April 30, 2018




Upcoming Election Forecast Moves Nunes’ District From “Safe Republican” To “Likely Republican”

Valley Public Radio

One of the nation’s top political forecasting groups has announced that the forecast for one Central Valley district is shifting.

See also:

·       Devin Nunes sees spike in grassroots fundraising after defending Trump from Russia investigation  Washington Examiner


Candidate forum to focus on state, national races

Visalia Times-Delta

In just a few weeks, voters will hit the polls. Before putting a check next to a candidate, Tulare County League of Women Voters is teaming with various groups — including the Visalia Times-Delta — to give residents the opportunity to hear from candidates.


Salas and Mendes to meet in critical June faceoff for 32nd Assembly seat

The Bakersfield Californian

The race between 32nd District Assemblyman Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield, and Republican Justin Mendes will be decided in November. But their round-one face off in June will provide a critical clue about whether the Hanford Councilman and political staffer has a chance to unseat the three-term Salas.


‘Hoping for a miracle’: California City could severely cut services due to budget crisis

The Bakersfield Californian

City leaders are considering drastically cutting public safety and other services after a parcel tax measure failed to get enough votes in a special election this month.

Also See:

Cancer-causing chemical found in Grimmway Farms water

Bakersfield Californian

A cancer-causing chemical has been found in the drinking water at Grimmway Farms facilities in Kern County, potentially endangering some 1,500 employees.


County moves forward with Laura’s Law

The Turlock Journal

Skepticism turned to enthusiasm for the Board of Supervisors after they heard the implementation plan for Laura’s Law in Stanislaus County, which was unanimously approved Tuesday morning following a year-long effort by local advocates of the court-ordered assisted outpatient treatment program.


DA’s office in turmoil, time for fresh start

Modesto Bee

If it sounds like a lot of people are picking on Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager, rest assured they are. Unfortunately, she has brought a lot of those attacks on herself.  Fladager is facing the most serious challenge to her 12-year tenure as DA – and it’s coming from all sides.


San Joaquin County Sheriff Stripped of Role in Death Investigations


San Joaquin County supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt a new model for investigating deaths in the wake of allegations that the coroner, who is also the elected sheriff, used his political office to shield officers who killed civilians.


Fresno park has the opportunity to win a $20,000 grant


One Fresno Park has the opportunity to win a $20,000 grant through our parent company Disney. The ‘Meet me at the Park’ campaign kicks off on April 1st and three specific park projects are being considered for the contest.




California Politics Podcast: The money raised in the race for governor hints at a race that’s now red hot

Los Angeles Times

With less than six weeks before election day, the cash raised in the California governor’s race mirrors the overall dynamics: one major front-runner and a heated race for second place.

See also:

Sacramento Bee

James P. Bradley may have been more surprised than anyone else about his standing in a recent U.S. Senate poll. Bradley rose above a pool of other little-known Republicans to earn support from 10 percent of likely voters in the UC Berkeley IGS poll.


Republican Senate Candidate, Who Has Called for Country ‘Free From Jews,’ Could be Dianne Feinstein’s Challenger


Overt anti-Semites have been slowly creeping into Republican politics in the aftermath of President Trump’s successful, populist candidacy, and now one of them has a fighting chance of representing the Republican Party in a Senate race.


EDITORIAL: Xavier Becerra is the right choice for California Attorney General

San Francisco Chronicle

Few positions are more important to Californians in this year’s election than the job of attorney general. In addition to being the state’s top law enforcement official and its most significant consumer advocate, the attorney general is the state’s most important defender against federal overreach on the environment, immigration and a host of other issues.


EDITORIAL: For insurance commissioner, Poizner with an asterisk

Sacramento Bee

Steve Poizner was California’s insurance commissioner from 2007 to 2011, and he was a very good one. Of the candidates running for insurance commissioner, none are as equipped as Poizner to deal with the insurance market for a future of autonomous vehicles, soaring health care costs and climate-fueled wildfires.


