November 3, 2015


Political Stories

Top stories

Measure that imperils Delta tunnels plan set to qualify for 2016 ballot — A constitutional amendment that would erect a significant political hurdle for Gov. Jerry Brown’s plans to build twin tunnels to carry water south around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is poised to qualify for the November 2016 ballot. Sacramento Bee articleLA Times article

Sacramento doctor to lead push to legalize marijuana in California — Donald Lyman, a retired physician and former board member at the California Medical Association, said Monday he will lead a well-funded statewide effort to legalize recreational marijuana next year.  Sacramento Bee articleLA Times articleKQED reportSan Francisco Chronicle articleAP article‘Gavin Newsom endorses tech-funded weed legalization measure’ in San Francisco Chronicle

Valley politics

Carter announces run for Fresno District 6 council seat — With a high-end northeast Fresno salon serving as the backdrop, former Fresno County GOP Executive Director Holly Carter formally announced her candidacy for Fresno City Council Monday morning. Carter, 47, runs her own public relations firm and is seeking the seat to be vacated by Lee Brand, who is term-limited and running for mayor. The Business Journal article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures 

Battle of the bags: Plastic bag makers introduce ‘poison pill’ — Next year’s election is still more than a year away, but the battle over California’s landmark ban of single-use plastic bags is already shaping up to be the most costly, high-profile fight over litter and recycling the state has seen in three decades. San Jose Mercury News article 

Measure slashing drug prices may go to California voters next fall — Advocates of a proposed measure that would require state programs to pay no more for prescription drugs than prices negotiated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs said they had turned in 542,879 signatures by Monday’s 5 p.m. deadline, well beyond the 365,880 required by the state. San Jose Mercury News article


After missing target, LA County seeks to ease immigrants’ healthcare enrollment — After months of debate last year, Los Angeles County officials agreed to pay for 146,000 people in the country illegally to receive medical care through the public health system. More than a year later, however, officials have fallen about 11,000 short of that target, and left more than $20 million of their budget unspent. LA Times article

Other areas

Oil industry spending surged as California climate bill fight raged – Oil companies who succeeded in weakening a California climate change bill massively increased their lobbying spending during the final chunk of the Legislature’s calendar, shelling out nearly $11 million to persuade lawmakers and run a media campaign. Sacramento Bee articleLA Times article 

Bob Hertzberg bills recognized by business Democrats – So you introduced a couple of big bills last session that would overhaul California’s tax and energy infrastructures, but they never went anywhere. What better way to relaunch those efforts and bring your fellow lawmakers on board than to be able to attach “award-winning” to your ideas? Sacramento Bee article

Joel Fox: Better ways to handle coming national and CA debates after CNBC debacle – Those considering hosting debates in the coming California elections should take lessons from the mishandling of the current presidential debates and take advantage of the state’s unique primary system to offer real issue-oriented debates. Fox in Fox & Hounds

California lawmakers promote themselves on Halloween — An enterprising politician never rests, even on Halloween. While everyone else was passing out M&M’s and lollipops, Sen. Bob Hertzberg greeted trick-or-treaters on Saturday with “Bob Bars,” featuring the Los Angeles Democrat’s photo and the slogan “Representing the Valley.” Sacramento Bee article

San Francisco elections could chart course of change in booming city – It seems as if every conversation in San Francisco lately eventually ends up in the same place: how much and how fast the tech boom is changing the city. On Tuesday, election day, voters will get the chance to make known how they want that change managed. San Francisco Chronicle article

Bay Area lawmaker wants to legalize ‘ballot selfies’ – A Bay Area lawmaker will introduce a bill making it legal for Californians to take “selfies” of their voting ballots and post them on social media. Political Blotter

The richest man and the poorest man in Congress are both from California – Rep. Darrell Issa has the honor of being the richest, according to annual financial disclosure records compiled by Roll Call, a Washington news outlet. The Vista Republican who amassed his fortune as founder of a car alarm giant has a minimum net worth of $254.7 million. At the other end of the list, underneath every other member of Congress, is Rep. David Valadao.  LA Times article‘Meet David Valadao’ in LA Times

LA County pilot program imagines the future of voting – Los Angeles County officials are in the midst of reimagining how the county’s electorate will vote. KPCC report

Supreme Court considers racial bias in jury selection — The Supreme Court confronted the recurring problem of racial bias in selecting jurors Monday, and the justices sounded ready to warn prosecutors again that they can’t exclude all blacks from the trial of a black defendant. LA Times article

