Archive for February 18th, 2010

SBSun: State Supreme Court rejects Erwin appeal

Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 02/18/2010 03:31:52 PM PST

The California Supreme Court on Thursday rejected an appeal from former San Bernardino County assistant assessor Jim Erwin to hear his motion to recuse District Attorney Michael A. Ramos from his criminal case.

Erwin’s attorney, Alan Yockelson, said Thursday he had just returned from a trip to New Orleans and needed time to consult with Erwin before deciding on whether they’ll appeal all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Posted by Administrator at 18 February 2010

The most recent arrests of former San Bernardino County Assessor William “Bill” Postmus and former Chief of Staff to Supervisor Neil Derry, James Erwin, highlights yet again the disparity in treatment by San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos when compared with other jurisdictions. Ramos clearly is attempting to “punish” those who are political adversaries upfront as he knows the cases against them are weak and convictions are unlikely.

Take a look at the difference between the Postmus/Erwin case and the case of the four San Jacinto City Councilmen who were recently indicted in Riverside County.  The disparity is glaring.

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Allegations of improper contributions tied to votes in the case filed by San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos and Attorney General Edmund “Jerry” Brown will likely take many twists and turns during the evidentiary, discovery and trial phases.

One defense aspect undoubtedly will be to bring in other examples of local legislative votes and the timing of campaign contributions by the related benefactors of those votes.

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InlandPolitics Commentary: Time for Poizner to say goodbye

One observation is becoming increasingly clear on the republican side of the California Governor’s race.

Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner needs to bow out.

There has been countless times in the past where ego has led to the needless waste of millions of campaign dollars in a futile attempt at overcoming poor odds. This is one of those times.

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February 17, 2010 4:14 PM
Brooke Edwards

VICTORVILLE • Staff has looked into the implications of filing bankruptcy and is not recommending it as an option to keep the struggling city solvent, according to City Manager Jim Cox.

“The staff feels that is the worst possible thing that could possibly happen,” Cox said during Tuesday’s council meeting, in response to a resident asking whether bankruptcy is on the horizon.

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VVDailyPress: Council clashes over Inland Energy

February 17, 2010 5:23 PM
Brooke Edwards

VICTORVILLE • One council member is defending Victorville’s relationship with Inland Energy while another is calling for the city to cut all ties with the Orange County firm.

“I would request that all services being provided by Inland Energy be terminated immediately and that there would be no further involvement in city projects by Inland Energy,” Councilwoman JoAnn Almond said in a statement, read by the City Clerk in her absence from Tuesday’s meeting.

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RivPE: Cassie MacDuff: Witness Will Be Attacked

10:00 PM PST on Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cassie MacDuff

Lawyers for two former San Bernardino County officials accused of bribery, conspiracy, extortion and other felonies came out swinging this week against the witness on whose testimony the case hinges.

In separate phone interviews Wednesday, lawyers for former county Supervisor Bill Postmus and former assistant assessor Jim Erwin attacked the credibility of their clients’ former assessor’s office colleague, Adam Aleman.

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Steve Poizner

PolitiCal

February 17, 2010 | 9:49 am

As backers of Jerry Brown gear up their efforts to take on Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, more of Whitman’s backers are urging Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner to fold his gubernatorial campaign in the name of “unity.”

An e-mail released this morning from three state lawmakers who were backing Whitman said the time had come for Poizner to step aside.

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James Rufus Koren, Staff Writer
Created: 02/17/2010 06:11:20 PM PST

More than 30,000 Californians have said they want to help redraw the state’s legislative districts, but they’ll never get the chance if powerful California Democrats have their way.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, and a dozen other Democrats from California’s Congressional delegation have donated a total of $140,000 to a campaign to scrap the Citizens Redistricting Commission, created by the passage of Proposition 11 in 2008.

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SacBee: Anti-Meg Whitman committee lays out game plan

Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
February 17, 2010

Level the Playing Field 2010 — one of the three independent expenditure committees targeting Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman — plans to spend at least $200,000 a month on ads, with its first TV ad debuting in two weeks, committee leaders said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon in Sacramento.

The group has raised $1 million from nurses, college faculty and painters unions so far, said campaign manager Sean Clegg, and plans to raise at least $20 million in all. The committee began running its first radio ad yesterday, mainly in the Bay Area, and started running a second radio ad statewide today.

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PolitiCal

February 17, 2010 | 12:54 pm

Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee (R-San Luis Obispo) announced Wednesday that he was dropping his endorsement of Steve Poizner for governor and backing former EBay CEO Meg Whitman.

