How the entertainment industry turned music festivals into venues for sexual assault

Two weeks before their Central Coast electronic music festival Lightning in a Bottle, the L.A. concert promoters at Do LaB were busy with the usual tasks: prepping campgrounds, checking sound equipment and stocking up on psychedelic art.

But this year, they also held a new class for fans and staff that focused on fighting sexual harassment at festivals: “Creating Safer-Braver Spaces: Consent Culture & Social Care.”

Do LaB, which is a Coachella collaborator, will also have a medical team specifically trained to fight sexual harassment as well as counselors available for any victims. “All of Do LaB’s departments [train] on how to spot a person in need or a situation that might escalate,” said Erica Seigel, a coordinator for the festival safety firm involved. “The teams are trained to act quickly, provide support and create a safe space for anyone who needs it.”

For a new generation of activists fighting sexual assault in the music scene, that’s exactly what fans and promoters need. Why, because for years the entertainment industry has allowed these events to be venues for sexual predators.

Source: LA Times

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#Republican scheme to use  #FBIProbe to attack President #Trump

Republican elites in Washington continue their relentless crusade to destroy President Trump and punish all who support him.

The President has repeatedly vented his frustration with the FBI investigation, denouncing it on Twitter this week as “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”

The investigations, which are based on no substantive legal findings, are creating political cover for Republican lawmakers, who want to destroy President Trump and torpedo his legislative agenda.

For example, the Washington Post has not identified who in the White House the FBI now considers a person of interest, although it said the individual is “someone close to the president.”

This is now the elite media smears people they hate.

Naturally, the Justice Department declined to comment. “As a matter of policy, we don’t comment on the existence or nonexistence of investigations or targets of investigations,” said spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores.

This is how Washington elites smear people they hate.

Source: LA Times

#SanFrancisco allows 2 dozen immigrants to live like animals in laundromat basement

For nearly four years, Nicaraguan immigrant Claudia Blandon Soto lived in the basement of a Laundromat in San Francisco’s Excelsior neighborhood with about two dozen people — some of whom had called the subterranean space home for as long as a decade.

The city turned a blind-eye to the atrocity. The cramped, dark and dusty living quarters went “undetected” by authorities.

Soto, 44, lived in the basement with her husband, Osmar Blandon, 46, and their 22-year-old son, Carlos. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, the steady thrum of washers and dryers droned a few feet above the basement where the tenants ate, bathed and slept.

The basement had been illegally subdivided into 20 units divided by panels of drywall. Each unit measured roughly 150 square feet. A crude bathroom blocked a hallway, exposed wires poked through the walls, and extension cords powered both fans and space heaters. The sole exit was 200 feet from the farthest unit.

A clueless Lt. Jonathan Baxter, a spokesman for the Fire Department, called the basement a “death trap.” The Fire Department ignored the problem for four years.

Their Police State solution? They gave the residents 48 hours to leave, putting two dozen more homeless people on the streets.

Enjoy your Police State.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

California courts continue to shake down motorists for money

The more than 4 million traffic tickets handed out to Californians each year for such infractions as speeding, failing to stop at a red light or failing to signal before changing lanes should no longer be criminal charges, but instead be handled in civil court, says California’s top judge.

WTF? Ya think???

If other judicial leaders and state lawmakers agree with Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, erring drivers would spend less time in court and would no longer face fines of up to $300, and possible license suspensions.

We’re not holding our breath.

The proposals from a judicial panel called the Commission on the Future of California’s Court System are the latest response to a torrent of driver’s license suspensions brought on indirectly by the court.

California’s feckless courts have routinely filled holes in their budgets by adding surcharges to traffic tickets — $490 to the standard $100 fine for a minor violation, like a broken taillight. When drivers miss payment deadlines, they face additional penalties and license suspensions.

It’s the brutality of the Police State. It hurts everyone, it crushes the poor.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

The public rips into state officials over #OrovilleDam secrecy

State water officials told The Sacramento Bee that they want a do-over on how they communicate with the public about Oroville Dam.

After denying public records requests from The Bee, and facing angry citizens at recent public meetings, a somewhat chastened group of officials say they want to be more transparent.

“As these weeks have unfolded we’ve heard from you guys, we’ve heard from the community and elected officials about the need to balance this transparency and also safety. So we have changed what we are sharing,” Erin Mellon told The Bee.

Mellon is spokeswoman for the Natural Resources Agency, the parent agency for the California Department of Water Resources. She suggested the public “treat this as a bit of a reset for us in terms of moving away from emergency response to emergency recovery.” And she said the department would review earlier decisions to keep certain information confidential, including documents requested by The Bee under the state’s Public Records Act.

It would be refreshing to see this state agency figure out how to be more open with the public. We’re not holding our breath.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Outraged nurses rip into Dem leaders at their Sacramento convention

State Democrats’ three-day convention had a raucous start Friday, as activists booed and heckled Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez after marching from the state Capitol to promote a universal heath care program.

The leader of the nurses’ union that opposed Perez’s recent election had just warned California Democrats that they would put up primary election challengers against lawmakers if they don’t support a bill to create public-funded, universal healthcare.

“They cannot be in denial anymore that this is a movement that can primary them,” RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of the California Nurses Association, told hundreds of nurses and health care advocates gathered for a rally at the Capitol.

“Vote them out,” the crowd chanted back, referring to Democrats in the Legislature wavering on whether to support their cause.

They also ripped in to the California political elites favorite, San Francisco’s John Burton. Burton has a long history of talking like a liberal while doing the business community’s bidding.

The showdown over health care exposed deep rifts within the party that may have scabbed over, but have not healed, since last year’s primary fight between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, a favorite of the nurses union, which also backed Perez’s opponent in the chair’s race, the Islamic, Keith Ellison.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Regulators propose “news rules” for natural gas industry after #AlisoCanyon debacle

All this is nice but in the end, politics will override safety concerns and the natural gas industry will get what it wants.

In the meantime, the new rules proposed by the Department of Conservation follow the massive Southern California Gas Co. leak capped last year that persisted nearly four months and led to widespread complaints of headaches, nosebleeds, nausea and other maladies.

Ken Harris, supervisor of the department’s oil and gas division, said the regulations aimed at making all 12 underground natural gas storage fields in the state safer are believed to be the strictest and most comprehensive in the nation.

The agency had been criticized for being easy on industry before the October 2015 blowout at the Aliso Canyon facility above the suburbs of the San Fernando Valley.

Proposed regulations intended at preventing future leaks would set standards for stronger well construction, daily testing for leaks and more rigorous inspections of well integrity. It would also require emergency response plans and contingencies for disasters such as earthquakes, spills, explosions or fires.

Wells would also need to have secondary protection from a leak.

Regulators are still weighing whether to let SoCalGas, a subsidiary of San Diego-based Sempra Energy, resume operations at the facility.

In the end, regulators will give SoCalGas everything they want. That’s how it works in Sacramento.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Referral of Bills in the California Legislature

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By Chris Micheli

After the introduction of a new bill in the California Legislature, or upon a bill passing one house and moving over to the other house for further consideration, that measure must be referred to a committee for a hearing. So, the first key step in the legislative process is bill introduction.

