January 10, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories

By the numbers: Analyzing the governor’s budget – Gov. Jerry Brown fired the opening salvo of California’s budget season on Jan. 7 when he unveiled his spending proposal for the fiscal year that will start July 1. While the final state budget will likely look much different in June when it is scheduled to be adopted by the Legislature, Brown’s proposal is the starting point for negotiations in the months ahead. Below are five numbers that help explain some of the major issues included in the governor’s budget proposal. CALmatters article

Cathleen Decker: ‘Caution’ seems to be the watchword in this political cycle – Californians who awoke last week from a 20-year slumber might have been confused at the messages delivered during two key political events in the state. Decker column in LA Time
State budget

California Politics Podcast: Brown’s budget — The politics of Gov. Jerry Brown’s new state budget plan as we kick off our first episode of 2016. With John Myers of the Los Angeles Times and Anthony York of the Grizzly Bear Project.  California Politics Podcast

Valley politics

Modesto deciding who it wants as mayor — Modesto is deciding whether it wants to stay with its incumbent or pick a newcomer as its next mayor. Mayor Garrad Marsh is opposed by challenger Ted Brandvold, an architect and former planning commissioner, in the Feb. 2 runoff election. Modesto Bee article

Political newcomer vows change for Modesto — Ted Brandvold entered the mayor’s race Aug. 7, the last day he could. His first campaign finance report listed all of $500 – a loan from himself. Modesto Bee article

Modesto mayor offers experience in bid for second term — The consensus view of Mayor Garrad Marsh is that he is deeply smart, works hard and cares about Modesto. He understands the nuts and bolts of City Hall because he has held elected office for a dozen years, including nearly the past four as mayor. There also is a separate view that Marsh has stumbled because he is not a good communicator and does not listen to others before making important decisions. Modesto Bee article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

Dan Walters: Punditry grounded in myths — One of the more entertaining aspects of covering California’s politics is monitoring the clumsy attempts of out-of-state pundits to explain its proclivities. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

Other areas

Dan Morain: Long ago, gun control was hard to do in California – Gov. Jerry Brown offered fatherly words of wisdom the other day: “Don’t smoke marijuana when you’re using your gun.” Hard to argue with that, except once upon a time, people did quibble with the notion of keeping intoxicants and guns separate. Morain in Sacramento Bee 

Cow Palace gun show gets boost from Obama’s firearms sales rules – They came to Daly City wearing camouflage clothes and holsters on their hips, dragging baskets and cases to carry their purchases home. Both newcomers and veteran buyers shopped the gun show with a sense of urgency, worried that new federal rules could choke the future sale of firearms. San Francisco Chronicle article

Punk rock and Plato are touchstones for incoming Assembly speaker – Anthony Rendon sounds more like a brainy graduate student than bare-knuckled politico; in fact, he said he resented having to learn about the nitty-gritty of elections. And yet, last fall, he won the approval of his Democratic colleagues to be their next leader. On Monday, he’ll be voted into one of the top political posts in California, the speaker of the Assembly. LA Times article

Spencer Stone, airman who halted attack on train, will attend State of the Union — Staff Sgt. Spencer Stone of the Air Force was driving to work on a stormy morning a few days ago when a White House aide phoned with an invitation to join the first lady on Tuesday for President Obama’s last State of the Union address to Congress. New York Times article

Boyfriend of San Bernardino victim will bring a message of tolerance to State of the Union – Touched by the kindness of Muslim neighbors after his boyfriend was killed in the San Bernardino terrorist attack last month, Ryan Reyes became an unplanned spokesman against religious intolerance. On Tuesday he’ll take his message to Washington, where he’ll sit in the balcony at the State of the Union address, a guest of President ObamaLA Times article 

Rural Californians sympathize with protestors’ goals in Oregon standoff — Though California’s huge urban population centers drive its politics and its national reputation as a liberal state, there’s another side. In rural areas, public sentiment is often not all that different from the other Western states that birthed the conflict behind the Burns occupation. Sacramento Bee article

News Stories

Top Stories

California laws test whether sexual predators can ever be rehabilitated — Hubbart is testing a central premise of the law: That with intense treatment, some of the state’s worst sex offenders can be safely allowed back into society. So far, only a few have completed all steps of the treatment. California spends more than $100 million a year on the program and locks up 560 sexually violent predators in state hospitals — all but one of them men. Only 34, including Hubbart, have been allowed to leave the hospital for a final stage of the treatment program that involves counseling and monitoring while living at home. LA Times article

California drought: How will we know when it’s over? – Now that 2016 has gotten off to a wet start, with a series of El Niño storms drenching California in recent days, the question is turning up with increasing frequency at dinner parties and coffee shops: “How will we know when the drought is over?” The answer, water experts say, is more complicated than you’d think. San Jose Mercury News article

