October 30, 2018




Devin Nunes attacks opponent Andrew Janz over student debt

Mercury News

Rep. Devin Nunes is opening up an unusual new line of attack on his well-funded Democratic challenger: his student debt.

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Tom Steyer accuses Kevin McCarthy of anti-Semitism over tweet

CBS News

Tom Steyer, the billionaire Democratic donor, is criticizing a now-deleted tweet posted by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, saying the message was anti-Semitic and symptomatic of a larger problem in the Republican party.

Yes on P campaign demands county fix ballot language for Election Day

Fresno Bee

The Yes on P campaign is seeking corrective action from the Fresno County Clerk after ballots and voter guides were printed with incomplete language for Measure P.
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Tulare council candidates opine on business development, getting public trust back

Visalia Times Delta

Four candidates for Tulare council talked about their vision of the future of Tulare government, including the importance of​​ picking a new city manager​​ and​​ tackling budget deficits.​​ 

Thomas Elias: Prop. 8 makes flawed medical system even worse

Visalia Times Delta

Suppose for a moment that your favorite relative — father, mother, aunt, uncle, brother or sister — were getting urgently needed cancer treatment and California’s government suddenly decreed the doctor could not include his assistant’s pay in any fees he charged. So he fires his assistant and then has less time to devote to caring for your loved one.

He’s looking for representatives who will ‘move this country forward’

Sierra Star

Peter Cavanaugh writes a weekly opinion column for the Sierra Star in Oakhurst, CA. This week, he criticizes political climate in President Donald Trump’s time and says Jessica Morse is part of needed change.

COMMUNITY VOICES: The taint is on the Democrats

Bakersfield Californian

I was pleasantly surprised when Steve Bacon ("COMMUNITY VOICES: Kavanaugh’s taint," Oct. 25) began his piece with his first paragraph, especially where he stated he believes in due process and does not believe the accused are guilty until proven innocent.​​ 


Why President Trump's new sports medicine law is tricky in California

Visalia Times Delta

Following years of bipartisan work between members of Congress, President Trump signed new legislation that greatly improves legal protections for athletic trainers and other sports medicine professionals when traveling outside of their state of licensure to provide care to athletes.

California hasn't mattered in national politics for a long time. Here's why this Nov. 6 is different

Los Angeles Times

California — big, bounteous, beautiful — is pretty much used to irrelevancy come election day. This year is different.​​ 

Video: Californians and Their Government​​ PPIC

In the last weeks of the fall campaign, Democrat Gavin Newsom remains ahead of Republican John Cox in the race for governor. In the US Senate race, Dianne Feinstein continues to lead fellow Democrat Kevin de León. Two closely watched ballot measures—Proposition 6, which would repeal the recent gas tax increase, and Proposition 10, which would expand local authority to enact rent control—are still trailing. These and other key findings of the​​ latest PPIC Statewide Survey​​ were outlined by​​ PPIC researcher Alyssa Dykman​​ at a Sacramento briefing last week.

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Here are the candidates running for statewide office in California

Los Angeles Times

More than 19 million registered voters in California have the chance to cast ballots in the November election. And they’ve got a lot to consider: Voters will elect a new U.S. senator, eight statewide officeholders and a Board of Equalization member for their district as they also weigh 11 propositions and who should represent them in the U.S. House of Representatives.

My turn: Next governor will face hard fiscal realities


As next Tuesday’s election approaches, here’s something disconcerting that all candidates should keep in mind: the California economy.

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Trump Says He Will Void Birthright Citizenship Law Through Executive Order


President Trump is planning to use an executive order to strip birthright citizenship from America's laws, rather than trying to change the Constitution through an act of Congress. The potential move, which would likely trigger numerous legal challenges, would seek to end the conferring of citizenship to children of non-citizens who are born in the U.S. — which is currently guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.

