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Immigration courts clogged with 2-year backlog -- Among the dozens of foreigners facing possible deportation who appeared before San Francisco immigration judges last week was Arturo Rojas, a former military officer from El Salvador who said he had fled his homeland in fear of his life. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/26/17

California GOP moves to align with Donald Trump policies -- The California Republican Party moved Sunday into greater alignment with President Donald Trump, approving resolutions opposing sanctuary cities, advocating robust vetting of citizens from seven Muslim-majority nations and supporting a swift repeal of the federal healthcare overhaul. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/26/17

In deep blue California, Trump electrifies GOP -- California’s withered Republican Party finally found reason for cheer. David Siders and Carla Marinucci Politico -- 2/26/17

California GOP Accepts Trump, Headwinds and All -- As he sat on the edge of the ballroom stage at the Sacramento Hyatt Hotel Saturday afternoon, California Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte seemed to have not a care in the world. Scott Shafer KQED -- 2/26/17

California Democrats had muzzle ready for GOP senator -- The Democrats who muzzled a Republican state senator and had her dragged out of the chambers had plenty of warning of what was coming, and went through with the eye-popping scene after pressuring her in advance not to open her mouth on the Senate floor. Matier & Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/26/17

California Republican Party convention delegates elect Jim Brulte to third term as chairman -- The California Republican Party on Sunday voted to keep Chairman Jim Brulte in the job for a third term to steer the party toward what is expected to be a crucial election for the GOP in 2018. Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Time$ Angel Hart in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/26/17

Can Oroville Dam’s badly damaged spillway hold up through the rainy season? -- For three weeks, Oroville Dam’s fractured main spillway and the surrounding hillsides have taken a nearly nonstop pounding. Ryan Sabalow, Dale Kasler and Peter Hecht in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/26/17

Actor Bill Paxton dies at 61 due to complications from surgery -- Bill Paxton, the prolific and charismatic actor whose many memorable roles included an astronaut in “Apollo 13” and a treasure hunter in “Titanic,” has died from complications due to surgery. He was 61. Lindsey Bahir Associated Press -- 2/26/17

Here’s why BART really needs that bridge toll hike -- Our recent report about BART getting behind a proposed $1 to $3 hike in Bay Area bridge tolls to help pay for hundreds of new rail cars had Steve Jasik of Menlo Park reaching for his calculator — and making a startling discovery. Matier & Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/26/17

Talbot: Sleeping with frenemies: how moderates, progressives can coexist -- Two titanic political battles are raging in America today. One, of course, pits the Democratic Party — and the majority of American voters who rejected Donald Trump — against his freakish presidency. The other battle pits the Democratic Party against itself, with progressives clashing with establishment forces for the soul of the party. David Talbot in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/26/17

Father of dead Navy SEAL refused to meet Trump at ceremony -- The father of a Navy SEAL killed during an anti-terrorism raid in Yemen is demanding an investigation into its planning and criticized the Trump administration for its timing. Associated Press -- 2/26/17


California Policy & Politics his Morning  

Voices of California Republicans on Trump: ‘At least he’s doing something’ -- Republican activists at the state party’s annual spring convention in Sacramento are delighting in President Trump’s surprise victory this fall. Angela Hart and Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/26/17

California Republicans on Trump: Love the president you’re with -- There was a duality at the first California Republican Party convention of the Trump era. For the 1,200 convention-goers, nothing felt sweeter than having a GOP president and control of Congress for the first time in more than a decade. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/26/17

Transgender California GOP delegate says the Trump administration will protect the LGBTQ community -- Gina Roberts, a champion target shooter and supporter of President Trump, says she wishes everyone would take a deep breath and relax about the controversy over transgender students using bathrooms. Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/17

