Dababneh struggles to win endorsements

Screenshot 2016-05-31 at 08.47.20.pngExposing a split between political groups in Los Angeles, several Democratic clubs are refusing to back the re-election bid of Democratic Assemblyman Matt Dababneh amid accusations he’s too conservative.

The Stonewall Democratic Club, the Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley and the San Fernando Valley Young Democrats all declined to endorse in the June 7 race, a signal of unhappiness with the 35-year-old incumbent.

Those groups are backing candidates in several other San Fernando Valley races.

Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley executive board member Doris Dent said she’s worried about Dababneh’s voting record and his support from businesses like Chevron.

“I consider myself a progressive and he’s just not progressive enough,” said Dent, 76, a Northridge resident.

Source: LA Daily News



“Numbers guy” John Chiang makes a compelling case

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California Treasurer John Chiang recently threw his bookkeeper’s green eyeshade into the ring for governor in 2018. He’s running on his reputation as a “numbers guy” who has made it easier for people to access data on state and local public employee pay and pensions.

Source: LA Daily News


The @CaGOP effort to reach out to Latinos: #EpicFail

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Latino leaders in California working to mend the GOP’s relationship with their community were filled with dread, not joy, as Donald Trump clinched their party’s nomination for the presidency.

The state GOP lost a generation of Latino voters in the aftermath of that ballot measure, Proposition 187. And now Latino Republicans fear they will lose yet another generation as a result of Trump becoming the standard-bearer of their party.

Source: LA Times

The #PoliceState showers cops with money but crime keeps getting worse

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In February, Los Angeles made national headlines after 1-year-old Autumn Johnson was struck and killed by gunfire as she stood in her crib. Many homicides remain a mystery. Most of the killings remain unsolved.

The violence threatens to undo some of the progress the city has made in recent years to shed an image that has been associated with gangs and crime.

Pam Carolina, a lifelong resident of the city’s Campanella Park neighborhood, said she believes local law enforcement will have difficulty effectively combating crime because they have a poor reputation among some residents.

Carolina, who works with people who have lost loved ones to violence, said she’s heard deputies swear at grieving family members.

“They’re very insensitive to families at times like this,” she said.

Source: LA Times

Clinton struggles as California primary draws near

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Hillary Clinton’s campaign had once hoped the California primary could be a coronation for the former secretary of State, the last major stop en route to claiming the Democratic presidential nomination.

Instead, it has turned into a dogfight with Bernie Sanders, who has been campaigning nonstop through the state. With at least one public poll showing the race now a tie, the Clinton campaign has decided to step up her appearances in the state.

“It’s going to be closer than we thought,” said former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a longtime Clinton backer, adding that he ultimately expected her to win the state.

“Hillary’s going to be the nominee, but California’s the big prize, and obviously she’d like to go into the convention with a win in California,” he said.

Source: LA Times

Once again, cops prove they aren’t responsible enough to own firearms

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An FBI agent’s gun was stolen from a car last weekend in San Francisco, marking the continuation of a troubling trend of law enforcement officials losing track of their weapons.

 The Alamo Square break-in Sunday was reported to SFPD’s Park Station by the agent.

A .40-caliber Glock 27 was stolen along with an identification badge and credentials. All this stuff is now on the street.

The issue of law enforcement officers securing their guns inside of cars has been a hot topic after a series of such break-ins across San Francisco.

In one of the most notable cases, a Bureau of Land Management agent’s gun was taken from his car in the North Beach area, which ultimately ended up in the hands of the man charged with the murder of Kate Steinle on Pier 14 last summer.

Steinle’s family has sued The City as well as the BLM because the agent’s gun was used in the crime.

Source: The San Francisco Examiner

Katie Couric nailed for misleading gun documentary

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Under fire for adding a long pause to the remarks of a gun enthusiast in her documentary “Under the Gun,” Katie Couric expressed “regret” on Monday for what she admitted was a “misleading” change to an interview that changed its meaning.

In a blog posted on the movie’s website Couric wrote:

“As Executive Producer of ‘Under the Gun,’ a documentary film that explores the epidemic of gun violence, I take responsibility for a decision that misrepresented an exchange I had with members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL). My question to the VCDL regarding the ability of convicted felons and those on the terror watch list to legally obtain a gun, was followed by an extended pause, making the participants appear to be speechless.”

She continued: “When VCDL members recently pointed out that they had in fact immediately answered this question, I went back and reviewed it and agree that those eight seconds do not accurately represent their response.”

Pols need to pay to stop doctors from drugging our kids

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Gov. Jerry Brown did the right thing last year when he signed SB319, a measure designed to reduce the overmedication of California’s foster children.

The new law gave public health nurses more responsibility to oversee the health of children who are prescribed psychotropic drugs, which have potentially severe health effects.

Unfortunately, the governor forgot to include the funding.It’s an understandable oversight for our famously frugal governor. But it’s a problem that needs to be corrected in this year’s budget negotiations between him and the Legislature.

The budget request is a relatively small amount — just $1.6 million — and it would come with triple that much in matching federal funds.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

How special interests buy California politicians

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The eight-page document reads like a contract, asking candidates seeking a seat in the Legislature to pledge support for workers organizing unions.

