April 3, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories 

AD 31: Contentious race has statewide implications — For Republicans, it’s the best chance in decades to steal away the 31st District, which has been in Democratic Party hands for 40 years.  For Democrats, there is the strong desire of Rendon to start his tenure on the right foot. Losing a seat that has been in Democratic Party hands since 1976, a string of 19 straight victories, would not be a good start.  Fresno Bee articleLA Times article 

Offramps in California minimum wage bill prompt disagreement — The nationally watched minimum wage measure Brown will sign in Los Angeles on Monday rests on the inclusion of offramps demanded by the Democratic governor. Starting in July 2017, Brown or his successor will have the power to pause any of the scheduled annual increases to $15 in the event of certain recessionary fiscal and economic conditions. Sacramento Bee article

Dan Walters: California may be GOP’s presidential showdown — Could California, with its rich trove of Republican delegates, give billionaire Donald Trump his final push to the GOP presidential nomination? Could it be where Ted Cruz and John Kasich capture enough delegates to deny Trump a first-ballot nomination victory? Either scenario is possible with nine weeks remaining before the June 7 primary election. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

Feinstein on water, Supreme Court nominee and Donald Trump — Sen. Dianne Feinstein visited The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board last week to talk about her drought relief bill and other topics. Here are edited excerpts. Sacramento Bee article

Library of Congress to stop using term ‘illegal alien’ — The Library of Congress, saying a once common phrase had become offensive, announced it will no longer use “illegal aliens” as a bibliographical term. LA Times article

Minimum Wage

Minimum wage increase will be bad for Valley businesses, owners say – With Gov. Jerry Brown expected on Monday to sign into law a plan gradually raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022, Valley business owners worry that the increased costs will compromise their ability to compete in the marketplace. Fresno Bee article

Modesto businesses weigh in on state plan for minimum wage hike – As California is poised to increase its minimum wage from $10 to $15 an hour, three Modesto business owners are raising concerns that this will hurt local businesses, doesn’t make sense in the economically challenged Northern San Joaquin Valley and could hurt the very workers it is intended to help. Modesto Bee article

Nathan Ahle: Brown must veto bill to raise minimum wage – The president and CEO of the Fresno Chamber of Commerce writes, “The majority in Sacramento proved again this week that employers, small businesses and job creators across California are the enemy. It’s now up to Brown to reconsider his position and veto this legislation. He needs to give the newly implemented wage increase time to work.” Ahle op-ed in Fresno Bee

Other areas

Willie Brown: Anthony Rendon, new Assembly speaker, is no machine hack – Keep your eye on our new Assembly speaker, Anthony Rendon. I met up with the Los Angeles County Democrat the other day at North Beach Restaurant. He’s quite a change from some of the recent speakers who emerged from the Southern California labor machine, like John Pérez and Fabian Núñez. Brown column in San Francisco Chronicle 

California’s presidential ballot set for June 7 primary — California Secretary of State Alex Padilla has certified the final list of candidates appearing on the state’s presidential primary ballot. On the Republican side, GOP voters can choose between front-runner Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, after former presidential candidates Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina and Chris Christie petitioned this week to have their names removed from the ballot. Sacramento Bee article

Cathleen Decker: Latinos and women are blunting Trump and Sanders in California’s primary – Two groups of California voters — women and Latinos — have powered theDemocratic Party’s ascent here and delivered a near-death knell to the state’s Republican Party. A USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll released last week showed that the prominence of those groups also explains why the two hottest candidates this year aren’t running away with the state. Decker in LA Times

Bernie billboards prove it: This year, California matters — The presidential race is on its way to California, and the signs are here for all to see — literally. The California Nurses Association, one of the biggest players in state Democratic politics, is going big this week with Bernie Sanders billboards in the Bay Area. San Francisco Chronicle article 

Marcos Breton: Tepid is the race for Sacramento mayor – By this point eight years ago, the race for mayor of Sacramento was heated and hotly contested – quite unlike the current snoozer of a campaign for Sacramento’s only citywide elected office. Sacramento Bee article
Victor Davis Hanson: Why Westerners make inviting targets — Terrorists seem to believe that as long as they avoid another 9/11-like massacre, they can continue to take lives and insidiously weaken the West without awakening it from its morally indifferent slumber. And they may be right. Hanson column in Fresno Bee

