January 31, 2017


Political Stories – Top stories 

Democrats target 7 congressional seats held by California Republicans for 2018 midterm elections — The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has released a list of top targets looking ahead to the 2018 elections, and California’s Republican delegation is a big part of it. Of the 61 Republicans Democrats are looking to unseat nationwide, seven are Californians:CA-10: Jeff Denham (R-Turlock);  CA-21: David Valadao (R-Hanford);  CA-25: Steve Knight (R-Palmdale); CA-39: Ed Royce (R-Fullerton); CA-45: Mimi Walters (R-Irvine);  CA-48: Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa); CA-49: Darrell Issa (R-Vista). LA Times article

Trump’s immigration order sows confusion, chaos in California economy – From Google’s Silicon Valley headquarters to an iPhone repair facility near Sacramento, a vast immigrant economy in California has been thrown into confusion as businesses large and small try to make sense of President Donald Trump’s order temporarily banning refugees. Sacramento Bee article

Trump fires top Justice Department lawyer over her refusal to defend immigration order – The legal morass created by President Donald Trump’s immigration order deepened Monday, with the government’s top lawyer instructing Justice Department attorneys not to defend the policy in court and Trump responding by firing her.  McClatchy Newspapers articleLA Times articleNPR reportNew York Times article

Dan Walters: Business’s battle with labor returns for a new session — The onset of a new legislative session means renewal of the perpetual war that pits business and employer interests against liberal groups such as labor unions and environmental activists. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

State budget

Brown, lawmakers differ on ‘Middle Class Scholarship’ program — Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative Democrats are at odds over the fate of a program that provides scholarships to middle-class Californians who attend a UC or CSU. The Middle Class Scholarship program is in its toddlerhood – the third year of a four-year phase-in period. It offers financial aid grants of up to 40 percent of UC and CSU tuition to more than 50,000 in-state residents. Capital Public Radio report

Valley politics

Costa vows to fight Trump order trapping Los Banos man, child overseas – U.S. Rep. Jim Costa on Monday pledged to help a Los Banos man and his 12-year-old daughter return home to Merced County “as soon as possible and safely” and also said he would back legislation seeking to overturn President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration blocking their travel. Merced Sun-Star article

Rep. Valadao adds voice to chorus of criticism over Trump’s executive order — Another San Joaquin Valley Republican congressman on Monday joined the chorus of skepticism about President Donald Trump’s controversial executive order restricting refugees. In a statement issued Monday afternoon, Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, said he supports stronger screening measures, but he took exception to those imposed by the president’s executive order issued last Friday. McClatchy Newspapers article

Denham steps carefully in criticizing Trump’s travel ban – Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock did not openly criticize Donald Trump for the president’s travel ban that caused waves of protests across the country over the weekend. But he did seem to show weariness over Trump’s use of executive orders. Modesto Bee article

How the Valley’s lawmakers in D.C. reacted to Trump’s immigration limits — Here is how the central San Joaquin Valley’s House representatives and California’s two U.S. senators have reacted to President Donald Trump’s executive order that suspends for 90 days all immigration for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries. Fresno Bee article

Valley Assembly members introduce legislation to track veteran suicide rates – Assemblymen Joaquin Arambula, D-Fresno and Jim Patterson, R-Fresno introduced legislation Monday that would require the State of California to track how many veterans die by suicide. Fresno Bee article

Kern D.A. Green to retire in 2018, sparking potentially competitive race — District Attorney Lisa Green will not run for re-election in 2018, she said Monday, setting up what could be a very competitive race to be Kern County’s top prosecutor. There already are three potential candidates to succeed Green, who told her staff Thursday she will not be seeking a third four-year term. Bakersfield Californian article


Fate of Trump’s immigration order will lie in the courts, where it’s already 0-5 – President Donald Trump’s controversial executive order restricting refugee admissions is now facing broad new legal challenges with the filing Monday of multiple far-reaching lawsuits possibly destined for the Supreme Court. McClatchy Newspapers articleSan Francisco Chronicle article

White House aides who wrote travel ban see it as just the start – Trump’s top advisors on immigration, including chief strategist Steve Bannon and senior advisor Stephen Miller, see themselves as launching a radical experiment to fundamentally transform how the U.S. decides who is allowed into the country and to block a generation of people who, in their view, won’t assimilate into American society.  LA Times article

