police chief within 24 hours of receiving initial information from Bosnich on May 29. I didn't meet with Bosnich until June 5 and that is when he gave me the documents. Peters and I both left town shortly after that on planned travel and the first time I spoke with the detective, I told him about what was given to me and we made it available for pick-up.”

On Saturday afternoon, Peters tweeted the following: 

"@mapintar is a talented & high-integrity. Re disturbing news she thought only about going the right thing re poss victim and crime. She did." 

"If I misstated the timeline it's on me not @mapintar. We asked for law enforcement, didn't comment for politics and helped cops. Still will." 

Ed. Note: Pintar called NBC 7 after this initial story was published and asked that we change her statement. It originally said: “Rep. Peters and I contact the police chief within 24 hours to report the meeting with Bosnich. He and I both left town shortly after that on planned travel and the first time I spoke with the detective, I told him about what was given to me and we made it available for pick-up.”

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Peters Vs. DeMaio: New Election Results Released]]> Fri, 07 Nov 2014 21:25:03 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/4PW_PKG_52ND_VOTING_DAT_KNSD55UG_1200x675_353354819531.jpg

Highly anticipated new numbers show U.S. Rep. Scott Peters has a 4,491-vote lead over challenger Carl DeMaio Friday afternoon, after a late-week shakeup in the race for the 52nd Congressional District.

“We are thrilled with today’s vote update, particularly given the tough Election Night Democrats had across the country," said Peters' Campaign Manager MaryAnne Pintar in a statement. "This lead reflects the support Rep. Peters received from across the political spectrum and the tremendous Get Out the Vote effort by our field staff and hundreds of volunteers over the weekend and on Election Day."

NBC 7 has reached out to the DeMaio campaign and is waiting for a response.

Given Friday's vote-count posting in the hot-tempered 52nd Congressional District race, it seems oddsmakers would have to favor Peters, the first-term Democratic incumbent, to finish in the winner’s circle.

Polling experts say GOP challenger Carl DeMaio might need a final surge greater than his highest margins in the early going.

What could be keeping DeMaio and/or his backers awake at night is the scenario he suffered in the 2012 mayor's race: leading early in the vote count, only to have Bob Filner blast by him at the end.

Can he overtake Peters, with the decreasing number of ballots left to tabulate?

"Let us look forward to the counting of all votes,” DeMaio told a gathering of enthusiastic supporters on Election Night. “I am very confident we will have that great opportunity to take our 'New Generation' ideals to Washington."

That confidence on Tuesday morphed into concern by Thursday evening.

Momentum had turned against Team DeMaio -- and toward Team Peters, as did the momentum in Peters’ 2012 victory over three-term Republican incumbent Rep. Brian Bilbray.

This time, Peters is leading in a race where GOP voters showed up in force as they always do for mid-term elections.

"And what's really interesting about the 52nd race is that those voters didn't go for Carl DeMaio,” says Scott Lewis, editor-in-chief of Voice of San Diego.

“In large part, for some of the east-of-15, some parts of Point Loma -- some of the Republican strangleholds -- there was a very pronounced over-performance for Scott Peters in those districts,” Lewis added in a recording session for Sunday’s edition of NBC 7’s “Politically Speaking” program. “Which means that Republicans -- in a wave of Republican enthusiasm across the country -- voted for Scott Peters more than you might imagine."

Political strategists doubt that the sexual harassment allegations against DeMaio, coming late in the campaign, had great impact on the numbers.

Nor do they see major fallout from the bizarre caper involving a break-in at DeMaio’s campaign headquarters, with a stolen strategy binder winding up in the hands of Peters’ staff.

But they think the opposition’s strategy of depicting DeMaio as a tool of the Tea Party did take a toll.

"Across the country, the polls have shown that the name 'Tea Party' is really venomous, it really kills things,” says Republican political consultant John Dadian. “ Which is why the (Peters) campaign did their due diligence and put their money into several ads that emphasized the Tea Party. That was one of the major points that the Peters campaign knew was going to work."

