California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Big money for Villaraigosa could jolt California governor’s race -- Two billionaire charter school advocates stirred up California’s gubernatorial race by pouring a total of $8.5 million into an independent expenditure campaign supporting former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/14/18

At long last, deported veteran becomes U.S. citizen, ready to start new life -- Hector Barajas, who has become the voice for hundreds of deported U.S. military veterans around the world, returned Friday to the country he served and became a citizen. Kate Morrissey in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 4/14/18

US To Audit Grants Awarded To California Bullet Train -- California's high-speed rail project is facing an audit from the U.S. Department of Transportation's as costs continue to climb. The inspector general's audit, announced Thursday, will examine the Federal Railroad Administration's oversight of nearly $3.5 billion in federal grant money awarded to the project. Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press -- 4/14/18

What Kevin McCarthy’s bid for Speaker means for vulnerable California Republicans -- McCarthy’s status as Ryan’s heir apparent could bolster the Bakersfield congressman’s already-strong fundraising prowess, helping him keep his fellow California House Republicans afloat as Democrats try to seize back control of the chamber. Casey Tolan in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 4/14/18

Scalise to back McCarthy for speaker --House Majority Whip Steve Scalise will endorse speaker hopeful Kevin McCarthy when the California Republican declares for the post, the Louisianan’s office told Politico. Rachael Bade Politico -- 4/14/18

Jordan fires warning shot at McCarthy -- Conservative firebrand Rep. Jim Jordan’s step toward a long-shot bid for House speaker Friday was most notable for the stern warning it delivered to the top contender for the post, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy: You don't have the votes yet. Rachael Bade and Kyle Cheney Politico -- 4/14/18

Gov. Jerry Brown forms commission for 2020 census outreach -- The commission’s formation comes on the heels of a Trump administration plan to ask about citizenship status as a part of the census. State officials fear that such a question, which has not been asked in a census since 1950, could chill participation among California residents. Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/14/18

Politifact CA: Jerry Brown says there’s “no massive wave of migrants pouring into California.” Is he right? -- Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown recently agreed to President Donald Trump’s request to deploy California National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, though with several caveats. Chris Nichols Politifact CA -- 4/14/18

LA may make it illegal for landlords to reveal tenants’ citizenship, or even ask about it -- A Los Angeles City Council committee approved a draft ordinance that would make it illegal for a landlord to disclose a tenant’s citizenship status to third parties, or to inquire as to the immigration or citizenship status of a tenant or occupant. The item is in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 4/14/18

'Black men might be better off at home,' local columnist writes after Stephon Clark shooting -- A columnist for a weekly paper in Rancho Murieta, a gated community southeast of Sacramento, drew social media condemnation Friday after suggesting that black men should stay in their houses after dark in the wake of the Stephon Clark shooting. Anita Chabria in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/14/18

Brown suspends mobile home regulations to help fire victims -- Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed an executive order removing barriers to mobile home construction and placement in an effort to help residents displaced by the recent Southern California mudslides and wildfires. The order suspends for three months all regulations included in the state’s laws governing mobile and manufactured homes. Associated Press -- 4/14/18

Three Reasons California Is Trump’s Worst Nightmare in Clean-Car Fight -- President Donald Trump, much to the delight of Big Auto, wants to roll back the Obama-era regulations that require cars to burn gasoline more efficiently and run cleaner. Well, California regulators have a message for the president: Do it, and we’ll go it alone. Laura Blewitt and Kevin Crowley Bloomberg -- 4/14/18

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Michael Ferro sells stake in Times parent Tronc to McCormick family for $208.6 million -- Michael Ferro, who resigned last month as chairman of Chicago-based newspaper chain Tronc, has struck a deal to sell his entire stake in the company, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Friday. Andrea Chang and Robert Channick in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/14/18

L.A.-area office rental market holds steady as tech, entertainment companies expand -- Growth among Los Angeles-area companies, especially those in fields related to technology and entertainment, kept the office rental market stable last quarter. Neighborhoods such as El Segundo and the Westside are most popular with such creative tenants, according to real estate brokerage CBRE. Roger Vincent in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/14/18

No More Hotel Auditions, Says Union Representing Actors -- SAG-AFTRA is calling for an end to auditions in private hotel rooms or residences, after a spate of sexual harassment allegations against powerful Hollywood figures. Merrit Kennedy NPR -- 4/14/18

