Aaron Read
Capitol Web Works
Olson Hagel
Capitol Weekly
CA Leg Analyst

Updating . .   

Records: Festival gunman had passport, survival guide in car -- The gunman in the deadly California food festival shooting had a passport, clown mask, wilderness survival guide and bottle rockets in his car at the time of the attack, court documents released Thursday show. Stefanie Dazio Associated Press Evan Sernoffsky in the San Francisco Chronicle Erin Woo in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/8/19

PG&E hedge fund owners propose $15 billion bankruptcy investment -- Two hedge funds that own PG&E Corp. stock have said they are willing to invest as much as $15 billion in equity to help the company exit bankruptcy protection. J.D. Morris in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/8/19

San Rafael’s mayor fed up with gun violence, orders flags at half-staff until Congress acts -- San Rafael Mayor Gary Phillips announced this week that flags on city property will be flown at half-staff until Congress passes new gun control legislation. Pete Grieve in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/8/19

Skelton: Single-issue voters have doomed gun control in Congress. Will that ever change? -- Americans say they want meaningful national gun controls. But they don’t want them badly enough — or they’d already have them. This is what I mean: Sure, voters tell pollsters Congress should pass legislation to toughen up background checks on gun buyers. Most even want to ban military-style assault weapons. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/8/19

McManus: Is there something wrong with us? -- I’m in northern Ontario, bear country, where most hunters, farmers and loggers own guns. When they look at the United States, they think there’s something wrong with us. President Trump says we have so many mass shootings because of mental illness, video games and the internet. But Canada has mental illness, the internet and violent video games, too — the same video games, in the same language — and its rate of gun violence is far lower. Doyle McManus in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/8/19

How much influence does the NRA have in California? -- The following chart illustrates the candidate campaign committees to whom the NRA made contributions since 2010, and the years in which those contributions were given. The map below shows the House districts in which the NRA contributed to candidates since 2016. Tim Sheehan in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/8/19

Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting victim Trevor Irby mourned at hometown funeral -- A hearse carrying the casket of Trevor Irby, 25, has left the funeral service held Thursday in the Romulus Central School auditorium in Romulus, N.Y., the Associated Press reported. Pallbearers dressed in Pittsburgh Steelers jerseys carried Irby’s casket in honor of the ardent Steelers fan, according to AP. Irby and two others were killed July 28 when Santino William Legan cut through a fence and opened fire with a Romanian-made AK-47 style-rifle at the popular Gilroy Garlic Festival. Dylan Bouscher in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/8/19

Suspect identified in Orange County stabbing rampage that killed 4; motive still unclear -- A 33-year-old man identified by law enforcement sources as Zachary Castaneda is being held on $1-million bail in connection with a deadly rampage across two Orange County cities that left four people dead and two others wounded. Hannah Fry, Louis Sahagun in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/8/19

Oysters in peril as warming climate alters the water in their habitats -- Human-caused climate change is increasingly harming oysters in Tomales and San Francisco bays and could soon devastate shellfish across California, as the chemistry of the water in estuaries morphs and livable habitat shrinks, a UC Davis study has found. Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/8/19

A clean energy breakthrough could be buried deep beneath rural Utah -- If you know anything about solar and wind farms, you know they’re good at generating electricity when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing, and not so good at other times. Sammy Roth in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/8/19

San Francisco fentanyl overdose deaths soared in 2018 with 89 dead -- The number of overdose deaths from fentanyl shot up to 89 in San Francisco in 2018 — a nearly 150% increase from the previous year, according to new data from the city’s public health department. Lauren Hernández in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/8/19

How many more did Manson family kill? LAPD investigating 12 unsolved murders -- The Manson murders mostly are remembered as two events that occurred 50 years ago this month: the killing of actress Sharon Tate and four others in Benedict Canyon and then the butchering of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in Los Feliz. Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/8/19

California man pleads guilty in Florida to $1.3B fraud scam -- A California man pleaded guilty in Florida to orchestrating a $1.3 billion real estate fraud scheme that stole money from thousands of investors nationwide and agreed to forfeit valuable jewelry, wine and paintings by artists such as Picasso and Renoir. Curt Anderson Associated Press -- 8/8/19

Sexual harassment complaint leads to $950,000 state board settlement -- A state board that regulates construction is paying $950,000 to settle a lawsuit from a female employee who said her boss made sexually suggestive comments, touched her inappropriately and then retaliated against her when she rejected his advances. Wes Venteicher in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/8/19