After being removed from state Senate floor, Orange County legislator becomes folk hero of the California GOP convention -- When Republican Sen. Janet Nguyen (D-Garden Grove) was removed from the state Senate floor Thursday after she tried to make a statement about the late Tom Hayden and his opposition to the Vietnam War, many predicted it was just a matter of time before California Republicans highlighted the incident at their convention this weekend. Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times$ Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/26/17

Devin Nunes offers advice to California GOP: ‘We have to be willing to lose’ -- To that end, he suggested GOP-backed initiatives to redirect high-speed rail money into water storage such as dams, drill for more oil off the coast, eliminate the state’s income tax, create a part-time or unicameral Legislature and change how public-sector union dues are collected. He wants the declining party to bankroll the same five measures every two years, presumably until they pass. Christopher Cadago in the Sacramento Bee$ Seema Mehta in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/17

Darrell Issa on need for independent prosecutor: Russia is ‘evil’ -- Republican Rep. Darrell Issa said Russia and its President Vladimir Putin are “evil” at the California Republican Party convention in Sacramento on Saturday, and called for an independent probe into Russia’s involvement in the U.S. election. Angela Hart in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/26/17

Rep. Darrell Issa calls on the GOP to reach out to all Americans — even his party's critics -- Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of Vista, who once called President Obama "one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times," struck a more conciliatory tone Saturday and said Republicans have to do a better job listening to the concerns of all Americans, even those critical of the GOP. Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Times$ Katy Murphy in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 2/26/17

GOP pitbull urges Republicans to demand 'transparency, accountability' from Trump -- California Rep. Darrell Issa, an enthusiastic backer of Donald Trump — and the past chair of the House Oversight committee who once termed the Obama administration "the most corrupt in history" — Saturday called on Congress to "show leadership'' by being equally vigilant and demanding in its oversight of the Trump Administration. Carla Marinucci and David Siders Politico -- 2/26/17

Nunes rejects GOP calls for special prosecutor into Russian ties -- Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, rejected calls from his fellow Republican for a special prosecutor to investigate purported ties between Russia and members of President Trump’s administration and campaign. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/26/17

Willie Brown: Trump taking his reality show to floor of Congress -- President Trump’s speech to senators and House members Tuesday night isn’t technically a State of the Union address — it’s being billed as a speech to a joint session of Congress. That’s probably appropriate, because it’s likely to be more about the state of Donald Trump than the state of the rest of us. Willie Brown in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/26/17

Abcarian: A California town hall agenda: How to resist Trump, help refugees and defend Muslims -- It was a meeting of the California resistance, and turnout was good. Robin Abcarian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/17

After first month, Valley voters for Trump praise the brash and ‘politically incorrect’ president -- Shelly Henderson gushed about President Donald Trump as she stood in the middle of her Sweet Destination candy, coffee, and gift store on G Street in Reedley’s commercial district. Barbara Anderson in the Fresno Bee -- 2/26/17

Teacher owes Trump, he says, for students’ new interest in politics -- Donald Trump and his new administration have handed Bay Area teachers from all sides of the political spectrum an unexpected gift: a bounty of topics and a crop of students suddenly clamoring to talk about government and politics. Sharon Noguchi in the Santa Cruz Sentinel -- 2/26/17

'I beg you, keep flexing your power': Rep. Linda Sanchez gives Democrats' weekly speech -- House Democratic Caucus Vice-chairwoman Linda Sanchez (D-Whittier) in the caucus’ weekly speech urged Americans protesting, calling their members of Congress and turning out in droves at town halls to keep it up. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/17

Lopez: Trump needs to stop terrifying immigrant families and consider the real cost of mass deportations -- Jersey Vargas, 13, was just starting a long night of homework Wednesday when I asked how school was going. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/17

Political Road Map: If you think it's time to rein in money in politics, look to Sacramento or to California's voters -- If there’s any lesson Ann Ravel could take away from her time in Washington spent watching the big money of political campaigns, perhaps it’s this: If you want something done right, do it yourself. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/17