Thereafter, the second key step is getting the bill heard in a legislative committee. The referral or assignment of a bill is governed by the Joint Rules, as well as the respective rules of the Assembly and Senate. In the California Legislature, the referral of bills is done by the Rules Committee in each house.

Though the rules of both houses provide that their committees must hold hearings and act upon bills referred to them as soon as practicable after they have been referred to them, certain requirements must first be met before that occurs. As a general rule, a bill is referred to the committee(s) that have jurisdiction over the provisions of the bill based upon the rules of the respective house and past referral decisions.

In the Senate and Assembly, except as otherwise provided, the Committee on Rules refers each bill to a committee by a majority vote of the membership of the committee, unless upon a motion the Assembly or Senate, by an affirmative recorded vote of a majority of the Members, refers it to some other committee. A motion to refer a bill is not debatable, except as to the propriety of the motion, and it may not open the main question to debate.

Standing committees and their subcommittees are prohibited from taking action on a bill at any hearing held outside of Sacramento or during a joint recess. However, a committee may hear the subject matter of a bill during a recess so long as notice is published in the Daily File at least four days prior to the hearing.

During a regular session of the Legislature, committees must wait for a period of 30 days after a bill has been introduced and in print before they may take action on the bill. These prohibitions may be dispensed with by an extraordinary vote in the house considering the measure. This waiting period permits proponents and opponents to review the provisions of the bill and to prepare testimony for presentation to the committee.

A schedule or calendar of bills set for hearing is proposed by each committee in the Legislature. Publication of this list in the Daily File must occur at least four days in advance of a hearing by the first committee and two days in advance by subsequent committees of the same house. If a committee wishes to hold an informational hearing on a general topic, a four-day notice is also required.

As one can imagine, which committee gets to hear a bill could impact the outcome of the bill, depending upon the subject matter and the receptivity of the committee to the bill. In most instances, the bill referral is relatively straightforward. Sometimes, however, more than one committee might be appropriate to hear the bill. In most cases, only one policy committee will get to hear a bill. However, there are occasions when it is necessary for more than one committee to hear a bill. As a result, the referral of bills is an important part of the legislative process.

 

Chris Micheli is a Principal with the Sacramento governmental relations firm of Aprea & Micheli, Inc. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor at McGeorge School of Law in its Capital Lawyering Program.

Reality forces Swedish prosecutor drops rape charges against Assange

Reality has finally caught up with Sweden.

The nation’s top prosecutor is dropping an investigation into a rape claim against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after almost seven years.

The announcement means the outspoken WikiLeaks leader no longer faces sex crime allegations in Sweden, although British police say he is still wanted in Britain for jumping bail in 2012.

Friday was the deadline for the Swedish prosecution to send a request to Stockholm District Court in the Assange case.

Assange, 45, took refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in London in 2012 to escape extradition to Sweden to answer questions about sex crime allegations from two women. He has been there ever since, fearing that if he is in custody he might ultimately be extradited to the United States.

“This is a total victory for Julian Assange,” Per E Samuelsson, his lawyer in Sweden, told Swedish Radio. “He is now free to leave the embassy when he wants. We have won the Assange case. He is of course happy and relieved. He has been critical that it has lasted that long,”

Source: LA Times

#OaklandPD thug pimped teen girl, taught her how to be a good prostitute

An Alameda County Superior Court judge Thursday ordered a former Oakland police officer charged in a police-misconduct scandal to stand trial after saying the officer behaved “like a pimp” in his dealings with a teen prostitute.

Judge Thomas Rogers chastised Brian Bunton, saying Bunton was “compromised” after having sex with a teen because she knew he was an officer and could ask for favors in exchange for her keeping quiet.

“He’s actually pimping her like a pimp would do,” Rogers said after ruling that there was sufficient evidence for Bunton, 41, to be tried on charges of obstruction of justice and engaging in prostitution.

The teenager testified that Bunton coached her on how to be a better prostitute and warned her of what she thought was an imminent undercover police operation.

The visibly nervous teen vomited into a trash can on the witness stand after describing the sex acts.

She also said that during that encounter, he joked about her sex advertisement on the classifieds website Backpage.

“He said I should show more skin to get clients,” Jasmine told the courtroom.

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

#California uses #fostercare system as a pipeline to state prison

It’s Orwellian, but it is also true. It’s how the nation’s biggest police state handles young children from broken families.

The offenses begin innocently enough.

Kids watching a movie smear cake frosting on each other. A Monopoly game is overturned. A distraught child hurls whatever is within reach — a tissue box, a shoe, a blanket, dominoes, a cell phone.

In California’s shelters for abused and neglected children, these youthful outbursts can become crimes. The instigators of the cake fight are arrested and accused of inciting a mob. A girl who grabbed her stuffed bear and blanket before flinging books is taken into custody for assault. Another girl is booked at juvenile hall for battery after hitting someone with a pack of hot dog buns during a tussle.

The county shelters in the nation’s largest foster care system are supposed to serve as a refuge for vulnerable children removed from unsafe homes. Instead, they have funneled hundreds of children, some as young as 8 years old, into the criminal justice system for relatively minor incidents, a Chronicle investigation has found.

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

#UC regents defend #Napolitano, blame media for exposing their crimes

The University of California’s governing board on Thursday defended President Janet Napolitano against a critical state audit of her office and media coverage, much of which has come from CalNews.com, that some members felt unfairly maligned her.

Not true. The regents at UC have earned every bit of the wrath that has come down on them.

Discussion of the audit – which slammed UC’s central administration for building up a secret $175 million reserve that it used to fund presidential initiatives – quickly turned to praise for Napolitano, who has disputed the report’s findings but promised to implement 33 recommendations to improve the transparency of budgeting practices.

“I was delighted when I found out we had a chance to have Janet Napolitano as our president. I’m still delighted,” Regent Norm Pattiz said. “I think, frankly, you lucked out that the president agreed” to the recommendations.

Chair Monica Lozano stressed the importance of “actually changing the culture” that led to the problems identified in the audit, but several regents continued to push back on the conclusion that Napolitano’s office had ever withheld information about its spending from them or the public. Some complained that newspaper headlines about the report were “salacious.”

Pattiz and Lozano are a couple of elitist rats who are stealing from you and your children.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

#Racist #SacramentoPD thugs are mad because videos catch them in their acts of #brutality

Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Tim Davis, head of the Sacramento police officers union, said members of the force are dispirited by a city policy requiring release of video in extreme confrontations.

So their answer, manipulate the videos to make the brutal racist Sacramento cops look better.

Steinberg called for the city to consider releasing “as much video as possible” to show “everyday interactions, incidents that occur where the police officer acted in the right.”

This is the mayor of a city that recently gave awards to police officers who gunned down a mentally ill African-American man.

A Sacramento city policy approved last year requires that police release footage within 30 days of officer-involved shootings, deaths in custody and some citizen complaints, unless the City Council grants a waiver. The council responded to community demands for more transparency following controversial police shootings in the city and elsewhere in the nation.

Steinberg and his white elite pals in the police department hate this.

Les Simmons, a member of Sacramento Area Congregations Together, said releasing more video would likely not impact community trust or resolve the department’s “PR problem.”

