Updating . .   

Death toll rises to 17 in Montecito; 100 homes destroyed by mudslides -- The death toll from massive debris flows that buried homes and cars under a torrent of mud and boulders rose to 17 in Montecito, where local personnel and the U.S. Coast Guard continued rescue operations Wednesday afternoon. James Queally, Melissa Etehad and Brittny Mejia in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/10/18

After Oroville disclosures, embattled California water agency names new director -- The California Department of Water Resources underwent a management shakeup Wednesday, less than a week after investigators released a scathing report on last February’s crisis at Oroville Dam and how the department handled it. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ John Howard Capitol Weekly Ralph Vartabedian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/10/18

Trump gives Feinstein a re-election gift -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein is the newest target of President Trump’s Twitter rage, and it couldn’t be better news for the California Democrat. Emily Cadei in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/10/18

Issa becomes second California Republican to announce retirement as Democrats look to reclaim House -- Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) will not run for a 10th term in Congress, he announced Wednesday morning, becoming the second California Republican to retire this week as Democrats strive to retake control of the U.S. House. On Monday, Republican Rep. Ed Royce of Fullerton also announced he would not seek reelection. Sarah D. Wire and Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/10/18

GOP Assemblyman Rocky Chavez announces he'll run for Darrell Issa's U.S. House seat -- Assemblyman Rocky Chavez (R-Oceanside) says he’s joining the fray in the 49th Congressional District hours after Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) announced he won’t seek reelection there. Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times$ Joshua Stewart in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/10/18

After two GOP retirement announcements this week, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher says: 'You can count on me' -- With the announcements of two congressional retirements in less than a week, many California politicos are wondering who could be next as the GOP delegation faces an increasingly hostile outlook for the mid-term elections. In a statement Wednesday, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) said it loud and clear: It won’t be him. Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/10/18

Grand jury subpoena issued in criminal investigation of Rep. Duncan Hunter's campaign spending -- A federal grand jury is slated to hear evidence this month regarding campaign finance transactions by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine), who has been under scrutiny since the spring of 2016 over questionable personal expenditures. Morgan Cook in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/10/18

Downplaying the threat of repeal, Brown offers spending plan for $4.6 billion in new gas taxes and fees -- Gov. Jerry Brown proposed Wednesday to spend $4.6 billion from new gas taxes and vehicle fees on repairing California’s roads and bridges and improving rail systems in the next year, and downplayed the threat that voters might repeal the levies in November. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ Adam Ashton in the Sacramento Bee$ Melody Gutierrez in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Casey Tolan, Katy Murphy and Emily DeRuy in the San Jose Mercury$ Jonathan J. Cooper and Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press Ezra David Romero, Sammy Caiola, Chris Nichols, Ben Adler and Ben Bradford Capital Public Radio -- 1/10/18

Capitol Weekly podcast: Bill Magavern -- Welcome to 2018, which the Coalition for Clean Air’s Bill Magavern has dubbed “The Year of the Truck.” Magavern, a veteran environmental advocate, joins us for our first Capitol Weekly Podcast of 2018. Link Here -- 1/10/18


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Judge blocks Trump decision to end young immigrant program -- A federal judge on Tuesday night temporarily blocked the Trump administration's decision to end a program protecting young immigrants from deportation. U.S. District Judge William Alsup granted a request by California and other plaintiffs to prevent President Donald Trump from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program while their lawsuits play out in court. Sudhin Thanawala and Andrew Dalton Associated Press Bob Egelko and Carolyn Lochhead in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Tatiana Sanchez in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/10/18 ..

Safety wasn’t the only thing on Oroville Dam operators’ minds as they responded to crisis, report shows -- California water officials have always insisted public safety was their only concern as they struggled with the crisis unfolding last February at Oroville Dam. The forensic team investigating what happened at Lake Oroville, however, has pinpointed another factor guiding the decisions made by the Department of Water Resources: the state’s desire to continue shipping water to faraway farms and cities that rely on deliveries from the reservoir. Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/10/18

At least 13 dead as heavy rains trigger flooding, mudflows and freeway closures across Southern California -- At least 13 people were killed Tuesday when a rainstorm sent mud and debris coursing through Montecito neighborhoods and left rescue crews to scramble through clogged roadways and downed trees to search for victims. James Queally, Joseph Serna, Michael Livingston and Ruben Vives in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/10/18