There's also a school of thought that DeMaio shouldn't have chosen a different campaign team for his Congressional race than the one he had for his mayoral race.

“He surrounded himself with people who would take his orders, basically,” says Lewis. "He didn’t have a campaign manager or campaign consultant. He made a point of saying ‘This is the best campaign team I’ve ever had. But the fact is, they under-performed the entire country.”

Either way, DeMaio is playing catch-up now.

And he’s feverishly soliciting money to bankroll ballot-counting observers and a potential recount, if a final margin of defeat is small enough to make the effort cost-effective.

“I need your help,” DeMaio said in an email sent to campaign supporters Thursday evening. “We have hired a team of observers to monitor the counting process. We did not plan on this in the budget.”

<![CDATA[New Results Released in D52 Race]]> Thu, 06 Nov 2014 21:47:57 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Demaio-Peters-Pol-Speak_2.jpg

An updated tally puts U.S. Rep. Scott Peters ahead of challenger Carl DeMaio by 861 votes in the tight race for the 52nd Congressional District.

A final, certified winner will not be announced until Monday.

After Election Night Tuesday, candidate Carl DeMaio led by fewer than a 1,000 votes, but both said they were optimistic about the outcome.

DeMaio spokesman Dave McCulloch was at the county Registrar of Voters Office Thursday as the numbers were announced to give his take. 

"As you said, those numbers have changed a lot, and we still remain optimistic but cautious in that. There is still more data to be analyzed, there are still more votes to be counted and we want to make sure that every vote is counted in this election," he said.

Peters is out of town with his family, but his campaign manager MaryAnne Pinter released the following statement: 

“We are very pleased with tonight’s result and continue to remain optimistic that Rep. Scott Peters will return to the 114th Congress. We are grateful for the hard work and professionalism of the entire team at the County Registrar of Voters. We also want to express tremendous gratitude to all our friends, supporters and volunteers who kept the faith with us over the last 24 hours.”

On Thursday, dozens of representatives from both campaigns monitored registrar workers as they counted thousands of mail-in and provisional ballots.

They sorted out the 52nd district ballots to get them counted first because this race is being watched closely on a national level.

Each campaign’s election observers literally stood over employees’ shoulders as they verify signatures.

"Observers may have questions or concerns, at which point they raise a hand and one of our supervisors comes and talks to them, they'll take a look at it and fill out a form," said Registrar Michael Vu. "What I saw is there weren't too many challenges at this point."

Another round of updated numbers is expected Friday afternoon.

The highly anticipated results come at the end of an antagonistic race, peppered with allegedly stolen campaign information, sexual harassment allegations, mudslinging and attack ads.

Six days before June’s primary election, DeMaio reported a break-in at his campaign headquarters. Computer screens were shattered, cords and cables were cut, water was poured over the electronics and DeMaio’s campaign strategy book disappeared, the candidate said.

In a taping of NBC 7’s “Politically Speaking” in October, Peters said he felt as if he’d initially been cast as the perpetrator of the break-in, though DeMaio later accused former staffer Todd Bosnich.

DeMaio alleged he was the break-in culprit at the same time Bosnich released the results of a polygraph test to support his claims that the candidate sexually harassed him.

In a CNN report on Oct. 10, Bosnich said he was the victim of unwelcome touching and repeated sexual harassment by DeMaio while working for him on the congressional campaign and during his 2012 mayoral run. Bosnich described an alleged incident where he was called to DeMaio’s office and the candidate exposed himself.

DeMaio denied the allegations, saying his former employee had “manufactured a story” to cover for a plagiarism incident.

The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office and the Chief of San Diego Police announced on Oct. 20 there is not enough evidence to press charges in Bosnich's claim or DeMaio's counterclaim.

Over the weekend, another former campaign staffer, Justin Harper, told KPBS DeMaio had exposed himself in a restroom on July 10, an accusation the DeMaio campaign called an “outrageous lie.”

On Sunday, protesters outside DeMaio's campaign headquarters demanded an apology for sexist emails they say he sent.

