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

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Investigations of alleged misconduct by California judges fall short, audit finds -- The report by California State Auditor Elaine M. Howle, released Thursday, determined that the Commission on Judicial Performance failed to take all reasonable steps to probe allegations of judicial misconduct in about a third of the cases the auditor reviewed. Maura Dolan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/25/19

Kings and NBA launch investigation of assault allegations against coach Luke Walton -- The Sacramento Kings and the NBA announced Thursday they have started a joint investigation into allegations that new head coach Luke Walton sexually assaulted a former sports reporter in a Santa Monica hotel room five years ago. Sam Stanton and Jason Anderson in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/25/19

Joe Biden lacks big-name California allies as he launches presidential bid -- Vice President Joe Biden is a popular figure among California Democrats, but that doesn’t mean he can count on the backing of party leaders in the state for his 2020 presidential run, launched Thursday morning. With Biden in the race, Democrats’ presidential field now features more than 20 candidates. Emily Cadei in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/25/19

Nancy Pelosi’s new chief of staff reflects her barrier-breaking boss -- She worked her way up from the San Francisco district office to the House speaker’s office, becoming the first woman to hold her post. She says her mission is serving the American people, including assuring affordable health care, economic security and social equity. Tal Kopan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/25/19

More people are dying on L.A.’s streets despite a push to eliminate traffic fatalities -- On a clear afternoon last April, Frederick Frazier was riding his bike in South Los Angeles, headed to help a friend fix a flat tire, when a driver in a Porsche Cayenne rear-ended him. Frazier, who had been in the curb lane of Manchester Avenue, was thrown more than 50 feet through the air. The speeding SUV hit the 22-year-old with such force that it shattered his white-and-blue bicycle. He died in the street as the driver sped away. Laura J. Nelson in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/25/19

L.A. takes climate change fight to the streets by pouring cooler pavement -- The gray sludge poured out of giant plastic buckets like pancake batter. Workers in neon vests and spiky cleats squeegeed it across a parking lot in downtown Los Angeles, smoothing it into a thin layer beneath a cloudless sky. This light-reflecting goop is part of L.A.’s experiment to cool the city as it’s hit by climate change. Tony Barboza in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/25/19

California measles cases reach 38, with outbreaks expected to keep growing -- California health officials announced Thursday that 38 people had been infected with measles so far this year, a tally expected to rise in the coming weeks as outbreaks grow in the state. Soumya Karlamangla in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/25/19

Orange County homeless population jumps to nearly 7,000, survey shows -- A new census of Orange County’s homeless population found nearly 7,000 people living in shelters or on the streets countywide — a significant uptick from the last such count in 2017 as the county has struggled to deal with the issue. Luke Money, Hillary Davis, Faith E. Pinho and Priscella Vega in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/25/19

Fox: No Surprise in Poll Results on Tax Questions -- Well, here’s a shocker revealed by the most recent Public Policy of Institute of California poll: Voters are more likely to raise taxes on someone else than they are to raise taxes on themselves to help fund public education. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 4/25/19


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

California’s hottest housing bill moves ahead—with a break for smaller counties -- Senate Bill 50, from Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco, passed out of a key legislative committee after it was amended to take a softer approach to counties of less than 600,000 people. Matt Levin Calmatters Sophia Bollag in the Sacramento Bee$ Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ Alexei Koseff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Marisa Kendall in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 4/25/19

NRA sues city of L.A. over its new contract disclosure law -- The National Rifle Assn. filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging a new Los Angeles law requiring companies that seek contracts with the city to disclose whether they have ties to the gun rights group. Dakota Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ Richard Gonzales NPR -- 4/25/19

California vaccine rules advance over emotional opposition -- California lawmakers advanced tougher rules for vaccinations late Wednesday after hearing hours of testimony from hundreds of opponents while the nation grapples with the highest number of measles cases in decades. Don Thompson Associated Press Hannah Wiley in the Sacramento Bee$ Melody Gutierrez and Soumya Karlamangla in the Los Angeles Times$-- 4/25/19

New lawsuit alleges sexual assault by former California Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman -- A California Democratic Party employee sued the organization in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Wednesday, alleging he was repeatedly groped and sexually assaulted by former Chairman Eric Bauman. Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/25/19

