October 17, 2017



Local/Regional Politics:

Press Release – Republican Candidate for Governor John Cox in Fresno

The Maddy Institute

On Tuesday, October 17th, The Maddy Institute will be hosting Republican Candidate for Governor John Cox. Business and Community leaders have been invited to attend this private event.


Longtime Bee editor joins Rep. Jim Costa’s office as district director

Fresno Bee

Longtime Fresno Bee editor Kathy Mahan is the new district director for Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno.


Central Valley’s Rep. Jeff Denham continues to raise more money than crowded field of challengers

Los Angeles Times

Rep. Jeff Denham raised $660,542 in the last three months, more than the combined total raised by his nine announced opponents


Rep. David Valadao has raised a lot more than Democratic Central Valley challenger Emilio Huerta

Los Angeles Times

Democrats again have their eye on the Central Valley seat held by Rep. David Valadao, but so far the only Democrat challenger, Emilio Huerta, hasn’t raised very much money.


Kingsburg High School leaders disarm staff members who had permission to carry guns on campus


Governor Brown signed a bill banning firearms on school grounds prompting Kingsburg Joint Union High School leaders to disarm a few staff members who had permission to carry guns on campus. The school had up to five anonymous staff members carrying weapons.


2 vie to represent north-central Modesto Council seat

Modesto Bee

Incumbent Jenny Kenoyer and challenger Joe Day are running against each other to represent Modesto City Council District 5 in the November election.


What candidates say about OID lawsuits and dysfunction

Modesto Bee

A public debate and intense social media campaigning have brought into sharp focus the clear differences between candidates for the Oakdale Irrigation District.


Billionaire activist Tom Steyer says he’s considering Senate bid of his own

Los Angeles Times

Billionaire activist Tom Steyer says he’s still considering jumping into the U.S. Senate race, even after fellow Democrat — and frequent ally — state Sen. Kevin de León announced his own run.


Washington Post’s Robert Costa talks Trump at Fresno State

The Fresno Bee

President Donald Trump has been unable to pass any substantial legislation because he’s a Washington outsider, the Republican Party is in the midst of a civil war, and he’s “plagued by distractions” – notably the investigation into his campaign’s possible collusion with Russia, Washington Post political reporter Robert Costa said Monday in Fresno.

State Politics:

California Politics Podcast: De León Challenges Feinstein 


A special podcast episode, as we analyze the news that state Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León will challenge Sen. Dianne Feinstein in 2018.

See also:

·       California’s Sen. Feinstein Gets Democratic Primary Challenger NPR

·       Fox: Challenge to Feinstein Tests Where Californians Stands  Fox & Hounds

·       Feinstein supporters launch super PAC to support her in reelection battle with fellow Democrat   Los Angeles Times

·       Defeating Dianne Feinstein will be expensive. Where will Kevin de León get the cash?  Sacramento Bee

·       Feinstein’s big name and big money will make it hard for Kevin de León  San Francisco Chronicle

·       De Leon’s Dilemma: He’s Got to Attack Feinstein  Calbuzz

Sen. Kamala Harris raises $440547 this quarter

Los Angeles Times

Sen. Kamala Harris raised $440,547 in the last three months, bringing her war chest to $1.5 million with five years to go before she’s up for reelection.

Democratic congressional challengers net millions, but GOP incumbents lead individual fundraising 


Several million dollars has poured into the campaign coffers of the 23 Democrats challenging Republican Congress members in Orange County, an indicator of how seriously Democrats consider their chances of taking out the four GOP incumbents.


Half a dozen GOP House incumbents were out-raised by Democratic challengers in California

Los Angeles Times

Half of California’s 14 Republican House members were out-raised by upstart Democratic challengers, the latest campaign finance filings show.


GOP Fundraising Problem /Target Book


Third quarter financial reports filed yesterday with the FEC are sounding the latest alarm for the California Republican Party


Jerry Brown vetoed 12 percent of bills in 2017

The Sacramento Bee

Late Sunday night, Gov. Jerry Brown put another end-of-session bill signing period in the books, the 15th in his record-setting tenure as California governor.