Senate passes bill to make CA first state with voluntary workplace mental health standards

Steinberg Institute

Landmark legislation that would make California the first state in the nation to establish voluntary mental health standards for the workplace was approved on the Senate floor Thursday by unanimous vote and moves to the Assembly with strong bipartisan backing.


California lawmakers shelve proposal to ban tackle football for children under 12

Los Angeles Times

Faced with a lobbying blitz by youth football fans, state lawmakers have sidelined a proposal that would have made California the first state to prohibit minors from playing organized tackle football before age 12, representatives said Friday.


NRA sues California over restrictions on ammo sales

CBS News 8 – San Diego

The National Rifle Association on Thursday filed another lawsuit over California’s gun control laws. The NRA said it has taken issue with a requirement that essentially bans ammunition purchases from out-of-state vendors over the internet.


Opinion: California not the model for America it thinks it is


To progressives, California remains the “harbinger” of “new America” and “the most active front” in the battle to exterminate Trumpism. Yet this enthusiasm should be curbed somewhat by paying attention to what is actually happening on the ground here.


Fallows (Book Review):  How California Turned Into a ‘State of Resistance’

The New York Times

In its promise of fresh starts and new opportunities, California was to the rest of the country what America, in its best version, was to the world. Then came the long slide of discontent and dysfunction and decline.




North Korea offers to give up nukes if US vows not to attack

Fresno Bee

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told his South Korean counterpart at their historic summit that he would be willing to give up his nuclear weapons if the U.S. commits to a formal end to the Korean War and a pledge not to attack the North, Seoul officials said Sunday.

See also:

Fact-Checking Trump’s ‘Fox & Friends’ Interview

The New York Times

During an expansive phone call with the hosts of “Fox & Friends” on Thursday morning, President Trump distanced himself from his personal lawyer Michael D. Cohen and offered more details of negotiations with North Korea.


Trump Calls for Sen. Tester’s Resignation Over VA Nominee Saga

Roll Call

President Donald Trump escalated his feud with Democratic Sen. Jon Tester on Saturday morning, using a tweet to call for the Veterans Affairs Committee ranking member to resign.


Podcast: Trump’s Iran Deadline Is Nearly Here

Roll Call

President Trump has set a May 12 deadline for deciding whether to pull out of the 2015 deal with Iran to rollback its nuclear program.


Most Trump voters ‘don’t want to see a female president in their lifetime’, poll finds


Around 60 per cent of Donald Trump voters said they did not hope to see a female US president in their lifetime, according to a new poll.


How Mitt Romney could wind up running the United States 6 years after losing the presidential election


If, as expected, Mitt Romney wins his race for a Senate seat from Utah he may become the most powerful man in the United States Senate.


This is what it’s like to be a cross-country flight away from your constituents — and your family

Los Angeles Times

For decades, many members of Congress relocated their families to Washington. But in late 1994, when Republicans took control of the House for the first time in 40 years, incoming Speaker Newt Gingrich encouraged his party’s members to leave their families in their districts, to emphasize their independence from Washington and their roots among constituents.




What Is Gaslighting?


This sophisticated emotional abuse tactic makes victims question their own sanity.


Explainers are tedious. Fact-checks can feel partisan. Is there a third way?

Nieman Journalism Lab

“Contextual fact-checks can be remarkably successful in correcting misperceptions.” That’s one of the findings of a new whitepaper, written for the Knight Foundation by Emily Thorson, assistant professor at Syracuse University (the full paper is here, and her Medium post about it is here).


Fake News About Fake News

Weekly Standard

Journalists in the mainstream media often sound as though they have no idea why anybody would entertain skepticism about the news media. The term “media bias” is, to them, a ruse.


Unpacking the rise of populism: An AEI discussion on ‘The People Versus Democracy’


Mounk argues a democratic country must have a binding set of electoral institutions that effectively translates popular views into public policies. He fears liberal democracies today face dueling threats, devolving either into a system of “rights without democracy” or “illiberal democracy.”

