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California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Democrats try to saddle California GOP candidates with Trump -- Donald Trump might be missing in action when it comes to campaigning this fall in deep-blue California, but Democrats in tight congressional races are making sure the outspoken GOP presidential hopeful isn’t forgotten. John Wildermuth in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/26/16

Trump looms large in California congressional races -- Republican Donald Trump’s presidential campaign plays large in a number of California’s most competitive congressional campaigns. Democrats already hold a 39-14 advantage in the nation’s largest congressional delegation and they are looking to add to it in November by hammering any GOP candidate who doesn’t reject Trump. Elliot Spagat Associated Press -- 10/26/16

Latinos in California have one big reason to go to the polls: Donald Trump -- Galvanized to vote in the presidential race by Donald Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric, Latinos in California are expected to turn out in large numbers in November and have considerable influence on down-ballot races and statewide propositions. Sophia Bollag in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/26/16

The GOP dead zone: You won't find any Republicans to vote for in L.A. County -- When 818,000 voters in Los Angeles County fill out their ballots this election, they will find themselves in strange political territory: the only Republican names they’ll see will be presidential nominee Donald Trump and his running mate Mike Pence. Javier Panzar in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/26/16

Obama tells Pentagon to speed up review of California Guard enlistment bonuses -- President Obama has told the Defense Department to expedite its review of nearly 10,000 California National Guard soldiers who have been ordered to repay enlistment bonuses improperly given a decade ago, but he is not backing growing calls for Congress to waive the debts, the White House said Tuesday. David S. Cloud in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/26/16

Pentagon: 'Looking at' National Guard bonus complaints -- The Pentagon on Monday said complaints about California National Guard troops forced to repay old bonuses have "the attention of our leadership," while a San Diego County congressman’s staff says current law allows waiver of the debt. Jeanette Steele in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/26/16

Two corrupt cops joined forces with drug dealers. Now, dozens of criminal cases could be in jeopardy -- Four years ago on a sweltering afternoon, Bakersfield Police Det. Damacio Diaz was sitting in his car alongside informant Guillermo “Memo” Magallanes. Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/26/16

Democrats’ Road to Assembly Supermajority Leads Through Tri-Valley -- On a recent Saturday morning, Democratic legislators addressed a packed union hall in Dublin, and asked the assembled volunteers to help them elect a new colleague. Guy Marzorati KQED -- 10/26/16

Drug price backers overstate savings of Proposition 61 -- The Nov. 8 campaign pitching itself as the answer to rising drug prices in California has released an ad featuring an Iraq War veteran designed to counter opponents’ charges that Proposition 61 would lead to higher prices for former military service members. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/26/16

California correctional officers launch pro-death penalty campaign -- With polls showing California voters poised to abolish the death penalty in just two weeks, the state correctional officers’ union is underwriting a major drive to save capital punishment. Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/26/16

Jaycee Dugard opposing Jerry Brown’s prison reform initiative -- One of California’s most famous kidnap victims is opposing a parole overhaul backed by Gov. Jerry Brown that would make more inmates eligible for early release. Adam Ashton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/26/16

Justin Timberlake's ballot selfie highlights mixed laws -- Now even Justin Timberlake has been forced to deal with the question of whether a ballot selfie is legal. Associated Press -- 10/26/16

San Francisco poll finds residents blame tech, City Hall for problems -- San Franciscans are evenly split on whether the city is headed in the right direction or is on the wrong track, and they view homelessness and housing as the most important issues facing their city. Heather Knight in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/26/16

Lawyers allege poor conditions at Northern California jail -- Lawyers representing inmates at a California county jail have asked a federal judge to enforce a nearly 40-year-old court order, citing what they say are deteriorating conditions that have led to dozens of suicide attempts. Associated Press -- 10/26/16

Man arrested in Islamic center threats had guns, ammo -- A Los Angeles man found with multiple weapons and hundreds of pounds of ammunition in his home was charged with making terrorist threats to the Islamic Center of Southern California, authorities announced Tuesday. Amanda Lee Myers Associated Press -- 10/26/16

Anger still flares after judge OKs Volkswagen emissions deal -- A federal judge approved the largest auto-scandal settlement in U.S. history Tuesday, giving nearly a half-million Volkswagen owners and leaseholders the choice between selling their cars back or having them repaired so they don't cheat on emissions tests and spew excess pollution. Sudhin Thanawala and Tom Krisher Associated Press -- 10/26/16

500,000 Californians register to vote in 2 days, set record -- More than 18.7 million Californians have registered to vote in the Nov. 8 pre sidential election, a state record. Associated Press -- 10/26/16

Independent turnout low in early voting -- Two weeks after early voting began in California, independent voters in San Diego County are off to a sluggish start. Joshua Stewart in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/26/16

