October 31, 2014


Receive the Maddy Daily in your inbox every morning! To subscribe or unsubscribe, please send an email to Ana Melendez at ajovelmelendez@csufresno.edu.

Political Briefs

Top stories 

Poll: Voters support water bond, against health-related ballot measures – California voters have turned against two health-related measures on Tuesday’s ballot while majorities continue to support a water infrastructure bond and a criminal sentencing initiative, according to a new Field Poll.  Sacramento Bee articleSan Francisco Chronicle article

Once seen as a major race, campaign for controller is now a snoozer – The campaign for state controller, the job responsible for paying the state’s bills, was expected to be one of the year’s most hotly contested, the showcase for a rising Republican star from the Central Valley. But it hasn’t worked out that way. Television advertising has been scarce, and fundraising light, by California standards. The candidates did not debate. They’re grinding it out by flooding mailboxes with fliers, working the phones and criss-crossing the state to speak with voters.  LA Times article

Gov. Brown

Bill Whalen: Brown blows chance to set final agenda – Barring a miracle, Brown will win Tuesday. But we deserved a more in-depth conversation regarding his final term. It’s not a dialogue to start with an election-night victory speech. In the next four years, however, Brown may not be able to avoid at least three thorny topics – each potentially a hard-fought initiative.  Whalen column in Sacramento Bee
Valley politics

SD14: Chavez school board, City Hall attendance becomes issue in race – State Senate hopeful Luis Chavez has missed a considerable amount of time from two taxpayer-funded jobs — one in education, the other in government — as he has campaigned for office the past two months. But Chavez says he’s done nothing wrong and everything has been by the book.  Fresno Bee article

SD12:  Cannella seeks a second term – State Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres, is seeking a second term in the California Senate to keep working on water storage that could reinvigorate farmland and Valley communities hammered by the drought. His opponent in the Nov. 4 election is progressive Democrat Shawn Bagley of Monterey County, who is running a grass-roots campaign within the redrawn boundaries of the 12th Senate District, which now stretches across six counties in the San Joaquin and Salinas valleys.  Modesto Bee article

Farmer faces military veteran in Kings County supervisor election – The runoff election Tuesday for District 4 Kings County supervisor pits cotton farmer Craig Pedersen against military veteran Justin Bond, who lost a leg in the Iraq War.  Fresno Bee article

Madera County supervisor candidates address water, development, safety – Water, development and public safety concerns are central to the campaigns of Madera County supervisor candidates Mona Diaz and Brett Frazier.  Fresno Bee article

Madera County district attorney race in final heated stretch run – Madera County District Attorney Michael Keitz and challenger David Linn continue fierce political jousting in the race to be the top prosecutor— with each more than willing to point out what they see as the other’s shortcomings.  Fresno Bee article

Bakersfield Californian: Assessor race: Voters, just take your pick – Which man is the better choice? You decide. This is one race we’ve decided to sit out.  Bakersfield Californian editorial

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

Robin Abcarian: Neutrality will only take GOP controller candidate Swearengin so far – Higher office, most political observers say, is her quest. But how bright is her political future, really, in a deep-blue state that chews up Republican candidates? Where, for instance, does she stand on issues dear to the heart of socially liberal Californians? Does she really support same-sex marriage? What about abortion rights? Does she believe in a living wage?  Abcarian column in LA Times

John Myers: Long-term debate over Jerry Brown’s short-term taxes – Even Jerry Brown’s critics often concede that he’s a skilled politician, and so no one should be surprised about one part of this, his final campaign for governor: He’s not going to even suggest any additional taxes on Californians beyond those already on the books. That may not be a problem now. But there’s a debate on the horizon over the taxes he helped persuade voters to approve in 2012, one that may test his political and policy skills if he’s re-elected on Nov. 4.  KQED report

Once a crusader against big money, Gov. Brown is collecting millions – Brown, 76, built his career crusading against big money in politics. These days, as he seeks a fourth and final term as governor, Brown is back in the fish factory, as it were, collecting millions of dollars from donors with a stake in decisions he makes as governor.  LA Times article

Jerry Brown casts ballot, mum on Torlakson v. Tuck – Gov. Jerry Brown, with few exceptions, has long resisted the urge many politicians feel to involve themselves – whether for the sake of good government or political gain – in controversies outside their immediate purview. After casting an early ballot here Thursday, Brown offered a clinic in how reticence is done.  Capitol AlertSan Francisco Chronicle article