100 kids live in cars in Sacramento. So do hundreds of homeless adults -- Now, Sacramento officials are considering one remedy to help people living in their cars – putting many of them into one or more designated parking lots. Instead of a tent city, Sacramento would create a car encampment for the homeless. Sacramento State researchers who worked on the recent homelessness report recommended the city create so-called safe parking zones – lots where people can park their vehicles to sleep at night and where they don’t have to worry about being towed or break-ins. Theresa Clift in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/8/19

Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office hit with corruption probe over concealed weapons permits -- The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office served a search warrant last week at the Sheriff’s Office as part of an apparent corruption probe into alleged political favoritism in the agency’s issuing of concealed weapons permits, according to sources familiar with the investigation. Robert Salonga in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/8/19

Fox: A Close LA City Council Race -- There is an election in Los Angeles next week that feels a little old fashioned. It features a Democrat versus a Republican and all indications are the race will be close. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 8/8/19

Sen. Kamala Harris airing first TV ad of 2020 campaign in Iowa -- The Democratic candidate starts a five-day bus tour through the state on Thursday, and will launch the ad to coincide with the trip. The TV and digital ad buy is six figures, the campaign said. A media tracker said the campaign was spending roughly $67,000 on TV in the Des Moines area. Tal Kopan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Emily Cadei in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/8/19

Trump brags about crowd size during hospital visit in El Paso -- During a visit to the El Paso hospital treating victims of Saturday's mass shooting, President Donald Trump praised medical staff for their response to the shooting and said "they're talking about you all over the world." And then, he pivoted to talking about himself, talking up the crowd size that attended a rally he held in El Paso several months earlier and mocking the relatively small size of the crowd that joined presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke, a former congressman, to protest the rally, according to cell phone video posted online. Jeremy Diamond and Betsy Klein CNN -- 8/8/19


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

4 killed and 2 injured in Orange County stabbing attacks -- A man went on a two-hour crime spree in Orange County on Wednesday, fatally stabbing four people and wounding two others in Garden Grove and Santa Ana, police said. Jaclyn Cosgrove, Louis Sahagun, Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ Eric Licas in the Orange County Register Robert Jablon Associated Press -- 8/8/19

As bail changes in California, a new two-track plan is being proposed -- Bail in California’s courts is at a crossroads, with pivotal decisions awaiting the voters and state courts. But in San Francisco, where a federal judge has already declared the local bail rules unconstitutional, criminal-defense advocates are proposing a new system of pretrial release for defendants who pose no serious risk but can’t afford bail. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/8/19

Walters: It may be a wasted effort -- California’s Department of Motor Vehicles has long been a poster child for managerial shortcomings among the state’s many agencies. It is, however, not the only example of how state programs fail to complete their designated missions. Another is the ambitious effort to reduce the nearly 80 million tons of trash that Californians generate each year, as a new series of articles in CalMatters is revealing. Dan Walters Calmatters -- 8/8/19

Mass shootings push the L.A. County Fair to upgrade security -- In the wake of recent mass shootings, the Los Angeles County Fair’s operators are beefing up security, bringing a higher level of scrutiny to the annual summer celebration of carnival rides, high-calorie snacks and farm animals. Hugo Martin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/8/19

Tensions run high at City Council meeting as Straight Pride organizers go on defense -- Dozens of people packed Wednesday’s Modesto City Council meeting in a show of opposition to a straight pride rally planned for Graceada Park, an event opponents say promotes white supremacy, hate speech and violence against the LGBTQ+ community, people of color and other minorities. Kevin Valine in the Modesto Bee$ -- 8/8/19

How domestic violence survivors could be given a moment to ‘exhale’ -- Susan Rubio, whose domestic violence allegations against her ex-husband made headlines and cost him a seat in the Assembly, is a senator now. And she has a bill. Adria Watson Calmatters -- 8/8/19

Huge recycler’s closure leaves Bay Area with few options -- Three San Francisco recycling centers belonging to the Ontario (San Bernardino County) company RePlanet closed this week, leaving residents with fewer options to turn in recyclables for money and putting more pressure on the few operators that remain. Sophia Kunthara and Elena Shao in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/8/19

