November 21, 2017





Local/Regional Politics:


Income, pay growing slowly in Valley

Fresno Bee

Fresno County employers paid out more than $22.1 billion to compensate their workers last year. How much of that did you take home? New figures from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis revealed that per capita income – the average personal income for every man, woman and child – in Fresno County amounted to just over $40,000 in 2016. That was up 2.5 percent compared to 2015, and includes income from employment, unemployment insurance, dividends, government benefits, retirement payments or just about anything else that puts money in your pocket.


United Airlines will fly Fresno to Chicago OHare in mid-2018

Fresno Bee

United Airlines will add new daily summertime nonstop flights between Fresno andChicago’s O’Hare International Airport starting in June 2018, adding to the number of options available for Fresno travelers heading to the Midwest and beyond.


TRMC hiring despite hospital being closed

Visalia Times-Delta

Former Tulare Regional Medical Center staff may have something to be thankful for following the Thursday holiday. The Bay Area-based crisis consultants brought in to help with the management transition announced interviews start on Nov. 27.


Community of Monson celebrates new water system


With the turn of a faucet, the people of Monson finally have safe drinking water, running through their homes. Monday morning the community celebrated the completion of a new water system and well. Monson resident Lazara Lala Luengas can now easily wash dishes. “I would like to do my dishes with hot water, so I would boil my water,” said Luengas. “I would take a pot and heat it up to do my dishes and I would do the same to shower.”


Wonderful College Prep Academy Lauded by Kern Co Supervisors

Bakersfield Californian

The Wonderful Company’s College Prep Academy got some love last week from the Kern County Board of Supervisors, which lauded the charter school’s efforts to help low-income and rural families learn their way into higher education. Wonderful, the international company that farms and ranches in western Kern County, runs college prep and agriculture prep programs in Lost Hills and Delano. Noemi Donoso talked to the board about the dramatic increase in services the school is offering children from high schools from Wasco to all across the southern San Joaquin Valley. (Editor’s Note:  The Wonderful Co. is a sponsor of The Maddy Report and our Wonderful Public Sector Graduate Fellowships)


Brik McDill: We deserve some answers from McCarthy

Bakersfield Californian

For our benefit, and the sake of transparency in his 2018 campaign, it would be helpful to have some information as to why our Representative Kevin McCarthy:


Merced approves ordinance to allow weed businesses

Merced Sun-Star

A split Merced City Council approved a cannabis ordinance on Monday that would allow commercial marijuana businesses in town, including dispensaries. The 5-2 vote approved dispensaries in zones around the city with a buffer of 1,000 feet f


State Politics:


California Politics Podcast: Questions and criticism for Janet Napolitano

Los Angeles Times

Few presidents of the University of California have ever had the political resume of Janet Napolitano. In the coming weeks and months, she may need those skills more than ever. On this week’s California Politics Podcast, we discuss the new report that concluded there was “interference” by Napolitano’s staff during a state audit into her office’s finances.


Opponents of California gas-tax increase get green light to launch petition drive for repeal initiative

Los Angeles Times

Republican activists were given the green light Monday to launch a petition drive aimed at qualifying a measure for the November 2018 ballot that would repeal recently enacted gas taxes and vehicle fees meant for road repairs and mass transit improvement. The proposed state constitutional amendmentwould also require future gas taxes to be approved by the voters.


The art of the deal — Capitol style

Capitol Weekly

We often read about the “wheeling and dealing” among elected officials that occurs in state capitols across this country, including Sacramento. While some Capitol observers refer to it as lawful deal-making, others characterize it as improper, or even unlawful, vote trading.


How CA state workers can report nepotism

Sacramento Bee

The report that detailed a dense web of personal relationships at a California tax agency was the first deep look at nepotism in the state workforce by an auditing arm of the State Personnel Board. It likely won’t be the last, said State Personnel Board Executive Officer Suzanne Ambrose.


