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Republicans’ deal to keep property tax deduction leaves California lagging some other states -- The decision by a key House Republican to maintain the deduction for property taxes but not for other state and local taxes is a victory for California but a bigger win for residents of other states. Jim Puzzanghera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/31/17

Orange County is ground zero for fundraising in California's most contested races -- More than half of the money raised for the most contested House races in California is going to candidates in Orange County, another indication of its starring role in the Democratic effort to win back control of the House next year. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/31/17

California's gas tax increases Wednesday, and the political fallout is likely to spill over into 2018 elections -- A state gas tax increase of 12 cents per gallon kicks in Wednesday, and while the immediate impact will mean less money in motorists’ wallets, the long-term political fallout could roll into next year, when the higher levies are expected to be an issue in elections across California. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/31/17

Fox: The Gas Tax is Going Up—Treat or Trick? -- How can anyone call a tax increase a “treat?” One would think increasing taxes on an essential product like gasoline is definitely a trick to fit today’s holiday theme. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 10/31/17

State appeals court orders CPUC to turn over disputed emails -- A state appeals court has ordered the California Public Utilities Commission to turn over scores of emails involving regulators and the Governor’s Office so justices can determine whether they should be released in response to a Public Records Act request. Jeff McDonald in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/31/17

High hopes but few details for Trump's $200 million STEM pledge -- The White House’s pledge to spend $200 million on science, math and computer education could potentially transform U.S. classrooms, but educators are waiting to celebrate until they know how the money will be spent. Carolyn Jones EdSource -- 10/31/17

Apple says it may stop using Qualcomm chips in iPhones, and San Diego tech company's shares tumble -- Qualcomm Inc. shares tumbled Tuesday after a report that Apple Inc. is considering dumping the company’s cellular modem chips from next year’s versions of iPhones and iPads. Mike Freeman in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/31/17

Want to work in Hollywood? Here's the kind of nondisclosure agreements you have to sign first -- If you wanted to work for Leonardo DiCaprio’s company Greenhour Corp. a few years ago, you would have had to sign a document crucial to the Oscar winner’s “personal safety, well being and business.” James Rufus Koren in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/31/17

Push to Protect Robert Mueller From President Trump Fizzles in Congress -- Legislative efforts to shield special counsel Robert Mueller from political interference appear to have stalled out on Capitol Hill, even as attempts from President Donald Trump and his allies to discredit the investigation intensify. Andrew Desiderio The Daily Beast -- 10/31/17


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Where in Beverly Hills did Paul Manafort spend $500,000 on suits? -- In a 31-page federal indictment filed in Washington, prosecutors alleged that the political consultant with Russian connections spent $12 million in untaxed income on a wealth of luxuries. Among those items, prosecutors say, was $520,400 worth of clothes purchased from a Beverly Hills business identified only as “Vendor H.” Benjamin Oreske in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/31/17

Culture of ‘fear’ stops women from reporting harassment at California’s Capitol -- It’s been 12 years since Lisa Kaplan largely “disappeared” from the Capitol community. Yet she’s still terrified to tell her story. Taryn Luna and Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/31/17

California’s ‘sanctuary state’ law could be blocked by voters -- Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced Monday that a referendum on Senate Bill 54, the controversial law limiting state and local police agencies’ ability to work with federal immigration authorities, has been cleared to gather signatures. Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/31/17

California prisoners could vote under new measure -- Secretary of State Alex Padilla on Monday informed proponents they can begin gathering signatures for the November 2018 ballot initiative that would eliminate restrictions on preregistering to vote. The proposal also would lift the state’s ban for those on felony parole. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/31/17

Rent control may roil 2018 ballot -- So far, most of the sound and fury in California politics has revolved around candidates. But there are increasing signs that ballot initiatives may trigger additional uproar in 2018. Chuck McFadden Capitol Weekly -- 10/31/17

Rising premiums, consumer confusion as Covered California enters 5th year -- As Covered California enters its fifth year, the health insurance exchange is facing challenges both old and new, from rising health premiums to widespread confusion among consumers over how their health plans may change next year — all while the president proclaims that the health law that created the exchange is collapsing. Catherine Ho in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/31/17

