September 14, 2015


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Political Stories

Top stories 

Federal candidates seek ways to tap state campaign stockpiles — Henry T. Perea is facing the end of his term-limited time in the California state Assembly with $900,000 stashed in his campaign accounts and thoughts of one day running for Congress. If the Fresno Democrat takes that step, he will face a dilemma that has confronted other politicians who have jumped from Sacramento to Capitol Hill: What to do with all that leftover money? Fresno Bee article

Why California’s alcohol taxes are so low – An end-of-session legislative proposal to add a 5-cent tax to cocktails – everything from happy hour shots of bourbon to pricey craft concoctions – again made clear the Capitol’s sustained aversion to alcohol levies. Sacramento Bee article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures 

Rep. Loretta Sanchez gains ground on Attorney General Kamala Harris in Senate race, poll shows — State Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris is holding her lead in the race to succeed Barbara Boxer in the U.S. Senate, but strong support among Latinos has enabled Rep. Loretta Sanchez of Orange County to establish herself as a serious rival, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll. LA Times article


Meet the busboy who’s taking on Donald Trump over immigration – A few weeks after Donald Trump launched his campaign for the presidency, a friend asked Ricardo Aca a question: “How would you feel about making a short documentary and risking your job?” Aca, 24, had come to the U.S. from Mexico when he was 14. Now he lived in Brooklyn and worked as a busboy at an upscale sushi restaurant on the ground floor of the Trump SoHo condo tower. LA Times article

Other areas 

Dan Walters: California’s ‘split roll’ is a debate, not reality – What’s in a word? How about billions of dollars? Make It Fair is a labor-union-backed organization that wants to change Proposition 13, California’s landmark property tax limit. Walters column in Sacramento Bee 

Sacramento Bee: The good, the bad, the silly, and the left-undone – Before leaving town, legislators dropped 250 bills on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk, some of them significant, and many others tailored for interests whose money fuels campaigns. And they took actions that were utter wastes of time. Sacramento Bee editorial 

Bill to change charges sent to Brown – After an audit revealed a state agency was unfairly charging families to care for disabled children, a bill is headed to the governor’s desk to ensure fees are assessed consistently. Assembly Bill 564, authored by Assemblywoman Susan Eggman, D-Stockton, passed the Assembly floor on Wednesday by a vote of 79-0. Stockton Record article

George Skelton: Reagan would be amused and troubled by this GOP field – The Republican presidential candidates will debate at the Ronald Reagan library Wednesday, and you can’t help but wonder what the Gipper would think of this bunch. Would that sound you hear at the start of the debate be Reagan rolling over in his nearby grave as each candidate tries to cozy up? Nobody knows. But as someone who covered him for 20 years in Sacramento and Washington, I can guess. Skelton column in LA Times 

Fiorinia’s rivals may seize on 2010 playbook to exploit weaknesses — Carly Fiorina graduates to the main stage for Wednesday’s GOP presidential debate at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, but even as she seeks to expand her appeal to voters, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO’s history may come back to haunt her. San Francisco Chronicle article 

Showdown between Carly Fiorina and Donald Trump expected at Republican debate — Political strategists warn male candidates to use caution when debating against a female rival. But almost never before in American presidential politics has a candidate who has drawn charges of sexism and bullying been forced to personally confront the female recipient of his insults on live television. New York Times article

News Stories

Top Stories

Modesto eyes more restrictions on panhandling – Modesto is looking to add more restrictions on panhandlers, limiting where they can ask for money, food and help and how far they have to be from shopping center driveways, gas pumps and outdoor dining areas at restaurants. Modesto Bee article

Thousands flee ‘mass destruction’ as Valley, Butte, Rough fires grow – Two major wildland fires continued to burn out of control Sunday in Northern California despite the efforts of more than 5,000 firefighters to halt the progress of the blazes, which had burned hundreds of homes and scorched more than 164 square miles in Amador, Calaveras and Lake counties. Sacramento Bee articleStockton Record article