As state attorney general, Xavier Becerra gets to battle Trump — and discourage rivals in 2018 -- The race for California attorney general in 2018 has been shaken up by the so-called “Trump factor,” with the state’s newly appointed top lawyer, Xavier Becerra, seeing his profile boosted to the national stage by legal challenges to the Republican president. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/17

Incumbent Gil Cedillo faces a challenge in contest for his L.A. City Council seat -- Los Angeles City Councilman Gil Cedillo has every advantage in his reelection campaign — incumbency and an enormous fundraising advantage over his rivals. Seema Mehta in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/17

Walters: Cities, counties and schools feel sharply increasing pension costs -- The impact of ever-higher pension costs on California’s local governments, particularly cities, has been evident for years. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/26/17

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions 

Developers of affordable housing in California are on pins and needles over Trump's tax plan -- Over two years, developer Geoffrey Morgan lined up investors, partnered with a medical clinic and found a manufacturer in Idaho to build 135 apartments for formerly homeless residents near downtown San Jose. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/17

Immigration / Border 

Sonoma County law enforcement chiefs detail immigration policies -- Sonoma County law enforcement leaders are trying to allay fears among immigrants about a looming federal crackdown on illegal immigration, saying their officers don’t investigate or detain people based on their legal status — and local chiefs don’t expect that to change. Nick Rahaim in the Santa Rosa Press -- 2/26/17

Deportation fears prompt Sonoma County families to draw up emergency plans -- Xochitl and Jorge have been thinking a lot about the day federal immigration officials come knocking on the front door of their mobile home. The couple, who entered the United States illegally more than a decade ago, now live in Santa Rosa with their children, two of them born in the United States. Martin Espinoza in the Santa Rosa Press -- 2/26/17


North Coast deal preserves land, gives tribe access to creation site -- The history of the Kashia, which dates back at least 12,500 years, unfurled its latest chapter this month. The roughly 1,000 members who live in a nearby reservation or a surrounding town were assured permanent access to what they consider their creation site. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/26/17

Environmental Groups Say California’s Climate Program Hasn’t Helped Them -- In the Wilmington neighborhood of Los Angeles, residential streets dead-end at oil refineries. Diesel trucks crawl through, carrying containers from nearby ports. Longtime resident Magali Sanchez Hall says the pollution from all that has taken a toll, right on the street where she lives. Emily Guerin KQED -- 2/26/17

POTUS 45  

Trump to Washington reporters: Not going to your dinner -- The annual White House Correspondents' Assn. dinner will be missing a key guest this year: President Trump. Kurtis Lee in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/17

Sanders burns Trump with taunting tweet about the size of his inauguration crowd -- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) set Twitter on fire Saturday with an epic troll of President Trump and his unending obsession with the size of the crowds that he draws. Vanessa Williams in the Washington Post$ -- 2/26/17

Nixon’s former attorney sees ‘echoes of Watergate’ in President Trump’s first month -- In 1973, attorney John Dean sat before the Senate Watergate Committee and recounted the grimy details of the scandal that brought Richard Nixon's presidency to a premature end. Cleve R. Wootson Jr. in the Washington Post$ -- 2/26/17

Kuwait could pay up to $60,000 for party at Trump Hotel in Washington -- The Kuwaiti government could pay up to $60,000 to President Donald Trump's hotel in Washington for a party on Saturday that will be an early test of Trump's promise to turn over profits from such events to the U.S. Treasury. Julia Harte Reuters -- 2/26/17

Swedes puzzle over Fox News' Swedish 'security advisor' -- A trans-Atlantic wave of puzzlement is rippling across Sweden for the second time in a week, after a prominent Fox News program featured a "Swedish defense and national security advisor" who's unknown to the country's military and foreign-affairs officials. Jennifer Peltz Associated Press -- 2/26/17