Better fire protection sought for hotels that house many of San Francisco’s poor -- Investors who purchase residential hotels in San Francisco would have one year to install automatic sprinkler systems in ground-floor retail and basement spaces, under new legislation by Supervisor Aaron Peskin designed to curtail a rash of fires that have displaced low-income tenants living in those SROs. J.K. Dineen in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/31/17

Bullet Trajectory and Ricochet Shot Central to Steinle Murder Trial -- A retired San Francisco crime scene investigator testified Monday in the high-profile murder trial over the 2015 slaying of Kathryn Steinle that “firearms do not fire by themselves.” Alex Emslie KQED Vivian Ho in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/31/17

Who are California’s transgender adults? New study finds some surprises -- Transgender adults in California have about the same poverty and education levels as people who identify as the gender they were assigned at birth, but they are more likely to be white and to be struggling with suicidal impulses, according to a new UCLA study. Kevin Fagan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/31/17

Great America: 15-20 teens responsible for Halloween Haunt mayhem, police say -- The fallout continued Monday from mob violence at California’s Great America that saw scores of people assaulted, robbed, or fleeing for the exits over the weekend as police tallied a growing number of victims and park operators hustled to mount a response. Robert Salonga and Mark Gomez in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/31/17

Taxes, Fees, Rates, Tolls, Bonds 

Rep. Duncan Hunter said GOP tax bill could cost Californians more than others, but he still supports it -- Rep. Duncan Hunter said one proposal discussed as part of an income tax overhaul in Congress would hit his constituents and other Californians hard in their wallets, but he still supports a Republican plan to change the federal tax system because he believes it will help citizens across the country. Joshua Stewart in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/31/17

Get ready for a bump at the pump in California -- California drivers normally catch a bit of a break this time of year when gas stations switch over to winter blends, which usually run about 12 cents a gallon less than summer-blended fuel. But this year, the switch will coincide with the rollout of a state law to increase the price of gasoline by 12 cents a gallon. Rob Nikolewski in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ Jeff Horseman in the Orange County Register -- 10/31/17

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

4 Oakland dockworkers allege racially hostile environment at 3 companies -- Four dockworkers at the Port of Oakland are suing three companies that employ them for allegedly supporting a racially hostile work environment after racial epithets, nooses and Confederate flags reported in the workplace went unaddressed. Annie Ma in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/31/17

Short-Term Rental Boom Leaves Yosemite Struggling to Fill Jobs -- The booming vacation rental market is creating a shortage of places for locals to rent for the long-term, and in some cases it’s contributing to the area’s homeless problem. And now the growing lack of long-term rentals is causing a hiring issue in Yosemite. Ezra David Romero KQED -- 10/31/17

Sonoma County supervisors considering temporary housing on farmland due to wildfires -- One major proposal would allow landowners to temporarily rent out structures on agricultural properties, including those covered by a 1965 state law restricting certain farmlands from development. J. D. Morris in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat -- 10/31/17

Assemblyman wants worker’s comp for off-duty CA cops hurt in Vegas massacre -- Assemblyman Tom Daly, D-Anaheim, plans to introduce legislation “to eliminate any ambiguity in the law” after Orange County rejected workers’ compensation claims last week from four of its deputies injured in the Las Vegas shooting. Jordan Graham in the Orange County Register -- 10/31/17

It’s not Amazon HQ2, but company is making big Culver City move -- Amazon today confirmed long-rumored plans to occupy more than 280,000 square feet on the Culver Studios lot, including the iconic “Gone with the Wind” mansion and bungalows. The item is in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 10/31/17

Dungeness crab season could be delayed again by the toxin domoic acid -- Dungeness crab season is approaching in the Bay Area, along with all the rituals that come with it — the crab feeds and holiday dinners piled with crab legs, sourdough bread and crocks of melted butter. Unfortunately, there’s another, more recent local tradition that is also back: uncertainty about whether algal blooms will delay the season. Tara Duggan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/31/17


BART will chase fare evaders at a cost of $740,000 per year -- BART’s new fare inspection program aims to scare scofflaws who sneak a free ride on the system into paying. But chances are most fare cheats won’t get caught. Six community service officers will work as fare inspectors across a system that runs 20 hours daily carrying an average of 420,000 passengers into and out of 46 stations on up to 62 trains. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/31/17


