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California Policy & Politics This Morning  

California's Republican Party is buoyed by Trump, but struggles for relevance at home -- California Republicans were in a festive mood at their weekend convention in Sacramento. Seema Mehta and Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/27/17

Resolutions backing Trump agenda sail through on last day of California GOP convention, but internal politics bubble up -- The question was whether or not a newly formed group, the California Impact Republicans, should be chartered as an affiliate of the state party. The group was started by former members of the California Republican Assembly, part of the most conservative wing of the state GOP. Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/27/17

Schnur: California’s GOP in Congress a gauge of Trump’s political power -- There are now fewer Republicans in the California congressional delegation than there are players on the roster of the Golden State Warriors. Dan Schnur in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/27/17

Decker: Politics speak at numerous volumes on Oscar night -- America has been divided for months by brutal political tactics and outspoken animus. But on Sunday, as it stepped onto its biggest stage, the entertainment industry took another approach in its war against President Trump. It decided to show rather than tell. Cathleen Decker in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/27/17

Feinstein misses “empty-chair” townhall meeting -- Organizers of a townhall meeting that they hoped would feature California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein held the event Sunday despite her absence. Rick Hurd and George Kelly in the East Bay Times -- 2/27/17

Walters: Democratic leaders silence Nguyen, stir up old conflict -- The state Senate’s Democratic leaders blew it badly Thursday when they forcibly prevented Republican Sen. Janet Nguyen, a refugee from Vietnam, from criticizing the late Tom Hayden. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/27/17

Election officials question campaign accounting for Issa's challenger, Applegate -- As Democrat Doug Applegate begins raising money for a second challenge of Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, federal elections officials are questioning his campaign’s financial reporting, and filings show a nearly $400,000 drop in cash-on-hand overnight that the campaign has yet to explain. Morgan Cook in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 2/27/17

Oroville Dam’s banged-up spillway to shut down Monday -- Oroville Dam operators plan to halt water releases from the dam’s battered spillway Monday in order to ramp up efforts to remove a debris pile that’s preventing them from restarting a hydroelectric plant. It will mark the first time since Feb. 7, when a giant crater opened in the concrete spillway, that no water has been released from Lake Oroville. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/27/17

Daly City Resolution Rejects Local Help for Immigration Enforcement After Police Linked to ICE Raid -- Daly City leaders are expressing concern about a multi-city federal law enforcement operation that targeted a criminal gang and detained 11 people on immigration violations. The Feb. 13 operation involved U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and local police in Santa Cruz, Watsonville and Daly City. Ted Goldberg KQED -- 2/27/17

Snowden criticizes Russian hosts in video feed to San Francisco audience -- Former national security contractor and famed whistle-blower Edward Snowden, in an appearance before an enthusiastic San Francisco audience Sunday via video feed, criticized his Russian hosts even as he dismissed the possibility of returning to the United States to face trial anytime soon. Emily Green in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/27/17

San Francisco traffic ranks as 4th worst in world -- When San Franciscans proudly describe their city as world class, traffic congestion can now be part of the conversation. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/27/17

Taxes, Fees, Rates, Tolls, Bonds    

Taxes are on the table as push for California road funding intensifies -- The way California raises money to maintain and repair state highways and local roads has largely been the same for more than two decades. Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders want to change that, and Californians would pay more as a result. Jim Miller in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/27/17

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions 

CalPERS investment priority shifts to avoiding loss -- Despite a low funding level little changed since massive investment losses nearly a decade go, CalPERS is focusing on avoiding another big loss, not risky attempts to maximize investment earnings. Ed Mendel Calpensions.com -- 2/27/17

Homeownership dips almost everywhere, except the Inland Empire -- Slipping homeownership isn’t just a Southern California problem. U.S. Census Bureau stats for 2016 show continued dips nationwide, statewide and in Los Angeles and Orange counties. But surprisingly, there was progress in the Inland Empire. Jonathan Lansner in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 2/27/17

San Francisco tourism industry fears impact of Trump immigration policies -- As a Canadian citizen with a spotless legal history, Sahar Fatima should technically be able to fly into San Francisco International Airport, enjoy 10 carefree days traversing the California coastline with her best friend, and return home without a problem. But in an America led by President Trump, she worried that her hijab, brown skin and Pakistani birth certificate would raise problems that she just didn’t want to deal with on vacation. So she canceled her trip. Trisha Thadani in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/27/17

PG&E’s first female CEO on San Bruno, high bills and immigration -- On Wednesday, Geisha Williams will take charge of PG&E Corp. as the first female CEO in the energy company’s history. David R. Baker in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/27/17