San Diego looks to limit driving without high-density neighborhoods -- Under pressure to shrink its carbon footprint, San Diego on Tuesday rolled out proposals aimed at encouraging commuters to curb their driving — from eliminating parking spaces to getting businesses to offer incentives for employees to walk, bike and take mass transit. Joshua Emerson Smith in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/26/16

California judicial watchdog agency sues over state audit -- The California agency that disciplines judges is suing the state auditor over the scope of an audit ordered this year by the Legislature, saying the probe is too broad and violates the constitutional separation of powers. Greg Moran in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/26/16

D.A. Tony Rackauckas rejects oversight position created after jailhouse snitch controversy -- Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas will not reinstate a top oversight position that his handpicked investigatory committee said last year could help steer the “rudderless” ship his office had become and that might have helped to prevent its ongoing jailhouse informant controversy. Jordan Graham in the Orange County Register -- 10/26/16


Housing is now unaffordable in many rural parts of California too -- People fleeing big coastal cities like L.A. and San Francisco in search of more affordable housing inland could be in for sticker shock. A new report released Tuesday reveals that inland, rural parts of California are increasingly unaffordable too. Ben Bergman KPCC -- 10/26/16

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions 

Prime Healthcare ordered to pay $6.5 million in back wages -- In a ruling last week, the National Labor Relations Board ordered Prime Healthcare Services, the owner of several Southern California hospitals, to pay back wages to laboratory technicians, clerks and pharmacists, among other employees. Natalie Kitroeff in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/26/16

‘Bad hombres,’ ‘nasty woman’ fuel Halloween entrepreneurs -- When Donald Trump uttered the words “bad hombres” and “such a nasty woman” at the third presidential debate, costume store owner Mark Greenbaum didn’t think about his cash register. Wendy Lee in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/26/16

Insider is sentenced to prison in scam that nearly took down L.A.'s last black bank -- A loan officer who peddled bad loans to churches across the country — a scam that nearly took down L.A.’s last black-owned bank — was sentenced this week to federal prison, ending a lengthy saga for Broadway Federal Bank. James Rufus Koren in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/26/16

Google Fiber Halts Expansion Plans as Chief Steps Down -- Google's parent company is halting operations and laying off staff in a number of cities where it once hoped to bring high-speed internet access by installing new fiber-optic networks. Brandon Bailey Associated Press Ethan Baron in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/26/16

Is electric car start-up Faraday Future already running out of cash? -- Nevada’s state treasurer has a message for electric car company Faraday Future: Show me the money. The company building a $1-billion factory for Faraday in Nevada has a similar message: Pay up now. Money problems appear to be plaguing the secretive Gardena-based start-up, which is trying to rival Tesla and other automakers. Russ Mitchell in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/26/16

Average domestic airfare drops to lowest level since 2009 -- It may not seem like it when you’re planning a trip, but the average domestic airfare has dropped to its lowest level in years, according to government data released Tuesday. Hugo Martin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/26/16

Uber's self-driving truck makes its first commercial delivery: beer -- The first commercial shipment by a self-driving truck was a beer run. Uber Technologies Inc.’s self-driving trucking unit, Otto, said Tuesday that it partnered with brewing giant Anheuser-Busch Cos. to carry 51,744 cans of Budweiser on a shipment through Colorado. James F. Peltz in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/26/16

Committee OKs scaled-back Frank Gehry project on Sunset Boulevard -- A mixed-use project that would anchor the eastern edge of the Sunset Strip received preliminary approval Tuesday night after developers agreed to a number of compromises, including a request to reduce the size of a proposed 15-story tower. Alice Walton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/26/16

Opponents of Beverly Hilton project allege voter fraud -- Opponents of the Beverly Hilton’s bid to erect the tallest building in Beverly Hills have asked Los Angeles County prosecutors and elections officials to investigate allegations of voter registration fraud. Kim Christensen in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/26/16

Tenderloin neighborhood could be renamed 'Union Square West' -- The Tenderloin may soon be the shopping destination for San Franciscans and tourists alike under the new name: "Union Square West." Tomikka Anderson in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/26/16


California officials reject federal government's push to administer old science tests -- California education officials have decided that students will take only one statewide standardized test in science this spring, a pilot test based on new standards known as the Next Generation Science Standards. Pat Maio EdSource -- 10/26/16


Why Prop 64 is about more than just smoking marijuana -- Proposition 64, on its surface, poses a simple question: Should people be free to smoke pot in California? But the 62-page initiative on the Nov. 8 ballot asks voters to determine much more than that. Brooke Edwards Staggs in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 10/26/16

