March 15, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories

California sheriffs oppose Gavin Newsom’s gun control initiative — California sheriffs announced Monday that they are opposing Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s gun-control measure aimed for the fall ballot, arguing it would not prevent criminals from obtaining guns and ammunition via the black market or theft. Sacramento Bee article

Dan Walters: California lawmakers finally pushing campaign sunshine — Slowly – perhaps too slowly – but surely, California is shining some much-needed light into the darker corners of its political system. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

Gov. Brown

Jerry Brown: If Trump wins, California might need a wall of its own — Gov. Jerry Brown, mocking Donald Trump for his plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, suggested Monday that if the Republican frontrunner wins election, California might have to take protective measures of its own. Sacramento Bee article

Group seeks ethics review of top aide to California governor — A former executive of Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. signed an agreement to protect the reputation of the utility as part of a $1 million settlement she reached with PG&E when she left to work as a top aide for the California governor, a consumer group alleged in a complaint filed with the state’s political watchdog. AP article

Valley politics

Most June election battles in the Valley are now set – The central San Joaquin Valley’s three main congressional seats each have well-established incumbents – two who have fought back repeated challengers, and a third who never has been seriously tested in his time in office. Fresno Bee article

Public Policy Institute of California: Congressman Kevin McCarthy in conversation — The majority leader of the US House of Representatives ticked off the issues in an ambitious agenda that he and Congressman Paul Ryan, the House Speaker, are working on in Congress. Congressman Kevin McCarthy told a Sacramento audience that they include national security, the economy, tax reform, poverty, regulatory reform, innovation in government, and water. PPIC blog

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

‘Dark money’ measure pulled by California campaign reform backers — Proponents suspended a campaign on Monday for a ballot measure to trace so-called “dark money” and tighten the rules on lobbying and campaign finance spending. Sacramento Bee article

California Counts: Can underdog U.S. Senate candidate Sanchez turn out the vote? — It’s been two and a half decades since California voters last filled a U.S. Senate vacancy, but with veteran lawmaker Barbara Boxer set to step down this year, voters have a chance to pick from four major candidates competing to fill her seat. U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez is one of two Democrats in the running. After 20 years in House of Representatives, the Orange County congresswoman aims to move up to the Senate. KPCC report

‘Stunning, shocking’: Boxer hadn’t expected her final months in Senate would include Supreme Court fight — Sitting near a smaller color version of the same photo in her private office, Boxer says she didn’t expect her more than two decades in Washington to end with another fight about the Supreme Court. LA Times article

Jeff Jardine: Bill would make voting easier, but won’t cure apathy – So while SB 450 is a bill that, if passed, would peel off another layer or two or three in the voting process, it would aid only the people who already vote but find the process cumbersome or inconvenient. The bill can’t command others to become more motivated, informed and involved, or to pay more attention to the politicians put into office by proxies of disinterest. Jardine column in Modesto Bee


In more states, newest immigrants are educated Asians – In 37 states, a country other than Mexico is now the most common country of origin for newly arrived immigrants, according to a Stateline analysis of census data. The numbers reflect a steep decline in Mexican immigration since 2005 and point to a swift and dramatic shift toward Asia — especially China and India — as the dominant source of newcomers to the U.S. Stateline article

Report finds little progress at curbing Border Patrol abuses – The system for disciplining abusive or corrupt Border Patrol agents and officers is so flawed that it hardly acts to deter criminal misconduct in the nation’s largest law enforcement agency, according to an independent task force that investigated the problems. LA Times article

Other areas

Sacramento Bee readers really, really hate daylight saving time – The people have spoken and what they’ve said is: Please, don’t make us change our clocks twice a year. In a completely unscientific poll conducted on over the past few weeks, nearly 1,200 readers have weighed in on a legislative proposal to abolish daylight saving time in California. They overwhelmingly agree, with 81 percent of respondents voting that the state should stop observing the practice. Sacramento Bee article

Judge Oks release of details in arrests of 3 San Francisco officials – A federal judge cleared the way Monday for San Francisco prosecutors to release information they have withheld about charges against three local officials accused of accepting bribes from undercover agents that were allegedly intended for Mayor Ed LeeSan Francisco Chronicle article 

Capitol Weekly Podcast – Voters Right to Know announced today that they have dropped their bid to qualify a constitutional amendment to guarantee the right to access campaign finance information, opting to back a new bill, SB 1349, that would greatly improve Californians’ access to campaign finance information. Jim Heerwagen and Shane McLoud stopped by the Capitol Weekly office to talk with John Howard about the new strategy. Capitol Weekly podcast 

