California Policy & Politics This Morning

FPPC investigating disclosure compliance by Tim Donnelly's PAC -- The state agency overseeing campaign finance rules in California says Republican Tim Donnelly has failed for more than a year to file campaign finance statements for a political action committee he formed in 2012. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/19/14

San Francisco probe leading to entrapment claims -- The FBI used millions of dollars, liquor and cigarettes seized in other cases and more than a dozen undercover operatives in an elaborate, seven-year sting operation targeting a San Francisco Chinatown association thought to be a front for a notorious organized crime syndicate. Paul Elias Associated Press -- 4/19/14

Counties tell Gov. Brown they need money for his realignment law -- Gov. Jerry Brown has been quietly visiting California counties since the start of the year to see how they are faring under his 3-year-old realignment law that dramatically altered the state’s criminal justice system by increasing the burden on local governments. Don Thompson Associated Press -- 4/19/14

Jerry Brown grants 63 pardons -- Gov. Jerry Brown announced 63 pardons Friday, with the vast majority of the recipients convicted of long-ago drug crimes. Jim Miller in the Sacramento Bee$ Paige St. John in the Los Angeles Times$ David Montero in the Orange County Register$ -- 4/19/14

California's economic stability leaves Gov. Brown a new challenge -- The governor wants to keep spending in check while creating a rainy day fund, paying down debt and covering pension shortfalls. But he needs some GOP support. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/19/14

Republican congressmen join legal flap over Cinco de Mayo incident at South Bay high school -- Several conservative groups and 20 Republican members of Congress have jumped into the legal fray over a South Bay high school's decision to order a group of students wearing American-flag adorned shirts to turn them inside out during a 2010 Cinco de Mayo celebration. Howard Mintz in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 4/19/14

Greenhut: Senator’s stance sparks schoolyard fight -- Anderson removed from key committee after defying leadership. Steven Greenhut UT San Diego$ -- 4/19/14

Bond firm's hospitality under review -- State ethics regulators have opened an investigation into hundreds of dinners purchased for school officials by Stone & Youngberg, an underwriter that has issued billions of dollars of bonds across California — many approved by recipients of those meals. Ashly McGlone UT San Diego$ -- 4/19/14

Democratic super PAC reserves TV airtime in California -- A Democratic super PAC announced Friday that it has reserved more than $800,000 in television time for the home stretch of the general election in California. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/19/14

Conservation League backs two rivals for Waxman's House seat -- The California League of Conservation Voters has endorsed two rival Democrats in the crowded race to succeed Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills). Jean Merl in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/19/14

California's Governor Wants Water Tunnels. Antitax Group Wants to Know Who Pays -- California has a $25 billion plan to transport snowmelt from the northern Sierras through a pair of 37-mile tunnels to farms and cities in the south. But there’s no indication of how much water users will owe for the huge project or who’s on the hook if they can’t pay for it, according to the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, the state’s leading antitax group. Peter Waldman Bloomberg Businessweek -- 4/19/14

Phil Yost, former Mercury News editorial writer, dies at 63 -- Phil Yost was a gentle and decent man, a writer with an ethical compass that belied the stereotype of the cynical journalist. He was known for an unerring sense of fairness, a willingness to consider an argument from another side. The item is in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 4/19/14

Unusual arrangement? Honda’s campaign offices are right at home — in SEIU headquarters -- Democratic Congressman Mike Honda, now engaged in a contentious fight for re-election in a Silicon Valley House race, has made the unusual move of locating his 2014 campaign office inside the headquarters of a major South Bay labor organization — the Service Employees International Union Local 521. Carla Marinucci in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/19/14

Bobby Shriver endorsed for supervisor by ex-L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan -- In the latest sign that business interests are coalescing around his candidacy, Los Angeles County supervisorial candidate Bobby Shriver was endorsed Friday by former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan. Catherine Saillant in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/19/14

Investor sues Diane Harkey's campaign to recoup money -- Assemblywoman Diane Harkey’s campaign for the state Board of Equalization is being sued by an investor seeking payment of a $1.6 million judgment against her husband’s bankrupt investment company. Martin Wisckol in the Orange County Register$ -- 4/19/14

Obama to hit Y Combinator headquarters in Mt. View on May 8 -- President Obama will hit the Mt. View headquarters of Y Combinator, the hot Silicon Valley start-up funder and incubator, as part of a May 8 fundraiser that will now be co-hosted by Y Combinator president Sam Altman and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, sources say. Carla Marinucci in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/19/14

Overseer wants Oakland to speed up hiring police chief -- Oakland's mayor and city administrator need to stop dragging their feet and hire a new police chief or risk falling behind on reforming the department, according to a progress report released Friday by the court-appointed police overseer. Will Kane in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/19/14

