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California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Cost to taxpayers for settling sheriff's deputy misconduct claims soaring, topped $50 million last year -- In one case, Los Angeles County paid more than $6 million to a woman who had been raped by a sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop. In another, it took more than $7 million to resolve multiple lawsuits after deputies in West Hollywood mistakenly shot two hostages, killing one and seriously wounding the other. Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/9/17

Nearly $1 billion in side deals by Gov. Brown and Democratic leaders cemented the legislative vote to raise the gas tax -- In one of the biggest legislative victories of his storied political career, Gov. Jerry Brown pushed through an ambitious plan last week that will increase gas taxes and vehicle fees to raise $52 billion over the next decade for the repair of California’s system of crumbling roads, highways and bridges. But the win didn’t come cheaply — Brown and legislative dealers promised nearly $1 billion for the pet projects of lawmakers who had been sitting on the fence before they were persuaded to vote for the bill. Patrick McGreevy, Melanie Mason and John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/9/17

Political Road Map: Sacramento's closed-door dealmaking didn't go away with Proposition 54 -- The lesson learned after last week’s vote in Sacramento on an expansive $52-billion transportation plan is a familiar one: You can’t take the politics out of politics. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/9/17

Schnur: Trump should take a few tips from Schwarzenegger, but he won’t -- Arnold Schwarzenegger will never be president of the United States. But last week we got to see what his campaign for the White House would have looked like if the world — and the U.S. Constitution — had turned out differently. Dan Schnur in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/9/17

Los Angeles County D.A.'s office sees a big drop in the number of public corruption prosecutions -- The Los Angeles County district attorney’s public corruption unit has prosecuted hundreds of cases and notched some big convictions, including seven officials who looted city coffers in Bell. In recent years, however, felony case filings have been on the decline, falling from a high of 39 in 2010 to 11 last year, records show. Ben Poston and Kim Christensen in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/9/17

Oakland fire: The mystery of the man in Room 223 -- The man in Room 223 kept to himself. He loved computers and would sketch Oakland landscapes with a set of colored pencils. Like many of the people living at 2551 San Pablo Ave., his background is something of a mystery. Matthias Gafni in the East Bay Times -- 4/9/17

Lopez: California's environmental crusaders helped save our state. Now, they face down Trump -- It did not begin well for Alicia Rivera, who carried a stack of fliers as she made her way around the parking lot of a Wilmington shopping center. The first person she approached brushed past her, uninterested in her spiel about polluted air in the harbor area’s smokestack neighborhoods. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/9/17

How ‘Incompetent Rock’ Led to the Oroville Dam Crisis -- Meanwhile, engineers at Oroville Dam are drilling cores and conducting geological studies, hoping to better understand February’s near-catastrophic spillway failures. It’s the kind of thorough study that might’ve been lacking when the dam was built, 60 years ago. Craig Miller KQED -- 4/9/17


Rising home prices in California concern economists, prompt action by lenders -- Experts say rising home costs in California are the result of a stronger economy, high employment levels, relatively strong buyer demand, and most significant, low inventory of homes for sale. Mark Glover in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/9/17

Lansner: Is California housing hot or cold? 2 reports offer polar opposite views -- Is California housing “overvalued," or is there "minimal" risk of falling prices? Welcome to the quirky world of slicing and dicing housing data. Jonathan Lansner in the Orange County Register -- 4/9/17

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions 

Under Trump, Bay Area tourism could see a decline, travel leaders say -- President Trump’s America-first rhetoric may have endeared him to many voters, but it has concerned those in the travel industry who fear that increased restrictions on international travel and the lack of a welcome message from the White House may have a dampening effect on tourism in the Bay Area and beyond. Annie Sciacca in the East Bay Times -- 4/9/17

Shareholder suit may offer best chance to fix Wells Fargo -- The bills keep piling up for Wells Fargo as it grapples with a scandal where employees signed up customers for millions of accounts they never asked for. There’s $110 million to settle a class-action lawsuit, on top of $185 million in fines to regulators. Thomas Lee in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/9/17


Did this year feel like the wettest ever? In California’s northern Sierra, it’s about to be -- As of Saturday morning, the region had accumulated an average of 87.5 inches of water across eight northern Sierra stations since the beginning of the season on Oct. 1, according to data from the California Department of Water Resources. Nashelly Chavez in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/9/17