It lists priority issues — including health care, immigration and retirement benefits — and asks if the candidate will be a “supporter,” “champion” or “partner” as the union pursues its agenda in Sacramento.

The answers are a secret paper trail left by politicians who have sought backing this year from the Service Employees International Union, one of the state’s most powerful labor groups.

The union won’t share the completed documents with the public. But it will pull out candidates’ responses later when they cast votes as lawmakers.

The service employees union poured $14.3 million into California campaigns in 2014, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics, and only a handful of Democrats were elected without the union’s support.

By locking potential legislators into a position before they’re even elected, questionnaires may also influence policymaking in a way that excludes the public and raises ethical questions.

Out of view from voters, they can create private covenants between soon-to-be public officials and the groups that will lobby them.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Big Oil money is soaking Assembly candidates

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The previous time Cecilia Aguiar-Curry ran for office, the Winters mayor said, the low-budget campaign involved reusing lawn signs.

Her current race is on a different order of magnitude.

A torrent of outside money has flowed into the liberal 4th Assembly District, with groups that include education reformers, oil companies and real estate interests spending $1.9 million through Thursday to buoy Aguiar-Curry.

The cash cascade reprises an increasingly common interest-group strategy of elevating business-friendly Democrats in districts dominated by Democratic voters. Oil industry surrogates are playing in three races this year involving sitting lawmakers. In this case, the lack of an incumbent lawmaker presents a wide-open opportunity to elect a new lawmaker who shares their views.

The law forbids candidates from coordinating with independent expenditure groups. Aguiar-Curry said she had no idea “why anyone has given me money” and stressed she was “not beholden to one single person.” But she acknowledged that the spending surge has reconfigured the race.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Jerry Brown holds all the cards in this year’s budget fight

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As the Capitol’s politicians begin their two-week dash to the June 15 budget finish line, two words suffice – gut check.

When Gov. Jerry Brown released his initial 2016-17 budget, he declared that since the state is overdue for a recession, he and the Legislature must restrain spending and build up the state’s rainy-day fund.

When he released his revised budget in May, he cut his revenue forecast by $1.9 billion and said it “redoubles … commitment to fiscal prudence.”

Brown’s attitude didn’t quiet the virtually unanimous demands by his fellow Democrats in the Legislature for more spending – or “investment” in the current parlance – on early childhood education, low-income housing, welfare and other expensive services.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Susan Martinez hits Trump: Trump hits back…hard

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Many observers were mystified when Donald Trump attacked New Mexico Republican Gov. Susana Martinez. But the story was really very simple: Martinez hit Trump, so Trump hit back. Especially now that Trump is the GOP’s presumptive nominee, he attempted to make an example of a Republican who won’t get with the program. It might work, or it might not, but from Trump’s perspective it’s the tactic he used to beat 15 rivals for the GOP nomination.

Source: Washington Examiner

Cali pols see the the 2nd Amendment as the biggest loophole stopping total gun control

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The latest round of gun-control bills speeding through the Legislature should offer a reality check to those of us who own firearms: Democratic leaders will never be satisfied closing the latest round of “loopholes.”

Every year they push new rounds of “reasonable and common sense” gun laws, few of which seem reasonable given they target law-abiding owners. To many legislators, the Second Amendment is the real loophole.

Source: The Orange County Register

Telemundo stages anti-Trump protest

Apparently Telemundo believes it is perfectly alright to stage events and film them as authentic. In fact, as you can see in the video above.

The Telemundo cameraman admits to filmmaker Andrew Marcus that he is indeed staging the event. In this case, two young anti-Trump protesters in San Diego were holding the Mexican flag upside down and the Telemundo cameraman gave them directions on the proper way to hold the flag.

Source: News Busters

Why Bernie Sanders won’t quit

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Political analysts say it’s all but impossible for Sanders to prevail over Clinton in the race for the Democratic nomination, but there seems to be no convincing him.

Sanders believes a strong showing in the remaining primaries — particularly California, with the most delegates of any state — will give him leverage to lure superdelegates who have previously indicated they favor Clinton.

Of course, political analysts didn’t anticipate he’d win 20 of the 44 states to hold primaries or caucuses so far. And while some recent polls have shown Clinton with as much as a double digit lead in California, his decision to make a no-holds push in the state seems vindicated by a May 25 poll by the Public Policy Institute of California that showed him trailing by just 2-percentage points here.

Source: The Orange County Register

Trump is the only candidate to address California’s water crisis

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Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump drew thousands to a rally in Fresno on Friday, where he also met privately with officials of the Westlands Water District, a deep-pocketed farming colossus that is lobbying Congress to squeeze more water for its farmers from California rivers by overriding the Endangered Species Act.

“We’re going to open up the water, very simple,” Trump told a crowd. “There is no drought,” he added, dismissing the delta smelt as “a 3-inch fish.”

The Bernie Sanders campaign did not respond to repeated requests for the candidate’s position on California water issues.

Clinton said she has received briefings on the California drought. “I have followed it from afar,” she said.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Trump says U.S. allies need to pay up!

