California Policy & Politics This Morning   

Massive King fire sets off even louder alarms in California -- In a summer of destructive blazes across Central and Northern California, the King fire — burning out of control in the forest east of Sacramento — has officials particularly alarmed. Veronica Rocha, Rosanna Xia in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/19/14

CalPERS gets $88 million in Citi settlement -- CalPERS said Thursday it has collected $88 million from a previously-announced settlement with Citigroup Inc. over toxic mortgage securities. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/19/14

Pols want AG to probe CPUC’s ties with PG&E -- Peninsula politicians want state Attorney General Kamala Harris to investigate possible crimes involving the California Public Utilities Commission’s shockingly cozy relationship with PG&E during the agency’s probe of the utility after the deadly 2010 gas explosion in San Bruno. Josh Richman Political Blotter -- 9/19/14

California Republicans convene with modest goals -- Ron Nehring, the former California Republican Party chairman and current candidate for lieutenant governor, was campaigning this week when he posted a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge on Twitter and told his followers he was heading “deeper into opposition-held territory.” David Siders in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/19/14

Former employee sues Assemblyman Steve Fox -- A former legislative director for Assemblyman Steve Fox has sued the lawmaker in Superior Court, contending that he forced her to work on cases from his private law practice and, on one occasion, exposed himself to her. John Howard Capitol Weekly Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/19/14

Prosecutors offer Sen. Ben Hueso a plea deal -- Sacramento County prosecutors offered Thursday to lower the drunk driving charge against state Sen. Ben Hueso to a lesser misdemeanor known as a wet reckless. Laurel Rosenhall in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/19/14

Sen. Hueso's DUI arraignment delayed until after Nov. election -- That's two days after Hueso, D-San Diego, will face off against Rafael Estrada, also a Democrat, in California's 40th State Senate District. Hueso did not appear at today's court hearing. Chris Nichols UT San Diego$ -- 9/19/14

Democrat drops his endorsement of GOP's Knight in congressional race -- Adding to events that have buffeted state Sen. Stephen Knight's campaign for Congress in recent days, the former rival Democrat who had endorsed him pulled his support on Thursday. Jean Merl in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/19/14

California health exchange stays neutral on Proposition 45 -- After months of intense discussions, California’s health insurance exchange on Thursday remained on the sidelines of a Nov. 4 ballot initiative that would allow the state’s elected insurance commissioner to regulate rates. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/19/14

Ad watch: Ad targeting rate regulation measure overreaches -- Opponents of a Nov. 4 ballot initiative that would allow the state’s elected insurance commissioner to regulate health insurance rates have launched their first TV ad, claiming that the proposal would disrupt the health exchange and give too much power to a single politician. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/19/14

Deal struck over Coastal Commission vacancy -- In a rare move, a seat on the state’s powerful Coastal Commission will remain vacant for weeks following an unsuccessful effort in the Capitol to allow the newly elected mayor of Long Beach to serve on the 12-member panel. The position officially became vacant this week. John Howard Capitol Weekly -- 9/19/14

Walters: Bill would expand courts’ authority over local government districts -- The California Voting Rights Act was signed by then-Gov. Gray Davis in 2002, but it was years before it began to have real-world impacts. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/19/14

Oakland returns $1 billion contract to Texas waste hauler -- In a stunning about-face, Oakland has agreed to return the city's $1 billion trash-hauling contract to the nation's biggest trash hauler, which one month ago accused the city in a lawsuit of illegally awarding the bid to a small local firm that was ill-prepared to do the job. Will Kane in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/19/14

Calbuzz: GOP Confab: Can Paul, McCarthy Hide True Beliefs? -- The headliners for the California Republican Party convention in Los Angeles this weekend – newly re-branded U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, and U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield – fit the profile of modern Golden State Republicans that Chairman Jim Brulte would like to popularize: well-spoken GOP celebrities who don’t sound like fire-breathing evangelists. Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine CalBuzz -- 9/19/14

Taxes, Fees, Rates   

Jerry Brown signs film tax credit bill -- Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Thursday to more than triple California’s film and television tax credit, a point of heavy lobbying by the state’s TV and movie industry. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee$ Michael Finnegan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/19/14

Greenhut: Why can’t DMV charge right tax rate? -- The DMV charges people who register their newly purchased vehicles a tax rate based on their zip codes. The problem: About 20 percent of the state’s zip codes have varying tax rates within those Postal Service-developed boundaries. Steven Greenhut UT San Diego$ -- 9/19/14

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Pensions   

Gov. Brown signs bill giving cities control over massage businesses -- Cities will have more authority to crack down on illicit massage parlors under a new law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown Thursday. Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ Jeremy B. White in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/19/14

Sacramento River Cats agree to affiliation deal with San Francisco Giants -- The Sacramento River Cats have reached a deal to become the Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants beginning next season, ending their 15-year association with the Oakland A’s. Matt Kawahara, Marcos Breton and Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/19/14

Oracle’s Larry Ellison steps down as chief executive -- Oracle announced Thursday that its flamboyant, hard-charging chief executive Larry Ellison will step down after nearly 40 years running the company he co-founded in 1977. Hayley Tsukayama in the Washington Post$ Shira Ovide in the Wall Street Journal$ Quentin Hardy in the New York Times$ -- 9/19/14

