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THE NOONER for February 17, 2016
Happy humpday of this shortened week! Unfortunately (although we need it), the incredible weather changed this morning here in the 916, with a sprinkle hitting my morning walk. The forecast has a rain/snow mix for Tahoe for the skiers.
Tomorrow, I am co-moderating the Sacramento mayoral debate with my friend Jann Dorothy with the four candidates. The debate is at 7pm and is sponsored by the Stonewall Democratic Club of Greater Sacramento, the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, and the Sacramento LGBT Center at KVIE's theatre at 2030 West El Camino Avenue. Seating is limited, and you can RSVP here. Doors will open at 6:30 P.M.
Yesterday, I enjoyed hanging out with my buddy John Howard to record a Capitol Weekly podcast, in which we talked about the impact on California of the presidential primaries and caucuses, as well as the death of Antonio Scalia. Thanks to John, Tim Foster, and team for inviting me to rant.
US SENATE: Kamala Harris: 'I do not wish to be considered' for the Supreme Court [Phil Willon @ LAT] - “California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris on Tuesday doused speculation that she may be on President Obama’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees, saying during a campaign event at a San Jose union hall that while she is flattered to have her name mentioned, she has no interest. Harris, 51, said her focus is on her current job and her campaign to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.”
There is still a drive to have a female appointment to the Court. Absent Harris, the most likely Californian Lucy Koh, who (if confirmed) would be the first Asian-American on the Court. Obama could play this into a significant election event, but he's also a constitutional lawyer who may be resistent to such maneuvers.
The Bee's Jeremy B. White writes in today's AM Alert about a joint hearing of Senate Transportation and Housing Committee and the Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communication at 1:30 today about the Uber/Lyft economy, and whether there needs to be more rules imposed on the services. I regularly use Uber and leave my electric car in the garage, and frequently my Uber drivers are driving hybrid cars.
It's cheaper than parking near the Capitol, and I enjoy the (albeit short) conversations with the drivers. I have never had a conversation with a taxi driver in Sacramento, as they spend most the time speaking loudly on their phones. They also perpetually occupied the passenger loading zone in front of my old office in the Senator Hotel, literally parking all day and bringing out lounge chairs waiting for a fare to the airport, making carpooling really difficult. Most legislators don't take taxis and aren't constantly reminded of the awful service from the airport. They are picked by Sergeants or leave their state paid for cars at the airport. Okay, the rant is over--for now. Just, please, don't screw up an awesome service.
Meanwhile, the tech community is abuzz about the FBI's demands for a software update that will unlock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. Apple is stating that such software update would be through a universal update that would remove the process that removes all content after 10 bad password entries. I don't think I have anything on my iPhone that would cause me embarrassment, aside from pictures of flowers in Sacramento's flowers, but it's still a bad precident.
POCKET INCENTIVES: A carbon tax Jerry Brown thinks could have potential [David Siders @ SacBee] - “Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday said a tax on carbon dioxide emissions has potential and suggested he was open to the idea. The Democratic governor, a fiscal moderate but longtime champion of environmental causes, noted support among some conservatives for a revenue-neutral carbon tax, in which proceeds are not held by the government.”
COASTAL CLUSTERF*: State lawmakers fire back at Coastal Commission [Melody Gutierrez @ SFChron] - “State lawmakers irked at the California Coastal Commission for firing its executive director introduced legislation Tuesday that they said is needed to limit the influence of wealthy developers on the powerful regulator.”
Coastal Commission needs a bigger overhaul than the one sought by lawmakers [Steve Lopez @ LAT] - “The commissioners are appointees, but half of them hold elective office, and their fundraisers are populated by lobbyists, developers and other politicians. It's all too cozy and too shady at the same time, and there's little or no cross-checking between local campaign donations and potential conflicts of interest at the Coastal Commission.”
UNLAWFULLY FLEXIBLE? California’s health exchange bent own rules in awarding big contracts [Christopher Cadelago @ SacBee] - “A new audit slams Covered California, the agency tasked with enrolling state residents in Obamacare, for not following rules when awarding lucrative contracts without a competitive-bidding process.”
GASSED: Capping Porter Ranch methane gas leak a start [Editorial @ SDUT] - “The capping of a well that had been spewing massive amounts of methane for nearly four months at Southern California Gas Company’s sprawling Aliso Canyon natural gas storage area near Porter Ranch in Los Angeles County is good news, but the disaster raises many unsettling concerns that Californians need addressed.”
