California Policy & Politics This Morning   

E-mails show back-channel talks between CPUC, PG&E -- A top official with the California Public Utilities Commission offered to help Pacific Gas and Electric Co. subvert rules intended to prevent backroom deals in regulatory cases, e-mails that the company released Friday show. Jaxon Van Derbeken in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/31/15

65,000 PUC-PG&E emails released amid state and federal probes -- The release of about 65,000 emails late Friday afternoon occurred in the same week that state law enforcement officers seized computers and paper records during a search of the La Canada Flintridge home of former PUC President Michael Peevey and the Bay Area home of Brian Cherry, a former top executive at Pacific Gas & Electric Co. Marc Lifsher in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/31/15

Ex-regulator to be toasted by industry -- Even as state investigators rummaged through Michael Peevey’s kitchen, office and garage this week, many of the people he regulated as president of the California Public Utilities Commission have been invited to spend $250 apiece to toast him at a farewell dinner. Jeff McDonald UT San Diego$ -- 1/31/15

AG cites possible felony crime in raid on ex-utility boss -- State agents seized bank statements, computers. miscellaneous files and a host of other materials from the Los Angeles area home of former California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey this week, indicating a public-corruption case is growing more serious. According to the search-warrant affidavit and an inventory of materials seized by Attorney General’s office investigators, Peevey is suspected of committing at least one felony offense. Jeff McDonald UT San Diego$ -- 1/31/15

Democratic Party official: ‘Conspiracy’ talk around Kamala Harris sexist -- To the matter of Kamala Harris, Antonio Villaraigosa and political slights – whether real or perceived – on Friday came Shawnda Westly, executive director of the California Democratic Party. First, the set-up, which unfolded as a panel of experts began discussing California’s U.S. Senate race next year. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/31/15

Myers: On State Budget, Californians Confused … But Convinced They Need a Role -- There aren’t many complex tasks where someone would be unsure about how things work but still insist on a decision-making role. After all, you wouldn’t tell a mechanic that you wanted to help rebuild the engine of a car when you had no idea how engines work. And yet, there’s a bit of a parallel in public opinion about the Golden State’s budget, opinion sampled by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) in its new poll. John Myers KQED -- 1/31/15

Greenhut: Voters happy to raise taxes … on others -- California's steeply progressive tax rates might explain latest poll. Steven Greenhut UT San Diego$ -- 1/31/15

Andrew Do wins county Board of Supervisor seat by 43 votes over Lou Correa, but is recount coming? -- Andrew Do was elected to the 1st District Board of Supervisors seat by 43 votes after the vote-counting wrapped up Friday, leaving Lou Correa, one of Orange County's longest-standing politicians, jobless for the moment. Meghann M. Cuniff in the Orange County Register$ Anh Do in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/31/15

Labor unions spar at Richard Pan’s press conference -- An otherwise routine Capitol press conference turned contentious Friday when two representatives from a nurses union began lobbing questions at Sen. Richard Pan, who was presenting a bill to penalize hospitals that call 911 instead of treating drunk patients. Laurel Rosenhall in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/31/15

Lawmaker seeks to repeal 10-cent fee on paper bags in plastic-bag ban -- With California’s ban on plastic grocery bags likely to be put on hold by a referendum, one Southern California lawmaker is offering his colleagues an opportunity to repeal one of the most controversial aspects of the law — a provision requiring supermarkets to charge at least 10 cents for a paper bag. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/31/15

San Jose airport sees another security breach -- In the latest in a series of security breaches, a man got inside the secured perimeter of Mineta San Jose International Airport without authorization Thursday night before being arrested, officials said. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/31/15

'Suge' Knight unaware he had run over and killed a friend, lawyer says -- The man that Marion “Suge” Knight ran over and killed in Compton was a friend who had been trying to break up a fight between the former rap mogul and others, Knight's attorney said Friday. Joseph Serna in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/31/15

Neel Kashkari outspent Jerry Brown in 2014 -- Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari spent $7.1 million during last year’s campaign for governor, about $1.4 million more than did Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown on his way to defeating Kashkari by nearly 20 percentage points, new campaign filings show. Jim Miller in the Sacramento Bee$ Michael Finnegan in the Los Angeles Times$ John Myers KQED -- 1/31/15

Banks: Prop. 47 is achieving its main goal, but with unintended consequences -- Proposition 47 is supposed to free up prison cells for "real" criminals by reducing drug possession to a misdemeanor offense. But what if those addicts also are the "real" criminals we fear? Sandy Banks in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/31/15

