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IBEW Local 659
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BJ Owens with some students @ the Careers In Gear Fair
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Your 2017-2020 Executive Board
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The Competition was fierce and Mike Represented our Local very well!
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POLITICAL PULSE 5/23/16
Posted On: May 23, 2016

POLITICAL PULSE

MAY 23, 2016

California Policy & Politics This Morning   

Southern California Gas Co. ordered to stop cleaning Porter Ranch-area homes -- The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health ordered Southern California Gas Co. late Sunday to stop cleaning the homes of Porter Ranch-area residents affected by the gas leak at the company's Aliso Canyon facility, concluding that the utility’s contractor was not properly trained or equipped to carry out the cleanup. Matt Hamilton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/23/16

With State Transportation Funds Strained, Counties Ask Voters for Help -- The funding problems are prompting local governments and transit agencies to take it upon themselves to raise money. One example: BART. Weekday ridership is at an all-time high, with about 435,000 trips a day. But trains are overcrowded, the system’s cars need to be replaced, and the district needs to invest in everything from an expensive new computerized train control system to shoring up tunnels. Nicole West KQED -- 5/23/16

Senate primary likely to weed out the Republicans -- Losing U.S. Senate races in California is old hat for the GOP. The party has lost every one since 1988. But getting wiped out in the June primary to replace retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer would be a new low for a party drifting toward irrelevance in the Golden State -- one that even many Democratic leaders don't want to see happen. Matthew Artz in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/23/16

Activist lawyers sue California on voter rules, possibly boosting Bernie Sanders support -- As Bernie Sanders supporters fear their candidate will miss out on crucial votes from independent and crossover voters in California’s June primary, civil rights lawyers filed suit Friday seeking more time for those voters to request a Democratic presidential ballot. Kevin Yamamura in the Sacramento Bee$ John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/23/16

Clinton, Sanders take different paths to California primary -- California and its 548 convention delegates may be the biggest prize of the Democratic primary season, but the party’s two presidential hopefuls are taking very different routes to a potential June 7 victory. John Wildermuth and Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/23/16

Bernie Sanders softens criticism of Hillary Clinton, but argues that he'd be the strongest Democratic nominee -- Sen. Bernie Sanders is seeking a win in California’s June 7 presidential primary, and he’s tinkering with the path toward it. Cathleen Decker in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/23/16

Bernie Sanders faithful look for victories in likely defeat -- Don Ramie had flown an American flag outside his ranch-style home for two decades, until one Fourth of July morning about 10 years ago, when the weight of two foreign wars and controversies surrounding influence trading in Washington, D.C., became too much. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/23/16

Clinton’s key to sounding authentic may be talking about her faith -- Every day for the past 10 years, Burns Strider has emailed Hillary Clinton a short spiritual reflection. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/23/16

Bill Clinton tells farmworkers election is about building walls or bridges -- The likely choice in the November general election between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton leaves voters with just two options, building walls or building bridges, former President Bill Clinton said Sunday in a speech that closed a four-day United Farm Workers convention in Bakersfield. Theo Douglas in the Fresno Bee -- 5/23/16

Sen. Jim Beall faces challenge from departing Assemblywoman Nora Campos -- Up until March, it appeared that state Sen. Jim Beall would ease into four more years of serving Silicon Valley before leaving in 2020. But Assemblywoman Nora Campos -- who will be out of a job come December because of term limits -- had different ideas. Eric Kurhi East Bay Times -- 5/23/16

Ami Bera fundraising pattern sidesteps donation limits -- Democratic Rep. Ami Bera, whose father is awaiting sentencing on two felony counts of election fraud, for years has engaged in a complex series of campaign donations involving his parents and the families of other congressional candidates, federal records show. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/23/16

Walters: California housing shortage sets up battle over land-use control -- Once upon a time, California city officials used two tools to shape how their communities evolved – setting property tax rates and controlling land use. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/23/16

Diaz: California legislators’ ethical blind spot -- California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon likes to point out that five of the nine cities in his Los Angeles County district have a former city council member in prison, as if that compels his commitment to good government. John Diaz in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/23/16

Kamala Harris tells farm workers that 'an undocumented immigrant is not a criminal' -- U.S. Senate hopeful Kamala Harris, speaking to leaders of the United Farm Workers union, called for fixing the nation’s immigration system and protecting the rights of millions of immigrants in the country illegally. Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/23/16

Kamala Harris ‘skeptical’ of fracking, stops short of calling for ban -- Speaking to reporters at a United Farm Workers convention in Bakersfield, in the heart of oil-rich Kern County, Harris said she is waiting to review emerging regulations on the controversial form of oil extraction. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/23/16

Gubernatorial candidate John Chiang talks about his sister's murder and the 'power of community' -- Less than a week after announcing his 2018 bid for governor , state Treasurer John Chiang addressed the United Farm Workers' annual convention Saturday and spoke of the deep bond among all immigrants, including Latinos and Chinese, who worked the earth and picked crops in California. Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/23/16