Obama carefully weighs in on refugee ban, says he is ‘heartened’ by public response – Former President Obama has offered his first public comment on the conduct of his successor, saying through a spokesman that he “is heartened” by public demonstrations against the Trump administration’s controversial move to temporarily ban refugees and block all admissions from seven countries. LA Times articleNew York Times articleMcClatchy Newspapers article

Legal challenges mount against Trump’s travel ban – President Trump faced intensifying legal challenges on Monday over his decree sharply restricting immigration from the Muslim world, as two Democratic-leaning states signaled that they would attack the policy in court and a Muslim advocacy group filed a lawsuit calling the order an unconstitutional religious test. New York Times article

California to take up sanctuary city legislation – California may prohibit local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration authorities, creating a border-to-border sanctuary in the nation’s largest state as legislative Democrats ramp up their efforts to battle President Donald Trump’s migration policies. AP article

Schwarzenegger rips Trump for immigrant ban – Escalating a running feud with Donald Trump, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday criticized the president’s order barring citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, calling aspects of its implementation “crazy.” Politico article

Los Banos man stranded in African with daughter joins lawsuit against Trump – Ahmed Ali, the Yemen-born Los Banos man stuck in east African with his 12-year-old daughter, joined a class action lawsuit late Friday seeking to overturn the portion of President Donald Trump’s executive order that is blocking Ali from bringing his daughter to the United States. Los Banos Enterprise article

Refugee vs. green card holder: A primer on immigration terms – President Donald Trump’s immigration order has brought a number of common immigration terms into the spotlight. Here’s a brief primer based on information from the U.S. Department of State. Sacramento Bee article

Assembly Republican leader Chad Mayes voices his misgivings about refugee order – Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes of Yucca Valley on Monday joined a number of GOP politicians who are voicing misgivings about President Trump’s order temporarily barring refugees from some majority-Muslim countries from entering the country. LA Times article

Trump supporters say they are happy with immigration ban – Don’t talk about airport protests in Trump Country. In the places that propelled Donald Trump to the White House, the president’s fans couldn’t be much happier with his executive order temporarily banning refugees and immigrants from seven mostly Muslim countries.  AP article

New York Times article

California Senate resolution condemns Trump travel ban — Democrats in the California state Senate condemned President Donald Trump’s immigration executive order on Monday, approving a resolution calling it a “discriminatory overreach” and commending attorneys who are fighting it. AP article

What every member of Congress from California has said – or hasn’t said – about Trump’s immigration order – Here’s a look at what each mem­ber of the Cali­for­nia con­gres­sion­al del­eg­a­tion has said about the ex­ec­ut­ive or­der. LA Times article

Outrage, support for Trump travel order courses through California Capitol – California politicians faced off over President Donald Trump’s travel order Monday, as the state Senate passed a resolution denouncing it as ‘discriminatory overreach’ and the state Republican Party chairman said they were engaging in ‘hypocritical political posturing.’ Sacramento Bee article

Jim Brulte blasts California Democrats for ‘political posturing’ over Trump’s immigration order – For Democrats enraged and taking official action Monday to denounce President Donald Trump’s order temporarily banning travel from seven majority-Muslim countries, California Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte has a message: “This is purely hypocritical, political posturing.” Sacramento Bee article

Trump poised to shake up Silicon Valley with H-1B visa reform — With tempers still flaring over President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration ban, Silicon Valley now is bracing as Trump lines up his next likely target — work visas that supply local tech companies with thousands of foreign workers. San Jose Mercury News article

Science will suffer under Trump’s travel ban, researchers say – Researchers, academic officials and science policy makers are expressing alarm at President Trump’s order barring entry to the United States to people from certain predominantly Muslim countries, saying it could hinder research, affect recruitment of top scientists and dampen the free exchange of scientific ideas. New York Times article

Trump’s travel ban could impact IOC vote on 2024 Summer Olympics host, but other factors also will be considered –  Los Angeles isn’t the only city whose bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics has recently bumped up against politics. While the global debate over President Trump’s travel ban has heightened concerns that International Olympic Committee members might turn away from L.A., problems have arisen in Budapest. LA Times article

San Francisco officials say they will not follow Trump’s immigration orders – San Francisco police officers and sheriff’s deputies will not follow President Trump’s executive orders on immigration and arrest residents living in the city without proper documentation, Mayor Ed Lee, Police Chief William Scott and Sheriff Vicki Hennessy wrote in a letter to the Department of Homeland Security on Monday. San Francisco Chronicle article