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions   

Multiple NFL teams expressing interest in a move to L.A. -- NFL executive vice president Eric Grubman has been a regular at Hollywood Park in recent years. Grubman hasn’t been playing the ponies but rather scouting for a different type of bet, gauging whether the site of the soon to be demolished horse track is the place for the NFL to re-stake its claim in the nation’s second-largest market. Scott M. Reid in the Orange County Register$ -- 1/31/15

Sac Republic says interest of 49ers, Kings, will boost MLS chances -- The owners of Sacramento Republic FC said Friday the addition of the Sacramento Kings and San Francisco 49ers will boost the team’s credibility in pursuing a Major League Soccer expansion franchise. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/31/15

San Diego pumps up efforts to keep Chargers from moving to L.A. -- San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer on Friday named nine business and civic leaders to a committee tasked with devising a plan to build a football stadium that would keep the Chargers from moving to Los Angeles. Tony Perry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/31/15

Chargers stadium task force unveiled -- Mayor Kevin Faulconer on Friday unveiled the members of a task force that will focus on crafting a comprehensive proposal for a new Chargers stadium, including the optimal location and how best to pay for it. David Garrick UT San Diego$ -- 1/31/15

California bill would classify NFL cheerleaders as employees -- Drawing on her background as a collegiate cheerleader at Stanford, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, has authored a bill offering more workers’ protections to women who rally professional sports teams from the sidelines. Jeremy B. White in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/31/15

California government includes state pianist classification -- Sure, it’s 1,022 pages of teeney-weeney print. And it’s mostly dull, eye-glazing, hard-to-comprehend jargon about which state-government jobs should live, which should die and which should get a makeover. Jon Ortiz in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/31/15

Borenstein: Contra Costa board to again consider expanding pension spiking opportunities -- The Contra Costa retirement board has reopened a politically charged debate over expanding pension spiking opportunities for new public employees. Daniel Borenstein in the Contra Costa Times$ -- 1/31/15


Amid California’s drought, water chief preaches conservation – and balance -- Felicia Marcus gets in the shower when it’s still cold. Jeremy B. White in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/31/15

Immigration / Border

Asian Americans urge Obama to consider immigration changes that could affect Orange County population -- More than 40 Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations are calling on President Obama to ease a visa backlog that is blocking relatives from entering the United States, a move that could have an impact on Orange County’s sizeable Asian population. Roxana Kopetman in the Orange County Register$ -- 1/31/15

L.A. officials pledge to help raise funds for immigration relief efforts -- Los Angeles leaders said Friday they hope to raise $10 million to help immigrants in the country illegally apply for President Obama’s deferred action programs, which would offer some protection from deportation. Kate Linthicum in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/31/15


State's toxic releases post 50% gain, EPA says -- The amount of toxic chemicals released in California jumped 50% in 2013 over the year before because of a surge in disposal by the state's largest polluter, a hazardous-waste landfill in Kern County, according to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Tony Barboza in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/31/15

Bay Bridge radar beacon is broken, increasing oil spill risk -- Two years after a 752-foot-long oil tanker collided in heavy fog with the Bay Bridge -- an accident Coast Guard investigators blamed in part on a broken radar beacon on the bridge -- one of the bridge's three beacons is broken again. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/31/15


Measles outbreak grows to 107 cases, latest in Marin County -- The California-centered measles outbreak has spread to Marin County, as the number of cases climbed to 107 in 10 California counties, seven other states and Mexico. Rosanna Xia in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/31/15

Sutter Health, Blue Shield sign new contract -- At least 280,000 Sutter Health patients can stop worrying they’ll have to find a new health care provider partway through this year. Hudson Sangree in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/31/15

Also . . .

Gov. Jerry Brown weighs parole for killer in controversial LAPD lecture -- Rene Enriquez boasts an impressive law enforcement resume. Author. Expert witness. Government consultant. College lecturer. But he achieved such respected standing because of his earlier life's work: Killer, drug dealer and Mexican Mafia "shot caller." Kate Mather and Victoria Kim in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/31/15

Despite stereotypes, why older drivers actually are the safest -- They are more likely to wear seat belts and less likely to drink or text while diving compared with any other age group, according to the Insurance Institute for Traffic Safety. Yet they are more likely to die if they are involved in a crash. Susan Carpenter in the Orange County Register$ -- 1/31/15

POTUS 44    

Erskine: A few thoughts, Mr. President, from a fed-up middle-class member -- Pardon my impertinence, Mr. President. But I have a few thoughts on the current state of the union. Chris Erskine in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/31/15


How Romney got to 'no' -- Mitt Romney decided last weekend that he would not run for president a third time in 2016. But even minutes before his Friday announcement, several of his former top aides were held in suspense, some as convinced he was in as others were adamant he was out. James Hohmann Politico -- 1/31/15