Archive for January 24th, 2010

SBSun: Five Inland Empire lawmakers face unreported gifts inquiry

Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/23/2010 09:37:01 PM PST

The California Fair Political Practices Commission is investigating five Inland Empire lawmakers for allegedly failing to report hundreds of dollars worth of gifts in 2008.

The five are among 38 state lawmakers who are being investigated for allegedly failing to report gifts and other perks including meals, beverages, parking tabs and tickets to sporting venues and theme parks valued at more than $8,000.

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SBSun: Rialto scrambles to fund new pension costs

Josh Dulaney, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/23/2010 07:05:05 PM PST

RIALTO – At a time when local governments are looking to cut spending every way they can, this city is preparing to spend up to $5 million a year on upgraded pension packages for police, firefighters and other employees.

Budget plans for the 2010-11 fiscal year will have to account for the new “3 at 50” pension plan, which allows firefighters and police officers with 30 years of service to retire as early as age 50 and collect up to 90 percent of their highest annual salaries for the rest of their lives.

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LATimes: A bold conservative step by Supreme Court

When justices ruled to strike down laws limiting corporate political spending, they signaled a tough road ahead for Democrats’ regulatory measures.

By David G. Savage

January 24, 2010

Reporting from Washington – Five years ago, when John G. Roberts Jr. became the Supreme Court’s chief justice, he described the job as though he would be a minor functionary, more like an umpire behind the plate than the star of the game. He also said he favored minimal and narrow decisions, rather than broad but divisive rulings that would abruptly change the law.

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By Ken McLaughlin and Denis C. Theriault

Mercury News
Posted: 01/24/2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Updated: 01/24/2010 03:41:48 AM PST

At first blush, the political DNA of Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner looks pretty darn similar.

Both are Republicans who got extremely rich in Silicon Valley. Both are social moderates — in favor of abortion rights, in favor of giving gay couples all the rights of married people through civil unions — with some history of cutting checks to Democrats. Both are unabashedly pro-business.

Then why are these two candidates for California governor about to begin slicing and dicing each other up for all the world to see?

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Companies pressing an agenda in Sacramento, including oil and tobacco firms, funneled $120,000 to a group that covered much of the three-day event at a luxury resort in Santa Barbara.

By Patrick McGreevy

January 24, 2010

Reporting from Sacramento – When Republican state legislators decided last month that they needed to escape Sacramento and kick back in a more relaxed environment to hash out issues, they headed for a luxury beach resort in Santa Barbara.

Such sojourns don’t come cheap, so oil and tobacco firms and other companies that are pressing an agenda in the Capitol funneled $120,000 to a group that picked up much of the tab. About 25 Republican senators and Assembly members and a dozen aides attended the retreat at Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort.

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By Dan Morain, Senior editor
dmorain@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, Jan. 24, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 1E

Attorney General Jerry Brown casts himself as a no-nonsense prosecutor. But when it comes to asserting state oversight of casinos owned by Indian tribes, he’s been less than aggressive.

Tribes that own the state’s most lucrative casinos are betting early that Brown will be the next governor. Based on his actions as attorney general, those casino owners will have a friend in the most important corner office in California.

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ContraCostaTimes: Brown expected to run a populist campaign

Attorney General Jerry Brown

By Steven Harmon
Contra Costa Times
Posted: 01/23/2010 03:14:20 PM PST
Updated: 01/23/2010 03:14:20 PM PST

SACRAMENTO —Jerry Brown appears to be gearing up for a populist campaign as he anticipates a run against a wealthy Republican.

The attorney general will have a sizable target whether it’s Meg Whitman, the billionaire former CEO of eBay, or state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, who entered politics after making a fortune as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur.

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Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

59% IN POLL SAY SITUATION’S WORSE

By Kevin Yamamura
kyamamura@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, Jan. 24, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

This was hardly what Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger envisioned seven years ago.

The movie-star governor, who took office in 2003 on a promise to “clean house” in Sacramento, remains mired at a personal-low 27 percent approval rating, according to a Field Poll released today.

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11:17 PM PST on Saturday, January 23, 2010

By ALICIA ROBINSON
The Press-Enterprise

While Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge accentuated the positive in his State of the City speech Thursday, some residents said Friday they see some negatives they want city officials to address.

In his speech, Loveridge acknowledged the recession’s toll on Riverside — namely high unemployment and a dwindling city budget — but he also pointed to recent projects such as the renovation of the Fox theater, and new initiatives like an economic plan to attract green jobs, boost the arts and improve neighborhoods.

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Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer
Created: 01/23/2010 06:07:17 AM PST

UPLAND – The Upland Unified School District is now looking to cut $15 million over the next two years should Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s current budget proposal stick.

The figure is an increase of $2.6 million from last week when school officials estimated that the projected cuts would be about $12.4 million.

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