Outside spending dwarfs candidates’ efforts in some California races – Campaign spending by outside groups exceeds candidates’ own efforts in a dozen state contests on Tuesday’s ballot, the latest state filings show.  Sacramento Bee article

Schools chief race most expensive statewide race – Spending in the race for California’s superintendent of public instruction is three times the spending in the race for governor, according to recent data from the California Secretary of State site. The race is also the most expensive state superintendent race since at least 2002, the earliest race for which online campaign finance data is available.  EdSource article

Kamala Harris redefining the job of attorney general – California’s attorney general is often known as the state’s “top cop.” And to be sure, Kamala Harris has done her share of “law and order” press conferences announcing drug busts and gang takedowns. But, as she heads into Tuesday’s election, Harris has clearly emphasized different priorities than her predecessors.  KQED report

Resignation in rural California as election nears – When Californians go to the polls Tuesday, vast stretches of the state – thinly populated, inland and rural – will have little to look forward to. Tim Donnelly, the tea party favorite Modoc County voted for, did not advance to the runoff in the race for governor, and Democrats are polling ahead in every race for statewide office.  Sacramento Bee article

Same-party races challenge California incumbents – California congressmen Mike Honda and Tom McClintock have never apologized for their strong partisan leanings and are not about to start now.  AP article

Phillip Bautista: Prop 45 would give too much power to one politician – The registered nurse from Madera writes, “Anyone who has pulled back the curtain on Proposition 45 knows that it is a self-serving measure that lines the pockets of the proponents while putting physicians, nurses and their patients in a bind. Please join me in voting “no” on Proposition 45 – it is bad medicine.” Bautista op-ed in Fresno Bee

Rev. D.J. Criner and Rev. Christopher Breedlove: Why people of faith support Prop 47 – The Fresno pastors and board members of Faith in Community write, “It’s time to act. Let’s end mass incarceration together. This is dream of a more fair, just and safe society can become our reality, and a vote for Proposition 47 is a step toward that brighter future.” Criner/Breedlove op-ed in Fresno Bee

Sacramento Bee endorsements – This is the full list of The Sacramento Bee editorial board’s recommendations for the Nov. 4 election.  Sacramento Bee article

LA Times endorsements – These are The Times’ recommendations for the Nov. 4 election. Each is discussed in depth at www.latimes.com/endorsementsLA Times article


Few Latinos ‘angry’ over Obama immigration policy, but support slips – Only a small minority of Latino voters report that they are “angry” over President Obama’s decision this year to delay executive action on immigration reform, but disappointment over his deportation policies is widespread, and Democrats have suffered a decline in support from a crucial voting bloc, according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center.  LA Times article

Sacramento shooting case sparks debate over immigration policies – Critics of U.S. immigration policy have seized on the shooting spree that left two Sacramento area sheriff’s deputies dead last week as evidence that the federal government has failed to secure the border with Mexico.  Sacramento Bee article
Other areas

Economy, other issues overshadow abortion, poll finds – As a season of campaigning enters its final, intense weekend, a new Associated Press-GfK poll illustrates the challenge ahead for candidates and their allies trying to rally voters around traditional wedge issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. This fall, voters just have other matters on their minds.  AP article

Ad Watch: Republicans’ Obamacare ad rings true – The Congressional Leadership Fund, the Republican group affiliated with House Speaker John Boehner, is wading into the heavily targeted 7th Congressional District, hitting Sacramento-area Democratic Rep. Ami Bera for his support of the federal Affordable Care Act. The ad opens with a video snippet of Bera, a medical doctor, addressing GOP challenger Doug Ose at the pair’s recent debate.  Capitol Alert

LA officials to consider ballot measures to change election years – Can changing when Los Angeles votes reverse a long-term decline in turnout? Los Angeles lawmakers Friday are set to consider letting voters decide whether city elections should be moved to even-numbered years.  LA Times article

LA County’s Prop P would levy taxes for parks, conservation work – Along with casting their votes for a new supervisor, sheriff and assessor Nov. 4, Los Angeles County voters will decide whether to tax themselves to pay for park and conservation projects across the region.  LA Times article 