BART derailment occurred when train tried to enter tracks without authorization -- For the second time in the last two months, a BART train derailed along central Contra Costa County tracks, this time after a train operator attempted to maneuver the train from a side track onto a mainline track without approval, the BART board president said Friday. Matthias Gafni in the Contra Costa Times$ -- 4/19/14

California Ramps Up Preparations for Coming Fire Season -- Lingering drought and wildfires occurring at twice the normal rate this year have prompted increased concern and accelerated preparations for the traditional peak fire season in California. Erica E. Phillips in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 4/19/14

Economy, Employers, Jobs   

Venture capital funding soars to levels last seen in dot-com bubble -- Investors pour $9.5 billion into U.S. start-ups during the first quarter of 2014, the biggest amount since the second three months of 2001, when the so-called dot-com boom was gasping. Chris O'Brien in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/19/14

Bill would list employers with workers collecting welfare -- An alliance of public sector unions is pushing legislation that would have the state publish an annual list of California’s private employers whose employees use public assistance programs such as food stamps and Medi-Cal. Allen Young Sacramento Business Journal -- 4/19/14

Construction jobs have grown fast in California -- A robust housing market and a wave of new high-rises have improved job prospects for construction workers in the state. Tim Logan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/19/14

CalCharge leads Bay Area's play to be the battery-tech capital of the U.S. -- A consortium of the battery technology companies ranging from the huge — Duracell, Hitachi, Volkswagen, LG and Eaton Corp. — to local startups this week formally launched CalCharge, a group tasked with accelerating research around energy storage. Jon Xavier Silicon Valley Business Journal -- 4/19/14

UAW rejects Boeing C-17 labor offer as 'economically inferior' -- The aerospace union that represents an estimated 1,000 workers on Boeing Co.’s dying C-17 cargo jet program in Long Beach rejected a proposed contract because of cuts to pension and medical benefits, union officials announced Thursday. Pat Maio in the Orange County Register$ -- 4/19/14

How much would moving cost the maker of Sriracha? -- Huy Fong Foods is being peppered with offers of new homes close by and far away, but moving to any of them would be costly. Brian Watt KPCC -- 4/19/14

San Francisco program offers help to tenants evicted under Ellis Act -- The Ellis Act Housing Preference Program, created by legislation that Chiu authored, will allow tenants who have lived in their homes for more than a decade and are evicted under the Ellis Act to receive priority when they apply for approximately 2,000 city-funded or city-run housing units. Marisa Lagos in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/19/14

Sticky subject of drilling divides beach town -- At issue is a simple question voters figure to answer in November: Should Hermosa Beach let Layton’s company, E&B Natural Resources, drill for oil over the next 35 years and share revenue with the city and school district, or should residents pay $17.5 million for the Bakersfield-based firm to get lost? David Montero in the Orange County Register$ -- 4/19/14

Most air traffic control applicants fail new FAA personality test -- A group of aeronautics students at Mt. San Antonio College complain that a new FAA screening tool is shutting them out of careers as air traffic controllers. A dozen students met with Congresswoman Grace Napolitano (D-Norwalk) this week to ask her help. Sharon McNary KPCC -- 4/19/14

Michaels Stores’ Breach Involved 3 Million Customers -- Michaels Stores, the arts and crafts retailer, estimates that data on three million of its customers’ payment cards may have been stolen in a breach over several months. Elizabeth A. Harris in the New York Times$ -- 4/19/14

PG&E to be arraigned in fatal pipeline blast -- Pacific Gas and Electric Co. officials are set to appear in court on Monday to face federal felony charges involving safety violations tied to a deadly 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area. Associated Press -- 4/19/14


UC Berkeley acceptance rate plunges amid new admission process -- University of California, Berkeley's freshman acceptance rate for fall 2014 plunged 3.5 percent amid changes to its admission process, including a greater emphasis on admitting out-of-state students. Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/19/14

California students feel UC admission squeeze -- California high school seniors faced a tougher time winning a freshman spot at most of the UC campuses for the fall, with their chances at UCLA and UC Berkeley now fewer than one in five, according to a report released Friday. Larry Gordon and Carla Rivera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/19/14

UC Berkeley sexual assault policies draw U.S. agency probe -- The probe began weeks after dozens of Berkeley students and alumni filed a complaint with the federal Office for Civil Rights, alleging the school mishandled campus disciplinary cases involving sexual violence. Katy Murphy in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 4/19/14

EdSource symposium to tackle ‘seminal’ public school reforms -- New tests, new lessons, new acronyms. Public education in California is undergoing radical reforms that change everything – from how students will be tested on what they learn to the fundamental way schools are evaluated. Michelle Maitre EdSource -- 4/19/14

Santa Monica teacher who scuffled with student to be reinstated -- Santa Monica school district officials will reinstate a teacher who was placed on paid administrative leave after video clips showed him locked in a tussle with a student in a classroom. Matt Stevens in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/19/14