Juul-backed ballot measure may repeal SF’s flavored e-cigarette ban -- A San Francisco ballot measure authored by e-cigarette maker Juul may allow flavored e-cigarettes back onto store shelves in San Francisco — overturning a city law approved by voters in 2018 that was meant to keep products like Juul’s mango and cucumber nicotine pods out of the hands of teens. Catherine Ho in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/8/19

San Francisco fentanyl overdose deaths soared in 2018 with 89 dead -- The number of overdose deaths from fentanyl shot up to 89 in San Francisco in 2018 — a nearly 150% increase from the previous year, according to new data from the city’s public health department. Lauren Hernández in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/8/19

SoulCycle hit with Bay Area-fueled backlash over chairman’s Trump fundraiser: ‘A lot of women are going to be outraged’ -- Fitness chains SoulCycle and Equinox were on Wednesday besieged by tweets, emails and phone calls from angry customers, celebrities and high-profile activists, who threatened to boycott their gyms following news that the brands’ chairman is hosting a fundraiser for Donald Trump later this week. Martha Ross in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/8/19


Homelessness advocates lose their own home as market forces hit them -- Market forces — a polite way of saying you can’t afford it anymore — have forced the organization to give up the lease on its offices in the heart of the Tenderloin. Moving day is in October. Steve Rubenstein in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/8/19

Newsom sidesteps right-to-shelter plan, but says homeless on streets ‘cannot persist’ -- Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday that he wasn’t ready to back a legal “right to shelter” for those without housing, even though the idea was put forward by two key allies who lead his task force to help find solutions to homelessness. Benjamin Oreskes in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/8/19


Newsom backs effort to cap rent increases in California -- An effort to cap annual rent increases in California received a boost Wednesday when Gov. Gavin Newsom embraced the idea and said he wants even more restrictions than currently planned. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/8/19

Newsom puts $331 million from settlement into legal aid for housing -- Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing to deposit the state’s share of a 2012 nationwide bank settlement into a legal assistance fund for renters and homeowners, following a California Supreme Court ruling last month that he must use the money for its intended purpose. Alexei Koseff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/8/19

Developer, business interests crowd Trump housing council -- A new presidential panel aimed at easing the affordable housing crisis is top heavy with business and developer interests, and does little to get at the roots of the problem. Scott Soriano Capitol Weekly -- 8/8/19


Camp Fire claims 86th life; burned man’s lungs fail after 9-month struggle -- The deadliest wildfire in California history has claimed ts 86th victim, 72-year-old Paul Ernest, nine months after it destroyed the Butte County town of Paradise and sent thousands fleeing for their lives. Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/8/19


Needy school districts are getting more money — but what about needy kids? -- Financially, at least, California's 5-year-old school finance overhaul is working for disadvantaged students. But a PPIC study still finds that high-need schools are still too reliant on novice teachers. And in better-off districts, not enough is being done for poorer kids. Ricardo Cano Calmatters -- 8/8/19

California’s big spending push for children could have national impact -- When her son Quincy was six weeks old, Lynette Stewart dropped him off at a child care center in Long Beach, California and headed back to work, with a hard ball of worry in her chest. Zaidee Stavely EdSource -- 8/8/19

Smaller classes, more novice teachers: the 'tradeoff‘ for low-income California schools -- Former Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature law, the Local Control Funding Formula, has frustrated researchers and advocacy groups that have wanted to verify how much of the extra money intended for targeted students has actually gone to the schools they attend — and how the funding was used. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 8/8/19


Outside Lands gets green light for pot sales on festival grounds -- On Wednesday, the San Francisco Office of Cannabis said it would grant its first permit for a temporary event where cannabis is sold. The agency only recently approved new rules for such events. Melia Russell in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/8/19


State Agency Hopeful Chevron's Massive Kern County Spill Is Finally Over -- Chevron told state officials Wednesday that more than 1.3 million gallons of oil and water have flowed to the surface in the Cymric oil field, 35 miles west of Bakersfield, since May 10. An estimated one-third of that, or 445,130 gallons, is believed to be crude petroleum. Ted Goldberg KQED -- 8/8/19

Environmental groups move to sue South Bay refinery over mishandling of hazardous waste -- Several environmental groups moved Wednesday to sue the Phillips 66 refinery in the South Bay, accusing it of years of mismanaging hazardous waste that could pose a health risk to people living near its Wilmington and Carson facilities. Anna M. Phillips in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/8/19

San Diego secures $28.5 M in air-quality funding to green up construction equipment, freight trucks and more -- Elected officials announced on Wednesday the infusion of state funding that will offer grants to schools, government agencies and businesses that swap out polluting vehicles and machinery for more fuel efficient or electric models. Joshua Emerson Smith in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 8/8/19

Also . . . 