News Briefs

Top Stories

Stockton bankruptcy ruling: Sigh of relief – The black eye of Chapter 9 bankruptcy that has blemished Stockton for 28 months began its final fade-out in a Sacramento courtroom Thursday morning when federal Judge Christopher Klein confirmed the city’s proposal to restructure its finances.  Stockton Record article‘Reactions: relief, disgust, everything in between’ in Stockton RecordSacramento Bee articleLA Times articleAP articleCalpensions articleMichael Fitzgerald column in Stockton RecordDan Walters Daily in Sacramento BeeStockton Record editorial

California eyes $500 billion in water spending – California’s growing population and dwindling water require up to $500 billion in additional investment in water in coming decades, and new state fees for water users could be one way pay for it, a water plan released Thursday by the state’s top water officials said.  AP article

Jobs and the Economy

Fresno County’s largest employee union rejects 5 percent raise – A raise negotiated by Fresno County supervisors for its largest union was rejected after voting came to a close Thursday afternoon. The Service Employees International Union, whose six units represent about 4,500 of the county’s 7,100 employees, opposed the plan to raise their salaries by 2% in three weeks and another 3% in August.  Fresno Bee article

‘Skills gap’ threatening to impede economic growth in California – California employers aren’t hiring as quickly as they could — but the economy isn’t the damper. The problem? Bosses are increasingly looking for qualities that many candidates don’t have. The so-called skills gap is now threatening to impede economic growth in California, a state that suffered more intensely than most during the recession.  LA Times article

 Fitch upgrades Fresno’s credit rating – Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin announced that bond rating agency Fitch Ratings revised the city’s credit rating outlook from negative to stable.  The Business Journal article 

U.S. economy shows solid growth, but it’s about to be tested – The U.S. economy is showing steady, solid growth despite the shaky global environment, but its resilience will be tested in the coming months.  LA Times article 

Modesto picks brighter deal on streetlights – A company that warned Modesto in June that it was about to pay a competitor too much to replace streetlights is about to land the work for itself and at a cost that will save the city $2 million.  Modesto Bee article 

Bankrupt San Bernardino to vote on ‘autopilot’ raises for police, fire – Voters in bankrupt San Bernardino, California, will decide next week whether to scrap a budget rule that sets pay for police and firefighters based on salary levels in wealthier cities.  Reuters article

Madera County EDC launches app – A few months after launching a revamped website, the Madera County Economic Development Commission has become even more user friendly with a new mobile app to help businesses and travelers find information about the county.  The Business Journal article 

Merced gets fair ranking for young families – Merced ranks right around the middle of the pack of 138 cities for people looking to raise young families, according to a report from San Francisco-based nerdwallet.com, a consumer advocacy group.  Merced Sun-Star article 

Arena construction went overtime, past city curfew, on first day – In an early hiccup for the downtown arena project, general contractor Turner Construction Co. appears to have worked past the city-imposed 11 p.m. time limit Wednesday.  Sacramento Bee article

Jackrabbit expands in Ripon – Jackrabbit Inc., which manufactures nut harvesting equipment, announced that it is expanding and reorganizing its operations to meet current and projected growth. The company said it has created a service department, tripled its engineering department, expanded supply chain staffing and brought on two additional sales representatives.  Stockton Record article

Mortgage rates increase from 2014 low, Freddie Mac says – Mortgage rates rose this week from their lowest point in 2014, but lenders still offered a 30-year fixed loan below 4 percent, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey.  LA Times article

Modesto man advances in Stanislaus Innovation Challenge – Luke Rocha of Modesto won the latest round of the Stanislaus Innovation Challenge with products that could be used in airsoft tactical war games.  Modesto Bee article

Starbucks plans delivery after sales fall short – After reporting disappointing quarterly sales Thursday, Starbucks said it will offer a delivery option on its mobile app in select areas of the U.S starting next year.  AP article


California will pay more for water, but still must conserve: officials – Californians face higher water prices and permanent conservation measures amid drought, global warming and population growth in a state that has long struggled to satisfy urban and agricultural needs, the administration of Governor Jerry Brown said Thursday.  Reuters article 