Orange County to enforce curfew aimed at homeless along Santa Ana River trail -- Orange County announced Monday that it plans to start enforcing trespassing laws along a 10-mile stretch of the Santa Ana River trail where homeless people live. It’s the county’s most aggressive move yet to clear out the hundreds of homeless people who have set up encampments along the river in recent years. Jill Replogle KPCC Anh Do in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/31/17


Supreme Court turns down property-rights challenge to developer fees in West Hollywood -- The Supreme Court said Monday it has turned down a property rights case from West Hollywood that challenged a California requirement that developers subsidize the creation of affordable housing. David G. Savage in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/31/17


Wildfires Can Attack Your House From the Inside — Here’s How to Prevent It -- It’s not just residents in the northern Bay Area who are at risk from wildfire. Millions of other Californians live in fire-prone areas and many homes were built before modern fire codes. Lauren Sommer KQED -- 10/31/17


Yiannopoulos on California campus, police gird for violence -- Right-wing firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos is scheduled to speak at a Southern California college campus on Halloween night and other student groups are planning a "unity" party demonstration to offset what they say is his hateful rhetoric. Associated Press -- 10/31/17

L.A. Unified says PUC Schools should have unearthed alleged Rodriguez conflict three years ago -- The leaders of a local charter-school network are under fire from the Los Angeles Unified School District for not uncovering and reporting conflict-of-interest allegations against school board member Ref Rodriguez three years ago. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/31/17

Education Dept. could scale back loan help for defrauded students -- The Education Department is considering only partially forgiving federal loans for students defrauded by for-profit colleges, according to department officials, abandoning the Obama administration’s policy of erasing that debt. Under President Barack Obama, tens of thousands of students deceived by now-defunct for-profit schools had over $550 million in such loans canceled. Maria Danilova Associated Press -- 10/31/17

Extreme level of lead at SF school gym fountain, among 30 taps failing test -- At least 30 water taps at three San Francisco public school campuses tested for high levels of lead, and water from one fountain in a high school gym had a lead level nearly 60 times the maximum under federal health guidelines, data released by the district show. Jill Tucker in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/31/17


Constellation Brands wine company buys stake in Canadian cannabis company -- In a first for a major American wine company, Constellation Brands Inc. announced Monday that it will venture into the cannabis business, acquiring a 10 percent stake in a Canadian medicinal cannabis provider. Bill Swindell in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat -- 10/31/17

Can you tell the pot edibles from the regular snacks? -- Come January first, it will be legal to sell recreational pot to adults in California. Public health groups are trying to raise awareness about the dangers of edible marijuana products, especially with Halloween coming up. Ever heard of Weetos? How about Kif Kats? Robert Garrova KPCC -- 10/31/17


California’s first big winter snow storm headed for Sierra Nevada -- It’s only Halloween, but winter is on the way. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/31/17


Low effectiveness of flu vaccine explained -- The notoriously low effectiveness of seasonal flu vaccines can be explained by how they’re produced in chicken eggs, according to a study led by scientists from The Scripps Research Institute. Bradley J. Fikes in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/31/17


San Francisco bolsters flood resilience in face of climate change -- Last week, the agency vastly expanded a grant program that reimburses flood victims who want to install improvements like doorway seals, flood gates or plumbing upgrades to lessen or prevent future flood damage from rainstorms. Dominic Fracassa in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/31/17

Inflatable dams and a water wheel: Latest plan to revitalize the L.A. River -- Hydrologist Mark Hanna stood on the North Broadway Bridge recently and gazed out on an industrial vista of treated urban runoff flowing down the Los Angeles River channel between graffiti-marred concrete banks and train trestles strewn with broken glass. Louis Sahagun in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/31/17

Also . . . 