Gubernatorial Candidates and Their Taxes…

·       A government paycheck makes up most of California treasurer John Chiang’s income, taxes show Los Angeles Times

·       Delaine Eastin’s tax returns show most of her income came from state pension, investments Los Angeles Times

·       Gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom shared his tax returns — here’s what we learned Los Angeles Times

·       Note: Former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is planning to release his taxes next Tuesday


Leading Democratic candidates for California governor back universal preschool


In what would be a significant shift from Gov. Jerry Brown’s position on early education, the four leading Democratic candidates running to replace him next year say they are committed to offering universal preschool in California.


Newsom has bipartisan target on his back as apparent front-runner for governor

Next year’s race for governor is threatening to get ugly early, with a pair of candidates taking dead aim at Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the perceived front-runner in the race to replace termed-out Gov. Jerry Brown. With the June 5 primary still more than six months away, Democratic state Treasurer John Chiang and Republican businessman John Cox are both spending campaign cash to slam Newsom for his work as San Francisco’s mayor and, in Cox’s case, for Newsom’s association with Brown.

See also:

·       GOP candidate John Cox launches attack against Democrat Gavin Newsom in California governor’s race  Los Angeles Times


L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson endorses Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson endorsed Antonio Villaraigosa for governor on Monday, telling a group of underprivileged and minority youths that it was critical to elect a man who understood their struggles and would take their values to Sacramento.


Federal Politics:


California lawmakers upset that wildfire money is left out of White House’s disaster aid request

Los Angeles Times

Every day, Mike Thompson hears a new story about how last month’s fires in Northern California have affected people’s lives. Insurance is being denied. Tourism is down. Some companies have laid off workers. “Block after block of homes are wiped out and cars are melted down to their skeletal remains,” the Napa Valley congressman said of his travels in Santa Rosa over the weekend.

See also:

·       Trump administration rejects California lawmakers’ criticism on wildfires aid San Francisco Chronicle


Investigating U.S. Senator Kamala Harris’ Chief of Staff

American Consequences

On January 3, Kamala Harris was sworn in as U.S. Senator from California by then-Vice President Joe Biden. The C-SPAN tape of the ceremony shows her chief of staff, Nathan Barankin, beaming in the background. The day before her swearing-in was Harris’ last day serving as the attorney general of California. It was also Barankin’s last day as chief deputy attorney general of California. Why does this matter?


Democratic donor Tom Steyer will run Trump impeachment ads in Times Square

Los Angeles Times

Top Democratic donor Tom Steyer is taking his effort to impeach President Trump to New York City’s Times Square with billboard ads that will run until New Year’s Day.


From City Hall to the White House? Eric Garcetti May Try to Defy the Odds

New York Times

There have been governors and generals, senators and members of Congress, secretaries of state and vice presidents. There was even a billionaire business executive chosen as commander in chief. But never in the 228 years since Gen. George Washington was sworn in as president has a sitting mayor been elected to the White House.




Northern California shooter exploited ‘honor system’ in telling court he had no guns

Los Angeles Times

When Kevin Janson Neal told a judge in February that he’d turned over his only firearm, authorities relied on the “honor system,” as they often do, in taking him at his word, a Tehama County sheriff’s official said. In the statement he made in a Feb. 22 court filing in response to a civil harassment restraining order against him, Neal said that he had turned in a single pistol to a Red Bluff gun business and that he had no other guns, records show.


FCC plans total repeal of net neutrality rules


Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai will reveal plans to his fellow commissioners on Tuesday to fully dismantle the agency’s Obama-era net neutrality regulations, people familiar with the plans said, in a major victory for the telecom industry in the long-running policy debate. The commission will vote on the proposal in December, some seven months after it laid the groundwork for scuttling the rules that require internet service providers like Comcast or AT&T to treat web traffic equally.


Leading Trump Census pick causes alarm


The Trump administration is leaning toward naming Thomas Brunell, a Texas professor with no government experience, to the top operational job at the U.S. Census Bureau, according to two people who have been briefed on the bureau’s plans. Brunell, a political science professor, has testified more than half a dozen times on behalf of Republican efforts to redraw congressional districts, and is the author of a 2008 book titled “Redistricting and Representation: Why Competitive Elections Are Bad for America.”

