November 8, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories

Dan Walters: Political media did their jobs in a very difficult year — Despised and belittled by those seeking office, from the two presidential candidates down, the “mainstream media,” as we’ve been dubbed, have done yeoman’s work in filtering the deluge of charges, countercharges and almost daily revelations and presenting coherent reports of what is happening. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

California ballot propositions rake in a record $473 million in campaign cash — This year’s crop of state propositions, the most appearing on a California ballot in 16 years, has attracted campaign contributions of $473 million, a record. By comparison, a Times review of campaign finance reports and daily campaign disclosures found total contributions to the 17 ballot measure campaigns are roughly twice what Republican candidate Donald Trump has reported raising for his presidential campaign. The Times review includes cash donations to campaigns, as well as non-monetary donations like staff time and even loans that are expected to be repaid. LA Times article

Valley politics

Contentious 10th Congressional District race during this year’s election – One of the most contentious congressional races this election has been in California’s Central Valley. The names of the two leading Presidential candidates have appeared frequently in attack ads.  Democratic Presidential Nominee, Hillary Clinton and Republican Presidential Nominee, Donald Trump have been fodder, as has Democratic House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi. Jeff Denham is the Republican incumbent. Capital Public Radio report

Jeff Jardine: Will this be the year Latinos rise up to become force at the polls? – In 2006, I wrote a column wondering whether that would be the year Latino voters rose up and flexed their political biceps. A decade later, the same question applies and under similar political and social conditions. Jardine column in Modesto Bee

Vegas’ farewell address? Slam the media – Chad Vegas, the three-term Kern High School District trustee who refused to run for re-election this year because he said enforcing new state-imposed anti-discrimination laws violated his religious conscience, slammed The Bakersfield Californian Monday during his final board meeting. Bakersfield Californian article

San Joaquin Count registrar ready for hectic process — Today is Election Day, and 58 men and women across the State of California are going to have one of the most hectic days of their careers. One of those 58 people is San Joaquin County registrar of Voters Austin Erdman, who today is tasked with making sure the voting process runs as smoothly as possible. Stockton Record article

 Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

Here’s a new wrinkle: Pro-Clinton Latino surge could hurt marijuana legalization push – While a surge in Latino voters could help Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, it could hurt efforts to legalize marijuana in nine more states. Hispanics are less likely to back legalization than either white or black voters, according to a poll released last month by the Pew Research CenterMcClatchy Newspapers article

CA 120: A coming-out party for Latinos, Millennials? — This story is really about two populations that we have known could, someday, dominate California elections: Millennials and Latinos. Capitol Weekly article 

Senate candidate Loretta Sanchez makes final pitch to voters – California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris spent the final day before election day hop-scotching from San Diego to Los Angeles, urging supporters to go to the polls to back down-ballot Democrats in tight races. LA Times article

Rep. Loretta Sanchez and some of her California colleagues make one last group pitch — On the eve of election day, Orange County Rep. Loretta Sanchez and several of her congressional colleagues made a last-minute pitch that the state’s open U.S. Senate seat should go to a Latina from Southern California.  LA Times article

Bernie Sanders campaigns for Prop 61 in California — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders held rallies in Los Angeles and Sacramento on Monday to urge voters to support Proposition 61, the California pharmaceutical drug-pricing initiative. LA Times article

The mailbox-driven campaign: How California political races captured voters’ attention – and frustration – in 2016 — For Californians, prying an inches-thick stack of political ads from a mail slot is a familiar-but-vexing ritual, a routine repeated every 24 hours in the waning days of an election cycle. And for those new to the state who arrive in an election year, their initiation into the tradition seems to begin in earnest just as boxes are unpacked, as campaigns of all sizes and stripes vie for their attention. LA Times article

Almost nothing spent to oppose key California education initiatives – Campaign spending on the three education-related initiatives on the Nov. 8  ballot — Propositions 51, 55 and 58 — has been remarkably one-sided. Together, $75.8 million has been spent to get the three initiatives passed, according to figures published by the California Secretary of State through Nov. 6. By contrast, a little more than $6,000 has been spent to oppose these initiatives. EdSource article 