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Midterm election spending nears a record $5 billion, and Democrats outpace Republicans, report finds

Los Angeles Times

A surge in donations to Democrats has driven spending on the Nov. 6 election to nearly $5 billion across the nation, shattering the record for a congressional midterm, a nonpartisan research group reported Monday.

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Nancy Pelosi, the Sequel

Wall Street Journal

If Democrats take back the House next Tuesday, as they now appear likely to, it will be a stunning second act for Nancy Pelosi.

GOP Works to Rally the Trump Skeptics Within Party

Wall Street Journal

In most years, the congressional district here wouldn’t be in play. The GOP holds a six-point advantage in party registration, and the region has a tradition of voting Republican.

Few People Want to be Poll Workers, and That’s a Problem

PEW Trust Research

Local election officials are dealing with a myriad of issues ahead of November’s contentious midterms, not least of which is securing systems from malicious actors. One lesser-known problem that continues to concern them is the national shortage of poll workers.

Opinion | Trump’s Corruption: The Definitive List

The New York Times

The many ways that the president, his family and his aides are lining their own pockets.

GOP continues to use Soros as a boogeyman in political ads

Mercury News

Republicans pressed ahead in casting financier George Soros as a threat, shrugging off criticism that the attacks are anti-Semitic, days after a fervent supporter of President Donald Trump was charged with sending a mail bomb to Soros’ home and a gunman opened fire at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

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Make Election Day a company holiday.


Nearly 60% of voting-eligible Americans did not vote in our last midterm elections.

Elections in America: Concerns Over Security, Divisions Over Expanding Access to Voting

Pew Research Center

With a week to go before Election Day, Americans are confident their local election authorities are up to the essential tasks of making sure that elections are run smoothly and that votes are counted accurately.

EDITORIAL: Hold Trump responsible for Pittsburgh synagogue shooting? No, but …

San Diego Union-Tribune

Last week will go down as one of the most awful in recent American history because of the murders of 11 Jewish worshipers at a synagogue in Pittsburgh and of two African-American shoppers at a grocery store in Kentucky and the pipe bombs mailed to at least 14 prominent Democrats and national security figures perceived by the “CNN sucks” crowd to be constant critics of President​​ Donald Trump. These heinous acts created a sense of a violent nation spinning out of control. With each crime, the suspects’ hate-filled views came into sharper, shocking focus.

EDITORIAL: The president refuses to take responsibility for his dangerous rhetoric

Los Angeles Times

If President Trump were a different — and better — man, he would have reacted to the sickening slaughter of 11 congregants at a Pittsburgh synagogue by engaging in some sober self-examination and refraining from incendiary comments that might energize other violent extremists.

EDITORIAL: Will Angela Merkel's departure leave liberal democracy leaderless in a growing authoritarian jungle?

Los Angeles Times

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the de facto leader of the European Union and, in the wake of U.S. abdication, of Western liberalism. Her announced departure in 2021 throws the future of both enterprises into doubt.

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Voices From a Divided America

Wall Street Journal

Surely, political and cultural tensions seem more pronounced these days. Liberals and conservatives often live in different worlds, shop in different stores, eat in different restaurants and consume different media.

A brief history of the exit poll


Exit polls are invaluable. They are the only source we have to look at how actual voters differ from all Americans. But they have come under increasing criticism in recent years. The 2016 exit poll underestimated the number of white working-class voters and overestimated the white, college-educated Democratic electorate. This November, the AP will try a new exit polling method.

Dislike of candidates or campaign issues was most common reason for not voting in 2016

Pew Research Center

Tens of millions of registered voters did not cast a ballot in the 2016 presidential election, and the share who cited a “dislike of the candidates or campaign issues” as their main reason for not participating.



Gallo will expand into vacant Seneca fruit cannery in Modesto

Modesto Bee

The vacant Seneca Foods fruit cannery in Modesto will shift to wine following its sale to two companies founded by the Gallo family.