Their claim stems from an email DeMaio purportedly sent in January featuring a demeaning image of a Peters campaign aide. DeMaio has denied sending the email and told the UT San Diego that Bosnich fabricated it.

The tension in the race was evident in a failed handshake moment just before the taping of a "NBC 7 Politically Speaking" episode, when DeMaio did not accept Peters’ hand outstretched for a handshake.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Weary D52 Candidates Both Optimistic About Final Results ]]> Thu, 06 Nov 2014 08:15:14 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DeMaio-Peters-June-Primary.jpg

The long, divisive road to the 52nd Congressional District seat stretches on for its two weary candidates, incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott Peters and former San Diego city councilman Carl DeMaio, as officials prepare Thursday to start counting around 46,000 still-uncounted ballots.

Exhausted by a late election night that left DeMaio leading by just 752 votes, both candidates are trying to put a positive spin on the numbers.

“This is a historically bad night for Democrats, turnout historically low, and the fact that we're even close is a miracle. I think we're going to win this thing," Peters said at a news conference Wednesday evening.

The initial surge of results had DeMaio in the lead, but as the late ballots came in Tuesday night, the trend was in favor of Peters.

But DeMaio was just as confident that his campaign will come out on top.

“I believe when all votes are counted, we will prevail, and I will have the honor of being San Diego’s voice in the U.S. Congress,” he said at a Wednesday morning news conference.

The San Diego County Registrar of Voters says there were 36,000 mail-in ballots and 10,000 provisional ballots from the 52nd District to be counted, and all were sorted Wednesday.

On Thursday, the counting starts on those 46,000 ballots. Both candidates are sending representatives to make sure each vote is counted correctly.

The registrar is expected to release more numbers Thursday evening, and a final winner should be announced Monday.

But even after the ballots were cast, the biting comments remained.

When asked if he is prepared for a recount in the event of a very close final tally, DeMaio replied, “After what Mr. Peters has done in this campaign, I wouldn’t be surprised by anything.”

Peters’ response later in the day: “I think the campaign's over now. We can get past the hard feelings, stop whining. You know, let's just count the votes."

With nothing to do but wait, both candidates had time to reflect on their contentious campaigns and their plans for the future.

DeMaio will be hopping a plane to Washington, D.C., next week to attend the Congressional freshman orientation.

“What I emphasized last night was that my candidacy hopefully is the beginning of the Republican Party becoming more inclusive, of us getting past labels and putting people in boxes,” the gay candidate said.

While DeMaio zeroed in on reforming his own party, Peters said his focus will be reaching across the aisle in the now Republican-led Congress.

"Well the middle is my territory. I don't think there's enough of us who want to be in the middle,” he said. “I think one of the problems with Congress is it's so polarized and what I offer is a promise that I will always work with anybody."

Voters will continue to watch the results of the race closely, but the end of election season brings one thing both sides can be thankful for: no more political ads.

<![CDATA[Governor Jerry Brown Talks Next Four Years]]> Thu, 06 Nov 2014 08:34:23 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tlmd_jerry_brown2.jpg

The day after he was elected to an unprecedented fourth term in a landslide victory, Governor Jerry Brown sat down with reporters to discuss the next four years.

Sitting at the end of the cedar picnic table in the middle of his Sacramento office, Brown spoke of the future and of the past.

"I don't like to think about my last campaign. I find it a depressing thought," Brown said.

The governor said the next four years would remain "balancing act."

"Certainly I'd like to keep the state on an even fiscal keel," he said. "But I also want to build things — the water, the  high speed rail, the reform of criminal law, realignment — these are big things."

The governor said he wants to phase out the income and sales tax hikes from Prop. 30, passed two years ago.

He argued passage of Propositions 1 and 2 — dealing with water storage and a budget reserve — was a sign that unlike Washington, California is not in political gridlock.

He spoke of the legacy of his family.

Father Pat Brown served two terms as governor and his great-grandfather, August Schuckman, a German born immigrant, who came to California in 1852.