Simmons said the department had been slow to release video under the existing policy and missed the 30-day mandate following a Feb. 10 shooting with a parolee.

It would be better to hold officers “accountable in places where they need to be held accountable … In those moments you will see trust start to build,” Simmons said.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

#AmericansLoveDrugs: More drug-addicted babies in California

There’s no question about it, Americans love drugs.

In California, the number of babies born affected by drugs has nearly doubled over seven years to more than 3,630 in 2015, according to state public health officials.

That rise is directly tied to the stubborn opioid epidemic of prescription painkillers and illegal street drugs such as heroin that have hooked increasing numbers of women, both in California and nationwide.

“It’s not the mom you expect anymore. It’s not just the mom who came in off the street,” said Dr. Kristin Hoffman, a neonatologist with the UC Davis Children’s Hospital. “We see moms in all socioeconomic classes,” such as those taking opiates like Oxycontin for chronic back pain or other ailments.

Weaning their babies off drugs can take weeks. Known as neonatal abstinence syndrome, the symptoms vary from a high-pitched cry to muscles so tight some babies can be as stiff as a board. They are often jittery, sweaty, easily agitated and unable to soothe themselves. They often have trouble sucking from a bottle or nipple, which means they struggle to gain weight. Many are troubled by diarrhea or spitting up.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Has the #DNC California strategy already failed?

“You have to remember something,” said Mike Madrid, a Republican consultant in California. “The Democrats were absolutely convinced that running against Trump down-ticket was going to create the biggest Democratic blue wave of all time, and it did not work at all … What we’re really seeing in America right now is incredibly intense, wired up Democratic base that’s lighting its hair on fire and driving the media narrative, but it’s not driving polling data, and you’re not seeing it in increased turnout in elections.”

Source: Politico

#Salon endorses #bigotry, as long as it’s targeted against #Trump supporters

Salon.com is breaking new ground in American bigotry. Focusing on the shortcomings of Trump voters. In essence, one of the Left’s leading publications has come up with a new hate-based definition of Trump’s supporters that Calvin Candie would be proud of. And just like Candie, they have science to prove their point.

The PRRI study suggests Trump’s supporters don’t do well distinguishing between their feelings and factual circumstances. Take their relative economic class — they’re not necessarily poor, but they aren’t satisfied. They don’t like what they see, but want someone else to fix it. They’re traumatized and lash out. Many are inclined to blame others and self-medicate, yet reject self-betterment through higher education. The survey shows that lots of people in overlooked America vote based on their frustrations and darker emotions.

“White working-class Americans display a strong sense of economic fatalism, which influenced their vote choice in 2016,” said PRRI research director Dan Cox. “A majority of white working-class Americans believe that college education is more of a risk than an investment in the future, a view that is at odds not only with white college-educated Americans, but with black and Hispanic Americans as well. And white working-class voters who lost confidence in the education system as a path to upward mobility were much more likely to support Trump in the 2016 election.”

Source: Salon.com

Greedy #Apple shakes down Chinese customers, partners

Feckless Apple shakes down the Chinese just like they do Americans. They will no doubt find out soon enough that the Chinese government won’t be as easy to buy-off as California’s.

Apple’s latest predicament centers on its App Store. Last month, Apple told several Chinese social-networking apps, including the wildly popular messaging platform WeChat , to disable their “tip” functions to comply with App Store rules, according to executives at WeChat and other companies. That function allows users to send authors and other content creators tips, from a few yuan to hundreds, via transfers from mobile-wallet accounts.

Those transfers are offered by the social-networking apps free of charge, as a way to inspire user engagement. Now, those tips will be considered in-app purchases, just like buying games, music and videos, entitling Apple to a 30% cut.

While the sums are small, the stakes for Apple are big. The company is at a critical juncture in China. Its revenue is sliding. Its market share dropped from 16% in 2015’s first quarter to 9% two years later, according to research firm IDC, and the iPhone has fallen to No. 4 in the market behind three homegrown brands.

Meanwhile, China became the biggest market for Apple’s App Store, surpassing the U.S. in revenue in 2016. In the fourth quarter of 2016, Chinese paid $2 billion for in-app purchases—the most money drawn from any country in App Store history, according to mobile analytics company App Annie Ltd.

So, while it’s understandable that Apple wants to tap the App Store for more money, its pressure on the app platforms risks alienating powerful Chinese companies, turning off Chinese iPhone users and drawing unnecessary attention from the regulators.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Where Do We Find California Laws?

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By Chris Micheli

Like the federal government, California laws are found in three places: the State Constitution, statutes (the Codes), and regulations. The hierarchy of laws is the same as federal laws, with the constitution at the top, followed by statutes, and ending with regulations. The following is an overview of the three sources of laws in California:

The California Constitution is one of the longest constitutions in the nation at about 110 pages in length. The following are the articles of the constitution:

Article I Declaration of Rights
Article II Voting, Initiative and Referendum, and Recall
Article III State of California
Article IV Legislative
Article V Executive
Article VI Judicial
Article VII Public Officers and Employees
Article IX Education
Article X Water
Article X A Water Resources Development
Article X B Marine Resources Protection Act of 1990
Article XI Local Government
Article XII Public Utilities
Article XIII Taxation
Article XIII A [Tax Limitation]
Article XIII B Government Spending Limitation
Article XIII C [Voter Approval for Local Tax Levies]
Article XIII D [Assessment and Property-Related Fee Reform]
Article XIV Labor Relations
Article XV Usury
Article XVI Public Finance
Article XVIII Amending and Revising the Constitution
Article XIX Motor Vehicles Revenues
Article XIX A Loans from the Public Transportation Account or Local Transportation Fund
Article XIX B Motor Vehicle Fuel Sales Tax Revenues and Transportation Improvement Funding
Article XIX C [Enforcement of Certain Provisions]
Article XX Miscellaneous Subjects
Article XXI Redistricting of Senate, Assembly, Congressional and Board of Equalization Districts
Article XXII [Architectural and Engineering Services]
Article XXXIV Public Housing Project Law
Article XXXV Medical Research

Next comes the statutes. A sense of the scope of state statutes can be gained by noting the titles of California’s 29 codes which contain about 150,000 statutes. The following are the codes:

Business and Professions Code
Civil Code
Code of Civil Procedure
Commercial Code
Corporations Code
Education Code
Elections Code
Evidence Code
Family Code
Financial Code
Fish and Game Code
Food and Agricultural Code
Government Code
Harbors and Navigation Code
Health and Safety Code
Insurance Code
Labor Code
Military and Veterans Code
Penal Code
Probate Code
Public Contract Code
Public Resources Code
Public Utilities Code
Revenue and Taxation Code
Streets and Highways Code
Unemployment Insurance Code
Vehicle Code
Water Code
Welfare and Institutions Code

California has over 200 state agencies that make public policy via their authority to adopt regulations. They adopt between 500-600 new regulations each year. The website of the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) provides direct access to the California Code of Regulations (CCR), which is organized under the following 27 titles:

Title 1. General Provisions
Title 2. Administration
Title 3. Food and Agriculture
Title 4. Business Regulations
Title 5. Education
Title 7. Harbors and Navigation
Title 8. Industrial Relations
Title 9. Rehabilitative and Developmental Services
Title 10. Investment
Title 11. Law
Title 12. Military and Veterans Affairs
Title 13. Motor Vehicles
Title 14. Natural Resources
Title 15. Crime Prevention and Corrections
Title 16. Professional and Vocational Regulations
Title 17. Public Health
Title 18. Public Revenues
Title 19. Public Safety
Title 20. Public Utilities and Energy
Title 21. Public Works
Title 22. Social Security
Title 23. Waters
Title 24. Building Standards Code
Title 25. Housing and Community Development
Title 26. Toxics
Title 27. Environmental Protection
Title 28. Managed Health Care

The laws of the State of California are found in these three locations. Of course, there are also court decisions that interpret the State Constitution, statutes and regulations. So, capital lawyers need to monitor state and federal court decisions interpreting these California laws.