News Stories

Top Stories

CSU Bakersfield positions itself as a ‘national training center’ for high-speed rail — Despite political obstacles, problems with land acquisitions, logistical issues and Bakersfield City Council members recently calling California’s $64 billion bullet train “a sham,” Cal State Bakersfield is posturing itself as a national training center bent on preparing a workforce for high-speed rail projects. Bakersfield Californian article 

Michael Fitzgerald: The bill for neglecting a city – The City of Stockton is falling apart. That emerged Tuesday when a city official said the figure for deferred maintenance — postponed repairs — was almost $1 billion. That’s billion with a b. To be more exact, the estimated cost of needed repairs is $970 million. Meaning that the city could sink $10 million into repairs for 97 years — until the Syfy channel year of 2113 — and still not catch up. Fitzgerald column in Stockton Record

Jobs and the Economy

San Francisco may become first U.S. city with fully paid parental leave: Here’s what others get – California is already one of the best spots in the United States to have a child, but legislation before the Board of Supervisors could make San Francisco the only place in America where new parents don’t take a pay cut, at least for a portion of their time off.  San Francisco Chronicle article

What San Franciscans know about homeless isn’t necessarily true – San Franciscans know everything about homelessness — just ask them. But according to nonprofit providers and city officials who work with the homeless every day and have interacted with thousands of homeless people in their careers, a lot of conventional wisdom about one of San Francisco’s most stubborn problems is pure myth. San Francisco Chronicle article

Have Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s 5 new aides paid dividends? – Controversial staff positions added to Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s office last year make the office more effective, say two of his top aides. But some council members still say the money should be spent elsewhere. Sacramento Bee article

San Francisco is highest-priced city for business travelers; LA is No. 8 – The City by the Bay is once again ranked as the most expensive U.S. destination for business travelers. But the big surprise in an annual study of hotel, rental car and dining prices is the ladder-climbing by Detroit. LA Times article

Bay Area building boom may not end housing shortage – Could the Bay Area’s housing shortage turn into a surplus? Given the number of high-density residential projects that seem to be popping up everywhere, the answer might seem to be yes. San Francisco Chronicle article

Pride and promises: Stockton Is Magnificent puts focus on positives of city – Thousands flocked to San Joaquin Delta College on Saturday for the fifth installment of Stockton Is Magnificent, a free, family-friendly event founded in 2011 to promote civic pride in a city plagued by violence, economic struggles and other issues. Stockton Record article

More rent-controlled buildings are being demolished to make way for pricier housing – Looking to cash in on a booming real estate market, Los Angeles property owners are demolishing an increasing number of rent-controlled buildings to build pricey McMansions, condos and new rentals, leading to hundreds of evictions across the city. LA Times article

O.co drops out; stadium is back to just Oakland Coliseum – O.co is no longer the name on the Oakland Coliseum. Online retailer Overstock.com had opted out of the naming-rights agreement as of Saturday, said Catherine Aker, a spokeswoman for the A’s. Overstock.com will maintain its corporate sponsorship agreement with the baseball team, including stadium signage. San Francisco Chronicle article

Unicorns to get more scrutiny under proposed SEC rules — Slowly but surely, the Securities and Exchange Commission is peeling away the opacity that surrounds unicorns, those private firms supposedly worth $1 billion or more. Investors, including mutual funds, have been plowing billions of dollars into Uber, Airbnb and Pinterest even before they go public. In addition, investors have also been trading shares of these unicorns on secondary-market platforms like SharesPost in San Francisco. San Francisco Chronicle article 

Jo-Ann Fabrics shrinking in Stockton — Jo-Ann Stores LLC is moving its Stockton store to a smaller space in the Park West Place shopping center and plans to celebrate the opening of the new location June 30. Stockton Record article


California water allocation has winners, losers — Friday’s allocations were the highest since 2013 overall across the state. But some San Joaquin Valley farmers will receive only 5 percent of contracted amounts — barely up from zero last year. San Jose Mercury News article

Valley’s irrigation supplies range from near-normal to dismal – The 2016 irrigation season is rolling out on these warm April days with close-to-normal supplies in parts of the Northern San Joaquin Valley. In other parts, the drought of the past few years has not eased much, and farmers face another year of scraping by. Modesto Bee article

Lemoore council ponders water sale – The Lemoore City Council is considering selling some of its well water to help drought-stricken residents in the region. Hanford Sentinel article

