November 11, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories

Unfunded or undone: A Trump presidency eyes California policies — In California, Democrats control the statehouse—powerful Republican politicians are about as endangered a species as the Delta smelt. But with Republicans poised to take control of everything in Washington, here’s a look at policies that experts say are in jeopardy of being unfunded, undercut or utterly undone. CALmatters article

Will Devin Nunes end up in the Trump administration? – Now that Donald Trump is president-elect, the rumor mill is kicking into overdrive on just who might serve in his administration. Add Rep. Devin Nunes’ name to the list, even though the Tulare Republican dismissed the chatter in an interview. There’s no concrete details, but if the possibility exists, Nunes’ areas of expertise are pretty obvious. First and foremost is his current position as House Intelligence Committee chair. It’s not hard to see Nunes at the State Department, or slotted in somewhere in the national security apparatus. Fresno Bee article

Gov. Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown warns Trump that California won’t back down on climate change — Gov. Jerry Brown said Californians should do their part in helping unify the country after the surprise election of President-elect Donald Trump, but also insists the state will “stay true” to its principles. LA Times articleSacramento Bee article

Valley politics

Paul Hurley: All you need to know about the election — Sifting through Tuesday’s local election results does not yield dramatic conclusions. Certainly it wouldn’t withstand the kind of scrutiny the national election will be subjected to over the coming months. But the local results reveal voter trends that can be signposts to where our communities are heading. Hurley column in Visalia Times-Delta

More than 20,000 Merced County ballots remain to be counted — Merced County Elections employees are working to process about 21,000 mail-in and provisional ballots received Tuesday in order to certify the election results by the Dec. 6 deadline. Merced Sun-Star article

One-third of ballots from Tuesday’s election still uncounted in Stanislaus County — More than 60,000 ballots from Tuesday’s election remain uncounted in Stanislaus County, and when they are counted, it could change the outcome of local races and the Measure L transportation tax. Modesto Bee article

Critics of Oakdale Irrigation District’s Santos submit recall petitions — Petitions asking for the recall of Oakdale Irrigation District board member Linda Santos were filed Thursday with the Stanislaus County clerk-recorder’s office. Modesto Bee articleModesto Bee editorial

Latest Results:

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

He’s in: Antonio Villaraigosa formally running for California governor — Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who mused that he would love to be governor and then spent more than a year devising a return, formally announced his candidacy for the office Thursday, pledging to rebuild the middle class by investing in schools, repairing infrastructure and drawing a sharp contrast with Republican President-elect Donald Trump.  Sacramento Bee articleLA Times articleAP articleKQED report

Tom Steyer: After Trump win, I may not run for governor — While he had never formally announced a run for governor of California, environmental activist Tom Steyer was widely expected to seek the office in 2018. The billionaire investor had spent millions of dollars on California ballot measures, including propositions against the death penalty and for a tobacco tax. The election of Donald Trump as the next U.S. president has greatly influenced Steyer’s political calculus. He’s considering focusing on his activism to combat Trump rather than engaging in a long political campaign. KQED report

There will be fewer women in California’s Legislature in 2017, but number of Latina members grows – Several legislative races are still too close to be called, but leaders of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus say they expect to lose two seats each in the state Assembly and the Senate. LA Times articleCALmatters article

Newly elected Kamala Harris vows to fight Trump on immigration – Kamala Harris said Thursday that in her new role as California’s U.S. senator she will to do everything in her power to protect immigrants, both legal and those who entered the country illegally, and criticized Donald Trump’s demands for mass deportations and a giant border wall as “absolutely unrealistic.” LA Times article

Kamala Harris plans to keep her day job until she begins U.S. Senate term — California’s newly elected U.S. senator, Kamala Harris, said she plans to keep doing her day job as state attorney general until the day she is sworn into her new office. LA Times article

Lacy Peterson’s family gratified by death penalty votes – People whose lives were forever altered by the murder of Modesto’s Laci Peterson might be breathing a little easier, now that it’s certain Scott Peterson won’t suddenly become a lifer. That was a real possibility before Tuesday, when 54 percent of California voters rejected Proposition 62. It would have eliminated the death penalty and commuted sentences for the 750 inmates on death row including Scott Peterson, to life in prison without parole. Modesto Bee article