 

Chris Micheli is a Principal with the Sacramento governmental relations firm of Aprea & Micheli, Inc. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor at McGeorge School of Law in its Capital Lawyering Program.

Federal judge still doesn’t believe #WellsFargo’s version of sham accounts scam

A San Francisco federal judge is leaning toward rejecting some of the terms of a $142-million settlement aimed at ending a bevvy of class-action lawsuits against Wells Fargo & Co. over its sham accounts scandal.

In a filing Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria asked attorneys on both sides for more information about claims made last week by plaintiffs’ attorneys that as many as 3.5 million bogus checking, savings and credit card accounts may have been created by the bank.

That figure is far more than the 2.1 million accounts the bank had estimated when it reached a $185-million settlement with regulators in September.

Chhabria, in a request for additional information, questioned whether the parties have the ability to accurately estimate the number of bank customers who may be eligible to participate in the settlement.

“If so, what are those estimates and how were they reached? If not, why not?” asked Chhabria, who will preside over a hearing on the proposed settlement Thursday.

The estimate of 2.1 million was based on a review by the bank of accounts created between May 2011 and July 2015, while the new figure is an estimate of unauthorized accounts created between 2002 and this year.

The higher figure was predicated on a recent internal investigation by the bank that concluded the practice of opening unauthorized accounts may have started as early as 2002.

Source: LA Times

Nevada law allows religious whack-jobs to force teens to “pray the gay away”

Gov. Brian Sandoval signed a bill Wednesday that would ban mental health professionals from preforming sexual conversion therapy on minors under the age of 18.

Senate Bill 201, which was sponsored by Sen. David Parks, D-Las Vegas, would make it illegal for licensed mental health practitioners to provide therapy designed to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

But the bill was amended to exempt religious organizations and allow members of that faith to provide counseling.

So it’s still OK for religious whack-jobs to force teens to “pray the gay away”.

Activist within the LGBTQ communities say it’s a step in the right direction. They’re probably right. A bitter-sweet victory is better than a total loss.

So much for the Fourth Amendment. Enjoy your Police State.

Source: Reno Gazette-Journal

@StateDept: Turks beating protesters bad, U.S. cops executing American citizens, no problem

The State Department issued a strong protest to Turkey a day after visiting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security guards and supporters kicked and beat protesters in a scuffle in downtown Washington.

The brief but bloody altercation — the second time in 14 months that a visit by Turkey’s president led to a clash with demonstrators opposed to his authoritarian policies — threatened to escalate into an international incident.

“We are communicating our concern to the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms,” the State Department said in a statement. “Violence is never an appropriate response to free speech.”

Police said two people were arrested and 11 others, including a police officer, were injured. Police said they are working with the State Department and Secret Service to identify Erdogan guards who they believe instigated the melee.

The Secret Service said it was working “to aggressively pursue accountability for those involved in yesterday’s protests.”

In a statement, Peter Newsham, police chief for the District of Columbia, complained of a “brutal attack on peaceful protesters.”

The State Department has remained silent about the almost daily routine Police State executions of the poor, the homeless, the mentally ill, and people of color here in the U.S.

Source: LA Times

 

#TomMcClintock joins #MaxineWaters in attacking President #Trump

Republicans are lining up behind Congresswoman Maxine Waters and calling for an independent investigation into the alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Tom McClintock is one of them.

“With respect to the highly politicized Russia investigation, I would like to see it independently investigated,” Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., one of three California Republicans who have called for an independent probe.

Waters is no doubt pleased.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

California’s institutional discrimination law will stay on the books

Assemblyman Rob Bonta has pulled a bill to repeal a Red Scare-era law allowing California governments to fire public employees for being communists.

The Alameda Democrat said he introduced Assembly Bill 22 this session to “clean up” unconstitutional statutory language that made membership in the Communist Party a fireable offense for California public employees.

People freaked-out and Bonta pulled his bill. Hate wins, free speech loses.

Enjoy your Police State…but be careful what you say.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

#Sacramento’s white elites give themselves lower taxes

Sacramento County has ordered three investigations this year into the office of Assessor Kathleen Kelleher, who resigned Friday.

The county hired an outside law firm in January to investigate whether top officials in the Assessor’s Office benefited from lower tax bills, among dozens of other claims.

The county also launched two internal probes on May 8 to examine issues that remain undisclosed.

Kelleher, who was first elected to the $168,000 post in 2010, denied all allegations of wrongdoing.

She faces allegations that a friend on staff low-balled the value of her new pool and that managers in her office received generous appraisals.

Kelleher left in the middle of her second term, which runs through January 2019, citing “health” issues.

Sacramento County has investigated the department 13 times in the past decade.

Just another day in Sacramento where being white is what it’s all about.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Under orders from powerful school administrators, Dems spike bill to help poor kids

Democratic legislators purport to defend foster kids, poor children who receive subsidized school lunches and English-language learners.

So they should have readily supported legislation that would have allowed those students to attend the public school of their choice. They didn’t.

Instead they spiked Assembly Bill 1482, which would have prevented school districts from denying the transfer of students for whom English is a second language, foster children or kids who qualify for reduced-cost meals. It would be similar to existing laws that permit working parents and military parents to enroll their children in towns where they work.

A California School Boards Association lobbyist testified that the bill could apply to more than half the state’s students and be “very disruptive.”

That’s all it took.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

#Islamics sentence two #gay men to 85 lashes for having sex

Something to think about for all you Leftists who can’t wait to open America’s doors to the Islamics.

A sharia court in Indonesia’s conservative Aceh province has sentenced two gay men to public caning for the first time.

The court on Wednesday said the men, aged 20 and 23, would each be subjected to 85 lashes for having sexual relations.

The couple were arrested in late March after neighborhood vigilantes in the provincial capital, Banda Aceh, suspected them of being gay and set out to catch them having sex.

Yes, it can happen here. Enjoy your Islamic Police State.

Source: LA Times

Cedillo coasts to L.A. City Council re-election

Well done voters!

Incumbent Gil Cedillo handily won reelection Tuesday night over challenger Joe Bray-Ali in a heated run-off for a Los Angeles City Council seat representing a swath of northeast L.A.

With 100% of precincts reporting, Cedillo had received more than 70% of the votes cast in District 1, which includes Westlake, Highland Park and Chinatown.

In March, Cedillo was forced into a run-off by Bray-Ali, a Lincoln Heights resident and bicycle advocate who had been a vocal critic of the councilman’s positions on street safety, development and gentrification.