News Stories

Top Stories

Southern California water agency moves ahead with Delta land purchase — A powerful Los Angeles water agency appears to be moving closer to purchasing four islands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a move that has drawn accusations that the real estate could be used to orchestrate a Southern California “water grab.” Sacramento Bee articleStockton Record article

Storm sets rain records in Valley, drops snow on Sierra — A storm that swept through the central San Joaquin Valley on Monday brought record rainfall for the date and snow to the Sierra, and more rain may hit the region Tuesday before skies clear. Fresno Bee articleMerced Sun-Star articleModesto Bee articleBakersfield Californian articleStockton Record article

Jobs and the Economy

California Economic Summit introduces One Million Challenges ahead of Ontario event – The California Economic Summit has unveiled three ambitious new goals – the One Million Challenges – that will be the focus of its growing coalition of business, environmental, labor, and civic leaders at the next statewide Summit in two weeks in Ontario.  California Economic Summit website

Kern County asking what we really want from libraries – Kern County citizens will be asked, over the next month and a half, what they want done with their library system. The effort, now underway through a survey and marathon series of community meetings at every library in the county, is part of Kern County leaders’ ongoing discussion of what should be done to upgrade, privatize or support the flagging library system. Bakersfield Californian article 

Bakersfield council to consider tax split, hiring lawyers for road project – More attorneys could go to work on one of Bakersfield’s most controversial highway projects and high school students could get a say in city government, depending on how the Bakersfield City Council votes Wednesday. Bakersfield California article

California settles debt collection suit with JPMorgan Chase — One of the nation’s largest banks will pay $100 million to settle a California lawsuit alleging it used illegal methods to collect debts from more than 125,000 credit card holders, the state’s attorney general announced Monday. AP article

Groundbreaking for north Fresno’s Dave & Buster’s on Thursday — A groundbreaking ceremony will be held Thursday to kick off construction of Dave & Buster’sthe much anticipated bar, restaurant and arcade planned for the Village at River Park in northeast Fresno. Fresno Bee articleThe Business Journal article

Lisa McDermott: Don’t be snooty, small towns have museums and performing arts, too – The director of the Carnegie Arts Center in Turlock writes, “I left the Central Valley to pursue higher education in the Bay Area and then Boston. My goal was to work in a museum as an educator; I wanted to see that spark of joy on the faces of children learning about beautiful works of art. That was an experience that had mattered to me as a child, and I knew it could, and should, matter to lots of kids. But I thought then, as many of us do, that performing arts venues and museums were mostly located in big cities. I moved back to Turlock for the position as the city’s arts facilitator managing the Carnegie Arts Center, after more than 15 years of experience in some of those “big city” museums, to prove that’s not true.” McDermott in Zocalo Public Square

Sacramento Bee: Sacramento budget is key issue for 2016 campaign – One test of leadership is the ability to talk honestly to voters about unpleasant matters – like a looming budget deficit. The candidates ought to at least say whether they support continuing the sales tax. Sacramento Bee editorial

Dodgers could learn from San Francisco Giants’ Mission Rock proposal — For all the years of talk about how the Dodgers could make millions by developing the parking lots around their stadium, the Giants are set to do just that. On Tuesday, San Francisco voters will be asked to waive a law restricting the height of waterfront structures so the Giants can build a neighborhood of homes, shops, offices, art studios, parks and a brewery adjacent to AT&T Park. LA Times article

LA City Council to weigh proposal to slash parking fines — With more than $440 million in cash stashed away for a rainy day, Los Angeles City Hall’s finances are looking rosier than they have in years. Those numbers, made public last week, have encouraged a group that is urging elected officials to reexamine how parking tickets are issued.  LA Times article


Central Valley communities get drought-related grants – East Porterville and other Valley communities suffering the effects of California’s worst drought in decades are getting financial aid from the federal government to buoy their water supplies. The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved about $3.3 million in grants for eight communities in Fresno, Tulare and Kings counties. Fresno Bee article 

Dead tree emergency could help agriculture — Gov. Jerry Brown’s declaration last week of a state of emergency due to drought-related forest tree deaths could end up benefiting local agriculture and air quality. The declaration is boost to the state’s dwindling number of biomass electricity plants that would be able to take the dead wood, according to Julee Malinowski-Ball, executive director of the California Biomass Energy Alliance. Hanford Sentinel article

Activist group takes on agricultural use of weedkiller — The Center for Biological Diversity on Monday called for California regulators to curtail use of a weedkiller popular with San Joaquin Valley farmers. Fresno Bee article
Criminal Justice/Prisons