Report: bullying of Muslim students on the rise -- More Muslim students have reported being bullied, having their hijabs pulled off and harassed at school because of their religion in the past two years, according to a report released Monday by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Gary Warth in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ Riley Beggin KPCC -- 10/31/17

Husband and wife who survived Las Vegas shooting die in car crash -- A Murrieta couple who grew closer after surviving the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Oct. 1 died weeks later in a car crash not far from their home, relatives and authorities said. Joseph Serna in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/31/17

Nixon’s Western White House in Southern California lists for $63.5 million -- All those and more have passed through the gates of La Casa Pacifica, a walled compound in San Clemente, Calif., formerly owned by President Richard Nixon. After initially going up for sale in 2015 for $75 million, the home is currently on the market for $63.5 million. Amy Dobson in the Washington Post$ -- 10/31/17

Editor Jim Boren announces his retirement from The Bee -- Jim Boren, whose entire 48-year journalism career has been at The Fresno Bee, including the last five as executive editor and senior vice president, is retiring in January. The item is in the Fresno Bee -- 10/31/17

POTUS 45  

Upstairs at home, with the TV on, Trump fumes over Russia indictments -- President Trump woke before dawn on Monday and burrowed in at the White House residence to wait for the Russia bombshell he knew was coming. Robert Costa, Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker in the Washington Post$ -- 10/31/17

Decoker: White House pushes a two-front defense: Blaming indicted aides and Hillary Clinton -- His presidency facing fresh peril, President Trump and his loyalists have adopted a twofold strategy to protect him against the indictment of two senior campaign aides and a guilty plea on the part of a third, more junior aide: distancing Trump from alleged wrongdoers and leveling new attacks on an old nemesis, Hillary Clinton. Cathleen Decker in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/31/17

John Kelly calls Robert E. Lee an ‘honorable man’ and says ‘lack of compromise’ caused the Civil War -- White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly on Monday called Robert E. Lee was “an honorable man” and said that “the lack of an ability to compromise” led to the Civil War, once again thrusting himself into the public spotlight on an emotionally charged issue. Eli Rosenberg in the Washington Post$ -- 10/31/17


The sudden fall of Washington's ultimate powerbroker -- Tony Podesta personified D.C. influence and wealth for decades. Then along came Robert Mueller. Anna Palmer and Theodoric Meyer Politico -- 10/31/17

Democrats see more news about Russian probe as good news -- While the indictments of three former Trump campaign officials didn’t link the organization to Russian meddling in last year’s election, they will provide Democrats with the next best thing: enough political fallout to keep the story in the news through next year’s midterm elections. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/31/17

Google says Russian troll farm was client, but spent less than $5,000 on ads during campaign -- As Google, Facebook and Twitter prepare for a two-day Congressional grilling over alleged Russian exploitation of their platforms to influence the last presidential election, Google is asserting that there was relatively little abuse of its online offerings. Ethan Baron in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/31/17

Four Pinocchios: The repeated, incorrect claim that Russia obtained ‘20 percent of our uranium’ -- More than a year ago, the Fact Checker labeled as false various claims that Donald Trump, then a presidential candidate, had made about Hillary Clinton’s alleged role in the approval of the sale of a Canadian company, Uranium One, with mining rights in the United States to Rosatom, Russia’s nuclear energy agency. We’ve delved deep into the tale and also recently wrote an update since Rep. Devin Nunes, head of the House Intelligence Committee, announced that Congress would launch a new probe. Glenn Kessler in the Washington Post$ -- 10/31/17

ABA deems another Trump judicial nominee ‘not qualified’ -- Another one of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees — this time, to the powerful appellate courts — has been deemed "not qualified" by the American Bar Association. Leonard Steven Grasz was nominated in August to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and has his confirmation hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee this week. Seung Min Kim Politico -- 10/31/17


-- Monday Updates 

Proposed bill would block utilities from passing wildfire costs to customers -- Four California legislators on Monday said they plan to introduce a bill that would bar electric utilities from passing on to their customers the costs of wildfires caused by the companies’ negligence. David R. Baker in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/17

PG&E could pay dearly for North Bay fires, even if it followed rules -- If investigators do find that PG&E’s electrical lines started the fires, the company will probably be liable for economic damages, regardless of negligence. And even if PG&E faithfully followed every state rule for maintaining its equipment, it still could face costs already estimated to top $1 billion. David R. Baker in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/30/17

Firefighters have effectively contained the Wine Country blazes -- The clutch of wildfires that left a deadly path across some of California’s most iconic wine regions this month also left a pile of questions: What happened to those still missing? Where exactly did the Napa fire begin. How did it start? And how badly hurt was the region’s $74-billion viticulture business and its attendant tourism industry? Patrick May in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/30/17