Source: LA Times

Pervert Santa Cruz doctor and nurse busted

This is almost unbelievable.

A neurosurgeon who, until recently, was employed by the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and a Dominican Hospital nurse have been arrested on multiple charges of sexual offense against children.

James Kohut, 57, was arrested Sunday at a residence near the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor on 4th Avenue on one charge of oral copulation with a child under the age of 10 and two charges of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14.

He was booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail and is being held without bail.

Kohut, most recently practicing in Arkansas, was one of three doctors at Sutter Maternity and Surgery Center and one of two doctors at Dominican Hospital who specialized in neurological surgery.

Kohut ended his employment with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and parent company Sutter Health in 2016, according to a representative of the organization.

Rashel Brandon, 42, was arrested May 10 and charged with 11 felonies including sodomy, oral copulation and lewd and lascivious acts with a child as well as multiple charges related to the production of child pornography.

Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel

Voters decisively back measure to keep brutal #LAPD thugs on the street

Los Angeles voters overwhelmingly handed the Police State a huge victory.

A ballot measure to significantly change the way the Los Angeles Police Department handles serious officer misconduct has won easily, despite warnings from community activists that it will result in more lenient treatment for problem cops.

With 99.9% of precincts counted, Charter Amendment C passed with 57.1% of the vote, according to unofficial results released early Wednesday. The measure, backed by both Mayor Eric Garcetti and the City Council, will deliver one of the most significant changes to the LAPD’s disciplinary process in decades, allowing more civilians on the panels that review officer terminations.

The results provided a major victory to the Los Angeles Police Protective League, which championed the measure. Union officials had long argued that disciplinary proceedings handled by the three-member Boards of Rights are frequently unfair to officers. Currently, each board consists of one civilian and two LAPD command staff ranked captain or above.

Opponents have called Charter Amendment C a City Hall giveaway to a politically connected union and warned it would send the LAPD’s reform efforts backward. Peter Bibring, director of police practices for the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, also described the measure as a “deceptive” piece of legislation.

“Many voters thought they were voting for greater police accountability, when in fact this does just the opposite,” he said.

Source: LA Times

Cristina Garcia continues the fight against the tampon tax

Despite last year’s veto and a committee’s rejection of a similar bill last week, a California proposal to make tampons, pads and other menstrual products tax-free is very much alive.

Assembly Bill 9 by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia — who is determined to stop what she calls a “discriminatory tax” on health products that half the population uses for decades — cleared its first legislative hurdle on Monday.

The 39-year-old Garcia said she is optimistic Gov. Jerry Brown will sign the bill this time if it passes, despite his concerns about lost revenue. The bill would cost the state $21.7 million each year, according to a committee estimate.

At least eight other states, including New York, Illinois and Connecticut, have recently passed legislation exempting menstrual products from taxation, according to Garcia’s office. And last year a California woman filed a class-action lawsuit against the state tax board, alleging that the tax code is discriminatory because it classifies menstrual products as luxury items instead of health necessities.

Garcia, who leads the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, is not about to drop the subject.“Menstrual health products are basic health items,” she said. “My period is not optional.”

Source: The Mercury News

#PaloAlto has become a safe haven for affluent sexual predators

If you’re affluent, and you live in Palo Alto, and your a sex pervert, you’re probably in the right place.

Palo Alto school officials, already under federal pressure to address deficiencies in the handling of sexual harassment allegations, said Tuesday that they would hire an outside law firm to investigate how administrators handled an alleged sexual assault on a high school campus.

Four dozen concerned students and parents packed a special meeting of the board of the Palo Alto Unified School District on Tuesday afternoon to review the performance of the superintendent, Max McGee, and other administrators.

A chorus of students and parents irate over the district’s handling of a sexual allegation involving a varsity football and baseball player at Palo Alto High School called for McGee’s dismissal, saying they heard of the matter only through media reports.

A female student said the athlete, who has not been identified, assaulted her in a bathroom at the school in October 2016, forcing her to perform oral sex.

Community and school board members have publicly questioned whether the district responded swiftly enough and complied with all federal requirements to investigate allegations of sexual harassment and assault — on and off school grounds.

The student athlete still attends Palo Alto High School and participates in varsity sports.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Pervert #RohnertPark cop heading to prison

A Rohnert Park police officer accused of sending lewd text messages to two teenage girls, both members of the city’s police explorer program, has entered a plea bargain with prosecutors to serve six months in jail.

The pervert, Garrett James Piland, 33, pleaded no contest to attempting to have sex with a minor and sending harmful material to an underage person.

Piland worked for the department for nearly four years.

Enjoy your Police State.

Source: The Press Democrat

#SanFrancisco brutalizes the poor with fines and fees

About six years ago, Aviana Danekas was riding a Muni bus when a fare inspector asked her for proof of payment. She had a transfer, but didn’t realize it had just expired.

The inspector told her she had two options: buy another Muni ticket or get a citation. Then a City College student studying fashion and with little money to spare, Danekas refused to buy another ticket.

“I wasn’t as mature as I am now,” said Danekas, now 28. “I was like, ‘That’s ridiculous!’ and we were going back and forth about it.”

The fare inspector gave her a $75 citation, which Danekas didn’t pay, opting to spend what little cash she had on fabric and other school supplies. The blink-and-you’ll-miss-it squabble on the Muni bus turned out to be a very pricey mistake.

Danekas, hoping to buy a car, recently checked her credit report and found that she had been dinged for not paying the citation and that late fees had compounded to the point where she now owes $2,500.

“I don’t have $2,500 to give to San Francisco,” she said, adding that she was in the foster care system from age 3 and has no family to bail her out. “I’m not a criminal. It doesn’t make any sense that this is my punishment.”

Enjoy your Police State.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Former Sacramento Sheriff McGinness says blacks did better before Civil Rights Act

Keeping Sacramento’s legacy as one of America’s most racist cities alive, former County Sheriff John McGinness told his radio audience on KFBK that African-Americans did “much, much, much, much better before” the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed segregation and discrimination based on race.

The comment sparked outrage. It shouldn’t have. McGinness is nothing more than another example of the white racist elites who run Sacramento.

McGinness was Sacramento County sheriff from 2006 to 2010. He now hosts an afternoon radio talk show on white racist KFBK.

To make everything better for his white elite friends, McGinness is stepping down from an inquiry into Davis’ Picnic Day melee after his on-air comments about African-Americans prompted a call for his ouster.

The April brawl between three plainclothes Davis officers and a mob of campus revelers ended with two injured policemen and three arrests. Different versions of events emerged, with at least one witness saying the cops started the fight.

McGinness was hired as an outsider to look into claims that included excessive force and racial bias. The three men arrested, ages 19 to 22, were black.

Enjoy your Police State.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

AG Becerra ripped for ignoring the plight of people of color

California’s new attorney general, Xavier Becerra, was given a golden opportunity Monday to change his department’s passive attitude toward governmental corruption.

He muffed it.

While promising aggressive action on other fronts, such as opposing Trump on immigration, Becerra continued the institutional passivity on corruption.

That’s pretty weak, considering that the true victims of local corruption are the very people Becerra says he wants to help.