About 300 people still stuck in Romero Canyon; rescue operations will resume at daybreak -- About 300 people remain stuck in their homes in Montecito’s Romero Canyon neighborhood after impassable roads halted rescue operations, officials said. First-responders plan to launch aerial rescues at daybreak for those residents, all of whom are safe. Alene Tchekmedyian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/10/18

Republicans like Arnold Schwarzenegger push for a ‘new way’ in California -- Pushed out by party activists last summer for negotiating with Democrats on a climate change program, former Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes is doubling down on his fight to reshape the California GOP – with a key assist from former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/10/18

Former GOP leader of the California Assembly recruits Schwarzenegger as he looks to find a 'new way' for the party -- Saying it’s time for his party to regain its relevance in California, the former Assembly Republican leader said Tuesday he’s launched a new political organization to focus on issues where the GOP can find common ground with voters who now routinely elect Democrats. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/10/18

Walters: In-and-out moves make Dem vs. Dem contests more likely -- Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer and former Republican Congressman Doug Ose are polar opposites politically, but have jointly altered dynamics of this year’s California elections. Late last week, Ose, who represented a suburban Sacramento district for several terms, declared that he will run for governor. Dan Walters Calmatters -- 1/10/18

A day after Rep. Ed Royce says he’ll retire, two GOP candidates step forward -- With Republicans scrambling to determine who will run to replace GOP Rep. Ed Royce, two lesser-known party members quickly stepped forward Tuesday — a day after the longtime Orange County congressman’s unexpected announcement that he will not seek reelection. Martin Wisckol in the Orange County Register -- 1/10/18

The Royce retirement from Congress started an Orange County edition of musical chairs -- Republican Rep. Ed Royce dropped a bombshell Monday, announcing that he would not seek reelection. His surprise retirement decision scrambles the field in an already competitive race for the 39th Congressional District. Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/10/18

Gov. Jerry Brown’s top advisor steps back after cancer treatments -- Nancy McFadden, the highest-ranking advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown, said Tuesday that she will work less frequently in the Capitol in the coming months as she recuperates from cancer treatments. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/10/18

California lawmaker wants to make it easier to clear marijuana convictions from criminal records -- Proposition 64, approved by California voters in 2016 to legalize recreational pot use, allows people to petition the courts to have past convictions for marijuana offenses expunged from their records. But the process can be difficult and expensive, according to supporters of pot legalization. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/10/18

Former Vice President Biden looks back on life, career; mum on 2020 presidential bid -- Former Vice President Joe Biden largely avoided mention of today’s political fray during the latest stop on his book tour Tuesday in San Francisco. But the 75-year-old Democratic statesman, while leaving open the question of whether he was just another retired politician with a memoir to sell or a 2020 contender for president, made clear he was still in the game. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/10/18

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

State government gets an upgrade: IT plan brings changes for 10,000 workers -- Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration this week is unveiling a plan to bring its 10,000-strong state information technology workers into the 21st century. Those employees surely are living in modern times, but the civil services rules governing their hiring and promotions date back to the 1980s. Adam Ashton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/10/18


California State University maxes out, turns away more students than ever -- California State University turned away more qualified applicants than ever last year — 1 in 10 students, or 31,000 people — even though the state’s Master Plan for Higher Education says they should be admitted. Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/10/18

UCLA initiative promotes school collaboration to improve math performance – In bringing together principals of charter schools and regular public schools, a new university-based initiative is attempting to salve wounds inflicted by the rawest conflict in the nation's second-largest district. George White EdSource -- 1/10/18

Immigration / Border 

California lawmakers will request $10 million in state funds to help Salvadorans facing deportation in wake of Trump action -- Two California lawmakers are asking that an additional $10 million go into a state legal defense fund for immigrants facing deportation, after the Trump administration on Monday called for an end to temporary protections for more than 250,000 Salvadorans in the U.S. Jazmine Ulloa in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/10/18

Dreamer talks still jumbled after Trump’s freewheeling summit -- President Donald Trump’s freewheeling, televised — and, at times, incoherent — immigration meeting with lawmakers Tuesday accomplished one thing at least, according to attendees: They agreed on what they would try to agree on. Seung Min Kim, Heather Caygle, Ted Hesson and Rachael Bade Politico -- 1/10/18


Trump administration says no oil drilling off Florida coast -- The Trump administration said Tuesday it would not allow oil drilling off the coast of Florida, abruptly reversing course under pressure from Republican Gov. Rick Scott. Gary Fineout and Matthew Daly in the Washington Post$ -- 1/10/18

Also . . . 