CA24 (Santa Barbara): This cast of characters running for Congress shows why the top-two primary matters [Javier Panzar @ LAT] - "It is only February but this is a typical weekend in the Central Coast district as nine candidates have begun to press the flesh and work to earn recognition in a race that exemplifies California's "jungle" primary, in which the top two finishers advance to a general election."
#CAKEDAY: Light those candles for SEIU's Amy Lee, Assemblymember Melissa Melendez, and SOMS's Jorrel Verella!
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
A Carbon Tax Jerry Brown Thinks Could Have Potential | The Sacramento Bee
David Siders @ sacbee.com
Brown, other governors make pact on renewable energy
Lawmakers Want Disclosure Of Coastal Commission Lobbying
Interest groups seeking to influence members of the California Coastal Commission would have to disclose the use and payment of professional lobbyists, under legislation introduced at the state Capitol on Tuesday.
The Man Who Honed California Civil Service Laws | The Sacramento Bee
Jon Ortiz @ sacbee.com
Won precedent-setting Skelly case
San Francisco D.A. GascÃ³n, FBI, launch corruption task force
The San Francisco district attorneyâÂÂs office is teaming up with the FBI to investigate public corruption in the wake of the sprawling, multiyear federal probe that snared former state Sen. Leland Yee, Chinatown crime boss Raymond âÂÂShrimp BoyâÂÂ Chow and others. The new task force, announced Tuesday by District Attorney George GascÃ³n and David J. Johnson, the leader of the FBIâÂÂs office in San Francisco, seeks to tap federal resources and investigators to look further into possible wrongdoing by the cityâÂÂs public servants. San Francisco prosecutors filed corruption-related charges last month against former Human Rights Commissioner Nazly Mohajer, former commission staffer Zula Jones and political consultant and former San Francisco school board President Keith Jackson. The bribery and money laundering allegations emerged during a federal racketeering investigation into Chow, in which Mohajer and Jones allegedly discussed accepting $20,000 from an FBI agent posing as a businessman in secretly recorded conversations, in exchange for access to Mayor Ed Lee during his 2011 campaign. In 2014, six plainclothes San Francisco police officers were indicted following n FBI investigation into allegations they entered single-resident occupancy hotel rooms without warrants and stole money from people. âÂÂThis type of criminal activity erodes public confidence, undermines the strength of our democracy and, if left unchecked, threatens our government,âÂÂ Johnson said. Mayor Lee has said he did nothing wrong during his 2011 campaign, and thereâÂÂs no evidence he was aware anyone had promised access to him in exchange for illegal campaign contributions. According to campaign finance disclosures, Lee between July and December spent $7,297 of his 2015 mayoral campaign funding on legal representation from the San Francisco law firm Swanson & McNamara, which specializes in criminal defense and complex civil litigation.
Massive Public Works Project Will Help Clean Sacramento River - Capradio.org
Amy Quinton @ capradio.org
Capital Public Radio, Inc.7055 Folsom BoulevardSacramento, CA 95826
Obama Says Being President Is A 'serious Job' -- One Trump Won't Get
President Obama on Tuesday issued his strongest warning yet about the Republican candidates for president with a two-word message on why voters should choose solemnly: nuclear codes.
Electrocution Deaths Spark New Questions, Legislation At CpUC | The California Report | Kqed News
San Bernardino Tragedy Raises Questions
Donald Trump Supporters In South Carolina: 'we're Voting With Our Middle Finger'
Donald Trump supporters cheer during a campaign rally in Greenville, S.C., on Monday.
Chancellor Said The Cal State System Is Preparing For Possible Strike - The Orange County Register
JOANNA CLAY @ ocregister.com
FULLERTON – Chancellor Timothy White said that the 23-campus California State University system is planning for the possibility of a five-day strike in April by faculty during his Tuesday visit to Cal State Fullerton.
CpUC Boss Pushed Transparency For UCLA Center | Sandiegouniontribune.com
The idea had great promise for the academics and scientists involved.
School Budgets Long Recovered, Not Teacher-librarians :: Si&a Cabinet Report :: The Essential Resource For Superintendents And The Cabinet
Kimberly Beltran @ cabinetreport.com
The bad news, however, is that the state’s ratio of one librarian for every 7,187 students ranks at the bottom nationally for professional library staffing.
First Draft: In Speech on Ending Racism, Hillary Clinton Offers $125 Billion Plan to Help Poor Minorities
Speaking in Harlem, Hillary Clinton offered job-training and education programs for poor and minority communities, part of an effort to speak directly to African-American voters heading into the South Carolina primary.