Face it, people of color are going to continue to be brutalized by the Police State under Becerra’s regime.

Enjoy your Police State.

Source: Sacramento Bee

Amending or Revising the California Constitution

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By Chris Micheli

The Constitution of the State of California, originally adopted in 1849, sets forth the powers, duties and functions of California state government. It is one of the longest constitutions in the world at over 100 pages in length, which is partly due to the number of voter-approved additions to the state constitution. The document can be amended by initiative passed by voters and these initiatives can be placed on the statewide ballot by legislators or voters.

An amendment to the State Constitution requires passage of a state ballot measure approved by a majority vote of the state’s electorate. These ballot propositions can be proposed by legislators or voters. For voters to place an amendment on the ballot, they must obtain signatures from voters that are equal to 8% of the votes cast in the last gubernatorial election, which is actually one of the lowest threshold of any state in the nation. Section 3 of Article 18 provides that the electors may amend the constitution by initiative.

The California Constitution may also be amended or revised by the State Legislature, as well as by the electorate. While the voters can approve a constitutional initiative on the statewide ballot, the Legislature can place a constitutional amendment on the Constitution. This process is allowed pursuant to Article XVIII of the State Constitution, which provides specific rules for amending and revising the California Constitution.

Section 1 of Article 18 provides the Legislature by rollcall vote entered in the Daily Journal, two-thirds of the membership of each house concurring, may propose an amendment to or revision of the Constitution. The Legislature can also, in the same manner, amend or withdraw its proposal. Each amendment is prepared and submitted to the voters so that it can be voted on separately. The Governor does not act upon a proposed constitutional amendment. Once passed by a super-majority of both houses of the Legislature, the measure is placed on the next statewide ballot for a vote by the electorate.

Section 2 of Article 18 provides the Legislature by rollcall vote entered in the Daily Journal, two-thirds of the membership of each house concurring, may submit at a general election the question whether to call a convention to revise the Constitution. If the majority of the electorate votes yes on that question, within 6 months the Legislature must provide for the convention. Delegates to a constitutional convention are voters elected from districts as nearly equal in population as may be practicable.

Section 4 of Article 18 provides that a proposed amendment or revision must be submitted to the electors and, if approved by a majority of votes, takes effect the day after the election unless the measure provides otherwise. If provisions of two or more measures approved at the same election conflict with each other, then those of the measure receiving the highest affirmative vote prevails.

Although California’s initiative process has been criticized for being “too easy” to place a measure on the ballot for the people to adopt, it is important for both voters and the Legislature to have the power to amend or revise the state constitution. Although the electorate must always have the option to place a measure on the ballot, so too should the Legislature to ensure that potential amendments or revisions to the California Constitution get appropriate consideration by the lawmaking body for the State.

 

Chris Micheli is a Principal with the Sacramento governmental relations firm of Aprea & Micheli, Inc. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor at McGeorge School of Law in its Capital Lawyering Program.

Long Beach police beat black man for riding a bike without a light

If you’re African-American, and you have a bike, you’d better have a light on it if you’re riding at night…or else. That’s the message the brutal racists at the Long Beach Police Department are sending to the African-American community.

A Long Beach man accused of attacking a police officer with his bicycle claims a video and a bystander’s account show he was the victim of excessive force when two officers stopped him for riding without a required bike light.

Solomon Brooks, 31, has been behind bars in lieu of $1 million bail since June 3, when police took him into custody on suspicion of resisting arrest and assaulting an officer with a deadly weapon by allegedly throwing the bicycle at him.

The two officers who stopped Brooks said he cursed at them and tried to fight by repeatedly putting up his fists and even throwing a few punches, according to court documents.

Police say, based on the circumstances, that officers’ actions were justified, but Brooks’ attorney, Meghan Blanco, said a video showing part of the arrest and testimony from at least one witness contradicts the official account of what happened.

Brooks maintains he never resisted police. “No witness saw him acting aggressively,” Blanco said.

Based on this, Blanco is trying to have Brooks freed and the criminal case against him dismissed.

Enjoy your Police State.

Source: Long Beach Press-Telegram

1%ers now get private treatment at LAX

The rest of you mongrels get in line.

1%ers flying out of Los Angeles International Airport can now find some privacy — not to mention luxury — at a new terminal.

The $22 million facility called The Private Suite opened Monday and offers an exclusive entrance, one-on-one security screening and plush lounges.

And when it’s time to actually catch the flight, privileged travelers get a private car ride across the tarmac to the aircraft, head-of-state style.

Source: Los Angeles Daily News

U.S. farmers treat Mexican migrant workers like slaves

This is an example of why America’s immigration system is not working.

The U.S. Department of Labor is accusing an Arizona farm of housing about 70 Mexican farmworkers in dangerous and unsanitary conditions and paying them illegally low wages, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court last week.

The owner of G Farms in El Mirage, Ariz., housed workers in school buses and trailers without any windows, in violation of federal safety regulations, officials said.

The workers were brought in under the federally supervised H-2A visa program, which allows U.S. growers to import seasonal laborers from abroad. Employers who use the program are required to pay a minimum wage set by the government and provide the guest workers free transportation and housing, which must include 50 square feet of sleeping space per person.

After investigators confronted the farmer, he moved the workers into two hotels. But one of his employees called the Labor Department last week and reported that they were being charged to stay in the rooms, and for their food and transportation.

The department has asked for a temporary restraining order to force the farmer to pay workers what they are owed and “to ensure that these workers are kept safe from life threatening conditions.”

The truth is, American farmers don’t want a working immigration system, they want slave labor.

Source: LA Times

Garcia says ‘stealthing’ is rape, seeks to change California law

Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) on Monday introduced a bill that would make it a form of rape to remove or tamper with a condom during sex without consent.

Garcia said the legislation is necessary because it is unclear whether the practice of “stealthing” is illegal under current law. To introduce the bill, she used the “gut and amend” process, stripping the contents of a previously introduced proposal that sought to allow people between ages 18 and 21 to work in gambling businesses, as long they did not perform jobs that involved playing a game.

Source: LA Times

Becerra defends drug use by people of color

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra on Monday sharply criticized the decision by President Trump’s administration to reinvigorate federal prosecution of drug crimes, saying the decision will have a disproportionate impact on communities of color.

“I think it’s crazy,” Becerra said during a speech to the Sacramento Press Club. “I don’t understand it.”

Source: LA Times

All you need to be is #Latino to get rousted at gunpoint by #RohnertPark police

Attention Latinos, Rohnert Park has come to the conclusion that the U.S. Constitution does not apply to you.

If you think we’re making this up, just ask the three Latino men standing in the checkout line at Food Maxx in Rohnert Park buying bananas and iced coffee.

More than a dozen officers rushed into the store. Shoppers dropped where they stood in the aisles.

“The cops came in and ordered them to the ground,” said Anne Jordan, who was shopping at the store in the 600-block of Rohnert Park Expressway.

Rohnert Park officers ordered the unidentified men onto the ground at gunpoint and handcuffed them. (Unidentified? Apparently the police knew the identity of all the white people in the store.)

The men were released after officers found no weapons and no outstanding warrants for them.