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“Illegal immigrants are taken better care of than our veterans.”

Donald Trump told the annual rally of motorcyclists in Washington that as president, he would make the U.S. military “bigger and bigger” and force allies such as Saudi Arabia and Japan to pay the full cost of American military protection.

“We protect Japan. We protect Saudia Arabia,” the Republican presidential candidate said, adding that both countries are wealthy enough to pay for their own defense.

“It’s going to be a whole new ballgame,” he told the crowd. “We send them wheat. They send us cars. I’m not angry at them. I’m angry at our grossly incompetent president  who allowed this to happen.

At one point, he said “illegal immigrants are taken better care of than our veterans. We’re not going to allow that to happen.”Trump said some of his rallies have been disrupted by “agitators” who are “professionals,” but he added that he did not expect any such problem at the rally of bikers.

Source: LA Times

Will Sacramento voters send a bigot to Congress?

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It was a damning verdict, one of the strongest rebukes against local law enforcement in recent memory.

A Sacramento County jury didn’t simply award four women $3.6 million in their lawsuit against the leadership of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.

It ruled against the culture within the Sheriff’s Department in a way no local elected official would dare, sizing up Sheriff Scott Jones and the top men in the hierarchy below him and saying: We don’t believe you.

If the public can’t be confident in how this department follows labor laws and its own policy directives, how can it be confident in how it enforces any laws?

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Schwarzenegger purposely evades questions about Trump

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Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger can still duck a question.

Let the predicament of Donald Trump – and a few minutes on NBC’s “Meet the Press” – count the ways.

Four times on Sunday, moderator Chuck Todd asked Schwarzenegger about the presumptive Republican nominee, and four times Schwarzenegger avoided answering.

He did not endorse Trump, or repudiate him.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Given a choice, parents pick charter schools

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More than 100,000 students in the nation’s second-largest district are now enrolled in charters, draining more than $500 million from the budget in a single academic year.

If current trends continue, the district could be significantly diminished in another 10 years — at least a third smaller than at the start of the century.

In financially struggling urban districts from LA to Philadelphia — and most notoriously, Detroit — the increasing popularity of charter schools have caused enrollment to plummet.

The changes have unfolded slowly for years and recently accelerated in some places.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Southern California Gas schemed with Cali pols to screw customers

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A California oil and gas official offered to try to get the governor’s office to quash an order from air pollution regulators that was aimed at a utility responsible for a massive gas leak, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

Emails related to the four-month Southern California Gas Co. leak that drove thousands of residents from their Porter Ranch homes said the governor’s staff discussed the matter, but agency spokesmen said no action was taken to change the order requiring better leak detection and reporting, among other things.

The documents released Thursday under a California Public Records Act request show Bret Lane, the chief operating officer for SoCalGas, forwarded a draft of the air pollution abatement order to an official with one of the state agencies that regulate the company.

Alan Walker, a supervising engineer for the Department of Conservation’s oil and gas division, replied that the proposed order was “absolutely crippling.”

“How would you feel about me sharing this with folks up my chain … with a recommendation to have this quashed by the governor,” Walker wrote to Lane.

“I am fine with that idea,” Lane replied. “Thanks Al.”

Walker later replied that the matter was getting a 10-minute discussion with the governor’s staff.

“It is at the highest level I can push right now,” Walker wrote.

Source: Los Angeles Daily News

#EpicFail: The @FrontierCorp entry into California

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Since Frontier took over on April 1 complaints have escalated, prompting many to contact the California Public Utilities Commission.

“We have received 1,256 complaints so far,” CPUC spokesman Christopher Chow said earlier this week. “We’re going to have a Frontier workshop next Tuesday at Long Beach City Hall. The goal is to find out what’s going on and what the utility is doing about it.”

Source: Los Angeles Daily News


Senate hopeful @TomDelBeccaro breaks with the @CaGOP – He actually likes Latinos

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A rarity for the California GOP, Tom Del Beccaro isn’t a racist jerk.

When Del Beccaro, a former chairman of the Contra Costa County GOP, took over as state party leader in 2011, he vowed to recharge the party.

He organized a town hall with the Spanish-language mega-station Univision at one of the party’s conventions, part of his effort to rid the party of its divisive rhetoric over immigration and showcase Republican ideals that he believed would appeal to Latino voters.

“If all you did was show anger toward your wife, would you have one? No,” Del Beccaro said recently. “We should have a relationship with Latinos on the economy, on education, on healthcare. Those are their big issues…. Instead, all Republicans want to talk to them about is the border issue.”

Source: LA Times

Profits, not safety, drive drug maker @GileadSciences

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So what if people die…for Gilead, it’s always about the money.

More than a decade ago, researchers at Gilead Sciences thought they had a breakthrough: a new version of the company’s key HIV medicine that was less toxic to kidneys and bones.

Clinical trials of the new compound on HIV-positive patients in Los Angeles and several other cities seemed to support their optimism.

Patients needed just a fraction of the dose, creating the chance of far fewer dangerous side effects. But in 2004, just as the Foster City biotech firm was preparing for a second and larger round of patient studies, Gilead executives stopped the research.

