Hunter to Issa to Sessions to Russia

(L-R) Duncan Hunter, Darrell Issa and Donald Trump, so happy together/File

Needless to say, perhaps, fervent Donald Trump supporters and fellow Republican congressmen under the microscope Duncan Hunter (R-50th District) and Darrell Issa (R-49th District) came out swinging today on the Russian field of play.

Just from different sides of the plate.

Hunter told the Los Angeles Times that the Democrats were engaging in a political “Witch Hunt” against Donald Trump and friends while Attorney General Jeff Sessions had every right to meet with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Kislyak has been ambassador to Washington since 2008, a post viewed as second only to foreign minister within Russia’s diplomatic hierarch.

Hugely controversial, Kislyak speaks perfect English with a Boris Badenov accent. The jury is out on him. Some say he also functions as a high-ranking Russian spy. Others consider him a legitimate long-time diplomat.

Hunter suspected Sessions’ failure to disclose the meeting during his confirmation hearing was either a “unconscious mistake” or a misunderstanding, according to the Times. The attorney general likely interpreted the question to be focused on whether he met with the Russian ambassador on behalf of the Trump campaign, he said.

“I don’t think he needs to recuse himself, but if he decides to just to calm everyone fears, that’s fine too,” Hunter said during a telephone interview.

Hunter spokesman Joe Kasper told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that Sessions “was a member of the (Senate) Armed Services Committee at the time he met with the Russian official, and that’s not out of the ordinary,” Kasper said. “And if he feels recusing himself will ease peoples’ minds, then fine. But this is political, and there’s an interest from holdovers within the government to burn Trump.”

As for Issa, his office released a one-paragraph statement. In large part it said:

“We need an independent review by a credible third party and that Attorney General Sessions should recuse himself from any investigation into Russia.  We need a clear-eyed view of what the Russians actually did so that all Americans can have faith in our institutions. The Putin government is a bad actor whose actions should be carefully scrutinized – and regardless of what side of the aisle you sit on – we have a vested interest in fully understanding exactly what happened and how to prevent it from happening again.”

Mayoral speak: Desmond in San Marcos, Abed in Escondido

‘Tis the season, apparently, for state of the city addresses. San Marcos Mayor Jim Desmond and Escondido Mayor Sam Abed, each gave such state of the city speeches recently.

Desmond, a Republican, did the honors as part of the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors’ Installation and Awards Luncheon program.

“Presented to an audience packed with leaders, entrepreneurs, non-profits, local businesses, residents and others devoted to San Marcos, Mayor Jim Desmond’s talk highlighted the most significant accomplishments of the last year and outlined upcoming goals in the areas of public safety, parks and community services, community development, traffic and transportation and other quality of life issues,” San Marcos spokeswoman Sarah MacDonald said.

Desmond “stressed the importance of the community partnerships to tackle the various issues facing the city—issues such as the move to by-district elections, increasing retirement costs, and re-calibrating the San Marcos Creek District plan to accommodate changing retail and housing demands,” MacDonald said.

“In San Marcos, we continue to build upon our foundation as the education hub of North County; within that foundation is jobs and economic vitality,” Desmond said. “With education as our backbone, we are uncovering San Marcos’ economic potential together.”

“We’re proactively addressing challenges ahead and leaning on our partnerships to drive overall regional success,” Desmond said. “We will not be the economic engine that could, or should, but the engine that will get the job done.”

Want to read the full Desmond monty? Visit

Escondido Mayor Sam Abed gives the 2016 state of the city address/File

Escondido Mayor Sam Abed gave his version of the annual address to the masses to over 400 people  at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. As has been his wont in last addresses, Abed went video viral with a review of daily Escondido activities and interests along with sound bites addressing increased development and economic activity.

The two-term mayor honored the Escondido Charitable Foundation with the Escondido Mayor’s Leadership Award. Also in keeping with recent tradition, the four other Escondido City Council members gave awards ti various residents and businesses.

That well-known hater of government, Abed, a Republican, railed against Sacramento addressing the city’s increasing requirement to meet its state obligation that he considered onerous because it pertains to management of state pension requirements. Changes in interest rates require the city of Escondido to pony up $40 million by 2022, according to Abed. The city says $20 million currently.

“This unsustainable unfunded mandate by the state is a financial crisis,” Abed said. “I am willing and ready to lead a class action lawsuit against the state to protect the taxpayers. Sacramento says we are your government and we are here to help you. We say, ‘Sacramento no thank you, just leave us alone.’

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