The early numbers don't look good for California Republicans -- There are far more challengers running for California’s House seats in 2018 than at this point in the last campaign, and there hasn’t been this much money raised for House elections this early in years, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis of campaign finance reports. Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/17

San Francisco supervisors to vote on moving offices from squalid Hall of Justice -- For decades, the complaints have piled up. Mice. Cockroaches. Asbestos. Sewage dripping down into offices from clogged toilets in the seventh-floor jail. But Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting could mark the beginning of the end of these travails for everyone working in San Francisco’s Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St. Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/30/17

Proposed initiative would end early release for some crimes, allow more DNA collection -- A coalition including police officers and prosecutors on Monday proposed a California state initiative that would end early release of rapists and child traffickers and expand the number of crimes for which authorities could collect DNA samples from those convicted. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/17

When men with power go too far: After years of whispers, women speak out about harassment in California's Capitol -- It started with a dinner invitation from a former assemblyman more than twice her age. He had offered his services as a mentor, but his hand reaching for her knee under the table revealed other intentions. Chris Megerian, Melanie Mason and Jack Dolan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/17

California's Senate culture doesn't encourage women to file complaints. Here's how that could change -- In 2014, reeling from scandals that led to the suspension of three Democratic senators, California’s state Senate changed its policies to make it easier for employees, members and the public to sound the alarm about misconduct. Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/17

Trump’s tax plan could prove costly for many Bay Area residents -- Local lawmakers have good reason to howl about President Trump’s tax plan, which would eliminate the federal deduction for state and local taxes — it would hit people in four Bay Area counties harder than anywhere else in the state. Leading the pack is San Mateo County, whose residents claimed an average of $39,284 in property, state income tax and other local tax deductions in 2015, according to the Internal Revenue Service. That was more than twice the $18,649 average deduction in Los Angeles County. Matier & Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/30/17

CalSTRS is handing out big bonuses after a banner year -- A banner year at the stock market boosted the fortunes of the state’s $215 billion teacher pension fund, and it’ll net a couple of nice bonuses for the system’s top executives. Adam Ashton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/30/17

Borenstein: Mystery gas charge cost California families $1,200 since 2015 -- Who wouldn’t like to pay less for gasoline? That’s why there will be a lot of grumbling Wednesday when California’s gasoline tax goes up by 12 cents per gallon. That’s also why opponents of the tax increase are collecting signatures for a ballot initiative to reverse it, and are leading a drive to recall one state senator who supported it. Severin Borenstein in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/30/17

Fox: Brown vs. Issa — it’s about Who Gets the Money -- Gov. Jerry Brown called the idea of eliminating state and local tax deductions from federal taxes “horrible” tax policy. Congressman Darrell Issa in support of the plan argued that the bad tax policy was the California tax increases supported by Brown. The tug of war between Brown and Issa–and between Democrats and Republicans–on state and local tax deductions is more than about tax philosophy—it is about who gets the money. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 10/30/17

Immigrants fear loss of humanitarian program under Trump -- Iris Acosta has spent the last two decades enrolled in an immigration program that has helped her get a work permit, put three children through school in her native Honduras and obtain health insurance to cover her cancer treatment. Amy Taxin Associated Press -- 10/30/17

Trump campaign adviser admitted to lying about Russian contacts -- George Papadopoulos, a former campaign adviser to President Trump, pleaded guilty earlier this month to lying to federal officials about contacts he had with people he believed had ties to the Russian government while he was affiliated with Trump’s campaign. Rosalind S. Helderman and Carol D. Leonnig in the Washington Post$ -- 10/30/17

McManus: There's no smoking gun in the Manafort indictment, but it's still very bad news for Trump -- The methodical prosecutor is moving swiftly, as if he wants to put his evidence on the public record as fast as he can. That will make it harder for the Justice Department to walk away from these cases if Trump decides to fire him. Doyle McManus in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/17

Court rejects Trump's transgender troop ban -- The Pentagon cannot enforce the Trump administration’s ban on transgender troops serving in the military, a federal court ruled in a decision released Monday that advocates called a “colossal victory.” Jacquelin Klimas Politico -- 10/30/17