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California Policy & Politics This Morning  

State Legislature’s approval rating hits 50 percent -- The California Legislature’s approval rating among registered state voters has climbed to 50 percent, up from as low as 10 percent in September 2010. Taryn Luna in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/29/16

Malcolm Lucas, former California chief justice, dies at 89 -- Malcolm Lucas, who as California’s chief justice led the state Supreme Court’s conservative turnabout after voters removed its liberal majority in 1986, died Wednesday at age 89. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle Jeremy B. White in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/29/16

Kamala Harris cashes in on the state Democratic Party's Senate endorsement while her rival gets nothing -- Two Democrats will be on California’s U.S. Senate ballot this November, but only one has the state Democratic Party’s blessing — and money. Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/29/16

Will end of death penalty bring campaign against life imprisonment? -- If California voters abolish the death penalty this fall, its foes will go after life imprisonment next, proponents of a measure to speed up the capital punishment process warned Wednesday. Alexei Koseff in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/29/16

Governor to approve state-run retirement for private workers -- Gov. Jerry Brown is scheduled to sign legislation Thursday to automatically enroll nearly 7 million people in a retirement savings account, an attempt to address growing fears that many workers will be financially unprepared to retire. Jonathan J. Cooper Associated Press -- 9/29/16

Gov. Brown vetoes bill aimed at improving bullet train oversight -- Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday rebuffed lawmakers’ efforts to subject California’s $64-billion bullet train project to increased financial scrutiny, vetoing a bill that had gained bipartisan support. Ralph Vartabedian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/29/16

Brown signs bill requiring breathalyzers in DUI offenders’ cars -- Many Californians convicted of driving under the influence will have to temporarily install breathalyzers in their vehicles to get their driver’s licenses back after Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Wednesday expanding a pilot program. Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/29/16

Napolitano sues Hahn over six-figure campaign contribution violation -- Los Angeles County supervisorial candidate Steve Napolitano has sued his opponent, U.S. Rep. Janice Hahn, demanding that she return hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions deemed improper by county officials. The suit also seeks a court order prohibiting Hahn from spending the money. Adam Elmahrek in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/29/16

Republican won’t be muzzled over video promoting bill to save dogs trapped in cars -- Stupid pet trick or misuse of public dollars? Assemblyman Marc Steinorth, R-Rancho Cucamonga, is at the center of one of the toughest re-election fights in the Legislature, a fur-flying affair against Democrat Abigail Medina of San Bernardino. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/29/16

Santa Barbara TV station threatens legal action after GOP congressional candidate uses news clip in attack ad -- The owner of a Santa Barbara TV news station is threatening legal action against a Republican congressional candidate after his campaign released an attack ad featuring a 10-second clip from the station's newscast. Javier Panzar in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/29/16

Tuition perk meant to keep citizen soldiers in uniform may be driving them out -- A perk that lawmakers granted to citizen soldiers six years ago to keep them in uniform may actually speed their separations from the military, according to a review of the program released this week. Adam Ashton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/29/16

Stricter background checks and DUI rules coming for Uber and Lyft drivers through laws signed by Gov. Brown -- Uber, Lyft and other drivers for ride-hailing companies will face greater restrictions under new legislation signed Wednesday by Gov. Jerry Brown. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/29/16

Why L.A. City Atty. Mike Feuer knew the Wells Fargo scandal was going to blow up -- After Wells Fargo & Co. Chief Executive and Chairman John Stumpf was grilled by members of the Senate Banking Committee last week, regulators took the stand to answer senators’ questions about their investigation into the bank’s sales practices. But one key figure was missing from the action: Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer, whose office last year filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo prompted by a 2103 Los Angeles Times article about the practices. James Rufus Koren in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/29/16

Californians in Congress split on whether to let 9/11 victims sue Saudi Arabians -- Californians in Congress were deeply divided over Wednesday’s vote to override President Barack Obama’s veto of a bill to allow families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia over its alleged backing of the terrorists who committed the attacks. Sean Cockerham in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/29/16

'Nervous' Darrell Issa attacks challenger Doug Applegate -- Rep. Darrell Issa is launching attacks on Democratic rival Doug Applegate, the latest sign that the Vista Republican has a re-election battle on his hands for the first time since winning office in 2000. Martin Wisckol in the Orange County Register -- 9/29/16

Five Years Later, Many See Criminal Justice Realignment As Success -- When prisons chief Matt Cate was called in to meet Governor-elect Jerry Brown at the end of 2010, and was told about the governor’s plan to reduce the state prison population, he was skeptical. Marisa Lagos KQED -- 9/29/16