See also:

·       The 2020 Census may be wildly inaccurate—and it matters more than you think  Brookings Institute


Science backs it up: Political divisions are impacting Thanksgiving

The Spokesman-Review

It’s not just your family: Political disagreements are shortening Thanksgiving dinners across the U.S. Politically divided families cut their Thanksgiving dinner short by 20 to 30 minutes in 2016, according to a draft paper by Ryne Rohla, a doctoral candidate in economics at Washington State University, and M. Keith Chen, a behavioral economist at UCLA. The pair used smartphone GPS data and precinct-level election results to analyze where Americans spent Thanksgiving last year. It builds on Rohla’s work to create a precinct-level map of the 2016 electionearlier this year.






Sunday, November 26, at 10 a.m. on ABC 30 – Maddy Report: California’s Top Ten – Guest: John Howard, Editor of Capitol Weekly. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.


Sunday, November 26, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) –Maddy Report  – Valley Views Edition“Most Influential Leaders in California and the Valley” – Guests: Tim Sheehan with the Fresno Bee, Paul Hurley, formerly with the Visalia Times Delta and Mike Dunbar with the Merced Sun Star and the Modesto Bee. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.


Sunday, November 26, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – Informe Maddy– Gov’s Twin Tunnels Project: Planning Snafus? Guest: Margarita Fernandez with the office of the California State Auditor. Host: Maddy Institute Program Coordinator, Maria Jeans.


Support the Maddy Daily HERE. Thank you!




Topics in More Detail…




Giving thanks

Sierra Star

Happy Thanksgiving. Today we pause to gather together with family and friends to share a meal as we give thanks to God for our many blessings. Ever since the Pilgrims arrived on our shores, the prayerful thanks have been offered. The traditional plays in schools showing the Pilgrims and the Indians gathering for a meal is wishful thinking. Without the assistance of those members of the tribes in the area surrounding Plymouth Rock, the Pilgrims most assuredly would have perished.


Sacramento fails on parking meters. Why is it so hard?
Sacramento Bee

No one wants to get a parking ticket, especially when it’s not your fault. City Hall needs to get to the bottom of a troubling spike in bogus tickets for expired meters.

Can South Los Angeles do revitalization without gentrification and displacement?

Los Angeles Times

For the first time in nearly 20 years, Los Angeles leaders are considering a new blueprint for development in South L.A. The City Council is expected to vote this week on two new community plans for South and Southeast Los Angeles. The votes come as the city launches an ambitious push to rewrite…


The White House demonstrates outrageous neglect

San Francisco Chronicle

President Trump filed a request to Congress for supplemental disaster aid last week. There was one very conspicuous absence in the $44 billion request: California. Northern California is suffering badly …




In These States, Past Marijuana Crimes Can Go Away

Pew Charitable Trusts | Stateline

Some states have made it possible for people to hide past convictions for possession, cultivation and manufacture of marijuana.






California prisons failing inmates freed from solitary, advocates charge

San Francisco Chronicle

California prisons no longer hold large numbers of prisoners for a decade or more in solitary confinement, but advocates said Monday that prison officials have failed to provide promised mental health services and other programs for traumatized inmates released into the general prison population.


Public Safety:


More than $98 million in community policing grants awarded

Sacramento Bee

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Monday announced COPS Hiring Program grants, saying 80 percent of the 179 agencies sharing $98 million in grants agreed to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in their detention facilities.




Lawmakers to investigate response to Wine Country fires

San Francisco Chronicle

California lawmakers concerned that the state was ill-equipped to fight last month’s catastrophic Wine Country fires plan to hold hearings beginning next month to evaluate the response, including apparent shortcomings in a mutual-aid system designed to quickly rally first responders. A Chronicle story published Sunday revealed that numerous mutual-aid requests in fire emergencies have gone unfilled in the past few years, including many made during the critical early hours of the October fires that ravaged much of the North Bay.




