Archive for August 3rd, 2010

Brown

By Rick Daysog
rdaysog@sacbee.com
Published: Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010 – 12:53 pm
Last Modified: Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010 – 2:22 pm

A state judge today ordered the attorney general’s office to change its wording of a ballot initiative to roll back the state’s landmark climate change law.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley agreed with measure proponents charging that California Attorney General Jerry Brown used misleading language when his office drafted the initiative, Proposition 23.

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LATimes: More unions weigh in to help Brown, slam Whitman

PolitiCal
On politics in the Golden State
August 3, 2010 | 1:14 pm

Organized labor continues to weigh into the governor’s race, launching a $2-million television advertising buy this week in support of Democratic nominee Jerry Brown and distributing fliers at workplaces around the state.

The ads will begin airing possibly Thursday, according to Willie L. Pelote Sr., assistant director of the political action department of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which has 179,000 members in California and 1.6 million nationwide.

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Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
August 3, 2010

Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman said today that, if elected, she would use the veto pen “very aggressively” to stop the Legislature from doing work she said is off-task.

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LATimes: Whitman defends campaign spending

PolitiCal
On politics in the Golden State
August 3, 2010 | 1:13 pm

A day after disclosure reports showed Meg Whitman was spending more per day by early summer than rival Jerry Brown had spent all year, the Republican gubernatorial nominee made no apologies for her spending, saying her personal fortune would give her independence in the governor’s office. “I will continue to invest in the campaign,” Whitman said, adding that she would continue to raise money from others as well.

The comment came after a campaign event in Folsom, where Whitman met with executives of SynapSense, a tech company, and promoted her plan to create jobs. The Republican has spent nearly $100 million on the governor’s race.

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By JULIET WILLIAMS Associated Press Writer
Posted: 08/03/2010 03:06:05 PM PDT
Updated: 08/03/2010 07:00:36 PM PDT

FOLSOM, Calif.—Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman labeled herself an environmentalist during a visit to a green-tech firm Tuesday, but said support for the environment needs to be tempered with a reduction in regulations for California businesses.

“I am an environmentalist. Everyone probably in this room is an environmentalist,” she said to a crowd of about 40 people at SynapSense, in the Sacramento suburb of Folsom. “But the truth is we’ve got to bring back some balance between the environment and the needs of jobs and people. So whether it is the farmers, whether it is, you know, your business, the permitting, the regulation is strangling businesses.”

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Chiang

PolitiCal
On politics in the Golden State
August 3, 2010 | 12:34 pm

State Controller John Chiang has released a list of the more than $2.19 billion in bills he says the state cannot pay in August without a budget in place.

Chiang posted the full list for August on the controller’s website. It includes $284 million to community colleges, $130 million in payment due to K-12 schools and nearly $450 million from businesses that have contracts with the state.

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L.A. NOW
Southern California — this just in

August 3, 2010 | 12:58 pm

In the continuing fallout from the Bell salary scandal, State Controller John Chiang announced Tuesday that he would overhaul city financial reporting requirements to require that salary information for elected officials and other employees be clearly stated. The information would be posted on his office’s website beginning in November, he said.

The action comes as a Times analysis found that Bell’s reports to the state in recent years have shown that costs for its legislative activities, including City Council salaries, declined sharply since 2005, at a time when overall council compensation rose to nearly $100,000 for part-time work.

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LATimes: Fiorina gets boost from Tim Pawlenty

PolitiCal
On politics in the Golden State
August 3, 2010 | 12:26 pm

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a likely Republican contender for president in 2012, is holding a fundraiser Tuesday in Minneapolis for Republican Senate nominee Carly Fiorina. The event will help boost Fiorina’s coffers after a rocky June fundraising period.

Fiorina’s campaign would not reveal the expected take from the event. But after the reporting period that ended June 30, Fiorina’s opponent, Sen. Barbara Boxer, had 12 times more cash on hand – $11.3 million to Fiorina’s $952,786.

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Uffer

Tuesday, August 3, 2010 – 10:45 am

A lawsuit filed against San Bernardino County by its former administrative officer was dealt a heavy blow on Monday.

Former county administrative officer Mark Uffer, who was dismissed without cause last year by the Board of Supervisors, sued the county earlier this year alleging his firing was in retaliation for his “whistle blowing” activities against his employers.

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10:00 PM PDT on Monday, August 2, 2010

By IMRAN GHORI
The Press-Enterprise

The San Bernardino City Council pulled a proposal Monday to place a half-cent sales tax measure before voters in November, citing lack of agreement over how to tackle the city’s financial problems.

However, voters will be facing another contentious issue, with the council majority agreeing to forward a ballot measure that would turn the elected positions of city attorney, clerk and treasurer into appointed ones.

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RivPE: Baca requests included in transportation bill

Baca

By PE Politics
on August 2, 2010 1:01 PM

Transportation legislation passed in the House of Representatives includes more than $43 million in funding for area projects.