Daniel Weintraub: Trump could struggle in California because of Arnold – If Donald Trump does not secure the Republican nomination for president in the weeks ahead, the fate of the contest may eventually rest on California’s primary June 7. And if that scenario unfolds, Trump could have a very tough time here. One big reason? Arnold Schwarzenegger. Weintraub in Sacramento Bee 

Joe Mathews: Reading Arnold’s mind — After some years in storage, the Fox & Hounds mind-reading machine is back, and pointed at a familiar target… I am sick and tired of the whole media talking about how I’m just like Trump.  Some of them are even surprised I didn’t endorse the guy. What a bunch of foreheads! Mathews in Fox & Hounds 

Southern California’s Paul T. Watford is among Obama’s top choices for Supreme Court — Judge Paul J. Watford, a Southern Californian who serves on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, has emerged as a leading contender for President Obama‘s nomination to the Supreme Court. LA Times article

Sacramento Bee: Donald Trump lit the match on rally violence – Donald Trump is failing the test of leadership posed by the increasing violence at his rallies. Sacramento Bee editorial

Jeanine Kraybill: At Trump rallies, leadership tested and failed – The assistant professor of political science at CSU Bakersfield writes, “Let’s not revisit eras like the Southern Strategy or times of mob rule. Let’s return some civility to this democratic process and be part of an election cycle we can be proud of.” Kraybill op-ed in Bakersfield Californian 

San Francisco, Oakland hold two of the most Sanders-friendly zip codes in U.S. — Some zip codes around here are Feeling The Bern a little stronger than others, according to research by Crowdpac. Based on IRS data from 2013 and locations attached to the household donations given to each candidate, the site was able to figure out which zip code areas sway most favorably in the direction of either candidate, as well as how much money the average donator makes. San Francisco Chronicle article

Why is California’s presidential primary so late? – The date of California’s presidential primary has swung back and forth between the early and late end of the campaign season, reflecting conflicting desires to keep election costs low while also remaining relevant nationally. KQED report

Parties waiting to support presidential candidates – California’s presidential primary election is nearly three months away, but Friday was an important day for incumbents and would-be politicians, as it was the last day to submit signatures from registered voters to support candidacies. Visalia Times-Delta article

Bay Area Democrats conflicted as Trump candidacy reaches tipping point — Like most liberal Democrats, Mario Juarez finds Donald Trump repulsive. But he can’t help but hope the real estate tycoon will deliver a knockout blow to his rivals in Tuesday’s crucial primaries. San Jose Mercury News article

California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Stories

Top Stories 

Will California ease conservation goals as reservoirs fill? — With California’s two largest reservoirs hitting historically average levels following a weekend of heavy storms, the state’s chief water regulator is cautiously optimistic that the drought may finally be relaxing its grip. If the wet weather continues, she said, the urban conservation mandates that turned lawns brown and have Californians taking shorter showers may be eased in the weeks ahead. Sacramento Bee article

Fresno County supervisors will examine Coalinga cannabis oil issue – Fresno County officials are trying to deter Coalinga from allowing a marijuana growing operation to move into the city. The county’s formal opposition to pot dates to 2013, when supervisors banned medical marijuana.  But Coalinga officials say that laws likely will change in November, when Californians are expected to vote on a measure allowing recreational use of marijuana. If the state approves such a law, city officials want to be ready for new business ventures. Fresno Bee article

Jobs and the Economy

Study: Madera, Fresno counties among best places to own home in California — According to a new study from SmartAsset, a New York City-based financial technology company, Madera and Fresno counties are among the best places to own a home in California. Madera County came in third in the study and Fresno County was ranked the fifth-best city to own a home in the Golden State. The Business Journal article 

Fresno Food Expo branches out as nonprofit organization – The Fresno Food Expo, the nation’s leading regional food show, is kicking off its sixth year with a new logo, a 13-member board and a new status. Launched humbly in 2011 as a way to boost economic development, the event has evolved into a major gathering for food makers and buyers. As part of that growth, the city-created expo is becoming it’s own nonprofit organization. Fresno Bee article 

Fresno motorists paying more at the pump – Fresno’s price for gasoline has jumped 12 cents in one week, the AAA said Monday. The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded Monday was $2.45, the auto club said in its Fuel Tracker report. A week ago, a gallon cost $2.33. Fresno Bee article

