May 22, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories 

Dan Walters: Jerry Brown hopes to leave on a high note, but fears downturn — Obliquely and perhaps unwittingly, Jerry Brown has acknowledged that as his remarkable political career nears an end, he’s concerned with how history will remember him. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

Rep. Jeff Denham walks the line in San Joaquin Valley — Now seeking his fourth term, following eight years in the state Senate, the self-described conservative Republican recognizes the fact that registered Republicans have only a 2-percentage-point advantage over registered Democrats in his district spanning Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties. McClatchy Newspapers article

Challengers for Denham’s House seat range across spectrum — Michael Eggman brings a moderate Democrat’s voice to the June 7 primary, where he hopes to get a November rematch against Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock. Republican candidate Robert Hodges casts himself as the “true conservative” alternative to Denham. The other Democrat, Michael Barkley, says he is a social liberal who would be careful with taxpayer dollars. Modesto Bee article

Gov. Brown

Governor wows UFW members, leaders in Bakersfield – The crowd was chanting, “Jerry, Jerry, Jerry …” but it wasn’t the “Jerry Springer Show,” it was the Jerry Brown Show at the United Farm Workers 20th Constitutional Convention held at the Rabobank Theater in Bakersfield on Saturday. Former President Bill Clinton is slated to speak Sunday, but on this day, Brown had the floor, and he seemed to be enjoying himself as he took pot-shots at Republican leaders in Congress and at the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee, Donald Trump. Bakersfield Californian article

Jerry Brown warns against ‘scorched earth’ presidential primary — With Bernie Sanders intensifying his feud with Democratic Party leaders and campaigning furiously in California, Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday appeared to scold his campaign, saying nobody “should be seeking the Democratic nomination with a scorched earth policy.” Sacramento Bee articleLA Times article

Valley politics

Bakersfield ballot measure would allow, regulate dispensaries — Two statewide initiatives seeking some form of marijuana legalization could be joined on the November ballot by a city measure asking voters to allow commercial delivery, cultivation and distribution of medical cannabis subject to 2015 state laws. Bakersfield Californian article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

Kamala Harris tells farm workers that ‘an undocumented worker is not a criminal’ — U.S. Senate hopeful Kamala Harris, speaking to leaders of the United Farm Workers union, called for fixing the nation’s immigration system and protecting the rights of millions of immigrants in the country illegally. LA Times article

Kamala Harris ‘skeptical’ of fracking, stop short of calling for ban — U.S. Senate candidate Kamala Harris said Saturday that she is “very skeptical” of hydraulic fracturing, while stopping short of calling for a moratorium. LA Times article

Gubernatorial candidate John Chiang about his sister’s murder and ‘power of community’ — Less than a week after announcing his 2018 bid for governor , state Treasurer John Chiang addressed the United Farm Workers’ annual convention Saturday and spoke of the deep bond among all immigrants, including Latinos and Chinese, who worked the earth and picked crops in California. Chiang also spoke of the death of his sister, Joyce, a federal immigration attorney who disappeared and was found murdered in Washington, D.C., in 1999. LA Times articleSacramento Bee article

Dan Morain: John Chiang’s story of disco, aspirations and murder — Wearing his dark blue banker’s suit, John Chiang, our earnest state treasurer, discusses the finer but somnolent points of bonds, pension liability and interest rates, and your mind starts going numb. Morain in Sacramento Bee

California voter registration soaring as June 7 primary approaches — Californians are registering to vote in breathtaking numbers not seen since the Reagan Revolution, as the no-holds-barred presidential primary season and tech-based outreach efforts have rousted more than 1 million people from their political slumber. San Jose Mercury News article

San Bernardino Shootings

Muslim group on helping San Bernardino shooters’ family: No one should suffer for the sins of others — Ayloush and CAIR took a step the group had never taken before: It would advise the family of a suspected mass shooter and terrorist. Soon, Khan spoke to a ring of reporters at a news conference organized by CAIR. Almost half a year after the deadliest attack on American soil since 9/11, Ayloush said CAIR does not regret the decision. LA Times article

Other areas

Cathleen Decker: Clinton’s California advantage over Sanders: Her allies living in your neighborhood — That visual contrast is only one — and historically not a determinative — measure of support. Another is the house-by-house, community group-by-community group warfare being waged in a far less visible way across the state. In that, Clinton has the advantage, with her army of elected officials and other elements of the Democratic establishment, all trying to persuade their supporters to side with the front-runner. Decker in LA Times

