Archive for February 8th, 2010

SacBee: Investment firms agree to settle placement-agent corruption probe

By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com The Sacramento Bee
Published: Monday, Feb. 8, 2010 – 9:58 am
Last Modified: Monday, Feb. 8, 2010 – 1:45 pm

Two investment firms that have won pension business in California agreed to pay millions of dollars today to settle a placement-agent corruption probe at New York state’s public pension fund.

The civil settlements with Markstone Capital Group and Wetherly Capital Group, both of Los Angeles, were announced by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and shed additional light on the placement-agent scandals that have erupted in New York and California.

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By Capitol Weekly Staff | 02/08/10 12:00 AM PST

State Attorney General Jerry Brown on Monday urged the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and the State Teachers’ Retirement System to “honor the state law” and divest themselves from companies doing business in Iran.

Brown, a likely candidate for governor this year, said the pension funds should “show some leadership and stop supporting companies that do business with a tyrannical regime.” He said the pension funds’ annual reports did not include necessary information about divestiture.

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Steve Poizner

Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
February 8, 2010

UPDATE: A $5,000 donation to the Poizner campaign dated Feb. 3 from Donald Beall of Corona del Mar was just posted on the Secretary of State’s page, after the body of this blog item was posted.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Poizner was already badly lagging rival Meg Whitman in the polls. Now comes another piece of bad news: he has yet to receive any contributions this year over $5,000, according to the Secretary of State’s Web site.

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San Bernardino County announced last Friday that it was delaying a planned budget workshop for another month.

For a county that has been asleep at the switch in closing an estimated budget shortfall of $90 million-plus in its upcoming fiscal year is anyone surprised?

Neighboring Riverside, Orange, Los Angeles, and San Diego Counties have at least been continually taking budget reduction steps in an effort to keep their respective situations manageable.

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Examiner Editorial
February 8, 2010

White House apologists were quick to point to the unemployment rate decline from 10 percent to 9.7 percent as evidence that the recovery is gathering momentum and that President Obama’s policies — especially his $787 billion economic stimulus bill Congress approved last February — are “working.” But the back story behind the figures provides cold comfort.

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San Bernardino County Sheriff Rod Hoops is clamping on a practice exploited by his predecessor, Retired Sheriff Gary Penrod.

Want a badge? Go through training.

Hoops has initiated a directive to patrol stations that what is commonly known as a “Special” Deputy Badge is history. If someone wants to carry an official badge in their pocket they need to meet state mandated qualifications and complete minimum reserve officer training.

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10:48 PM PST on Sunday, February 7, 2010

By DUANE W. GANG
The Press-Enterprise

Riverside County supervisors could be in for another lengthy debate Tuesday as they again take up how best to overcome a $71 million budget gap.

Supervisors are scheduled to discuss whether to provide general-fund money to the sheriff, district attorney, probation and fire departments to help them overcome unexpected losses in Prop. 172 sales-tax revenues.

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RivPE: SB County sheriff reflects on first year

Sheriff Rod Hoops

10:47 PM PST on Sunday, February 7, 2010

By PAUL LAROCCO
The Press-Enterprise

In his first year as San Bernardino County sheriff, Rod Hoops hasn’t had to lead a department shakeup or champion sweeping policy change.

“The organization was in great shape when I became sheriff,” he said.

But in more subtle ways, Hoops has begun to adapt to the 156-year-old institution.

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Rod Hoops

Posted: 02/07/2010 06:13:06 PM PST

Last week the president asked Congress to provide funding to reimburse counties for the costs of jailing and providing probation services for illegal immigrants. This request was made as part of the president’s $330 million budget request to Congress funding the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) for federal fiscal year 2011.

SCAAP is a federal program that reimburses local governments for jailing illegal aliens who have been arrested or convicted of crimes. This federally mandated program, which has been underfunded for over a decade, was targeted for elimination by the White House last year despite the fact that state and local governments spend billions of dollars to jail or imprison undocumented criminal aliens.

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SBSun: Miller pushes to exclude illegal workers in jobs

Rep. Gary Miller

James Rufus Koren, Staff Writer
Posted: 02/07/2010 06:02:13 AM PST

Make it harder for companies to hire illegal immigrant workers, and those illegal immigrants won’t be able to find work. If they can’t find work, they’ll leave.

That’s partly the thinking behind a bill proposed by Rep. Gary Miller, R-Diamond Bar, that would require employers to verify their employees are citizens or otherwise eligible to work in the U.S.

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LATimes: Fiorina and DeVore appeal for the women’s vote

CALIFORNIA ELECTIONS

Both speak to the Federation of Republican Women as they prepare for the GOP primary and the chance to run against Sen. Barbara Boxer in the fall.

By Seema Mehta

February 8, 2010

Two of the major Republican candidates aiming to unseat U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer made their case this weekend to the party’s most active women, arguing that both Boxer’s record and anti-incumbent sentiment nationally have put momentum on their side.

Their arguments crystallized their central pitches to party voters before the June primary.

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By SAM DILLON
Published: February 7, 2010

Federal stimulus money has helped avoid drastic cuts at public schools in most parts of the nation, at least so far. But with the federal money running out, many of the nation’s schools are approaching what officials are calling a “funding cliff.”

Congress included about $100 billion for education in the stimulus law last year to cushion the recession’s impact on schools and to help fuel an economic recovery. New studies show that many states will spend all or nearly all that is left between now and the end of this school term.

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LATimes: Kindergarten politics

CAPITOL JOURNAL

Playing games with Maldonado could backfire for the Assembly.
By George Skelton Capitol Journal

February 8, 2010

Reporting from Sacramento

The Legislature is about to decide whether to allow a colleague to become the first Republican Latino to hold statewide office in 135 years. But more important questions also will be answered:

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By Jack Chang
jchang@sacbee.com The Sacramento Bee
Published: Monday, Feb. 8, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 1A

Ronald Reagan singled out what he called a “welfare queen” for abusing government aid. Newt Gingrich pushed welfare reform as part of his Contract With America.

Now, Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner, the top Republican candidates for California governor, are bringing back welfare as a key issue in their quest for primary votes. Welfare’s high-profile role in the race became clear last month when Whitman, the billionaire former CEO of eBay, unveiled her first issue-specific radio ad.

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By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com The Sacramento Bee
Published: Monday, Feb. 8, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

A year ago, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature enacted a budget package noteworthy for a rare increase in taxes – but getting the required two-thirds votes involved old-fashioned horse trading.

Sen. Lou Correa, an Orange County Democrat, refused, for instance, to vote for the tax package until it included an extra $35 million a year (later growing to $50 million) in property taxes for his county government. The money was shifted from local schools, which means the state makes up the difference to schools under the complex California school funding formula.

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