Archive for February 26th, 2010

SBSun: Judge denies Gutierrez motion to dismiss charges

Mike Cruz, Staff Writer
Posted: 02/26/2010 06:29:20 PM PST

SAN BERNARDINO – A motion filed by Rancho Cucamonga councilman Rex Gutierrez to dismiss his criminal charges was denied Friday morning by a Superior Court judge, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Judge Douglas Gericke denied the Penal Code section 995 motion during a scheduled appearance for Gutierrez in San Bernardino Superior Court. The charges stem from an investigation into alleged misconduct in the county Assessor’s Office, where Gutierrez formerly worked as intergovernmental relations officer.

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San Bernardino County currently sports one of the highest, if not the highest plea bargain rates in the state.

A not so flattering statistic to say the least.

Ramos

Over the last several years county supervisors have gave additional millions in budget funding to District Attorney Mike Ramos. The result. More plea bargains with criminal defendants.

Several months ago stories ran here and on iePolitics.com exposing substantial political contributions to Ramos by two attorneys who control the San Bernardino County criminal defense conflict panel.

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PolitiCal

February 26, 2010 | 2:13 pm

Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman directly attacks her chief primary rival, Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, in four new television spots released Friday.

Whitman’s new message is that Poizner can’t be trusted. She has launched a new Web site, CantTrustSteve.com to accompany the new ads. The new ads mark a change in tactics for the Whitman campaign, which has spent its time thus far introducing Whitman to voters and not mentioning Poizner at all.

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SacBee: Unusual poll finds Whitman most popular

Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
February 26, 2010

Former eBay boss Meg Whitman holds a commanding lead over Steve Poizner, her rival for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and runs ahead of Democrat Jerry Brown, a new poll of “high-propensity” voters by Datamar, an El Cajon survey firm, has found.

Datamar took an unusual polling approach by tossing all three candidates for governor into the same polling pot. Whitman came out on top at 29.1 percent, followed by Brown, a former governor who is now attorney general, at 25.1 percent and Poizner, the state insurance commissioner, at 20.5 percent. The found 25.4 percent of voters undecided.

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This morning a Superior Court Judge denied a procedural motion to dismiss all four felony counts against Rancho Cucamonga City Councilman Rex Gutierrez.

The charges stem from Gutierrez’s employment with the San Bernardino County Assessor’s office in 2007-08.

The commencement date of the estimated ten day trial is set for April 12, 2010

San Bernardino County currently sports one of the highest, if not the highest plea bargain rates in the state.

A not so flattering statistic to say the least.

Over the last several years county supervisors have gave additional millions in budget funding to District Attorney Mike Ramos. The result. More plea bargains with criminal defendants.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bogh

10:00 PM PST on Thursday, February 25, 2010

By JIM MILLER
Sacramento Bureau

SACRAMENTO – Republican state Senate candidate Russ Bogh and California’s largest private-sector construction union are engaged in a new round of bad blood over recent mailers criticizing Bogh.

The two-sided mailers, which began showing up a few weeks ago, criticize Bogh for spending money from his campaign account to pay for travel to Las Vegas and other activities when he was in the Assembly from 2001 through 2006.

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RivPE: Postmus friend arrested on perjury charge

10:15 PM PST on Thursday, February 25, 2010

By DUANE W. GANG
The Press-Enterprise

San Bernardino County prosecutors, along with the state attorney general’s office, on Thursday charged a longtime friend of former Assessor Bill Postmus with two counts of perjury.

John Dino DeFazio, 50, of Apple Valley, was arrested by district attorney investigators and booked at the Victor Valley sheriff’s station. Bail was set at $50,000.

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Hoops

Lori Consalvo, Staff Writer
Posted: 02/25/2010 11:48:28 PM PST

SAN BERNARDINO – In his first State of the Department address since becoming sheriff 13 months ago, Rod Hoops on Thursday talked about change, accomplishments and a challenging future.

The challenges will come in the form of budget cuts in San Bernardino County that may require restructuring and reorganization, Hoops said.

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Chantal M. Lovell, Staff Writer
Posted: 02/25/2010 05:44:44 PM PST

REDLANDS – Budget cuts and possibly layoffs loom in the near future for the University of Redlands.