October 2017 Job Report

Center for Jobs and the Economy

California Employment Development Department’s (EDD) latest release shows on a seasonally adjusted basis, total employment was up 97,200 from September, while the number of unemployed dropped by 34,900. The labor force rose by 62,300. California’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate improved to 4.9%. California tied with Illinois, Mississippi, and New Jersey for the 8th highest unemployment rate among the states. The unadjusted rate dropped from 5.2% in October 2016 to 4.3%. Total US employment saw a seasonally adjusted decline of 484,000 from September, while the number of unemployed dropped by 281,000. The national unemployment rate was down 0.1 point to 4.1%. The national labor force numbers eased by 765,000.






Leading Democratic candidates for California governor back universal preschool


In what would be a significant shift from Gov. Jerry Brown’s position on early education, the four leading Democratic candidates running to replace him next year say they are committed to offering universal preschool in California.


60 years after Brown v. Board of Education, how racially balanced are America’s public schools?

Brookings Institute

It’s been more than 60 years since the Supreme Court, in Brown v. Board of Education, ruled “separate but equal” schools unconstitutionalIn that time, school populations have diversified, thanks in large part to an increase in the numbers of Hispanic and Asian students attending U.S. schools. But how closely do America’s traditional public and charter schools look like the communities they serve? And if schools’ student bodies don’t reflect their neighborhoods’ racial makeup, how come?


Dual-Language Immersion Programs Raise Student Achievement in English


Dual-language immersion (DLI) programs — which provide both native English speakers and English learners with general academic instruction in two languages from kindergarten onward — are proliferating rapidly in the United States. Although precise counts of DLI programs are not available, recent estimates place the figure between 1,000 and 2,000 nationally, with substantial recent growth in Utah, North Carolina, Delaware, and New York City.







Keystone XL pipeline gets Nebraska’s approval, clearing a key hurdle in 9-year effort and allowing Trump to claim a win

Washington Post

TransCanada’s $8 billion Keystone XL pipeline got the go-ahead from the Nebraska Public Service Commission on Monday, clearing the last regulatory hurdle in a nine-year effort to build a line to carry thick crude oil from Alberta’s tar sands region to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast. But the five-member commission rejected TransCanada’s preferred route and voted to approve an alternative plan that would move the pipeline further east. The route of the new pipeline, which would carry 830,000 barrels a day of crude, would circumvent more of the state’s ecologically delicate Sandhills region.




Utility regulators used private lawyers to challenge criminal probe of agency

San Diego Union-Tribune

California Public Utilities Commission lawyers repeatedly sought to quash court-approved search warrants after utility regulators last year promised they would cooperate with an Attorney General’s Office criminal investigation, newly released records show.




California shows its Obamacare support by outspending US 4-to-1 on ads

Los Angeles Times

The marketing blitz is on. Californians are getting barraged with online pop-up ads, radio spots and television commercials, all aimed at persuading them to sign up for Affordable Care Act health plans during this year’s open-enrollment season. Covered California, the state’s Obamacare exchange, is wielding a monster marketing budget that devotes $45 million to ads, including $18 million for TV and $8 million for radio.

See also:

·       Marketing ‘Obamacare’ With Less Help From the Feds  Pew Charitable Trust | Stateline


Record-low 6.8% of Californians are uninsured, CDC estimates

San Francisco Chronicle

The percentage of Californians without health insurance reached a record low 6.8 percent during the first six months of 2017, according to new estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The figure, released Thursday, is down slightly from the 7.2 percent uninsured rate from a year ago, which was at the time a record low — and significantly lower than the 17 percent uninsured rate in 2013, before the Affordable Care Act took effect. The uninsured rate is dropping faster in California than it is nationally; the U.S. uninsured rate fell from 14.4 percent in 2013 to 9 percent in 2017.


Repealing the individual mandate would do substantial harm

Brookings Institute

The tax legislation reported by the Senate Finance Committee last week included repeal of the individual mandate, which was created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and requires individuals to obtain health insurance coverage or pay a penalty. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that this proposal would cause large reductions in insurance coverage, reaching 13 million people in the long run.