Jobs and the Economy

Deputies’ dispute may bolster separate lawsuit against Kern County — When a union representing Kern County sheriff’s deputies sued the County of Kern last month in a dispute over job benefits, the union may have unwittingly provided additional ammo to lawyers suing the county in a wrongful death case. Bakersfield Californian article 

Stockton council to vote on increasing funds for youth jobs program — In the hope that jobs are a prescription for the reduction of violence, the City Council is expected this week to double the funding for a work program aimed at young people in Stockton. Stockton Record article

Roger Goodell calls NFL stadium proposals in Oakland, St. Louis and San Diego ‘unsatisfactory’ – The current stadiums in Oakland, St. Louis and San Diego are “unsatisfactory and inadequate,” and the proposed solutions are not viable to keep theRaidersRams and Chargers in their home markets, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a report distributed Saturday to all 32 teams. LA Times article

Two more arrests made at Sacramento City Hall homeless protest — Sacramento police arrested two activists Saturday morning and issued citations to four others protesting the city’s ban on urban camping outside City Hall. Sacramento Bee article

Why the decade’s second half may look much different from the first for investors – and workers — As the second half of the decade gets underway, the economy and markets face challenges that could make the next five years very different from the last five for investors and workers. Here is a look at four of the most widely held views on what’s to come, and their implications for your nest egg and livelihood.  LA Times article 

What will aging boomers and millennials mean for economic growth? — The demographics of aging boomers and coming-of-age millennials will accelerate changes in the economy. The hard part is figuring whether they’ll be good or bad for growth. LA Times article

Robert Loewen: Don’t make public workers fund causes they oppose – The chairman of the California Policy Center writes, “On Monday, California public school teacher Rebecca Friedrichs and eight colleagues go before the U.S. Supreme Court to ask whether they can be forced to pay union dues that fund political spending with which they disagree. A win for them would be a win for millions of public sector employees in the 23 states that deny them the freedom to decide whether to spend part of their paychecks on their unions’ political agenda.” Loewen op-ed in Sacramento Bee 

Joshua Pechthalt: Teachers unions need dues to help students – The president of the California Federation of Teachers writes, “If the court ends ‘fair share’ union dues, it would hurt our unions’ ability to represent our members and weaken our ability to improve wages, benefits and working conditions.” Pechthalt op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Same-sex benefits suit against FedEx can proceed, judge rules – Stacey Schuett and Lesly Taboada-Hall had been partners for nearly 30 years, registered domestic partners since 2000, and the parents of two children when they got married in their Sebastopol home in June 2013. The next day, Taboada-Hall died of lung cancer at age 56. San Francisco Chronicle article

My Spot: Fresno’s bustling cherry auction flea market — It’s a warm, sunny Saturday morning in Fresno, and Giovanni Martinez is doing what he does every weekend: selling clothes at the Cherry Auction south of downtown. Coming twice a week to this buzzing outdoor flea market may be his job, but Martinez says it feels like a family. KQED report


Water recharge project east of Turlock backed by most landowners — Landowners in the Eastside Water District have agreed to pay about $6 million for a groundwater recharge project aimed at reducing about a tenth of its overdraft. Modesto Bee article

Company hopes to treat oil wastewater for reuse in agriculture — Testing is expected to begin next month at a Wasco oil field wastewater treatment plant that, if successful, could boost water supplies for Kern County farmers while addressing a vexing problem for local oil producers. Bakersfield Californian article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Sanger leaders make a stand against gang violence – In the wake of Sanger’s first killing of 2016, city leaders say they are making a stand against gang violence. More importantly, perhaps, they’re standing up for law-abiding citizens. Fresno Bee article

Lois Henry: New mental health court in Kern gaining interest – The people who appear before Kern County Superior Court Judge Susan Gill every Thursday afternoon are not easy people. Some are loud, argumentative, spacey, or all of the above. Others, so deathly frightened of the world, their eyes are permanently fixed on the floor. And, yeah, some might even smell bad. “The mentally ill can be challenging,” Gill said. As the judge overseeing Kern’s newly created “mental health court,” Gill would know. Henry column in Bakersfield Californian

Sacramento Bee: Best way to help rape victims? Test every rape kit – Whether states should eliminate the statute of limitations for rape is something that’s worthy of debate. But first let’s continue to work on eliminating the backlog of rape kits. These crimes are too serious to leave evidence left on a shelf. Sacramento Bee editorial

Jeff Jardine: Will kidnapper from 1982 case show up for parole hearing? — Every five to seven years, Dory Fish is notified that William Florez once again is up for parole. Florez kidnapped Fish – then Dory Oppenheim – from her north Modesto home and held her for ransom when she was 8 years old in the summer of 1982. He is serving a life sentence for kidnapping for ransom and later pleaded guilty to raping a Modesto woman and robbing another that same month. Jardine column in Modesto Bee 

Sacramento police use microphones to take aim at gun violence — Responding to a spike in homicides, the city of Sacramento plans to expand its use of gunshot-detecting microphones to the south area this year. Sacramento Bee article