The annual Transportation, Housing and Urban Development spending bill includes $42.63 million for a planned bus rapid transit route that will operate between Cal State San Bernardino and the Hospitality Lane area in southern San Bernardino.

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10:00 PM PDT on Monday, August 2, 2010

By BEN GOAD
Washington Bureau

A firm seeking to ramp up operations at a massive but long-dormant San Bernardino County mine has gone public in an effort to raise capital for the $511 million plan, which proponents say will bring hundreds of jobs to the region and fill a void left by diminishing Chinese exports of rare earth minerals.

China has for years enjoyed a virtual monopoly of the roughly 15 rare earth minerals, which include europium, neodymium and yttrium which are needed to make countless products ranging from DVD players to guided-missile systems.

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Rigsby

10:00 PM PDT on Monday, August 2, 2010

By DARRELL R. SANTSCHI
The Press-Enterprise

Rhodes “Dusty” Rigsby, a 48-year-old medical-school executive who was elected to the Loma Linda City Council four years ago, has been chosen the town’s new mayor.

Rigsby was chosen last week in a vote of his fellow Loma Linda City Council members to replace anesthesiologist Stan Brauer, who had been mayor for two years.

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RivPE: Dan Bernstein: Best Best Behavior

10:00 PM PDT on Sunday, August 1, 2010

DAN BERNSTEIN

Mario Guerra turned on the TV in his San Francisco hotel room and saw “my city attorney trying to calm the crowd. I took exception to that.”

The Downey councilman had seen Edward Lee, who was “his” city attorney and city attorney of Bell, the SoCal town that has given “going green” a bad name. Guerra concluded Lee and his law firm — Riverside-based Best Best & Krieger — should no longer represent Downey.

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SBSun: Tax plan dropped; Charter amendment to go on ballot

Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Posted: 08/02/2010 08:44:52 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO – Voters will still get a chance to rewrite the City Charter this November, but will not have to worry about raising their own taxes.

A narrowly divided City Council decided Monday to put the charter amendment on the ballot, setting the stage for an election season likely to pit City Hall’s traditional rivals on opposite sides of the debate.

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SBSun: Fontana posts officials’ salaries online

Josh Dulaney, Staff Writer
Posted: 08/02/2010 02:33:02 PM PDT

FONTANA – The city has posted online the pay of its top positions in an effort to have a more open government and to avoid the type of fallout that occurred when leaders in Bell drew fat salaries out of the public coffers.

“I think their motivation is they want to be transparent,” City Manager Ken Hunt said Monday.

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DailyBulletin: Local city managers disgusted over Bell pay

Neil Nisperos, Staff Writer
Created: 08/02/2010 12:56:45 PM PDT

As residents of Bell recover from learning that their former city manager had an $800,000 salary, many Inland Valley residents may be wondering what type of paychecks their own city managers are taking home.

According to a fellow at the Rose Institute at Claremont McKenna College, the salary figures for city managers in this region should be considered normal.

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DailyBulletin: Villaraigosa wants city to keep ONT

Art Marroquin, Staff Writer
Created: 08/02/2010 09:11:31 PM PDT

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa does not want to sell control of L.A./Ontario International Airport back to the city of Ontario, despite projections that passenger traffic won’t rebound to pre-recession levels until 2040, officials said Monday.

In the meantime, an outside consultant said officials with Los Angeles World Airports should consider a series of money-saving options, including consolidating airline operations into a single terminal at L.A./Ontario International.

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DailyBulletin: Donations fuel hopes in 59th race

James Rufus Koren, Staff Writer
Created: 08/02/2010 06:06:24 PM PDT

In many state Assembly districts, a large contribution to a Democrat from a big labor union or the endorsement of a Republican by a law-enforcement group might be run-of-the-mill.

But the sprawling 59th District, which includes parts of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, is different.

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August 02, 2010 5:29 PM
Natasha Lindstrom

SAN BERNARDINO • The effort to switch the county schools chief from an elected post to an appointed one fizzled Monday on a split 3-2 vote by the San Bernardino County Board of Education.

This past spring some school officials had suggested moving the selection of the county Superintendent of Schools out of the direct hands of voters, in order to take the political campaigning out of the office and strengthen the board’s accountability powers.

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August 02, 2010 3:23 PM
Brooke Edwards

VICTORVILLE • The council is poised Tuesday night to accept six more loans of $500,000 each from foreign citizens through the federal EB-5 program, offering green cards in exchange for an investment that creates 10 local jobs.

That’ll mean a total of 15 loans adding $7.5 million to the city’s coffers over the last 10 months, under a contract with developer Inland Energy to raise $25 million by October to help fund the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

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Posted By: Joe Garofoli | August 02 2010 at 07:04 PM

It’s Open Kimono Day as we get to see the latest financial statements of California’s statewide candidates and those who love/hate them. To use an analogy from the recent baseball trading deadline where the operative cliche was “you can never have enough pitching,” the word in California politics is, as always, that you can never have enough cash.

