------------------------------ --------------------------------- Rough&Tumble California Policy and Politics

Updating . .   

Gov. Brown pitches nearly $100 million in spending to prevent wildfires -- Brown made the announcement in an executive order issued Thursday. Among other changes, the state will double the land currently managed for vegetation thinning, controlled burns and reforestation from 250,000 acres to 500,000 acres, boost education programs for landowners on forest fires and expand grants to improve watersheds. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/10/18

Both California senators will oppose Gina Haspel for CIA director -- Both of California’s U.S. senators will vote against Gina Haspel to lead the CIA, and her confirmation in the full Senate appears increasingly shaky. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/10/18

California's Republican voter ranks sink to almost even with independents -- California’s electorate stands at 18.8 million voters — larger than the combined voter rolls from 2016 of almost two dozen U.S. states, according to a report issued on Thursday. At the same time, the percentage of registered Republicans in the state fell to a new low, with the number now almost equal in size to the voters unaffiliated with any political party. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/10/18

Rebelling against California’s ‘sanctuary’ law—from inside California -- The political whirlwind raging around California’s “sanctuary” laws isn’t doing much damage to the laws themselves, according to many state legal experts. In fact, the brunt of any legal damage may be felt most by the small city that started the rebellion. David Gorn Calmatters -- 5/10/18

Tons of nuclear waste sitting near Sacramento finally might move -- A breakthrough in Congress Thursday improves the chances that the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) will finally be able remove the spent uranium fuel stored at the decommissioned Rancho Seco nuclear power plant since 1989. Emily Cadei in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/10/18

Republican John Cox regrets not voting for Donald Trump -- The moment underscores the intraparty fight between Cox and his Republican rival from Orange County, Assemblyman Travis Allen. Both are trying to lure voters from one another to be competitive for a second place slot in the November general election, behind frontrunner Gavin Newsom. Angela Hart in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/10/18

One deal done, labor challenges remain for L.A. Unified -- It’s been a busy week for L.A. school unions. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/10/18

A gang member allegedly killed a cop nine days after he got out of jail. Are California's justice reforms to blame? -- In the heated debate over California's efforts to slash its prison population, the case of Michael Christopher Mejia has become a political rallying cry. Abbie Vansickle and Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/10/18

Timeline: An L.A.-area gang member's months of rule-breaking before a cop killing -- After Michael Christopher Mejia was charged last year with shooting two Whittier police officers, many in law enforcement were quick to blame California’s efforts to slash its prison population for failing to keep an admitted gang member like Mejia off the streets. Richard Winton and Abbie Vansickle in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/10/18

Children’s Hospital Oakland doctors revolt against UCSF partnership -- Doctors in Oakland are revolting against the much-hyped partnership that combined UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital Oakland, saying the four-year-old deal is turning the world-renowned East Bay hospital into a second-class facility to its San Francisco sibling. Matthias Gafni in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/10/18

Sacramento Officials Want More Community Policing, But Some Argue Communities Of Color Can’t Trust Law Enforcement -- Evin Johnson works with victims of gun violence in Sacramento. He also survived a gunshot wound — not by police — and says the thought of having more cops patrolling the streets of Sacramento’s communities of color makes his toes curl. Ezra David Romero Capital Public Radio -- 5/10/18

Golden State Killer suspect may be linked to earlier Cordova cat burglar attacks -- At night after residents in the Rancho Cordova neighborhood of Sacramento had gone to bed, he would open the kitchen or sliding glass door and quietly strike. Richard Winton and Benjamin Oreskes in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/10/18

Fox: The Best Argument to Support Prop 70 Won’t be Made -- Here’s something that the California Democratic Party and California Republican Party agree on—they oppose Proposition 70 on the June ballot. Prop 70 was part of the compromise engineered by Gov. Jerry Brown and then Republican assembly leader Chad Mayes to extend the cap-and-trade law to 2030. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 5/10/18

Millennials fare the worst in Bay Area housing crunch, study shows -- Avocado-toast-munching, Netflix-binge-watching millennials make up nearly a quarter of the Bay Area’s population, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at Realtor Kevin Swartz’s open houses. That’s probably because the homes Swartz shows in west San Jose and Sunnyvale generally start at $1.7 million. Marisa Kendall in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/10/18

Santa Clara County bans gun shows at fairgrounds -- The Santa Clara County board of supervisors effectively banned gun shows Tuesday at the fairgrounds where they have been fixtures for generations of hunters and sportsmen looking to check out the latest in firearms. John Woolfolk in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/10/18

Canadian newsprint tariffs start to take a toll on U.S. newspaper industry -- Little noticed amid the trade war discussion, tariffs levied by the Trump administration on the Canadian paper used to make newsprint are starting to take a toll on U.S. newspapers and printers. Samantha Masunaga in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/10/18

Fatal Tesla crash that killed two teens prompts another NTSB investigation -- Federal investigators have opened their fourth active investigation involving a Tesla vehicle after two teenagers were killed in a fiery crash of a Model S in Florida on Tuesday. Levi Sumagaysay in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/10/18

Video of an arrest in Vista sparks anger at sheriff's department -- The videotaped arrest this week of two men at a domestic-violence call prompted swift condemnation from family members and community leaders Wednesday, as San Diego sheriff's officials launched an investigation. Jeff Mcdonald in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/10/18

Pelosi Plans to Revisit Trump Tax Cuts If She Becomes Speaker -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that if Democrats take control of the House in November and she’s elected as their leader, she will seek to revise the GOP’s tax cut bill to reverse its estimated $1.9 trillion increase to federal budget deficits. Erik Wasson Bloomberg -- 5/10/18

People, power costs keep indoor farming down to Earth -- There’s a budding industry that’s trying to solve the problem of the limp lettuce and tasteless tomatoes in America’s supermarkets. It’s full of technologists who grow crops in buildings instead of outdoors, short-cutting the need to prematurely harvest produce for a bumpy ride often thousands of miles to consumers in colder climes. Ryan Nakashima Associated Press -- 5/10/18

The Millennium Falcon landed on Hollywood Boulevard just in time for ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ premiere -- If Los Angeles traffic was even more of a nightmare for you today, it might be because the Millennium Falcon is parked on Hollywood Boulevard. Angela Ratzlaff in the Riverside Press Enterprise$ -- 5/10/18


California Policy & Politics This Morning

Lead paint makers balk at huge bill for toxic cleanup—instead they want you to pick up the tab -- Three companies found to have sold toxic lead paint for decades—despite knowing it posed health hazards for children—are waging a major battle to avoid paying the several hundred million dollars in liability that California courts have slapped on them. And they’re asking you, the California voter, to help them get their way. Laurel Rosenhall Calmatters -- 5/10/18

How California's candidates for governor want to fix the state's housing problems -- Five of the six major candidates argue that the only way for California to become a more affordable place to live is for developers to build at rates not seen in at least three decades. And the sixth wants the state to subsidize an unprecedented number of new homes for low-income residents. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/10/18

Villaraigosa Tells Business Leaders He’s Prepared for Next Governor’s ‘Tough’ Challenges -- California gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa told San Diego business leaders Wednesday his track record as mayor of Los Angeles proves he can tackle the state’s most difficult challenges. Chris Jennewein Times of San Diego -- 5/10/18

Think Solar Is Upending California’s Power Grid Now? Just Wait -- California just mandated that nearly all new homes have solar, starting in less than two years. Now, it’s going to have to figure out what to do with all of that extra energy. Already, the state is flooded with so much solar power during the day that it has to turn off some of its sun-fueled plants at times and often needs to ship excess green energy to neighboring states. Mark Chediak Bloomberg -- 5/10/18

Skelton: Committed to his ethics and transparent governing, George Deukmejian represented the best of American politics -- George Deukmejian was a role model for the type of officeholder we desperately need in today's hyperventilated, polarized politics. He was a quiet leader who didn't continually need to hear his own voice. He was committed to his conservative causes but flexible enough when circumstances changed to tell his political base to take a hike. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/10/18

Billionaire Soros funding reform-minded district attorney candidates -- Billionaire philanthropist George Soros has dropped at least $275,000 into district attorney races throughout Northern California, supporting candidates who advocate reduced incarceration and other criminal justice reforms. Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/10/18

What have they sacrificed? Most California candidates fumble the question -- The most telling moment in the California gubernatorial debate came in response to a question that had nothing to do with politics. It had to do with sacrifice. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/10/18

Who won the California governor’s debate? Sounds like a six-way tie -- On Tuesday night, four Democrats and two Republicans looking to replace termed-out Gov. Jerry Brown shared a stage in San Jose for a relatively well-mannered 90 minutes of back-and-forth that most commentators suggested didn’t change a vote. John Wildermuth in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/10/18

California counties join nationwide lawsuit against opioid manufacturers -- Marin is the latest California county to take legal action against opioid manufacturers and distributors, accusing the companies of falsely promoting the safety and efficacy of addictive prescription painkillers and contributing to the opioid epidemic. Catherine Ho in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/10/18

Defendant in landmark San Francisco bail case released from jail -- Kenneth Humphrey turned in his drab, orange jail-issued clothing Wednesday for a cherry red suit and matching sneakers and stepped onto the streets of San Francisco after nearly a year behind bars. Evan Sernoffsky in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/10/18

Walters: Brown’s inconsistent education policies -- During his first stint as governor four decades ago, Jerry Brown exhibited a willingness to change his mind – or at least his position – on issues large and small at the drop of a hat. Dan Walters Calmatters -- 5/10/18

Calbuzz: The Only Thing That Mattered in Gov’s TV Debate -- Nothing that transpired in Tuesday’s “debate” among candidates for governor of California changed the one and only political question worth discussing about the June 5 preliminary vote: Will Antonio Villaraigosa finish second and set up a serious runoff contest, or will the fall campaign be the Gavin Newsom Coronation Tour? Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine CalBuzz -- 5/10/18

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Gas prices are topping $4 at some Fresno stations. Ready to pay more at the pump? -- Gasoline prices in Fresno already increased beyond $4 per gallon this week at some places in town. And gas prices are projected to rise even more going into the summer in the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. Bryant-Jon Anteola in the Fresno Bee -- 5/10/18

How Trump's steel tariffs kick the can business -- Dan Vincent is in a bind. The president of Pacific Coast Producers (PCP) plans to use around 700 million tin-coated steel cans this year for tomatoes, peaches and pears from 168 growers here in California. Nick Carey Reuters -- 5/10/18

US moves to shut down 2 big stem cell therapy clinics -- Federal authorities Wednesday moved to shut down two of the country’s most prominent for-profit providers of stem cell therapy, one of them a network of clinics with more than 100 offices in the United States, including several in the Bay Area. Erin Allday in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/10/18

Suing your bosses would be protected under new California bill -- California workers could not be forced to sign an arbitration agreement, giving up their right to take complaints against their employer to court, under a bill currently moving through the Legislature. Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ Sophia Bollag Associated Press -- 5/10/18

Up for election, here's how Yvonne Walker's pay stacks up with her peers -- The leader of state government’s largest union is up for re-election this month and two challengers are trying to unseat her by arguing they’d undo raises Service Employees International Union Local 1000 gave to its top leaders two years ago. Adam Ashton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/10/18

A massive UC-wide strike concluded Wednesday -- A massive three-day strike across the University of California system ended Wednesday without resolution. The walkout involved roughly 53,000 UC service and patient-care workers belonging to three unions. Combined, the unions have about 10,000 members at UC Davis and its medical center in Sacramento. Molly Sullivan in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/10/18

'You can feel it when the workers aren’t there.' Nurses strike with hospital workers -- More than 550 nurses and members of the California Nurses Association turned out Wednesday for the second day of the sympathy strike at UC Davis Medical Center. Molly Sullivan in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/10/18

Wells Fargo Owes California Bankers $97 Million for Breaks -- Wells Fargo & Co. must pay $97 million to home mortgage consultants and private mortgage bankers in California who didn’t get the breaks they were entitled to under the state’s stringent labor laws. Edvard Pettersson Bloomberg -- 5/10/18

US government picks San Diego to test autonomous drone deliveries -- The futuristic possibilities associated with autonomous, commercial drone activity — think food and package delivery, medical supply transport or enhanced border security — will be realized in San Diego, and soon. Jennifer Van Grove in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 5/10/18

Pier 70 developer sails into action as transformation gets quick start -- With unprecedented speed, Forest City will mobilize workers this month on the first phase of one of the city’s most anticipated new developments: the 28-acre bayside enclave that will eventually include 1,100-2,150 residential units and more than 1 million square feet of commercial space, with local retail and services, arts and light industrial space, and a new waterfront arts facility. J.K. Dineen in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/10/18

Oakland, San Francisco downtown office markets are nation’s tightest -- The office market in downtown Oakland is the tightest in the nation, with lower office vacancy levels than even those in business centers such as Manhattan and Boston, a new report revealed Wednesday. George Avalos in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/10/18

A radio magnate wants to build cell towers in the California desert. Trump might help -- Tom Gammon wasn't expecting to be blocked by an access gate as he drove his SUV up Brown Butte Road on a warm April morning. Sammy Roth in the Desert Sun$ -- 5/10/18

Taxes, Fees, Rates, Tolls, Bonds 

Cannabis tax revenue in California falls far short of projections -- State taxes on legal marijuana sales in California are coming in far short of projections — $34 million in the first quarter of 2018, about a third of the revenue that officials anticipated, according to data released Wednesday by the Legislative Analyst’s Office. Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Adam Ashton in the Sacramento Bee$ Brooke Staggs in the Orange County Register -- 5/10/18


The only city in California to solve veteran homelessness is on a mission to go bigger -- Army veteran Bill Bruick spent his last night homeless lying on a tiny patch of dirt, now festooned with a pink flowering shrub behind a Food 4 Less grocery store in Riverside. Amita Sharma KPBS via KPCC -- 5/10/18

Fullerton church wants to give homeless people safe parking at night – but neighbors aren’t happy -- Is it an act of living one’s faith to give people who reside in their cars a safe place to sleep at night? Or is it one of foolishness that could lead to more homeless people roaming a neighborhood? Theresa Walker in the Orange County Register -- 5/10/18


California flower town wrestles with odor amid shift to pot -- This picturesque coastal town cradled by mountains and sandy shores is a scene out of a Southern California postcard. Residents of Carpinteria say they feel lucky to live in what they consider a slice of paradise. But change is in the air. And sometimes, they say, it stinks. Amy Taxin Associated Press -- 5/10/18


Teachers' retirement system to pressure retailers to stop selling firearms banned in California -- California’s teachers’ retirement system will pressure retail companies it invests in to stop selling firearms and parts that are outlawed by the state, and would consider divestment from firms that refuse to make changes, a key panel decided Wednesday. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ Adam Ashton in the Sacramento Bee$ Don Thompson Associated Press -- 5/10/18


Marc Benioff gives big to San Francisco campaign to raise taxes for teacher pay -- A San Francisco ballot measure that would go toward raising teacher salaries got a big boost from Salesforce.com chief executive Marc Benioff, who donated $250,000 to the Proposition G campaign. Jill Tucker in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/10/18

Torrance Unified reaches $31-million settlement with students abused by wrestling coach -- The Torrance Unified School District has agreed to a $31-million settlement with 25 current and former students who were molested by a wrestling coach, days before the civil case was expected to go to trial. Alene Tchekmedyian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/10/18

UC San Diego to salvage the "lost" audio recordings of polio vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk -- The idea-a-minute Jonas Salk didn’t always have time to capture his thoughts on the yellow legal pads he always kept within arm’s reach. Gary Robbins in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 5/10/18

State Board of Education President Mike Kirst retires — and reflects on changes he has led – State Board of Education President Michael Kirst, whom Jerry Brown brought into state government in his first term as governor 44 years ago, will go out with Brown when he retires later this year.​ John Fensterwald EdSource​ -- 5/10/18

Immigration, Border, Deportation 

Trump Fact Check: San Diego County Did Not Ask For Border Wall -- President Trump said Wednesday that San Diego has asked him to start building its section of the border wall; a San Diego County spokesman told KPBS that the county has not made any such request. Jean Guerrero KPBS -- 5/10/18

Trump says will go forward with border wall plans in California -- President Donald Trump said on Wednesday his administration will begin work on a section of his promised U.S.-Mexico border wall in San Diego, at the request of the major California county. Reuters -- 5/10/18


L.A. cracks down on unlicensed and counterfeit pharmaceuticals -- The Los Angeles city attorney filed three lawsuits Wednesday against several individuals accused of selling illegal, banned, misbranded or counterfeit pharmaceuticals. Melissa Etehad in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/10/18

NorCal man wants to trade truck, kidney for a slice of liver to help wife -- Verlon Robinson's wife needs a liver transplant, and he's willing to barter what he's got for a slice of an organ: his truck, his trailer and even his kidney. Michelle Robertson in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/10/18

Also . . . 

Alexa and Siri Can Hear This Hidden Command. You Can’t. -- Over the past two years, researchers in China and the United States have begun demonstrating that they can send hidden commands that are undetectable to the human ear to Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant. Craig S. Smith in the New York Times$ -- 5/10/18

‘Golden State Killer’ lawyers fight to keep documents sealed -- Defense attorneys for the man suspected of being the ‘Golden State Killer’ argued Wednesday that prosecutors’ search and arrest warrants should not be released publicly. The Associated Press and other news outlets have filed a motion to unseal the information related to the April arrest of Joseph DeAngelo, a 72-year-old former police officer. Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press -- 5/10/18

Golden State Killer: Prosecutors working out details, including number, location of trials -- Law enforcement officials from Orange, Sacramento, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties are expected to meet up in the next few days to decide where the accused Golden State Killer will be prosecuted, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday. Sean Emery in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/10/18

Pedestrian safety: San Francisco’s plan to increase crossing times between signals -- A second or two may not seem like much, but it might be enough time to save the life of someone crossing the street. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/10/18

Apple iOS feature could disable USB data access on locked iPhones: report -- In what could be the latest cat-and-mouse development between Apple and the law enforcement community, Apple may be introducing a new feature that will disable lightning USB data access on locked iPhones in its upcoming iOS version. Seung Lee in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/10/18

Video of arrest after man allegedly left car running draws sharp Sacramento NAACP criticism -- Video of a man who was arrested after police say he failed to cooperate with an officer has drawn sharp criticism by the Sacramento NAACP, which says the incident highlights an ongoing pattern of aggressive behavior by some of the department's rank and file officers toward people of color. Nashelly Chavez in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/10/18


Kamala Harris says she’ll vote against Gina Haspel as CIA chief -- Harris, D-Calif., said Wednesday that she is concerned about what message Haspel’s promotion would send to the spy agency and to the international community. Haspel, a 33-year CIA veteran, was involved in the agency’s program of torturing post-9/11 terrorism suspects to try to gain information, and oversaw sites in Thailand where detainees were held. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/10/18

Russia-linked company that hired Michael Cohen registered alt-right websites during election -- A company at the center of widening questions involving President Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen is listed as the organization behind a string of websites targeted toward white nationalists and other members of the alt-right. Eli Rosenberg in the Washington Post$ -- 5/10/18

How Michael Cohen cashed in -- Michael Cohen made more than $2 million working as a Trump whisperer. But he's far from the only one. President Donald Trump's longtime lawyer and fixer is the latest member of the president's inner circle to cash in on connections by selling insight into how Trump operates. Theodoric Meyer, BenWhite, Lorraine Woellert Politico -- 5/10/18

Payments to Michael Cohen show how 'shadow lobbying' eludes US law -- The disclosure that Donald Trump’s legal fixer Michael Cohen was quietly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to advise corporations highlights the inability of US laws to prevent secretive “shadow lobbying”, analysts said. Jon Swaine and Dominic Rushe The Guardian -- 5/10/18

-- Updates