Charter school bill stirs debate over autonomy -- Charter school advocates from the county and state rallied Wednesday in San Diego against legislation they believe would chip away at the autonomy that’s crucial to their brand of education. Maureen Magee & Mike Gardner UT San Diego$ -- 4/19/14

UC Davis public health school back on front burner -- Only weeks after taking charge, the new medical chief at UC Davis is spearheading a plan to create a school of public health in Sacramento. Kathy Robertson Sacramento Business Journal -- 4/19/14


A sip to quench the thirst -- Some thirsty California cities and farms will receive a sip of water — not nearly enough to solve drought-induced woes but better than the nothing folks had been expecting. Michael Gardner UT San Diego$ Bettina Boxall in the Los Angeles Times$ Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury$ Matt Weiser in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/19/14

California's water wars reach 'new level of crazy' this year -- From all over California, farmers, environmental lawyers, wildlife groups, cities and even the Fresno County sheriff have posted thoughts in a siege of protests to state officials about the use of this year's puny snowpack and half-empty reservoirs. Mark Grossi in the Fresno Bee -- 4/19/14

EBMUD drought plan: Voluntary savings plus new emergency supply -- Customers in the East Bay's largest water district should be asked to continue voluntarily reducing their water use 10 percent without mandatory water rationing, the agency's top managers recommend. Denis Cuff in the Contra Costa Times$ -- 4/19/14

Sacramento residents can let lawns die without being cited -- Residents in the city of Sacramento can turn off their sprinklers without breaking the law after City Council members passed an emergency measure Thursday to suspend the city’s landscaping requirements during the current water restrictions. Hudson Sangree in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/19/14

Immigration / Border

DMV going to school on undocumented residents' driver's license rules -- Documentation is one of the key issues under review by California’s Department of Motor Vehicles, which is working to roll out new regulations that will allow some 1.4 million undocumented residents to apply for driver’s licenses, under a bill approved by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last fall. Roxana Kopetman in the Orange County Register$ -- 4/19/14

Also . . .

Embattled Richmond housing authority funded extensive training trips for volunteer advisers -- While beset by mounting debt and low performance grades from federal officials, the city's public housing agency funded a series of trips sending volunteer advisers to conferences to receive training, with costs amounting to $79,315 from mid 2008 to 2011. Robert Rogers in the Contra Costa Times$ -- 4/19/14

Here's Everything You Need To Know About Why We Celebrate Weed On 4/20 -- Warren Haynes, the Allman Brothers Band guitarist, routinely plays with the surviving members of the Grateful Dead, now touring as The Dead. Ryan Grim Huffington Post -- 4/19/14

Homeless San Francisco marathoner doesn't run from his problems -- Ronnie Goodman is a homeless artist. He is running for his life. And that's all a good thing, he says. Especially the running. Kevin Fagan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/19/14

Crazy Siri Hack Brings Voice Commands to Google Maps, Spotify -- Tired of waiting for Apple to open up Siri to more developers? So were a group of college students, who’ve come up with a clever workaround. Jared Newman TIME -- 4/19/14

RadioShack cuts price of iPhone 5s to $99 -- If you're looking to buy the iPhone 5s for cheap, RadioShack is the place to go. Salvador Rodriguez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/19/14

Watch Elon Musk's Reusable Rocket Launch And Land Itself In This Amazing Video Shot By A Drone -- Because the cost of fuel is much less compared to the cost of building a rocket from scratch every time, Musk and his team are trying to master reusable rockets so they can get closer to their goal of making commercial space travel more affordable. Julian D'Onfro Business Insider -- 4/19/14

Google Trends Debuts Email Notifications For Search Topics, Hot Searches And More -- The new feature will allow you to subscribe to any search topic, plus Hot Searches for any country, or any U.S. monthly Top Chart, says Google via a blog post detailing the feature. Sarah Perez Techcrunch -- 4/19/14

Beliebers rejoice, White House won't boot Justin -- More than 270,000 people signed the petition "to deport Justin Bieber and revoke his green card," but the administration said it's not going to comment. Nick Gass Politico -- 4/19/14

Potus 44 

White House updating online privacy policy -- A new Obama administration privacy policy released Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to, mobile apps and social media sites, and it clarifies that online comments, whether tirades or tributes, are in the open domain. Martha Mendoza Associated Press -- 4/19/14


Mitt Romney returns to political stage as Republicans prepare for midterms -- One rainy morning this month, the man who thought he would be president boarded a train near his beach house in San Diego. He stepped off in Burbank, Calif., and caught a ride to a sound stage, where his on-again, off-again political consigliere, Mike Murphy, was waiting to shoot a commercial on a set that bore more than a passing resemblance to the Oval Office. Robert Costa and Philip Rucker in the Washington Post$ -- 4/19/14