Angry Republicans lash out at Trump for not consulting them on travel ban – President Trump’s temporary ban on refugees and other foreigners has significantly deepened fissures in his already fragile relationship with congressional Republicans, as GOP leaders on Capitol Hill complained angrily Monday that they were not consulted before the order was issued. Washington Post article

Do refugees receive enough vetting? Sacramento newcomers describe their experiences – Ahmed Altalib said he waited six years in his native Iraq and underwent a rigorous vetting process before being granted refugee status in the United States. It took another year – and the intervention of a member of Congress – before his wife could join him in Sacramento. His parents and siblings are still waiting, marooned in Turkey as war wracks their home nation. Sacramento Bee article

Bay Area Dems’ bid to stop Trump travel ban blocked in Congress – Republicans on Monday blocked two bills by California Democrats to rescind President Trump’s 90-day travel ban on people from seven majority-Muslim countries, deflecting for now a Democratic resistance to the new administration that has snowballed in one week from cautious skepticism to widespread alarm. San Francisco Chronicle article

Gloves are off as tech companies fight back against Trump’s immigration order – Trump’s immigration order has ignited a new level of activism among tech firms, underscoring the contentious relationship emerging between the new administration and an industry made up of and founded by many immigrants. Some executives said speaking out about the administration’s actions is as much a moral issue as a financial one for them. San Jose Mercury News article

Some criticize anti-Trump protestors for jamming LAX and causing missed flights — The thousands of protesters who converged on Los Angeles International Airport to speak out about President Trump’s travel restrictions won praise from many for taking a stand. They also faced some criticism for blocking traffic at the bustling airport. LA Times article

Afghans who helped U.S. military worry they, too, will suffer under Trump’s refugee plan – While Afghanistan is not one of the seven countries on the list, Trump’s efforts to reduce immigration, particularly from Muslim nations he perceives as security threats, have alarmed Razeqy and others who feel the Special Immigrant Visa program will be abolished or curtailed even further. LA Times article

Uber, Lyft in spotlight as travel ban roils riders and drivers – In a nation already polarized by politics, geography and identity, Lyft and Uber seemed to fall into neat roles defined by customers’ perceptions as much as their own politics and policies. But it may not be that simple. San Francisco Chronicle article

As of Sunday night, no more foreign travelers in airport detention, officials say — After a weekend of heavy protests, lawyers and demonstrators returned to Los Angeles International Airport on Monday, even as federal officials insisted that travelers initially affected by President Trump’s travel ban were no longer being detained. LA Times article

San Diego professor finds sanctuary counties are safer and economically stronger – Amid the debate over President Trump’s executive action on so-called sanctuary policies, a new analysis finds sanctuary counties are generally safer and economically stronger than non-sanctuary counties. KPBS report

Trump names new acting director of immigration enforcement – President Donald Trump, who fired the acting attorney general on Monday night, also replaced the acting director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Monday. McClatchy Newspapers article

Presidents have restricted minorities before. Here’s how history judged their choices — When President Donald Trump signed a sweeping executive order Friday barring Syrian refugees from entering the United States and banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, protests erupted across the nation. Americans browsing the internet Monday would have seen even the search engine Google seemingly allude to the executive order, choosing to feature the Japanese-American civil rights activist Fred Korematsu in its Google Doodle on what would have been his 98th birthday. McClatchy Newspapers article

Senator from Berkeley demands release of Melania Trump’s immigration documents — California state senator Nancy Skinner is asking the White House to release First Lady Melania Trump’s immigration documents in light of the president’s recent executive orders on immigration. San Francisco Chronicle articlePolitico article

Other areas

Lawmakers have doubts that the system to license marijuana sales in California will be in place by deadline – State lawmakers voiced doubts Monday about the ability of state agencies to finish crafting regulations and a licensing system for the sale of recreational marijuana in California by the end of this year, as promised to voters. LA Times article

Joel Fox: Escalating tax wars — First came the threat from the Trump administration that California sanctuary cities would no longer receive federal money if the cities defied U.S. immigration policy. Next, former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown said California officials are considering ways to withhold tax revenue from the federal government. “California could very well become an organized non-payer,” he said. Fox in Fox & Hounds

Boy Scouts will allow transgender children into programs – The Boy Scouts of America announced Monday that it will allow transgender children who identify as boys to enroll in its boys only programs. AP article

