Archive for the ‘ State of California ’ Category

water-dam

By David Siders and Jim Miller
dsiders@sacbee.com
04/26/2015 12:17 AM

MEADOW VALLEY– High above a landscape parched by unremitting drought, Meadow Valley Creek courses through the northern Sierra Nevada and pools in a stand of alders behind a tiny, concrete dam.

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Christina Gagnier

Democratic Assembly candidate Christina Gagnier

Published: April 24, 2015 – Updated: 9:17 a.m.

Former congressional candidate Christina Gagnier has set her sights on an Inland state Assembly seat next year.

To read story by Jeff Horseman in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

California Money

Capitol Alert
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
04/25/2015 – 11:17 AM

California income tax collections in April have already exceeded the Brown administration’s January estimates, underscoring the surge of higher-than-expected money flowing into the state treasury and possibly offering health and welfare programs – not just schools – a piece of the windfall.

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Really

By Patrick McGreevy
April 23, 2015

Democratic state lawmakers on Thursday shot down a proposal that would have required all California state legislators to get their health insurance from Covered California, the benefits exchange set up to implement Obamacare in the state.

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California Capitol

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Capital Public Radio

Ben Adler
Thursday, April 23, 2015 | Sacramento, CA |

California tax revenues have soared past projections for the critical month of April – with several days yet to go. But the state’s overall budget situation is very much still up in the air.

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Home Construction

The slow pace of homebuilding will hurt California by driving millennials out of state to buy, according to a gloomy assessment by California Association of Realtors CEO Joel Singer. (Dennis McCoy | Sacramento Business Journal)

Ben van der Meer
Staff Writer-Sacramento Business Journal
Apr 23, 2015 – 2:28pm PDT

The slow pace of homebuilding will hurt California by driving millennials out of state to buy, according to the CEO of the California Association of Realtors.

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The Press-Enterprise: CONGRESS: Indio mayor to challenge Raul Ruiz in 2016

Campaigns

Published: April 22, 2015 – Updated: 9:52 a.m.

The mayor of Indio is planning to challenge Rep. Raul Ruiz for his Riverside County congressional seat in 2016.

To read post by Jeff Horseman in The P-E Political Empire Blog, click here.

The Sacramento Bee: Opinion: Senate competitor may reveal the real Kamala Harris

Dan Walters

Dan Walters
Observations on California and its politics
dwalters@sacbee.com
04/22/2015 – 7:43 AM

It’s always perilous for politicians to tell the truth, as President Barack Obama discovered when he commented on Kamala Harris’ good looks in 2013.

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Loretta Sanchez

Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Santa Ana, speaks at the Democratic Foundation of Orange County’s luncheon at the Hilton in Irvine on Monday. (KYUSUNG GONG, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)

April 20, 2015 – Updated 9:19 p.m.
By MARTIN WISCKOL / STAFF WRITER

Sounding like she’s on the verge of declaring her candidacy for U.S. Senate, Rep. Loretta Sanchez encouraged donors in Orange County to pony up Monday and explained why she would be a better choice than Attorney General Kamala Harris.

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Daily Bulletin: Reps. Aguilar, Torres reflect on first 100 days in Congress

Norma Torres

Rep. Norma Torres, D-Ontario, greets UPS drivers as they file out of their morning meeting on March 9 at their distribution center in Ontario. Torres, who was elected to Congress in November, was on a “jobs listening tour” of her district to help craft her legislative agenda in Washington. Beau Yarbrough — Staff file photo

By Beau Yarbrough, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 04/19/15 – 8:41 PM PDT |

After 100 days on the job, freshmen Reps. Pete Aguilar and Norma Torres unveiled their plans this past week for creating more jobs in the Inland Empire.

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Loretta Sanchez

Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Santa Ana

April 19, 2015 – Updated 10:06 p.m.
By Martin Wicskol, Staff Columnist

Before heading back to Congress after a two-week Easter recess, Rep. Loretta Sanchez stoked the buzz that she’ll be challenging Attorney General Kamala Harris next year in the race to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.