See also:

·       Gov. Jerry Brown was less picky in 2017, vetoing fewer bills than he did in 2016  Los Angeles Times

Walters: Pettifoggery thrives in one-party legislative domination


Critics, particularly Republicans, often complain that Democrats who control the state Legislature yearn to minutely control or heavily tax any human behavior they don’t like.


Hillary Clinton Voter Survey Crosstabs – paulmitche11

Tableau Public

Preview for the tweeps- what do over 2,000 CA Hillary Clinton backers say about the 2016 election and the Dem Party?


In California, a direct — if expensive — resistance to President Trump’s Washington

Washington Post

Holding a pride-of-place spot on State Sen. Kevin de León’s office wall is a painting by a San Francisco artist. The picture renders in water color a roaring bear, the state symbol, its hind legs set in a bed of California poppies.


‘New Democrats’ flexing muscle

Capitol Weekly

Moderate Democrats are nothing new — they have been around for decades. In the 1980’s a group of moderate, business-friendly Democrats called the “Gang of Five” unsuccessfully tried to unseat Speaker Willie Brown.


Who were the winners — and the big loser — of California’s legislative session?

San Jose Mercury News

New parents, women, undocumented immigrants and future community college students won major legislative victories this year in California — as did the perennial lobbying powerhouse, the California Chamber of Commerce.


California voters who don’t speak English will get more help in 2018

Los Angeles Times

California elections officials will have to provide more voting materials in the languages of a community’s voters — including sample ballots — under a law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday.


Female lawmakers, staffers and lobbyists speak out on ‘pervasive’ harassment in California’s Capitol

Los Angeles Times

A state legislator who was groped by a male lobbyist weeks after she was sworn into office. A legislative staffer-turned-lobbyist who for years would only wear pantsuits in order to project a “business-only” air. A government affairs director who faced inappropriate advances from an associate in full view of male colleagues who seemed oblivious as it happened.


Californians will no longer have only ‘male’ and ‘female’ as a choice on government documents

Los Angeles Times

Californians will soon be able to identify as non-binary, as opposed to male or female, on their driver’s licenses and birth certificates, under a measure signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday.


Oral history: Lobbyist George Steffes

Capitol Weekly

When Ronald Reagan was elected governor of California in 1966, George Steffes joined his administration as legislative secretary and director of policy, a job he held until 1972. Steffes then helped form the first multi-partner lobbying firm in Sacramento. He is the senior partner of Capitol Partners.

Federal Politics:


Senate Republicans gain moment on tax reform budget measure


U.S. Senate Republicans on Monday gained crucial support for a vote on a budget resolution that is vital to President Donald Trump’s hopes of signing sweeping tax reform legislation into law before January.

See also:

·       Mnuchin Says Estate Tax Repeal Will Help ‘Rich People’ Most NYTimes.com

·       Why so much of the U.S. tax code is social policy  Marketplace

Efforts to pry loose Trump tax returns hit a wall


Efforts to pry loose President Donald Trump’s tax returns at the state level have hit a wall, stalling in statehouses across the country including in California, a hotbed of anti-Trump resistance.


This Republican is running to the right in California: ‘I will help the president make America great again’

Los Angeles Times

Tim Donnelly, former California state assemblyman and current columnist for the far right outlet Breitbart, announced a bid for Congress on Monday, saying he’ll have President Trump’s back.




California Racist Party

Fox and Hounds Daily (blog)

If you’ve been staying in the California Republican Party and waiting for the party to re-align itself with the state, your wait is over. It’s time to leave. Look for an exodus after the CRP’s invitation to Steve Bannon to speak at next weekend’s party convention in Anaheim.




Suffering he’ll cause doesn’t faze Trump

Modesto Bee

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra called Trump’s action “completely reckless,” and sued in federal court on Friday to block it.


