Archive for December 24th, 2009

Today, in a surprise development the California Supreme Court has requested briefing related to a Petition for Review filed by former Assistant Assessor Jim Erwin.

On December 10, 2009, Erwin filed an appeal of Superior Court Judge Duke Rouse’s denial of an evidentiary hearing to determine whether sufficient evidence exists to disqualify the San Bernardino County District Attorney from prosecuting the case against him.

The appeal was summarily denied by the Fourth District Court of Appeals last Friday.

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LATimes: Senate passes healthcare overhaul

Democrats win the vote 60-39 over Republican objections. It must be reconciled with the House’s legislation in the New Year before President Obama can sign off on his top domestic priority.

By James Oliphant

December 24, 2009 | 5:32 a.m.

Reporting from Washington – Senate Democrats this morning passed a sweeping healthcare overhaul bill, setting the stage for reconciliation early next year with similarly historic legislation passed by the House last month.

The vote was 60-39. It came after months of bitter partisan warfare, culminating in a series of votes this week that thwarted a threatened Republican filibuster.

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OCRegister: Effort abandoned to recall Assemblyman Adams

December 23rd, 2009, 4:39 pm
Posted by Martin Wisckol, Politics reporter

The Orange County-based effort to recall Assemblyman Anthony Adams, R-Hesperia, has been abandoned as proponents have decided not to sue to put the recall on the ballot.

The group sought to recall their fellow Republican because he was one of six GOP legislators who helped approve a budget this year that included temporary sales tax and vehicle license fee hikes. A total of 35,825 valid signatures were needed to qualify the recall. A sample of the 58,384 signatures submitted projected that only 24,579 would be valid.

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Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger plans to save $1.6 billion in state employee costs by extending monthly furloughs past June, laying off staff or shifting general fund workers into state jobs financed by other revenues, according to sources familiar with the governor’s forthcoming budget proposal.

Schwarzenegger and lawmakers must eliminate an estimated $20.7 billion general fund budget deficit over the next 18 months. The governor already has dismissed higher taxes as an option after temporarily raising them in February. Instead, he hopes to rely on spending cuts, a massive infusion of federal aid and creative ways of reassigning revenues to cover the gap.

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VVDailyPress: Caldwell, Roberts still face fraud claims

December 23, 2009 3:32 PM

VICTORVILLE • A judge declined to dismiss fraud claims against Councilman Terry Caldwell and former city manager Jon Roberts, in a $33 million civil suit filed by CMB Exports.

The suit stems from a 2008 trip to China, where CMB took Caldwell, Roberts and Inland Energy’s William Buck Johns along to seek funding for Southern California Logistics Airport through the EB-5 investments-for-visas program. The federal program allows foreign citizens to get American visas in exchange for loaning $500,000 to the city.

While in China, Caldwell signed a memorandum of understanding with CMB agreeing to explore a partnership and forbidding the city from using any of the company’s information or consultants for two years.

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SBSun: Schwarzenegger cool to health bill

Rebecca Kimitch, Staff Writer
Posted: 12/23/2009 10:16:35 PM PST

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has long championed national health care reform, but now that it is finally advancing, he is raising concerns about the $3 billion annual price tag he says it will cost California.

But reform supporters, including Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, say the benefits of reform for the state far outweigh the costs.

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By Shane Goldmacher and Ari B. Bloomekatz

December 24, 2009

Reporting from Los Angeles and Sacramento – Mass transit boosters reacted angrily Wednesday to news that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger plans to tap public transportation funds again in an effort to balance California’s budget.

The governor’s latest plan, a complex gas-tax swap that officials familiar with the plan said would shrink transit funds by as much as $1 billion, could trigger another round of route closures and fare hikes for buses and rail lines across the state, transit advocates said.

It follows a state Supreme Court ruling in June that declared years of administration raids on transit money illegal.

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