Rough&Tumble California Policy and Politics

Aaron Read
Capitol Web Works
Olson Hagel
CA Leg Analyst
Governor Brown
Capitol Weekly

Updating . .   

Murderer-turned-pastor pardoned by Jerry Brown to avoid deportation -- Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday pardoned three Cambodian refugees facing deportation by federal immigration authorities, including one who murdered a fellow gang member and later became a local pastor. Angela Hart in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/17/18

California tax shelter saves children big bucks on inherited property -- A state law that protects children from steep tax increases on inherited property is likely contributing to the shrinking inventory of homes for sale in many parts of California. As baby boomers — the oldest of whom are 72 — die and leave homes to offspring who convert them to other uses, the shortage could get worse. Kathleen Pender in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Liam Dillon and Ben Poston in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/17/18

California wildfires: Hot weather could refuel Mendocino Complex -- Progress made over the last few days in fighting the largest wildfire in California history could be lost this weekend, as the weather seems unlikely to continue to cooperate. Josh Koehn in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/17/18

US Judge Extends Halt on Deportations of Separated Families -- A federal judge has extended a freeze on deporting families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border, giving a reprieve to hundreds of children and their parents to remain in the United States. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw said in his order Thursday that "hasty" deportation of children after reunification with their parents would deprive them of their right to seek asylum. Julie Watson Associated Press -- 8/17/18

De León captures California's anti-Trump furor, but struggles to gain traction in run to oust Feinstein -- No one needs to tell Kevin de León that his campaign to unseat U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein is a long shot. Michael Finnegan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/17/18

L.A. County prosecutors reviewing nearly 30 cases against USC's former gynecologist -- LAPD detectives have presented the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office with nearly 30 cases for possible sex-crime charges against USC’s former campus gynecologist, Dr. George Tyndall. Richard Winton and Matt Hamilton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/17/18

San Francisco restaurants on high alert for extortion scam -- On Thursday, District Attorney George Gascón issued a public warning about an email extortion scam currently being aimed at San Francisco restaurants. Several local chefs have said that scammers are threatening to spread negative information about their restaurants — unless they are paid an unspecified amount money. Justin Phillips in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/17/18

Online trolls are using immigration as a wedge issue for 2018 midterm elections -- Clad in military jackets, with bandannas hiding their faces, Eddie Alvarez and other members of the Brown Berets clashed with other protesters in Murrieta in July 2014. Jazmine Ulloa in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/17/18

A slight chill coming for the Bay Area housing market? -- More sellers in San Jose have been lowering their prices on real estate website Zillow recently, and rising interest rates have economists looking for a slow-down. Louis Hansen in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/17/18

Fox: Will Election “Deciders” be Young or Old? -- Who will decide the November mid-term elections? If you believe AARP and the program conducted in Los Angeles by AARP and Politico yesterday, the deciders will be seniors. If you believe Tom Steyer and the millions he is spending to increase voter registration and get out the vote it will be millennials. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 8/17/18


California Policy & Politics This Morning

California Lawmakers Consider Proposal to Eliminate Bail -- California would be the first state to end money bail for defendants awaiting trial under a proposal unveiled Thursday that would create a new system that would instead jail people based on their risk level. Sophia Bollag Associated Press Jazmine Ulloa in the Los Angeles Times$ Laurel Rosenhall Calmatters Ben Adler Capital Public RadioAlexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/17/18

California lawmakers reject marijuana banking plan and panic buttons for hotel workers in a frenzy of Sacramento action -- Facing a key deadline for legislation to move forward, California lawmakers on Thursday rejected dozens of bills, including a state-run bank for marijuana growers, government healthcare services for those in the U.S. illegally and hotel panic buttons for cleaning crews who fear sexual assault. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/17/18

Legislation that would make it easier to prosecute police officers who kill civilians is put on hold -- Major legislation that would make it easier to prosecute police officers who kill civilians is on hold, but its author said negotiations will continue before California lawmakers break for the year at the end of August. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/17/18

Gavin Newsom defends gas tax and high-speed rail, accuses Trump of bankrupting the nation -- Gavin Newsom, the Democratic front-runner for governor, on Thursday criticized efforts to repeal California’s recently approved gas tax increase and defended the state’s controversial high-speed rail project, two of the most contentious issues the next governor will face. Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/17/18