LA Times is leaving downtown Los Angeles for El Segundo -- Marking a new era, The Los Angeles Times will move out of its historic location in downtown L.A., the incoming owner told staff at a meeting Friday. Patrick Soon-Shiong told gathered staff that the Times' headquarters will move to El Segundo to gasps. Kyle Stokes KPCC -- 4/14/18

In a leaked memo, Apple warns employees to stop leaking -- Apple Inc. warned employees to stop leaking internal information on the company's plans and raised the specter of potential legal action and criminal charges, one of the most aggressive moves by the world's largest technology company to control information about its activities. Bloomberg -- 4/14/18

How much does your CEO make compared with you? Now, that ratio is public -- In Long Beach, Joseph Zubretsky, the new CEO of Molina Healthcare, the giant insurer, is set to take home $20.9 million over a year. That’s 450 times the pay of Molina’s median worker. Margot Roosevelt in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 4/14/18


City pivots on plan for large permanent homeless shelter in North Sacramento -- A homeless shelter that has been operating on an industrial street in North Sacramento likely will close at the end of May, and the city of Sacramento is pivoting back to a plan to open a large permanent shelter near a light-rail station in the Woodlake neighborhood. Ryan Lillis and Cynthia Hubert in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/14/18


California’s poor students rank next to last on national test -- California’s poor students performed worse on a national exam than needy kids from all but one other state, according to results released this week by the National Center for Education Statistics. Congratulations, folks. We beat Alaska. Jessica Calefati Calmatters -- 4/14/18


San Diego pot stores praise Trump's decision not to crack down on recreational marijuana -- Trump over-ruled Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who said in January that federal prosecutors would be free to raid and prosecute retailers in states where cannabis is legal. Gary Robbins in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 4/14/18

Also . . . 

Despite drop in distracted driving-related crashes across state, Southern California drivers use cellphones at higher rate -- Few people paid attention to the cardboard sign the suspiciously clean-cut young man wearing sunglasses was holding as he stood on the Riverside Avenue off-ramp of the westbound 10 Freeway Thursday morning. If they had, they would have noticed it read, “Talking & Texting while driving KILLS! If you’re on a cellphone right now, you’re about to get a ticket from Rialto PD.” Beatriz E. Valenzuela and Nikie Johnson in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 4/14/18

San Francisco Chronicle scooter problem: City impounds dozens of the two-wheelers -- San Francisco’s skirmish over scooters escalated Friday as the city’s Public Works department seized several dozen of the two-wheelers it said were blocking sidewalks and fined the companies that own them in response to public protests. And the city may not be done, said Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/14/18

Friends separated by the Holocaust reunite in California -- When Alice Gerstel bid an emotional farewell to her family’s closest friends in October 1941, she was hopeful she’d see “Little Simon” Gronowski again. And she did — 76 years later and half a world away from where they were separated in Brussels. John Rogers Associated Press -- 4/14/18

POTUS 45  

Trump Sees Inquiry Into Cohen as Greater Threat Than Mueller -- President Trump’s advisers have concluded that a wide-ranging corruption investigation into his personal lawyer poses a greater and more imminent threat to the president than even the special counsel’s investigation, according to several people close to Mr. Trump. Matt Apuzzo, Michael S, Schmidt, Maggie Haberman and Eileen Sullivan in the New York Times$ -- 4/14/18

RNC deputy finance chair steps down after admitting Trump’s lawyer negotiated settlement between him and pregnant Playboy model -- A top GOP fundraiser and prominent backer of President Trump stepped down from his Republican National Committee post Friday after revelations that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen arranged a $1.6 million settlement with a former Playboy model the donor had impregnated. Tom Hamburger, Ellen Nakashima, Beth Reinhard and Emma Brown in the Washington Post$ -- 4/14/18

Post-ABC poll: Majority of Americans support Mueller’s probe of Russia, Trump campaign -- A clear majority of Americans support special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and alleged collusion with President Trump’s campaign, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds. Scott Clement and Emily Guskin in the Washington Post$ -- 4/14/18


-- Friday Updates 

Urgent cures are required for Bay Area housing, traffic ailments: experts -- Innovative — and swift — remedies are required if the Bay Area and the rest of California can begin to cure a forbidding array of ailments poised to imperil the region’s economic health, experts urged during an economic conference on Friday. George Avalos in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 4/13/18