EDITORIAL: Thumbs up, thumbs down

Fresno Bee

Thumbs up to the Valley crews and volunteers for helping with our litter problem on California Clean-up Event. They put up some impressive numbers. Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern picked up over 411 cubic yards of litter during the one-day event.


EDITORIAL: Hits & Misses: Volunteers are proving urban forest can be saved

Bakersfield Californian

It took decades for farmers, oil producers and developers to erase a riparian forest that once stood beneath the bluffs in northeast Bakersfield. But slowly volunteers are working to restore it.


How does opera help Modesto 7-Eleven handle panhandlers?

Modesto Bee

A Modesto 7-Eleven has turned to classical music to handle a problem that plagues many local stores: People who loiter, panhandle and sleep in front of the businesses.


Iconic flag barn in Madera County tagged with graffiti

Sierra Star

The iconic flag barn on Highway 41 in Madera was slapped with graffiti recently and people are not happy.  The barn that was painted in patriotic colors after 9/11 to honor the victims of the tragedy has become a part of the Valley’s landscape.


No, a Single Study Didn’t Magically End the Right-to-Carry Debate

National Review

Lately, liberals (most recently at The Nation) have been pretty enamored with a study from John J. Donohue, Abhay Aneja, and Kyle D. Weber purporting to show that right-to-carry laws increase violent crime. Here’s a quick(ish) explanation.

See also:

What does America have to complain about?


I want to reflect on the problem of being an old guy who has convinced himself that the American project is dead.



Sunday, May 6, at 10 a.m. on ABC 30 – Maddy Report: “Candidate for Governor: Amanda Renteria”  Guest: Amanda Renteria. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, May 6, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report  – Valley Views EditionOne California: Immigration and Gubernatorial Candidate Amanda Renteria” – Guest: Amanda Renteria. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.


Sunday, May 6, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – El Informe Maddy: “2018 Race for Governor: Amanda Renteria”  Guest: Amanda Renteria. Host: Maddy Institute Program Coordinator, Maria Jeans.



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Almond acreage California grows to new record, 1.3 million acres

Fresno Bee

California’s almond acreage grew 7 percent last year to a record 1.3 million acres, as the state continued its dominance as the world’s leading producer of almonds.


22 states now affected by dangerous outbreak of E. coli illness from romaine lettuce

Washington Post

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday that 14 more people have become sickened by the E. coli outbreak involving romaine lettuce, bringing the total to 98 people from 22 states.


Banking regulations create mess for marijuana industry, banks, and law enforcement


In Oregon and other states where medical or recreational marijuana is legal, it’s no secret that dispensary owners continue to face a host of operational hurdles, including a reluctance by banks to do business with them.



What now for Delano man freed after 24 years on death row?


Convicted for the first-degree murder and sexual assault of 21-month-old Consuelo Verdugo in Delano, the California Supreme Court threw out that conviction earlier this year citing false medical evidence was used at trial to convict Benavides, who always maintained his innocence.

Also See:

EDITORIAL: After 40 years, persistence, publicity and DNA evidence pay off in East Area Rapist case

Fresno Bee

In an era when true crime tales of serial killers are the stuff of Netflix binges, it may be difficult to appreciate the fear spread in California’s capital by the East Area Rapist in 1976.

Cracking the Golden State Killer case: Clever detective work or a violation of privacy?

Los Angeles Times

Experts say the way authorities matched DNA from decades-old crime scenes to a suspect arrested this week in the Golden State Killer case represents something new.

See also:

EDITORIAL: Radical bail changes bad for California


SB10 would install a revolving door at the back of our jails, create a presumption that the accused should be let out of custody and pose a substantial risk to public safety by creating new victims.






Business Carries the Economy


U.S. economic growth dipped from its 2017 pace in the first quarter of 2018, expanding by 2.3% in the Commerce Department’s initial estimate released on Friday. But the report’s internal numbers are stronger than the top line and show that better economic policies are driving business investment.

A Modest Trump Bump


Friday’s initial government estimate of first-quarter economic growth is bound to prolong the debate over Trumponomics.

