California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Legal tiff breaks out over independent committee's ad backing Antonio Villaraigosa for governor -- An attorney representing Gavin Newsom’s campaign for governor is demanding that California television stations cease airing an ad by an independent political committee supporting his Democratic rival Antonio Villaraigosa. Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/21/18

With recession in the rear view, a more upbeat California looks to choose a new governor -- As California chooses a new governor — one of just a handful in the last 40 years not named Jerry Brown — the state seems to be enjoying something unusual in these tumultuous political times: a feeling of relative contentment. Not to say things are perfect. Traffic is awful. Housing costs are crazy. Homelessness is acute. Mark Z. Barabak and Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/21/18

Assembly speaker rebukes building trades union after it targets Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia -- The decision by a politically powerful labor group to openly campaign against an embattled Los Angeles-area lawmaker drew a sharp rebuke on Friday from Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. John Myers and Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/21/18

Foes, backers of Judge Persky recall effort face off in debate -- The Santa Clara County judge who sentenced a Stanford athlete to six months in jail for sexual assault should be recalled — something that hasn’t happened in California since 1932 — to send a message about violence against women and judicial accountability, the leader of the recall campaign said Friday in a rare public debate. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/21/18

Mayor Says He’s Deploying Volunteer Mental Health Workers To South Sacramento -- Mayor Darrell Steinberg has put out a call for mental health professionals to bring services to Stephon Clark’s Meadowview neighborhood, and other areas that have been hard hit by the incident. When 22-year-old Stephon Clark was shot by police in his grandmother’s backyard last month, neighborhood residents cried out for accountability from law enforcement. They also asked for more resources - including mental health services - in their communities. Sammy Caiola Capital Public Radio Ryan Lillis in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/21/18

Sacramento police officers who killed Stephon Clark are back at work, but not on patrol -- The two Sacramento officers who fatally shot Stephon Clark last month have returned to work, as the Police Department continues to conduct an administrative investigation into the incident, department spokesman Sgt. Vance Chandler said Friday. Nashelly Chavez in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/21/18

Smith: The system keeps failing mentally ill black men. Stevante Clark is just the latest example -- Hours after Stevante Clark was taken to jail on Thursday morning, a sword stuffed in his pants and a bulletproof vest strapped to his chest, his cousin Sonia Lewis was still trying to make sense of it all. “Him being in jail is not going to solve anything,” she told my colleague Anita Chabria. “It's not going to fix anything. As a matter of fact, it's going to trigger and make it worse.” She’s right, of course. Erika D. Smith in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/21/18

Fox: The Value of Prop 13 as Revealed by a Burned Out House -- No surprise that Proposition 13 gets some blame for the housing crisis in California—yet like so many attacks on Prop 13 the truth is opposite what opponents claim. Proposition 13 prevents greater housing woes by helping people keep their homes. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 4/21/18

DA candidate accused of 'secret deal' with murder defendant for lighter sentence -- District attorney candidate Noah Phillips was hit with claims of prosecutorial misconduct Friday after a defense attorney accused the deputy DA of brokering a secret deal with a defendant’s counsel in a 2016 murder trial to trade a lighter sentence for testimony against the man’s co-defendants. Darrell Smith in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/21/18

Rhee: Who is behind attack websites in Sacramento sheriff’s race? -- Presidential candidates learned the hard way that if you don’t secure web addresses with your name, they can be held for ransom or used to attack them. Now, some local candidates in the June 5 primary are also getting a lesson in hijacked websites. Foon Rhee in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/21/18

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Blockchain job fair draws hordes of Cal students -- UC Berkeley students clutching portfolios with printed resumes swarmed booths of some 40 companies seeking software engineers to work in blockchain, the decentralized digital ledger that has triggered a worldwide gold rush. Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/21/18

U.S. reportedly raises objections to state-run Chinese company taking control of Long Beach port terminal -- U.S. regulators are reportedly raising objections that Cosco Shipping, a state-run Chinese company, could take control of a container terminal at the Port of Long Beach as part of its $6.3-billion acquisition of another company. Andrew Khouri in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/21/18

Alex Meruelo sees L.A. Latinos as key part of his highest-profile bet: a Las Vegas casino -- Three decades ago, a 23-year-old kid from Whittier, the son of Cuban immigrants, had an idea for a new kind of pizzeria — one that would serve predominantly Latino neighborhoods and offer then-uncommon toppings like chorizo and jalapeños. James Rufus Koren in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/21/18

California loses jobs in March, though unemployment stays at a record low -- In a signal that California's economic engine could be slowing after a remarkable run, the state lost 7,200 net jobs last month and increases in February were far less than originally estimated, according to data released Friday by the Employment Development Department. Andrew Khouri in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/21/18