Pot smell and property values: Federal lawsuit could have broad impacts

Mercury News

A federal trial in Colorado could have far-reaching effects on the United States’ budding marijuana industry if a jury sides with a couple who say having a cannabis business as a neighbor hurts their property’s value.

You’ll get a deal on walnuts this year. Farmers won’t.

Sacramento Bee

The USDA estimated in a recent report that California will produce 690,000 tons of walnuts this year — up 10 percent from last year.

Feed company to pay Clovis ranch $2.4 million after selling poisonous feed that killed and injured 49 horses


A Valley feed company has agreed to pay $2.4 million dollars for killing or injuring 49 horses at a Clovis horse ranch. Western Milling sold the poisonous feed back in 2015 and has been investigated by the Food and Drug Administration before for multiple violations.

Conservation programs in the 2018 Farm Bill


The House and Senate draft reauthorizations of the 2018 Farm Bill retain most of the current features of agricultural conservation programs but include changes that may lead to efficiencies and other changes that do little to improve program effectiveness.



Deaf woman sues county for allegedly jailing her for five days without interpreter

Bakersfield Californian​​ 

A deaf Kern County woman has sued the county, as well as Sheriff Donny Youngblood and 10 deputies, alleging she was arrested and booked for five days in the county jail without being told her charges in a way she could understand.

WORTH NOTING: CASA leader to step down but stay involved in group

Bakersfield Californian​​ 

The executive director of Court Appointed Special Advocates of Kern County has stepped down but will remain a consultant to the nonprofit as it searches for someone to replace her.

Enough is enough: Fed-up Americans crave unity amid violence


The volatile tribalism now so ingrained in American life will eventually right itself, says Robb Willer, a sociology professor at Stanford University, but not until the public decides it’s had enough and stops rewarding politicians who use incendiary language and demonize the other side. It’s impossible to guess, he notes, how much damage will be done in the meantime.

Public Safety​​ 

Anti-Semitic incidents are surging across the U.S. Here are the numbers

Los Angeles Times

The shooting massacre of 11 worshipers at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh Saturday was the deadliest attack on Jewish people in U.S. history.

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Dismantling organized crime networks in the Americas


Join AEI and the Federalist Society today for a discussion on the Trump administration’s options in the fight against transnational organized crime in the Americas.​​ 


Think modern wildfires are bad? Fires once burned up to 36 times more of the West, study says

Sacramento Bee

Wildfires tearing through the Western U.S. in recent years have burned whole communities to the ground, claimed countless lives and busted government firefighting budgets.

Was PG&E right to leave thousands in the dark to prevent wildfires? The jury is still out

Sacramento Bee

A year after the most destructive wildfire in California history​​ blackened wine country, PG&E completed the first big test of its new better-safe-than-sorry strategy.

‘Red flag’ wind warnings hit Northern California — and PG&E urges customers to prepare

Sacramento Bee

With weather forecasters issuing “red flag” warnings for much of Northern California, PG&E said Monday it wasn’t ready to shut off power again to reduce fire risk but is watching the forecast closely.

Tracking California’s deadly wildfires


Because there’s no longer a real wildfire season in California, the statistics never stop in their awful aggregation. Virtually everything related to fires is on the rise: acres burned, lives lost, cost to fight the blazes. The state has 78 more annual “fire days” now than it had 50 years ago.



The Fantasy of Fiscal Stimulus

Wall Street Journal

America’s economy has fully recovered from the Great Recession and is now in a boom phase. But the prevailing explanation of that recovery is not satisfactory, and neither is the understanding of the boom.

Private-equity money backs an effort to overturn California law intended to help the poor

Washington Post

A company backed by private equity is financing a campaign to repeal California’s landmark criminal justice reform intended to help the poor.


Project that could bring 15,000 jobs to Stanislaus County heads to Board of Supervisors

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County leaders are poised to approve environmental studies for a major industrial center and general aviation airport at the former Crows Landing airfield

More California cops and firefighters are paying for their pensions. Is it too late?