Prop 66 hasn’t been called by elections officials, but death penalty opponents are already taking it to court — Proposition 66, which aims to speed the death penalty process in California, is still pending official approval, with election returns showing 50.9% of voters supported it. But former state Atty. Gen. John Van de Kamp and lawyer Ron Briggs, who wrote the proposition that reinstated the state’s death penalty nearly 40 years ago, are already trying to block the implementation of the ballot measure’s provisions. LA Times article

Californians say farewell to the plastic bag — Californians now face a new grocery-store reality: No more plastic bags. Voters approved Proposition 67, the statewide ban on carry-out plastic bags, 52 percent to 48 percent. Sacramento Bee articl

Other areas

Stockton Record: Questions linger after poor-taste ‘skit’ in DA’s office party — It’s what we know — and what we don’t know — that is so concerning about the in-poor-taste “skit” performed by some staff members of the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office during a recent Halloween party. Stockton Record editorial

Sacramento Mayor-elect Steinberg names chief of staff, senior team — Mayor-elect Darrell Steinberg has picked his right-hand man: Mike McKeever, the well-known transportation and urban-growth guru. Sacramento Bee article

Presidential Politics

Anti-Trump protestors gather in downtown Modesto – About 100 people people gathered in downtown Modesto on Thursday evening joining protesters around the nation rejecting Donald Trump as their next president. Modesto Bee article

Anti-Trump protestors swarm downtown LA for third night; graffiti and vandalism reported – Hundreds of people flooded the streets of downtown Los Angeles on Thursday and marched between City Hall and the Staples Center, marking a third night of demonstrations against the election of Donald Trump. LA Times article 

Is Obamacare over? Trump’s vow to abolish health insurance plan raises hopes, alarms in California – Is Obamacare over? On his first day in office, President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly vowed, he will abolish the Affordable Care Act, the contentious health care law that has been both applauded and hated across the country. But whether that will happen – or what it will mean for consumers – is one of the big question marks in the aftermath of Tuesday’s election. Sacramento Bee article

Obama is trying to stop Trump from undoing his biggest achievements – Suddenly, the president’s signature accomplishments are in peril on climate changeimmigration and foreign policy. His chief legislative triumph, the healthcare reform law known as Obamacare, is one that Republicans in Congress are eager to repeal and Trump has promised to replace. LA Times article

Clinton on track to win California by widest margin in last 80 years of presidential elections – Highlighting a growing political divide between California and the rest of the nation, Clinton is on course to defeat Republican Donald Trump by 29 percentage points this election, earning 62 percent of votes counted so far to 33 percent of votes for Trump. The last time a presidential election was that lopsided in California was in 1936 when Franklin Roosevelt beat Alf Landon by 36 points.  Sacramento Bee article

California elections chief slams Trump immigration adviser as ‘threat to diverse communities’ – It didn’t take long for California to start pushing back on the Trump administration. Following reports that President-elect Donald Trump’s immigration transition team includes Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state and a leading hardliner on illegal immigration, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla issued a statement Thursday slamming the appointment as “a threat to diverse communities throughout our nation” and “an imminent assault on our collective voting rights and civil rights.” Sacramento Bee articleLA Times article 

A primer on executive power: Trump can’t end same-sex marriages, but he could speed up deportations – The chief executive has a lot of authority over the government, as President Obama has demonstrated. But as Obama has found, he also faces tremendous constraints from Congress, the courts and existing laws. Here are some areas in which President Trump could act quickly and where he could not. LA Times article

Liberal groups vow all-out war with Trump over women’s health, climate change, civil liberties – While Democratic and Republican officeholders who’d butted heads with Donald Trump are putting up white flags, advocacy groups for the causes he’s denigrated warned Wednesday that they will fight him at every turn. McClatchy Newspapers article

Possible Trump Treasury pick is accused of deepening California foreclosure crisis – If Donald Trump nominates campaign finance chairman Steven Mnuchin to head the Treasury Department, he’s sure to get a fight from advocacy groups that think the banker exacerbated the foreclosure crisis in California. McClatchy Newspapers article

Valley Trump delegates weigh in on their candidate’s presidential victory – Tom Fife saw it coming. Michael Der Manouel Jr. wasn’t quite as certain, even though he called it with a final email to some of his employees. Donald Trump is now the president-elect, and the two central San Joaquin Valley supporters couldn’t be happier — or more hopeful. Fresno Bee article