The Economic Effects of Trade: Overview and Policy Challenges

Congressional Research Service

Discussions of trade and trade agreements often focus on a number of issues, including the role that trade plays in the U.S. economy, the impact of trade agreements on employment gains and losses, and the size of the U.S. trade deficit. This report focuses on some of the major issues associated with trade and trade agreements and the impact of trade on the U.S. economy.

See also:

·       Opinion: Why do Trump’s announced trade policies keep coming up empty? Brookings




Trump Takes Undue Credit on Black Unemployment


Firing back at criticism from Jay-Z, President Donald Trump went too far when he claimed the black unemployment rate is the lowest in recorded history “because of my policies.”


Democrats’ Universal Job Plan Would Be a Socialist Disaster

National Review

No skills, no interest in learning, and no wish to look for work? And you’re not bothered by bankrupting America? This plan is for you.



It’s Thurmond for superintendent of public instruction, as California politics shift

Sacramento Bee

The office of California’s Superintendent of Public Instruction sounds more powerful than it actually is. The superintendent can sway policy as one vote on the Board of Education, as manager of the state education bureaucracy and as occupant of a bully pulpit.

Unlike governor’s race, contest for California schools chief yet to attract multi-million dollar contributions


How our education system undermines gender equity


In this post, I’ll explain why I don’t think accountability policy interventions would produce real gender equity in the current system—a system that largely relies on existing state standardized tests of math and English language arts to gauge equity.

Higher Ed:

New Report Evaluates Costs, First Steps Of Establishing UC Merced Medical School

Valley Public Radio

A medical school at UC Merced has been on the table since before the university was even built. Now, the University of California and a local legislator are renewing their efforts to make it happen.

Fitzgerald: A new path to a CSU Stockton


Of all the things that could make Stockton more prosperous, innovative, cultured and cool, a California State University is foremost. How to land one?

Curtailed Speech, Diluted Due Process, and Politicized Curriculums Are Ruining Higher Education

Weekly Standard

John Stuart Mill, the outstanding liberal thinker of his age and perhaps of all ages, took up the topic of liberal education in February 1867 in a magnificent and all-but-forgotten inaugural address he delivered to the University of St Andrews as its honorary president.


The tax benefits for education don’t increase education


Tax season ended last week. Taxpayers have filed for over $30 billion in credits and deductions for college expenses they paid in 2017.


A push for mental health care at colleges: Depression and anxiety ‘really eat up our kids’

The Mercury News

When student leaders from 23 California State University campuses came together last fall to set priorities for the academic year, improving campus mental health services received more nominations than any other issue. It beat out even that perennial concern, tuition costs.





Yosemite Valley is under siege from tourists. Can it be saved?

San Francisco Chronicle

The deluge of people — to Yosemite Valley specifically — has park officials anxious to find a release valve as summer approaches and the onslaught of cars and campers begins.

In California’s Sierra Nevada, putting the trees to work


As California redoubles its efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, officials are rooting around for new ways to meet the state’s goals. Included in their plan: recruiting billions of redwood, oak and pine trees to help diminish planet-warming gases by pulling carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.


Low-income Californians most vulnerable as climate change exacerbates air pollution, report says

The Mercury News

California’s air pollution levels are among the worst in the country, and climate change is making the situation worse, according to a new report from the American Lung Association.



Psst! Hey mister … wanna buy a hydroelectric plant?

Bakersfield Californian

It’s nearly a century old, has suffered some damage from a rock slide, and is currently not operational. Despite those downsides, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. announced Friday it plans to offer for sale its small Kern Canyon powerhouse, located at the mouth of the canyon off Highway 178.

Electric Buses Are Hurting the Oil Industry


Suddenly, buses with battery-powered motors are a serious matter with the potential to revolutionize city transport—and add to the forces reshaping the energy industry.




UC nurses to hit the picket line with hospital workers

Sacramento Bee

The California Nurses Association announced Friday that 14,000 University of California nurses all around the state will strike in sympathy May 7-9 with the 24,000 patient-care and service workers negotiating for wage increases and job security.