Twitter bans GOP candidate’s ad for ‘inappropriate content,’ then relents -- For the second time in a week, a social media company has banned a California Republican House candidate’s biographical ad because it contained what the company deemed “inappropriate content.” Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/17/18

No Plea Deals in Oakland Warehouse Fire Case -- A Northern California district attorney has told a judge she will no longer consider plea deals for two men charged in a 2016 warehouse fire that killed 36 people attending an unlicensed concert. Paul Elias Associated Press Kimberly Veklerov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/17/18

L.A. turns away federal grant to combat extremism amid concerns of unfairly targeting Muslims -- Los Angeles is relinquishing $425,000 in federal money after council members stalled on whether to take the funding from the Department of Homeland Security. Emily Alpert Reyes in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/17/18

KQED Political Breakdown: -- It's crunch time: The legislative session in Sacramento ends later this month, and lawmakers are deciding the fate of many bills. Marisa and Katie look at what's been squashed and what's staying alive. Then, longtime democratic strategist Debbie Mesloh joins to discuss bail reform, growing up in Kansas, working with Senator Kamala Harris and the wave of women running for office this year. Link Here -- 8/17/18


Catastrophic fire tornadoes: a terrifying new challenge -- The titanic fire tornado that killed a firefighter and ravaged Redding on July 26 as the Carr Fire hit its peak has presented fire crew leaders with a frightening new challenge: how to battle a raging cyclone of flame. Kevin Fagan, Erin Allday and Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Mike Chapman and Michele Chandler in the Redding Record Searchlight Joseph Serna and Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ Jocelyn Gecker and Olga R. Rodriguez Associated Press Matthias Gafni in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/17/18

Melted car batteries and twisted metal: How California cleans up after a ‘firenado’ -- Somehow, a pair of potted plants looked almost untouched on the front porch of a home that had burned to ash and cinder. That dissonant sight in Siskiyou County lingered with state environmental scientist Janine Brinkman weeks after she left California’s first big wildfire this year. Adam Ashton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/17/18

Trump administration promises teamwork — not more money — to reduce fire risk -- Trump administration officials unveiled a new plan Thursday to reduce the risk of forest fires, acknowledging “the urgent need to dramatically increase preventative forest treatment” that can keep fires from burning out of control. Emily Cadei in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/17/18

US Vows to Work More Closely With States to Fight Wildfires -- Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the Forest Service and other agencies will step up efforts to cut down small trees and underbrush and set controlled fires to remove trees that serve as fuel for catastrophic blazes, including a series of deadly fires that have spread through drought-parched forests and rural communities in California. Matthew Daly Associated Press -- 8/17/18

Firefighters make big gains containing biggest fires -- Helped by cooler temperatures and lower humidity, firefighters across California have gained the upper hand this week on the massive wildfires that have been burning hundreds of thousands of acres across the state this summer. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/17/18


Delta tunnels cost soars to nearly $20 billion when accounting for inflation -- The estimated cost of the Delta tunnels project, Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial plan to re-engineer the troubled hub of California’s water network, has jumped to nearly $20 billion when accounting for inflation. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/17/18

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions

Proposal to make hotels give panic buttons to workers fails in California -- A measure that would have required California hotels to provide employees who work alone in guest rooms with panic buttons in case of emergency was shelved in a state Senate fiscal committee Thursday. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/17/18

California legislators shelve bill to address wage gap by collecting certain salary data -- A measure that would have required large businesses to report to the state more data on how they pay their employees failed to advance past a key legislative committee on Thursday. Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/17/18

Muni officials to step up background checks on contractors -- San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency officials said Thursday they will beef up background checks on potential contractors following revelations that a hired contractor, Shimmick Construction, had a history of safety violations. Megan Cassidy and Lauren Hernandez in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/17/18

Bay Area restaurants go cashless, but what about the consequences? -- No one will take your dollars at the Financial District locations of the Organic Coup and Bluestone Lane. Your quarters are useless at Señor Sisig’s food trucks, no matter where they park; the same goes for SoMa’s popular lunch stop HRD. At a growing number of food businesses in the Bay Area, cash has become obsolete. Jonathan Kauffman in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/17/18

Taxes, Fees, Rates, Tolls, Bonds 

Tax on California water revived to clean up drinking water – but it’s voluntary -- Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers are rebooting an effort to pass a new tax to attack unsafe drinking water in California. But there’s a twist: The proposed tax on water bills would be voluntary, increasing its chances of success among skittish lawmakers in an election year. Taryn Luna in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/17/18