Jobs and the Economy

Stockton manufacturing hunts sales in Africa – American Micro Detection Systems Inc., a Stockton producer of water analytic equipment, will be one of more than 100 U.S. companies joining a U.S. Department of Commerce trade mission to Africa. Stockton Record article

California’s tech ties to India are about to get a boost – The Indian prime minister is looking for more than superficial connections when he visits Silicon Valley this month in the first trip by an Indian leader to California in more than three decades. In a two-day swing, Modi hopes to enjoy the warm embrace of a U.S. high-tech industry that already has strong connections with India and a thriving diaspora community that generally embraces his swaggering style. LA Times article

Pension of spiking ‘poster child’ cut after review — A Moraga-Orinda fire chief drew national attention six years ago for retiring at age 50 with a pension much larger than his base pay. He went back to work as chief the following Monday, hired as a consultant with full salary. Calpensions article 


Don Curlee: Fairgrounds display agricultural bounty — California’s 76 fairgrounds usually showcase the state’s agricultural superiority and provide fun and entertainment as hosts for 78 annual fairs, but this year some of them have gained additional stature as shelters for fire victims and base camps for firefighters. Curlee column in Visalia Times-Delta 

Criminal Justice/Prisons 

San Diego County, DMV to help inmates get ID cards — A new partnership between San Diego County and Department of Motor Vehicles will help soon-to-be released inmates get government identification. San Diego Union-Tribune article 

12 firearms seized, nearly 1,000 pot plants eradicated in Merced County — Investigators on Sunday seized a dozen firearms and eradicated nearly 1,000 marijuana plants, many of which authorities believe were being grown to finance organized criminal operations, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department reported. Merced Sun-Star article

A rise in violence plagues South LA: ‘We can’t police our way out of this’ — Thirty minutes before the meeting at a South Los Angeles church was supposed to start, the parking lot was already full. Hundreds of people packed the pews of Hamilton United Methodist on Sunday — so many that some were left standing even after the choir lofts were filled. There were elected officials, community activists and gang intervention workers. LAPD commanders and a police commissioner. There were mothers whose sons had been killed on the city’s streets, and one man who had been shot himself a month ago. Their goal: Stop the violence plaguing South L.A. LA Times article


Public input sought as Stockton Unified superintendent search ramps up – The Stockton Unified School District board will start taking in comments and questions from the community about traits desired in a new superintendent. In July, trustees unanimously approved a plan to carry on the search as recommended by the Superintendent Search Ad Hoc Subcommittee — a committee formed for a specialized task that dissolves after its completion. Stockton Record article

Student’s protest spark viral debate on American Indian history – Sacramento State student Chiitaanibah Johnson has always been passionate about her American Indian heritage and what she sees as attempts to erase that history. A Maidu and Navajo born in an Indian hospital in Arizona, the 19-year-old has now sparked a national debate about how the history should be remembered and taught. Sacramento Bee article

UC appeals after judge finds sexual misconduct investigation unfair – University of California regents have appealed a court ruling that found UC San Diego was unfair to a student who had been suspended over allegations of sexual misconduct. LA Times article

Tracy Redden: Transparency: A confession – The Visalia resident writes, “In addition to the secrecy of the process, there was not one apparent reason for the school board to choose high school map M, not one guiding principle where map M was better than map P.” Redden op-ed in Visalia Times-Delta


Rough fire moves northwest, concern turns to evacuees, firefighters – As the Rough fire moved away from the giant sequoias Sunday and blue skies returned to Fresno, concern is turning to those affected by the fire, the people – and animals – driven out by it and the firefighters battling it. Fresno Bee article

Fire evacuations near Oakhurst lifted Sunday night – A fire south of Oakhurst Sunday prompted authorities to issue a mandatory evacuation of some neighborhoods for several hours until fire crews got control of the blaze. Fresno Bee article