State gets 370 applications for medical marijuana licenses

Merced Sun-Star

State officials say they’ve received more than 300 applications to operate 60 dispensaries that will sell medical marijuana. The Ohio Board of Pharmacy said on Monday that it had received 370 applications to operate the dispensaries the state expects to have up and running in about a year. The deadline for applications was Friday.


New push on Parkinson’s disease

Capitol Weekly

A “new era” in the search for a cure for Parkinson’s disease was heralded this month in an article in a prominent scientific journal that explored research involving more than $52 million and an organization called GForce-PD.




Federal judge blocks Trump’s executive order to cut funding to ‘sanctuary’ cities


A federal judge has permanently blocked President Trump’s executive order to cut funding from cities that limit cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities. U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick issued the ruling Monday in lawsuits brought by two California counties: San Francisco and Santa Clara.

See also:

·       Judge Permanently Blocks Trump Order on Sanctuary Cities  WSJ


Here’s how a Trump-backed bill to slash legal immigration could affect Sacramento

Sacramento Bee

A proposal backed by President Donald Trump to cut legal immigration to the United States in half would likely have a profound effect on the Sacramento region. The bill by two Republican U.S. senators would create a merit-based system for issuing green cards that bestow permanent legal status on immigrants. The current system favors family members of residents already in the United States.


With prototypes of the border wall in place, both Mexicans and Californians are talking about Trump’s plan

Orange County Register

President Donald Trump’s self-described “big, beautiful” border wall is taking shape with eight 30-foot prototypes rising in San Diego — stark barriers that have not impressed those living on the Tijuana side of the Mexican border.




SF developers struggling to fill new ground-floor retail spaces

San Francisco Chronicle

In October 2013, developer Crescent Heights announced that New York celebrity chef Suvir Saran would open an 8,500-square-foot restaurant on the ground floor of NEMA, a 700-unit apartment complex at 10th and Market streets. “I can’t begin to express my excitement about launching a restaurant in San Francisco and in the NEMA building particularly,” Saran said at the time.




Opponents of California gas-tax increase get green light to launch petition drive for repeal initiative

Los Angeles Times

Republican activists were given the green light Monday to launch a petition drive aimed at qualifying a measure for the November 2018 ballot that would repeal recently enacted gas taxes and vehicle fees meant for road repairs and mass transit improvement.


California also gives hefty tax breaks to business

Fox and Hounds Daily

There’s much political complaining in California these days over congressional plans to overhaul the nation’s tax system in a way that would cost many Californians, particularly those in high tax brackets, more money. The federal plans are still being finalized – if they can be – and are aimed at raising enough money to pay for corporate tax cuts that Republican sponsors say are needed to improve the economy by stimulating investment.


Distributional Analysis of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as Passed by the Senate Finance Committee

Tax Policy Center

The Tax Policy Center has released distributional estimates of the Senate version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as passed by the Senate Finance Committee on November 16, 2017. We find the bill would reduce taxes on average for all income groups in both 2019 and 2025. In general, higher income households receive larger average tax cuts as a percentage of after-tax income, with the largest cuts as a share of income going to taxpayers in the 95th to 99th percentiles of the income distribution. On average in 2027, taxes would rise modestly for the lowest-income group, change little for middle-income groups, and decrease for higher-income groups. Compared to current law, 9 percent of taxpayers would pay more in 2019, 12 percent in 2025, and 50 percent in 2027.

See also:

·       The Right Way, And The Wrong Way, To Measure the Benefits Of Tax ChangesTax Policy Center

·       Republicans Are Throwing Away Their Shot at Tax Reform The Atlantic

·       The Republican War on College The Atlantic

·       Lawmakers Push Alcohol Tax Cut Despite Rising Drinking Rates Roll Call

·       Krugman: Lies, Incoherence and Rage on Tax Cuts The New York Times





United Airlines will fly Fresno to Chicago OHare in mid-2018

Fresno Bee

United Airlines will add new daily summertime nonstop flights between Fresno andChicago’s O’Hare International Airport starting in June 2018, adding to the number of options available for Fresno travelers heading to the Midwest and beyond. The once-daily evening flights will begin June 7, the city announced Monday afternoon.