Modesto Council choices crystal clear – Mejia, Zoslocki, Kenoyer

Modesto Bee

Too many questions about incumbent Tony Madrigal’s finances, residency and purported contributions to the city


Cheers and Jeers: Happy Trails

Stockton Record

Cheers Trail Coffee Roasters, a longtime downtown fixture, will stay downtown. Given the struggles that go along with redevelopment and startup businesses, seven years in a Stockton location may seem like a lifetime. But Trail Coffee has ridden the waves of those fledgling years…


The groveling to win Amazon’s new headquarters has gotten embarrassing. Stop it

Los Angeles Times

Cities and states across the country are going to embarrassing lengths to woo online mega-retailer Amazon, which has created a “Bachelor”-like competition to decide where it will locate a new, $5-billion second corporate headquarters with 50,000 high-paying jobs. An economic development group from…




As Fires Move On, Wine Country Wonders Whether Immigrants Will, Too

New York Times

The lush vineyards that dot the hillsides and valleys here largely survived the fires that leveled neighborhood after neighborhood to the east.





Farmersville keeps cop after funding from lease

Visalia Times-Delta


Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Volunteer receives state award for decades of service

Bakersfield Californian

This summer was the busiest, toughest year for the Kern County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue teams. John Diedeirch was in the thick of it. The swollen Kern River took 14 lives and kept Sheriff’s search and rescue teams scrambling to save other lives all though the late spring and summer.


Job training in prison has gone way beyond stamping license plates

Sacramento Bee

Within the razor wire fences of Folsom State Prison, Andreawanna Clemmons stared at a computer, filling her screen and mind with architectural designs.


Public Safety:


California cracks down on gun owners, dealers

Visalia Times-Delta

Gun dealers and carriers were dealt a blow after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a quartet of gun-related bills. Gun retailers will now have to clearly label each gun sold with a warning and schools across the state are now officially “gun-free zones.”




Death toll in wine country fires rises to 41 as driver of water truck dies in rollover accident

Los Angeles Times

The death toll climbed to 41 Monday when the driver of a water tender truck died in a rollover crash while helping to battle a series of wildfires ravaging Northern California, according to officials.

See also:

·       Tulare County firefighters battling blazes across state  Visalia Times-Delta

·       Firefighter battling NorCal wildfires dies in crash  abc30

·       CHP investigates fatal water truck accident Los Angeles Times

·       Northern California wildfires: Some got cell phone emergency alerts, others were on their own Sacramento Bee

·       Power lines and electrical equipment are a leading cause of California wildfires Los Angeles Times

·       PG&E shares drop on growing concerns about California wildfires liability CNBC

·       Vineyard owners share stories of loss and salvation amid wine country wildfires Los Angeles Times

·       These are some of the victims of the Northern California firestorm Los Angeles Times

·       California fires: Santa Rosa residents return home, while deputies search for the dead Sacramento Bee

·       Essential California: The grim task of finding victims of California firestorms Los Angeles Times

·       A bone shard, a molar, an artificial hip — the grim task of finding victims of the California fires Los Angeles Times

·       Live fire updates: Inmate firefighter being sought after walking away from fire lines Sacramento Bee

·       At Napa vineyards untouched by wildfires, the grapes must still be picked Los Angeles Times

·       California wine country faces long recovery from wildfires Sacramento Bee

·       Cleanup From California Fires Poses Environmental and Health Risks New York Times

·       California’s wildfires aren’t “natural” — humans made them worse at every step Vox

·       Wildfires continue to advance across Northern California as firefighters gain ground Washington Post

·       Fundraiser for Charlie Robles by Holly Danielle Charlie Robles Family Fire Relief
You can help here



Epithets, racist drawings at Tesla factory, ex-workers say 

San Jose Mercury

The men, who are African-American, claim in a new complaint filed Monday in state court that Tesla supervisors and workers used racial epithets and drew racist graffiti on cardboard boxes. Tesla has faced ongoing labor disputes and disruption this year. The company fired hundreds of workers this month after company-wide performance reviews.

Gov. Jerry Brown kills proposal for disclosure of salary information by gender

LA Times

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a measure on Sunday that would have required large companies in California to disclose data on how they’re paying men and women differently.





Bill bans schools from allowing guns for staff

Fresno Bee

Kingsburg Joint Union High School District teachers and administrators who have been carrying guns to class will not be allowed to do so starting Jan. 1.

See also:

·       Kingsburg High School leaders disarm staff members who had permission to carry guns on campus  Abc30

·       Legislation undoes Kern High School District policy allowing concealed guns on campuses  Bakersfield Californian

Gov. Brown vetoes bill that would have given teachers paid maternity leave 

San Francisco Chronicle

Gov. Brown on Sunday vetoed a bill that would have provided almost all teachers and other employees in California public schools and community colleges with six weeks of fully paid maternity leave starting next year.