"I take comfort and inspiration from my own forebears, who didn't sit around, waiting, but forged ahead, against great obstacles," he said.

As for this being his last political office, Brown quipped, There are others to run for. Now that we have an incumbent superintendent of instruction, there'll be a vacancy in four years."

Photo Credit: EFE]]>
<![CDATA[When Will We Know Final Election Results?]]> Wed, 05 Nov 2014 19:06:08 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/5PT_PKG_MAIL_BALLOTS_PU_KNSD4HBG_1200x675_313432643791.jpg San Diego is anxiously awaiting the outcome of the hotly contest 52nd Congressional District race. But as NBC 7’s Danya Bacchus explains, that won’t happen until 5 p.m. Thursday when 180,000 mail-in and provisional ballots have been counted. ]]> <![CDATA[First Asian-American in Decades Elected to SD Council]]> Thu, 06 Nov 2014 10:34:18 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chris+cate1.jpg

San Diego has elected its first Asian-American to the city council in nearly 50 years.

City Councilmember-Elect Chris Cate won the District 6 seat with 55 percent of the vote. The Republican beat challenger Democrat Carol Kim, also Asian-American.

District 6 encompasses Clairemont Mesa, Kearny Mesa, Miramar, Rancho Peñasquitos and Mira Mesa.

Many Asian-Americans in District 6 told NBC 7 they’re optimistic they will have more say in city government with a councilman they believe will represent not only their interests but also that of the surrounding community.

“Our voice is being heard in the community. We are coming together now where we used to be always separate. You know, there was the Chinese community, there was a Korean community, there was a Filipino community, the Japanese community. Now we're being heard as one voice," said Tress Balch, owner of Happy Sushi.

That's because the newly drawn district encompasses areas boasting an Asian Pacific Islander (API) community that makes up more than 30 percent of its population.

Cate said he’s humbled to represent this community.

“I'm excited about serving the API community and making sure we're giving back. I'm looking forward to working and leading the next generation of APIs and getting them involved and active in community service," he said.

It was a tough choice for some voters between Cate and Kim. Balch said he was won over by Cate’s dedication to law enforcement and small business issues.

“He ran on the fact that he wants to improve law enforcement. His father was a law enforcement person, and as a parent, I want a safe neighborhood,” he said.

Balch employs 20 people at his restaurant and hopes Cate’s policies will help him hire even more.

“If you make business easier, maybe we can employ 25 to 30 people,” he said.

Cate's victory also changes the city council's veto-proof majority for the Democrats. The Republicans now have a more equal hand with five Democrats to four Republicans.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Property Owner Takes Legal Action After Prop H Failure]]> Wed, 05 Nov 2014 22:01:52 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/WEB_ESCONDIDO_GOLF_COURSE.png

Voters have rejected a measure to replace the former Escondido Country Club golf course with tract housing.

There was no mistaking their distaste for Prop H -- they defeated the proposition 61 to 39 percent. But Michael Schlesinger, who owns the property in question, won't take no for an answer, saying he’s optimistic he will prevail in court.

Schlesinger is suing the City of Escondido after it zoned the former golf course as "open space."

‘Yes on H’ campaign strategist Jason Roe said Schlesinger hoped not to have to pursue the legal route, but now that Prop H failed, it’s his only option.

Roe estimates a judge could grant Schlesinger $75 to $100 million.

“When he bought the property, it was zoned for 600 residential homes,” said Roe. “After he bought it the city then rezoned it as permanent open space, thus taking the value of the property away from him.”

City attorney Jeffrey Epp told NBC 7 that’s “the silliest thing (he’s) ever heard.” He said that’s “just rhetoric.”

Epp said Schlesinger hasn’t even tried to work with the city on another use for the land, but instead, has rushed it to court.

He added that it could be years before the situation is resolved. Either way, Escondido residents will likely put up another fight.