Five High Speed Rail workers injured in construction accident, Cal OSHA says


These are believed to be the first significant injuries on this massive project, which continues to face questions about its financial viability. The accident occurred Saturday, just north of Fresno at the San Joaquin River crossing next to Highway 99. According to state investigators a tower, made of reinforced steel rods fell over, injuring five workers. Two required hospitalization.


A high-end income is needed to buy a house in the Bay Area

San Jose Mercury News

Among the 50 largest U.S. markets, San Jose and San Francisco metros require the highest salaries to purchase a home. (Some argue this is an important reason for building high-speed rail between the unaffordable Silicon Valley and the affordable San Joaquin Valley.)


Volvo to supply Uber with up to 24,000 self-driving SUVs for taxi fleet

Los Angeles Times

A fleet of self-driving Volvo vehicles operated by Uber Technologies Inc. could be ready for the road as early as 2019, marking the ride-hailing firm’s biggest push yet to roll out autonomous cars. Volvo said Monday that it would sell Uber tens of thousands of luxury sport utility vehicles between 2019 and 2021 outfitted with the Swedish automaker’s safety, redundancy and core autonomous driving technologies. Uber will then add its own self-driving technology to the autonomous taxi fleet.

See also:

·       Uber Strikes Deal With Volvo to Bring Self-Driving Cars to Its Network  The New York Times




How have drought, climate change impacted beloved giant sequoias? New study finds out

Modesto Bee

The towering giant sequoias in the Sierra Nevada struggled to endure the recent drought as temperatures continued to inch higher and higher each year, a new study has found. While the historically resilient trees managed to largely withstand the die-off that was prevalant in California forests, they did so at a price: depleting their underground water storage, according to a study conducted by the U.S. National Park Service, the Sierra Nevada Research Institute at UC Merced and the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Sun Yat-sen University.


California had record water year. Why Central Valley must invest in flood protection

Sacramento Bee

Massive floods hit Houston and devastating hurricanes struck Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. Yet one of the more remarkable stories in the past year is the catastrophe that did not happen: massive flooding in California. California experienced its wettest water year on record in 2016-17. In previous decades, that huge volume of water would have caused lethal floods, particularly in the Central Valley.


Commentary: A New Approach to Protecting Rivers

Public Policy Institute of California

California’s native freshwater fish—salmon, steelhead, sturgeon and others—continue to decline, and regulations to reverse this trend have fanned controversy. A new approach to environmental stewardship is needed. We should start by granting the environment a water right, as detailed in a new report by the PPIC Water Policy Center.




Houchin urges people to give gift that keeps giving — blood

Bakersfield Californian

Houchin Community Blood Bank is urging Kern County residents to take a break from the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping to give a gift that money can’t buy: blood. Houchin Community Blood Bank relies on an average of about 150 volunteers to donate blood each day, and with many regular donors traveling throughout the holidays and winter illness preventing others from giving, the blood bank is asking for new donors to take part.


World War II MIA comes home for long-delayed honors

Bakersfield Californian

Seven decades ago, when William David Ball Jr. left Bakersfield for the Pacific to fight the Japanese, his black hair was thick and full, his future limitless. On Monday, he finally came home. Ball, a sergeant in the U.S. Marines who until recently was buried nameless in an unmarked grave, was laid to rest at Bakersfield National Cemetery on Monday, exactly 74 years after he died in the Battle of Tarowa.


What’s Growing On: Master Gardeners are here to help you …

Stockton Record

Have you ever wondered where to go for advice about landscaping or vegetable gardening? Does a pest problem have you stumped? Do you need guidance on how and when to prune your favorite specimen plant or fruit tree? Master Gardeners are here to help!


Giant Thanksgiving newspapers arrive early this year

Visalia Times-Delta

The crews of people who print, bundle and deliver your newspaper call it their Super Bowl – the once-a-year event that is the giant Thanksgiving edition. The tradition of holiday savings arriving just in time for Black Friday and the big shopping season is nearly as American as the turkey itself. In fact, our vegan friends would argue it’s even more universal – but more about that in a moment.