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Mueller Is Said to Seek Interviews With West Wing in Russia Case -- In a sign that the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election will remain a continuing distraction for the White House, the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, is in talks with the West Wing about interviewing current and former senior administration officials, including the recently ousted White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, according to three people briefed on the discussions. Michael S. Schmidt, Matt Apuzzo and Maggie Haberman in the New York Times$ -- 8/12/17

California Policy & Politics This Morning  

California tea party conservatives take shots at GOP establishment, sounding downright progressive -- Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown took some lumps, but some of the biggest targets of the California tea party conservatives gathered in Fresno on Friday were members of the GOP. Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/12/17

Anti-Trump protesters sue San Diego over arrests at demonstration -- A federal lawsuit filed against the city and county of San Diego alleges law enforcement agencies wrongly arrested and detained protesters at a rally last year for then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. Joshua Stewart in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/12/17

LA’s survivalist sales heating up amid war of words between Trump, North Korea -- Ned Escaip sold his last gas mask on Thursday, and he was down to his final water pill on Friday. Escaip, owner of The Knife Trader in Canoga Park, like some other survival supply stores across Southern California, are seeing a spike in purchases on supplies as the tough talk between President Donald Trump and North Korea has heated up in recent days. Wes Woods in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 8/12/17

UC owes $1.3 million to thousands of underpaid employees -- The University of California has reached a $1.3 million settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor over a payroll issue that resulted in thousands of non-academic employees being routinely underpaid by small dollar amounts on each paycheck. Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/12/17

Federal Lawsuit Claims Teenage Detainees Brought to California Were Wrongly Tied to Gangs -- Some teenagers who entered the United States under the unaccompanied-children program are being illegally detained because of allegations of gang affiliation, the American Civil Liberties Union says in a lawsuit. Frank Eltman KQED -- 8/12/17

‘Surprise’ ruling halts push to oust Brock Turner’s judge, Persky -- A judge who has been derided for handing down what many considered a light sentence to a former Stanford swimmer convicted of sexual assault, and who faces a coordinated call for his removal, won an unexpected victory in a San Jose court on Friday. Michael Bodley in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/12/17

Golden Gate Bridge lawsuit: Daredevils climbed span for viral fame -- Two thrill-seekers who enjoyed a moment of Internet fame this spring when they scaled the Golden Gate Bridge’s 746-foot north tower and then released footage of themselves performing death-defying stunts atop the iconic span are being sued by the bridge authority. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/12/17

Investigators cannot determine cause in Oakland construction fire -- The cause of a fire that demolished an under-construction complex in Oakland last month cannot be determined, federal investigators said Friday, leaving open the question at the center of a battle over development and displacement in the city. Kimberly Veklerov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/12/17

Same visa Trump uses at his hotel helps bring workers to Orange County Fair -- They’re just some of the roughly 5,500 circus, fair and carnival workers who are in the United States through the little-known H-2B visa program. In all, some 81,000 non-agricultural seasonal workers will spend up to 10 months in the United States this year under H-2B visas. Roxana Kopetman in the Orange County Register -- 8/12/17

Railroads fined for not reporting dirty diesel trucks at SoCal rail yards -- Ports have been working to reduce fumes from diesel trucks, but local rail yards have remained a hot spot for diesel air pollution. To help remedy that, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced a combined $1.25 million in fines this week against two railroads that let dirty diesel trucks enter their rail yards. Sharon McNary KPCC -- 8/12/17

New electric car for less than $10,000? Sonoma County makes it happen -- How about a shiny new electric car for less than $10,000? Price has long been a concern for motorists interested in ending their relationship with petroleum, and Sonoma Clean Power, the not-for-profit public electricity provider for Sonoma and Mendocino counties, is bringing the cost of electric vehicles down to clearance-sale levels. Guy Kovner in the Santa Rosa Press -- 8/12/17

David Perlman, Chronicle science editor, caps distinguished career -- Colleagues, friends, San Francisco’s mayor and a U.S. senator raised their glasses in San Francisco on Friday to mark the retirement of America’s senior journalist, David Perlman, whose Chronicle career spanned eight decades and who enjoyed every day of them. “It’s been a trip like no other,” Perlman said. “Lucky is the reporter or editor who gets a chance to work right here at The Chronicle.” Steve Rubenstein in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/12/17