Modesto sets homicide record with two months remaining in year – A violent weekend in Modesto was underscored by the city’s 26th homicide early Sunday morning, surpassing its record of 24 in 2012. Modesto Bee article

Kern sheriff’s deputy who escaped from jail pleads not guilty to nine crimes – An elusive sheriff’s deputy who escaped from the back of a patrol car last week pleaded not guilty Monday to nine counts filed against him and was ordered held on $1 million bail. Bakersfield Californian article

Ex-LA County sheriff’s sergeant sentenced to 8 years in prison in jail visitor beating – A federal judge sentenced a former Los Angeles County sheriff’s sergeant to prison on Monday for his role in the beating of a handcuffed man, marking the first sentence in a brutality case since the FBI began investigating excessive-force claims in the county’s jails more than five years ago. LA Times article

Greg Williamson: Challenging year reminder of ultimate sacrifice and BPD Memorial Run – Bakersfield’s police chief writes, “It has been a difficult year for the Bakersfield Police Department. On June 26, 2015, Bakersfield Police Officer David Nelson lost his life in the line of duty while protecting the citizens of our great city.” Bakersfield Californian article

Magazine accuses Boudreaux of censorship — The publishers of a magazine catering mostly to inmates has filed a lawsuit against Tulare CountySheriff Mike Boudreaux, claiming he violated county inmates’ First Amendment rights by not allowing them to receive the magazine. Visalia Times-Delta article

Cartel enforcer faces life sentence in 9 killings — A self-described enforcer for a Mexican drug cartelwas sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole Monday after pleading guilty to killing nine people in California over three decades. Authorities say Jose Manuel Martinez, 53, admitted to several other killings across the country in service of a cartel he refuses to identify. Visalia Times-Delta articleFresno Bee article


Dan Walters: California’s financing formula reignites big school struggle – The struggle over how – and if – California schools will be held accountable for results of a revised school finance formula will be rejoined this week in the state Board of Education. The board and its president, Michael Kirst, want to kill the state’s test-based Academic Performance Index and replace it with a “multiple measures” system that is much less confrontational. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

California prepares to adopt materials for new English learner approach – The State Board of Education is set to adopt a new set of instructional materials and textbooks for kindergarten through 8th grade on Wednesday that incorporates what education officials describe as a pathbreaking approach to more effectively teaching English learners. EdSource article

Fresno State football player arrested, linked to threat on social media of campus gunfire – Christian Malik Pryor, an 18-year-old Fresno State football player, was arrested Monday in connection with a social media post that said the sender planned to “release my frustrations” with gunfire on campus. Fresno Bee articleKQED report

Brown consistent with legislation he signs and vetoes – In the education bills that he vetoed last month, Gov. Jerry Brown made his “don’t” priorities clear to legislators: Don’t tamper with the Local Control Funding Formula; don’t mess with charter schools; don’t create new state mandates; don’t push new spending; and don’t create new state commissions and agencies to examine the limited state data that he does allow. EdSource article

UC Merced Connect: National rankings point to growing reputation — UC Merced is rapidly rising among the nation’s top universities, as demonstrated by the campus’s growing number of appearances on national and statewide “best schools” lists. Two recent accolades pertain to the practical value of a UC Merced education. UC Merced Connect in Sacramento Bee

Mom: Suspension lifted for Florin student whose cell phone fight video went viral — The Elk Grove Unified School District is rescinding its suspension of a Florin High School student who recorded a lunchtime campus fight on her cell phone, her parents said Monday. Sacramento Bee article 

Illinois district violated transgender student’s rights, U.S. says — Federal education authorities, staking out their firmest position yet on an increasingly contentious issue, found Monday that an Illinois school district violated anti-discrimination laws when it did not allow a transgender student who identifies as a girl and participates on a girls’ sports team to change and shower in the girls’ locker room without restrictions. New York Times article

Erika D. Smith: Time to rethink cops in schools — Instead, school districts should be aiming for middle ground, one that includes a strong policy that specifies exactly when SROs can intervene with students, and lots and lots of training on how officers can de-escalate tense situations. The murkier the policy and the skimpier the training, the greater the chance for problems. Smith in Sacramento Bee


NAS Lemoore could sign contract for mega-solar farm next month – The U.S. Navy has a goal to develop 1 gigawatt (1,000 megawatts) of renewable energy by 2020, enough power to light up 700,000 homes. Now it looks like Naval Air Station Lemoore could generate nearly 40 percent of that figure on its own. The Business Journal article


