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POLITICAL PULSE 5/11/16
Posted On: May 11, 2016

POLITICAL PUSLE

MAY 11, 2016

California Policy & Politics This Morning   

Kamala Harris is focus of California's final U.S. Senate debate before primary -- U.S. Senate hopeful Kamala Harris found herself under attack Tuesday night during a fiery debate where she was accused of putting her political ambitions ahead of serving Californians as state Attorney General and pressed about why she hasn’t investigated police shootings. Phil Willon, John Myers in the Los Angeles TimesClaire Trageser KPBS Michael R. Blood Associated Press -- 5/11/16

Politifact: Loretta Sanchez dodges question about gun liability vote, cites Brady campaign support -- U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., was asked to explain her 2005 vote to offer gun manufacturers liability protections during a debate in the U.S.Senate race. Jon Greenberg Politifact CA -- 5/11/16

PolitifactDuf Sundheim wrongly says California's violent crime rate is up 34 percent -- Republican Duf Sundheim started on the attack at Wednesday’s debate in San Diego among five candidates vying to be California’s next U.S. senator. Chris Nichols Politifact CA -- 5/11/16

Babulal Bera’s felonies complicate Ami Bera’s re-election effort -- Federal officials said repeatedly Tuesday their nearly 18-month investigation turned up no evidence that Democratic Rep. Ami Bera knew of his father’s illegal activity on behalf of his campaigns before they approached the congressman with questions last October.Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/11/16

Closed-door talks at key California panels under scrutiny -- In a series of private emails in 2014, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. successfully persuaded senior staff members and commissioners of the Public Utilities Commission to replace an administrative law judge assigned to the company’s rate-making case. Taryn Luna in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/11/16

Walters: California PUC’s big scandal over San Onofre closure heats up -- The long-simmering scandal in the state Public Utilities Commission over a secret deal to stick ratepayers with most of the costs of shutting down the San Onofre nuclear power plant just got more interesting. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/11/16

Supervisors OK ballot measure to lower San Francisco voting age to 16 -- A charter amendment to lower the voting age to 16 that will appear on the November ballot would put San Francisco at the forefront of expanding voting rights at a time when some other governments around the country have implemented increasingly restrictive voting laws. Emily Green in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/11/16

Gov. Brown signs bill requiring testing before Aliso Canyon gas wells can resume operation -- The bill was approved by the Legislature in response to a four-month leak of natural gas that caused neighboring residents to complain of nausea, dizzyness and other problems. Costs could reach $665 million. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/11/16

California diaper advocate pushes for low-income access -- For parents of young kids, diapers present both a necessity and a constant cost. There’s not much Norah Weinstein can do about the first part, but she’d like to ease the impact of the second. Jeremy B. White in theSacramento Bee$ -- 5/11/16

San Francisco mayor proposes $17.5 M for police reforms -- San Francisco's mayor on Tuesday proposed to spend an additional $17.5 million on the city's police to help the beleaguered department institute reforms and reduce violence. Paul Elias Associated Press -- 5/11/16

'I have, in fact, done the crime': Rep. Ami Bera's father admits illegal campaign contributions -- The father of a Sacramento-area congressman pleaded guilty Tuesday to illegally funneling more than a quarter of a million dollars to his son's campaigns in 2010 and 2012.John Myers in the Los Angeles TimesDenny Walsh in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/11/16

Taxes, Fees, Rates, Tolls     

California Tax Revenues Fall Below Estimates As Budget Talks Get Under Way -- California’s economy is still growing – but at a slower pace than it has been. And that’s having a similar effect on state budget revenues, leaving Gov. Jerry Brown with less money to work with when he releases his updated spending proposal Friday. Ben Adler Capital Public Radio -- 5/11/16

L.A. County may seek state's help on 'millionaires tax' for homelessness -- Los Angeles County officials are eyeing a new income tax on millionaires to help address the region's growing crisis of homelessness, but one of the county board's three liberal members broke ranks to at least temporarily halt the push. Abby Sewell in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/11/16

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions      

Farmworkers win court battle over access to California labor board's proceedings -- A District Court of Appeal panel has revived a constitutional case involving public access to contract mediation proceedings held by the state's farm labor watchdog. Geoffrey Mohan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/11/16