California housing bills: Which survived the latest cut? -- Proposals to force Bay Area cities to allow housing development at BART stations and to help those squeezed by the new federal cap on tax deductions were among the bills to survive the latest round of cuts Thursday at California’s Capitol. Katy Murphy in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/17/18


New phone theft wave aboard BART trains -- In addition to the challenges BART faces with recent violent attacks aboard its trains, numerous cellphone thefts aboard its trains continues, including at least one that officials failed to report this week. George Kelly in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/17/18

Immigration, Border, Deportation 

California High Court Rules for Immigrant Kids in Visa Fight -- The California Supreme Court has made it easier for some immigrant children who are abused or abandoned by a parent to seek a U.S. visa to avoid deportation. Sudhin Thanawala Associated Press -- 8/17/18

Trump administration ordered to give up documents on deportation decision -- The Trump administration must turn over documents explaining its decisions to deport more than 200,000 people who were admitted to the United States after catastrophes in their home countries, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled Thursday. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/17/18

Three caravan fathers reunite with families after deadline -- Three men who were split from their families after they asked for asylum in May at the San Ysidro Port of Entry were released two weeks ago to reunite with their wives and daughters. Kate Morrissey in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 8/17/18


Proposal to create state-chartered banks for California marijuana industry fails to advance -- State lawmakers on Thursday shelved a proposal to allow the state to license private banks to handle the billions of dollars expected to be generated by the state’s legal marijuana industry amid questions about the plan’s feasibility. Patrick Mcgreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/17/18


SDSU grad finally gets his diploma — at age 105 -- At age 105, Bill Vogt has learned a thing or two. Until Thursday afternoon, though, he’d never held in his hands the piece of paper proving what he’d known to be true about himself since 1935: That he is a graduate of San Diego State University. John Wilkens in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 8/17/18

One California charter school's struggle for approval and a building close to its parents -- The clock ran out for Promise Academy in its extended battle with San Jose Unified to open a charter school this fall — a delay that reflects escalating tensions between school districts and charter school organizations in California. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 8/17/18


Immense promise, hard-won progress -- A clinical trial shows science’s painstaking path to a proven stem cell therapy. Erin Allday in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/17/18

Bill requiring warning labels for sugary beverages in California dies in legislative committee -- A bill that would have required warnings on all sugar-sweetened beverages in California died in the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday. Mini Racker in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/17/18


Forget the fires, Californians should be worried about air quality all year -- Northern California’s raging wildfires have blotted the skies with acrid smoke for weeks, but the air quality has still been better than a bad winter day. Michael Finch II in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/17/18

Assembly, Senate bills that would ban development of oil-related facilities in state clear hurdles in Legislature -- Two bills aimed at protecting California’s coast from offshore oil drilling cleared a hurdle in Sacramento on Thursday, delighting environmental activists and a North Coast lawmaker as they girded for an upcoming battle with the powerful oil industry. Guy Kovner in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat -- 8/17/18

Also . . . 

Criticized by Democrats and Republicans alike, El Cajon councilman tries to join largely defunct Federalist Party -- El Cajon Councilman Bessmon “Ben” Kalasho received criticism from Republican and Democratic speakers alike at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, then attempted to join the Federalist Party later in the week. Karen Pearlman in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 8/17/18

Deputy accused of sexual misconduct re-arrested in wake of new allegations -- A sheriff's deputy who is already facing criminal charges of on-the-job sexual misconduct involving 13 women was re-arrested Thursday morning, this time on suspicion of five new felonies, including suspicion of sexual assault. Teri Figueroa in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 8/17/18

Bretón: Former PD chief says number of shots fired at McIntyre were unnecessary. Don’t underestimate him -- A cop is legally cleared for killing someone in the line of duty when it is determined the life of the officer or the lives of others were endangered by the suspect. This standard has been upheld by the courts for years. Few cops across America are charged for using deadly force. No Sacramento-area cop has been charged in recent memory. Marcos Bretón in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/17/18

POTUS 45  

Trump has now fired or threatened most senior officials related to the Russia investigation -- President Trump says that although he has never obstructed justice in the Russia investigation, he does “fight back.” Aaron Blake in the Washington Post$ -- 8/17/18