Morain: John Chiang’s story of disco, aspirations and pain -- Wearing his dark blue banker’s suit, John Chiang, our earnest state treasurer, discusses the finer but somnolent points of bonds, pension liability and interest rates, and your mind starts going numb. Dan Morain in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/23/16

Decker: Clinton's California advantage over Sanders: Her allies living in your neighborhood -- Bernie Sanders is winning the visuals in the fight for California's presidential vote. Cathleen Decker in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/23/16

California voter registration soaring as June 7 primary approaches -- Californians are registering to vote in breathtaking numbers not seen since the Reagan Revolution, as the no-holds-barred presidential primary season and tech-based outreach efforts have rousted more than 1 million people from their political slumber. Matthew Artz in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/23/16

San Francisco may keep officers from investigating each other in shootings -- When a San Francisco police officer shoots someone, the investigation is headed up by the officer’s colleagues — a widespread law enforcement practice that has stoked mistrust both here and around the country. Vivian Ho in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/23/16

CalBuzz: Memo to Millennials: Dire Risk in Bernie-or-Bust -- Dear Millennial Bernie Backers: At the serious risk of sounding like the get-off-my-lawn geezers we despised in the 1960s and ‘70s, the old codgers at Calbuzz would like to speak directly to you Bernie or Bust people who are, we fear, on the verge of making a huge mistake. Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine CalBuzz -- 5/23/16

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions      

Firefighter pensions get boost from extended 'DROP' time -- Eleven firefighters received pension payments exceeding $500,000 last year, and all of them did so by taking part in a little-known loophole in one of San Diego’s most controversial employee benefit programs. Lauryn Schroeder in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 5/23/16

Orange County Watchdog: Unfunded pension debt approaching $1 trillion? -- So if you don’t live in Irwindale, rejoice: There, even when you look at it through rose-colored glasses, public pension liabilities equal $32,447 for each and every household in the city. Slap on a skeptic’s glasses, and that load skyrockets to $134,907 per household. Teri Sforza in the Orange County Register -- 5/23/16

Unions seek school pension ‘death benefit’ hike -- Annual rates paid by employers to CalPERS and CalSTRS are going up, pension funding levels haven’t recovered from a big drop during the recession, and Gov. Brown’s pension reform put a lid on pension increases. Ed Mendel Calpensions.com -- 5/23/16

Beverly Hilton owner wants voters to approve 26-story condo tower -- Last decade, real estate investor Beny Alagem narrowly secured voter approval to construct not only a Waldorf Astoria hotel next to the Beverly Hilton, but also two condo towers -- including an 18-story building that would be the tallest in Beverly Hills. Andrew Khouri in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/23/16

Education 

Charter school advocates flood Sacramento education races with $300,000 -- Charter school advocates have spent nearly $300,000 backing candidates for three seats on the board of the Sacramento County Office of Education, positions that once were considered sleepy political outposts. Diana Lambert in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/23/16

12-year-old California student ready to start university -- A 12-year-old Sacramento student who already has three community college degrees and has been accepted to two University of California campuses says he plans on studying biomedical engineering and becoming a doctor and medical researcher by the time he turns 18. Associated Press -- 5/23/16

Folsom student confirmed to have bacterial meningitis -- A student at Vista del Lago High School in Folsom was confirmed Saturday to have been infected with bacterial meningitis and is being treated at an undisclosed hospital, according to the Sacramento County Health and Human Services department. Jessica Hice in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/23/16

As kindergarten readiness bill evolves, some remain concerned about its effect on learning -- It seemed a straightforward enough goal: define what it means for a child to be ready for kindergarten. But when a bill to establish a kindergarten readiness standard was introduced in the Legislature in February, several child development and early education experts objected, suggesting it could push preschools to become overly and inappropriately academic. Jeremy Hay EdSource -- 5/23/16

Learning environments play critical role in student success -- In any context, findings from a survey question recently asked by Youth Truth should be troubling – less than half of high school students perceive their teachers as a source of ongoing support and motivation. Tom Chorneau Cabinet Report -- 5/23/16

Districts receiving student test results faster than last year, officials say -- As millions of California students take tests aligned with the Common Core standards for the second year, many districts and schools are getting results back more quickly than they did the first time around. Theresa Harrington EdSource -- 5/23/16

Health 

Valley hospitals spending millions to build pediatric networks -- Both hospital systems say demand for care, not an ongoing feud over pediatric patients, is driving the building boom. Barbara Anderson in the Fresno Bee -- 5/23/16

POTUS 44

As Obama tours Hiroshima, bombing survivors in Little Tokyo hope for 'more than words' -- The visit is controversial among those who say that dropping nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki helped save lives and bring about an end to World War II. But for survivors, it's a historic recognition of their suffering. Frank Shyong in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/23/16

Beltway 

Just What Were Donald Trump's Ties to the Mob? -- I've spent years investigating, and here's what's known. David Clay Johnston Politico -- 5/23/16


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