California AG Chief Talks About Balancing State And Local Marijuana Rules -- California is still writing the rules on regulating medical marijuana. Meanwhile Agriculture Department Secretary Karen Ross says the state is mindful voters may decide to legalize recreational marijuana. Given that possibility, she says the state is working on making medical marijuana rules as "adaptable as possible." Julia Mitric Capital Public Radio -- 10/26/16

Cities Prepare to Take the Driver’s Seat in Marijuana Trade -- In the dusty, wind-swept city of Adelanto, officials are predicting big changes on the horizon. City Councilman Johnny “Bug” Woodard Jr. is standing in front of a chain-link fence surrounding a vacant lot in the city’s Green Zone, the industrial area where Adelanto allows medical marijuana cultivation. Katie Orr KQED -- 10/26/16


Antarctica’s Ice Sheets Are Melting Faster — and From Beneath -- Antarctica’s ice has been melting, most likely because of a warming climate. Now, newly published research shows the rate of melting appears to be accelerating. Christopher Joyce KQED -- 10/26/16

Reservoirs Provide Tap Water Yet Significantly Contribute to Climate Change -- Hydropower dams are generally thought to be a clean source of electricity. By moving water through turbines, dams can generate large amounts of electricity almost continuously and without causing air pollution. Matt Weiser KQED -- 10/26/16


Health care costs rise slowly for those who get insurance at work -- Health insurance costs for Americans who get their coverage through their jobs have seen only small annual increases since the federal Affordable Care Act went into effect, despite soaring premiums in the new marketplaces. Victoria Colliver in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/26/16

LA County Launches Initiative to Reduce Screen Time and Increase Exercise for Kids Five and Under -- The county’s Department of Public Health is placing ads in public transit stations, in movie theaters and online showing tots and parents engaging in fun activities such as jumping and playing indoor basketball. Fran Kritz California Health Report -- 10/26/16

Also . . . 

San Diego judge gives Mexican cocaine kingpin 15-year prison term -- Cazares, 53, was a kingpin, the head of a large Mexican drug-trafficking organization aligned with the powerful Sinaloa cartel. He was in the business of shipping tons of cocaine from producers in Colombia and Venezuela to Mexico and distributing the drug throughout the U.S. Kristina Davis in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/26/16

Man arrested in Islamic center threats had guns, ammo -- A Los Angeles man found with multiple weapons and hundreds of pounds of ammunition in his home was charged with making terrorist threats to the Islamic Center of Southern California, authorities announced Tuesday. Amanda Lee Myers Associated Press -- 10/26/16

Bay Area News Group journalists honored -- Two former Bay Area News Group reporters and a veteran BANG photojournalist will be honored next month by the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The item mentions Jessica Calefati, Jane Tyska and Pete Carey in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/26/16


Amid lagging polls, Trump stops holding high-dollar fundraisers -- Donald Trump’s campaign said Tuesday that it has scheduled no more big-money fundraising events to benefit the Republican Party, another sign of the GOP nominee’s struggling campaign and a serious blow to the party’s get-out-the-vote operations with less than two weeks to go until Election Day. Sean Sullivan, Matea Gold and John Wagner in the Washington Post$ -- 10/26/16

Donald Trump’s campaign has spent more on hats than on polling -- According to the Federal Election Commission filings, Donald Trump's presidential campaign has spent $1.8 million on polling from June 2015 through September of this year (the most recent month for which data are available). The report also lists $3.2 million spent on hats. Philip Bump in the Washington Post$ -- 10/26/16

Trump asks team to trim back transition efforts, focus on race: sources -- Trailing in opinion polls, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has asked his campaign to cut back on work identifying candidates for key jobs in his would-be administration and focus instead on bolstering his chances on Election Day, according to two people familiar with the campaign's inner workings. Emily Flitter Reuters -- 10/26/16


-- Tuesday Updates 

Disney may try to get even bigger to compete with merged AT&T-Time Warner -- With a market capitalization of $150 billion, the Walt Disney Co. is an entertainment behemoth. But the Burbank-based company could soon find itself in an unfamiliar position: dwarfed. Daniel Miller in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/25/16

Accusations of racism against Latinos fly in legislative races -- Two California legislative races featuring Latino candidates have drawn charges of racism, adding a caustic ingredient to the home stretch of the 2016 election. Jeremy B. White in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/25/16

Iran sentences another American, a 46-year-old from San Diego, to prison for 'collaborating' with the U.S. -- A 46-year-old Iranian American from San Diego said Tuesday that Iran had sentenced him to 18 years in prison for “collaborating with a hostile government,” becoming the latest dual citizen to be jailed in a secret trial in the Islamic Republic. Melissa Etehad and Shashank Bengali in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/25/16

Apple sales post first annual decline in 15 years -- For any other company, reporting annual sales of more than $215 billion would be worth celebrating. For Apple, however, it’s a reason for disappointment. Rex Crum in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/25/16