Woodland teacher placed on paid leave after kneeling during national anthem at school rally

Sacramento Bee

A Woodland High School chemistry teacher was removed from the school Friday for kneeling while the national anthem was played at a school assembly.


Higher Ed:

Free first year of community college amid flurry of education-related bills signed by governor


The first year of Community College may be free to an additional 19,000 students under a new program called California College Promise, established in a bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last week


It’s ‘DACA Week’ At California Community Colleges 


The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office has declared this week “DACA Advocacy Week,” and San Diego campuses are responding with a full slate of events. They include everything from movie screenings, to informational sessions with immigration attorneys, to workshops on managing stress.


Brown vetoes bill to protect cultural garb during graduation ceremonies 

San Diego Tribune

Brown said a student’s right to express views through symbolic acts is “clearly protected” under the state Education Code and the 1st Amendment.


California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoes proposal to codify federal regulations on campus sexual harassment

Washington Post

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has vetoed a California bill (SB169) that would have changed California law to embody certain Obama-era federal regulations related to campus sexual assault proceedings.


Hecklers shout down California attorney general and Assembly majority leader at Whittier College

Washington Post

Last week, Whittier College … hosted California’s Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, in a question-and-answer session organized by Ian Calderon, the Majority Leader of the California State Assembly.




California will build greener under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown 

Los Angeles Times

Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday signed legislation that will require state officials to consider greenhouse gas emissions when choosing construction materials.



Wildfire smoke and health: 5 questions answered

San Francisco Chronicle

Wood smoke contains a mixture of microscopic droplets and particles and invisible gases that spread downwind from the fire source. Surprisingly, relatively few studies have investigated the types of exposures we are now seeing in California.


Trump doesn’t know it, but his attempt to blow up Obamacare could help California — and other states

Los Angeles Times

The fog is still swirling around President Trump’s assaults last week on the Affordable Care Act. That’s especially true of his cancellation of cost-sharing reduction payments to health insurers, possibly the most poorly understood subsidies of the ACA.


Mobile Clinics Assume Greater Role in Preventive Care


One afternoon last month, the Family Van stopped at the corner of Washington and Roxbury streets in Boston. The regulars had already formed a line, waiting in the lingering summer heat for the red and green RV to arrive.


California Declares Emergency in Fight Against Hepatitis A Outbreak 


Hepatitis A has been racing through homeless populations in San Diego, Los Angeles and Santa Cruz. As of mid-October, 576 people became ill, 386 went to the hospital, and 18 people died due to the outbreak.




As Fires Move On, Wine Country Wonders Whether Immigrants Will, Too

New York Times

The lush vineyards that dot the hillsides and valleys here largely survived the fires that leveled neighborhood after neighborhood to the east.




Land Use:


Another music festival proposed for Woodward Reservoir park near Oakdale. The music could be louder than name suggests.

Modesto Bee

A production company that holds the Serenity Gathering is asking for a permit to stage the transformational festival in April at Woodward Reservoir Regional Park near Oakdale.


Gov. Jerry Brown sides with local governments, vetoes state rules for installing 5G cellular equipment

LA Times

The installation of high-speed “small cell” equipment in California will not be driven by new statewide mandates after Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill pitting the lobbying power of the telecommunications industry against that of local governments.




Fresno wants $4200 in water fees added to new-home prices. Big developers say: See you in court

Fresno Bee

Buyers of newly built homes in Fresno are on the hook for a fee of more than $4,000 to ensure they have enough water coming to their residences. But a trio of major home builders is challenging the city’s fees in court, contending they’re too high, are unfair and amount to a tax that violates state law.


Wildfires raise fear of a ‘mass exodus’ by residents unable to afford housing 

Sacramento Bee

The fast-moving fires that ripped through Northern California last week worsened a problem North Bay officials have struggled with for the past two years: A severe housing shortage that is pushing poor and working class residents out as prices continue to rise.