Does Gavin Newsom Support The Legislature’s Single-Payer Health Care Bill? It’s Complicated.

Capital Public Radio News

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who’s faced criticism in the California governor’s race over his stance on single-payer health care, says he backs the bill that stalled in the state Legislature last year — but not in its current form.

Tax-funded mental health programs are not always easy to find

Los Angeles Times

Revenue from the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) has funded billions of dollars in mental health programs across the state. But finding out what’s available — and to whom — can be a challenge for consumers.


EDITORIAL: Piecemeal health reform that focuses only on cost won’t cut it

San Diego Union-Tribune

Health care is a profoundly important and often upsetting issue. The United States spends more per capita on health care than any other nation, yet — with the notable exception of cancer treatments — doesn’t achieve as positive results. But changes in health care, starting with the Affordable Care Act of 2010, have proven bitterly controversial.


Will Amazon Bend the Cost Curve for Health Care?


Katherine Baicker, dean at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, and Nirad Jain, partner at Bain & Company, discuss Amazon’s health care venture. They speak with Bloomberg’s Alix Steel and David Westin on “Bloomberg Daybreak: Americas.”


Recent rule changes to boost retiree health costs: New analysis quantifies the effect on Medicare premiums and Social Security benefits

Investment News

Individually, recent updates to Medicare and Social Security rules may not have seemed like a big deal. But when taken together, seven changes to Medicare means testing, Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) and Social Security claiming strategies will increase health care costs and reduce the value of benefits for current and future retirees, according to a new analysis.

Human Services:

With new ideas to boost welfare grants, California lawmakers now must take on Gov. Jerry Brown

Los Angeles Times

Plenty of people plead with lawmakers to help California’s most needy. Few, though, have as much invested in the outcome as Rochella Mendoza. “It shouldn’t sound like a luxury to meet the basic needs, like clothes that fit and healthy food,” she tearfully told an Assembly budget subcommittee this month.




200 National Guard members headed to California-Mexico border next week

Los Angeles Times

The National Guard is heading to the California-Mexico border next week in what marks the first deployment under Gov. Jerry Brown’s deal with the Trump administration to beef up border security.


Migrant Caravan, After Grueling Trip, Reaches US Border. Now the Really Hard Part.

New York Times

A long, grueling journey gave way to what could be a long, uncertain asylum process Sunday as a caravan of immigrants finally reached the border between the United States and Mexico, setting up a dramatic moment and a test of President Trump’s anti-immigrant politics.

See also:

·       At end of migrant caravan on US border, families fear what comes next  Washington Post


Poll: California voters support ‘sanctuary state’ law

The Sacramento Bee


Judges for the #Resistance

National Review

There is a lawlessness rampant in the land, but it isn’t emanating from the Trump administration. The source is federal judges who are making a mockery of their profession by twisting the law to block the Trump administration’s immigration priorities.


DACA Ruling Could Open Door for More “Dreamers”

Roll Call

The number of “Dreamers” protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program could nearly triple if the Homeland Security Department cannot convince a federal judge that President Donald Trump had a good reason to end it.



Land Use:

Walters: Who will control land use in California?


The death of far-reaching—even revolutionary—legislation to facilitate housing development crystallized a conflict that’s been simmering in California for decades: Who controls land use?


$8.4 billion realty deal includes 29 Northern California properties

The Mercury News

Prologis, a huge player in the industrial real estate market, has struck a deal worth $8.4 billion to buy DCT Industrial Trust, a major company in the same sector, in a transaction that includes dozens of Northern California properties.


Changing the politics of housing in California

San Francisco Chronicles

The recent defeat of Senate Bill 827, state Sen. Scott Wiener’s bill allowing 5-story buildings near transit hubs, was an enormous setback for California’s efforts to make housing more affordable while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


EDITORIAL: Rent control no answer to California housing crisis

The San Diego Union-Tribune

California’s housing crisis is severe and growing. Millions of households — not just poor families but those with incomes higher than the U.S. median of$59,000 — pay half or more of their earnings for shelter.