San Diego unemployment hits lowest level in 18 years -- San Diego’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.1 percent in March, said Lynn Reaser, chief economist for the Fermanian Business & Economic Institute at Point Loma Nazarene University. That is the down from 3.4 percent last month and the lowest in 18 years. The San Diego region added 27,100 jobs in a year, said state labor officials. Phillip Molnar in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 4/21/18

For one California company, Trump's tariffs have unintended consequences -- In the struggling canned goods industry, Pacific Coast Producers is a survivor, taking some 700,000 tons of fruit grown by California farmers each year and canning it for sale in supermarkets and large institutions such as hospitals. This year the company, based in Lodi, Calif., is facing another challenge that promises to make turning a profit that much harder: President Trump's tariffs on steel imports. Jim Zarroli NPR -- 4/21/18

Tesla Factory Safety Under Scrutiny After Worker Is Injured -- Tesla is already under scrutiny because of its uncertain financial outlook, troubles producing a new model and safety questions about its driver-assistance technology. Now it is coming under fire on a new front: workplace injuries. Neal E. Boudette in the New York Times$ -- 4/21/18

Water  

Voters OK'd billions for new reservoirs in 2014. California is about to start spending -- The money will help fund eight reservoirs and other water-storage projects, including the sprawling Sites Reservoir in the Sacramento Valley and a small groundwater "bank" in south Sacramento County. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/21/18

Can plants tell us when the next drought will happen? JPL’s ‘space botanist’ may have the answer -- In a few months, scientists, farmers and water managers will get answers to such questions as: Will a drought occur and if so, where? Which plants die first? Which species are adept at absorbing carbon dioxide, a gas that is overheating our planet? Steve Scauzillo in the Riverside Press Enterprise$ -- 4/21/18

Homeless  

San Francisco mayor vows to clear out homeless tent camps -- The return of tents in the Mission District has Mayor Mark Farrell promising an “aggressive” crackdown of sidewalk camps next week — and this time he’s vowing to keep them out. Matier & Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/21/18

Housing  

Bid to repeal rent-control limits in California could be headed to ballot -- Tenant-rights advocates say they have enough signatures to ask voters to repeal a 1990s law that sharply limits cities’ ability to impose residential rent control, potentially setting up a multimillion-dollar fight at the ballot box in November. Melody Gutierrez in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/21/18

San Diego may shift housing focus to preserving older, low-rent apartments -- More than 1,200 subsidized apartments have been lost countywide over the last 17 years because their government-sponsored rent restrictions expired, and another 2,400 face the same risk during the next five years — including 1,300 within the city. David Garrick in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 4/21/18

Education 

Silicon Valley college, called ‘visa mill,’ shut down with millions missing -- State regulators have abruptly shut down a nonprofit college in San Jose that until recently enrolled nearly 4,000 students, mainly from other countries, after Chronicle reporters showed that the school had lost its accreditation months ago. Kathleen Pender and Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/21/18

Once more, L.A. school board decision on new leader seems to stall -- After more than five hours in closed session, the Los Angeles Board of Education recessed its meeting Friday without announcing a new superintendent for the nation's second-largest school system. The board is scheduled to resume deliberations May 1. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/21/18

Bay Area students say “enough” to mark anniversary of Columbine mass shooting -- Enough. The word echoed across the quad of Pittsburg High School on Friday as students gathered at 10 a.m. to decry gun violence in schools and on the streets, one of countless sites across the country where young people paused to remember the 13 victims who died exactly 19 years earlier in the mass shooting at Columbine High School. Jill Tucker in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/21/18

L.A. students join students nationwide in another walkout to stem future gun violence -- Trinity Erazo and Yesenia Lopez are only 16. But already, they know what it's like to hide in fear from a campus shooter. Joy Resmovits and Sonali Kohli in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/21/18

On Columbine anniversary, Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino students walk out with a message -- Calling for an end to gun violence in schools, students in Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, Redlands and across the nation protested gun violence in walkouts and on-campus rallies Friday. Sandra Emerson in the San Bernardino Sun$ -- 4/21/18

Cannabis 

Legal weed in California: A consumer's guide -- The recreational use of marijuana became legal in California on Jan. 1. The state is now home to the country’s largest legal pot market. But it’s still possible for cannabis customers to run afoul of state and local laws, which dictate where and how weed can be purchased and consumed. Alex Wigglesworth in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/21/18

San Francisco’s 4/20 fest draws thousands of weed enthusiasts -- Thousands of misty-eyed revelers rolled like a summer fog over San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park on Friday for the thrumming, mind-numbing all-day festival of marijuana known worldwide as 4/20. Steve Rubenstein, Peter Fimrite and Jenna Lyons in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/21/18