John Diaz: How the state is undercutting rooftop solar – With great fanfare, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that will require California’s utilities to draw at least 50 percent of their electricity from renewable sources — such as wind and solar — by 2030. But, what few Californians may know, is what will not count against that requirement: the rooftop solar units they put on their homes, businesses, schools or other public buildings. Diaz in San Francisco Chronicle

EPA says Volkswagen cheated a second time on pollution tests — Volkswagen cheated a second time on emissions tests, programming about 10,000 cars with larger diesel engines to emit fewer pollutants during tests than in real-world driving, according to the U.S. government. AP articleSacramento Bee article

Wind-power company to replace bird-killing Altamont turbines — A wind farm company with out-of-date turbines that wildlife biologists blame for the deaths of scores of raptors on the Altamont Pass has agreed after years of squawking from environmentalists and regulators to replace the bird-killing blades. San Francisco Chronicle article

Michael Gerrard and Nancy Rader: Wind energy is being unfairly held back in California – Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, and Rader, executive director of the California Wind Energy Association, write, “Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law California’s new 50-percent-by-2030 renewable energy standard amid deserved fanfare. But far less attention has been paid to a brewing contradiction: Wind energy projects are being banned or severely restricted in several California counties and, more significantly, across vast federal lands in the state. These restrictions threaten the ability to achieve California’s climate-change goals.” Gerrard/Rader op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Health/Human Services 

Covered California targets African Americans, Latinos in Obamacare open enrollment – Covered California still faces major challenges in enrolling African-Americans and Latinos as the state’s health insurance exchange launched its third open enrollment period Sunday. KQED report

Kaiser partners with Dignity to operate St. Joseph’s Medical Center – Dignity Health and Kaiser Permanente have reached an agreement to jointly own St. Joseph’s Medical Center. The partnership announced late Monday will take effect in mid-2016 at which time San Joaquin County’s largest hospital will become both a Dignity Health and Kaiser facility in a first-of-its-kind arrangement for both health care giants. Stockton Record article

Access to a supermarket improves eating habits, study say, but not for the reason you’d think – People without easy access to a supermarket eat healthier after one opens in their neighborhood, but not because they shop at the new store, new research finds.  A study published Monday in the journal Health Affairs found that opening a grocery store in a “food desert” — an area devoid of healthy eating options — lowered residents’ daily total calorie intake as well as their consumption of added sugars, solid fats and alcoholic beverages. LA Times article 

Doctors on probation: Medical board still weighing how to inform patients – In an 11-1 vote, the Medical Board of California turned down a request that all doctors placed on probation for varied offenses – including sexual misconduct, drug or alcohol abuse, or medical negligence – be required to tell their patients, verbally and in writing. But, in what could be a first-in-the-country move, the board is forming a task force to consider less “prescriptive” ways to notify patients when their doctor is on probation for medical misdeeds. Sacramento Bee article

Death rates rising for middle-aged white Americans, study finds – Something startling is happening to middle-aged white Americans. Unlike every other age group, unlike every other racial and ethnic group, unlike their counterparts in other rich countries, death rates in this group have been rising, not falling. New York Times article

Joseph Perrone: Will meat come with a warning label in California? – The chief science officer of the Center for Accountability in Science writes, “Warning Californians everything is going to give them cancer isn’t working. California needs strong, science-based standards to tell consumers which products could pose an actual threat to their health.” Perrone op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Stride Health, Intuit help self-employed find insurance – After Raul Rodriguez quit his job to start a software business, he needed to get health insurance. But the government website “was a mess,” he said. “I had a lot of trouble signing up; there were a lot of glitches.” San Francisco Chronicle article

How much does severe obesity cost California? About $9.1 billion —study published Monday in the journal Health Affairs found that medical care associated with severe obesity cost state-run health programs $8 billion in 2013. California’s program for the poor, known as Medi-Cal, took the biggest hit, spending $1.3 billion that year on severe obesity-related care. LA Times article

Avenal family get $9.6 million for botched delivery of baby — A U.S. District Court judge in Sacramento awarded $9.6 million in damages to the family of a 3  1⁄2 -year-old girl who suffered severe brain injury during her 2012 delivery. Fresno Bee article

Land Use/Housing

Sacramento sets up rules for arena district signage — Sacramento’s downtown entertainment district will be a marketers’ paradise when the new arena opens there in a year. But will the arena district be lit wall-to-wall with LED lights and animated advertising like Times Square and LA Live, or should it have a more restrained glow? Sacramento Bee article

Stanislaus County supervisors will consider plans for farm equipment dealership near Keyes — Stanislaus County supervisors will consider a 17-acre rezone for a farm equipment dealership near Keyes during a public hearing Tuesday morning. Modesto Bee article