Capitol Weekly Podcast: Jodi Remke — On the day before the 2016 general election, California Fair Political Practices Commission Chair Jodi Remke stops by The Ambrosia Cafe to chat with Capitol Weekly’s John Howard and Tim Foster about campaign violations, money in politics, and what, exactly, the 80 person staff of the FPPC does. Capitol Weekly Podcast

Other areas

This is how you’ll know how California Republicans had a good election night –As Democrats face the difficult challenge of winning 30 new seats to take control of the House of Representatives, California Republicans are doing what they can to hold onto their 14-member share of the 53-member delegation, and maybe even flip one or more in their favor. Here are races to watch if things start going the House Republicans’ way on election night. LA Times article 

Longtime Latino political operative Leo Gallegos Jr. dies at age 75 — Throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s, Leo Gallegos Jr. was a quiet mover and shaker in California Democratic politics. The son of migrant farmworkers became Gov. Jerry Brown’s point man in the San Joaquin Valley during Brown’s first eight-year stint in Sacramento from 1975 through 1983, exerting influence on policy and appointments as the governor’s community relations representative – first for the region and, late in the administration, at the statewide level. Fresno Bee article

Presidential Politics 

In ‘predictable,’ deep-blue California, voters find their motivation –  As the presidential ballots are counted Tuesday, the state with the greatest bounty of electoral college votes is unlikely to be a stage of high drama. LA Times article

Cathleen Decker: Win or lose, Democrats face a serious battle over identity —  The roaring crowds and displays of Democratic unity around Hillary Clinton as the campaign ends have obscured a bumpier reality: Whatever happens Tuesday, Democrats face a struggle to define themselves. The divisions in the party may be less dramatic than the parallel fight among Republicans, but Democrats have schisms both ideological and generational. Decker in LA Times

This time, there really is a Hispanic voter surge — Early voting data unequivocally indicates that Hillary Clinton will benefit from a long awaited surge in Hispanic turnout, vastly exceeding the Hispanic turnout from four years ago. New York Times articleSacramento Bee editorial

On election eve, California Bernie Sanders supporters ‘Feel the Bern’ — On the eve of a remarkable election year, Louie Lopez, a combat veteran from downtown Sacramento, leaned on a railing outside the state Capitol and reflected on what could have been. Sacramento Bee article 

Erika D. Smith: Bursting the social media bubble of politics, hate — No matter what Election Day brings, Americans will continue to argue on Facebook and Twitter, a reflection of the hard time people are having finding common ground. The next president, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, must make healing this divisiveness a priority. Smith column in Sacramento Bee

News Stories

Top Stories

Chowchilla High School changes controversial Redskin mascot – The Chowchilla Union High School District board of trustees voted Monday evening to change their mascot name from Redskins to Tribe. In a 5-0 vote, the board voted to change the school mascot that has for a century been the Redskins. Fresno Bee article

Kings County to get fresh look at ‘new town’ plan –Is the proposed Quay Valley “new town” a risky venture? The Kings County Board of Supervisors has approved an agreement to hire Empire Economics to assess the market potential and risk of the planned community in southeast Kings County dubbed Quay Valley. The Business Journal article

Jobs and the Economy

Clovis plan hopes to reshape downtown to attract more dining, shops, and college students – Clovis has plans to make its downtown area a better place for living, dining and entertainment. On Monday night, the City Council approved a new Central Clovis Specific Plan, which covers 676 acres bounded by Minnewawa, Sunnyside, Barstow, Sierra avenues and Highway 168 where it meets the Old Town Trail. The longterm plan is supposed to cover the city over the next 30 years. Fresno Bee article

Madera almond processor to break ground on $10 million plant – A $10 million almond processing plant is being built in Madera to meet the growing demand for nut processing services in the region. Fresno Bee article