Affordability crisis hits LA’s trailer parks 


Los Angeles County officials say rising rents and low vacancy rates aren’t limited to rental apartments— the affordability crisis is now hitting the region’s mobile home parks.


Confronting a crisis of homeless youth in California

San Francisco Chronicle

Homelessness has many faces, each with its unique story and set of challenges. As a state, we sometimes do a good job recognizing this reality by focusing resources, for example, on veterans or homeless families. Yet, we continually ignore one group with unique needs: our youth.


Homeless who sleep in cars to get third parking lot on city land 

San Diego Union Tribune

More homeless people who sleep in their cars at night will have a safe place to park through a partnership with the city of San Diego and the nonprofit Dreams for Change, which is adding a new lot and expanding its services.




For stories on “tax reform” See: “Top Stories – Federal Politics,” above


State Treasurer John Chiang extends sanctions on Wells Fargo for another year 

Los Angeles Times

The state of California will continue its financial sanctions against Wells Fargo for a second year following a string of new disclosures about bad practices at the bank since its sham accounts scandal unfolded.


Cities Face Seven Years of Growing CalPERS Costs


Cities jolted by a new CalPERS rate increase laid out in their annual pension reports this fall are finding few options for cost relief. Basically, they can pay more now to avoid higher costs later or curb the growth of employees and their pay.


State – Sept Revenues

CA Dept of Finance
September revenues came in $190 million above month’s forecast; for year to date, they’re up $666 million.


One-Stop Shopping for State Services On Its Way


Imagine a day when you can renew your car registration, pay your taxes and apply for Medicaid, all by clicking on to one state web portal.



More than half the states are raising taxes to fix roads, like California. Guess how many are blue.

Sacramento Bee

A funny thing happened in the days immediately following the Legislature’s passage of Senate Bill 1, The Road Repair and Accountability Act


Commentary: Don’t Make a U-Turn on Fixing California’s Roads


There is no tomorrow when it comes to fixing our roads, highways and bridges, which is why a misguided effort to repeal Senate Bill 1 — a historic measure to invest more than $5 billion a year in transportation improvements across the state — must itself be put to rest.


Believe it or not, commuting will get better — a few decades from now

San Francisco Chronicle

Let’s start with the bad news. Commuting, that scourge of modern life, will not go away. Skip forward a few decades, and the Bay Area’s clogged roads won’t magically clear. Getting to work will still take time. But you may actually enjoy it. And you’ll have a few options that don’t exist today — some of which could radically change the way California grows.


The older, ‘Easy Rider’ generation has a higher risk of fatalities on motorcycles, AAA says

Washington Post

The baby boomers who made motorcycles cool are also dying on them at a higher rate than other motorcycle riders, according to a new report from AAA.


Is Uber Helping or Hurting Mass Transit?


For all the tensions that Uber and Lyft have had with taxicabs, the bigger questions about ride-hailing companies have to do with their effects on all the other ways you might get around.




Fresno wants $4,200 in water fees added to new-home prices. Big developers say: See you in court 

Fresno Bee

Buyers of newly built homes in Fresno are on the hook for a fee of more than $4,000 to ensure they have enough water coming to their residences. But a trio of major home builders is challenging the city’s fees in court, contending they’re too high, are unfair and amount to a tax that violates state law.


Key vote on Jerry Brown’s $17 billion Delta tunnels project Tuesday in San Jose

San Jose Mercury News

In its most far-reaching decision in more than 50 years, Silicon Valley’s largest water provider will vote Tuesday on whether to embrace or reject Gov. Jerry Brown’ s $17 billion plan to build two massive tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.


Skelton: Brown should settle for just one Delta tunnel

East Bay Times

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein recalls Gov. Jerry Brown pitching her to support his costly twin-tunnels water plan. He showed her the environmental analysis and she was shocked.


Oroville Dam: DWR ‘Can’t say with certainty’ whether spillway ramp will reopen

San Jose Mercury News

The state Department of Water Resources intends to open the spillway boat launch ramp after construction at the dam is complete, but there is a possibility it will stay out of commission, according to a department official.



Free financial planning advice available at West Sacramento event

Sacramento Bee

Free advice from professional financial planners will be available Saturday at the annual Greater Sacramento Financial Planning Day event in West Sacramento.