How the polls missed Donald Trump’s big win – At a conference Thursday hosted by Capitol Weekly, California pollsters offered theories about how the surveys got it wrong: an enthusiasm gap for Clinton that depressed Democratic turnout, a herd mentality that discouraged people from seriously considering the few polls that showed Trump ahead, not enough polling of battleground states like Michigan that many assumed were solid blue. Sacramento Bee article
How Trump may alter California’s environment and energy landscape – Not surprisingly, environmentalists and climate activists are alarmed by what a Trump presidency will mean for efforts to reduce human-generated emissions that are warming the planet. And they wonder what Trump’s policies might mean for California, which is considered a pioneer in efforts to conserve the environment and fight climate change. KQED report

What happens to Medi-Cal under a Trump administration? – President-elect Donald Trump has vowed that he will repeal Obamacare and replace it with something “better.” Specifics are scarce, but one plan Trump has outlined is to change how the federal government funds Medicaid, health coverage for low-income people.  KQED report

Danny Morrison: America, you lied to me about what you have achieved – Electing Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States clearly tells me that America will never exemplify what it claims to be on paper. The Constitution is conceptual. Not actual. If you don’t look like the majority, you’ll never fully achieve this faux “American Dream” that we’ve been force-fed throughout our lifetimes. Morrison column in Bakersfield Californian

Local Trump supporters ‘ecstatic’ – Hanford resident Glenda Dwyer was “happy as hell” Tuesday, and it had nothing to do with her failure to get elected to the District C Hanford City Council seat. It was Donald Trump’s election as the 45th president of the U.S. that had her fired up. Hanford Sentinel article

Sacramento Bee: Forget #CalExit: Just defend California against Trump – Led by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, Californians who voted against Donald Trump are talking about seceding. But a more constructive use of that time and talent would be to stand strong and defend California’s economy and values against hostile federal legislation that is sure to come. Sacramento Bee editorial 

Trump University trial goes on in San Diego despite election result – In less than three weeks, the class-action lawsuit against Donald Trump and his defunct Trump University is set to go to trial in a downtown San Diego courtroom. LA Times article

Bill Whalen: The best cure for America’s post-election hangover — We could use a break from the overreaching talk of a mandate that swept Trump into office and from Clinton’s supporters scapegoating FBI Director James Comey and his late-election machinations. Whalen column in Sacramento Bee

News Stories

Top Stories

Report forecasts slower growth in Valley economy — Changing agriculture-related legislation is expected to have a slowing effect on the central San Joaquin Valley economy in the near future, according to a report released this week. Merced Sun-Star article

What would a recreational marijuana market look like in California? – Cannabis will be taxed more than tobacco, marketed like wine, funded like the riskiest of start-ups and grown under bank-like security. That’s the emerging vision of what a consumer market for marijuana, expected to be worth $6 billion by 2020, is going to look like in California, where voters on Tuesday approved recreational use of cannabis. LA Times article

Twin tunnels: City warns of harm to drinking water – Gov. Jerry Brown’s Delta tunnels could harm the quality of Stockton’s drinking water to the extent that water rates would need to be doubled or tripled, a city official testified on Thursday. Stockton Record article

Jobs and the Economy

Kern takes up battle over marijuana – again – A week after California voters chose to legalize recreational marijuana, the county will start grappling with how to handle businesses that want to distribute the drug. Bakersfield Californian article

Study: Fresno residents spent too much of their income on rent – Fresno is No. 7 on a list of the 19 most cost-burdened cities nationwide for renters. About 57.75 percent of Fresno renters spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent, according to ABODO, an online apartment website. Fresno Bee article

Taxpayers missed out on millions in revenue from LA County Fairgrounds, audits find — Los Angeles County likely lost out on more than $6 million in revenue over the last decade because it didn’t adequately monitor its lease with the operator of the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds, according to a new state audit. LA Times article

Soccer stadium and huge railyard project get green light from Sacramento City Council – Many of the roads are paved, the bridges built and the street lights on. Now Sacramento’s massive development of its historic downtown railyard has the official go-ahead from the City Council. Sacramento Bee article

