California Policy & Politics This Morning   

Field Poll: California state superintendent race deadlocked -- The contest to become California’s top education official is the state’s most competitive statewide race, with a new Field Poll showing a virtual tie between incumbent Tom Torlakson and challenger Marshall Tuck. Jeremy B. White in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/30/14

Candidates in school chief race diverge on key issues -- In the race that will determine who gets the biggest megaphone on education issues in California, the two candidates for state superintendent of public instruction are entangled in perhaps the highest profile and most contested race on the ballot. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 10/30/14

Jerry Brown, weary of agenda questions, dares reporter to ‘print half of what I say’ -- Gov. Jerry Brown, who is so far ahead in his re-election bid that he only recently started campaigning, has been asked any number of times why he hasn’t done more to lay out an agenda for a fourth term. On Wednesday, he appeared to have had enough. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/30/14

Gov. Jerry Brown plans to head north for final rally -- Gov. Jerry Brown is heading to Colusa County on Saturday for what is being billed as his last campaign rally of the year. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/14

Jerry Brown pushes water bond, makes no promises about Salton Sea -- Backed by politicians from both parties, California Gov. Jerry Brown brought his whirlwind campaign to San Diego on Wednesday to urge passage of Proposition 1, the $7.5-billion water bond. Tony Perry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/14

Republicans use scandal in fight for Ron Calderon's Senate seat -- Even with indicted lawmaker Ronald S. Calderon unable to seek reelection, the scandal enveloping the Democratic state senator has rubbed off on the campaign to replace him. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/14

Former NYC mayor Bloomberg, unions give more to Shriver, Kuehl efforts -- Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has given $100,000 to a group supporting Bobby Shriver's bid to replace retiring Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the latest in a flurry of late contributions. Catherine Saillant in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/14

Dems pump $743K into effort for Peters -- The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is spending $743,000 on the 52nd Congressional District race this week to help incumbent Scott Peters stave off Republican challenger Carl DeMaio. Mark Walker UT San Diego$ -- 10/30/14

A Republican Challenges Rep. Tom McClintock — From the Left -- Of course, conservative groups like the ones McClintock mentioned base their endorsements on an official’s voting record. And that, says challenger Art Moore, is precisely the problem. McClintock’s been in office too long. Scott Detrow KQED -- 10/30/14

State rail agency seeks to avoid bullet-train injunction battles -- The California High-Speed Rail Authority is facing seven lawsuits over its approval of the Fresno-Bakersfield segment of its statewide bullet-train line. Tim Sheehan in the Fresno Bee -- 10/30/14

California’s Proposition 45 Would Offer Public a Say on Health Insurance Rates -- The ballot measure would allow consumers to sue to keep costs down on individual and small group plans, even after a commissioner had approved them. Ian Lovett in the New York Times$ -- 10/30/14

State high court to take up issue of police personnel files -- At the request of San Francisco’s district attorney and police, the state Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to decide whether prosecutors must examine officers’ confidential personnel files for evidence of misconduct that could help the defense in a criminal trial. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/30/14

Woman involved in crash with Jean Quan sues mayor -- The motorist involved in a crash with Oakland Mayor Jean Quan sued her and the city Wednesday, saying her driving habits are “contemptible, vile and despicable.” Henry K. Lee in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/30/14

Half of California voters getting mail ballots -- More than one-half of California’s 17.6 million registered voters have requested vote-by-mail ballots for Tuesday’s election. The question now is: Will they use them? Jim Miller in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/30/14

Prop. 1 aims to relieve drought — but not this one -- California's stubborn drought helped push a $7.5-billion water bond through the Legislature and onto the November ballot. But even if voters approve Proposition 1, it won't provide relief any time soon. Bettina Boxall in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/14

Powerful L.A. labor boss Maria Elena Durazo leaving county union group -- Maria Elena Durazo, a major force in political and worker issues as head the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, is leaving that post for a national union position in which she will focus on national immigration reform. James Rainey, David Zahniser in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/14

Borenstein: Contra Costa supervisors undermine their credibility with 33 percent raise -- After years of asking public employees to sacrifice for the good of the county, Contra Costa supervisors on Tuesday kicked them aside and pushed to the front of the salary increase line. Daniel Borenstein in the Contra Costa Times$ -- 10/30/14

State Sen. Mark Leno considers challenging San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee -- For years, the former San Francisco supervisor-turned-assemblyman — and soon to be termed-out state senator — has had his eye on succeeding longtime Rep. Nancy Pelosi. But the combination of his age, 63, and Pelosi’s dogged determination to recapture the House speakership are not working in Leno’s favor. Matier & Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/30/14

Supervisor Antonovich endorses chief of staff to succeed him in 2016 -- Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich has tapped his chief of staff, Kathryn Barger-Leibrich, as his preferred successor when he retires from public office in 2016 after 36 years in the job. Garrett Therolf in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/14