Politifact CA: Tobacco industry misleads in Prop 56 'doctor advertisement' -- Opponents of Proposition 56, California’s proposed tobacco tax increase, have raised more than $66 million to defeat the November ballot measure. Nearly all of that money has come from the tobacco industry and much of it has been spent on television ads criticizing the initiative. Supporters have raised nearly $30 million for it. Chris Nichols Politifact CA -- 10/25/16

Slain officers' families oppose California prison initiative -- Family members of two California police officers fatally shot to death this month spoke forcefully Tuesday against a November ballot initiative that would change California's sentencing laws by giving corrections officials more control of when criminals are released. Don Thompson Associated Press -- 10/25/16

Local roads, streets in sorry shape -- California’s 143,000 miles of local streets and roads are deteriorating rapidly, and the average local thoroughfare across the state is rated “at risk” because of its poor physical condition, according to a study commissioned by a coalition of local governments and their allies. John Howard Capitol Weekly -- 10/25/16

‘Major computer outage’ takes 105 DMV offices offline in California -- Due to an “internal issue” that started Monday at DMV headquarters in Sacramento, described as a “hardware failure” by spokeswoman Jessica Gonzalez, crews have to rebuild the computer system to get 105 state offices up and running again. Ryan Fonseca in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 10/25/16

Central Valley congressional race shifts to a toss-up -- The 10th Congressional District race between Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) and Democrat Michael Eggman is now a toss-up, the nonpartisan analysts at the Cook Political Report announced Tuesday. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ (after clicking this link you must scroll down to see the item) -- 10/25/16

Crime victims oppose the death penalty in 'Yes on Prop. 62' ads -- In new online ads released Tuesday by proponents of Proposition 62, which seeks to repeal the death penalty in California, crime victims urge voters to end the system and bring peace to grieving families. Jazmine Ulloa in the Los Angeles Times$ (after clicking this link you must scroll down to see the item) -- 10/25/16

U.S. Rep. Ami Bera: 'Soldiers who served our country should not be penalized for the mistakes of others' -- U.S. Rep. Ami Bera (D-Elk Grove) wrote to top Department of Defense officials Monday urging them to stop asking veterans to repay enlistment bonuses. Sophia Bollag in the Los Angeles Times$ (after clicking this link you must scroll down to see the item) -- 10/25/16

Opponents of drug-price measure use veterans to raise cost-increase fears -- Drug-company funded TV ads urging Californians to oppose Proposition 61, which deals with prescription drug prices, have been filling broadcasts. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/25/16

Ryan urges Pentagon to suspend collection of Guard bonuses -- House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday called for the Pentagon to immediately suspend efforts to recover enlistment bonuses paid to thousands of soldiers in California who signed up to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan. Matthew Daly Associated Press -- 10/25/16

Aliso Canyon 1 year later: Health study stuck in limbo amid cancer fears -- At the top of Tampa Avenue, in their Porter Ranch home, Candice Garcia and her family fell ill with rashes on their faces, their chests and hands. Headaches began, and her daughter’s asthma became worse. Susan Abram in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 10/25/16

STD rates in California are the highest they've been in 25 years -- National health officials sounded the alarm last week about a troubling rise in chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis rates, with cases reaching an all-time high in 2015. Soumya Karlamangla in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/25/16

The largest auto-scandal settlement in U.S history was just approved. VW buybacks begin next week -- A federal judge in San Francisco has approved a $15 billion court settlement of most claims against Volkswagen for its emissions-cheating scandal. Associated Press Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/25/16

Ted Cruz alums focus on down-ballot California races -- Ted Cruz’s California operation, which wound down when the Texas senator bowed out the race a month before the primary here, is quietly whirling back to life as the fall election approaches. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/25/16

State ethics watchdog asks court to force assemblyman's campaign to turn over documents for investigation -- The campaign of Assemblyman David Hadley (R-Manhattan Beach) has delayed turning over documents related to an official investigation into his campaign practices, according to court documents filed by the state Fair Political Practices Commission. Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times$ (after clicking this link you must scroll down to see the item) -- 10/25/16

Fox: Tom Hayden -- The first time I saw Tom Hayden he was running in the 1976 primary for the United States Senate to displace fellow Democrat John Tunney. I was relatively new to California. It was in the San Francisco area. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 10/25/16

University of California is Hillary Clinton’s top source of campaign cash -- The University of California is the biggest source of cash for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. Sean Cockerham in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/25/16

Traffic posse is altering San Francisco streets in name of safety -- A pack of vigilantes that typically does its deeds in the dark has been hard at work on the streets of San Francisco for the past few months trying to make them safer for bicyclists and pedestrians by surreptitiously plunking down orange traffic cones or planting white plastic posts. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/25/16