Archive for December 21st, 2009

RivPE: Baca will bring back his bill if Tiger cleans up his act


11:05 PM PST on Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Press-Enterprise

After leaving legislation to honor Tiger Woods in the proverbial rough, Inland Rep. Joe Baca says a mulligan could be in order sometime in the future — if the scandal-plagued golfer cleans up his act.

Baca recently announced that he has no plans to move forward with his bill seeking the Congressional Gold Medal for Woods, in light of Woods’ admission of “transgressions” in his personal life and rumors of extramarital affairs.

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SBSun: Area could gain clout in Congress

Lines to shift for I.E. politics

James Rufus Koren, Staff Writer
Posted: 12/20/2009 09:24:19 PM PST

It’s not clear who will redraw California’s congressional districts in 2011, but it’s a near certainty that the Inland Empire will have more seats in Congress once the new lines are in place, experts say.

Thanks to the state’s partisan redistricting process, a new Inland Empire seat would likely be Democrat-controlled and would come at the expense of the Bay Area, which has grown much more slowly than San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

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Documents show Alfred J.R. Villalobos was helping private equity firms win deals with the California pension fund while also working for a firm hired by CalPERS to give it investment advice.

By Evan Halper and Marc Lifsher

December 21, 2009

Reporting from Sacramento – A Nevada businessman was paid $17 million by two private equity firms to help them win business from California’s giant pension fund at the same time he was working for a La Jolla company that was advising the fund on those investments.

The board of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System had been informed about the arrangement during a closed-door meeting.Its legal staff determined there was no conflict of interest, and the board approved $1 billion in investments with private equity funds Apollo Global Management and Aurora Capital Group.

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More borrowers with mortgages serviced by national banks and savings and loans, which hold 34 million loans, or 65% of all outstanding U.S. mortgages, fell into arrears from July 1 to Sept. 30.

By Jim Puzzanghera

December 21, 2009 | 7:34 a.m.

Reporting from Washington – The number of home foreclosures for a major sector of the banking industry topped 1 million for the first time in the third quarter of the year as struggles spread to homeowners with prime loans and modified mortgage payments, according to new data released today by federal regulators.

The report covers mortgages serviced by national banks and savings and loans — about 34 million loans, or 65% of all outstanding U.S. mortgages. It showed that housing troubles continued to rise for the period from July 1 to Sept. 30, with the percentage of homeowners at least 60 days delinquent on their payments rising to 6.2%. That represented a 16.7% increase over the second quarter and a 73.8% increase from a year earlier, according to the report by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision.

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RivPE: Campaign-finance laws snared San Jacinto defendants

10:59 PM PST on Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sacramento Bureau

SACRAMENTO – Nine years ago, Stephen Holgate could have given as much as he wanted to aid the Assembly aspirations of San Jacinto Councilman Jim Ayres. Both men would have been in good company.

But now the two face dozens of charges for running afoul of California’s campaign-finance law. It is at the heart of last month’s 155-count indictment against nine political and civic leaders in San Jacinto, and the basis of last week’s charges against six more people.

The case highlights Riverside County’s role as one of the few — if only — counties in California to prosecute contribution-limit violators, who usually are dealt with by the state’s campaign-finance watchdog agency.

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RivPE: Developer describes how political access helps process

11:01 PM PST on Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Press-Enterprise

Getting a development done in San Jacinto, like many places in Southern California, is a matter of preparation and communication.

It’s having the right permits, making the necessary estimates of time and cost, and then selling that plan — just lines on a plat map — to local officials.

That takes face time. Whether it’s in a coffeehouse around the block from city hall or a developer’s home, the businessmen trying to build and the city leaders trying to encourage growth rub elbows, share stories, and talk about how to make development — inevitable in the region — harmonious with the city.

But sometimes those meetings, close encounters that are the bedrock of business in small cities such as San Jacinto, cross from perfectly legal to prosecutable.

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DailyBulletin: Claremont’s budget is key in new year

Wes Woods II, Staff Writer
Created: 12/20/2009 09:25:18 PM PST

CLAREMONT – Like many cities in California, city and school board officials contend that budgetary issues will be at the top of their agendas in 2010.

“The big stuff for us is going to be No.1. We start our budget process for our two-year budget come January,” Claremont City Manager Jeff Parker said.

“Obviously, we’re working on that with the economics of today.”

The city will first have to deal with additional impacts from the state budget cuts, Parker said. He also strongly criticized lawmakers in Sacramento and the impact of their actions on Claremont.

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Maritza Velazquez, Staff Writer
Created: 12/20/2009 09:25:23 PM PST

POMONA – For the past year, students, faculty and staff at California’s public universities have protested massive budget cuts, but most of their demands have fallen upon deaf ears.

But at Cal Poly Pomona, where a 21 percent budget reduction is threatening dozens of programs and departments, the school president is meeting with legislators to drum up support for higher education.

Cal Poly Pomona President J. Michael Ortiz spent time this month with local legislators to try to persuade them to become “champions” for higher education. He also invited the campus community to join him.

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SBSun: Fontana ACORN activist steps up fight

Josh Dulaney, Staff Writer
Posted: 12/20/2009 07:31:43 PM PST

FONTANA – Bobbi Jo Chavarria got her first taste of political involvement more than 30 years ago in Santa Ana, where her grandmother volunteered as a poll worker during the 1976 elections.

Three decades and a Rage Against the Machine concert later, the 38-year-old ACORN activist has drawn the ire of city officials, conservative residents and right-wing activists in the wake of her public calls for local leaders to condemn the federal 287(g) Program, which allows designated law enforcement authorities to enforce federal immigration laws.

She’s been called a race baiter and a Marxist.

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