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Pete Wilson+Gray Davis

Former Gov. Pete Wilson, left, and Gov. Gray Davis with moderator Jim Newton at a Town Hall Los Angeles luncheon on Wednesday. (Luis Sinco, Los Angeles Times)

By Cathleen Decker
April 19, 2015

Two former governors sat before a crowd of civic leaders last week, a serene 51 floors above the lunch-hour cacophony of Flower Street in downtown Los Angeles. Pete Wilson and Gray Davis were doing what politicians do, debating the fine points of policy.

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Dan Walters

Dan Walters
Observations on California and its politics
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
04/20/2015 – 12:01 AM

California is the nation’s most populous state with about 39 million residents, while Texas is No. 2 at 27 million.

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San Onofre

The San Onofre nuclear power plant, shown in 2012, will not be restarted, Edison officials say. (Grant Hindsley / Associated Press)

By Marc Lifsher
April 18, 2015

Consumer advocates, outraged by a secret negotiation in Poland over the $5-billion cost of closing the San Onofre nuclear power plant, are asking the California Public Utilities Commission to reconsider a deal that sticks utility customers with the bulk of the bill.

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Sacramento Bee: California almond growers to expand orchards, despite drought

 Finger

By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com
04/16/2015 11:25 PM

Almond orchards have become ground zero in the debate over California’s epic drought, the focal point of criticism that agriculture uses too much water.

The response? More almond trees.

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Question Mark

By Patrick McGreevy
April 16, 2015

After leaving the state Senate in 2013 for health reasons, and before returning to the Senate in a special election last month, Sharon Runner was kept on the Senate payroll by her Republican colleagues as an aide.

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Kamala Harris

Attorney General Kamala Harris answers questions about her 2016 Senate run in San Francisco, Calif., on Thursday, April 16, 2015. Photo: Sarah Rice, Special To The Chronicle

By Carla Marinucci
April 16, 2015
Updated: April 16, 2015 – 10:26pm

U.S. Senate candidate Kamala Harris tackled some national issues Thursday, expressing support for President Obama’s nuclear arms deal with Iran and for authorizing military force against the Islamic State, but she declined to take stands on Internet privacy and easing restrictions on marijuana.

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Elizabeth Warren

In this Feb. 24, 2015 file photo, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Susan Walsh AP)

Capitol Alert
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics
By David Siders
dsiders@sacbee.com
04/16/2015 – 10:32 AM

Elizabeth Warren, a champion of the Democratic Party’s liberal wing, will headline the California Democratic Party’s annual convention next month in Anaheim, organizers said Thursday.

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Campaigns

By Jean Merl
April 16, 2015

Hoping to inoculate themselves against challenges next year, most of California’s vulnerable House members already are building campaign war chests.

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Drought Watch

By Chris Megerian
April 16, 2015

With criticism of new conservation regulations pouring in from local officials, Gov. Jerry Brown and other state leaders defended Thursday his executive order requiring a 25% reduction in water use.

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California Money

By Josh Richman and Jessica Calefati Staff Writers
Posted: 04/15/2015 – 11:19:11 AM PDT
Updated: 04/15/2015 – 01:02:59 PM PDT

SACRAMENTO — A bill that would force California’s public officials to reveal more about their wealth, property and business interests easily passed its first legislative hurdle Wednesday.

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U-T San Diego: Chairman: Scrap San Onofre deal

SCE

State Senator Ben Hueso says settlement hatched in secret in Poland shouldn’t stand

By Jeff McDonald
April 15, 2015 – 5:11 p.m.

The settlement that assigned billions of dollars in San Onofre nuclear plant closure costs to customers should be revisited after revelations about how the deal came together, the chairman of the state Senate committee overseeing utilities said.

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Jon Ortiz

The State Worker
Jon Ortiz chronicles civil-service life for California state worker
By Jon Ortiz
jortiz@sacbee.com
04/15/2015 – 2:50 PM

He’s at it again.

This time CalPERS maverick board member J.J. Jelincic is taking on his colleagues and Attorney General Kamala Harris over a policy that excludes him from performance and pay decisions for the fund’s top executives. Harris says that Jelincic shouldn’t participate in those decisions to avoid conflicts of interest.