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions

LA City Council approves going forward with 2028 Olympic Games -- A Los Angeles Olympic bid that has often been described by its organizers and supporters in metaphoric terms is a single vote next month away from crossing the finish line. Scott M. Reid in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 8/12/17

POTUS 45  

Combative Trump Pulls His Punches for One Man: Putin -- The roster of villains in President Trump’s world is legion. The list of people he has been willing, even eager, to publicly attack includes not just Mitch McConnell, his latest target, but Jeff Sessions, Chuck Schumer, Paul D. Ryan, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Peter Baker in the New York Times$ -- 8/12/17

Trump's tough talk threatens U.S. backchannel with North Korea -- The Trump administration has been pursuing backchannel talks with North Korea, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the matter, even as the president himself threatens to undermine such efforts with his off-the-cuff and inflammatory rhetoric toward the emerging nuclear power. Nahal Toosi, Austin Wright and Bryan Bender Politico -- 8/12/17

Despite Trump’s threats to North Korea, the U.S. military doesn’t appear to be on a new wartime footing -- The U.S. military does not appear to be moving toward a wartime footing with North Korea despite President Trump’s repeated threats this week of military action against Pyongyang, with few if any additional military forces moving into the region and the Pentagon chief emphasizing diplomacy over bloodshed. Dan Lamothe in the Washington Post$ -- 8/12/17


Chanting 'blood and soil!' white nationalists with torches march on University of Virginia -- Chanting "blood and soil,” “white lives matter” and “you will not replace us,” scores of white nationalists holding torches marched across the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville on Friday night. Matt Pearce in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/12/17


-- Friday Updates 

California sues EPA for documents to determine whether Administrator Scott Pruitt has conflict of interest -- California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra on Friday filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, alleging it failed to comply with a request for documents that might indicate whether agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has a conflict of interest. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/11/17

Struggling L.A. County cities look for business opportunities in relaxed marijuana laws — and face pushback -- As California braces for the impact of relaxed marijuana laws that allow recreational use for adults, several small, financially strapped cities in southeast Los Angeles County and elsewhere are at the forefront of efforts to seize business opportunities — despite pushback from some residents. Leila Miller in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/11/17

L.A. has been sued again over traffic lane reductions in Playa del Rey -- When Los Angeles officials removed traffic lanes on four streets in Playa del Rey earlier this summer, a wave of outrage swept through the Westside and the South Bay. Laura J. Nelson in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/11/17

Rebellious California lawmakers get banished to ‘The Dog House,’ a tiny office -- Welcome to “The Dog House,” Melissa Melendez. That’s the nickname for the 391-square-foot State Capitol office to which Melendez, a Republican assemblywoman from Lake Elsinore, was assigned this week. There’s even a plaque listing and praising former occupants for “Standing up for your Principles.” Jeff Horseman in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/11/17

Why is Sacramento spending so much on lobbyists? -- Mayor Darrell Steinberg likely has more political clout at the state Capitol than any Sacramento mayor in recent history. He’s been an assemblyman, president of the state Senate and an attorney at a powerful law firm. Yet even with his connections, the city of Sacramento is spending more on Capitol lobbyists than nearly every other city in the state. Ryan Lillis and Ellen Garrison in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/11/17

A new ad opposing California's Rep. Jeff Denham has nothing to do with Trump -- For many California Democrats hoping to defeat Republican incumbents in the House next year, the tone is shaping up to be pretty anti-President Trump, with some early ads tying GOP members to the president. Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/11/17

San Francisco family’s RV was their home. Then it got towed. -- Poverty advocates say Lowes’ predicament is a prime example of how low-income people are victimized by exorbitant parking and tow fees in San Francisco, which charges about two times more for such penalties than nearly every other city in the United States, a Chronicle investigation last year showed. Kevin Fagan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/11/17

Fox: Is a Blacklist Back? -- Is a blacklist back in fashion in the town that made term “blacklist” famous? One gets that feeling when the Los Angeles City Council voted this week to draft a law that will ask contractors to disclose if they have been hired to work on the wall between the U.S. and Mexico. What could be the reason for the disclosure except to cut off business to a company because of political motives? Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 8/11/17

Bear reportedly took midnight dip in Granada Hills pool -- The incident was initially reported as a bear in a pool at 12:25 a.m. in the 16300 block of Knollwood Drive and the bear was located about 30 minutes later in a different area, said Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Luis Aguilar of the Devonshire Division. Wes Woods in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 8/11/17