‘Incredibly fast’ Valley Fire destroys hundreds of home – Hundreds of homes were destroyed, thousands of people were forced to flee, and a state of emergency was declared in Napa and Lake counties as the rapidly spreading Valley Fire grew to 50,000 acres Sunday and tore through several communities, incinerating structures, fire officials said. San Francisco Chronicle articleLA Times article

Fire crews battle to save tiny Lake County hamlet — As flames raced up the hillside toward dozens of rural Lake County homes Sunday evening, fire crews braced for battle at the top of the ridge. San Francisco Chronicle articleLA Times articleSacramento Bee article 

Old and new media play helpful roles during Valley Fire — Those with access to computers and working cellphones could take advantage of resources that would have been unavailable not that long ago. But for those with only spotty cell service or who lacked mobile devices or who were cut off from landlines and TVs, there was an old standby: radio. LA Times article 

Butte fire escapees find shelter, supplies at Valley Springs center — Good Samaritan Church is living up to its name, providing shelter and a distribution point for donated goods as the massive Butte fire rages 10 to 15 miles away. Modesto Bee article

Endangered species return to restored salt pond in southern San Francisco Bay — Two endangered species have returned to a nearly lifeless former salt pond in the southern San Francisco Bay, the first proof that the ambitious 30-year South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project is helping nature heal. San Jose Mercury News article

Other areas 

Ten Space developer Tim Egkan found dead just hours after downtown tour – Just hours before Tim Egkan’s lifeless body was discovered on a darkened central Stockton street, he had led 20 San Francisco Bay Area craftsmen and artists on a tour of his company’s Medico-Dental Building, touting the potential opportunities for relocating to downtown. Stockton Record article

Hackers can now hitch a ride on car computers – As transportation evolves from mechanical to digital, hackers are following the computers into cars. Just about any new car can be hacked — some even driven by remote control — as automakers depend more on software and wireless connections. Vehicle vulnerability may only grow as cars become their own wireless hot spots with the advent of automated braking and steering systems, experts warn. LA Times article

Romaine Playground to get new skate park — A new skate park is coming to Romain Playground in central Fresno. It’s another sign that the Parks Departme

Valley Editorial Roundup


Fresno Bee – The crusade against Planned Parenthood incites hysteria.


Sacramento Bee — Before leaving town, legislators dropped 250 bills on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk, some of them significant, and many others tailored for interests whose money fuels campaigns. And they took actions that were utter wastes of time.

Maddy Events


Sunday, Sept. 20, at 10 a.m. on Fresno ABC30 – Maddy Report: “Prop 63 and the State’s Mental Health Programs: Promises (Un)Fulfilled?” — — Guests: Darrell Steinberg, former president pro tem of the California Senate and current director of Policy and Advocacy at the UC Davis Behavioral Health Center of Excellence, and Carole D’Elia, executive director of the Little Hoover Commission. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler. 

Sunday, Sept. 20, at 10 a.m. on KMJ (580AM and 105.9FM Radio/podcast) – Maddy Report – Valley Views Edition: “Prop 63 in Action: Tulare County’s Innovative Mental Health Program” — Guests: Dr. Timothy Durick, the director of the Tulare County Mental Health Department, and John Moreno Gonzales with the California Health Care Foundation’s Center for Health Reporting. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler. 

Sunday, Sept. 20, at 7 a.m. on Univision 21 (KFTV) and UniMas 61 (KTFF) – El Informe Maddy: “Prop 63 and the State’s Mental Health Programs” – Guest: Jose Oseguera (Mental Health Services Oversight & Accountability Commission). Host: Maddy Institute Deputy Director Ana Melendez.