Lake Mission Viejo isn’t feeling California drought – yet – In California’s third consecutive drought year, state officials are beginning to consider whether the sparkling waters that are the city’s recreational haven might be better used to fill bathtubs and drinking glasses in the most parched regions.  LA Times article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Tulare County looking for new jail designer – The Tulare County Supervisors recently voted to end a $5.5 million contract to build a new, 500-plus-bed jail in the Porterville area.  Visalia Times-Delta article

Stanislaus sheriff a car burglar victim – The crime is far too common – a burglar smashes a car window, grabs what was inside and takes off. It’s the victim that makes this case stand out from the roughly 900 other auto burglaries in Modesto so far this year: Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson.  Modesto Bee article


UC Merced working on list of development teams for campus growth – In efforts to stay on track with its 2020 Project goal of accommodating 10,000 students, UC Merced is working on a final list of development teams for campus growth.  Merced Sun-Star article

U.S. targets for-profit colleges that saddle students with high debt – The Obama administration is stepping up regulation of for-profit career colleges, announcing rules that could cut off federal funding to institutions that leave students with massive debts they can’t repay.  LA Times article

Witness says City College of San Francisco received warnings for years that it was in jeopardy – City College of San Francisco has received clear warnings since 2006 about its financial instability and other problems that threatened its accreditation, witnesses said Thursday under questioning from attorneys for the commission trying to revoke the school’s accreditation.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Berkshire Hathaway executive donates $65 million to UC Santa Barbara – The vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has donated $65 million to a UC Santa Barbara physics institute — the largest single gift in the university’s history.  LA Times article 


Valley’s stricter wood-burning rules starts on stormy weekend – A dark and stormy weekend may ease any pain from San Joaquin Valley’s wood-burning rule — the toughest in California and maybe the whole country.  Fresno Bee articleStockton Record article

Kern fire chief lifts Arvin evacuation order but residents wary – The more than seven month long mandatory evacuation of eight Arvin homes was lifted Thursday by Kern County Fire Chief Brian Marshall, who delivered letters to evacuees stating that “the explosive gas is no longer present.”  Bakersfield Californian article

PG&E cutting gas pressure on lines with lower-quality parts – Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is cutting pressure on four gas transmission pipelines in the Bay Area after discovering the company used pipe or components that did not comply with federal rules for populated areas, utility officials have told state regulators. San Francisco Chronicle article

LA officials: No active quake fault under Hollywood development site – The Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety has signed off on geology reports that found that no active earthquake fault runs under the site of a proposed 16-story development just east of the Millennium Hollywood project.  LA Times article

Health/Human Services 

Most voters not worried about Ebola threat in California – Despite an onslaught of news bulletins and some missteps in the nation’s response, a majority of California voters are unfazed by the Ebola threat and confident government officials and medical workers are prepared to handle outbreaks, a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll has found.  LA Times article 

Kaiser nurses in Fresno could strike to protest lack of Ebola training – Registered nurses at Kaiser Permanente Fresno and Kaiser hospitals elsewhere could walk out on a two-day strike next month to demand better Ebola protections and training, National Nurses United said Thursday.  Fresno Bee articleSan Francisco Chronicle article

Questions, answers about California’s Ebola policy – Here’s an explanation of what California’s policy means for health workers traveling from affected parts of West Africa and how it compares to other states.  AP article

Fresno Bee: Uniform national policy best way to corral Ebola – The CDC may not be staffed with superheroes, but does have health workers who are trained to deal with public health scares.  Practically speaking, that’s only a little less strict than the new policy in California, which, with a little trust, could be the basis for a national consensus. This state-by-state patchwork is a prescription for trouble. Let the CDC do its job.  Fresno Bee editorial

Audit: California nursing home oversight haphazard – The California Department of Public Health is stumbling in its oversight of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, weighed down by a backlog of more than 11,000 open complaints – and no clear path to dig its way out, the California state auditor has concluded.  Capitol AlertLA Times article

Pushing back against the anti-vaccination movement – Dr. Paul Offit, a University of Pennsylvania pediatrician and the nation’s most outspoken childhood vaccine proponent, had come to the UCLA lecture hall to subject several dozen physicians to a faux parental grilling. He wanted to give them the kind of pushback doctors have come to expect in affluent parts of Los Angeles and California, where increasing numbers of parents are refusing to inoculate their kids against contagious, even life-threatening diseases for fear of complications.  LA Times article