LA City Council backs plan to legalize ‘bootleg’ apartments -- Illegal apartments are easy to find in Los Angeles, as landlords divide up loft spaces to make multiple units or turn storage spaces into tiny studios. Now, Los Angeles City Hall leaders want to legalize those units – called “bootleg” apartments - to help ease the city’s housing crisis. Dakota Smith in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 5/11/16

This California desert town is experiencing a marijuana boom -- Carlos Bravo, the owner of a tow company here, was at work late last year when a real estate agent came to him offering half a million dollars for 5 acres of undeveloped, brush-pocked desert — five times what he'd paid for the land six months earlier. Paloma Esquivelin the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/11/16

Hyperloop One attracts big money, big names -- A Los Angeles startup chasing Elon Musk’s “hyperloop” dream of tube-based travel between cities reported Tuesday that it has raised $80 million in its latest financing round and forged partnerships with some of the world’s most prominent engineering firms. David R. Baker in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/11/16

Drought   

In another sign the drought may be easing, MWD ends water limits -- Citing the state’s improved hydrology and impressive regional conservation, officials at Southern California’s massive water wholesaler voted Tuesday to rescind the cuts they imposed on regional water deliveries last year. Matt Stevens in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/11/16

California court upholds large urban water transfer -- The ruling by a three-judge panel in Santa Ana moves urban districts a step closer to getting up to 75,000 acre feet of desert groundwater a year from the Cadiz and Fenner valleys in San Bernardino County - enough to supply about 150,000 homes. Elliot SpagatAssociated Press -- 5/11/16

California Wants Major Changes To Water Conservation -- Water conservation in California could change drastically next month. In the short-term, water regulators are proposing to scrap the state-mandated reduction targets urban water agencies have been required to hit since last year. Ben Bradford Capital Public Radio -- 5/11/16

Education 

Teachers union: enrollment loss to charter schools costs L.A. Unified at least $500 million -- Critics frequently charge charter schools with diverting funding away from traditional public schools. On Tuesday, the Los Angeles' teachers union released a report attempting to quantify exactly how much money the district has lost. Kyle Stokes KPCC -- 5/11/16

Union-commissioned report says charter schools are bleeding money from traditional ones -- A teachers union-funded report on charter schools concludes that these largely nonunion campuses are costing traditional schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District millions of dollars in tax money. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/11/16

LA Unified turning to magnet schools to stem enrollment and revenue declines-- In the face of losing more than 100,000 students since 2000, Los Angeles Unified is turning to magnet schools as a strategy to slow enrollment decline and provide an alternative to independent charter schools, which have nearly doubled in number over the same period, to more than 260. Michael Janofsky EdSource -- 5/11/16

What happens when you look past school test scores? -- This week California’s State Board of Education will consider what measures beyond test scores should be included in the state’s new accountability system for public schools. In a shift away from the state’s exclusive reliance on standardized tests, the board is mulling the incorporation of multiple metrics such as suspension and graduation rates in determining how well a school is performing. Matt Levin Calmatters.org -- 5/11/16

Several Davis professors defend Chancellor Katehi at UC regents meeting -- University of California regents drew a low turnout Tuesday when they convened their only Sacramento meetings this year, less than two weeks after UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi was suspended pending an ethics investigation. Diana Lambert in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/11/16

UC Regents keeping sex harassment discussion secret may violate law, experts say -- Students and open-government advocates are crying foul about University of California regents' plan to close to the public a meeting to discuss sexual harassment and violence on campus, an issue that has roiled the university in recent months. Katy Murphy in the East Bay Times$ -- 5/11/16

Some UC regents fret that critical state audit resulted in unfair attacks on out-of-state students -- University of California regents counseled a measured approach Tuesday in responding to a critical state audit that said UC schools were admitting too many applicants from outside the state, to the detriment of local students.Teresa Watanabe in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/11/16

Cal State San Bernardino survey shows distrust for president, administration -- The second of a two-part campus survey at Cal State San Bernardino showed widespread distrust of university President Tomas Morales and his administration by faculty and staff members. Mark Muckenfuss in the San Bernardino Sun$ -- 5/11/16

LAUSD's message to philanthropists: 'Don't just invest in charter schools' -- Two Los Angeles Unified School Board members want the district to more aggressively court big funders and outside academic partners to expand district school offerings and win an escalating school choice arms race. Kyle Stokes KPCC -- 5/11/16

Sacramento lawmaker would expand UC resident enrollment by 30,000 -- The plan would also mandate a reduction of nearly a third – about 10,000 – in the number of nonresidents, bringing them down to 10 percent of undergraduate students. Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/11/16