Tony Rackauckas+Miguel Pulido

District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and Mayor Pulido sit together at the mayor’s table at the state of the city address in June. (Photo by: Adam Elmahrek/Voice of OC).

By Adam Elmahrek
April 15, 2015 at 7:28 AM

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas will be clearing Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido of any criminal wrongdoing related to a property swap between the mayor and a city contractor, according to sources with knowledge of the decision.

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Pete Aguilar

Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Redlands

Published: April 14, 2015 – 9:43 a.m.

Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Redlands, has raised more than $400,000 for his re-election campaign since Jan. 1, newly filed federal records show.

To read post by Jeff Horseman in The P-E Political Empire blog, click here.

LAO

By Chris Megerian
April 14, 2015

California’s drought has threatened farmers, ski resorts and golf courses, but it’s unlikely to do much damage to the state’s overall economy or budget, according to a new report.

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U-T San Diego: Commission seeks Edison emails

CPUC

Regulators are considering sanctions for utility over Warsaw meeting

By Jeff McDonald
April 14, 2015 – 5:35 p.m.

The California Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday ordered Southern California Edison to turn over all documents related to the potential settlement of the San Onofre closure dated between March 2013 and November 2014.

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calpers

Capitol Alert
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics
By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com
04/14/2015 5:54 PM

CalPERS is about to raise pension contribution rates again, this time by more than 9 percent, a move that will cost state government and local school districts nearly $600 million.

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California Courts of Appeal

By Matt Stevens
April 14, 2015

An appellate court ruling due by next week could put a glitch in plans to reach Gov. Jerry Brown’s goal of slashing urban water use by 25% statewide.

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Monday, April 13, 2015 – 05:00 p.m.

Tonight on the show, Lou is joined by Estimable Economist Jay Prag. The two briefly discuss the Masters and the story of Jordan Spieth’s caddy. Then, they talk about Hillary Clinton’s announcement. Apparently she has spent her career fighting families.

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Money

By Jason Henry, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 04/12/15 – 3:23 PM PDT |

DIAMOND BAR — When Republican state Sen. Bob Huff campaigns for Los Angeles County supervisor next year, he’ll use roughly $300,000 he raised for a different race to help him compete.

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InlandPolitics: ACLU: Lack of confidence in District Attorney

Confidence concept.

Sunday, April 12, 2015 – 10:00 a.m.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has a problem with San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos.

It was bound to happen sooner or later!

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By Ryan Carter, The Sun
Posted: 04/11/15, 7:32 PM PDT

They can’t take a vote and make it rain, but as they began their spring session last week, Inland Empire legislators were listening to a chorus of local water leaders in their districts, who say they need tools and money to enforce unprecedented water restrictions, build new water infrastructure and preserve the region’s fair share of funding from recent water legislation.

Why should people care?

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The Sacramento Bee: Loretta Sanchez jabs Kamala Harris as inexperienced

Loretta Sanchez

Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Santa Ana, talks with supporters Friday evening at Don Ramon’s Mexican restaurant in San Francisco. (Christopher Cadelago ccadelago@sacbee.com)

By Christopher Cadelago
ccadelago@sacbee.com
04/11/2015 – 9:18 AM

SAN FRANCISCO

Venturing far outside her Orange County district, Rep. Loretta Sanchez gave a passionate, campaign-style talk here Friday evening, offering the strongest indication yet that she intends to enter the sleepy contest to replace U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer.

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U-T San Diego: Hotel notes show San Onofre deal hatched early

top secret

Framework was set in Poland, before public process began
By Jeff McDonald
April 10, 2015 – Updated 9:00 p.m.

Notes of a March 2013 secret meeting at a luxury hotel in Warsaw show that a $4.7 billion deal to divide shutdown costs for the failed San Onofre nuclear plant was largely in place a year before any provisions were made known to the public.

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California Public Radio: California Revenues Strong In March

California Seal

Katie Orr
Friday, April 10, 2015 | Sacramento, CA

The California Controller reports today General Fund revenues for March came in $547 million above projections.