Tell that to GOP guv candidate Meg Whitman. Her campaign has now spent $99.7 miiiiiiiiilion since she first formed an exploratory committee to find out if she wanted to run for guv in 2009.

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Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
August 2, 2010

The state campaign watchdog agency will consider next week approving a staff recommendation that would effectively broaden the scope of advertisements subject to independent expenditure disclosure requirements.

Current rules require groups to disclose the sources and contributors of political advertising that meets the definition for “express advocacy,” communication that advocates for the election or defeat of a candidate or measure. Ads that focus on a specific issue without specifically advocating for a particular vote are not subject to the same requirements, even if the issue relates to the candidate or election.

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SacBee: Meg Whitman campaign spending nears $100 million

By Jack Chang
jchang@sacbee.com
Published: Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 4A

Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman spent a record-shattering $99.7 million in campaign funds through June 30, according to campaign finance records filed Monday.

Whitman, who faced a June 8 primary election challenge from Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, has spent far more than Democratic rival Jerry Brown, who was unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

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PolitiCal
On politics in the Golden State

August 2, 2010 | 5:14 pm

A coalition of labor groups and wealthy Democratic donors has raised more than $6.2 million to boost Jerry Brown’s gubernatorial campaign.

The coalition, dubbed California Working Families 2010, spent more than $3.9 million from May 23 through June 30. The group spent the money on ads blasting Republican Meg Whitman in three different television spots. The group originally mobilized to defend Brown while Whitman maintains a visible TV presence this summer.

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LATimes: Bell withholds public records

By Ruben Vives and Hector Becerra, Los Angeles Times

August 3, 2010

Despite vowing greater transparency in the wake of a salary scandal, the city of Bell is refusing to turn over public records to The Times, community activists and even a sitting councilman.

“They continue to keep us in the dark,” said Councilman Lorenzo Velez, who has been critical of the high salaries paid to top Bell administrators and other City Council members. “The problem is a continuation of so many years of doing whatever they wanted in City Hall.”

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Lee

August 02, 2010|By Kimi Yoshino,
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Bell’s controversial city attorney — who was dumped last week by the city of Downey for his connection to the scandal-ridden town — announced Monday that he is leaving his firm to focus on helping Bell through its crisis.

Edward Lee had been a partner at Best, Best & Krieger since 2006 and Bell’s contract city attorney since the 1990s. The firm issued a statement Monday saying that Lee would be leaving Best, Best & Krieger. The firm also announced that it would be ending its contract with Bell, but would assist in the transition.

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Sharp

California Watch
A Project of the Center for Investigative Reporting
Higher Ed

California WatchBlog

August 3, 2010 | Erica Perez

CSU San Bernardino has hired as its new vice president for university advancement a local credit union CEO who was ousted from that position as part of a federal takeover a few weeks ago.

After 27 years as president and CEO of the San Bernardino-based Arrowhead Credit Union, Larry Sharp was dismissed as the bank’s chief in mid-July. This comes a couple weeks after the National Credit Union Administration seized the bank June 25, the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reported. Sharp was one of several of the credit union’s top executives to be let go.

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The company, citing a shrinking Pentagon budget, will move its C-130 cargo avionics and B-1 bomber modernization programs to cut costs.

By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times

August 3, 2010

Citing a shrinking Pentagon budget, Boeing Co. said Monday that it was relocating two key defense programs from Long Beach, where it employs 800 people, to Oklahoma City.

Beginning next year, the Chicago company said it would move its C-130 military cargo avionics and its B-1 bomber modernization programs. The relocation is expected to begin in the first quarter of next year and be completed by the end of 2012.

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By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com
Published: Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 6B

It stands as a poster child for the housing crash – a $922 million loss and one of the single worst investments in the history of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.

Now a lawsuit says the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and its investment partners were victims of fraud.

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Teachers pension fund and Relational Investors tell Occidental Petroleum they will put up their own slate of board candidates in an effort to rein in high pay and set up a management succession plan.

By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times

August 3, 2010

Reporting from Sacramento —

The state’s second-largest public pension fund and a private equity investment partner will try to unseat four directors of Occidental Petroleum Corp. over concerns about the Los Angeles oil company’s high executive pay and lack of a management succession plan.

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LATimes: Stage set for Maxine Waters’ ethics trial

Waters

A House panel finds ‘substantial reason’ to believe that the Democrat may have broken rules in her dealings with OneUnited Bank. She vows to fight the charges.

By Richard Simon, Los Angeles Times

August 3, 2010

Reporting from Washington —
A congressional panel set the stage Monday for an ethics trial for Rep. Maxine Waters, one of Los Angeles’ most enduring liberal politicians, over her actions involving a bank with ties to her husband that received federal bailout funds.

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