Trump blurts out another Lester Holt moment -- In an interview with the Wall Street Journal posted late Wednesday, President Trump once again gave away the ballgame when it comes to his efforts to affect the probe and tear down its leaders (both current and former). He confessed that his true motivation for revoking former CIA director John Brennan’s security clearance was the “rigged witch hunt” that Brennan once “led.” Aaron Blake in the Washington Post$ -- 8/17/18

Pentagon delays Trump’s military parade until at least 2019 -- The announcement came several hours after reports that the parade would cost about $92 million, according to U.S. officials citing preliminary estimates more than three times the price first suggested by the White House. Lolita C. Baldor Associated Press -- 8/17/18

-- Thursday Updates 

Pelosi, Under Threat in Her Own Party, Says She Is Building Bridge to New Leaders -- Nancy Pelosi is girding for a mortal challenge to her leadership of the Democratic Party after the November elections or even sooner, and in a signal of reassurance to anxious lawmakers says that she is deliberately building a “bridge” to a new generation of party leaders. Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin in the New York Times$ -- 8/16/18

Driver in crash that killed CHP officer, motorist was on phone, officials say -- The driver charged with striking and killing a California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer and another man at a traffic stop last week on Interstate 80 in Fairfield was on his cell phone and distracted at the time of the crash, the CHP said Wednesday. Evan Sernoffsky and Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/16/18

California high court rules for immigrant kids in visa fight -- The justices ruled unanimously Thursday that state judges could not require the children to drag an absentee parent into court in their legal fight as part of the visa application. Associated Press -- 8/16/18

Smoke from California’s wildfires is reaching Washington and Baltimore -- Lest anyone living in the D.C. area think Western wildfires are a problem 3,000 miles away, they might take a whiff of the air in their own backyard. Yes, high-altitude winds have carried the smoke across the country into the Mid-Atlantic region. Jason Samenow in the Washington Post$ -- 8/16/18

‘The district doesn’t protect these kids.’ Roseville teacher’s bad behavior spanned 2 decades, records show -- A Roseville teacher on leave since January for allegedly sexually harassing a teenage student has a history of inappropriate behavior involving female students and colleagues dating back more than 20 years, newly released documents obtained by The Sacramento Bee show. Darrell Smith and Diana Lambert in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/16/18

Popular Bay Area restaurateur charged with illegally obtaining U.S. citizenship -- Marco Senghor immigrated to the U.S. three decades ago to escape the shadow of famous relatives in Senegal and start a legacy of his own. Tatiana Sanchez in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/16/18

Boeing to acquire El Segundo small-satellite maker Millennium Space Systems -- Aerospace giant Boeing Co. said Thursday it will acquire Millennium Space Systems of El Segundo, a maker of small satellites, in the latest indication that tiny spacecraft are upending the industry. Samantha Masunaga in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/16/18

After Uber accident, fewer people want self-driving cars -- Public support for self-driving cars has plunged in the wake of a deadly accident this spring, according to a new survey. And young, tech-savvy consumers now express more doubts about robot vehicles. David R. Baker in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/16/18

Want to live in a California city where your salary goes further? Move to Sacramento, study says -- Not only is Sacramento’s cost of living lower than in many other metropolitan areas in California, but its strong job market makes the region a top destination for people looking to move. Ryan Lillis in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/16/18

What do CSULB’s real-life shark scientists think of ‘The Meg’? -- So “The Meg” – the widely promoted action movie about 75-foot megalodon dinosaur sharks suddenly coming back to life in the Eastern Pacific – enjoyed a much better-than-expected, $45 million opening weekend in North American theaters. Bob Straus in the Long Beach Press Telegram$ -- 8/16/18

Taylor: A commitment to seeing — not looking past — the people on the street -- You might’ve noticed Eddie Smith standing at the corner of 35th and Market streets in Oakland. He doesn’t hide his dark, glassy eyes. He wants drivers of cars paused at the stoplight on their way to Highway 24’s on-ramp to make eye contact. Otis R. Taylor Jr. in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/16/18

'If they take the House, he wins big': Trump loyalists see upside in impeachment -- There’s a new way of demonstrating loyalty to Donald Trump and his Republican Party: Claiming that the president could not only survive an impeachment effort, but that it would guarantee his victory in 2020. Christopher Cadelago Politico -- 8/16/18

Aretha Franklin: A Legacy In Music -- Aretha Franklin’s voice was a pure, painful, and unforgettable expression of American history and American feeling, the collective experience of black Americans and her own life. David Remnick The New Yorker -- 8/16/18