“It's been our life and so when this was going to be taken away from us, we said ‘wait a minute.’ The community got together we had a group of leaders. They brought ECCHO and we just fought like heck," 'No on H' volunteer Linda Linderman said. "We won this round. It’s not over."

<![CDATA[Prop 47 Brings Immediate Impact to Judicial System]]> Wed, 05 Nov 2014 22:22:22 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Prison-Generic.jpg

Passage of a ballot initiative to reduce the penalties for low-level drug and property crimes will have an immediate and sweeping impact on San Diego’s judicial system, attorneys said Wednesday.

Under Proposition 47, shoplifting, forgery, fraud, petty theft, and possession of small amounts of drugs including cocaine and heroin are among the offenses that will be treated as misdemeanors rather than felonies.

The initiative passed by a decisive margin on Tuesday evening. It takes effect immediately.

That means a lot of changes for prosecutors handling those type of cases. Chief Deputy District Attorney Dave Greenberg said his office will hand off about 3,000 defendants’ cases to the San Diego City Attorney’s Office, which deals with misdemeanors.

“They’re absolutely going to be impacted, so they’re going to have to figure out their staffing,” he said. “They’re going to be receiving up to maybe 280 to 300 new defendants a month that they’re going to have to review and then make decisions on.”

Proposition 47 aims to alleviate prison crowding and save prisoner expenses – instead putting that money toward drug treatment facilities.

Passage of the proposition doesn’t mean inmates will get out of jail immediately, but it does mean future defendants will only be cited by an officer and not booked in jail.

Inmates and prisoners can file petitions to have felony sentences reduced, meaning judges will have to look at each case, delaying any potential prison savings.

“There won’t be money for the substance abuse treatment for at least 18 months to two years,” Greenberg said.

Photo Credit: Getty]]>
<![CDATA[Props 45, 46 and 48 Fail, Prop 47 Passes]]> Wed, 05 Nov 2014 13:47:01 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/capitol84933556.jpg

Voters passed a sentencing reform initiative in Tuesday's election, but rejected three propositions related to health care insurance rate changes, medical negligence and Indian gaming compacts.

Proposition 47, which requires misdemeanor rather than felony sentences for certain theft and drug-possession crimes, passed with 57.5 percent of the vote with 18 percent of precincts reporting. Proponents of the measure argued the softer sentencing will reduce the prison population and give drug addicts a chance to avoid prison time in favor of treatment.

Voters rejected Proposition 48, which would have approved millions of dollars in tribal gaming compacts between the state and the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians and the Wiyot tribe to address costs related to the operation of a new casino.

Proposition 45 also failed, by a gap of more than 20 percent with 18 percent of precincts reporting. The measure would have required health insurance companies to publicly disclose rate changes and allowed California’s insurance commissioner to control rates for health insurance. Supporters said the initiative would stem skyrocketing healthcare costs.

Proposition 46, a wide-ranging initiative that included raising the limit on pain and suffering damages in medical malpractice lawsuits, was also defeated Tuesday. Supporters had said the proposition would have detected and deterred medical negligence, over-prescribing of prescription drugs and drug and alcohol abuse by doctors and promoted justice for people who don't have an income -- including retirees, children and stay-at-home parents -- who are victims of medical malpractice.

Prop 46 would've also required random drug and alcohol testing of doctors, and mandated health care practitioners consult the state prescription drug history database before prescribing certain controlled substances.

City News Service contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cate Has Early Lead in Dist. 6 City Council Race]]> Wed, 05 Nov 2014 07:48:24 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chris+cate.JPG A key local race is poised to rearrange the balance of power at San Diego City Hall. NBC 7's Gene Cubbison has more on where the race between Chris Cate and Carol Kim stands on Nov. 4, 2014. ]]> <![CDATA[San Diego Voter's Guide 2014 November Election]]> Mon, 03 Nov 2014 10:30:43 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Voting-generic-election-vot.jpg

Use the guide below to view your ballot for the 2014 November election. Mobile users, click here to access the ballot lookup feature.