The results of the early patient studies would go unpublished for years as the original medication – tenofovir – became one of the world’s most-prescribed drugs for HIV, with $11 billion in annual sales.

The new, less harmful form of the drug could have been developed sooner – and wasn’t because the company wanted to extend its patent-protected profits.

Source: LA Times

Feckless @BernieSanders betrays @Israel, sides with #Islamics

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Sanders is a pimp for terrorists.

Sen. Bernie Sanders has begun pushing the Democratic Party toward a platform fight over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a departure from his core focus on domestic economic issues that would put pressure on Hillary Clinton to handle a growing divide within her party.

The Democratic Party has long had a policy of support for Israel and its government, but consensus on that subject has frayed in recent years.

Clinton and many party leaders are loath to show any signs of weakening support for Israel, an ally that has long been central to America’s Middle East policy and that has deep political support in the top reaches of both political parties.

Sanders used his clout in nominating members to the party’s platform drafting committee to select the president of an Arab rights organization and a campaign surrogate who accused Israel during the Gaza fighting of “a crime against humanity.”

Source: LA Times

Cali pols did pretty much nothing to stop Exide from destroying a neighborhood

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California officials have talked tough about the contamination of up to 10,000 homes with lead from a battery recycling plant, calling it a regulatory failure, an environmental injustice and a public health disaster.

Yet accountability for years of pollution by Exide Technologies has been scant.

The company struck a deal with federal prosecutors last year allowing it to close down and avoid criminal charges for years of admitted felonies.

But to the dismay of community groups in southeast Los Angeles County, almost nothing has been done to hold government employees accountable for allowing the plant to operate illegally for decades.

Source: LA Times

The Cali Nurses Association is ready to take out @HillaryClinton

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As he stumps through California ahead of the June 7 primary, Bernie Sanders makes a point of telling his supporters that he has no billionaires on his side.

True enough, but he has enlisted a billionaire-slayer, the California Nurses Association, which represents 90,000 registered nurses in California, and its parent, the National Nurses United, which represents another 95,000 in other states.

Now, the union dominated by women is shunning the first woman with a legitimate shot at becoming president. In their view, Clinton is a mainstream Democrat beholden to the Wall Street cartel and the pharmaceutical industry – and they hate drug companies.

A Public Policy Institute of California poll last week showed Clinton with a mere 2-percentage-point lead over Sanders. Clinton campaign people should worry. Nurses saw it coming.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

The @CaGOP is shut out of another race as Dodd and Yamada head toward a November showdown

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With an overwhelming registration advantage, it’s almost certain that a Democrat will succeed termed-out Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, in the 3rd California Senate District this November.

While three Democrats and one Republican are competing to represent this district stretching from Yolo to Sonoma counties, attention has largely focused on the most well-known and well-funded candidates in the race: Assemblyman Bill Dodd of Napa and former Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada of Davis.

If both of those Democrats finish in the top two and advance to the runoff, voters could see what thus far has been a staid campaign transform into an intraparty brawl spurred on by business groups, unions and other wealthy outsiders.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Cali pols eyeing 1%ers for local income taxes

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The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted recently to seek permission from the Legislature to impose what its members call a “millionaires’ tax” – a county version of the state’s surtax, supposedly to finance services to the county’s many homeless residents.

Like other tax increase proposals, it’s pledged to pay for something that’s popular with constituents, but in reality, it would free up money for other purposes that may not be so popular.

The proposal is based on polling indicating that 76 percent of those surveyed would support such a tax if submitted to voters.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Another Sacramento “hero” is facing sexual assault probe

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A former Sacramento-area police officer is under investigation for a series of alleged sexual assaults while on duty in Sacramento and San Mateo counties in recent years, officials confirmed Friday.

No charges have been filed, but authorities confirmed they are investigating allegations against Noah W. Winchester, who has served as an officer with the Sacramento Police Department, the Los Rios Community College District police and, most recently, the San Mateo Police Department.

The allegations against Winchester involve his time as an officer at Los Rios and with the San Mateo department, officials said, and the investigations are currently underway.

Winchester was placed on leave in October from the San Mateo Police Department and subsequently resigned from that post. He could not be reached for comment Friday. Calls to a cellphone listed in his name went directly to voicemail, and messages left there were not returned.

San Mateo Police Chief Susan E. Manheimer announced earlier this month that her department was investigating “serious and grave allegations” related to “sexual impropriety by an officer.”

Manheimer said in a statement that the officer was immediately placed on indefinite leave and had his police powers suspended while the San Mateo County district attorney investigated the case. That investigation is continuing, and Manheimer said the officer resigned before it was completed.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

The bills for Sacramento County’s deputies’ bias lawsuit are piling up

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Sacramento County paid outside lawyers nearly $640,000 to fight allegations that Sheriff’s Department superiors retaliated against four veteran female deputies for speaking out against discrimination and preferential treatment, county officials disclosed this week.

The bill so far is $637,486.80, according to officials. And Sacramento County could be on the hook for millions more unless it can successfully appeal a recent court decision.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

OC Weekly chica trashed by Univision’s Maria Elena Salinas, all for telling the truth

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¡Qué coño!