Sacramento-area gas prices rise another 14 cents in a week – The average retail price of gas in the Sacramento area rose about 14 cents over the past week to $2.40 a gallon, according to Monday’s report by national gas price tracker Sacramento Bee article

Challenge puts bite into business – It’ll be a cross between “Shark Tank” and “American Idol” when 16 start-up business owners vie Wednesday in Stockton for a share of $20,000 in cash and prizes at the San Joaquin Entrepreneur Challenge. Stockton Record article

Lawsuit says LA endangered homeless people by seizing their tents, shopping carts – A federal civil rights lawsuit filed Monday accused the city of Los Angeles of endangering homeless people by seizing and destroying their tents and bedding and then releasing them from jail into the cold without protection. LA Times article 

Judge freezes Bakersfield Investment Club assets amid federal fraud allegations – A federal judge has frozen the assets of a Bakersfield-based investment company following a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into alleged fraud by the organization’s leader, a former county appraiser who court records say raised $11.6 million from 400 individuals as far away as New York and Hawaii. Bakersfield Californian article

Yahoo cuts more products as CEO Marissa Mayer hangs on in the face of possible sale — On the way out are Yahoo Games, which survived 18 years and once boasted 18 million users; Yahoo Livetext; the Yahoo BOSS search product for Web developers and website owners; Yahoo Astrology, which is in four European countries and India; plus seven sites in Yahoo Maktoob, a subsidiary focused on the Arab world. San Jose Mercury News article 

San Jose third costliest North American housing market – if you believe the rankings — Here they come down the final stretch, folks! It’s San Francisco in first, followed by Manhattan — yes, Donald Trump’s Manhattan — close behind in the second spot! And — look out — that’s San Jose in third place! San Jose Mercury News article


Pine Flat, Millerton lakes rise thanks to winter rains – Recent rains have dramatically increased the volume of water flowing into major central Sierra lakes and reservoirs that are vital to San Joaquin Valley farmers and communities. Fresno Bee article

Drenched by ‘March Miracle,’ Northern California reservoirs inch toward capacity – A series of storms pushed California’s biggest reservoir past its historical average for mid-March this weekend and put the second largest one on track for doing the same by Monday afternoon, officials said. LA Times articleKQED reportSan Francisco Chronicle article;

Kern River run-off below normal but likely above last year’s levels — Water flow in the Kern River watershed remains below normal but above where it was last year even as the state is still gripped by historic drought, the City of Bakersfield Water Board learned Monday. Bakersfield Californian article

Day-by-day rainfall totals for March show a wet start to a drying month – With about 4.5 inches of rain in the bucket, Sacramento is sitting pretty when it comes to March precipitation – and that’s good because the dark clouds that brought wet conditions the first half of the month are gone for now. Sacramento Bee article

Christopher Thornberg: Supposedly thirsty farmers should wise up about water – The founding partner of Beacon Economics writes, “El Niño has brought much needed rain. But this doesn’t mean the state should stop talking about water. The next drought could have far more profound impacts on the state’s economy, unless California starts using its water wisely. Unfortunately the agricultural industry, user of 80 percent of the state’s consumable water, is doing everything but.” Thornberg op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Bakersfield Californian: Audit the sheriff’s air support unit — The National Transportation Safety Board’s alarming findings regarding a 2014 crash of a Kern County Sheriff’s Department helicopter onto Highway 58 demonstrate the need for greater oversight of the county’s growing “air force.” Bakersfield Californian editorial

Judge refuses to find correctional officer innocent in Juvenile Hall sex abuse case – A Kern County judge on Monday refused to find a Juvenile Hall correctional officer innocent in a sexual abuse case after determining investigators had reasonable cause to believe abuse had occurred, justifying their decision to arrest and charge the officer. Bakersfield Californian article

Santa Ana police officers charged with stealing snacks during marijuana dispensary raid — Three Santa Ana police officers were charged with stealing protein bars and cookies from a medical marijuana dispensary during a 2015 raid, prosecutors said Monday. LA Times article

CHP officer dies after being struck by passing vehicle during crash investigation – A California Highway Patrol officer has died a day after he was struck by a driver while investigating a traffic collision on Interstate 80 in the Truckee area, officials said Monday. LA Times articleSacramento Bee article


Seven Visalia students sick from eating marijuana snacks at school – Three students at Mt. Whitney High in Visalia were arrested last week after seven fellow students became ill from eating snacks laced with concentrated cannabis, also known as honey oil. Fresno Bee articleVisalia Times-Delta article