Madera increases watering days to 2 a week — Madera has increased watering days from one day per week to two. The city had been at one day per week since Nov. 18, 2015. Fresno Bee article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Documentary: Scott Peterson was victim, deserves new trial — Modesto’s Scott Peterson was convicted by police with tunnel vision, complicit media and a bloodthirsty public, claims an unfinished full-length documentary shown for the first time Saturday. Modesto Bee article


Out-of-state cash helped UC system spend $4.5 million on recruiting students – One of the more interesting footnotes in the recent state auditor’s report on University of California admissions was the extent to which the booming enrollment in out-of-state students is funding campuses. San Francisco Chronicle article 

New app helps undocumented immigrants find college scholarships – Salamanca’s struggle to find money for college inspired her to create a scholarship network that undocumented students can tap into just by reaching into their pockets. The network comes in the form of an app called the DREAMer’s Roadmap, and it will launch this month for iOS and Android. KQED report

Long-abandoned brick building reborn as Fresno charter school – Downtown Fresno’s revitalization renaissance can add one more project to the list. A long vacant brick building that was once home to an automobile dealership in the Mural District is undergoing renovations to become the new home for Kepler Neighborhood SchoolFresno Bee article


U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer and Congresswoman Doris Matsui: National goal would aim for 50 percent clean energy by 2030 – The California Democrats write, “It is in our nation’s DNA to turn a problem into an opportunity, and in California, we have shown that clean energy works. It is time for the rest of the nation to follow. By passing the ‘50 by 30’ resolution at the federal level, Congress has an opportunity to put our country on a path toward a clean energy future that improves our economy while reinforcing our commitment to reducing dangerous carbon pollution.” Boxer/Matsui op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Congresswoman Lois Capps: Keep moratorium on offshore fracking – The Santa Barbara Democrat writes, “We know how much harm oil production can do to our coast. It’s time for federal officials to reduce the risk by maintaining the moratorium on these controversial techniques until they can be proved safe.” Capps op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Are you paying too much for a rooftop solar system? — If you’re thinking about pulling the trigger on a rooftop residential solar system, don’t be afraid to drive a hard bargain with an installer. LA Times article

Health/Human Services 

Shifting population in California nursing homes creates ‘dangerous mix’ – Where once skilled nursing facilities were universally thought of as “rest homes” for the frail and elderly, a growing proportion of California nursing home residents are younger, more able-bodied patients, many diagnosed with mental illness. Sacramento Bee article

No fentanyl epidemic in San Joaquin County, yet – The powerful painkiller fentanyl has been linked to at least three dozen overdoses and nine deaths in the Sacramento area in the past two weeks. No such cases have been confirmed in San Joaquin County, but local law enforcement and health officials are looking for signs of a similar epidemic. Stockton Record article

Doctor fighting San Francisco diabetes epidemic backs soda tax — When Dr. Dean Schillinger started his residency at San Francisco General Hospital in 1991, practically every other patient he saw had AIDS. Now just about every other patient has diabetes. San Francisco Chronicle article

State officials blast Monterey County CPS handling of abuse case leading to two child deaths — The tragic deaths of Shaun and Delylah Tara, whose bodies were found last December in a Northern California storage locker, again have thrust the state’s Child Protective Services departments into a harsh spotlight, raising questions about whether the agencies can truly protect the state’s most vulnerable children. San Jose Mercury News article

Jeff Jardine: 51Fifty name controversy burning up lots of energy — There are givens in this age of political correctness: Some folks are sensible, some are insensitive and some are overly sensitive. Consequently, it doesn’t take much to turn any topic into a sensitive one. Jardine column in Modesto Bee

Other areas

Veterinarian shortage impeding spay-neuter efforts – Kern County’s struggle to attract and retain physicians isn’t just a problem for its people — but for its animals, too. Both Kern County Animal Services and the Bakersfield Animal Care Center need veterinarians, good ones who can help keep up the positive momentum recently seen in efforts to battle animal overpopulation. They’re having trouble finding them. Bakersfield Californian article

Modesto’s neighborhoods continue to coalesce, evolve – A local neighborhood movement that took root a decade ago continues to spread across the city-governed and unincorporated areas of Modesto. Modesto Bee article

Tackling seminar teaches new methods, inspires faith in safer football – Seattle Seahawks defensive coach Rocky Seto and the rest of the Seahawks staff think there is a way to help eliminate the brutal tackles that might get fans’ attention but are the root of the issues that put the most lucrative sport in the land at risk. Seto was the guest speaker in Harvey Auditorium at Bakersfield High School on Friday night for a town hall meeting and instructional session for coaches in the local area to learn a style of tackling that the Seattle coaching staff has coined “Hawk tackling.” Bakersfield Californian article

Fresno attorney Anthony Capozzi elected chair of California judicial commission — Fresno attorney Anthony P. Capozzi has been elected chairperson of the Commission on Judicial Performance, an independent state agency that is responsible for investigating complaints of judicial misconduct and disciplining judges. Fresno Bee article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Sacramento Bee – California’s most pressing need is water.