Jordan counted seven police cars and more than 14 officers on the scene. It seems this is the amount of force required to defend the city against Latinos buying coffee.

Enjoy your Police State.

Source: The Press Democrat

Psycho San Bernardino County officers shoot into vehicles from helicopters

If you think the police are on the streets to protect and serve you, then you need a wake-up call. Maybe you should have a conversation with Jose Villegas.

Mr. Villegas, his wife and son were headed home on the 215 Freeway after a shopping excursion in September 2015 when an SUV came hurtling at the family’s Dodge Durango.

There was little time to react.

“Boom!” Villegas said. “It was like an explosion.”

Not far away, a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department helicopter buzzed in the air, trailing a robbery suspect in the SUV.

From the helicopter, Deputy Paul Kowalski pointed his machine gun at the fleeing SUV. Kowalski fired 80 bullets down on the freeway at the unarmed driver. The suspect, Nicholas Johnson, was killed and his SUV smashed into the family’s Durango.

Villegas suffered a broken leg. His wife Maria’s ribs were cracked, her wrist was broken and her stomach bled.

Moments after the wreck, Villegas heard his disabled 13-year-old son cry out from the back seat.

“Mom, help!” Villegas recalled the boy calling out. His son was injured, too.

WTF is this all about you ask? It’s a common practice that continues at law enforcement agencies in San Bernardino County. Your life, your families life, and the well-being of your community mean nothing to the Police State.

Read the whole story in the San Bernardino Sun

Lobbyist to Legislator, “Oh by the way, do you need any money?”

It’s how your government works. Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

Days after Timothy Grayson won election to the Assembly, a Sacramento lobbyist greeted him at a reception with sheepish congratulations.

Her client had supported his opponent during the campaign, the lobbyist explained, but now that he’d won, she told him she wanted to move past the election and forge a good working relationship. Oh and by the way, did he need any money to cover costs from the campaign?

“Makeup money” is what it’s called in Sacramento — the contributions that flow to newly elected officials from interest groups that backed a losing candidate during the campaign. It’s a completely legal way of saying, in political terms, “Let’s kiss and make up.”

Read the whole story in the San Francisco Chronicle

California courts: The poor, the homeless, the mentally ill, and people of color don’t stand a chance

When the whole purpose of your legal system is to enrich lawyers and enslave the poor and middle class, it’s hard to believe things could get any better for the officers of the court.

However, California court officials are on a mission to pull the technology underpinning their operations into the 21st century.

This month, state Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye is expected to weigh in on a series of recommendations to enhance the public’s access to the court system and reducing costs.

The modernization proposals, which include expanding the use of video technology and developing chatbots that can help answer routine questions for people called for jury duty, were developed over nine months by a team spearheaded by San Diego Superior Court Judge Robert Trentacosta.

The poor, the homeless, the mentally ill, and people of color don’t stand a chance.

Read the whole story in the San Francisco Chronicle

America, you deserve better than #PeterKing and #AdamSchiff

We can’t wait for Adam “the empty suit” Schiff to respond to this.

Republican Rep. Peter King thinks Hillary Clinton likely has more links to Russia than President Trump has to the country.

“There is probably more evidence of links between Russia and the Clinton campaign than anyone even could imagine between Russia and people involved in the Trump campaign,” the New York lawmaker said in an interview with John Catsimatidis on New York’s AM 970.

King said he is not aware of “any evidence whatsoever of any collusion” between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

King’s claims about Clinton have become a common GOP talking point.

King’s clueless comments fit right in with Schiff’s clueless worldview.

America, you deserve better.

Read the whole story in the Washington Examiner

Newspaper blames #OrovilleDam fiasco on #PatBrown

So blaming Pat Brown for the Oroville Dam fiasco get’s everybody in Sacramento off the hook? Got it.

After all, America’s tallest dam was built from earth, stone and concrete – and the towering ambition of Gov. Pat Brown.

Sixty years before a crisis at Oroville Dam sent thousands fleeing for their lives in February, the late governor brought an almost evangelical zeal to erecting the structure that would hold back the Feather River to deliver water to the parched southern half of the state.

Hundreds of pages of state archives, oral history interviews and other documents reveal a portrait of a man hell-bent on building Oroville and the rest of the State Water Project. Determined to leave a personal legacy, Brown misled voters about the State Water Project’s costs, ignored recommendations to delay Oroville’s construction and brushed aside allegations that substandard building materials were being used at the dam. His administration steamrolled past a land-speculation scandal, relentless labor strife and the deaths of 34 workers to get Oroville built on time.

“I didn’t want anything to stop the California Water Project,” Brown said years later, using an earlier name for the project.

Read the whole story in the Sacramento Bee

#Democrats remained quite while #Obama deported millions of #Latinos

I don’t remember California Senator Kevin de Leon kicking up a ruckus when Barack Obama deported nearly 3 million people, divided hundreds of thousands of families, and dumped tens of thousands of U.S.-born children into foster care after kicking their parents out of the country.

I do remember what the lawmaker said in the summer of 2014. That’s when the Obama administration gave a rude reception to more than 80,000 Central American refugees, mostly women and children.

About 575 children between the ages of 13 and 17 were held, in spartan quarters and without legal counsel, in a federal detention facility in Southern California. A group of Latino legislators, including de Leon, toured the compound.

Then-state Sen. Norma Torres, a Democrat who hails from Guatemala and now serves in Congress, was moved and declared the situation a “humanitarian crisis.”

De Leon also appeared to have been moved, by the political expediency of not criticizing a Democratic president. After the visit, in a conference call with reporters, de Leon played the good soldier.

“Collectively, we came to the conclusion that we are quite satisfied with the conditions,” he said.

You see, in the Trump era, if Kevin de Leon seems clumsy in defending immigrants and refugees, you should cut him some slack. It’s all new to him.

Read the whole commentary in the Mercury News

How #NSA software lead to 100,000 groups in 150 countries being hit by hackers

Nice going NSA.

An unprecedented global “ransomware” attack has hit at least 100,000 organizations in 150 countries, Europe’s police agency said Sunday — and predicted that more damage may be seen Monday as people return to work and switch on their computers.

The attack that began Friday is believed to be the biggest online extortion attack ever recorded, spreading chaos by locking computers that run Britain’s hospital network, Germany’s national railway and scores of other companies, factories and government agencies worldwide.

The attack held hospitals and other entities hostage by freezing their computers, encrypting their data and demanding money through online bitcoin payment — $300 at first, rising to $600 before it destroys files hours later.

The effects were felt across the globe, with Russia’s Interior Ministry and companies including Spain’s Telefonica, FedEx Corp. in the U.S. and French carmaker Renault all reporting disruptions.

The Chinese media reported that students at several universities were hit by the virus, which blocked access to their thesis papers and their dissertation presentations.

What’s worse, those responsible were able to borrow a weaponized “exploit,” apparently created by the U.S. National Security Agency, to launch the attack in the first place.

The ransomware exploited a vulnerability that has been patched in updates of recent versions of Windows since March.

Enjoy your Police State.

Read the whole story in the Sacramento Bee

Man acts “strangely” so Rohnert Park police officers kill him

A man died after he was shot with a Taser by two police officers at a Rohnert Park motel.