“As the former Assembly Republican leader, I understand the importance of a unified team if we are going to win,” Blakeslee said in a statement Wednesday. “A bloody primary battle is not in the best interest of our party. Meg is best positioned to solve the state’s problems and win in a competitive election against Jerry Brown.”

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Politics Blog

Just in time for the 2010 governor’s race, a blast from Democratic State Attorney General Jerry Brown’s past is back in black — controversial French-born former actor, soldier and Brown aide Jacques Barzaghi, recently sighted on the streets of Oakland after years outside the country.

The Chronicle’s fab man-about-town Oakland columnist Chip Johnson spotted Brown’s old compadre in O-town, walking the shops on Lakeshore Avenue.

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SacBee: Meg Whitman sizes up Schwarzenegger

Meg Whitman

Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
February 17, 2010

Governors Race

Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman made her clearest stand yet in distinguishing herself from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Tuesday night, calling the results of the Republican governor’s time in office “not good.”

Whitman was speaking to a Commonwealth Club of California gathering in Lafayette where written audience questions probed her views on everything from the North American Free Trade Agreement to Indian gambling. The billionaire former CEO of online auction firm eBay spoke on the same day a Democratic group debuted its first radio ad accusing Whitman of trying to buy the election.

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RETIREMENT COSTS

State governments can help ease a $1-trillion shortfall by reducing future benefits, requiring greater employee contributions and raising retirement ages, a Pew report says.

By Marc Lifsher

February 17, 2010 | 9:00 p.m.

Reporting from Sacramento – California has plenty of company when it comes to not being able to pay its growing public pension costs, a Washington think tank says in a report to be released Thursday.

Coming up with the money to pay for future obligations is expected to burden state and local governments and school districts with huge retirement costs that could translate into higher taxes and fewer basic services for the next generation of taxpayers.

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DailyBulletin: Chaffey district considers $10 million in cuts

Canan Tasci, Staff Writer
Created: 02/17/2010 05:02:32 PM PST

Tears were shed Tuesday at the Chaffey Joint Union school board meeting as its members agreed to consider $10.6 million in cuts.

The board’s preliminary cost-saving proposals for the 2010-11 budget included reductions or eliminations of sports, counselors, a young-mothers program, school days as well as certificated librarians.

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Neil Nisperos, Staff Writer
Created: 02/17/2010 05:19:52 PM PST

CHINO – As education coffers decline throughout the state, the Chino Valley Unified board tonight is again considering some deep cuts to services and programs.

District officials said the cuts aren’t out of want but rather necessity. The board has already had to cut about $27 million last year because of the state budget crisis.

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RivPE: State redistricting panel draws 30,000 applicants

10:00 PM PST on Wednesday, February 17, 2010

By JIM MILLER
Sacramento Bureau

SACRAMENTO – California has shifted into the next phase of creating its first-ever independent commission to redraw legislative and Board of Equalization district boundaries next year.

By Tuesday’s deadline, more than 30,000 people applied to serve on the redistricting commission, with almost 26,000 tentatively deemed eligible for the panel. Of those, 2,000 are from Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

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SBSun: San Bernardino annexation plans upheld

Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Posted: 02/17/2010 08:56:21 PM PST

SAN BERNARDINO – The government panel empowered to decide when cities can annex new land voted Wednesday to uphold last year’s decision to incorporate six areas into this city.

The Local Agency Formation Commission for San Bernardino County, also known as Lafco, made the decisions. The panel acted in the face of opposition from frustrated residents who do not want to join San Bernardino.

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Michael J. Sorba, Staff Writer
Posted: 02/17/2010 06:08:20 PM PST

COLTON – At its meeting tonight, the Colton Joint Unified School District Board of Education will consider issuing preliminary layoff notices to 141 teachers.

Officials say the move will prepare for multi-million dollar financial shortfalls expected over the next two years, but some parents fear teacher layoffs will hurt student performance.

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Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Posted: 02/17/2010 08:56:22 PM PST

COLTON – Riverside’s former police chief appeared to be sober when he left Club 215 after drinking four Scotch whiskys on the night of the car crash that ended his law-enforcement career, an attorney for the topless bar said Wednesday.

Attorney Roger Jon Diamond called a news conference Wednesday to discuss Club 215 management’s decision to release video footage to the California Highway Patrol, which is investigating a crash involving former Riverside police chief Russ Leach.

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