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Los Angeles Times: Several state officials subpoenaed in Calderon corruption trial

Ron Calderon

Former state Sen. Ronald Calderon (D-Montebello) sits at his desk during a Senate session last year. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

By Patrick McGreevy
April 9, 2015

Federal prosecutors have served subpoenas on about 10 staff members in the California Legislature who may be called as witnesses in the August corruption trial of former state Sen. Ronald Calderon, Capitol sources confirmed Thursday.

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CPUC

By Jaxon Van Derbeken
Thursday, April 9, 2015 – Updated 9:14 pm

Minutes after the California Public Utilities Commission levied a record $1.6 billion penalty against Pacific Gas and Electric Co. on Thursday for the deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion, the state’s top regulator said the utility is still plagued by gas-system problems, shrugs off even the harshest sanctions and may be too big to operate safely.

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U-T San Diego: Judge will hear San Onofre suit

San Onofre Steam Generators

Replacement steam generators for San Onofre arrive in Oceanside in 2009. They turned out to be flawed.

San Diego group contested ratepayer costs for shutdown
By Jeff McDonald
April 8, 2015 – 1:24 p.m.

A federal judge wants to hear in person why the decision to charge customers billions of dollars for the failed San Onofre nuclear power plant is a fair deal for ratepayers.

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Capitol Weekly: A move to restore suspended driver’s licenses

Unpaid Fines

By John Howard
Posted 04.08.2015

With one in six California drivers – about 4.2 million people — having suspended licenses because they can’t pay court fines, a lawmaker has proposed reducing the suspensions in non-violent cases and setting up an amnesty program to help motorists.

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calpers

By Ed Mendel
April 9, 2015

Actuaries recommend a $487.2 million annual increase in state payments to CalPERS in the new fiscal year that begins in July, an increase for state worker pensions of about 10 percent to $4.9 billion.

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Drought

By Steve Scauzillo, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 04/08/15, 9:14 AM PDT |

Several cities in Southern California will have to reduce water use by as much as 35 percent under a new conservation schedule released by the State Water Resources Control Board.

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Medical Marijuana

By Josh Richman
Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 at 5:32 pm

A bipartisan pair of California House members are insisting that the Justice Department back off from prosecutions of medical marijuana patients and providers in states with medical marijuana laws – as Congress mandated in a recent spending bill.

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Lou Desmond

Wednesday, April 7, 2015 – 05:15 p.m.

Tonight on the show Tim Donnelly, former gubernatorial candidate and former assemblyman, joins Lou to talk about the California drought.

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Reality Check

Wednesday, April 8, 2015 – 09:30 a.m.

California Governor Jerry Brown says he’s forcing residents to cut water use in light of the drought-induced water shortage.

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Campaigns

Published: April 7, 2015 – Updated: 1:12 p.m.

Palm Springs Democrat Gregory Rodriguez, former district director for Rep Raul Ruiz, D-Yucca Valley, has announced his intent to run for the 42nd Assembly District next year.

To read post by James Gan in The P-E Political Empire Blog, click here.

Paul Cook

Rep. Paul Cook spoke at the Victorville Rotary Club on Tuesday. (James Quigg, Daily Press)

By Shea Johnson
Staff Writer
Posted Apr. 7, 2015 at 12:01 AM – Updated at 9:37 PM

VICTORVILLE — Fresh from a recent trip to Tel-Aviv where he toured Israeli missile defense systems, Rep. Paul Cook on Tuesday reiterated his concerns about the emerging Iranian nuclear deal in a speech dominated by his thoughts on the volatility facing the Middle East.

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Dan Walters

Dan Walters
Observations on California and its politics
dwalters@sacbee.com
04/07/2015 – 8:27 PM

April is the most important month for the state budget, due to its over-reliance on personal income taxes, and every indication points to a strong flow of revenues. But it creates a political problem for Gov. Jerry Brown.