He was the older brother of Esa Wroth, a Forestville man who was paid $1.25 million by Sonoma County last year to settle an excessive force lawsuit after he was shot 23 times with a Taser while being booked into the jail on drunken driving charges.

Attorney Izaak Schwaiger said the similarities of the two incidents is “not lost” on the family.

Police State revenge? One could not be blamed for drawing that conclusion.

His crime….“acting strangely.”

Enjoy your Police State.

Read the whole story in the Press Democrat

California pours millions into defense of immigrants facing deportation

Gov. Jerry Brown has earmarked an extra $15 million in the state’s budget to expand legal defense services for people battling deportation, a move that could be interpreted as a response to the Trump administration’s broadened immigration enforcement orders.

The cash infusion would boost the state government’s financial help to those in the country illegally to $33 million.

Immigrant rights groups and lawyers hailed the increased funding in Brown’s revised state budget, calling it a signal that the state is committed to protecting families from what could happen under President Trump.

While the total funds are enough to support existing services, policy analysts said lawmakers might need almost double this amount to fund the other new legal initiatives under consideration at the state Capitol.

Read the whole story in the LA Times

Frightening pension liability spurs Brown to cough-up $12-billion next year

If you’re a homeowner, you’ve likely had someone suggest that the easiest way to lower your long-term debt is to make an extra mortgage payment. Thanks to the miracle of compound interest, your total costs in the long run go down.

Last week, Gov. Jerry Brown essentially decided that it was worth applying the same principle to the state government’s debt for the pensions of its employees.

To do so, the governor’s newly revised state budget includes an almost $12- billion payment in the coming fiscal year to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). Part of that amount is mandatory: a $5.8- billion payment required by law to cover retirement promises that were made to workers, in some cases, decades ago.

The mandatory portion is about 75% more than what the state was paying just five years ago. And for all of the complexity involved with pensions, there’s a simplicity to the math. There are only three pots of money from which to pay pension commitments: employee contributions; employer contributions (which is the state government and, thus, means taxpayer money); and investment returns on CalPERS’ $320-billion portfolio.

Brown’s budget team said last week that a $12-billion infusion of cash now will result in a savings to taxpayers of $11 billion over the next 20 years. A similar prepayment idea to improve the bottom line for county retirement systems has been introduced in the Legislature by state Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa).

Read the whole story in the LA Times

1%ers doing great in Orange County, everyone else suffers

Orange County’s new Community Indicators Report, an annual study by government agencies, businesses and philanthropies, points to many woes woven into the fabric of the county’s sunny suburbs.

One thread links them all: a calamitous shortage of affordable housing.

Homelessness, overcrowding, and family financial instability are directly linked to high housing costs according to the 74-page data-rich report released last week.

However other factors are indirectly linked. When families spend 50% or more of their income on housing, they have less remaining to pay for health care and healthy foods, affecting overall health.

If the housing crisis continues, the report predicts, the result will be “a persistent and growing underclass.”

Read the whole story in the Orange County Register

Crimes Against the Legislative Power

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By Chris Micheli

California law contains statutes related to crimes against the “Legislative Power.” These provisions are found in Article III, Sections 9050 to 9056, of the California Government Code and are intended to combat crimes against the Legislature and the legislative process.

Section 9050 provides that every person who willfully, and by force or fraud, prevents the Legislature, either of the houses composing the Legislature, or any of its members from meeting or organizing is guilty of a felony.

Section 9051 provides that every person who willfully disturbs the Legislature, or either of the houses composing the Legislature while it is in session, or who commits any disorderly conduct in the immediate view and presence of either house tending to interrupt its proceedings or impair the respect due to its authority is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Section 9051.5 provides that, as used in this article of the Government Code, “bill or resolution” includes a constitutional amendment.

Section 9052 provides that every person who fraudulently alters the draft of any bill or resolution which has been presented to either of the houses composing the Legislature for passage or adoption, with intent to procure it to be passed or adopted by either house, or certified by the presiding officer of either house, in language different from that intended by the house, is guilty of a felony.

Section 9053 provides that every person who fraudulently alters the enrolled copy of any bill or resolution which has been passed or adopted by the Legislature, with intent to procure it to be approved by the Governor, certified by the Secretary of State, or printed or published by the State in language different from that in which it was passed or adopted by the Legislature is guilty of a felony.

Section 9053.5 provides that every person who intentionally, maliciously, with knowledge of the falsity, and with intent to defame a particular legislator, publishes or causes to be published any writing which purports to be a facsimile of an actual bill or resolution, or any part thereof, of the California Legislature, which is not an exact copy of a bill or resolution, or part thereof, which has been introduced in the Legislature, is guilty of a misdemeanor. This section does not apply to the print media, the electronic media, or to news services.

Section 9054 provides that every person who obtains, or seeks to obtain, money or other things of value from another person upon a pretense, claim, or representation that he or she can or will improperly influence in any manner the action of any member of a legislative body in regard to any vote or legislative matter, is guilty of a felony.

Section 9055 provides that every member of the Legislature convicted of any crime defined in this article, in addition to the punishment prescribed, forfeits his or her office and is forever disqualified from holding any office in the State of California.

Section 9056 provides that any person who secures through his or her influence, knowingly exerted for that purpose, the introduction of any bill, resolution or amendment into the State Legislature and thereafter solicits or accepts from any person other than a person upon whose request he or she secured such introduction, any pay or other valuable consideration for preventing or attempting to prevent, the enactment or adoption of such measure, while it retains its original purpose, is guilty of a crime and upon conviction is punishable by a fine of not exceeding $10,000 or by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

These code sections provide significant criminal penalties for those persons who interfere with the Legislature and its official proceedings. Individuals are prohibited from engaging in conduct that will falsify legislative documents or create inaccurate materials upon which legislators rely.


Chris Micheli is a Principal with the Sacramento governmental relations firm of Aprea & Micheli, Inc. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor at McGeorge School of Law in its Capital Lawyering Program.

#NSA software behind global wave of cyber attacks

Nice going NSA. Nice going. Next time someone in the government asks you for help, please say no.

A cyber weapon believed to have escaped the control of the United States’ top-secret National Security Agency appears to be behind a massive wave of cyber ransom attacks Friday in scores of countries around the globe that researchers said was the largest computer hack ever.

Computers seized in the attack flashed a message on a black screen with red letters: “Oops, your important files are encrypted.” Users were then unable to access their files and told to pay a ransom to regain access to their machines.

A Czech security research firm, Avast Software, said it had detected more than 57,000 computers frozen by the attack. The Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab said 74 countries had been hit, with Russia, Ukraine, India and Taiwan suffering the biggest impact. The global criminal attacks crippled 16 hospitals and clinics in Britain and affected telecommunications in Spain and Portugal.

“I believe this is the largest, in the effect it is having,” said Lior Div, chief executive of Cybereason, a Boston-based cybersecurity firm.

Div joined a chorus of cybersecurity experts that traced the global ransomware shakedown to a powerful cyber weapon developed by an elite offensive unit of the NSA that was leaked into the open in mid-April.

“There is no question about it,” Div said.

The NSA did not respond to a request for comment.

Read the whole story from the McClatchy Washington Bureau