How California Schools Are Bringing Mindfulness Into the Classroom -- Many of the children at ​Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary School in Watts start class with their eyes closed. But it’s not because they’re sleeping or ignoring their teacher — they’re focusing on finding a place of calmness, thinking positive thoughts and letting go of things that may be weighing on their mind. Derek Walter California Health Report -- 2/27/17

Blind Sonoma County school leader, denied use of aide, sues -- Tim Nonn’s election in November to the school board in his Sonoma County community coincided with a personal challenge: the almost complete loss of his eyesight more than a decade after he was diagnosed with glaucoma. Jill Tucker in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/27/17

Federal rule dispute a key element of transgender case -- On the surface, the suit pending before the U.S. Supreme Court over bathrooms and transgender students would seem to be a straight-forward conflict over civil rights. But some experts believe the case brings forward a far different argument over the limits of federal rulemaking. Tom Chorneau Cabinet Report -- 2/27/17

Private California colleges protest proposed cut in state grants for low-income students -- Manuel Herrera relies on an array of federal, state and campus aid to help pay his tuition at Whittier College, a private liberal arts campus where he is a pre-med freshman. Among his most important scholarships is a $9,084 per-year Cal Grant, a state-funded subsidy for low- to middle-income students. Larry Gordon EdSource -- 2/27/17

Immigration / Border 

Border Patrol pursuit ends in crash; 9 hurt, one critically -- Nine people were injured, one critically, when an SUV driven by a suspected human smuggler crashed Sunday while being chased by Border Patrol agents near Lake Morena in East County. Lyndsay Winkley in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 2/27/17

Advocates warn ‘dreamers’ to lie low as Trump ramps up deportation plans -- Immigration lawyers and advocacy groups are advising undocumented immigrants not to enroll in a federal deferred-action program created by President Barack Obama over fears that the Trump administration will use their personal information to detain and deport them. David Nakamura in the Washington Post$ -- 2/27/17

Trump’s Soft Spot for Dreamers Alienates Immigration Hard-Liners -- President Trump’s sympathetic remarks about the young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers — “these incredible kids,” he has called them — were a surprising turn for a man who had vowed during the campaign to “immediately terminate” their protections from deportation. Julie Hirschfeld and Jenniver Steinhauer in the New York Times$ -- 2/27/17

Meet El Salvador's growing middle class: Deportees from the U.S. -- Now he is 39 and thriving as a manager at an English-language call center that takes questions from AT&T customers in the United States. He and his friends, other U.S. deportees also working in call centers, earn well over El Salvador's minimum wage. Among the Central Americans caught in a decades-long cycle of migration and deportation, Reyes is one of the more fortunate ones. Kate Linthicum in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/27/17


With Obamacare in jeopardy, California considers going it alone with 'single-payer' system -- With President Trump now vowing to put forward a replacement for the Affordable Care Act in March, some California politicians and healthcare advocates are once again promoting the idea of a state-run “single-payer” system that operates like Medicare. Soumya Karlamangla in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/27/17

Science closing in on polio-like virus that paralyzed children -- Scientists are closer than ever to proving that new strains of an old virus are to blame for recent waves of polio-like paralysis in children that have stumped doctors and alarmed parents across the country. Erin Allday in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/27/17

Also . . . 

An unreal amazing moment for 'Moonlight's' young cast -- No one was more stunned by the now infamous reversal of fortune at this year's Oscars than "Moonlight's" stars. They w ere stunned to hear that their film, not season-long awards juggernaut "La La Land," was the best picture winner after all. Jen Yamato in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/27/17

Future self-driving cars will have ‘Intel inside’ -- Intel wants to make the brains for self-driving cars. It makes sense. The cars will basically be computers on wheels. Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/27/17

POTUS 45  

Trump faces a pivotal week ahead as he addresses jittery GOP lawmakers -- Less than two months into his presidency, Donald Trump faces a pivotal week ahead, with plans to address GOP lawmakers who are jittery about key aspects of his legislative agenda and to roll out a new travel ban in a fashion that will ease doubts about his administration’s competence. John Wagner and Mike DeBonis in the Washington Post$ -- 2/27/17

Trump budget plan boosts Pentagon, trims State Dept, EPA: officials -- The White House will send federal departments a budget proposal on Monday containing the defense spending increase President Donald Trump promised, financed partly by cuts to the U.S. State Department, Environmental Protection Agency and other non-defense programs, two officials familiar with the proposal said. Reuters -- 2/27/17