Maddy Events

Sunday, April 3, at 10 a.m. on ABC 30 – Maddy Report: “Political Influence in California Politics: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly”  Guests: John Myers of the Los Angeles Times and Marisa Lagos of KQED. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler.

Sunday, April 3, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580 (KMJ) – Maddy Report-Valley Views Edition: “Is the Valley’s Political Influence Growing?” – Guests: Fresno Bee Opinion Page Editor Bill McEwen; Paul Hurley, former editorial page editor of the Visalia Times-Delta; and Fresno State political science professor Tom Holyoke. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler.

Sunday, April 10, at 7 a.m. on Fresno Univision 21 (KFTV)– El Informe Maddy Report: “Higher Education Issues in California” – Guest: Erica Romero, executive director of Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Deputy Director Ana Melendez. 

The Maddy Report airs throughout California on The Cal Channel.  Check http://www.calchannel.com to find the Cal Channel and schedule in your area.  You also can view previous Maddy Report programs in their entirety at http://www.maddyinstitute.org/policy-analysis/the-maddy-report-tv.

Community Events

  • Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro and other university officials will participate in a Community Conversation at the Reedley College Student Center in Reedley on April 7 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Seating for this free event is limited, so RSVPs should be made by Tuesday, April 5, at www.fresnostate.edu/presidentrsvp using the code “Reedleyforum.
  • The CalEITC4Me campaign will hold a free tax prep and resource fair at the Manchester Center in Fresno on Saturday, April 9, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  More information is available here.
  • The 2016 San Joaquin Valley Parks Summit will be held at Bitwise South Stadium in Fresno on Thursday, May 12, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Registration launches March 1.  More information: Jenna Chilingerian at jennac@csufresno.edu.


Next 10: UPDATED California budget challenge – For the first time in a decade, California’s budget is largely in balance.  However, the state has outstanding debts of $28 million, not counting long-term pension and retiree health care costs.  Budget choices affect us all.  Take the Challenge and decide how much should be spent on programs and where the money should come from.  Next 10 California Budget Challenge

Next 10: Federal budget challenge — The Federal Budget Challenge is based on The Concord Coalition’s Principles and Priorities budget exercise, which has been used in numerous town hall meetings across the country by members of Congress from both parties, as well as in hundreds of high school and college classrooms.  Next 10 Federal Budget challenge at www.federalbudgetchallenge.org. 

Next 10: California Water Challenge – As our state faces some of the most severe drought conditions in its history, Next 10 wants to issue a new challenge to Californians: can you create a plan to make sure there’s enough water for everyone?  Next 10 California Water Challenge 

LEGISLATORS’ VOTING RECORDS: How often has a California legislator broken party ranks, abstained or switched sides? The Sacramento Bee has a database of the voting records of every member of the state Senate and Assembly. Enter a lawmaker’s last and first names to see how he or she voted, or enter a bill number to see how every legislator voted on it. Check it out at this link.  http://www.sacbee.com/votingrecord/ 

More Information

Please visit http://www.maddyinstitute.com/news/maddy-daily if you want to view the Maddy Daily with our comprehensive list of links to all federal, state and local government, public affairs institutes/regional entities, Valley media and public policy blogs. (Please note new website address.)

Maddy Institute Updates List of San Joaquin Valley Elected Officials – The Maddy Institute has updated its list of San Joaquin Valley elected officials.  The list is available here.

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The Kenneth L. Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno was established to honor the legacy of one of California’s most principled and effective legislative leaders of the last half of the 20th Century by engaging, preparing and inspiring a new generation of governmental leaders for the 21st Century. Its mission is to inspire citizen participation, elevate government performance, provide non-partisan analysis and assist in providing solutions for public policy issues important to the region, state and nation

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