Photo Credit: clipart.com
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Chula Vista Poised to Elect First Latina Mayor]]> Wed, 05 Nov 2014 07:47:58 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Mary-Salas-Election-Night.jpg If initial results prove correct, Chula Vista will have the first Latina mayor in San Diego County history. NBC 7's Wendy Fry reports on Nov. 4, 2014. ]]> <![CDATA[2 Trustees in Sweetwater Scandal Not Re-Elected]]> Wed, 05 Nov 2014 13:56:34 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Cartmill-Lopez-Sweetwater-0.jpg

Voters in the South Bay did not re-elect two of the Sweetwater school board trustees who accepted a plea deal in connection with a pay-to-play scheme.

Arturo Solis, Kevin Pike, Frank Tarantino, Nick Segua and Paula Hall secured seats on the Sweetwater Union High School Board.

Bertha Lopez and Jim Cartmill, who were among multiple school administrators and contractors indicted in December 2012, were not re-elected.

When Lopez was sentenced earlier this year, she received three years of probation as well as community service and a fine.

Lopez told NBC 7 late Tuesday that she was the one who brought the scandal to light. She feels she has always served her community and no one can take that away from her.

A judge sentenced Cartmill to three years of probation, a $4,589 fine and 40 hours of community service for his guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge for accepting gifts above the legal limit.

The Sweetwater District serves residents of Bonita, Chula Vista, Eastlake, Imperial Beach, National City, Otay Mesa, San Ysidro and South San Diego.

Photo Credit: NBC 7
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Contentious D52 Race Comes to End for Peters, DeMaio]]> Wed, 05 Nov 2014 13:54:56 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Carl-Demaio-Scott-Peters-10.jpg

One of the nation’s most closely-watched House races — a San Diego ballot fight marked by attack ads, sexual harassment allegations and a campaign headquarters break-in scandal — was still undecided early Wednesday.

In the race for the 52nd Congressional District seat, thousands of provisional and mail-in ballots must still be counted for Republican candidate Carl DeMaio or Democrat incumbent Rep. Scott Peters.

With 100 percent of local precincts reporting, DeMaio has a 752 vote lead over Peters, though the county registrar says about 180,000 mail and provisional ballots have yet to be counted.

The two candidates spent Election Day 2014 working for last minute votes, and they took time in the evening to address and thank supporters.

When the early results came in at about 8 p.m., Peters said he is happy to be where they stood.

"It could be a long night, but I think it will be a good one," he said. "So I want to thank you for your confidence in me. It means a lot to me."

DeMaio spoke to his staff and supporters just after 11 p.m., showing his appreciation for their work.

"I want to start out by thanking voters, and while we must wait a little while longer to find out exactly what the voters have decided, I feel very confident that in the end, we shall prevail," DeMaio said.

Despite high-profile mudslinging that came to typify this race, both candidates felt they ran strong campaigns.

“I feel really good,” said DeMaio. “I feel that we laid out a campaign based on my record of helping save San Diego from brink of bankruptcy of making government work here. We laid out positive ideas in Washington to fix the problems back there.”

“I don't know what else we can do," said Peters. "We'll see what the voters say, it's been an honor to serve, and I hope that they honor me with two more years, and if they do, I will work every day to bring the Congress that America deserves and we can be proud of again.”

The race is so close, final tallies may not be in by Tuesday night.

Controversy in the race began six days before June’s primary election, when DeMaio reported a break-in at his campaign headquarters. Computer screens were shattered, cords and cables were cut, water was poured over the electronics and DeMaio’s campaign strategy book disappeared, the candidate said.

In a taping of NBC 7’s “Politically Speaking” in October, Peters said he felt as if he’d initially been cast as the perpetrator of the break-in, though DeMaio later accused former staffer Todd Bosnich.

While the cameras were rolling, DeMaio then confronted Peters about the fate of that campaign playbook. Peters admitted “information” about his opponent’s strategy was forwarded to his staff, but he said he never looked through it and handed it over to police within 24 hours.