‘Dead voter’ cases to go unprosecuted -- District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis won’t be prosecuting two cases of possible voter fraud referred by the Registrar of Voters over the summer, including one in which 14 mail-in ballots were cast in the name of an aspiring opera singer who died in 1998. Joel Hoffmann UT San Diego$ -- 10/30/14

The Clintons get love at UC Davis -- A roaring welcome from the crowd turned into shouts of “We love you, Bill!” as Clinton took the podium, where he compared himself to “an old racehorse” who gets trotted out each election cycle, decried the the negative campaign ads funded by outside groups and urged Democrats to turn out to the polls next Tuesday. Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/30/14

Bill Clinton leads rallies for House candidates in tight races -- At a morning rally at Oxnard College, Clinton told a gymnasium full of party faithful and students that they must vote in the Nov. 4 midterm elections or risk their very futures with a Republican-run Congress. Jean Merl in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/14

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Pensions   

Stockton bankruptcy ruling will decide fate of public pensions -- In a closely watched case, a federal judge on Thursday is expected to decide whether the bankrupt city of Stockton can continue to pay employees generous pensions that soon could consume one-fifth of municipal revenues. Marc Lifsher, Melody Petersen in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/14

L.A. County fire chief vows to overhaul hiring procedures -- The Los Angeles County fire chief Wednesday said he will overhaul the agency's hiring procedures in response to a Times investigation that found that a large percentage of firefighters given jobs have family ties to the department. Paul Pringle in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/14

PG&E profits more than quadruple after rate hikes approved -- PG&E profits jumped during the third quarter, primarily due to increased revenue from a final decision in a 2014 general gas and electricity rate case, and lower charges against earnings related to the company's work on its natural-gas pipeline system in the wake of the fatal explosion in San Bruno, the utility reported Tuesday. George Avalos in the Contra Costa Times$ -- 10/30/14

L.A. City Council backs proposal to toughen foreclosure registry -- Los Angeles is poised to tack a new fee on foreclosed properties, in a move that the city hopes will help keep the homes from turning into crumbling wrecks. Tim Logan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/14

Garcetti says housing shortage, minimum wage linked in Los Angeles -- The housing shortage in Los Angeles – possibly the most severe since the end of World War II – is linked to a low minimum wage and a host of other economic issues in the city, according to Mayor Eric Garcetti. Tiffany Hsu in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/14

Aviation groups give more than $500,000 to save Santa Monica airport -- Two influential aviation organizations have contributed more than half a million dollars to support a Santa Monica ballot measure that would halt efforts to shut down the city's airport until the public can vote on future proposals to close the embattled facility, long a source of complaints from nearby residents. Dan Weikel in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/14

California ranking improves dramatically in business-climate survey -- California earns bottom-rung scores on surveys of state business climates so routinely that it it's come to this: Ranking No. 32 is reason to celebrate. Allen Young Sacramento Business Journal -- 10/30/14

Investigation into NASA rocket explosion looks at Aerojet Rocketdyne engines -- Russian-made, 1960s-era rocket engines – tested, modified and supplied by Rancho Cordova-based Aerojet Rocketdyne – became an early focus of speculation following Tuesday’s explosion of an unmanned Antares rocket, which blew up just seconds after its nighttime launch on the Virginia coast. Mark Glover in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/30/14

Courts orders Wells Fargo to repay debit card holders over fees -- Wells Fargo Bank must repay $203 million to debit card customers in California for deceiving them about overdraft fees, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/30/14

Federal Reserve votes to end bond-buying stimulus program -- Federal Reserve policymakers voted Wednesday to end the central bank's controversial bond-buying stimulus program, determining the economy is strong enough to remove the unprecedented support. Jim Puzzanghera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/14

Greenhut: Innovators are a step ahead of regulators -- Thanks to smartphones, many staid industries are being revolutionized by enterprises that are creatively destroying older ones — and those older ones are trying to use government to hobble this new competition. Steven Greenhut UT San Diego$ -- 10/30/14


UC Berkeley chancellor upholds Bill Maher speech despite protests -- UC Berkeley’s administration is insisting that a campus speech by Bill Maher will proceed as scheduled in December despite opposition from students who say the offer should be rescinded to protest what they allege were anti-Muslim statements by the political satirist. Larry Gordon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/14

Saunders: Petition seeks to silence Bill Maher at UC Berkeley speech -- The spirit of far-left censors trumps exposure to novel ideas. Hence the new student group: Stop Bill Maher from Speaking at UC Berkeley’s December Graduation, which almost prevailed. Debra J. Saunders in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/30/14

Abcarian: UC Berkeley Muslim students are wrong to silence Bill Maher -- There’s a special kind of irony emanating right now from the UC Berkeley campus. A group of offended students is trying to get the political satirist Bill Maher banned as the school’s winter graduation speaker, even as the campus is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement. Robin Abcarian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/14