Trump is upset the media is not reporting a meaningless statistic about the national debt -- On “Fox & Friends” Saturday morning, former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain credited President Trump with reducing the national debt, after just one month in office. Ana Swanson in the Washington Post$ -- 2/26/17


-- Saturday Updates 

Ballot measures aim to rein in LA’s unruly marijuana market -- The marijuana market in Los Angeles is, by most accounts, the largest in the United States. It’s estimated to rival the entire state of Colorado’s billion-dollar industry, with perhaps 1,000 retail shops plus untold cultivators, delivery services, testing labs, edibles bakers and concentrate makers operating in the city – even before legalized recreational marijuana sales kick in next year. Brooke Staggs in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 2/25/17

Celebrities launch pot brands as California legalizes drug -- Country singer Willie Nelson, the children of the late reggae icon Bob Marley and comedian Whoopi Goldberg are just a few of the growing number of celebrities publicly jumping into the marijuana industry and eyeing the California pot market, which is expected to explode after voters legalized the recreational use of weed. Paul Elias Associated Press -- 2/25/17

Developers are finally taking interest in South L.A. Will Measure S kill those dreams? -- For decades, residents of South L.A. felt as though the develop ment boom reshaping parts of Los Angeles was passing them by. Angel Jennings and Matt Stevens in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/25/17

The luxury housing that Measure S would stop doesn’t actually require many evictions -- Eve Hars, undergoing chemotherapy for Stage 3 breast cancer, was facing eviction. A developer had purchased her rent-controlled Echo Park bungalow to level it and build new housing. Andrew Khouri and Ben Poston in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/25/17

Bridge failure severs Big Sur’s ties to outside world -- Storms have wreaked hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damage to California’s roads and bridges, but nowhere is the problem more obvious than on a stretch of Highway 1 just south of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, where the last link to the rest of civilization is about to slide down a hillside. Lizzie Johnson in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/25/17

Oakland police chief: ‘Change agent’ looks to begin new role Monday -- Anne Kirkpatrick has a knack for stepping into embattled police departments. She sees herself as a “change agent” — a consummate outsider able to step in and steer sinking ships away from the abyss. Erin Baldassari in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 2/25/17

Officer who discharged gun during Anaheim scuffle with teenager was in fear for his life, his lawyer says -- A lawyer for the Los Angeles Police Department officer who discharged a gun while in a scuffle with teenagers in Anaheim earlier this week said Friday that his client feared for his and his sick father's safety during the incident and still does because of the subsequent protests. Alma Fausto in the Orange County Register -- 2/25/17

Muhammad Ali's son detained at Florida airport and questioned about his religion, lawyer says -- Muhammad Ali Jr., the son of America's legendary boxing champion and civil rights hero, is considering legal action after he was detained at a Florida airport and questioned about his religion, the family’s lawyer said Saturday. Jenny Jarvie in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/25/17

Faulconer has sought more than $1 million in donations for local causes -- Mayor Kevin Faulconer has sought and received more than $1 million in contributions for his favorite causes since he was elected in 2014, and the value of the solicitations has been growing by the year. Jeff McDonald in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 2/25/17

Fox: Boycott the Oscars? Heck, Boycott Everything! -- The focus of the political world will be on California Sunday when several political speeches are bound to take over the Oscars. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 2/25/17

California Republicans mostly united behind Trump at state GOP convention -- A flurry of smartphone snapshots with a cardboard Donald Trump and blazing red “Make California Great Again” hats signaled that many of the GOP delegates at the California Republican Party convention this weekend have embraced the new president and his aggressive tactics to shift the nation to the right. Christine Mai-Duc, Seema Mehta and Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/25/17

Democrats Elect Tom Perez Party Chairman -- Former Labor Secretary Tom Perez was elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee Saturday, giving the party an establishment leader at a moment when its grass roots wing is insurgent. Reid J. Epstein and Janet Hook in the Wall Street Journal$ David Weigel in the Washington Post$ Evan Halper in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/25/17