As for Bosnich, DeMaio alleged he was the break-in culprit at the same time Bosnich released the results of a polygraph test that he says supports his claims that the candidate sexually harassed him.

In a CNN report on Oct. 10, Bosnich said he was the victim of unwelcome touching and repeated sexual harassment by DeMaio while working for him on the congressional campaign and during his 2012 mayoral run. Bosnich described an alleged incident where he was called to DeMaio’s office and the candidate exposed himself.

DeMaio said his former employee had “manufactured a story” to cover for a plagiarism incident and that the allegations are completely false.

The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office and the Chief of San Diego Police announced on Oct. 20 there is not enough evidence to support Bosnich’s claims and to press charges. At the same time, both agencies said there would be no charges filed in the headquarters break-in either.

Over the weekend, another former campaign staffer, Justin Harper, told KPBS DeMaio had exposed himself in a restroom on July 10, an accusation the DeMaio campaign called an “outrageous lie.”

On Sunday, protesters outside DeMaio's campaign headquarters demanded an apology for sexist emails they say he sent.

Their claim stems from an email DeMaio purportedly sent in January featuring a demeaning image of a Peters campaign aide. DeMaio has denied sending the email and told the UT San Diego that Bosnich fabricated it.

Peters addressed the email scandal Sunday, saying it was time for DeMaio to "come clean" on it.

"I wish that Mr. DeMaio would've taken the opportunity to say ‘I did it, was a weak moment’ or whatever he has to say — but come clean with people. Tell the truth apologize when it's necessary. I've never seen him apologize for anything," Peters said.

DeMaio, meanwhile, blamed Peters’ campaign for perpetuating the sexual harassment controversy.

"Scott Peters continues to use false personal smears against me rather than focusing on the issues that San Diegans care about. That's why I'm not going to join him in the mud. I'm not going to worry about the false personal smears he's throwing against me," he said.

The tension in the race was evident in a failed handshake moment just before the taping of the "Politically Speaking" episode, when DeMaio walked right by Peters’ hand outstretched for a handshake.

NBC 7 will keep you updated on the latest results from this important race. Visit our Decision 2014 Results page to track this and other races.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[San Diegans Head to Polls, Say It’s "Civic Duty"]]> Tue, 04 Nov 2014 15:29:49 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/I+Voted+Sticker.jpg Election Day has finally arrived. NBC 7’s Elena Gomez reports from a polling station in North Park about the latest expected voter turnout and what time we can expect results.

Photo Credit: Sara D. Davis/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[New Low in Voter Turnout Projected]]> Tue, 04 Nov 2014 06:24:00 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/voting-dfw-generic-01.jpg

Voters in California are going to the polls Tuesday to decide key issues from drug-testing medical professionals to financing relief from a statewide drought.

The Field Poll is projecting a new low in California voter turnout for a general election, while the percentage casting vote-by-mail ballots could hit a new high.

The report released Tuesday predicts a 46.1 percent turnout. Of those who will vote, 60 percent will cast vote-by-mail ballots.

This is the regularly scheduled gubernatorial election that includes other statewide races: Lieutenant Governor, Assembly and State Senate seats as well as Congressional seats.

Gov. Jerry Brown is seeking an unprecedented fourth term in a race with moderate, first-time candidate Neel Kashkari, a former U.S. Treasury official.

A handful of congressional contests could go either way including the hotly contested race between Republican Carl DeMaio and incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott Peters.

Prop 1, a $7.5 billion water infrastructure bond, would invest in new water storage increasing the amount of water that can be stored during wet years for the dry year, according to the Yes on Prop 1 campaign. Opponents to Prop 1 say the measure does little to relieve the current drought and will require taxpayer repayment of $360 million per year for 40 years.

A yes vote for Prop 2 would amend the California Constitution to change the way debts are paid and money is saved in reserves. Local school district budget reserves would be capped in some years. Opponents say it's bad for schools because it would give schools less than the minimum guarantee for school funding, while putting aside the difference to help the state's cash flow.