Skelton: Golden State Killer trial could put anti-death penalty Newsom in hot water with voters -- One year ago Wednesday, a former policeman was arrested and accused of being the Golden State Killer who raped and murdered up and down California in the 1970s and ’80s. If anyone deserves the death penalty, it’s the Golden State Killer — also known as the East Area Rapist, Visalia Ransacker, Creek Bed Killer or Original Night Stalker, depending on the community he terrorized. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/25/19

The liberal list: Here’s how far left California is moving -- California Democrats now enjoy their biggest legislative advantages in decades, with veto-proof majorities in both the Assembly and Senate. Besides a brief stretch from 1995 to 1996 when Republicans had a slim majority in the Assembly, Democrats have had complete control of the Legislature for the last 48 years. Bryan Anderson in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/25/19

Walters: School spending popular, taxes not so much -- For years, even decades, polling has consistently found that Californians’ highest political priority is public education. That trend continues in a new survey by the Public Policy Institute of California, conducted in the wake of teacher strikes for higher salaries in three urban school districts. Dan Walters Calmatters -- 4/25/19

L.A. County employee and contractor who bribed him plead guilty to federal charges -- Mohammad R. Tirmazi, 50, of Alta Loma was working in the county’s Internal Services Department when he accepted bribes from 2014 to 2017 from 38-year-old Palmdale resident Enrique Contreras, owner of Tel-Pro Voice & Data, a vendor that performed electrical work for the county. Jaclyn Cosgrove in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/25/19

Alameda County sheriff considers closing Oakland jail -- Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern is considering closing Glenn E. Dyer jail in Oakland as a cost-cutting measure that could save the county millions, a spokesman said Wednesday. Megan Cassidy in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/25/19

Brother: Man accused of driving into Sunnyvale crowd was troubled Iraq veteran -- Isaiah Peoples seemed troubled Tuesday when he talked to his mother shortly before police say he intentionally drove his Toyota Corolla into a group of pedestrians in Sunnyvale, his brother said Wednesday. John Woolfolk in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 4/25/19

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Audit finds gender, ethnic pay disparities among city workers in San Diego -- Women make 83 percent as much men; minorities make 80 percent as much as whites, the audit says. David Garrick in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 4/25/19

A Farmer Goes in Search of a Successor -- The average age of a California farmer is 59. Who will grow our food when today’s farmers retire? Julia Mitric Capital Public Radio -- 4/25/19

Taxes, Fees, Rates, Tolls, Bonds 

Here come the IPOs and here comes a proposal to tax them in San Francisco -- A lot of San Francisco companies are preparing to go public, and one city supervisor wants to tax them to offset the “negative impacts” that the sudden injection of wealth is expected to have on the city. Trisha Thadani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/25/19

What’s behind a new climate surcharge coming to your restaurant bill in California -- Some California restaurants will put another surcharge on their bills later this year — but this time, it won’t be for service or employee benefits. It will be to fight climate change. Janelle Bitker in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/25/19


Caltrans 'Pauses' Big MacArthur Maze Project After Blasts From Cities, Residents -- A Caltrans plan to rebuild portions of the MacArthur Maze to accommodate larger trucks has hit a roadblock, for now, in the form of angry local officials and community groups who say the agency failed to tell them the project was coming and performed only a cursory study of its potentially far-reaching environmental effects. Dan Brekke KQED -- 4/25/19

BART tests new emergency call system at Coliseum Station in Oakland -- BART is testing a new 911-style call system at one of its most popular stations, known for headline-grabbing crime and for its proximity to the Oakland Airport. Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/25/19


LA County leaders greenlight $4.4 million purchase for future Canoga Park homeless ‘bridge’ site -- The LA County Board of Supervisors has signed off on the purchase of a languishing former mental health facility in Canoga Park, a giant step in the goal of turning it into bridge housing for people without homes. Ryan Carter in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 4/25/19


Developer proposes replacing Laguna Hills Mall with 2,100 apartments, hotel and more -- About 2,100 apartment units, a boutique hotel, a three-acre park, four office buildings and a movie theater are just a part of an updated proposal for replacing the Laguna Hills Mall. Jeong Park in the Orange County Register -- 4/25/19


Majority of Californians supports teachers striking over wages, poll finds -- Teachers who have gone on strike in Sacramento, Los Angeles and Oakland demanding higher pay have the backing of most California adults, according to a Public Policy Institute of California poll released Wednesday. Sophia Bollag in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/25/19