Hackers Can Break Into an Iphone Just by Sending a Text -- When You Think about how hackers could break into your smartphone, you probably imagine it would start with clicking a malicious link in a text, downloading a fraudulent app, or some other way you accidentally let them in. It turns out that's not necessarily so—not even on the iPhone, where simply receiving an iMessage could be enough to get yourself hacked. Lily Hay Newman WIRED -- 8/8/19

Feds launch initiative to crack down on drug dealing in SF’s Tenderloin -- San Francisco’s newly appointed top federal prosecutor announced a sweeping initiative Wednesday to arrest and charge dope peddlers in the city’s notoriously drug-plagued Tenderloin neighborhood. Evan Sernoffsky in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/8/19

Gov. Newsom grants pardon to Susan Burton, who assists women returning to society after prison -- Gov. Gavin Newsom granted pardons Wednesday night to seven people, including Susan H. Burton, a former inmate who now helps other women transition from prison to society. Maura Dolan in the Los Angeles Times$ Sophia Bollag in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/8/19

Vietnamese immigrant and prominent L.A. activist among 7 pardoned by Gov. Newsom -- A Vietnamese immigrant facing possible deportation for a 15-year-old gang crime is among seven people pardoned Wednesday by California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Clemency may allow Quoc Nguyen, 37, to avoid deportation, the governor said. Associated Press -- 8/8/19

This new law will ensure Californians’ right to display religious symbols on doors and in entryways -- A little over a year ago, a homeowner’s association governing a San Diego condo complex told a Jewish resident to remove a mezuzah from his home’s doorpost. Deepa Bharath in the Inland Daily Bulletin$ -- 8/8/19

Pacific Standard magazine is shutting down after losing main financial backer -- Pacific Standard, an online magazine that aimed to be a Western U.S.-based chronicler of global social and environmental justice and public policy, plans to shut down after a decade of publication, the magazine’s editor in chief, Nicholas Jackson, said Wednesday. James F. Peltz, Sam Dean in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/8/19

POTUS 45  

Trump Uses a Day of Healing to Deepen the Nation’s Divisions -- President Trump visited Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso on Wednesday on a day intended as a show of compassion to cities scarred by a weekend of violence, but which quickly devolved into an occasion for anger-fueled broadsides against Democrats and the news media. Michael Crowley, Maggie Haberman, Mitch Smith and Michael D. Shear in the New York Times$ -- 8/8/19

Some El Paso shooting victims wouldn’t meet Trump, medical center spokesman says -- None of the eight victims of the El Paso mass shooting still being treated at University Medical Center agreed to meet with President Trump when he visited on Wednesday, the hospital’s spokesman said. “This is a very sensitive time in their lives. Some of them said they didn’t want to meet with the president, some of them didn’t want any visitors,” UMC spokesman Ryan Mielke said. Robert Moore in the Washington Post$ -- 8/8/19

Poll: Most Republicans support assault weapons ban, despite Trump saying 'no appetite' -- Most Republicans would support legislation banning assault-style weapons, a new Politico/Morning Consult poll found Wednesday — a finding that contradicts President Donald Trump's claim earlier the same day that there's "no political appetite" for such restrictions. Steven Shepard Politico -- 8/8/19


Twitter freezes McConnell campaign account for posting video of protester’s violent threats -- Twitter locked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign account from further activity Wednesday as punishment for its sharing of a video of protesters screaming obscenities outside the Kentucky Republican’s home. The social media company will not unlock @TeamMitch unless it agrees to remove the video. Colby Itkowitz in the Washington Post$ -- 8/8/19

Biden, Booker attack Trump with scathing words — and different messages -- Joe Biden and Cory Booker took on President Trump, racial division and white supremacy in a pair of unusually impassioned speeches Wednesday, though their contrasting approaches reflected differences among Democrats on the path forward as the nation reels from the weekend’s mass shootings. Cleve R. Wootson Jr. and Matt Viser in the Washington Post$ -- 8/8/19


-- Wednesday Updates 

Redistricting battle in Michigan could threaten California citizens’ commission -- A Republican-backed lawsuit aimed at killing Michigan’s new redistricting commission could threaten the future of California’s landmark citizens’ reapportionment panel. John Wildermuth in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/7/19