Larry Ellison's exit as Oracle CEO signals Silicon Valley shift -- Larry Ellison's resignation as CEO of Oracle Corp. punctuates a shift in power in Silicon Valley as original tech titans like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Ellison give way to a newer generation of leaders like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google. Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/19/14

Divide between homeowners and renters is growing -- For homeowners in Southern California, the housing recovery has been pretty kind. For renters, not so much. Tim Logan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/19/14

L.A. to re-examine regulations controlling city's taxi companies -- In a push to level the playing field for taxi firms competing with new, app-based ride-sharing businesses, Los Angeles officials agreed Thursday to re-examine hundreds of regulations that control the city's nine licensed cab companies. Laura J. Nelson in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/19/14

Taxi drivers, owners spar at (San Diego) City Hall -- A proposal by San Diego City Councilwoman Marti Emerald to lift a decades-long cap on taxi cab permits won the support Thursday of her fellow council committee members following an often emotional hearing that ended up pitting drivers against owners. Lori Weisberg UT San Diego$ -- 9/19/14

Sacramento region sees median income slide in 2013 -- Sacramentans’ median household income fell slightly in 2013, according to U.S. census figures released Thursday. Nationally, the Federal Reserve said Thursday that Americans’ household wealth in the second quarter hit a record high of $81.5 trillion. Phillip Reese in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/19/14

Education

Regents OK raises up to 20% for UC chancellors -- The UC regents Thursday awarded pay increases of as much as 20% to the leaders of the Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Merced and Riverside campuses and set the annual salary of the new UC Irvine chancellor, Howard Gillman, at $485,000. Larry Gordon in the Los Angeles Times$ Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/19/14

L.A. school district will double staff helping with iPad rollout -- In response to problems with providing iPads to all students, teachers and campus administrators, the Los Angeles school system will double the number of people who will help with technical and instructional issues. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/19/14

San Diego Unified will return armored vehicle -- The San Diego Unified School District has decided to return a military-grade armored vehicle donated by the Department of Defense that was intended to be used by city schools police for emergencies such as campus shootings. Susan Shroder UT San Diego$ Tony Perry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/19/14

L.A. Unified settles suit with student data software vendor -- The Los Angeles Unified School District paid $3.75 million Thursday to settle a lawsuit with the vendor of a software system designed to track attendance, grades, schedules and other student data, officials said. Abby Sewell in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/19/14

Report critical of charter school oversight -- A lack of oversight of the nation’s charter schools has led to too many cases of fraud and abuse and too little attention to equity, according to a new report that offers recommendations to remedy the situation. Susan Frey EdSource -- 9/19/14

Drought  

'Brown is beautiful' landscaping bill signed by governor -- Gov. Jerry Brown signed a pair of bills on Thursday that protect residents in homeowners associations across San Diego County and California who want to replace their water guzzling lawns with drought tolerant plants, or just cut back on turf watering during a drought. Chris Nichols UT San Diego$ -- 9/19/14

Immigration / Border

CR bill becomes immigration battle -- A must-pass bill that funds the government and arms Syrian rebels briefly became a proxy battle over immigration Thursday as a handful of red-state Senate Democrats sided with Republicans on a measure that could have opened the door to a controversial deportation vote. Seung Min Kim Politico -- 9/19/14

Environment

Bay Area scrap recycler fined over bay pollution -- A Redwood City scrap metal recycling company was fined $189,500 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday for allegedly polluting San Francisco Bay with metal debris. Henry K. Lee in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/19/14

Health

Campos wants money to promote use of drug to prevent HIV -- Supervisor David Campos wants the city of San Francisco to set aside more than $800,000 to pay for public education and subsidies for the first drug that can prevent HIV infection. Marisa Lagos in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/19/14

Officials confirm first 2014 California cases of enterovirus D68 -- Four cases of a virus that can cause severe respiratory illness in infants and young children — especially those with asthma — have been found in California, state health officials announced Thursday. Eryn Brown in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/19/14

Also . . .

Barry Bonds case: Conviction reversal seems likely -- Federal appeals court expresses concern about home run king Barry Bonds' obstruction of justice conviction. Howard Mintz in the Oakland Tribune -- 9/19/14

POTUS 44    

Obama: Thanks, Congress -- He applauds lawmakers for the "speed and seriousness" of a vote to arm Syrian rebels. Jennifer Epstein Politico -- 9/19/14

Gun parts seller: 'Obama's Blaster' a joke -- An Oceanside gun parts maker, selling a pistol part he calls “The Obama’s Blaster,” has gotten the national attention he wanted. Dimitrios Karras, owner of Ares Armor, says it’s all a joke, meant to stir up controversy, not to encourage anyone to use it on the President. Pauline Repard and Kristina Davis UT San Diego$ -- 9/19/14

Beltway

Pelosi Pens Second Endorsement Letter for Eshoo -- Nancy Pelosi is making another play for her fellow Californian and close friend, Rep. Anna G. Eshoo, to be ranking member on the Energy and Commerce Committee. Emma Dumain Roll Call -- 9/19/14