California opinions on charter schools are divided—and more complex than portrayed -- The growth in charter schools has become one of the year’s most contentious issues in California. Now a statewide poll shows that not only are state lawmakers divided on the issue, but California voters are as well. Ricardo Cano Calmatters -- 4/25/19

California could soon ban schools from suspending ‘unruly’ students -- It could soon be illegal in California for schools to suspend students for being disruptive. A bill banning that practice for K-12 students, in both public and charter schools, sailed to passage in the California Senate on Monday, 30-8. The bill moves on now to the Assembly. Andrew Sheeler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/25/19

High school newspaper fights Lodi district over story about student in adult entertainment -- A Lodi high school newspaper battling its school district to publish a story deemed potentially obscene by administrators said it received the green light Wednesday from an independent attorney. Sawsan Morrar in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/25/19

Reps. Davis and Levin look to support student veterans and take a closer look at for-profit schools -- A joint congressional hearing in San Diego Wednesday highlighted how for-profit colleges are aggressively targeting veterans’ education benefits thanks to a “federal loophole.” Charles T. Clark in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 4/25/19

Program aims to improve the pipeline for hiring new teachers, including teachers of color -- At $7,000 a year or less, students can earn a teaching credential and bachelor’s degree in two years through a new National University partnership. Kristen Taketa in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 4/25/19

More funding for full-day kindergarten questioned as many low-income California schools already offer it -- Funding proposed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom to expand full-day kindergarten would not likely benefit many low-income communities, where the greatest need is more programs for 3- and 4-year-olds, according to a new analysis. Zaidee Stavely EdSource -- 4/25/19


Third measles case confirmed in Sacramento County as total hits 695 nationwide -- A third measles case was confirmed in Sacramento County on Wednesday, involving another member of the family that had two children diagnosed with the deadly virus one day earlier. “There continues to be minimal exposure to the public and all potentially exposed individuals have been notified,” the Sacramento County Public Health department said Wednesday. Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/25/19

Come And Get Your Free Measles Vaccine, Angelenos -- Worried about the recent measles outbreak here in Southern California? So are health officials. Hoping to stop the spread of the disease, L.A. County's 14 public health clinics will offer free vaccines for uninsured and underinsured people. In the meantime, the Los Angeles Department of Public Health has confirmed five known cases of measles in Los Angeles County. Four are linked to one person who traveled internationally, and the fifth comes from an overseas traveler. Elina Shatkin laist -- 4/25/19

Rady study documents advances in high-speed genetic diagnosis -- Having already set a Guinness world record for delivering a gene-based diagnosis in 19.5 hours, the Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine now must show that such speedy results are possible for the estimated 80,000 American children in need of such workups each year. Paul Sisson in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 4/25/19


Coming soon to California restaurants: Carbon neutral meals, verified by regulators -- Diners may soon have the chance to nibble away some of their climate guilt by patronizing California restaurants that have pledged to slash their carbon footprints to zero. Tony Barboza in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/25/19

Dead fish wash up near $6.3 million passageway designed to protect them -- Dozens of fish carcasses — 13 of them Chinook salmon protected by the Endangered Species Act — rotted in the sun Tuesday a couple hundred yards from a new $6.3 million structure that state officials built specifically to keep that grisly scenario from happening. Ryan Sabalow and Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/25/19

San Diego ranks 6th among most polluted cities in US -- Local officials say it’s time to take action and protect the communities most affected, including driving less. Lauryn Schroeder in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 4/25/19

Also . . . 

Orange County district attorney begins internal probe of informant scandal -- Orange County’s top prosecutor Wednesday launched an internal review of alleged misuse of informants in the county’s jails, after statements last week that the state attorney general’s office had closed its years-long criminal investigation into the scandal. James Queally in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/25/19

Thousands take to L.A. streets to demand recognition for the Armenian genocide -- Dressed in all black and waving the colors of the Armenian flag, thousands of people marched through the streets of Los Angeles on Wednesday to demand that the century-old killings of 1.5 million Armenians officially be recognized as a genocide. Alejandra Reyes-Velarde and Dorany Pineda in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/25/19