Proposition 46 - or the Patient Safety Act - would increase the cap on damages in malpractice lawsuits and allow for drug testing of doctors.

Proposition 47 – also known as the “Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Initiative” – aims to reclassify current non-violent crimes like drug possession or petty theft from felonies to misdemeanors, unless the prisoner has prior convictions for violent and serious crimes.

A yes vote for Prop 48 would ratify compacts made between the state and the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians and the Wiyot Tribe. Opponents say the measure breaks the promise made years ago that Indian gaming will be only on tribal reservation land.

In Encinitas, a majority vote in support of Prop F would adopt an ordinance to permit and regulate medicinal marijuana dispensaries. Opponents say that if approved, Prop F would make Encinitas the pot destination of North County.

In La Mesa, a similar ballot measure is up for voters' consideration but it is labeled Prop J. Supporters there call it a "win-win" for the city while opponents say that if approved, the measure would damage the city's image.

Prop H in Escondido would adopt the Lake Specifics Plan for property abandoned by the Escondido Country Club. Supporters say a yes vote would add more than 150 jobs for two years and millions of dollars into the city's general fund. Those opposing Prop H say, among other things, the development would add hundreds of students to already overcrowded schools.

More than a dozen mayoral races are taking place around the county including a divisive race in Escondido with incumbent Sam Abed being challenged by City Councilmember Olga Diaz. 

Other cities with mayoral races include Carlsbad, Chula Vista, El Cajon, Encinitas, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, National City, Poway and Vista.

San Diegan Ron Nehring, the Republican candidate for the state's lieutenant governor, is challenging incumbent Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

There will be close to 1500 polling places across the county.

Use the NBC 7's Voter's Edge Voter's Guide to find out more about your ballot, polling place and funding for ballot measures.

Voting begins at 7 a.m. with polls closing at 8 p.m. Watch NBC 7 beginning at 8 p.m. as results come in from around the state.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Election Websites Go Down in CA Counties]]> Tue, 04 Nov 2014 21:22:00 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/VOTER+ID+IMAGE.jpg

Contra Costa County's elections website was down Tuesday due to a problem with a web hosting company that is affecting a number of counties nationwide.

The website was down for more than three hours until about 1:05 p.m. when Contra Costa County's website appeared to be functioning, along with the websites of two other affected governments, Ventura and Shasta County.

Assistant Registrar Scott Konopasek said that software vendor SOE Software, which the county has worked with for the past seven years, had initially thought bandwidth or capacity issues might be responsible for the breakdown.

Konopasek said the outage would not affect the county's ability to count and process votes, but has made it harder for voters to look up information, including the locations of their police places.

"It's a customer service issue," Konopasek said.

A representative from SOE, Maureen Szlemp, told the Investigative Unit they were aware of intermittent outages at the three California counties. The problem was due to much higher traffic volumes than they had anticipated, Szlemp said.

"We are in the process of redistributing the loads to different servers," she said.

Other county websites that utilize SOE software include Sacramento County, Santa Clara County and Los Angeles County. Those websites apparently continued function without any issues.

Elections officials are cross-posting polling locations and other election information to the county's main web site at. They will do the same with election results if the problem persists past 8 p.m. when the polls close. More information is also at the state's elections website.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Tot Wants to Vote ]]> Wed, 05 Nov 2014 05:35:20 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/195*120/Xavier+cries+p1.jpg

Xavier is only 3 years old.

He cannot legally vote for another 15 years. 

But Xavier is passionate about the democratic process. 

The tyke went with his mom, Erica Hallman Nagy to vote this morning near Grande Reserve Elementary in Yorkville, Illinois, and was visibly upset over the fact that he can't cast a ballot -- or get one of those stickers.

Just when it seems like Xavier is coming to grips with his lack of a role in choosing his elected officials, his mom drops a bombshell. 

"Did you know there's people out there who can vote that just don't?" she says.

Information about derelict voters is too much for Xavier to handle, and the kid loses it. 

The moral of this story: Go vote -- it's important and you get stickers.