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Gavel

By Matthias Gafni, Bay Area News Group
mgafni@bayareanewsgroup.com
Posted: 04/06/15 – 8:16 PM PDT |

SACRAMENTO >> In a first of its kind decision for open government, a Sacramento judge ruled last week that the public has a constitutional right of access to California state Legislature meetings and writings of public officials.

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Debt

Capitol Alert
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
04/07/2015 – 12:05 AM

To get to the California state Senate, Temecula Republican Jeff Stone survived a $3 million blitz of mailers, TV ads and other campaigning last year by Sacramento-based groups opposing him or supporting his GOP rival, former Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia.

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U-T San Diego: Utilities chair took trip to Singapore

Singapore

A man sits by a Water Lily pond at the Marina Bay Sands in which a reflection of the financial skyline of Singapore is seen (AP file/Wong Maye-E, File)

Same nonprofit group funded Poland trip that affected San Onofre deal
By Jeff McDonald
April 6, 2015 – 5:27 p.m.

The group that funded the 2013 trip to Poland where former utilities regulator Michael Peevey sketched out plans to charge customers most of the costs of the failed San Onofre nuclear power plant also paid last week for the chairman of the Assembly utilities committee to travel to Singapore.

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Dan Walters

Dan Walters
Observations on California and its politics
dwalters@sacbee.com
04/07/2015 – 7:37 AM

It was somewhat incongruous to watch Gov. Jerry Brown defend California’s farmers and their water use on national television Sunday.

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MWD

By Bettina Boxall
April 6, 2015

Southern California’s water wholesaler is planning to wield its powerful hammer to force more urban conservation this year by cutting water deliveries.

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Jerry Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown, announcing an order to slash urban water usage last week, said California’s agricultural needs are best kept separate from its policies for cities and towns. But if the drought goes on, he said, state water allocations to farms could also be reduced.

By David Siders
dsiders@sacbee.com
04/05/2015 – 4:36 PM

Gov. Jerry Brown defended the agriculture industry’s heavy water use in an interview aired Sunday, but he said historic water rights are “probably going to be examined” if the drought persists.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
04/06/2015 6:23 AM

As improbable as it may seem, there are some major issues in the California Legislature that attract bipartisan interest and cooperation.

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waterdrop

By Grace Wong and Liset Marquez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin and
Jim Steinberg, San Bernardino Sun
Posted: 04/04/15 – 10:37 AM PDT

The governor’s order last week that all of California cut urban water use by 25 percent could be heard all the way to Ed Neighbors’ lawn in North Fontana.

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Kamala Harris

By Howard Mintz
hmintz@mercurynews.com
Posted: 04/04/2015 – 08:50:03 AM PDT

Kamala Harris, California’s attorney general and the clear front-runner for an open U.S. Senate seat, has an unusual image problem.

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Dan Walters

Dan Walters
Observations on California and its politics
dwalters@sacbee.com
04/05/2015 – 8:11 AM

Responses to crises often define political executives – presidents, governors and big-city mayors – for posterity.

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In this photo taken Feb. 22, 2008, Charles Munger Jr. of Santa Clara, a major donor to Proposition 32 on the California ballot is seen at the California Republican Party convention in San Francisco.  Munger, the son of wealthy investor Charles Munger Sr., is on the opposite side of the political isle as her half sister, Molly Munger, a wealthy civil rights attorney  who is major donor behind Proposition 38, which increase taxes for education. Both Mungers have spent millions in this election year to transform California's political landscape.  (AP Photo/Sacramento Bee, Brian Baer)

Charles Munger Jr., pictured in 2008. (Brian Baer / Associated Press)

By Michael Finnegan and Maloy Moore
April 4, 2015

A month after Charles Munger Jr. wrote his first $100,000 check to a political campaign, he got a taste of the chronic rejection familiar to California’s big Republican donors: The 2005 ballot measure he backed lost by a landslide.

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InlandPolitics: Another sordid case of misconduct

California Lawyer

Saturday, April 4, 2015 – 11:00 a.m.

A reader forwarded a link to an exhaustive article, published in California Lawyer magazine, discussing alleged misconduct by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California and the California Attorney General, in a civil case stemming from the costly 2007 Moonlight Fire in Plumas County.