POTUS 45  

Mueller Report Reveals Trump’s Fixation on Using Law Enforcement to Target a Rival -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions had a tenuous hold on his job when President Trump called him at home in the middle of 2017. The president had already blamed him for recusing himself from investigations related to the 2016 election, sought his resignation and belittled him in private and on Twitter. Now, Mr. Trump had another demand: He wanted Mr. Sessions to reverse his recusal and order the prosecution of Hillary Clinton. Michael S. Schmidt in the New York Times$ -- 4/25/19

Trump Vows Stonewall of ‘All’ House Subpoenas -- The Trump administration escalated its defiance of Congress on Wednesday, as the Justice Department refused to let an official testify on Capitol Hill and President Trump vowed to fight what he called a “ridiculous” subpoena ordering a former top aide to appear before lawmakers. Charlie Savage in the New York Times$ -- 4/25/19


Biden sounds fundraising alarm in conference call -- “The money’s important. We’re going to be judged by what we can do in the first 24 hours, the first week,” Biden told the group, according to one participant, whose recollections of the quotes were confirmed by two others on the call. Marc Caputo and Natasha Korecki Politico -- 4/25/19


-- Wednesday Updates 

Luke Walton lawyer blasts Kelli Tennant sexual assault charge. Won’t ‘pay them a dime.’ -- Luke Walton’s attorney fired back on Wednesday at the Sacramento Kings’ coach’s accuser, calling a sexual assault claim against Walton false and “outrageous.” Mark Baute, whom Walton hired to defend him in a lawsuit filed this week by former sports reporter Kelli Tennant, called Tennant’s Tuesday press conference in Los Angeles a circus. Tony Bizjak and Jason Anderson in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/24/19

Trump’s star on Hollywood Walk of Fame is defaced by a vandal — again -- The vandal strode up to Trump’s star off Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue about 3:40 a.m., knelt down and applied a coat of black paint to the star before scrawling “Putins Bitch” across it in white spray paint. Hannah Fry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/24/19

Split 5 to 4, Supreme Court Deals a Blow to Class Arbitrations -- The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that workers at a California business could not band together to seek compensation for what they said was their employer’s failure to protect their data. The vote was 5 to 4, with the court’s conservative members in the majority. The decision was the latest in a line of rulings allowing companies to use arbitration provisions to bar both class actions in court and class-wide arbitration proceedings. Adam Liptak in the New York Times$ -- 4/24/19

Rep. Katie Hill has Nancy Pelosi’s favor, but will that do her any favors? -- California Rep. Katie Hill is learning there are risks and rewards that come with being seen as Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s new favorite. Every few years, Pelosi (D-San Francisco) takes a promising new member under her wing and provides them with opportunities not given to most rank-and-file members. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/24/19

Californians benefit the least from Trump’s 2017 tax cuts, new report finds -- California households benefited the least from the income tax cuts in the 2017 tax law, according to a new report. The study, published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, confirms the complaints from Democratic-leaning “blue” states that the Republican-backed federal tax overhaul was tilted against them. Emily Cadei in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/24/19

USC coach from North Hollywood and dad from Del Mar to plead guilty in college admissions scandal -- Laura Janke, 36, of North Hollywood will plead guilty to conspiracy to commit racketeering and will cooperate with the government’s investigation, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts. Janke — an assistant soccer coach at USC from 2007 to 2014 — was previously indicted along with multiple co-defendants. The item is in the Orange County Register -- 4/24/19

San Francisco Mayor Breed wants to use public land to build affordable housing -- San Francisco Mayor London Breed took office last July pledging to build more housing and to build it faster so that the affordability crisis wouldn’t empty the city of its working class. This November, she’s going to use the ballot box to try to do that. Dominic Fracassa in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/24/19

Bill would offer $5,000 tax credit for some first-time California home buyers -- Assembly Bill 1590, introduced in February by Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio, D-Baldwin Park, focuses on low- and moderate-income households that are willing to buy in communities identified as “distressed” by the state. It would help buyers who make the move between Jan. 1, 2020 and Jan. 1, 2023. Jack Katzanek in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 4/24/19

Nearly 7,000 are now homeless in Orange County, according to more accurate count -- In what may be the most accurate count of Orange County’s homeless population ever, there’s a significant uptick in the number of people without a permanent home, but the data released today, April 24, also shows more than twice as many homeless people in shelters now versus two years ago. Alicia Robinson in the Orange County Register -- 4/24/19