Chowchilla looking for developers along Highway 99 – Chowchilla will temporarily waive sewer and water fees in an attempt to drum up development, city leaders announced over the weekend. Merced Sun-Star article
Fresno Tesla owners hope new charging fees will thin the lines – Tesla owner Mark Chu, broker of Big Realty in Fresno, is excited to hear about the new fees for the automaker’s charging network. He doesn’t have to pay the new fee since he already owns a Tesla, but hopes the decision will thin the lines at charging stationsFresno Bee article

Here’s why pot growers are paying millions for old greenhouses in the Salinas Valley – Buying and selling greenhouses in the Salinas Valley was never going to be the stuff of a reality TV show. But it was a good, quiet living for commercial Realtor Chuck Allen. Then marijuana came to the valley. Now, agricultural real estate is booming. LA Times article 

Labor unions oppose Sacramento Major League Soccer stadium plan – Two of the Sacramento region’s largest labor organizations said Monday they oppose the plan to build a Major League Soccer stadium in the downtown railyard because Sacramento Republic FC has not committed to allowing stadium food-service workers to organize. Sacramento Bee article 

Joel Fox: The hard sell for LA’s Measure M — Perhaps a discouraging sign for the tax plans — watching the effort to sway young voters to jump on the bandwagon in support of Los Angeles metro’s Measure M, a permanent half-cent sales tax that will also convert a previous temporary half-cent sales tax to permanent status. The big guns came out to Cal State Northridge (CSUN) last week to lead a student rally. The Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti and state Senator Bob Hertzberg were there along with other officials and business supporters. Mostly the students were missing. Fox in Fox & Hounds

Bay Area cities considering taxes on video streaming services — Cities throughout California — including at least a dozen in the Bay Area — are considering adopting a streaming video tax to make up for revenue lost by viewers who have left their cable TV subscriptions behind in favor of Netflix, Hulu or HBO Go, among others.  San Jose Mercury News article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

In ‘unbearable’ pain, widow of fallen Fresno County sheriff’s sergeant thanks community — The widow of Fresno County sheriff’s Sgt. Rod Lucas issued a statement Monday thanking the community for its support as plans are made to lay him to rest Wednesday. Fresno Bee article

Three men arrested after wild shootout that killed Capitol staffer – Sacramento police said Monday they arrested the man who shot and killed a well-liked Capitol staffer outside a downtown card room early Sunday before engaging in a wild shootout with an on-duty police officer. Sacramento Bee article

Would-be Stockton firehouse burglar arrested – A 23-year-old man picked the wrong Stockton house to break into Monday morning. Jamal Davis, who told authorities he was living under a downtown freeway bridge, allegedly chose one of the busiest firehouses in the city to burglarize. After he was discovered inside Station 2 shortly after 4 a.m., firefighters chased him outside and secured his location for police, who responded quickly. Stockton Record article

Pint-sized bandit’s alleged theft of phone could have women in trouble — Few people in a Los Banos restaurant seemed to notice as the pint-sized bandit in pink slipped up to a woman’s purse and lifted her cell phone. But two women who were with the little girl and were recorded on video surveillance footage laughing during the alleged theft, may be in serious trouble. Los Banos Enterprise article


Fresno Unified spends $30,000 on ‘informational mailers’ for Measure X – The Fresno Unified School District has spent more than $30,000 on fliers detailing what the passage of Measure X would mean for schools if passed on Tuesday. While the district contends that the four-page pamphlets – sent to homes of Fresno Unified parents and employees – are legal because they do not urge anyone to vote for Measure X, two school board members say the district is being deceptive. Fresno Bee article

COS president receives 33 percent raise, instructors get 6 percent – College of the Sequoias President Stan Carrizosa was recently awarded a 33 percent pay raise, increasing his annual salary from $225,000 to $300,000. The $75,000 raise was unanimously agreed upon in a COS Board of Trustees meeting last month. COS faculty members also received a pay increase –– 6 percent. Visalia Times-Delta article 

Districts grapple with superintendent turnover along with new reforms – An EdSource survey of the state’s 30 largest districts indicates that in 17 out of 30 districts, the superintendents have been in office for three years or less. In nine of those districts, superintendents have served for less than a full year. Three are interim appointments during ongoing searches for permanent appointments.  EdSource article