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San Onofre

An agreement to shut down the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station assigns approximately $3.3 billion of the costs to ratepayers in Southern and Central California and $1.4 billion to two utilities.

By Marc Lifsher
April 3, 3025

The president of the scandal-rocked Public Utilities Commission has rejected a call from a powerful lawmaker to reopen a financial settlement that apportioned nearly $5 billion in costs for the June 2013 permanent closure of the damaged San Onofre nuclear power plant.

Read the rest of this entry »

Carla Marinucci

By Carla Marinucci
Friday, April 3, 2015 – Updated 9:15 pm

When U.S. Senate candidate Kamala Harris held a campaign kickoff in San Francisco this week, the media was barred — an unusual move that has some people complaining she’s shielding herself from the press.

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Capitol Alert
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics
By David Siders
dsiders@sacbee.com
04/03/2015 – 8:28 PM

In an unusual disclosure, Gov. Jerry Brown late Thursday released 113 pages of work-related emails from his personal account, a collection evincing a governor who works late, appreciates brevity and holds a keen interest in media coverage of his administration.

Read the rest of this entry »

Golf Course

Sprinklers water the grass at Gleneagles Golf Course on April 2, 2015 in San Francisco, California. Significant cuts in use will be imposed on cemeteries, golf courses and facilities with large landscapes. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

By Jeff Guo
April 3, 2015

On Wednesday, California Gov. Jerry Brown took the unprecedented step of forcing urban water agencies to reduce their water use by 25 percent. Cities and towns are now prohibited from using more than three-quarters the amount of water they used in 2013. This will save an estimated 1.5 million acre-feet, or nearly 500 billion gallons of water, between now and February.

Read the rest of this entry »

Pete Aguilar

Congressman Pete Aguilar

Published: April 2, 2015 – 10:26 a.m.

Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Redlands, was one of four Democrats and 43 first-year representatives to sign a letter to House Speaker John Boehner this week urging him to repeal a tax on medical devices tied to the Affordable Care Act.

To read post by Jeff Horseman in The P-E Political Empire Blog, click here.

METRO

By Daniel Borenstein
Posted: 04/02/2015 – 08:27:25 AM PDT
Updated: 04/02/2015 – 09:38:48 AM PDT

Unless it alters its current funding structure, CalPERS will be even more vulnerable to market losses in the next economic downturn than it was during its devastating plunge in the Great Recession.

Read the rest of this entry »

Drought

By Chris Megerian, Matt Stevens and Bettina Boxall
April 1, 2015

Standing in a brown field that would normally be smothered in several feet of snow, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday ordered cities and towns across California to cut water use by 25% as part of a sweeping set of mandatory drought restrictions, the first in state history.

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GOP - Shooting Itself in Head

Capitol Alert
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
03/31/2015 2:06 PM

Republicans’ voter registration ranks continue to slip, with no-party preference voters now outnumbering Republicans in 13 counties and more than a third of the state’s cities, state numbers released this week show.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

Dan Walters
Observations on California and its politics
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
04/01/2015 7:21 AM

There’s something about the ebb and flow of gasoline prices that makes ordinarily rational people go a little nuts.

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The Sacramento Bee: California sales tax rates going higher

California Taxes

Capitol Alert
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
03/31/2015 10:06 PM

There’s a wide range of sales tax rates in California, some rates are increasing this week and if pending legislation is successful, the range will get even wider.

Read the rest of this entry »

Secret Email

By Michael R. Blood and Juliet Williams
Associated Press
03/30/2015 – 12:12 AM

SACRAMENTO, Calif.

Gov. Jerry Brown, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and other top elected officials in California acknowledge using personal email accounts to conduct government business, and it’s not clear if their private exchanges are retained as public records or subject to disclosure.

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Capitol Alert
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics
By David Siders
dsiders@sacbee.com
03/30/2015 12:05 AM

Michael Peevey’s announcement last fall that he would not seek reappointment to the California Public Utilities Commission appeared to offer closure to years of controversy surrounding his tenure.

