Archive for May 6th, 2010

InlandPolitics: Poizner numbers need to be taken with skepticism

Steve Poizner

I read headlines late yesterday from the San Francisco Chronicle that Meg Whitman’s lead over Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner and fallen to single digits.

I thought wow what a climb.

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InlandPolitics Commentary: S.B. County: Another shoe drops

As if anyone with an ounce of intelligence couldn’t see it coming, the obvious was revealed this evening.

Matt Brown, Chief of Staff to Second District Supervisor Paul Biane has a civil attorney. The attorney being none other than Sanford Kassel.

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Supervisor Paul Biane

Joe Nelson and Wendy Leung, Staff Writers
Posted: 05/05/2010 07:00:59 PM PDT

The chief of staff to San Bernardino County Supervisor Paul Biane has been placed on paid administrative leave, after claiming this week that he was being harassed and retaliated against for cooperating in an ongoing corruption probe.

Matt Brown’s leave became official Tuesday when the county launched an investigation into his allegations, county spokesman David Wert said Wednesday.

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11:00 PM PDT on Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Press-Enterprise

It would be an understatement to say San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos has had a tumultuous second term.

He has filed bribery charges against two former county officials and his office brought the state Attorney General’s office into the corruption investigation after one of the accused claimed Ramos had a conflict of interest in the case.

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RivPE: Redlands City Council hears gloomy budget report

10:00 PM PDT on Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Press-Enterprise

Redlands’ budget shortfall has widened to more than $4 million and the city will be trying to make nearly $1 million in cuts by June 30, the City Council heard Tuesday.

Overall, the city is anticipating a decline of about $4.6 million in general fund revenues by June 30, Finance Director Tina Kundig said.

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Canan Tasci, Staff Writer
Created: 05/05/2010 05:34:31 PM PDT

ONTARIO – Chaffey Joint Union High School District board members approved the layoff of 55 certificated employees at Tuesday’s meeting.

The recommendation to terminate the services of certificated employees – primarily teachers and counselors – was proposed based on hearings conducted by an administrative law judge.

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10:19 PM PDT on Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Press-Enterprise

A 1,700-acre solar power development planned on former alfalfa fields west of Barstow is considered ideal by environmentalists and San Bernardino County officials because it would create jobs and provide clean power without destroying pristine wildlife habitat.

But Abengoa Solar Inc. faces a big hurdle: The California Energy Commission staff has recommended that the company acquire and protect 1,588 acres of farmland elsewhere in California, along with water rights so it can be irrigated.

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SFChronicle: Whitman’s lead over Poizner plummets

Joe Garofoli, Carla Marinucci, Chronicle Political Writers

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman’s lead in the Republican race for California governor has shrunk dramatically as the billionaire candidate has been battered by her ties to Goldman Sachs, new Republican and Democratic polls suggest.

Whitman’s lead over state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, which approached 50 points two months ago, has tightened to just 8-10 points just days until voters begin casting absentee ballots for the June 8 primary, according to polls by both Poizner’s campaign and by Democratic labor organizations opposing her candidacy.

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Carly Fiorina

Carla Marinucci, Chronicle Political Writer

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Carly Fiorina has been the CEO of technology giant Hewlett-Packard, studied six languages, traveled the world to assist rural women in economic development, produced a best-selling book and battled breast cancer.

Now she is engaged in what may be her biggest challenge yet – a combative California Republican primary race for U.S. Senate.

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CapitolWeekly: Dems make serious move on Mary Bono Mack

Rep. Mary Bono Mack

By Clayton Trosclair | 05/06/10 12:00 AM PST

PALM SPRINGS — On his 47th birthday, Steve Pougnet, the Democratic mayor of Palm Springs, stood at the foot of a kidney-shaped pool and addressed the well-wishers gathered around him. In a backyard in a well-to-do neighborhood here, Pougnet pressed the same argument he’s been making for the past year: that he is the party’s best hope at unseating Mary Bono Mack, a Republican who has represented this area in Congress since 1998.

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SacBee: CalPERS suit against rating agencies still on

By Dale Kasler The Sacramento Bee
Published: Thursday, May. 6, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 8B
Last Modified: Thursday, May. 6, 2010 – 8:07 am

CalPERS has won a key court ruling in its lawsuit against Wall Street’s leading credit-rating agencies over $1 billion worth of failed investments.

A San Francisco Superior Court judge has rejected the rating agencies’ bid to have the suit tossed out, said CalPERS spokesman Brad Pacheco. However, the judge dismissed one of CalPERS’ claims.

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LATimes: State sues 2 former CalPERS officials

By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times

May 6, 2010

Reporting from Sacramento —

State authorities sued former top California pension fund officials Federico Buenrostro Jr. and Alfred R. Villalobos on Wednesday for their role in an alleged scheme to get business for investment firms by giving pension officials luxury trips and other gifts.

The civil suit alleges that Buenrostro — chief executive of the powerful California Public Employees’ Retirement System from 2002 to 2008 — took tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of gifts from Villalobos, a former Los Angeles deputy mayor who now works as a go-between for investment firms.

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By Dale Kasler
Published: Thursday, May. 6, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 1A
Last Modified: Thursday, May. 6, 2010 – 6:38 am

MOUNTAIN HOUSE – Advertised as “The Town of Tomorrow,” this new bedroom community near the Altamont Pass windmills once seemed like an ideal investment for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.

Then the real estate bubble burst. Mountain House became the most “underwater” community in America – and much of CalPERS’ money sank along with it.

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May 6, 2010 | Chase Davis

California politicians ran afoul of state ethics and campaign finance laws 721 times last year for violations ranging from not reporting gifts from lobbyists to failing to disclose campaign contributions, according to a report released this week by the California Fair Political Practices Commission.

Of those violations, the vast majority – about four out of every five – were resolved with so-called “warning letters,” which are generally perceived as a slap on the wrist but can prove politically embarrassing, especially since the commission started posting them online last year.

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