Our clubs editor Denise De La Cruz has had one hell of a week.

On Sunday, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Cal State Fullerton’s College of Communication.

On Monday, she wrote a first-person account of how the comm school’s keynote speaker, Univisión anchor Maria Elena Salinas, got booed for speaking Spanish and trashing Trump.

Tuesday, Denise saw her story go national; Wednesday saw her do interviews with the Washington Post, New York Times, and more.

On Thursday, she realized that Cal State Fullerton’s private Facebook page for the school’s Latino Communications Initiative (a group for Latino comm majors) had kicked her out—this after a week of students and professors complaining that she had brought shame to Cal State Fullerton.

And today, Denise gets to deal with the aftermath of Salinas penning an extraordinarily petty column trashing the 23-year-old for her coverage.

All for telling the truth.

Source: OC Weekly

Tom Steyer launches Spanish-language ads; goes on the attack against El Trumpo

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California billionaire Tom Steyer stars in a new Spanish-language television commercial attacking presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

The advertisement, which Steyer’s group NextGen Climate Action is airing statewide ahead of California’s June 7 primary on Univision, Telemundo, and Spanish-language websites, features video clips of Trump calling immigrants from Mexico “rapists” and calling for a deportation force to send home those in the country illegally.

Steyer, who is considering a run for California governor in 2018, then appears onscreen and introduces himself in Spanish.

“We’re all Californians,” Steyer says. “Now it’s time to raise the voice. Vote.”

Source: LA Times

Because #AmericansLoveDrugs, the Sinaloa cartel gladly shares 53 pounds of meth

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The five men showed up at the Hooters parking lot in Ontario. But they weren’t there to eat chicken wings served by scantily clad waitresses.

Authorities said the men were associates of the Sinaloa drug cartel who were there try to sell 53 pounds of methamphetamine wrapped in 42 clear plastic bags.

The men, who were arrested Thursday by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Investigation’s Inland Crackdown Allied Task Force, are accused of trying to sell meth to undercover officers, authorities said.

The drugs had a street value of $2.6 million.

A 2014 report from state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris’ office stated that California has emerged as the major gateway for methamphetamine into the rest of the country. It estimated that 70% of the U.S. supply traveled through state border crossings and linked Southern California gangs with Mexican cartels.

What can we say…Americans love drugs.

Source: LA Times

Coroner autopsies: What the #Islamics did to San Bernardino

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The U.S. government failed these people…and they paid the ultimate price.

The scene inside the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino hours after the deadliest terrorist attack since 9/11 still had the hallmarks of the holiday festivities that brought the victims together and the bloodshed that followed.

There was the Christmas tree in the corner. The holiday decorations that covered more than a dozen tables. But there were also the bodies and bullet holes. Ceiling tiles had been knocked down, bullets had pierced the walls, carpet and chairs. A Christmas stocking lay over one of the victim’s bodies.

Each victim died from multiple gunshot wounds. The victims were scattered across the 3,400-square-foot conference hall, including several by the tree, according to the reports.

Two Islamics, Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, burst into the center about 11 a.m. and began shooting. Twenty-two other people were injured.

Dressed in tactical clothing and black masks, Farook and Malik had burst into the back of the conference room and opened fire with .223 semi-automatic rifles.

For some reason, the morons that run our country’s immigration process felt these two would be excellent citizens? WTF were they thinking?

Religion of peace. Please, spare us the hand-wringing apology.

Source: LA Times

Bernie Sanders is still campaigning in California as if he matters

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Hillary has brutally and efficiently destroyed Bernie Sanders.

For Californians resolved to one day entering a dispensary and purchasing pre-rolled joints or marijuana-infused cookies — all for recreational use — a high-profile ally who lives 3,000 miles away has emerged.

As Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders darts across the state ahead of the June 7 Democratic presidential primary, he’s seamlessly woven into his pitch to voters an unyielding message of support for an effort that would legalize recreational pot in California.

For Sanders, down in delegates and faced with an uphill climb against Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, his endorsement of the measure appears to be an effort to corral support. A poll released Wednesday by the Public Policy Institute of California showed 60% of residents support legalizing pot, and referencing the issue at each of his rallies in Southern California this week often garnered Sanders the loudest applause at each event.

Source: LA Times

Farmers win: They can take your water and you can’t do anything to stop them

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In a case that highlights how difficult it is to enforce agricultural water reductions in California, a state panel has moved to dismiss a $1.55 million fine it levied last year against a Delta-area agency accused of ignoring an order to stop diverting water in the drought.

State water regulators alleged last June that Byron-Bethany Irrigation District in the southern Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta defied a state order issued to dozens of senior water rights holders. The order told them to stop pulling water from streams and rivers due to extremely dry conditions.

It was the first time since 1977 that California had curtailed water used by agricultural districts with senior water rights that predate a system the Legislature put into place in 1914.

Almost immediately, about a dozen districts sued the state, challenging its authority to impose cuts and its methods of policing California’s complex water rights system.