Have UC schools harmed local students with their admission policies? The regents weigh in -- University of California regents are expected to weigh in Tuesday on a scathing state audit that said UC schools have harmed local students by admitting too many out-of-state and international applicants. Teresa Watanabe in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/11/16

Environment 

Cadiz water project in Mojave Desert wins big in Appellate Court -- Cadiz Inc. won a decisive courtroom victory Tuesday for its plans to transfer ancient groundwater in a remote part of San Bernardino County’s Mojave Desert to parts of Orange County and other locations. Jim Steinberg in the San Bernardino Sun$ -- 5/11/16

Torrance ExxonMobil refinery restarts, emission-control devices working -- ExxonMobil has completed the initial six hours of restarting its Torrance refinery without pollution-control devices and has resumed operation of its electrostatic precipitator, the region’s air pollution watchdog confirmed today. Nick Green in theLos Angeles Daily News$ -- 5/11/16

Health 

Marin County reports its first case of Zika virus -- A Marin County resident who recently visited Central America is the first known person from that county to contract the Zika virus, health officials reported Tuesday. Robert Digitale in theSanta Rosa Press -- 5/11/16

How Kaiser, Blue Shield will seek to limit opioid overdoses -- With research indicating that the risk for fatal overdose dramatically increases when people take higher doses of opioids, two of California's major health players - an HMO and an insurance company - are launching efforts aimed at getting doctors to prescribe the painkillers in smaller amounts. Rebecca Plevin KPCC -- 5/11/16

Also . . . 

The drugs to execute criminals could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, California prison agency records show -- Internal California prison agency records suggest the state might have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy drugs for lethal injection in executions, according to documents released Tuesday by a civil liberties group. Maura Dolan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/11/16

Alameda deputies to face assault charges in beating of Stanislav Petrov in San Francisco Mission alley -- Two Alameda County sheriff’s deputies will be charged with assault with a deadly weapon, assault under color of authority and battery for beating an auto theft suspect with their batons in November in a Mission District alley, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón said Tuesday. Vivian Ho in theSan Francisco Chronicle -- 5/11/16

Officer Involved: LA deputies shot at more moving cars in 2015, despite dangers -- Incidents in which L.A. sheriff's deputies shot into moving vehicles—a practice discouraged as "dangerous" by department policy—spiked in 2015. Annie Gilbertson KPCC -- 5/11/16

Beltway 

Bernie Sanders campaign brings out star power in LA as primary nears -- The Bernie Sanders campaign went all-out Hollywood on Tuesday, dispatching a half-dozen movie and television stars to college campuses for rallies and voter registration drives ahead of the June7 primary. David Montero in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 5/11/16

Sanders says he learned not to try to compromise with Republicans -- Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders says he learned from the mistakes President Obama made in his first term — they taught him that if he wins the White House, he won’t be able to compromise with Republicans in Congress. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/11/16

Trump Campaign Corresponded With Its White Nationalist Delegate Long After "Database Error" -- Although the Trump campaign blamed a "database error" for including Johnson as a delegate, the campaign corresponded with him personally just over 24 hours ago. Trump's California delegate coordinator, Katie Lagomarsino, sent Johnson a congratulatory email on Monday, and when he asked for clarification about how to send his completed pledge form back to the campaign, she replied.Josh Harkinson Mother Jones -- 5/11/16

Donald Trump blames ‘database error’ for white nationalist delegate -- Donald Trump’s campaign said Tuesday that the inclusion of a white nationalist on its list of California delegates was the result of a “database error” and that the American Freedom Party’s William Johnson had been rejected as a potential delegate in February. David Siders in the Sacramento BeeJames Queally in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/11/16

Peter Thiel to back Trump as GOP presidential candidate -- Thiel’s level of support for the Donald is unclear but Thiel will be one of 172 selected Golden State delegates headed to the Republican National Convention, and a source tells us he has committed to back Trump as the GOP’s presidential nominee while there. Sarah Buhr Techcrunch -- 5/11/16

Wall Street: Trump's debt policy smacks of bankruptcy -- Donald Trump has a debt problem. Twice in the past five days the presumptive Republican nominee has said things about dealing with the $19 trillion federal debt that left Wall Street terrified, Republicans dumbfounded and Democrats licking their chops. Ben WhitePolitico -- 5/11/16


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