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Dan Walters

Dan Walters
Observations on California and its politics
dwalters@sacbee.com
03/29/2015 – 07:15 PM

One of the Capitol’s perpetual debates is over how much California spends to educate its 6.2 million elementary and high school students, especially in relationship to other states.

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Obamacare

By Ed Mendel
March 30, 2015

Employer and employee groups are urging CalPERS to “undertake all efforts” to avoid the “Cadillac Tax,” a 40 percent tax on high-cost health plans imposed in 2018 by President Obama’s health care law, a CalPERS staff report said this month.

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The Press-Enterprise: REGION: Area braces for dip in road-repair dollars

Tax Cut

A cut to a state gasoline tax means less money for repaving and pothole fixes, Riverside County officials say.

Published: March 28, 2015 – Updated: 8:08 p.m.

Riverside County and its cities stand to lose millions for road repairs after a state board made a deeper-than-average cut to a gasoline tax as part of a complicated maneuver to close a state budget gap.

To read story by Jeff Horseman in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

Dan Walters

Dan Walters
Observations on California and its politics
dwalters@sacbee.com
03/28/2015 – 7:35 PM

A few years ago, when it was first proposed that state “cap-and-trade” fees on carbon emissions be used for the state’s bullet train project, the Legislature’s budget analyst questioned its legality.

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Los Angeles Times: Blue Shield of California is under new pressure to lower rates

Blue Shield

By Chad Terhune
March 27, 2015

With billions of dollars in reserve, nonprofit insurer Blue Shield of California is facing new pressure to offer better prices for its policies.

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U-T San Diego: CPUC set to spend $5.2M on defense lawyers

CPUC

The agency is facing three criminal probes.

By Jeff McDonald
March 26, 2015 – 6:26 p.m.

The California Public Utilities Commission has arranged to spend as much as $5.2 million on criminal-defense lawyers to respond to ongoing state and federal investigations.

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San Bernardino Seal

Reuters

LOS ANGELES | By Tim Reid
Thu Mar 26, 2015 – 6:28pm EDT

(Reuters) – The bankrupt California city of San Bernardino revealed on Thursday details of its deal with the state’s public pension system Calpers, in which the retirement fund will be paid in full under the city’s bankruptcy exit plan.

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U-T San Diego: CPUC boss had backchannel dealings

CPUC

CPUC President Michael Picker had regular communications with political insider who has Edison contract

By Jeff McDonald
March 25, 2015 – 7:54 p.m.

California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Picker has had regular backchannel communications with a consultant and political insider who has a West Los Angeles power deal pending before the commission.

Read the rest of this entry »

Gas Prices

By Judy Lin, Associated Press
Posted: 03/24/15 – 3:52 PM PDT |

SACRAMENTO, Calif. >> State lawmakers on Tuesday questioned the recent wild swings in California’s gas prices and asked whether regulators can do more to reduce market volatility while government promotes alternative fuels to increase competition.

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Dan Walters

Dan Walters
Observations on California and its politics
dwalters@sacbee.com
03/24/2015 8:44 PM

As its 24.6 million licensed drivers know all too well, California gas prices have been going up and down like a supercharged yo-yo in recent months.

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Capitol Alert
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics
By Jeremy B. White
jwhite@sacbee.com
03/24/2015 – 4:08 PM

Every eligible Californian would be automatically registered to vote under legislation Secretary of State Alex Padilla is exploring.

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Sacramento Bee: Opinion: Who might be running for California governor in 2018?

Dan Walters

Dan Walters
Observations on California and its politics
dwalters@sacbee.com
03/24/2015 – 8:14 AM

Gov. Pat Brown, when asked a half-century ago when he would declare his intention to run for re-election, famously replied “when the snow flies in the Sierra.”

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Calpensions: LAO: consider phasing out retiree health care

LAO

By Ed Mendel
Monday, March 23, 2015

Gov. Brown’s plan to curb the long-ignored debt for state worker retiree health care, now much larger than their unfunded pension debt, may look familiar. It’s similar to the standard state and local government pension reform.

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