The complaint alleged that after the state issued the stop order, Byron-Bethany continued to divert 2,067 acre-feet of water over the next 13 days from an intake channel at the state-run Banks pumping station near Tracy.

The station delivers water to farms and cities south of the Delta. An acre-foot is 326,000 gallons.

On Thursday, the State Water Resources Control Board said it was moving to drop the enforcement action after several days of hearings.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

The #PoliceState wins again: Thug cops defeat transparency bills

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Hundreds of bills face a vote before the California Senate and Assembly next week after passing off the suspense files in both houses on Friday, but a pair of high-profile public safety measures aimed at increasing transparency in law enforcement agencies will not.

Among dozens of proposals held this year in their respective appropriations committees, either for costing too much or proving politically unpopular, were Senate Bill 1286, by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, to open public access for officer misconduct and use-of-force records, and Assembly Bill 1680, by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Salinas, to fund a grant program for more local police to buy body cameras.

Both measures are part of a broader, and thus far largely unsuccessful, response at the Capitol to the ongoing national debate over police violence that has roiled cities with protests and riots. SB 1286 was heavily opposed by law enforcement groups that argued it went too far in making their private information available. Several body camera bills failed in the Legislature last year as well, as lawmakers could not agree whether to require their use and under what conditions.

And you thought the Constitution applied to everyone.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Give Kevin Faulconer credit, he wasn’t stupid enough to try to run for governor

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Kevin Faulconer’s elevated status in the beleaguered party, and the relative ease with which he’s expected to cruise to another term, has made him the GOP frontrunner to challenge for the governorship in 2018, when Democrat Jerry Brown leaves the office because of term limits.

But then Faulconer said he wasn’t interested, recently telling the editorial board of The San Diego Union-Tribune he’s committed to serving out a full term as mayor.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

If your a model, and you want your rights, you’d better move to France

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Legislation to prevent eating disorders in modeling defeated.

Lawmakers on Friday shelved a bill that would have set more strict health and employment standards for fashion models in California.

Assembly Bill 2539 would have required health specialists to establish health and safety standards regarding health care privacy, the protection of minors from sexual exploitation and sexual predators, and the prevention and treatment of eating disorders.

The bill would also have classified models as employees rather than independent contractors, which would have given them more recourse to demand minimum wage payment and seek past owed wages.

France recently passed regulations requiring models to get a doctor’s note certifying that they are of a healthy weight before being eligible to work. Companies employing models without a doctor’s certification can face hefty fines and jail time. Israel has enacted similar laws that added a minimum Body Mass Index (BMI) requirement.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

More scandal? UC Davis top financial officer abruptly and mysteriously leaves

Screenshot 2016-05-28 at 07.46.42On Thursday, UC Davis Chief Financial Officer Dave Lawlor smiled from a picture on the university’s website.

On Friday, Lawlor was gone and his image, biography and list of duties were removed from the website.

University spokeswoman Dana Topousis would not offer any additional information about Lawlor’s sudden resignation. His annual salary was $422,300, she reported.

Lawlor could not be reached for comment Friday.

Katehi hired Lawlor as chief financial officer and vice chancellor of finance and resource management at UC Davis less then two years ago. He had held a senior finance post at George Washington University in the nation’s capital for seven years.


Source: The Sacramento Bee

Senate Republicans fail again: You need 21 votes to matter

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Fuller hasn’t figured out yet that you need 21 votes to matter in the California Senate.

California Senate Republicans, a resilient lot that two years ago recovered from near obscurity, this year offered up a package of 11 priority proposals, pitching the legislation as a way to lift up the state’s most vulnerable and downtrodden.

Taken together, the legislation sought to cap property taxes for seniors and older or disabled military veterans, create tax deductions for school expenses for the poor and public college tuition, and institute a sales-tax “holiday” for back-to-school shopping. They also moved to restore eyeglass coverage for Medi-Cal patients and allow renters to redirect tax payments to a savings accounts for the down payment on their first home.

Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller, R-Bakersfield, had characterized the GOP effort as “a very positive agenda that gives voice to Californians being left behind by their own Capitol.”

But like so many GOP-introduced bills, eight of the priorities met a bitter fate last week, when they failed to advance ahead of a legislative deadline.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

California’s Recovery Loses Its Luster – “The credit is plateauing”

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The state is better prepared for a recession than it was before the last one began at the end of 2007, said Rob Amodeo, head of municipals in New York for Western Asset Management Co., which holds $25 billion of the securities, including California’s. Still, he pointed to an April Moody’s report that showed that out of 20 states, California was among the most vulnerable.

“The credit is plateauing,” Amodeo said.

Source: Bloomberg

Pols need to stop police thugs from seizing assets unjustly

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A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy pulled over a taco truck driver near Lancaster, searched the truck and found $10,000. The man wasn’t charged with a crime. But law-enforcement agents seized the money.

That’s perfectly legal under a federal program called “equitable sharing.”

It should be called “inequitable taking.”

For more than a year, state Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, has been trying to erase the practice that allows local and state police working with federal authorities to seize assets they suspect are linked to a crime.

As it stands now, no burden of proof is necessary, no innocent until proven guilty.