Clovis man gets probation in San Jose State hazing case — A former San Jose State University student from Clovis was given probation Monday while two other students were each sentenced to 30 days of in-custody weekend work for forcing a bicycle lock around the neck of their black roommate. AP article

$49,000 grant launches Fresno State, University of the Azores ag partnership – Fresno State received a $49,000 grant to help support a new Portuguese exchange program in support of agricultural education. Lisbon-based Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD) made the contribution earlier this month to help launch a partnership between Fresno State and the University of the Azores. The partnership will open educational and research opportunities for students and faculty at both institutions. The Business Journal article 

Students get firsthand look at career in health care – Seventy-five students stepped into the shoes of doctors and nurses Monday for a firsthand account of what they might be doing someday. The What’s Up Doc program, organized by Kaweah Delta Health Care District, hosted two classes of high school students from Mt. Whitney, Central Valley Christian and University Preparatory for a glimpse into what the healthcare field is like. Visalia Times-Delta article

California moves to bring special education students ‘into the fold’ of mainstream education – Ordered by the federal government to elevate academics for students with disabilities, and by the state to raise low-income student achievement, the California Department of Education is working to create a unified system that will do both, a move that aims to bring special education students into every school district initiative to improve achievement. EdSource article 

UC Davis students face disciplinary threat as chancellor protest continues — Students demanding the resignation of UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi faced a threat of disciplinary action as they remained Monday outside her office in a protest against herinvolvement with private corporate boardsSacramento Bee article

Bill proposes paid time off for school activities — Parents, grandparents and guardians could take time off from work for school activities without losing any pay under a newly-introduced bill in the California Legislature. It’s the latest effort to give employees more flexibility. Capital Public Radio report

Anna Laven: There can be no debate about the value of debate – The Advising Center Coordinator at CSU Bakersfield writes, “You can imagine my horror when I read that debate programs in our community are being cut. I got so much out of the program offered at Highland High School. The entire community should be supporting our local debate programs, not just because you can get a husband (tongue in cheek!) but because of the preparation for college and career.” Laven op-ed in Bakersfield Californian 

Three things to know about new-ish U.S. Education Secretary John King Jr. — It’s official: John King Jr. isn’t acting anymore. On Monday, the U.S. Senate voted 49 to 40 to confirm him as President Obama’s second and final secretary of education. LA Times article


South San Joaquin Irrigation District wins round in bid for PG&E power service area — The South San Joaquin Irrigation District has won the latest legal round in its bid to acquire the electricity system in and around Ripon, Escalon and Manteca. Modesto Bee articleStockton Record article

Storm bonus: SMUD to lift hydroelectric rate surcharge – The Sacramento Municipal Utility District said Monday that it will drop its hydroelectric rate surcharge on customer bills effective next month, a byproduct of strong storms filling reservoirs in the utility’s hydroelectric generation system in the Sierra Nevada. Sacramento Bee article 

13.1 million U.S. coastal residents could face flooding because of rising sea levels – As many as 13.1 million people living along U.S. coastlines could face flooding by the end of the century because of rising sea levels, according to a new study that warns that large numbers of Americans could be forced to relocate to higher ground. LA Times article

Volkswagen diesels might not be completely fixable, regulator says — Officials with the California Air Resources Board, the state agency that helped discover that Volkswagen had rigged thousands of diesel cars to cheat on pollution tests, said last week that it might not be possible for Volkswagen to bring the vehicles into full compliance with the state’s pollution standards. The problem lies in the complexities of the cars’ emissions systems, air board officials said. Sacramento Bee article

Tom Steyer and Steve Young: Benicia should block oil trains – Steyer, founder of NexGen Climate, and Young, a Benicia planning commissioner, write, “In Benicia, city officials are close to a final decision on the proposed Valero oil train terminal. It’s essential that City Council members, who hold a hearing on Tuesday, understand why oil trains are too dangerous for our communities. There is no sure way to protect public health while transporting crude oil by rail.” Steyer/Young op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Health/Human Services 

Outreach to enroll undocumented children in Medi-Cal begins – Immigration advocates are starting a new outreach effort in Kern County to enroll undocumented children in Medi-cal. This is the first year undocumented kids can enroll in the government-sponsored insurance program. KVPR report

Proposed initiative aims to reduce suicides in Stanislaus County – After seeing a 27 percent spike in suicides over a five-year period, Stanislaus County leaders will consider a proposal to get different sectors of the community involved with reducing the suicide rate. Modesto Bee article