Sierra Nevada mountain feature would be named ‘Sky Point’ under House bill — A slain Marine hero from California would join his beloved Sierra Nevada mountains under a House bill approved Monday that designates a prominent feature in the John Muir Wilderness as “Sky Point.” McClatchy Newspapers article

Presidential Politics

State attorneys general met in Florida to strategize on how to counter Trump, Becerra says – A joint statement by 15 attorneys general over the weekend condemning President Trump’s refugee order grew out of a meeting in Florida between California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra and some of his concerned counterparts, Becerra said Monday. LA Times article

Liberals may hate Trump’s first 10 days, but GOP base loves it – Many of the dominant images from President Trump’s first 10 days in office make it look as if the country is turning on him. The millions who protested him at women’s marches across the country. The thousands who jammed airports over the weekend to support immigrants and refugees hurt by his travel ban. Nevertheless, it’s unlikely any of this early backlash will mean much to the swing-state voters who sent Trump to the White House to deliver a message that the political system wasn’t working for them. San Francisco Chronicle article

Trump rattles statehouse order — In state capitals from Albany to Sacramento, and in Democratic and Republican-controlled statehouses, President Donald Trump is emerging as a central organizing principle for both parties. Politico article

 200 demonstrators descended on Dianne Feinstein’s house to protest her support for Trump’s nominees – On Sunday afternoon, as about 2,000 protesters were picketing at SFO against President Trump’s sudden ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries, about 200 demonstrators headed in the opposite direction, to Senator Dianne Feinstein’s mansion in Pacific Heights.  San Francisco Chronicle articleLA Times article

Could a Trump visit to Britain embarrass the queen? More than a million Britons say yes — Well over a million people have signed a petition urging the British government to cancel a state visit by President Trump because he could embarrass Queen Elizabeth II.  LA Times article

Some GOP lawmakers worry about Bannon’s security role — Some Capitol Hill Republicans are fearful and frustrated over having Steve Bannon, the conservative firebrand who’s regularly dismissed GOP lawmakers as too eager to work with Democrats, as a National Security Council member. McClatchy Newspapers article

 California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Stories

Top Stories


Kern supervisors begin budget process with commitment to cut — Now, Kern County Supervisor Mike Maggard said Monday, is not the time to “let off the gas.” His peers on the Board of Supervisors agreed Monday, calling for detailed information on how county departments have saved money and reaffirming a commitment to hold to a tough course of operational cuts as they develop the 2017-18 budget. Bakersfield Californian article

Tuition hikes, budget gaps top agenda as Cal State trustees discuss priorities for 2017 – California State University’s trustees on Tuesday will debate raising tuition after a six-year freeze — a controversial idea that has grown more inevitable after the governor’s recent budget proposal.  LA Times article

Divided Fresno Unified board fires Superintendent Hanson — The Fresno Unified school board voted to terminate Superintendent Michael Hanson on Monday – expediting his plans to step down this summer. Hanson was terminated without cause, and his buyout could cost the district up to about $328,000. Bob Nelson, Hanson’s chief of staff, will act as superintendent until the board recruits a permanent leader. Fresno Bee article

Jobs and the Economy

After long wait, California’s road maintenance union votes for contract — The union that represents most Caltrans maintenance workers finally got a contract that its members like. Eighteen months after its last contract expired, the International Union of Operating Engineers State Unit 12 on Friday approved a new deal. The contract for some 12,000 state maintenance workers provides base wage increases of at least 14 percent by July 1, 2019. This year, they’ll receive two wage increases worth a combined 7 percent. Sacramento Bee article

 As urban homeless camps expand, Sacramento councilman says tent city is the answer – Allen Warren will likely push his cause Tuesday at a joint city and county meeting on homelessness. He wants his fellow council members to consider lifting the city’s camping ban just enough to allow a tent city in his district. Record rains this fall have pushed a long-running homeless crisis in his area onto commercial and residential streets with alarming impacts.  Sacramento Bee article

 Sacramento Bee: Try these bold steps to reduce homelessness – On homelessness, inertia has been passed off as action for too many years. What’s needed is bold action, and Mayor Darrell Steinberg’s plan, to be discussed at Tuesday’s joint meeting with the City Council and Board of Supervisors, certainly fits that bill. Sacramento Bee editorial

Foon Rhee: Why Mayor Steinberg now owns Convention Center decision, for good or bad — Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg could have easily avoided this politically risky call. But he asked for a delay on a vote on a $170 million plan to nearly double exhibit space at the existing downtown Convention Center. Then last week, he threw a curveball by suggesting it might be better to have a smaller center expansion and to invest some money in other amenities. Rhee in Sacramento Bee