The university is beginning a plan to close a $13 million deficit, said UR president Stuart Dorsey. The amount is equivalent to about 10 percent of the school’s operating budget, and is a “persistent structural” shortfall.

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VVDailyPress: VESD to send 126 pink slips

February 25, 2010 8:27 AM
Natasha Lindstrom

VICTORVILLE • The Victor Elementary School District Board of Trustees voted Wednesday night to send 126 initial pink slips — a move that axes 76 classroom teachers and eliminates every school-site health clerk and music instructor.

The preliminary layoffs aim to help patch a $10.5 million budget shortfall, or roughly 13 percent of the district’s operating budget, for 2010-11 as officials grapple with state cuts and declining revenue. The reduction in teachers alone saves more than $5 million.

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10:06 PM PST on Thursday, February 25, 2010

By DUANE W. GANG
The Press-Enterprise

Riverside County supervisors this week approved a plan to create an alternate public defender’s office to handle only death-penalty cases.

The goal of the office, which will cost about $3.5 million a year, is to reduce the number of cases in which the county must hire more expensive private attorneys to provide the criminal defense, Assistant Public Defender Robert Willey said Thursday.

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LATimes: Whitman no rookie at playing hardball

Meg Whitman

The GOP gubernatorial candidate, a hard-nosed ex-CEO, tried to push a rival from the race and threatened labor leaders with retaliation if they funded attacks against her. But the moves carry risks.

By Michael Rothfeld

February 26, 2010

Reporting from Sacramento – Meg Whitman is campaigning for governor as a political outsider, but behind the scenes she is playing classic political hardball in her quest for the Republican nomination.

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By Ken McLaughlin

Mercury News
Posted: 02/25/2010 06:40:27 PM PST
Updated: 02/26/2010 12:39:52 AM PST

WALNUT CREEK — Gays and lesbians should be allowed to adopt, but not marry. Illegal immigration is a huge problem, but immigrant children shouldn’t be punished for the sins of their parents. And California is a mess, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to fail.

In her first major interview since kicking her campaign into high gear, Meg Whitman, the front-runner for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, revealed her views on issues ranging from the “right to carry” movement to offshore oil drilling, Sarah Palin, the state budget and education reform.

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February 26, 2010

By Mark Paul
Special to Calbuzz

Meg Whitman says she wants to run California state government like a business.

Given all we’ve learned in the past decade about business — Enron, IndyMac, Bernie Madoff, Wall Street — some people hear that as a threat. I prefer to be hopeful. Long mired in consultant-speak and ideology, California government and politics could use a dose of the practices by which the best businesses thrive — open-eyed realism about a firm’s strengths and weaknesses; rigorous analysis; strategic thinking.

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10:00 PM PST on Thursday, February 25, 2010

Riverside County Auditor-Controller Robert Byrd announced this week he is not seeking re-election to a third four-year term.

Byrd was first elected auditor in 2002 after three years as an assistant auditor-controller and a total of 24 years with Riverside County.

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YahooFinance (AP): January home sales fall 7.2 percent

Home sales fall 7.2 percent in January in second straight month of declines

By Alan Zibel, AP Real Estate Writer,
On Friday February 26, 2010, 10:29 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of previously occupied homes took a large drop for the second straight month in January, falling to the lowest level since summer. It was another sign the housing market’s recovery is faltering.

The National Association of Realtors said sales fell 7.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.05 million from a downwardly revised pace of 5.44 million in December.

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On Friday February 26, 2010, 9:56 am EST

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Consumer sentiment was weaker in February, as Americans grew more impatient with the government’s gridlock over efforts to stimulate jobs, a survey released on Friday showed.

While not fearful of another spike in layoffs, consumers have turned more gloomy about their job and income prospects, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s Surveys of Consumers.

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Economy surges at 5.9 percent pace in Q4, but growth spurt unlikely to last; home sales sink

By Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer
On Friday February 26, 2010, 1:26 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The economy rocketed ahead at a 5.9 percent pace in the final quarter of 2009, stronger than initially estimated. But the growth spurt isn’t expected to carry over into this year.

The fresh reading on the nation’s economic standing, released by the Commerce Department on Friday, was better than the government’s initial estimate a month ago of 5.7 percent growth. It would mark the strongest showing in six years.

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