Davis City Council to consider extending ban on new restaurants serving alcohol — The Davis City Council on Tuesday will consider extending a ban on new restaurants and nightspots for another 10 months as officials look at more comprehensive regulations after a fatal bar fight downtown in September. Sacramento Bee article


Cyclists spin wheels at Bay Bridge bike path wait — Ever since the Bay Bridge’s bike path opened two years ago, a few days after the first cars crossed the new east span, bicyclists have been waiting, mostly patiently, to pedal to Yerba Buena and Treasure islands. Instead, they’ve had to halt at a white metal railing placed across the path just past the bridge’s tower, turn their bikes around and ride back to Oakland — even though Yerba Buena Island sits a tantalizing 568 yards away. San Francisco Chronicle article

Jeff Jardine: Troubled bridge over Modesto waters gets camera time in bad roads video — Last week, the California Alliance for Jobs released its “Bad Roads Tour 2015,” a two-minute-long video highlighting some of the worst public roads and streets in the state. Modesto made this video with the Seventh Street Bridge – known as “The Lion Bridge” – that opened in 1917. Jardine column in Modesto Bee

Nissan test car drives itself safely, recognizes pedestrians — Nissan’s “intelligent driving” feature is smart enough to navigate intersections without lane markers. It also brakes safely to a stop without crashing into the vehicle in front, and it knows the difference between a red light and a tail-lamp. AP article

Other areas

 New rules restrict photography, recordings in local courthouses without OK – Kern County Superior Court officials are cracking down on the use of video and audio recorders in local courthouses without approval by a judge, it was announced Monday. Bakersfield Californian article

Merced city attorney to leave in December – Merced’s city attorney has announced his intention to resign after just nine months on the job in order to accept a position in the Silicon Valley. Randolph Hom, 52, who was named Merced city attorney in February, has accepted a similar position in Cupertino, a city of more than 58,000 that is perhaps best known as the headquarters for Apple Inc. Merced Sun-Star article 

Carmen George: Wildlife rescue group aids thousands of injured animals in Valley, foothills — Fresno Wildlife primarily serves the Central Valley and foothills. The group specializes in caring for birds of prey, hummingbirds and water birds. It doesn’t have enough volunteers to help songbirds. It also rehabilitates mammals, with the exception of bears, mountain lions and coyotes. George in Fresno Bee

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – For all the consciousness that has been raised – and we applaud it – 1 woman in 8 still can expect to develop breast cancer in her lifetime. This issue is too serious and too deadly for mere annual entreaties to wear and buy pink.

Sacramento Bee – One test of leadership is the ability to talk honestly to voters about unpleasant matters – like a looming budget deficit. The candidates ought to at least say whether they support continuing the sales tax.

Stockton Record – Cheers and jeers on a positive youth conference, more bed bugs and other issues.

Maddy Events

Sunday, Nov. 8, at 10 a.m. on KMJ (580AM and 105.9FM Radio/podcast) – Maddy Report – Valley Views Edition: “Is the Valley’s Political Influence Growing?” – Guests: Bill McEwen, opinion page editor of the Fresno Bee, and Dr. Thomas Holyoke, political science professor at Fresno State. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler. 

Sunday, Nov. 8, at 7 a.m. on Univision 21 (KFTV) and UniMas 61 (KTFF) – El Informe Maddy: “Californians and Civic Engagement” – Guest: Mony Flores-Bauer of League of Women Voters of California. Host: Maddy Institute Deputy Director Ana Melendez.

Sunday, Nov. 8, at 10 a.m. on Fresno ABC30 – Maddy Report: Political Influence in California Politics: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly” — Guests: John Myers, former senior editor for California politics and government for KQED and currently Sacramento bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times, and Marisa Lagos, KQED California politics and government reporter. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler. 

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

  • The fourth annual San Joaquin Valley Affordable Housing Summit will be held at the Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center on Tuesday, Nov. 3, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration and additional information is available here.
  • The 34thannual Agribusiness Management Conference will be held at the DoubleTree Hotel and Conference Center in Fresno on Wednesday, Nov. 4. The event will feature presentation on the economic outlook for agriculture, trade, water, and immigration.  More information:  559.278.4405 or
  • The 2015 California Economic Summit will be held in Ontario on Nov. 12-13.  Since its inception in 2012, the Summit has brought together hundreds of private, public and civic leaders from the state’s diverse regions in an effort to advance the triple bottom line: promoting a prosperous economy that respects environment and equity concerns.  More information and registration is available here.


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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