Sacramento’s smart parking meters are sending drivers the wrong message — Some of Sacramento’s new “smart” meters have not been as smart as advertised, it turns out. The city’s Parkmobile payment app has been mistakenly sending some drivers a “Parking is Free” message at certain meters after 6 p.m, even though those meters are in zones where payment is required until 8 p.m. or 10 p.m. Sacramento Bee article


La Nina arrives in California.  What that means for the drought — La Niña has arrived, bringing California the possibility of a relatively dry winter. With the state entering its fifth year of drought, the National Weather Service made it official Thursday, following weeks of speculation, declaring that the country will see a winter of La Niña. That’s a weather phenomenon associated with cooler-than-average temperatures in the surface of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean near the equator. Sacramento Bee articleLA Times article

GMO crops headed for ban in Sonoma County — Sonoma County voters appear to have banned genetically modified crops in unincorporated areas of the county, approving Measure M by a margin of 56-44 percent in unofficial results. KQED report

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Sacramento police running low on bullets – The Sacramento Police Department on Thursday will ask the City Council for $300,000 to buy ammunition to meet training demands as new officers are hired. Sacramento Bee article 

Sacramento police shooting lawsuit could be settled through confidential mediation — The city of Sacramento will attempt to settle a civil lawsuit over the fatal police shooting of Joseph Mann through confidential mediation and wants the court to seal evidence released in the case, according to court documents filed this week. Sacramento Bee article

Hanford, Lemoore burglaries drop off after October spike – As Hanford and Lemoore police continue to investigate a surge of burglaries in both cities last month, the trend appears to have slowed down. Hanford Sentinel article 

Block of Ponce de Leon suffers fourth homicide — A man was fatally shot Thursday night in one of Stockton’s most violent neighborhoods. It was the city’s second homicide in less than four hours. Stockton Record article

California denies parole to serial killer of 25 farmworkers — A California man once known as the nation’s worst serial killer was denied parole again for murdering and mutilating more than two-dozen farmworkers 45 years ago, officials said Thursday. AP article


In short term at least, Trump presidency unlikely to disrupt California education –  As Californians adjust to the seismic shifts of Tuesday’s elections, education leaders are trying to divine what impact a Trump presidency will have on education in California. If there is good news, it is this: at least in the short-term, education reforms in place in California will continue largely unaffected. EdSource article

Districts pass $23 billion in construction bonds, parcel taxes –  Not only did voters approve the state’s borrowing of $9 billion for school construction, but they also added on $23 billion in local bonds. EdSource article

Honig says California’s ‘build and support’ strategy for schools will pay off – Former California Superintendent of Public Instruction Bill Honig has launched a new website, Building Better Schools, which includes articles, links to research and a discussion forum on strategies for school improvement. EdSource article

Charges being sought against latest Kern High School District chief put on leave – A criminal charge is being sought against the most recent interim Kern High School District police chief who was put on leave earlier this month. Kern County Assistant District Attorney Scott Spielman confirmed that the Bakersfield Police Department recommended an eavesdropping charge against interim KHSD Chief David Edmiston on Nov. 3. Bakersfield Californian article

Hijab-wearing woman describes San Jose State attack — Esra Altun was walking back to her car at San Jose State University on Wednesday afternoon when someone grabbed her hijab from behind and yanked it backward. San Jose Mercury News article


Why the San Joaquin Valley’s air is so bad right now – Don’t hold your breath that the San Joaquin Valley’s stagnant air will leave the region anytime soon. Air quality has deteriorated over the past week as pollutants are being trapped closer to ground level by the warmer air of an inversion layer that is also lower than normal. Fresno Bee article

Voters approve plastic bag ban. What happens next? – The new law, which environmentalists say is vital in reducing litter and ocean pollution, takes effect in about five weeks after the California Secretary of State certifies the election Dec. 16.  San Jose Mercury News article

Obama’s new rule would boost solar and wind energy on public lands, including in California – The Obama administration took action Thursday to boost development of solar and wind energy on public lands, including in California — part of the president’s strategy to develop cleaner domestic energy and reduce emissions blamed for global warming. LA Times article

Dolores Weller: Valley air quality plan gets a do-over, but more can be done – The director of the Central Valley Air Quality Coalition writes, “There’s plenty of misinformation related to our air pollution, where it comes from and what actually can be done about it. Over the next 90 days, the public is invited to participate in a series of workshops led by the California Air Resources Board to examine pollution sources, more ways to reduce pollution and ultimately to develop a new health protective plan that all can agree on.” Weller op-ed in Fresno Bee 