As long as state or local law enforcement officers are working with federal officials, they can bypass stricter state law that limits seizures to cases in which there is a conviction and the assets are related to the crimes.

SB 443, introduced last year by Mitchell and co-authored by Assemblyman David Hadley, R-Torrance and others, sailed through the Senate, but was voted down in the Assembly.

Why? Because powerful law enforcement groups have been lobbying hard to defeat it.

Source: Los Angeles Daily News

Brutal Alameda County deputies have the audacity to plead not guilty

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In San Francisco, only an idiot would believe the Constitution protects them.

Two Alameda County sheriff’s deputies pleaded not guilty Thursday to felony assault counts in the Mission District beating of Stanislav Petrov.

Deputies Paul Wieber and Luis Santamaria stood silently in the San Francisco Hall of Justice courtroom as their attorneys entered their pleas to assault with a deadly weapon, assault under color of authority and battery.

Video released by San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi a day after the Nov. 12 incident sparked national outrage. It showed Wieber and Santamaria knocking 29-year-old Petrov to the ground in an alley, punching him and clubbing him with batons. The blows continued even when Petrov appeared to surrender with his hands on his head.

The police think this is totally OK. So much for “due process” and “innocent until proven guilty.”

Two videos show Petrov was hit at least 30 times in 40 seconds, prosecutors wrote in court records.

Petrov suffered a concussion and brain injury, deep head cuts and multiple broken bones in both hands that required surgical insertion of plates and screws, authorities said.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Sick joke? Lee sees ‘consequences’ for SFPD thug in fatal shooting

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Suddenly now Ed Lee has a problem with killer cops? What kind of sick joke is this?

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said Thursday that “there has to be consequences” for the city police sergeant who fired into a car last week near the Bayview neighborhood, killing an apparently unarmed woman and prompting the resignation of Chief Greg Suhr.

Coming from the Police State loving Mayor Lee this clearly is his attempt at some sick humor.

At the heart is the issue of whether the sergeant should have fired at the car. Cops love shooting at people in cars…for them it’s almost a sporting event.

Naturally, now that they’ve been caught doing something brutal and stupid, police have released few details about the circumstances that led to the shooting.  They need time to come up with a convincing story to justify the behavior of this killer cop who gunned down an unarmed woman.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

#Bigot L.A. cops target gay men with phony “sting”

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The police reports all began with the same boilerplate language: Citizens had complained of lewd conduct in several public bathrooms around Long Beach, California—bathrooms known as popular spots for cruising, or semi-public sex between gay men.

These complaints, the reports explained, prompted the vice detail to investigate. Undercover officers entered the bathrooms in question as neutral observers and were quickly solicited for sex by gay men.

Once the men exposed themselves, the officers arrested them and charged them. Over several years, the Long Beach police arrested scores of gay men this way. Or so their reports claimed.

However, on April 29, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Halim Dhanidina issued a seething ruling indicting the Long Beach Police Department for “harbor[ing] animus toward homosexuals in its undercover investigations of lewd conduct.” The department, Dhanidina found, consistently lied in its police reports, ensnared gay men in a borderline entrapment scheme, and “deliberately singled out” gay men for arrest “on the basis of [their] sexuality.” This “discriminatory prosecution of men who engage in homosexual sex,” Dhanidina held, is barred by the Equal Protection Clauses of the federal and state constitutions.

His decision is a startling reminder that anti-gay animus continues to infect policing in 2016—even in those liberal bastions where gay men feel most safe.

Source: Slate

Tax cut for women struggles to pass the Cali Senate

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Pink scooters that cost double their red counterparts. “Boyfriend”-style clothing far more expensive than the men’s fashion it mimics.

These are the scenarios that California legislators aim to outlaw with Senate Bill 899, a prohibition on “gender price discrimination” that often sees women charged more for similar goods.

Opposed by retailers and the California Chamber of Commerce, SB 899 struggled for enough support on the Senate floor.

Republicans were uniformly against the proposal.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Nicki’s got a gun, her dog day’s just begun

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Lt. Gavin Newsom has long been a champion for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, gaining national attention when, as mayor of San Francisco a dozen years ago, he directed city officials to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

But as the Democratic gubernatorial aspirant campaigns for a sweeping gun-control initiative expected to appear on the fall ballot, he’s facing a backlash over posts to his social media accounts in which he asserts that a National Rifle Association group is using the transgender community to combat his measure.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Cali Reps make futile, yet correct, attempt to dump Roger Hernández

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A California lawmaker accused by his estranged wife of domestic violence must step down, Republican officials said on Thursday.

In a court hearing on Wednesday, Baldwin Park City Councilwoman Susan Rubio detailed what she called a pattern of violence by her husband, Assemblyman Roger Hernández, D-Baldwin Park, as she sought a restraining order.

Her initial request for a restraining order described “a long history of physical, emotional and psychological abuse.”

The two are in the midst of divorce proceedings, and Hernández has called Rubio’s allegations “100 percent a fabrication.”

Now Republican elected officials have called on Hernández to forfeit his Assembly seat and end his campaign for Congress.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

#EpicFail: Cali’s cap-and-trade system may be crashing

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California’s much-vaunted cap-and-trade system of reducing greenhouse gas emissions may be collapsing.