Permanent water conservation rules coming to San Diego, rest of state -- This long-term framework for water conservation includes everything from minimizing pipe leaks, to requiring water suppliers to develop drought contingency plans, to submitting monthly data, to meeting permanent conservation targets. Joshua Smith in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 4/9/17

Fate of Russian and Eel River flows rests in big fight over small hydroelectric project -- Even the record rainfall that dowsed the North Coast this winter, filling reservoirs and streams, will not be enough to head off a looming clash over the water that courses down two of the region’s largest rivers, the Russian and the Eel. Guy Kovner in the Santa Rosa Press -- 4/9/17


Claremont protest disrupts appearance of 'pro-police' speaker -- Administrators expressed disappointment and threatened discipline in the wake of a demonstration that disrupted a planned public event Thursday featuring conservative commentator and author Heather MacDonald at Claremont McKenna College. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/9/17

After arrests near schools, Valley groups skeptical of ICE policies -- After a man picking up his child near a Visalia elementary school was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement last month, local advocates are questioning the protection of so-called “sensitive locations” such as schools. Mackenzie Mays in the Fresno Bee -- 4/9/17

North Hollywood High team wins national cybersecurity competition -- Russians and Chinese hackers beware. Americans, breathe a sigh of relief. Students from North Hollywood High have got your back. Team Togo, consisting of five juniors, just won a national cybersecurity championship, which is joining the Academic Decathlon among the ranks of activities to which really smart high schoolers can devote themselves obsessively — and earn the kind of acclaim that traditionally goes to quarterbacks and point guards. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/9/17

New York set to become first state to offer free tuition at public four-year colleges -- The $163 billion state budget agreement includes the Excelsior Scholarship, which covers tuition for any New Yorker accepted to one of the state’s community colleges or four-year universities, provided their family earns less than $125,000 a year. Danielle Douglas-Gabriel in the Washington Post$ -- 4/9/17

Immigration / Border 

Congressional bill seeks to prohibit immigration officers from identifying themselves as 'police' -- A new bill introduced in Congress this week would prohibit immigration officers from wearing any clothing bearing the word “police,” which some officials complain is deceiving and only serves to escalate tensions in their communities as the Trump administration steps up immigration enforcement. Carlos Lozano and Doug Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/9/17

Also . . . 

Protesters call for firing of El Cajon cop who shot Alfred Olango -- About 75 protesters briefly blocked streets in downtown El Cajon while marching on City Hall to call for the dismissal of the policeman who killed an unarmed man in September. Jeanette Steele in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 4/9/17

African-American, Latino, Caucasian churches to worship, pray together in Irvine on Good Friday -- It’s going to be an Easter and Passover of firsts for congregations across Southern California. Deepa Bharath in the Orange County Register -- 4/9/17

POTUS 45  

Kushner, Bannon sit down to work out differences on Trump’s orders -- Annoyed that palace intrigue stories dominated the headlines late this week, President Trump ordered two of his top advisers, Jared Kushner and Stephen K. Bannon, to work out their differences, according to two senior White House officials. Abby Phillip in the Washington Post$ -- 4/9/17

Trump has visited a Trump-branded property every 2.8 days of his presidency -- In total, Trump has spent time at one or more Trump-branded properties on 28 of the days he’s been president — meaning that he visits a property that’s part of his private business empire more than one-third of the days he’s been in office, or once every 2.8 days. Philip Bump in the Washington Post$ -- 4/9/17


Republicans on Capitol Hill leave town with most of their agenda stuck in limbo -- Congress limped into its spring break with little to demonstrate that much has changed from its previous dysfunctional gridlock — despite Republicans’ control of both Capitol Hill and the White House. Paul Kane in the Washington Post$ -- 4/9/17

Hillary Clinton says ‘misogyny played a role’ in her loss. Research suggests she might be right -- In her first interview since November about November, here's how Hillary Clinton diagnosed her loss to Donald Trump: “Certainly, misogyny played a role. I mean, that just has to be admitted. And why and what the underlying reasons were is what I'm trying to parse out myself.” Amber Phillips in the Washington Post$ -- 4/9/17

How Republicans learned to love Obama -- The GOP heads home for recess with little to show voters — and no one to blame but themselves. Rachael Bade, Kyle Cheney and Elana Schor Politico -- 4/9/17

Inside the failed secret mission to save the filibuster -- A group of senators secretly tried to negotiate an end to the Senate's decade-long judicial wars. But distrust ran too deep. Burgess Everett and Seung Min Kim Politico -- 4/9/17