Merced supervisors approve ‘green’ facilities updates — The Merced County Board of Supervisors this week approved a project that will update county energy use and move toward greener consumption habits while saving money. Merced Sun-Star article

Health/Human Services 

Obamacare, facing uncertain future, sees surge in signups on day after election — Health & Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell tweeted that on Wednesday, the day after the election, had the highest enrollment numbers this period. Obamacare enrollment for 2017 opened on Nov. 1 with sharp increases in premiums. For now, open enrollment continues through Jan. 31. McClatchy Newspapers article

Rural Health Clinic to move to more roomy Los Banos site — Los Banos-area residents soon will have better access to health care options with the move of the Rural Health Clinic to a larger facility that will be able to treat more patients in less time. Merced Sun-Star article


High-speed rail is years away.  But it will mess up your commute right now — Motorists on Highway 180 near downtown Fresno will encounter a major shift in traffic patterns sometime in the coming days as construction continues for high-speed rail.  Fresno Bee article

High-speed rail authority wants OK to buy overseas — The California High Speed Rail Authority is requesting waivers of the Buy America rule from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), stating there is no US supplier for the high-speed trainsets they need. Visalia Times-Delta article

Tulare council to consider locations for south Tulare interchange — A new or improved Highway 99 interchange at the southern tip of Tulare is needed to bolster the chances for development in that part of town, Interim City Manager Paul Melikian said. Visalia Times-Delta articl

Other areas

Merced County provides ballistics gear for first responders – Merced County is one of the first in the state to provide ballistics gear to first responders such as firefighters and EMTs, made possible through a grant, officials said Thursday during a news conference. Merced Sun-Star article

Ashley Snee Giovannettone: Why Veterans Day is even more important this year – The Sacramento consultant and former spokeswoman for former President George W. Bush and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger writes, “Veterans Day comes at the exact time when we need the reminder that much of our nation’s history is marked by fine men and women who have selflessly volunteered to go into harm’s way to protect our people and the oppressed around the world. So many have set their comfort and safety aside for the good of others.” Giovannettone op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Fresno veteran Al Perry: 43 years of service is ‘paying my debt’ — It was 1966 and there were 385,000 U.S. servicemen in Vietnam when college freshman Al Perry joined the Reserve Officers Training program. Perry understood his decision could almost certainly lead to combat. But he believed it was his duty to serve. Fresno Bee article

From Hamburger Hill to D.C., local veteran gave a lifetime of service – The Monkees’ “Daydream Believer” was No. 1 on the Hit Parade, LBJ was still in the White House, and the Summer of Love was quickly becoming the winter of our discontent when 18-year-old Army Pfc. David Jackson landed in Vietnam in December 1967. Bakersfield Californian article 

For some veterans, every day is a battle – Veterans are some of the most proud people on the planet. And, they have every right to be. At the same time, military service is among the most tolling career paths anyone can choose –– whether it’s four years or 20. Discipline, structure, being on guard and gruff are all part of a lifestyle instilled in many service members. Visalia Times-Delta article

Water manager receives award for his actions during Erskine fire – Chris Whitley, California Water Service manager for the Kern River Valley area, won the National Association of Water Companies 2016 Living Water Award for his efforts during and after the devastating Erskine Fire. Bakersfield Californian article

The past at our fingertips: Research center opens — Dozens of invited guests and elected officials toured the Bakersfield Californian Foundation Research Center at Kern Pioneer Village on Thursday when a significant portion of the museum’s vast archives became more accessible to the public. Bakersfield Californian article

Valley Editorial Roundup 

Fresno Bee – How California can be a role model for legal pot.

Modesto Bee – Oakdale Irrigation District recall is unfair and should be voided.

Sacramento Bee –- Will Trump keep all of his campaign promises? Let’s hope not; Led by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, Californians who voted against Donald Trump are talking about seceding. But a more constructive use of that time and talent would be to stand strong and defend California’s economy and values against hostile federal legislation that is sure to come.

Stockton Record – It’s what we know — and what we don’t know — that is so concerning about the in-poor-taste “skit” performed by some staff members of the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office during a recent Halloween party.