Yes, Bill Clinton can still draw a crowd in California – In the latest iteration of the Clinton family’s 2-for-1 campaign style, former President Bill Clinton planned two events in California on Saturday to try to boost support for his wife Hillary’s presidential effort. LA Times article

Bernie Sanders, with a sense of urgency, barnstorms California – Bernie Sanders, lagging behind in fundraising and delegates to Hillary Clinton, is showing a sense of urgency in California with about two weeks until primary day. LA Times article

Activist lawyers sue California on voter rules, possibly boosting Bernie Sanders support — As Bernie Sanders supporters fear their candidate will miss out on crucial votes from independent and crossover voters in California’s June primary, civil rights lawyers filed suit Friday seeking more time for those voters to request a Democratic presidential ballot. Sacramento Bee article

With state transportation funds strained, counties ask voters for help – The funding problems are prompting local governments and transit agencies to take it upon themselves to raise money. KQED report

Phil Serna: Sheriff Scott Jones should end his disappointment support for Trump – The Sacramento County supervisor writes, “Like many in our community, I was extremely disappointed to learn that Sacramento County sheriff and congressional candidate Scott Jones is supporting presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump. I feel so strongly about it that recently I’ve taken to social media and coordinated a letter-signing campaign encouraging the sheriff to withdraw his support.” Serna op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Ami Bera fundraising pattern sidesteps donation limits — Democratic Rep. Ami Bera, whose father is awaiting sentencing on two felony counts of election fraud, for years has engaged in a complex series of campaign donations involving his parents and the families of other congressional candidates, federal records show. Sacramento Bee article

Marcos Breton: Darrell Steinberg: A force mislabeled as weak – Here is the counterargument to the “he’s a nice guy” slap: When Steinberg wanted to win a vote as Senate leader from 2008 to 2014, he usually won it. Who was the state leader who most consistently stood up to Jerry Brown? It was Steinberg. But it’s how Steinberg opposes that often leads him to being mislabeled and underestimated as a politician. Breton column in Sacramento Bee

Lawyer demanded $200,000 from Sacramento Councilman Warren after harassment claim — Sacramento City Councilman Allen Warren received a sharply worded letter in November demanding that he pay $200,000 to a former city aide who had accused him of sexual harassment. Sacramento Bee article

News Stories

Top Stories

California’s tech industry is headed toward a new frontier – California technology companies are poised to take the lead in developing new anti-drone and gun safety tools for the federal government – adding another layer of complexity to the West Coast industry’s relationship with East Coast intelligence agencies. McClatchy Newspapers article

Valley hospitals spend millions to build pediatric networks — It’s getting easier to find a doctor for a sick child in the San Joaquin Valley. Valley Children’s Hospital and Community Medical Centers – competitors for pediatric patients – are recruiting pediatricians and spending millions on buildings where they will work. Fresno Bee article

Jobs and the Economy

Mike Klocke: State of the City postmortem – Stockton’s annual State of the City event Thursday at the Port of Stockton was generally upbeat with an underlying tone of uncertainty. Klocke column in Stockton Record

Higher-paying job than San Francisco teacher? City baker, bricklayer — There is one way San Francisco schoolteachers could get a quick raise — quit and work instead for the city and county of San Francisco in just about any position. Cut hair, bake pastries, lay bricks or wash windows — and they’d start at a higher salary and earn bigger raises far more quickly. San Francisco Chronicle article

Steve Lopez: Tired of homelessness? Here are some opportunities to take action — As I’ve said, private citizens can do something besides throw their hands up in frustration. Whether motivated by compassion or by irritation with the spread of homeless encampments, I suggested they donate to or volunteer at one of the many nonprofits that assist people on a daily basis and often, quite literally, save lives. Lopez column in LA Times

Gallo Center celebrates record sales as 10 season’s acts revealed – After another record-breaking season, Modesto’s Gallo Center for the Arts has announced a 10th anniversary schedule with big names and proven favorites. The downtown performing arts venue recorded it’s seventh season in the black in a row since it originally opened in 2007. Gallo Center Chief Executive Officer Lynn Dickerson said this past season saw a record $5.475 million in ticket sales, up from $5.086 million the previous year. Modesto Bee article