Sacramento Bee

From Arcata on the North Coast to Hemet in the Inland Empire, California cops and firefighters are chipping in more money to pay for their pensions while the cities that employ them struggle to manage fast-rising retirement costs.​​ 

San Jose: Homeless people will be paid $15 an hour to pick up trash in ‘hotspots’

Mercury News

San Jose is home to some beautiful architecture and brilliant art, but also to freeway on-ramps and creek embankments that are littered with ugly trash and debris.


Donations reach $50 million in race for California state superintendent of schools​​ 


Marshall Tuck has a more 2-to-1 advantage over Tony Thurmond in direct donations and $28.7 million in funding from independent committees.


CUSD lays out plan for new school

Clovis RoundUp

Clovis Unified School District discussed the plans for a new school at its board meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 24.

Asking candidates the right questions about public education


Promises of change must be accompanied with answers to school's toughest challenges.

Higher Ed:​​ 

Amid global uproar, some US colleges rethink Saudi ties

Sacramento Bee

U.S. colleges and universities have received more than $350 million from the Saudi government this decade, yet some are rethinking their arrangements in the wake of the killing of a journalist that has ignited a global uproar against the oil-rich nation.





First Pines, Now Firs: California's Trees Are Still Dying


Remember three years ago when California had its worst drought on record? We might have more water than we did back then, but trees are still suffering. It's just a different kind of tree.


UC makes bold commitment to 100 percent clean electricity

University of California

As the impacts of global climate change grow ever more alarming, we have some good news: Clean energy is catching on among cities, states and other big institutions across the country.



Here’s what happened after California got rid of personal belief exemptions for childhood vaccines

Los Angeles Times

Health authorities in California have more power to insist that a dog is vaccinated against rabies than to ensure that a child enrolled in public school is vaccinated against measles.

Tuberculosis rates may rise due to inferior treatment


It is an unusual day when I agree with a large group of socialist health groups. But activists correctly​​ raise the alarm​​ that changes in policies by large multilateral donors may lead to the rise of inferior tuberculosis medicines and poor patient outcomes.

New fertility procedure allows 2 women to carry same baby, presents new choices for same-sex couples


For the first time in history, two women have carried the same baby thanks to an amazing new medical advance.

Human Services:

More than $100 million spent on battle over dialysis industry profits in California

Los Angeles Times

A war between a healthcare union and the dialysis industry it wants to organize has morphed into one of the most expensive ballot measure campaigns in California history.

Another conflict brewing over work disability costs


Gavin Newsom loves high-concept, almost edgy, approaches to governance – not unlike a younger Jerry Brown during his first governorship four decades ago.

More U.S. Women Dying From Childbirth. How One State Bucks the Trend.

PEW Trusts

Over the past three decades, the world has seen a steady decline in the number of women dying from childbirth. There’s been a notable outlier: the United States.

Trump’s Socialist Health-Care Scheme

Wall Street Journal

The biopharmaceutical industry saves more lives, relieves more suffering, and reinvests more profits into innovation than any other in the world. Yet the sector has become a public punching bag. Everyone from liberal Democrats to President Trump argues that drugs cost too much.

Why We Stereotype Strangers

Wall Street Journal

Research shows that all of us—even the most well-meaning and open-minded—have some type of implicit, or unconscious, biases, says Dolly Chugh. She is an expert on implicit bias​​ and unethical behavior and the author of “The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias.”

Full Documentary: Giving Birth in California


In the "Strawberry Capital" of the US, an immigrant farmworker prepares for the birth of her third child while facing healthcare challenges and threats to immigration status.​​ 

EDITORIAL: Harrop: Forget about cheaper drugs on Trump's watch

Bakersfield Californian

President Trump's plan for lowering Medicare drug costs is good, even cutting-edge. As Democrats successfully campaign on health care, Trump has come back with a proposal that could save Medicare patients and taxpayers $17.2 billion over five years. Too bad its chances of happening are close…


Ronald Reagan was right on amnesty for immigrants. Here’s why.