Orange County, once a GOP stronghold, officially goes to the Democrats -- Political tectonic plates slipped past one another Wednesday, as the number of registered Democrats surpassed Republicans in Orange County, once a GOP bastion California and in the nation. Orange County helped launch and nurture Republican politicians from Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan to the congressman who went by the nickname “B-1 Bob” (Dornan). Dan Morain Calmatters Jeremy B. White Politico -- 8/7/19

For Mexican Americans, El Paso is a beacon. That makes racist massacre more devastating -- The cellphone of Fountain Valley resident Jacobo Alvarez pinged repeatedly on Saturday with news that a gunman had killed 22 people, nearly all Mexican nationals or Mexican Americans, at a Walmart in El Paso. But many of the messages didn’t come from his hometown. They were from a massive group chat Alvarez belongs to of young Latino El Pasoans who live in Southern California. Gustavo Arellano in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/7/19

How Hate-Filled Groups Incite Violence From the Extreme Corners of the Internet -- Mass shootings have become all too common in America, with attacks weekly, if not daily, now. In the wake of Gilroy, Dayton and El Paso, it’s worth noting that the frequency of these attacks were predicted a year ago by a man who studies hate speech on social media. Rachael Myrow KQED -- 8/7/19

EBay bans assault rifle parts. Here’s how sellers get around it -- California has the toughest gun laws of any state, particularly when it comes to the types of weapons used in a spate of recent mass shootings. EBay, the state’s biggest e-commerce company, would like to give the impression it takes a similarly hard-line stance on them. Jeff Bercovici in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/7/19

Emergency Services Director Briefed Gov. Gavin Newsom On Threat Of Hate Groups During First Week in Office -- Gov. Gavin Newsom says his emergency services director warned him about the risk of white supremacists and hate groups in California during his first week in office — but his administration is still reviewing ways to address the issue. Scott Rodd Capital Public Radio -- 8/7/19

Swamp rats have invaded California. A Central Valley Democrat is declaring war -- Rep. Josh Harder’s opponents have called him a “shady venture capitalist” and “rabid socialist extremist” who only cares about “big donors and socialist Democrats in San Francisco.” But last weekend, dressed in shirtsleeves and rubber waders, the freshman Democratic congressman from Turlock tried to buck that image. Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/7/19

California auditor blasts Medi-Cal overseer for failing patients in 18 rural counties -- In a report released Tuesday, California State Auditor Elaine Howle upbraided the state Department of Health Care Services for its failure to ensure Medi-Cal beneficiaries have adequate access and quality of care in 18 rural counties stretching from Inyo to the south to Tehama and Plumas in the north. Cathie Anderson in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/7/19

Why West Coast Warehouses Are Bursting at the Seams -- In previous rounds, businesses front-loaded their purchases to avoid the tariff hikes before they took effect. That’s left unsold goods piling up at one of the world’s biggest warehouse complexes in southern California that serves the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach — a major gateway for trade with China. Sarah McGregor Bloomberg -- 8/7/19

Lopez: Smart reform saves lives — the gun control facts -- Several years after his mother was shot and killed and his father wounded in a 2005 rampage by a lone gunman in Thousand Oaks, Christian Heyne went to a gun show in Virginia with a couple of friends. “I wanted to see if it was true that you could buy a gun without a background check,” said Heyne, who by then was working in the gun control movement. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/7/19

Fox: Following Mass Shootings Will Major New Gun Laws Come to California? -- The gun issue moved to the top of the policy agenda after more than 30 tragic deaths from mass shootings over the weekend. California has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, so one wonders what lawmakers would do or could do in response to the latest shootings beyond rhetorical hits against President Trump and Congress for not setting tougher national gun laws. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 8/7/19

Trump stays largely out of public view as he visits Dayton, one of two cities grieving from a mass shooting -- Aside from brief appearances on the airport tarmac as he arrived and departed, Trump did not speak publicly or allow himself to be photographed. Reporters traveling with him were secluded as he took part in what aides described as meetings at Miami Valley Hospital with first responders, hospital staff and survivors of a shooting early Sunday morning that left nine dead. John Wagner in the Washington Post$ -- 8/7/19

Trump quietly used regulations to expand gun access -- The president said he has taken tough action on guns. His administration has mostly focused on expanding gun access through little-noticed regulatory moves. Anita Kumar Politico -- 8/7/19