Panel chief appears to change testimony in CCSF trial -- The president of the commission trying to revoke the accreditation of City College of San Francisco returned to the witness stand Wednesday and said the college was not denied time to defend itself and that she did not direct others to edit out favorable language about the college from a report. Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/30/14

Obama administration rules target for-profit colleges -- The Obama administration on Thursday will publish new regulations intended to target for-profit career colleges that leave students with debts they cannot repay. Chris Kirkham in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/14

When rocket exploded, it took Oakland students’ experiment with it -- Students from schools across the country got a hard, but real-life lesson in science this week: Sometimes, experiments don’t turn out like you hope. Jill Tucker in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/30/14


Why California’s Largest Estuary No Longer Works for Wildlife -- California’s historic drought has put the state’s water problems in the forefront this year and those problems aren’t likely to be solved when the clouds open up again. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the water system’s central hub — the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Lauren Sommer KQED -- 10/30/14

Court rejects (San Diego) county climate plan -- An appellate court has ruled San Diego County’s climate action plan intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is insufficient. Mark Walker UT San Diego$ -- 10/30/14

Activists Push for Public Review of Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant -- An environmental group is pushing for a public review of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant’s license, amid concerns about the seismic safety of the Central Coast plant. Molly Samuel KQED -- 10/30/14


State orders quarantine for workers who had contact with Ebola -- California's top health officer has ordered a 21-day home quarantine for all returning medical workers or travelers who have had contact with a confirmed case of Ebola in West Africa, and invoked the possibility of imprisonment and fines if the restrictions are disobeyed. Monte Morin, Adolfo Flores in the Los Angeles Times$ Judy Lin Associated Press -- 10/30/14

San Mateo health officials reviewing Ebola quarantine of doctor -- Health officials Wednesday were reviewing the quarantine they set for a Stanford doctor who was treating Ebola patients in Liberia after the state and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued their own quarantine guidelines. Adolfo Flores in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/14

Bay Area doctors join Ebola fight despite quarantine risks -- Doctors and other care providers from almost all major Bay Area health institutions are on the ground, or about to be, in West Africa to battle the Ebola epidemic at its source. Erin Allday in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/30/14

US health care unprepared for Ebola -- The U.S. health care apparatus is so unprepared and short on resources to deal with the deadly Ebola virus that even small clusters of cases could overwhelm parts of the system, according to an Associated Press review of readiness at hospitals and other components of the emergency medical network. Jeff Donn and Garance Burke Associated Press -- 10/30/14

Covered California website glitches could last a while -- Problems with the Covered California website appear worse than initially disclosed — and may not be fixed until days before open enrollment begins Nov. 15. Kathy Robertson Sacramento Business Journal -- 10/30/14

A depressing sign of America’s obesity problem: fatter crash test dummies -- Crash test dummies have long helped auto manufacturers keep cars as safe as possible, but the slim plastic mannequins are increasingly poor mirrors of the modern American man and woman. So the world's leading producer is making a fatter version. Roberto A. Ferdman in the Washington Post$ -- 10/30/14

Also . . .

SWAT officer shot in head during San Gabriel operation dies -- A Pomona police SWAT officer shot in the back of the head while serving a search warrant in San Gabriel early Tuesday has died, authorities said. Veronica Rocha in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/14

Police need more training to deal with mentally ill, L.A. County told -- A consultant hired to find a way to divert the mentally ill from Los Angeles County's jail system found that not enough law enforcement officers were trained to handle people undergoing a mental health crisis. Abby Sewell in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/14

BART’s Oakland Airport Connector on track for holiday debut -- It’s beginning to look like air travelers can count on using BART’s new Oakland Airport Connector for their holiday sojourns. Which holiday, however, remains to be seen. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/30/14

Mediation fails in ACLU lawsuit over VA leases at West L.A. campus -- Mediation between the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the American Civil Liberties Union has failed to resolve a long-running dispute over leases on the sprawling West Los Angeles campus. Alan Zarembo in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/14

POTUS 44    

Obama: 'Hiding' won't stop Ebola -- President Obama on Wednesday said he is "frustrated" by political leaders who are pursuing Ebola policies that would "have us running in the opposite direction and hiding under the covers." Justin Sink The Hill -- 10/30/14

Sen. Michelle Obama? No way -- Michelle Obama will not be following in Hillary Clinton’s footsteps. Despite recurring rumors to the contrary — the freshest of which emerged last week — the first lady is not interested in running for the Senate or any other office. Jennifer Epstein Politico -- 10/30/14


More turmoil for House GOP suit -- A major law firm has backed out of an agreement to pursue the case, sources say. Josh Gerstein, Maggie Haberman Politico -- 10/30/14

How to Back Hillary Into a Corner -- A report from the secret race to answer 2016’s most pressing question. Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush Politico -- 10/30/14