L.A. child molester to be released after spending 17 years in state hospital awaiting trial -- Just before George Vasquez was scheduled to get out of prison, Los Angeles County prosecutors made a plea to the court: Don’t let him free — he’s too dangerous to live in public. Marisa Gerber and Alejandra Reyes-Velarde in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/10/18


-- Tuesday Updates 

California’s new wildfire prevention map could be delayed — again -- When California regulators in December adopted tough new rules to prevent power lines from starting wildfires, they based the rules on a map. Years in development, the detailed map will show which parts of California face an elevated or extreme risk of wildfires. David R. Baker in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/9/18

At least 8 dead as heavy rains trigger flooding, mudflows and freeway closures across Southern California -- At least eight people were killed Tuesday when a rainstorm sent mud and debris coursing through Montecito neighborhoods and left rescue crews to scramble through clogged roadways and downed trees to search for victims. James Queally, Joseph Serna and Michael Livingston in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/9/18

Jerry Brown’s last budget: 19 billion reasons to smile and two big questions -- Gov. Jerry Brown has 19 billion reasons to feel optimistic when he releases his last budget proposal this week. Eight years after he took office in the free fall of the Great Recession, the state is on pace to build a $19.3 billion surplus by July 1, 2019. But these are not necessarily flush times, warn the liberal policy advocates who normally would be urging Brown to put the surplus into new government services. Adam Ashton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/9/18

Former White House strategist Stephen Bannon stepping down from Breitbart News -- Former White House advisor Stephen Bannon has stepped down from his post at Breitbart News after he was quoted disparaging President Trump’s children in a new book about the administration, the right-wing news website confirmed Tuesday. Seema Mehta and Michael Finnegan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/9/18

Sen. Dianne Feinstein releases Fusion GPS transcript, escalating dispute with Republicans over Russia probe -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Tuesday released the full transcript of the panel’s interview with Glenn Simpson, the co-founder of the firm that researched President Trump during the 2016 campaign. The lengthy transcript was released over the objections of Republicans, who have been sharply critical of Simpson’s firm, Fusion GPS. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/9/18

California now has a one-two punch on the Russia inquiry -- Kamala Harris is joining the Senate Judiciary Committee, Democratic leaders announced Tuesday. The move not only adds a coveted post to the junior senator’s already high-profile set of committee assignments, it puts the state of California in a plum position to shape the inquiry into the Trump administration and its ties to Russia. Emily Cadei in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/9/18

California progressive on Oprah 2020: We don’t need our own Donald Trump -- Oprah Winfrey’s rousing address at the Golden Globes, along with confirmation from people close to her that she’s looking at the race, has vaulted the media mogul into the 2020 presidential conversation. But within hours of the story landing, predictable backlash ensued. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/9/18

Fox: Oprah Jumps Ahead of the California Presidential Candidates Parade–At Least for a Day -- Now we are hearing about another Californian for president—Oprah Winfrey. With the nation-state of California in stiff opposition to the man in the Oval Office, a number of Californians are considering a move across the country to the White House. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 1/9/18

Quinn: Will The “C” Question Destroy The Democratic Party? -- A simple request from the Trump Justice Department to the Census Bureau to add a single question to the 2020 federal census is causing a huge uproar among liberal and Democratic groups because it could have a devastating political impact for Democrats in the next decade. This is the “C” question: are you a citizen or not. Tony Quinn Fox & Hounds -- 1/9/18

Supervisors Breed and Kim in race for San Francisco mayor for real now — Herrera out -- San Francisco acting Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Jane Kim made their bids for the mayor’s office official on Tuesday after filing their candidacy paperwork with the city’s elections department. Dominic Fracassa in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/9/18

Man who suffered eye injury in jail says the county delayed surgery to save money – as his vision faded -- Ramin Shekarlab hasn’t had the best of luck. An Iranian-born man who started a new life in Sacramento as a car salesman and insurance agent, Shekarlab was shot four times –once in the head at point-blank range – in an unsolved incident at a Fulton Avenue used car lot in 2004, according to court records. Sam Stanton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/9/18