Conference geared toward potential teachers — A group of aspiring educators learned about what it takes to become a high-quality teacher and what resources are available to make it happen. On Friday, West Hills College Lemoore’s Team Teach program hosted its third Teach Conference where educators and counselors talked to students who are working on becoming a teacher. Hanford Sentinel article

New campaign promotes power of teachers to reduce stress of traumatized students – A national campaign is recognizing, backed by research on brain development, the power of teachers like Parameswaran to lower the levels of stress hormones in a child’s body and strengthen the neural connections needed for learning and self-control. The campaign, called Changing Minds and launched last month, is a partnership of the U.S. Department of Justice, the nonprofit group Futures Without Violence and the Ad Council, a nonprofit agency that creates public service advertisements. EdSource article


Dead trees removal effort kicks off – Work crews have dropped 650 dead or dying trees along a stretch of Balch Park and Bear Creek roads, county administrators said. Visalia Times-Delta article

Let it burn: Forest Service wants to stop putting out some fires – California’s fire season hasn’t turned out to be as bad as some feared this year. In fact, forest managers say that certain kinds of fires — the “good” fires — were sorely lacking. KQED report

Wrong turn steers Chinook salmon into TID main canal – Wayward Chinook salmon found themselves trapped at a gate in the Turlock Irrigation District main canal east of Turlock, waiting for a ride to better breeding grounds.  Modesto Bee article 

Air regulators find a cancer-causing metal at 350 times normal levels in Paramount. Now they’re looking for the source — Air quality regulators are investigating metal-processing facilities in the city of Paramount after detecting a potent cancer-causing metal at 350 times normal levels. LA Times article 

Health/Human Services 

Covered California restores coverage for thousands of pregnant women – Covered California has fixed its computer system to prevent pregnant women in a certain income range from being transferred into Medi-Cal without their knowledge or consent. The fix comes nearly a year after the problem began. Sacramento Bee article 

Dozens of schools may have served contaminated cucumbers — Kern County public health officials reported Monday that certain lots of cucumbers delivered to multiple locations in Bakersfield — including as many as 26 schools, three hospitals and two restaurants — have been recalled due to potential salmonella contamination. Bakersfield Californian article


Twin tunnels under the Sepulveda Pass could tame LA traffic.  But the plan comes with unknowns – and a $6 billion price tag — Planners have long dreamed of solving the problem with tunnels, allowing roadways and mass transit to flow outside the limited number of canyons and passes. But engineering challenges and the huge cost of digging have kept tunneling more a dream than reality. That could change Tuesday if voters approve Measure M, the half-cent sales tax increase on Tuesday’s ballot. The measure would fund twin rail tunnels through the mountains — the first new route through the Sepulveda Pass in more than five decades. LA Times article

Other areas

Stockton woman faces jail time for selling homemade ceviche through Facebook – A Stockton, Calif., woman charged with selling her homemade ceviche through a community Facebook group could face up to a year in jail, according to court records, after she says she refused a plea deal offered by prosecutors. Mariza Ruelas is charged with misdemeanor counts of operating a food facility and a business without proper permits in San Joaquin County, which could lead to fines and up to a year in jail, online court records show. LA Times articleStockton Record article

By the numbers: New Clovis Regional Library — Fresno County Librarian Laurel Prysiazny has spent a lot of time crunching numbers. Clovis is expected to break ground next year on the new Clovis Regional Library, which, at 30,000 square feet, will dwarf the current 8,600-square-foot current Clovis Regional Library. Clovis Independent article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Bakersfield Californian  The Californian recommends: A guide to California’s crowded initiative ballot.

Sacramento Bee –- “Bernie or Bust” is a surefire way to get Donald Trump elected; Latino voter surge will echo across generations; James Comey supposedly prides himself for his nonpartisanship. But the FBI director can’t seem to butt out of the presidential election; he should.

Stockton Record – Cheers and jeers: Lofty voter registration numbers, highway improvements and other issues.