Wildfires, warmer weather leave Bay Area air among worst in nation -- Wildfires and warmer weather — both products of climate change — merged to make the Bay Area one of the most smoke- and smog-choked metropolitan areas in the nation, according to a new report. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/24/19

FBI investigates potentially ‘deliberate’ Sunnyvale crash that injured 8 — police stake out car owner’s home -- The FBI is assisting in the investigation of a crash in which a male driver appeared to deliberately run down and injure eight people, including at least one child, by steering his Toyota sedan into a crowd at a busy intersection Tuesday night in Sunnyvale, authorities said. Gwendolyn Wu in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Robert Salonga and Jason Green in the San Jose Mercury$ Darrell Smith in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/24/19

No reason that boy should’ve died:’ More people than ever are dying in California jails -- On the night of Jan. 17, 2018, Lorenzo Herrera walked into the Fresno County Jail booking area and sat down for an interview. Yes, he had a gang history, an officer wrote on his intake form. But Herrera, 19, said he did not expect problems with others inside the gang pod he’d soon call home. Jason Pohl and Ryan Gabrielson Sacramento Bee and Propublica via in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/24/19

Lakeside father mourns ‘perfect son’ killed in Sri Lanka bombing -- Kieran A. Shafritz de Zoysa, 11, was killed in the blast that tore through the Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Colombo. It was one of several suicide bombings across Sri Lanka on Easter that killed at least 359 people and wounded hundreds of others. Alex Riggins in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 4/24/19

Parents vote on removing Michael Jackson’s name from L.A. school auditorium -- Gardner Street Elementary School is undergoing a most unusual soul searching this week, weighing whether to break a symbolic link with pop star Michael Jackson, whose name is on the auditorium of the Hollywood campus. A man in a white T-shirt and tan shorts said he was conflicted. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/24/19

Skateboarder killed in San Francisco was featured in GQ profile -- A man killed in San Francisco Tuesday afternoon was profiled by GQ magazine last year as one of skating's "stars in the making." Pablo "P-Spliff" Ramirez, 26, died when he was hit by a dump truck while skating at 7th and Natoma. Paramedics tried to resuscitate him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene, the Chronicle reported. Katie Dowd in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/24/19

On Sunset Boulevard, a lunch break isn’t much of one at all -- An LAPD squad car is discreetly backed up against the wall of a darkened parking lot at Sunset Boulevard and El Centro Avenue. Jesse Pearson in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/24/19

Metro says it painted over graffiti. It covered a historic L.A. mural in the process -- The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has admitted it was responsible for the whitewashing of a historic Los Angeles mural nearly two weeks after the artist announced its erasure. Alejandra Reyes-Velarde in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/24/19

Blind San Diego sailor completes trans-Pacific crossing to Japan -- In spite of difficult winds and currents and numerous equipment failures, blind sailor Mitsuhiro “Hiro” Iwamoto of San Diego and his sighted sailing partner, Doug Smith, arrived in Japan on schedule Saturday, becoming the first blind sailing team to ever achieve a nonstop trans-Pacific crossing between the U.S. and Japan. Pam Kragen in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 4/24/19

Fox: Varying Poll Results on Death Penalty Leaves Unclear Picture -- It was interesting to see opponents of the death penalty embrace the findings of a Pubic Policy Institute of California (PPIC) poll soon after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a moratorium on the death penalty but remain relatively silent on the much narrower results from a subsequent Quinnipiac University poll on the same subject. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 4/24/19

In Push for 2020 Election Security, Top Official Was Warned: Don’t Tell Trump -- In the months before Kirstjen Nielsen was forced to resign, she tried to focus the White House on one of her highest priorities as homeland security secretary: preparing for new and different Russian forms of interference in the 2020 election. President Trump’s chief of staff told her not to bring it up in front of the president. Eric Schmitt, David E. Sanger and Maggie Haberman in the New York Times$ -- 4/24/19

Trump says he would ask Supreme Court to intervene if Democrats move to impeach him -- President Trump suggested Wednesday that he would ask the Supreme Court to intervene if Democrats move to impeach him — a notion that legal experts said showed a misunderstanding of the Constitution. It was unclear how Trump would legally justify such a move, since the Constitution delegates impeachment proceedings to Congress, not the courts. John Wagner in the Washington Post$ -- 4/24/19