Modesto Bee

In 1985, President Reagan asked his domestic policy council: Should I keep pushing legislation offering amnesty to undocumented immigrants?

Trump to Deploy 5,200 Troops to Southern Border

Wall Street Journal

The U.S. military said it would send 5,200 troops to the southwest border in response to a caravan of migrants from Central America that President Trump has seized on as an issue in the Nov. 6 midterm elections.

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If Parents Get Deported, Who Gets Their Children?

PEW Trusts

As the Trump administration increases immigration enforcement actions against working adults, grandparents and other extended family members — often immigrants themselves — are stepping in to care for many of those children left behind.

High-Immigration States Diverge on Census Citizenship Question

PEW Trusts

Arizona, California, Florida and Texas all have large immigrant populations, so if the new citizenship question on the 2020 census dissuades immigrants from participating, the resulting undercount could cost all of them seats in Congress and billions in federal money.

The US Is Granting Asylum Requests At The Lowest Rate In Two Decades, New Statistics Show

BuzzFeed News

Immigration courts under the Trump administration have approved asylum cases at the lowest rate in nearly two decades, according to an analysis of Department of Justice data.

U.S. Citizen Detained by ICE Is Awarded $55,000 Settlement

New York Times

In December 2017, Ms. Plascencia, 60, sued the United States government and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department for false arrest and imprisonment, and in September she was awarded $55,000 in a settlement, according to court documents filed in United States District Court in San Bernardino County last week.

The Effect of Immigration Enforcement on Crime Reporting: Evidence from the Priority Enforcement Program


Weak trust between immigrants and law enforcement may undermine law enforcement agencies’ ability to keep communities safe.​​ 


Land Use:

Yes on P campaign demands county fix ballot language for Election Day

Fresno Bee

The Yes on P campaign is seeking corrective action from the Fresno County Clerk after ballots and voter guides were printed with incomplete language for Measure P.
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Is it urban sprawl or smart development? A battle is brewing over the future of Visalia

Visalia Times-Delta

A philosophical difference over the future of Visalia — whether development should be allowed to spread west towards Highway 99 or should existing commercial areas be developed through infill and redevelopment — is brewing on the city council.​​ 

Tulare's O Street improvement project continues

Visalia Times Delta​​ 

Motorists heading to Tulare Union High School using Kern Avenue from O Street can expect a traffic detour and delays this week.


Is it a stretch to say Prop. 10’s rent control is bad economics?

Mercury News

It’s a stretch to say that California’s rising housing costs are simply the interaction of supply and demand.

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Stability in Overall Pension Plan Funding Masks a Growing Divide

Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

This overall stability, however, masks a growing gap among plans: the average funded ratio was 90 percent for the top third but just 55 percent for the bottom third.


Leader of Gas Tax Repeal Threatens Recall Drive Against Becerra


The leader of the initiative campaign to repeal California's fuel tax and vehicle fee increases announced Monday that he will launch a drive to recall Attorney General Xavier Becerra if the measure fails next week.

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California Has a Posse in Tug-of-War With Trump Over Electric Cars


Mary Nichols, the powerful clean-air regulator in California, can count on GM and more than a dozen states. Just don’t suggest she’s recruiting an opposition army.


Groundwater Management is Key to Adapting to Climate Change


California relies heavily on groundwater for its water supply, particularly during drought.  Climate change is increasing drought intensity, making groundwater―with its immense potential for low-cost storage―an ever more important water source.​​ Sustainable groundwater management will be vital​​ to adapting to a warmer future and should be a top policy priority for the next administration.


West’s old mines hold danger for some, adventure for others

Sacramento Bee

Underneath the mountains and deserts of the U.S. West lie hundreds of thousands of abandoned mines, an underground world that can hold serious danger and unexpected wonder.