Marcos Breton: Police aren’t ‘criminalizing’ the homeless — One of the great misconceptions in Sacramento is that the city is “criminalizing the homeless.” This is a claim often made by people with political agendas. Some are seeking to abolish Sacramento’s anti-camping ordinance, which is designed to prevent people from setting up camps anywhere they wish. Breton column in Sacramento Bee

Anita Chabria: Police need to rely more on science, less on their ‘gut’ —  The freelance writer in Sacramento writes, “Like a small but growing cadre of academics, reformers and officers, Sacramento police Sgt. Renée Mitchell believes police should approach their jobs with more science and less instinct. Last summer, she founded the American Society of Evidence-based Policing to attempt to change her us-them profession, and create transparency and data-driven best practices.” Chabria op-ed in Sacramento Bee

San Jose jail inmate’s death due to natural causes, not injuries from guards, autopsy concludes — A mentally ill inmate who died at the Santa Clara County Main Jail in September, a week after being forcibly removed from his cell by guards who shot him with plastic projectiles from a riot gun and doused him with pepper spray, did not die from his injuries, according to an autopsy report. San Jose Mercury News article


Road to Yosemite open – Highway 140 leading into Yosemite National Parkwas reopened late Saturday afternoon. Visalia Times-Delta article

Porter Ranch residents demand that Aliso Canyon gas facility be shut down — Hundreds of San Fernando Valley residents crowded into a high school gymnasium Saturday to express outrage over a gas leak that has sickened and displaced thousands from the Porter Ranch area. LA Times article


Bay Bridge bike path questions could bring further delays — The bicycle and pedestrian path on the Bay Bridge’s new eastern span — for nearly two years a bridge to nowhere, its completion held up in part by a belated design change — could miss its latest scheduled opening date of this summer because of questions about whether support components will be strong enough to do the job. San Francisco Chronicle article

Other areas

Sacramento mayor’s aide looks to become pot business player – Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson announced in October that he wouldn’t run for a third term. Now Daniel Conway has left the mayor’s office, after three years as Johnson’s chief of staff, to become an entrepreneur in the fast evolving marijuana economy. Sacramento Bee article

New high-tech library opens in east-central Fresno — Hundreds of people turned out in east-central Fresno on Saturday for the grand opening of Fresno County’s newest, most technologically advanced library. Fresno Bee article

Homeless woman died of exposure on skid row sidewalk during El Nino storm – A 60-year-old homeless woman died of exposure on a skid row sidewalk during Thursday’s El Niño storm, authorities said Saturday. LA Times article

Bob Erlenbusch and Shannon Stevens: Pray for all the homeless people who died, fight for the living – Erlenbusch, executive director of the Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness, and advocate for homeless people Stevens write, “The brief life of Sivam Lekh was tragic, as chronicled by Erika D. Smith in her Dec. 29 column, “For a homeless mom, it’s the worst loss of all.” But Sivam’s death was no less tragic than the 96 homeless neighbors who died in 2015.” Erlenbusch/Stevens op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Valley Editorial Roundup

Sacramento Bee – Whether states should eliminate the statute of limitations for rape is something that’s worthy of debate. But first let’s continue to work on eliminating the backlog of rape kits. These crimes are too serious to leave evidence left on a shelf;

Maddy Events

Sunday, Jan. 10, at 10 a.m. on Fresno ABC30 – Maddy Report: “Highway Funding: Still Stuck in Political Gridlock – Guests: Caltrans CFO Norma Ortega; Rob Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable; Chris McKenzie, executive director of the California League of Cities; Matt Cate, executive director of the California Assn. of Counties; and Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler.

Sunday, Jan. 10, at 10 a.m. on KMJ (580AM and 105.9FM Radio/podcast) – Maddy Report – Valley Views Edition: “Farm to Market: Maintaining the Valley’s Highways” – Guests: Tony Boren, executive director of Fresno COG; Ted Smalley, director of the Tulare COG;  and Cal Trans District 6 Director Sharri Bender Ehlert. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler.

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.


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.

Maddy Institute on Facebook and Twitter – To learn about Maddy Institute activities (e.g. The Maddy Report tv show, The Maddy Associates’ Luncheons, the Maddy Legislative Intern Program), become a fan of the Maddy Institute on Facebook or log on to http://twitter.com/MaddyInstitute. And if you have a Facebook or Twitter account, please add us and follow us!

Follow @MaddyDaily on Twitter – Can’t wait for the Maddy Daily to hit your in-box each morning?  Follow @MaddyDaily on Twitter to receive updates on policy and political developments throughout the day.

If you want to subscribe or unsubscribe, please send an email to Ana Melendez at ajovelmelendez@csufresno.edu. 

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.

Funding for The Maddy Daily is made possible by grants from The Wonderful Company and BNSF Railroad and generous donations from you, our subscribers.