House Speaker Paul Ryan endorses California Rep. Kevin McCarthy as his successor -- Speaker Paul D. Ryan's endorsement Friday of Rep. Kevin McCarthy as his successor vastly increases chances that the Bakersfield congressman will lead House Republicans come November, but it may not seal the deal. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/13/18

Van Nuys toy mogul makes $900 million bid for Toys R Us -- Billionaire Isaac Larian, the Van Nuys toy marketer whose lineup includes Little Tikes and Bratz dolls, offered to save part of Toys “R” Us from liquidation with an almost $900 million bid for stores in the U.S. and Canada. Bloomberg in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 4/13/18

Running to replace the governor, Gavin Newsom embraces Jerry Brown—at arm’s length -- It’s hard to run as the change agent in the California governor’s race when you’re the state’s second-ranking elected leader. But Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is giving it his best shot. Ben Christopher Calmatters -- 4/13/18

Fox: Steve Poizner’s “Puncher’s Chance” Could Alter CA Politics -- Steve Poizner’s independent run for Insurance Commissioner can be precedent setting. Last week, on this page Joe Mathews argued that Poizner’s run as an independent was an act of folly. I disagree. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 4/13/18

Wells Fargo confirms that it may pay $1-billion penalty over latest consumer abuses -- Wells Fargo & Co. confirmed Friday that the bank might pay as much as $1 billion to regulators over its mortgage-lending and auto-insurance abuses — which would be the biggest penalty yet for the bank related to its long running sales-practices scandal. Jaclyn Cosgrove in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/13/18

Facebook a force for good? Nearly a third of Americans say no -- Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says his company’s goal is to connect the world and make the world a better place. His former pollster says his data show people don’t feel that positively about Facebook. Seung Lee in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 4/13/18

San Francisco scooter problem: City impounds dozens of the two-wheelers -- San Francisco officials impounded 66 electric shared scooters from sidewalks Friday in the first enforcement effort since hundreds of the standup vehicles were dropped on city sidewalks about two weeks ago, triggering an avalanche of complaints to City Hall from business owners and residents about potential hazards. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/13/18

Waymo applies for no-driver testing in California -- Waymo, the self-driving unit of Google parent Alphabet, this week applied to test cars without drivers on California roads, the Chronicle has learned. Waymo confirmed that it had submitted an application to the California Department of Motor Vehicles late Thursday. Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/13/18

Diablo Canyon’s dismantling -- An in-depth look at the painstaking process of decommissioning California’s last nuclear power plant. David R. Baker in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/13/18

Patrick Soon-Shiong — immigrant, doctor, billionaire, and soon, newspaper owner — starts a new era at the L.A. Times -- A 43-year-old woman lay dying on the floor of the emergency room lobby at Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital as her boyfriend frantically called 911 for help from a pay phone outside. Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong read about it in the Los Angeles Times. Meg James and Andrea Chang in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/13/18

Californian and White House veteran offers clarity on Washington’s chaos -- Even for unusually chaotic times, there’s been an unusual amount of chaos lately. President Trump is threatening to attack Syria, and all but daring Russia to do something about it. He’s musing about firing Robert Mueller. The FBI just raided Trump’s lawyer’s office, looking into hush money paid to a pornographic movie actress. Trump’s nominee to lead the CIA was involved in its history of torture. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/13/18

San Francisco roofers are swamped with months-long waits -- For anyone with a leaky roof in need of immediate repairs, San Francisco roofers have a message for you: It could take a while. On-again, off-again spring showers have extended this year's wet season in the Bay Area, and upped the number of calls for repairs to local roofers. Ted Andersen in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/13/18

California's plan for Every Student Succeeds Act heads to Betsy DeVos for approval -- Cross off one area of conflict with the Trump administration. Accepting compromises negotiated with the federal government, members of the State Board of Education on Thursday passed a state plan for the federal Every Student Succeeds Act with the expectation that U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will approve it. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 4/13/18

Please (don’t) sign on the dotted line -- Strike up a win for the beleaguered consumer: that annoying requirement that we sign for a credit-card transaction at check-out is going bye-bye. Patrick May in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 4/13/18