DA: Tulare taxpayers cheated out of $4M in federal funds

Visalia Times-Delta

Residents in Tulare hospital district have been getting shortchanged on their property taxes for more than two years, according to District Attorney Tim Ward.


Walters: Voters face anti-tax measures as cycle continues


There is a cyclical quality to California’s perennial debate over taxation, one most evident in the tax-related ballot measures placed before voters. Initiatives to raise taxes, or make them easier to raise, will appear in one election cycle, but just two years later, voters may be asked to cut taxes, or at least make increases more difficult.


Rail grant: new station in Madera, more trains to Sacramento

The Fresno Bee

A new Amtrak railroad station in Madera and more trains directly connecting Sacramento to the Valley will be among the passenger rail improvements coming from a $500 million grant announced Thursday by the State Transportation Agency.

Also See:

Cost of high-speed rail jumps by millions for moving power, gas and phone lines

Fresno Bee

In 2013, when the California High-Speed Rail Authority awarded its first contract for construction of the bullet-train route in Fresno and Madera counties, the cost to move AT&T, PG&E and other utilities out of the way was estimated at about $25 million. In the five years since, that figure has proven to have been wildly underestimated.

See also:

·       Meet the feds coming after California’s bullet train OCRegister

·       High-Speed Rail Daily Clips for April 27, 2018  California High-Speed Rail Authority

Trump administration prepares to roll back fuel-efficiency rules

The Mercury News

The Trump administration has drafted a proposal that would freeze fuel-efficiency standards for automobiles starting in 2021 and challenge California’s ability to set efficiency rules of its own, a changes that would hobble one of the Obama administration’s most significant initiatives to curb climate change.

See also:

Get ready for the most expensive driving season in years

Washington Post

Get ready for a little bit more pain at the pump this summer. Crude oil prices are at the highest level in more than three years and expected to climb higher, pushing up gasoline prices along the way.



Cancer-causing chemical found in Grimmway Farms water

The Bakersfield Californian

A cancer-causing chemical has been found in the drinking water at Grimmway Farms facilities in Kern County, potentially endangering some 1,500 employees. The company is mitigating the issue by bringing in bottled water for employees to drink.

Modesto residents paying millions for water plant. But why isn’t there more water?

Modesto Bee

Modesto’s water customers are paying $4.1 million a year to pay off the debt for a project that doubled the capacity of the city’s water treatment plant. But while the $109 million expansion was completed in 2016, the city has not received one extra drop of water from the Modesto Regional Water Treatment Plant.

May 2 California Water Commission Hearing on Temperance Flat Reservoir in Sacramento

San Joaquin Valley Water Infrastructure Authority

What is likely to be the most essential action in deciding the future of the proposed Temperance Flat Reservoir Project and its much-needed surface water storage capacity is to be taken by the California Water Commission at the conclusion of a May 1-3 hearing in Sacramento.


In reversal, Santa Clara Valley Water District may provide $650 million to Brown’s Delta tunnels plan

The Mercury News

In a dramatic reversal of its stance just six months ago, Silicon Valley’s largest water district has scheduled a vote Wednesday on a plan to commit up to $650 million to Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial proposal to build two massive tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

See also:

·       Why the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California invested in the delta tunnels OCRegister


Five Things To Do Today, Monday, April 30 | 10-minute plays & the cannabis business

Fresno Bee

The 34th Annual Coarsegold Peddlers Market will again be hosted by the Coarsegold Historic Village over Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday, May 26th thru Monday, May 28th 2018.

Coarsegold Historic Village

The entire Coarsegold Village will be filled with vendors’ from throughout the Western US offering Antiques and Collectibles from many time periods of US history. There will also be food and craft booths. Admission is free.

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Maddy Institute Updated List of San Joaquin Valley Elected Officials HERE.

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.


This document is to be used for informational purposes only. Unless specifically noted, The Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno does not officially endorse or support views that may be expressed in the document. If you want to print a story, please do so now before the link expires. ​​​​​​​

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