This month’s quarterly auction of carbon dioxide emission allowances, which was supposed to generate more than a half-billion dollars for politicians to spend, brought in a paltry $10 million as the Air Resources Board sold a tiny fraction of the allowances it was offering.

It could be a one-time adjustment, of course, but those who study the complex market believe that the underlying conditions are more systemic than situational, the most prominent being an increasing concern that the program will expire in 2020.

When the Legislature passed the enabling legislation a decade ago, it was aimed at reducing carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, not only through selling a declining number of allowances at rising prices, but through more specific targets, particularly increasing the level of renewable electric power generation.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

How does Ben Hueso get away with it?

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The California Legislature is well-known for its heavy-handed approach to business. The state recently scored dead last in Chief Executive magazine’s survey of CEOs, which isn’t even newsworthy, given the state continually ranks at the bottom. I recall the senator who years ago, after being asked about ongoing business flight, said it’s OK with him if a few companies go and “rip off” some other state. Steadily and often quietly, more than a few California companies have taken their rip off — jobs, taxes, development — to Nevada, Utah, and Texas.

Yet there has been one part of the economy where legislators have been more reasonable. That’s the sharing economy, and in particular, the situation with transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft. These ride-hailing innovators are emblematic of the entire Bay Area tech vibe that is the state’s economic bright spot. Even California’s lefty Democrats tend to recognize the silliness of siding with the grimy old taxicab industry, as it seeks to shut out innovative — and popular — competitors.

Source: The American Spectator

Sacramento’s #PoliceState thugs try to stop body cams

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Many police departments, although sometimes reluctantly, have embraced body cameras on officers.

Unfortunately, last week the California Assembly passed, 59-1, Assembly Bill 2533, by Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles.

The bill would require “a public safety officer to be provided a minimum of three business days’ notice before a public safety department or other public agency releases on the Internet any audio or video of the officer recorded by the officer.”

Just enough time for thug cops to review the video and make up a story to cover-up their brutality. No one is buying this.

The bill was proposed by the Peace Officers Research Association of California, which says it represents “more than 66,000 public safety members and is the largest law enforcement organization in California.”

They’re the Police State thugs we’re referring to.

According to a statement by PORAC, the delay in releasing the videos is needed because, “[o]ftentimes, officers involved in critical incidents face real and tangible threats from criminals or angry members of the public.”

Yeah, sure. This is pure bullsh*t designed to help thug cops escape prosecution.

Nowadays, most people have smartphones and other cameras that capture video of interactions with police and which are uploaded to the Internet within minutes. That’s the world of surveillance all of us — including police — now live in and have to get used to.

The sole vote against AB 2533 was by Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, R-Riverbank. “To encourage more civic engagement and trust, we must make government more transparent,” she told us. “I have been, and continue to be, a staunch advocate for reforms that will improve government services that people have to rely on — including public safety services. But we cannot do that without providing open and transparent information to the public.”

She’s obviously the only pol in Sacramento with any balls, and any understanding of basic Constitutional rights.

Source: Los Angeles Daily News


Potty break issue explodes as 11 states sue over Obama’s school transgender directive

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Just WTF did he think would happen???

Texas and 10 other states are suing the Obama administration over its directive to U.S. public schools to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.

The lawsuit announced Wednesday includes Oklahoma, Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Maine, Arizona, Louisiana, Utah and Georgia. It asks a North Texas federal court to declare the directive unlawful in what ranks among the most coordinated and visible legal challenges by states over the socially divisive issue of bathroom rights for transgender persons.

The Obama administration has “conspired to turn workplace and educational settings across the country into laboratories for a massive social experiment, flouting the democratic process, and running roughshod over commonsense policies protecting children and basic privacy rights,” the lawsuit reads.

Many of the conservative states involved had previously vowed defiance, calling the guidance a threat to safety while being accused of discrimination by supporters of transgender rights. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has previously said “there is no room in our schools for discrimination.”

The White House had no comment on the lawsuit. The Justice Department said it would review the complaint and did not comment further.

Source: The San Francisco Examiner

Univision anchor goes ‘La Raza” at commencment speech…gets unmercifully booed by students

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Univision anchor Maria Elena Salinas did not think she would incite any controversy when she delivered a small part of her commencement address at Cal State Fullerton in Spanish, or when she discussed the media’s role in covering presidential candidate Donald Trump.

But Salinas was heckled during her remarks at the graduation ceremony for Fullerton communications students when she asked if she could say a few words in Spanish — someone in the crowd yelled “No!” — and then again before she took a selfie with the crowd.

Salinas also drew shouts when she touched on how the media is perceived: “They blame us so much for so many things that now they’re even blaming us, the media, for creating Donald Trump.”

Salinas said she heard some shouting from the crowd during her remarks but “couldn’t hear” the exact words. She said she was surprised when she checked her phone later and saw many insult-filled tweets telling her to speak English.

“There are some pretty nasty words and some pretty nasty comments,” she said. The speech’s aftermath has “degenerated into something that shows the division in this country.”

Source: LA Times