Trump to lay out healthcare revamp details in speech to Congress -- Republicans have yet to agree on a single detailed policy proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Some moderates want to revise the law and not abandon it entirely while conservatives want to repeal it completely. Steve Holland Reuters -- 2/27/17

Trump inspires encryption boom in leaky D.C. -- Both career employees and White House aides have taken steps to conceal their communications with colleagues or the news media. Andrew Restuccia and Nancy Cook Politico -- 2/27/17

These Iowans voted for Trump. Many of them are already disappointed -- Tom Godat, a union electrician who has always voted for Democrats, cast his ballot for Donald Trump last year as “the lesser of two evils” compared to Hillary Clinton. He’s already a little embarrassed about it. Jenna Johnson in the Washington Post$ -- 2/27/17

Nominee to be Navy secretary withdraws -- The Trump administration’s choice to become the next Navy secretary has pulled his name from consideration, the Pentagon said Sunday, the second nominee to head a military service who has bowed out in recent weeks. Missy Ryan in the Washington Post$ -- 2/27/17

Father of Commando Killed in Yemen Refused to Meet Trump -- The father of Chief Petty Officer William Owens criticized the White House over the mission that killed his son and called for an investigation. Eric Schmitt in the New York Times$ -- 2/27/17

Trump’s pick for commerce leaves Russia questions unanswered -- Wilbur Ross is likely to be confirmed as Donald Trump’s secretary of commerce on Monday despite unanswered questions about his ownership of a Cyprus bank that caters to wealthy Russians. Kevin G. Hall McClatchy DC -- 2/27/17


-- Sunday Updates 

Immigration courts clogged with 2-year backlog -- Among the dozens of foreigners facing possible deportation who appeared before San Francisco immigration judges last week was Arturo Rojas, a former military officer from El Salvador who said he had fled his homeland in fear of his life. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/26/17

California GOP moves to align with Donald Trump policies -- The California Republican Party moved Sunday into greater alignment with President Donald Trump, approving resolutions opposing sanctuary cities, advocating robust vetting of citizens from seven Muslim-majority nations and supporting a swift repeal of the federal healthcare overhaul. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/26/17

In deep blue California, Trump electrifies GOP -- California’s withered Republican Party finally found reason for cheer. David Siders and Carla Marinucci Politico -- 2/26/17

California GOP Accepts Trump, Headwinds and All -- As he sat on the edge of the ballroom stage at the Sacramento Hyatt Hotel Saturday afternoon, California Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte seemed to have not a care in the world. Scott Shafer KQED -- 2/26/17

California Democrats had muzzle ready for GOP senator -- The Democrats who muzzled a Republican state senator and had her dragged out of the chambers had plenty of warning of what was coming, and went through with the eye-popping scene after pressuring her in advance not to open her mouth on the Senate floor. Matier & Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/26/17

California Republican Party convention delegates elect Jim Brulte to third term as chairman -- The California Republican Party on Sunday voted to keep Chairman Jim Brulte in the job for a third term to steer the party toward what is expected to be a crucial election for the GOP in 2018. Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Time$ Angel Hart in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/26/17

Can Oroville Dam’s badly damaged spillway hold up through the rainy season? -- For three weeks, Oroville Dam’s fractured main spillway and the surrounding hillsides have taken a nearly nonstop pounding. Ryan Sabalow, Dale Kasler and Peter Hecht in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/26/17

Actor Bill Paxton dies at 61 due to complications from surgery -- Bill Paxton, the prolific and charismatic actor whose many memorable roles included an astronaut in “Apollo 13” and a treasure hunter in “Titanic,” has died from complications due to surgery. He was 61. Lindsey Bahir Associated Press -- 2/26/17

Here’s why BART really needs that bridge toll hike -- Our recent report about BART getting behind a proposed $1 to $3 hike in Bay Area bridge tolls to help pay for hundreds of new rail cars had Steve Jasik of Menlo Park reaching for his calculator — and making a startling discovery. Matier & Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/26/17

Talbot: Sleeping with frenemies: how moderates, progressives can coexist -- Two titanic political battles are raging in America today. One, of course, pits the Democratic Party — and the majority of American voters who rejected Donald Trump — against his freakish presidency. The other battle pits the Democratic Party against itself, with progressives clashing with establishment forces for the soul of the party. David Talbot in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/26/17

Father of dead Navy SEAL refused to meet Trump at ceremony -- The father of a Navy SEAL killed during an anti-terrorism raid in Yemen is demanding an investigation into its planning and criticized the Trump administration for its timing. Associated Press -- 2/26/17