Terminally ill woman may postpone taking her life – A terminally ill woman who expects to take her own life under Oregon’s assisted-suicide law says she is feeling well enough to possibly postpone the day she had planned to die.  AP article

Decades-old ban on blood donation by gay men draws scrutiny – The FDA bans any man who has had sex with another man even once since 1977 from donating blood. The policy, which has remained largely unchanged since its creation during the AIDS epidemic, has been under fire from gay rights groups in recent months and will be up for discussion at a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services meeting in November.  Sacramento Bee article
Land Use/Housing

 Fresno council approves infill housing project – A dirt lot, a parking garage, a big dream — leave it to the Fresno City Hall to find a common theme in it all. The City Council worked well into the lunch hour Thursday to approve a controversial infill housing project, pick a new manager of city-owned parking facilities and choose a developer to turn the Fulton Corridor into an entertainment powerhouse.  Fresno Bee article


Stanislaus, Merced leaders hope ACE rail comes south – A few dozen leaders from Stanislaus and Merced counties waited at a Manteca station Thursday for a train to take them west. They rode the Altamont Corridor Express, which runs from Stockton to San Jose by way of Livermore, to show their support for a proposed branch to Modesto and points south.  Modesto Bee article

Valley roads get ‘poor’ grades – The cities of Merced and Dos Palos received poor grades, scoring fewer than 50 points out of 100, the equivalent of an “F” grade. The rest of Merced County’s roads were considered “lower risk,” or fair.  Merced Sun-Star article

Dan Walters: LA, Ontario squabbling over airport –  Ontario International Airport opened two large, modernistic terminals in the late 1990s to improve service in California’s fast-growing “Inland Empire” of San Bernardino and Riverside counties, replacing shabby facilities that would have embarrassed a Third World country.  Walters column in Sacramento Bee
Other Areas

City Beat: The latest scoop on municipal government – Bakersfield officially came out in favor of Proposition 13 at last week’s Bakersfield City Council meeting.  Also, the Bakersfield Police Department continues its search for a few good men and women to join the agency as sworn police officers. Although certified for 404 sworn officers, the department is currently fielding about 370 officers due to retirements and separations for various reasons.  Bakersfield Californian article

Hanford teacher starts rural library project – Sierra Pacific High School English teacher and London native Robert Isquierdo has started a Library for London project, aimed at raising awareness, support and funding for the creation of a much-needed library for the community.  Hanford Sentinel article

Paul Hurley: Female farmworkers get support – Paul Hurley offers his thoughts on support for female farmworkers, clean living for Visalia activist Bill Huott, and other issues.  Hurley in Visalia Times-Delta

 Stephanie Campbell, longtime Bakersfield activist, dies at 61 – Stephanie Campbell spent a lifetime trying to improve conditions in southeast Bakersfield, from keeping youth out of trouble to cleaning up neighborhoods. The longtime Bakersfield activist died of cardiac arrest Oct. 25. She was 61.  Bakersfield Californian article

Brik McDill: Know difference between stupid and criminal – Unless we were dealing with serious harm (in the Taft football team case) there should have been no talk of juvenile justice involvement. Wrong medicine can do serious harm. Tinctures of balance and horse sense are abundantly needed in these kinds of sensitive incidents which in inexperienced administrative hands can be pushed naively, dangerously, in all the wrong directions.  McDill column in Bakersfield Californian

Tulare clinic, shelters report increase is parvovirus cases – This is the worst season for canine parvovirus veterinary doctor Sharon Linderman can remember in more than a decade in Tulare.  Visalia Times-Delta article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Bakersfield Californian – Which man is the better choice for Kern County Assessor-Recorder? You decide. This is one race we’ve decided to sit out.

Fresno Bee – Victorious Giants conjure up a Halloween to remember; The CDC may not be staffed with superheroes, but does have health workers who are trained to deal with public health scares.  Practically speaking, that’s only a little less strict than the new policy in California, which, with a little trust, could be the basis for a national consensus. This state-by-state patchwork is a prescription for trouble. Let the CDC do its job.

Merced Sun-Star – Giants victory, rain – a perfect Halloween.

Modesto Bee – Giants victory, rain – a perfect Halloween.

Sacramento Bee – State Ebola policy is smart, but we need a national Rx; Don’t bet against another Giants title in 2016.

Stockton Record – Bankruptcy decision goes Stockton’s way, but there will be no party.