The Maddy Report airs throughout California on The Cal Channel.  Check to find the Cal Channel and schedule in your area.  You also can view previous Maddy Report programs in their entirety at


Community Events


  • The Wonderful Company will hold information sessions in Avenal and Wasco for area nonprofits, churches, religious organizations and local government agencies interested in applying for the Wonderful Community Grants initiative.  The Wasco event will be held at Wasco City Hall on Monday, Sept. 14, from 10-11 a.m. The Avenal event will be held at the Avenal Recreation Center on Tuesday, Sept. 15, from 10:30-11:30 a.m.   More information:
  • CA Fwd will hold an event on “Money, Schools, Jobs and You – A Bipartisan Conversation in Clovis” at the Center for Advanced Research Technology on Tuesday, Sept. 29, from 6-8 p.m. Speakers are Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin; former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed; Pete Peterson, executive director of Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership; and Marshall Tuck, Educator in Residence, New Teacher Center.  Event is free but registration is required.  More information:
  • West Hills Community College District will hold an event, “Shifting Ground — Adapting the San Joaquin Valley Economy to a Changing Climate,” on Oct. 8 at Harris Ranch in Coalinga. Senior leaders from business, agriculture, government agencies and nonprofits will gather to launch immediate actions and provide near-term guidance to create next generation jobs in a region battered by drought and struggling with multiple challenges. Visit www.essentialelementsseries.comfor details of this no-fee policy series.
  • The fourth annual San Joaquin Valley Affordable Housing Summit will be held at the Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center on Tuesday, Nov. 3, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration and additional information is available here.
  • The 2015 California Economic Summit will be held in Ontario on Nov. 12-13.  Since its inception in 2012, the Summit has brought together hundreds of private, public and civic leaders from the state’s diverse regions in an effort to advance the triple bottom line: promoting a prosperous economy that respects environment and equity concerns.  More information and registration is available here.




Next 10: UPDATED California budget challenge – For the first time in a decade, California’s budget is largely in balance.  However, the state has outstanding debts of $28 million, not counting long-term pension and retiree health care costs.  Budget choices affect us all.  Take the Challenge and decide how much should be spent on programs and where the money should come from.  Next 10 California Budget Challenge

Next 10: Federal budget challenge — The Federal Budget Challenge is based on The Concord Coalition’s Principles and Priorities budget exercise, which has been used in numerous town hall meetings across the country by members of Congress from both parties, as well as in hundreds of high school and college classrooms.  Next 10 Federal Budget challenge at 

Next 10: California Water Challenge – As our state faces some of the most severe drought conditions in its history, Next 10 wants to issue a new challenge to Californians: can you create a plan to make sure there’s enough water for everyone?  Next 10 California Water Challenge

LEGISLATORS’ VOTING RECORDS: How often has a California legislator broken party ranks, abstained or switched sides? The Sacramento Bee has a database of the voting records of every member of the state Senate and Assembly. Enter a lawmaker’s last and first names to see how he or she voted, or enter a bill number to see how every legislator voted on it. Check it out at this link.

More Information


Please visit if you want to view the Maddy Daily with our comprehensive list of links to all federal, state and local government, public affairs institutes/regional entities, Valley media and public policy blogs. (Please note new website address.)

Maddy Institute Updates List of San Joaquin Valley Elected Officials – The Maddy Institute has updated its list of San Joaquin Valley elected officials.  The list is available here.


Maddy Institute on Facebook and Twitter – To learn about Maddy Institute activities (e.g. The Maddy Report tv show, The Maddy Associates’ Luncheons, the Maddy Legislative Intern Program), become a fan of the Maddy Institute on Facebook or log on to And if you have a Facebook or Twitter account, please add us and follow us!

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The Kenneth L. Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno was established to honor the legacy of one of California’s most principled and effective legislative leaders of the last half of the 20th Century by engaging, preparing and inspiring a new generation of governmental leaders for the 21st Century. Its mission is to inspire citizen participation, elevate government performance, provide non-partisan analysis and assist in providing solutions for public policy issues important to the region, state and nation.


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