Sheldon Adelson no longer part of Raiders’ Las Vegas stadium plan – There are no safe bets in Las Vegas, and the Raiders’ bid to move there might have gotten a little trickier Monday. Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson removed himself from a plan to build a $1.9 billion domed stadium that would become the Raiders’ home in Las Vegas, after he had pledged $650 million to the project. San Francisco Chronicle articleLA Times article

Clovis property owners weigh new improvement districts — Property owners in Clovis are in the beginning stages of deciding whether to establish two separate Property Based Improvement District’s (PBIDs) in the city. The Business Journal article


One month of storms erases big chunk of California’s snow-water deficit – A surprisingly strong start to California’s winter has put its water supply back to work – and a substantial amount back in the bank, Molotch said Monday. Sacramento Bee article

Long hours and ‘holes that let the wind in,’ Mexican workers allege abuse by Escalon dairy — Two undocumented Mexican immigrants are seeking to obtain class-action status in a lawsuit they have filed against an Escalon dairy that they say cheated them out of wages and subjected them to abysmal living conditions. Sacramento Bee article

Well in Village I will serve northwest Modesto, support Tivoli development — Construction is underway for a well in Village I that will provide drinking water to northeast Modesto, including Tivoli, a proposed, roughly 454-acre development of homes, stores, offices, an elementary school and parkland. Modesto Bee article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

A handgun and a machete: Deputies fatally shoot man who refuses to drop weapons — A 45-year-old man was killed after an early-morning confrontation Monday with Fresno County sheriff’s deputies, who responded to a 911 call at a home near central Fresno. Fresno Bee article

Livingston to pay $600,000 to man in police assault claim, attorney says – The city of Livingston will pay $600,000 to a man who said he was assaulted by a police officer during a child-custody exchange in 2012, an attorney representing the city said Monday. Merced Sun-Star article

Officer cleared to return to duty in December shooting – The Bakersfield Police Department’s Critical Incident Review Board has determined all shots fired by Officer Christian Hernandez last month at a man brandishing a rifle were within department policy and state and federal guidelines. Hernandez has been returned to full duty. Bakersfield Californian article

Head of foster family agency found not guilty of failing to report child abuse — The director of a foster family agency was acquitted Monday by a Fresno County Superior Court jury on a misdemeanor charge of failing to report child abuse. Fresno Bee article

Fresno County death row inmates who killed Fowler cousins has died — A death row inmate from Fresno County who was awaiting resentencing for fatally shooting two 15-year-old cousins from Fowler in 1980 has died, state prison officials announced Monday. Prison officials said 67-year-old Fernando Eros Caro died of unknown causes late Saturday at San Quentin State Prison. Fresno Bee article


Trump order banning entry from seven Muslim-majority countries roils California campuses – President Trump’s recent executive order imposing a 90-day ban on entry into the United States from seven Muslim-majority nations is roiling universities across California and the nation, fueling deep anxiety about the future of international academic exchange. LA Times article

Fresno State’s Castro joins CSU presidents in opposing Trump immigration order – Fresno State President Joseph Castro joined the 22 other California State University presidents Monday to oppose the executive order issued by President Donald Trump that bans immigration from certain Middle Eastern countries. Fresno Bee article

California universities protest Trump immigration order, offer to help students and faculty — Many California university and college officials are protesting the new restrictive immigration policies issued by the Trump administration, saying the rules could harm international students and faculty and limit the free exchange of research and ideas. EdSource article

More teacher preparation needed to fully implement Common Core standards in California –  As California moves ahead with implementation of its Common Core standards, it is coming up against a major challenge long-anticipated by education leaders: ensuring that teachers across the state know how to effectively teach according to the new standards in math and English language arts. EdSource article

Community groups to Fresno Unified: Ousting Hanson will be costly – Organizations including the Fresno Center for New Americans are urging Fresno Unified trustees to keep Superintendent Michael Hanson until the summer, saying hiring an interim leader could be costly. Fresno Bee article

UC top brass stopped pursuing lucrative board seats after Katehi controversy – University of California administrators stopped pursuing high-dollar moonlighting positions after scrutiny of former UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi’s corporate board seats prompted tighter restrictions last year. Sacramento Bee article

 Sequoia, Kings Canyon offer student programs — Valley students may soon learn about national parks from those who know them best: park rangers. Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks