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Gavin Newsom deploys strike team to fix ‘chronically mismanaged’ California DMV -- California’s new governor signaled on Wednesday he is making the state’s “chronically mismanaged” Department of Motor Vehicles a major priority, announcing the creation of a new team to improve services. Bryan Anderson in the Sacramento Bee Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/9/19

‘This Twitter war ... is not helpful:’ California leaders blast Trump’s FEMA threat -- California’s top politicians condemned President Donald Trump Wednesday after he threatened to withhold federal disaster relief money from the thousands of Northern California families looking to rebuild in the wake of devastating wildfires. Andrew Sheeler in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/9/19

Trump threatens to cut off disaster funding for California fires -- President Trump, in a tweet, said early Wednesday that he has ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency not to send more disaster funding to fire-ravaged California “unless they get their act together, which is unlikely.” Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times Dale Kasler and Kate Irby in the Sacramento Bee Tal Kopan in the San Francisco Chronicle John Woolfolk in the San Jose Mercury Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press Matthew Choi Politico -- 1/9/19

Federal shutdown has halted some preparations for wildfires, and it could get worse -- Training has been halted for thousands of western firefighters. The U.S. Forest Service can’t let contracts for needed equipment. In forests across the West, no federal employees are doing work to reduce dry “fuel” that feeds catastrophic blazes. Stuart Leavenworth McClatchyDC -- 1/9/19

‘Another low’: Democrats blast Trump for threatening to cut wildfire aid to California -- It is unclear, based on the tweet’s wording, if Trump already directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to withhold funds or if he would be doing so. FEMA representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday morning. An email sent to them generated this automated reply: “Due to the federal funding hiatus, we are not able to respond to general press queries.” Amy B Wang and Katie Mettler in the Washington Post -- 1/9/19

Tom Steyer, Billionaire Impeachment Activist, Won’t Run Against Trump -- Tom Steyer, the California billionaire who has crusaded for President Trump’s impeachment, said on Wednesday that he would not join the pack of Democrats running for president in 2020 and would instead redouble his efforts to topple Mr. Trump before the election. Alexander Burns in the New York Times -- 1/9/19

Some GOP lawmakers eye emergency declaration by Trump as way out of government shutdown -- Republicans on Capitol Hill increasingly view an emergency national security declaration by President Trump as a way to end the 19-day partial government shutdown, which was triggered by his demand to use taxpayer funds to build a southern border wall. Jennifer Haberkorn and Noah Bierman in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/9/19

Trump Storms Out of White House Meeting with Democrats on Shutdown -- President Trump slammed his hand on a table and stormed out of a White House meeting with congressional leaders on Wednesday after Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said she would not fund a wall along the southern border, dramatically escalating the confrontation over the government shutdown. Nicholas Fandos and Michael Tackett in the New York Times Haley Britzky Axios -- 1/9/19

Kamala Harris reportedly ready to jump into 2020 race, lining up East Coast headquarters -- Word is California Sen. Kamala Harris will announce she’s running for president either on or shortly after the upcoming Martin Luther King weekend. The exact date is still being worked out, but sources tell us it’s going to be sometime this month — the MLK holiday is Jan. 21. Phil Matier in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/9/19

L.A. teachers union to postpone strike until Monday -- The Los Angeles teachers union is expected to postpone the start of its strike until Monday because of uncertainty over whether a judge could order the union to wait. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/9/19

What’s driving these LAUSD teachers to strike -- In Los Angeles schools, when there are no nurses, teachers help kids with broken bones and fevers. Psychologists talk children down from hurting themselves or others. Many students arrive at school knowing little English. Interventionists step in and give them an extra hand. All are members of the teachers union, who work at schools at least eight hours a day and then often go home to take calls from parents, grade papers and write reports. Sonali Kohli in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/9/19

LAUSD teachers’ strike could disrupt a delicate life balance for some families -- On his first day back from winter break, 11-year-old Merwinn Rojas got a taste of how his life could change during a teachers’ strike. The after-school robotics league he participates in three days a week at Foshay Learning Center, about five miles south of downtown Los Angeles, was canceled Monday, so he walked home with his mom in near silence. Andrea Castillo in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/9/19

Lopez: As teachers’ strike looms, L.A. schools aren’t failing us. We’re failing them -- On the eve of a massively disruptive strike that would hit families at more than 900 schools, Los Angeles Unified teachers say they deserve a better deal on pay and working conditions. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/9/19

Gov. Newsom Wants Free Community College; San Diego Colleges Want To Make It Truly Free -- Local college administrators are applauding the move, and they say they’ll cover textbooks and other costs to make an associate’s degree truly free in San Diego County if Newsom’s plan goes through. Megan Burks KPBS -- 1/9/19

Smolens: Feds dump asylum-seekers in San Diego — a new wall won't help that -- There’s a border emergency in San Diego, but it’s not what the president is talking about and it won’t be alleviated by his extended wall. Michael Smolens in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/9/19

Fox: It’s the Picket Line Versus the Bottom Line in the Coming LA School Strike -- Barring a last minute deal or court decision, there will be a teacher’s strike tomorrow in Los Angeles. Each side has their own view of the school district’s fiscal health and its ability to raise salaries and hire new teachers, nurses and counselors. But the teachers have the upper hand in an effort to rally citizen and parent support. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 1/9/19

Rosenstein, a frequent Trump target, will leave Justice Dept -- Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, a frequent target of President Donald Trump’s wrath for appointing special counsel Robert Mueller and defending his Russia probe, is expected to leave his position soon after Trump’s nominee for attorney general is confirmed. Eric Tucker and Michael Balsamo Associated Press -- 1/9/19


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

California governor proposes wildfire investments, 911 fee -- California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday pledged fresh investments to prevent, fight and escape wildfires, including millions to help local governments improve their communication during emergencies and a fee to fund an update for the state’s 911 system. Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Times Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee Marisa Lagos KQED Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury -- 1/9/19

Newsom’s first budget a balancing act for competing promises -- Gov. Gavin Newsom gets his chance this week to show how he’ll resolve a central tension in his platform: advancing expensive new programs while maintaining robust savings. Jonathan J. Cooper Associated Press -- 1/9/19

Newsom inherits a ‘whole bunch of headaches’ despite last-minute water deals by Brown -- As his term as governor drew to a close last month, Jerry Brown brokered a historic agreement among farms and cities to surrender billions of gallons of water to help ailing fish species. He also made two big water deals with the Trump administration — one to shore up support for his struggling Delta tunnels project, the other to transfer some of urban California’s water to Central Valley farmers whom the White House supports. Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/9/19

Universal Health Care Push Expected To Regain Momentum In Newsom's First Budget -- The fight to expand coverage under the Affordable Care Act never petered out in California, even as the federal government moved repeatedly to dismantle the Obama-era policy. Now, the Golden State seems to have a new health care champion in Gavin Newsom. Sammy Caiola Capital Public Radio -- 1/9/19

Gavin Newsom’s health plan could help lower your insurance costs – or make you pay a fine -- California’s new governor wants to reinstate the individual mandate at the state level. It’s part of a sweeping health care plan Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled just hours after being sworn into office Monday. Sophia Bollag in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/9/19

California police unions are preparing to battle new transparency law in the courtroom -- Just as a landmark police transparency law is going into effect, some California police agencies are shredding internal affairs documents and law enforcement unions are rushing to block the information from being released. Liam Dillon and Maya Lau in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/9/19

Walters: Trump, Newsom share a similar problem -- Gov. Gavin Newsom punctuated his inaugural address this week with several jabs at President Donald Trump, referring at one point to “the corruption and incompetence in the White House.” Dan Walters Calmatters -- 1/9/19

Can Gavin Newsom be the governor of red California? -- When Gavin Newsom became governor, he promised in his inaugural address to “represent all Californians, not just those who voted for me.” That’s a promise he’ll be hard-pressed to keep in a state where voters in urban coastal communities far outnumber those in the rural parts of the state. John Wildermuth in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/9/19

Find yourself in the California Legislature—or not -- There are (still) more white men named James or Jim in the California Legislature than African-American and Asian-American women combined. Throw in some white Robs, Bobs and Roberts, and you have a pretty sizable “JimBob” caucus with a membership larger than the number of Republican women, openly gay or lesbian legislators, or women from any party under the age of 40. Matt Levin, Elizabeth Castillo and John Osborn D'Agostino Calmatters -- 1/9/19

Harris plays coy on 2020 bid: 'I'm not going to decide right now' -- The California Democrat said in an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Tuesday morning that “I’m not going to decide right now” whether to launch a White House bid. But asked by anchor George Stephanopoulos what would set her candidacy apart in a crowded 2020 field, she had an answer at the ready. Caitlin Oprysko Politico -- 1/9/19

California bill would require businesses to offer e-receipts -- California would become the first state to require businesses to offer electronic receipts unless customers ask for paper copies under legislation proposed on Tuesday. Many businesses and consumers already are moving toward e-receipts, said Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting of San Francisco. Don Thompson Associated Press -- 1/9/19

Court action limits shelf life for foie gras in California -- If you’re a lover of liver from duck or geese, your days of gorging on the delicacy are numbered in California. Brian Melley Associated Press -- 1/9/19

Court says California violates rights of poor defendants by imposing fees -- California is violating the rights of poor defendants by attaching fees to misdemeanor criminal convictions regardless of their ability to pay, a state appeals court ruled Tuesday. The ruling by the Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles singled out payments imposed by state law to help fund court operations and maintain a statewide restitution fund for crime victims. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/9/19

Plan to create an L.A. County womens' jail in Lancaster faces serious opposition -- A controversial women’s jail project that has been in development for years is now facing serious opposition from key stakeholders who are demanding more therapeutic alternatives for women in Los Angeles County’s criminal justice system. Maya Lau in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/9/19

‘Enough trash to build a wall’: Shutdown protest delivers California waste to Trump -- The White House got a first hand look — or maybe, smell — of the partial government shutdown’s impact Tuesday, thanks to a shipment of trash from California. Reps. Jackie Speier, D-California, and Jared Huffman, D-California, picked up trash at Lands End and Ocean Beach with the group San Francisco Dog Owners over the weekend. Kate Irby in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/9/19

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Caught in the shutdown, U.S. workers in California and elsewhere brace for missing paychecks -- Leisyka Parrott of Arcata, Calif., is scouring secondhand shops for a pair of size 15 basketball shoes for her 13-year-old son. The single mother was furloughed from her job with the Bureau of Land Management in late December as part of the partial government shutdown. Her paycheck won’t come this week, and she’s trying to pinch pennies where she can. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/9/19


New Satellite Can Provide Immediate Wildfire Warning. But First the Govt Shutdown Has to End -- There are fresh eyes in the western sky, but they're sporting a virtual blindfold with the federal government shut down. This week NOAA was to officially throw the switch on the GOES-17 satellite, also known as GOES West. Craig Miller KQED -- 1/9/19

Immigration, Border, Deportation 

Feds: 10,000 fentanyl pills smuggled in covert operation -- The operation acquired more than 10,000 fentanyl pills that were smuggled from Mexico through San Diego ports of entry, according to a complaint filed Tuesday in San Diego federal court. Kristina Davis in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/9/19

San Diego County moves to support asylum-seekers, will explore temporary shelter locations -- At its first meeting Tuesday, the newly constituted San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved a series of measures intended to assist asylum-seeking families. Charles T. Clark in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/9/19


Lawyers wrangle over teachers' strike date while school board eases volunteer rules -- Los Angeles school officials on Tuesday loosened the rules for accepting volunteer help from parents on campus, two days before a planned teachers’ strike could leave their campuses stripped of staff. Howard Blume and Sonali Kohli in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/9/19

Retiring State Board President discusses funding, data and a critical need for more training -- Michael Kirst retires this week after eight years as president of the State Board of Education, satisfied that the key pieces of Gov. Jerry Brown’s education policies he helped create are solidly in place. But in an interview, he expressed worry that a failure to sufficiently fund training for teachers and principals in the new academic standards, school climate and other supports for students could undermine expectations for achievement and erode the public’s faith in the new system. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 1/9/19


Cost of a major release at San Onofre could top $13 trillion, scientists say -- A major release of radioactive waste at the San Onofre nuclear plant could cost the Southern California economy more than $13 trillion over future decades, according to a study released Tuesday by a nonprofit foundation. The study was immediately rejected as meaningless by the shuttered plant's owners, who said such a release is no longer possible. Jeff McDonald in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/9/19

State Threatens Viability of East Bay Green Energy Program -- Environmentalists say the decision by state regulators to hike the "fee" that residents must pay in order to go green undermines community choice agencies, like EBCE. Jean Tepperman in the East Bay Express -- 1/9/19

Also . . . 

Woman sexually assaulted by LAPD officers reaches $2-million settlement -- The settlement, which needs to be approved by the City Council, comes on top of nearly $1.8 million in payouts to three other victims, bringing the total cost of civil lawsuits involving the two officers to more than $3.7 million. Cindy Chang in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/9/19

Security video shows prowler spent hours licking a Salinas home's intercom button -- Police on Monday tracked down a man they said spent hours licking the button on an intercom speaker at a home in Salinas, California. Alejandra Reyes-Velarde in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/9/19

POTUS 45  

Trump’s National Address Escalates Border Wall Fight -- President Trump doubled down on one of the biggest gambles of his presidency on Tuesday night with a televised appeal to pressure Congress into paying for his long-promised border wall, even at the cost of leaving the government partly closed until lawmakers give in. Peter Baker in the New York Times -- 1/9/19

Fact-checking President Trump’s Oval Office address on immigration -- The first misleading statement in President Trump’s Oval Office address Tuesday night came in the first sentence. Trump, addressing a national television audience from behind his desk, warned of a “security crisis at the southern border” — even though the number of people caught trying to cross illegally is near 20-year lows. Salvador Rizzo in the Washington Post -- 1/9/19

Fact Check: Trump invokes California crimes to argue for border wall -- For the most part, the president accurately described the circumstances surrounding those crimes. However, there is no evidence that his prescribed solution — a wall along the southern border with Mexico — would have prevented the tragedies. Emily Cadei in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/9/19

Viewers in Tijuana and San Diego say nothing new in Trump prime-time border speech -- Many San Diegans who tuned in for President Donald Trump’s prime-time speech on border security Tuesday night said they didn’t hear anything new. Kate Morrissey and Sandra Dibble in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/9/19

Trump’s Not-So-Bully Pulpit -- The words, which often sounded more like a speechwriter’s than Trump’s own, were delivered with such slow and deliberate articulation that comic Seth MacFarlane tweeted that the 9-something-minute address “had the cadence of a Wheel of Fortune contestant solving the puzzle.” John F. Harris Politico -- 1/9/19


A Paul Manafort court filing just accidentally connected some big dots between the Trump campaign and Russia -- The first news in a while in Robert S. Mueller III’s special counsel probe came by accident Tuesday — and it’s potentially big. Thanks to some shoddy redactions in a court filing by Paul Manafort’s legal team, we learned precisely what Mueller believes Manafort lied about to have his cooperation agreement voided. And two things stand out. Aaron Blake in the Washington Post -- 1/9/19


-- Tuesday Updates 

DMV warns of longer wait times if it doesn’t get more money -- The Department of Motor Vehicles wants a special budget boost and is warning lawmakers that Californians could suffer painful delays if it doesn’t get the extra money. Bryan Anderson in the Sacramento Bee -- 1/8/19

P&E stock, bonds plunge anew as S&P cuts its credit rating to junk -- PG&E Corp. shares continued plunging and bonds dropped to all-time lows on Tuesday after S&P Global Ratings slashed the electric company’s credit grades to the middle of the junk spectrum from investment grade, citing its limited options for managing wildfire liabilities. Molly Smith and Natalya Doris Bloomberg via in the Los Angeles Times -- 1/8/19

3 PG&E electric executives departing amid ongoing wildfire scrutiny -- Three of Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s top executives on the electric side of its business are retiring this month, marking a major shift in key leadership as the utility endures heavy scrutiny over its role in recent devastating Northern California wildfires. J.D. Morris in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/8/19

Newsom names former Obama official as new California EPA chief -- Jared Blumenfeld, 49, will run the agency, known as Cal-EPA, which oversees a broad range of environmental and public health regulations statewide, on topics that include air pollution, water pollution, toxics regulation, pesticides and recycling. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury -- 1/8/19

Kamala Harris closes state campaign arm ahead of possible presidential run -- Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), moving closer to an anticipated presidential announcement, has shuttered her state campaign committee and is donating its roughly $1 million balance to a host of organizations, Politico has learned. Christopher Cadelago Politico -- 1/8/19

Fox: An Inaugural Day that Jumbles Fiscal Stewardship and Costly Promises -- In his inaugural address, Governor Gavin Newsom promised his administration would be “prudent stewards of taxpayer dollars.” But he raised challenges to that approach immediately not only in the speech, but also with his first post-inaugural pronouncements on expanding health care programs. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 1/8/19

Trump Invites TV Representatives to Lunch Ahead of His Prime-Time Speech -- President Trump has invited representatives from cable and broadcast news channels to an off-the-record lunch at the White House ahead of his prime time speech Tuesday night, an address in which he is expected to frame his demand for border wall funding as a response to a national security and humanitarian crisis. Annie Karni and Maggie Haberman in the New York Times -- 1/8/19