Jock O’Connell: California creates self-inflicted barriers to trade – The Sacramento-based international trade economist affiliated with Beacon Economics writes, “It’s no wonder that state officials have historically struggled to find a role for the state to play in bolstering California’s exports and attracting foreign investment. Unfortunately, their proposals have tended to run from the perfectly dreadful (like opening state trade offices abroad) to the patently self-serving (offering to lead overseas trade delegations).” O’Connell op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Apple Union Square store opens to large crowds — Apple’s Union Square store opened its 42-foot tall sliding glass doors to shoppers Saturday, inviting a long line of fans eager to set their eyes on thenew store fixtures, snap photos of Apple executives and stroll through a room with roving technicians and trees. San Francisco Chronicle article


Sacramento Bee: California’s ‘historic’ drought isn’t history just yet – California has made historic strides in the past five years to change our mindset on wasting water. Let’s not backslide. It’s fine not to be harsh, but let’s stay on the right side of nature and history. Sacramento Bee editorial

Yorba Linda legal right turns nasty as residents seek to overturn water rate hike — Longtime residents are engaged in a legal brawl with their water provider, punctuated by vitriol and name-calling that some say reminds them of the 2016 presidential campaign. At issue is a $25-per-month rate hike that Yorba Linda Water District officials say was needed to keep the agency solvent after state-mandated water conservation blew a hole in its budget. LA Times article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Jeff Jardine: Mother grieves over life, death of troubled son shot by Modesto police — It is a mother’s right to grieve and to wonder: Why didn’t the police take more time to know and understand her son before shooting him fatally in a downtown Modesto parking garage in December? Jardine column in Modesto Bee


Excitement mixes with melancholy at Fresno State commencement — Standing in the crowd of proud parents and friends Saturday morning at the Save Mart Center, John and Natalie Toste shot to their feet as their daughter, Lilliana, heard her name called out as the winner of the President’s Medal at the 105th Fresno State commencement ceremony. Fresno Bee article

First generation to graduate: Hard work, willingness to serve vital to success – Debora Villalvazo is caught off guard when choosing a word to best describe herself. The 17-year-old is more focused on serving and helping her community than on herself. But she comes up with something that fits just right: “I would say I’m hard-working,” said Villalvazo. Stockton Record article

High school junior earns three college degrees – Most 16-year-old high schoolers are likely more interested in hanging out with friends, preparing for their driving test and liking one another’s pictures on Instagram. Middle College High School junior D’Angelo Martinez is a lot like that. Only he can also brag about his three associate degrees from San Joaquin Delta College. Stockton Record article

Joyce Terhaar: If we were counting – and we are – it’s been 56 days since request for UC Davis records – Friday marked the 56th day since The Sacramento Bee’s Diana Lambert filed a Public Records Act request with UC Davis asking for records to answer questions about whether the university is protecting certain intellectual property rights. Terhaar in Sacramento Bee

Student arrested after online shooting threat to Visalia school — A student at La Sierra Military Academy in Visalia was arrested Saturday after allegedly making threats about a school shooting on social media. Fresno Bee articleVisalia Times-Delta article

Health/Human Services

Lois Henry: Agency believes covering its rear is more important than protecting kids — Almost a year ago to the day I warned you that the public would have to keep its eyes peeled for another attempt by the state Department of Social Services to try and tuck child death records away from public inspection. Dang if I wasn’t right. Henry column in Bakersfield Californian

Other areas

Complexities, discord revealed as Kuchar leaves Philharmonic — His enthusiasm charmed musicians and donors. As the second longest-serving musical director in the orchestra’s storied history, he embraced with zeal the role of creative artist-in-chief. Kuchar’s relationship with management was rockier, at least the way he tells it. Fresno Bee article

South Stockton: Prayer vigil urges people to put action to words — For most, it was personal. James Hill, who lives in Sierra Vista homes: “There’s been so much violence in the neighborhood. I want to make this community a better place one step at a time.” Stockton Record article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – Hillary Clinton is the best choice for California Democrats on June 7 primary; The Fresno Bee offers its recommendations for the June 7 primary.

Modesto Bee – Congress drives a wedge deeper into the heart of politics as Republicans make stand against rights for transgender citizens.

Sacramento Bee – California has made historic strides in the past five years to change our mindset on wasting water. Let’s not backslide. It’s fine not to be harsh, but let’s stay on the right side of nature and history.