Kamala Harris: 'i'm Not Putting My Name Out There' For Supreme Court
Runner, Huff Introduce Measure to Keep Dangerous Felons Off the Streets
Senator Sharon Runner (R-Antelope Valley) and Senator Bob Huff (R-San Dimas) announced today they introduced legislation to close a loophole that allows dangerous felons back on to our streets. Senate Bill 1077 will stop a local law enforcement agency from taking custody of a convicted felon who is scheduled for deportation unless the offender will be prosecuted for a new felony.
Ap News: The Orange County Register
S.F. political elite pay tribute to Hadley Roff
S.F. political elite pay tribute to Hadley Roff San FranciscoâÂÂs political elite âÂÂ including Sen. Dianne Feinstein and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi âÂÂ gathered with the public Tuesday to remember Hadley Roff, a gregarious and sharp-witted figure who worked as a political troubleshooter through some of San FranciscoâÂÂs most unstable periods. âÂÂHe was intensely loyal, and he was able to be a positive counsel in a very difficult time,âÂÂ Feinstein said, speaking at RoffâÂÂs celebration of life, which was attended by nearly 300 people at Delancey Street on the Embarcadero. âÂÂIn a 49-square-mile city filled with hate and fear âÂÂ out came Hadley,âÂÂ Feinstein said, recounting her early days with Roff, which included the deaths of hundreds of San Franciscans at Jonestown, the AIDS epidemic and ballooning homelessness. [...] it was RoffâÂÂs skills as a negotiator and his dynamic personality that made him an invaluable figure in city politics beyond his time with Feinstein. A large American flag hung from the extended ladder of a fire truck at the memorialâÂÂs entrance along the Embarcadero on Tuesday. Roff grew up in Santa Cruz and started his career in newspapers, working for the News and Call-Bulletin in San Francisco after graduating from Stanford. RoffâÂÂs hunger for politics was matched by his appetite for food, strong drink, books and conversation.
'i Think And Then I Walk': Uci Experiment Marks The First Time A Paraplegic Walks By Brain Control - The Orange County Register
COURTNEY PERKES @ ocregister.com
After a motorcycle crash paralyzed his legs, Adam Fritz never stopped thinking he would walk again.
Apple defying judgeâ
In his most forceful language to date, Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook said his company will fight a judgeâÂÂs order compelling the tech company to build a âÂÂbackdoorâÂÂ that would allow law enforcement officials to hack into the locked iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. CookâÂÂs firm stance comes after a Tuesday ruling by Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym in which she told the company it would be required to produce specialized software to federal investigators so they can bypass the auto-erase feature on the work phone of Syed Farook, one of the shooters in the Dec. 2 attack. The problem, Cook said in a lengthy explanation addressed to customers on AppleâÂÂs website, is the FBI is requesting the company build an entirely new operating system for the wildly popular iPhone, which would allow the government, or really anyone with access to the operating system, to access the confidential information of anyone using an iPhone. Building a one-off tool to be used just in this instance sounds easy enough to the average layperson, but in todayâÂÂs world, where so much personal information is stored on tiny, personal computers we keep in our pockets, creating a âÂÂmaster keyâÂÂ to unlock those devices would undermine the security of everyone who uses one, Cook argued. The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phoneâÂÂs microphone or camera without your knowledge. Cook sent condolences to those mourning the loss of life in San Bernardino and called for justice for the families effected, saying âÂÂwe have no sympathy for terrorists,âÂÂ but said the ramifications of complying with the judgeâÂÂs order were too far-reaching to ignore.
AG Kamala Harris Needs to Do More to Protect Public
Attorney General Harris has failed to meet the commitments she made to the Legislature and the public. Yet, she is now asking for permanent funding.
Eyeing South Carolina, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders Vie for Crucial Voters
Mrs. Clinton visited Harlem to propose $125 billion in new spending for poor and minority communities, and Mr. Sanders barnstormed the South, pledging to combat institutional racism.
Mobile Clinics Serve California’s Growing Homeless Youth Population | Vital Signs | State Of Health | Kqed News
During the consultation with Ernesto, Ammerman nods sympathetically. In his 20 years working in this teen health van, Ammerman has treated thousands of uninsured and homeless adolescents ages 24 and under.
Apple To Oppose Judge Order To Help Unlock Phone Linked To San Bernardino Attack - Wsj
Daisuke Wakabayashi @ wsj.com
China Loses Control of the Economic Story Line
Cost Of California Bullet Train's Central Valley Leg Projected To Grow By $260 Million
The California rail authority was told by its top consultant Tuesday that the projected cost of building the bullet train's Central Valley segment has increased $260 million, a 5% cost growth that comes after long-standing assurances the project's price tag was not rising.