Bakersfield Memorial plans for larger burn unit – Bakersfield will soon have a larger burn center, officials announced Monday. Dignity Health has struck a deal with Grossman Burn Center to establish a new burn unit at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, shifting away from San Joaquin Community Hospital where it is currently located. The move will allow Grossman to construct a larger facility and service more patients. Bakersfield Californian article

Kids Day 2016 breaks record — Kids Day 2016 has set a record for the event, as $547,511 has been collected, and donations are still to be counted. Fresno Bee article

Ruth Haskins: Prescription monitoring system isn’t up to the job – The president-elect of the California Medical Association writes, “The Sacramento Bee’s editorial got it right by saying that California’s prescription monitoring program is a useful tool, but ignored that it is riddled with problems that impede registration and its use.” Haskins op-ed in Sacramento Bee

El Nino winter brings more pollen, allergies to Sacramento — Since early 2016, Sacramento’s sprigs and sprouts have been enjoying the sporadic storms brought on by El Niño. The thirsty plants have sucked the extra water right up, bloating themselves to a state of lush greenery that suggests hopeful headway against California’s historic drought. The change in scenery, while pleasing to the eye, is awfully irritating to the nose and throat, allergy sufferers say. Sacramento Bee article

NFL executive acknowledges link between CTE and football head trauma – NFL executive Jeff Miller acknowledged a link between football-related head trauma and the brain disease CTE, the first admission by a league official that there is such a relationship. LA Times article

Land Use/Housing

SoCal cities buckle down to fight density — There is a housing crisis in Southern California, but many communities aren’t down with one of the solutions: density. Advocates suggest a range of alternatives, from creating more affordable apartments to increasing rent subsidies. KPCC report


Regional Transit Board passes fare increase – The Sacramento Regional Transit board voted Monday night to raise bus and light rail fares an average of 10 percent beginning July 1. Several members said it was a painful but essential first step in pulling the agency out of a several-year financial tailspin. Sacramento Bee article

Could Sacramento State use driverless shuttles on campus? — “Alvin,” the robot car named after a TV cartoon chipmunk, dropped by Sacramento State this week to offer students a ride in what some entrepreneurs hope will be the future of campus transit. Sacramento Bee article

Other areas

Modesto-area mail thieves may be using counterfeit keys — There’s a new wrinkle in the continuing problem of mail theft in the greater Modesto area: the possibility that a counterfeit key is being used to open cluster mailboxes. Modesto Bee article

LA plans to fix sidewalks, then hand off responsibility for future repairs — Under a tentative plan to smooth its badly broken sidewalks, Los Angeles would spend money to fix walkways next to homes and businesses, then gradually hand off the responsibility for future repairs to property owners — a “fix and release” plan that has troubled some community groups worried about financially strapped residents. LA Times article

Merced museum has ‘Gold Fever!’ — Museum-goers can get a look at how the Gold Rush transformed the Merced area at the Merced County Courthouse Museum, which kicks off its new exhibit this week. Merced Sun-Star article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – UC workers will be fine under pension deal. 

Merced Sun-Star – UC workers will be fine under pension deal.

Sacramento Bee – Donald Trump is failing the test of leadership posed by the increasing violence at his rallies;

Stockton Record – Cheers and jeers on trying isn’t enough on hyacinths, hopeful water signs and other issues.

Maddy Events

Sunday, March 20, at 10 a.m. on ABC 30 – Maddy Report: “El Nino and the Drought”  Guests: Rachel Ehlers, an analyst with the Legislative Analyst’s Office, and Alvar Escriva-Bou, an analyst with the Public Policy Institute of California. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler.

Sunday, March 20, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580 (KMJ) – Maddy Report-Valley Views Edition: “” – Guests: Fresno Bee opinion page editor Bill McEwen and Fresno State political science professor Jeff Cummins. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler.

Sunday, March 20, at 7 a.m. on Fresno Univision 21 (KFTV)– El Informe Maddy Report: “El Nino and the Drought” – Guest: Alvar Escriva-Bou, an analyst with the Public Policy Institute of California. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Deputy Director Ana Melendez. 

The Maddy Report airs throughout California on The Cal Channel.  Check to find the Cal Channel and schedule in your area.  You also can view previous Maddy Report programs in their entirety at

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 using the code “Reedleyforum.
  • 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


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 

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.

More Information

Please visit 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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