Are You Too Stoned To Drive? New Phone Games Could Help You Decide -- As Californians take advantage of newly legal recreational pot, scientists are teaming up with app developers to solve some very tricky problems: how to identify weed impairment on the road, and how to stop people from driving high in the first place. Sammy Caiola Capital Public Radio -- 4/21/18

Politifact CA: Do a majority of Americans live in states with legal marijuana? -- For the first time this week, Californians can celebrate "4/20," the unofficial pot holiday, by purchasing legal recreational cannabis at dispensaries across the state. Chris Nichols Politifact CA -- 4/21/18

Immigration / Border / Deportation 

This deported Marine veteran came home the only way he could – in a casket -- Veteran Lance Cpl. Enrique Salas' flag-draped casket was loaded into a hearse with a Marine Corps seal and two miniature American flags protruding from either window. Salas finally made it home to the central San Joaquin Valley the only way he could. Carmen George in the Fresno Bee -- 4/21/18

Also . . . 

LAPD officer arrested on 3 counts of murder in suspected DUI crash in Whittier -- A Los Angeles police officer was arrested Friday and charged with three counts of murder in connection with a suspected DUI crash on the 605 Freeway in Whittier last fall, authorities said. Edgar Verduzco, 27, was taken into custody at a friend's home in Long Beach and booked on suspicion of three counts of murder, three counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and drunk driving causing injury, according to the California Highway Patrol. Joseph Serna and Kate Mather in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/21/18

POTUS 45  

Sessions told White House that Rosenstein’s firing could prompt his departure, too -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently told the White House he might have to leave his job if President Trump fired his deputy, Rod J. Rosenstein, who oversees the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to people familiar with the exchange. Sari Horwitz, Rosalind S. Helderman, Josh Dawsey and Matt Zapotosky in the Washington Post$ -- 4/21/18

Michael Cohen Has Said He Would Take a Bullet for Trump. Maybe Not Anymore -- Mr. Trump’s lawyers and advisers have become resigned to the strong possibility that Mr. Cohen, who has a wife and two children and faces the prospect of devastating legal fees, if not criminal charges, could end up cooperating with federal officials who are investigating him for activity that could relate, at least in part, to work he did for Mr. Trump. Maggie Haberman, Sharon LaFraniere and Danny Hakim in the New York Times$ -- 4/21/18

Beltway 

Democrats sue Trump campaign, Russia and WikiLeaks over alleged election conspiracy -- Democrats gave President Trump another potential legal headache Friday, filing a federal lawsuit that alleges an illegal election conspiracy between his presidential campaign, the Russian government, the WikiLeaks organization and others. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/21/18

McConnell aims to reshape courts in case Senate flips -- The move will show conservative voters that the Senate can still get things done even if Republicans lose the House and is part of McConnell’s years-long plan to reshape the courts after the presidency of Barack Obama shifted them to the left. Burgess Everett Politico -- 4/21/18

 

-- Friday Updates 

Tuition will not increase at California State University next year -- Chancellor Timothy White announced Friday that the CSU Board of Trustees will no longer consider a proposal to hike student fees by 4 percent in the 2018-19 academic year, which was set for a vote next month. The 23-campus system will instead focus on lobbying the state for more funding. Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ Joy Resmovits in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/20/18

L.A. sheriff's narcotics detective accused of involvement in drug-trafficking operation can't be fired, court says -- In 2011, two years after the initial tip came in, Arellano was fired. But an appeals court panel this week upheld the veteran deputy's efforts to keep his job, ruling that the law did not allow the department to use evidence gathered from the wiretap in a disciplinary proceeding. Maya Lau in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/20/18

Silicon Valley college, called ‘visa mill,’ shut down with millions missing -- State regulators have abruptly shut down a nonprofit college in San Jose that until recently enrolled nearly 4,000 students, mainly from other countries, after Chronicle reporters showed that the school had lost its accreditation months ago. Kathleen Pender and Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/20/18

Sierra Club backs Gavin Newsom for California governor -- The Sierra Club endorsed Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom in the race for California governor, with officials in the established environmental group praising the Democrat’s record on climate change and clean energy. Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/20/18

Some California cities want Amsterdam-style pot lounges, push limits of marijuana legalization -- West Hollywood likes to party. For decades, it has embraced its gay and lesbian bars and the rock 'n' roll debauchery of the Sunset Strip. It runs a free nightlife trolley called The PickUp, with a jar of free condoms by the door. Sarah Parvini in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/20/18

Abcarian: The great California cannabis experiment lurches forward -- If you find yourself driving in Venice in the next little while, you may notice that the illuminated "Venice" sign at Pacific and Windward avenues that functions as a gateway to the famous boardwalk has sprouted neon cannabis leaves. Robin Abcarian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/20/18