Fox: A Hollywood Action Movie—2016 CA Ballot Propositions -- Let me pitch you a movie based on that 224-page official state voter guide that’s coming your way. Like many big Hollywood action-thrillers it’s a tale that contains sex, drugs, guns, big money and death. The title: Bad Day in the Ballot Booth–the California Ballot Propositions. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 9/29/16

Skelton: Hillary Clinton was the matador to Donald Trump's bull in first presidential debate -- So 84 million TV viewers — the largest presidential debate audience ever — watched Donald Trump get all flustered and act like a raging bull. I credit Hillary Clinton’s bright red suit. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/29/16

Spirit of Sacramento to get lifted from waters near Bethel Island -- The Spirit of Sacramento will be lifted from the waters on near Bethel Island on Wednesday and brought to the Army Corps of Engineers facility in Sausalito. The Spirit of Sacramento, an 85-foot paddle boat, initially had capsized in False River near Bethel Island on on Sept. 4 after taking on water due to equipment failure. Aaron Davis in the East Bay Times -- 9/29/16

El Cajon    

Protesters take over El Cajon streets, gather at site of fatal police shooting -- Hundreds of protesters poured into the streets of El Cajon Wednesday, denouncing a police shooting that killed an unarmed, reportedly mentally ill black man. Pauline Repard, Lyndsay Winkley and David Hernandez in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 9/29/16

El Cajon police say black man was holding vape smoking device in hand when officers fatally shot him -- Just moments after an African American man was shot and killed by El Cajon police Tuesday, his sister was captured in an eyewitness video as she wept and screamed at officers, saying she told authorities her brother was mentally ill. Veronica Rocha, Sarah Parvini and Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/29/16

Officer in El Cajon police shooting identified -- One of the El Cajon police officers involved in the fatal shooting Tuesday of an unarmed black man is a 21-year department veteran who was demoted last year after a fellow officer sued him and the city alleging sexual harassment. David Hernandez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/29/16

Long wait, short encounter before deadly police shooting -- It took more than an hour for police to arrive at the shopping center in a San Diego suburb where a distressed black man had been wandering into traffic. It took about a min ute for him to be shot and killed. Julie Watson and Brian Melley Associated Press -- 9/29/16

Alfred Olango: A difficult life's tragic end in El Cajon -- Alfred Olango survived refugee camps and prison. Friends say he had overcome that past but was struggling with a personal loss when an El Cajon police officer shot and killed him Tuesday. Peter Rowe in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 9/29/16

Taxes, Fees, Rates, Tolls     

US soda-tax battle bubbles up in San Francisco Bay Area -- The national fight over sugary soda is bubbling up in the San Francisco Bay Area, where voters in November will consider a tax on the drinks that many health experts say contribute to diabetes, obesity and tooth decay. Janie Harr Associated Press -- 9/29/16


100-year-old SF woman granted 11th eviction reprieve -- A 100-year-old San Francisco woman staved off eviction for at least another week when a judge granted her eleventh request for a stay since March, giving her lawyer more time to come up with a plan to keep her in her home for the remainder of her life. Sarah Ravani in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/29/16

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions 

Californians may soon be asked: 'A glass of Pinot Noir with that perm?' -- Californians who go in for a haircut or hairstyling may soon be offered a complimentary glass of beer or wine after Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed a bill to allow the perk. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ Jeremy B. White in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/29/16

L.A. city leaders question financial risk of hosting 2024 Olympic Games -- The deadline is looming to submit another round of bid materials to the International Olympic Committee, but many Los Angeles city leaders continue to have questions about what legal and financial protections will be in place should L.A. be awarded the 2024 Summer Games. Alice Walton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/29/16

OPEC reaches preliminary accord to curb oil production -- OPEC nations reached a preliminary agreement Wednesday to curb oil production for the first time since the global financial crisis eight years ago, in an effort to reduce a global glut of crude that has depressed oil prices for more than two years and weakened the economies of oil-producing nations. Aomar Ouali Associated Press -- 9/29/16


San Francisco school board cracks down on campaign donations -- The San Francisco school board voted to bar board members and the superintendent from directly soliciting campaign donations from district employees, a policy aimed at preventing undue influence over subordinates. Jill Tucker in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/29/16

With a new e-sports arena, UC Irvine aims to become a mecca for gamers -- The new team at UC Irvine is suiting up for battle in a recently furnished arena on campus, where members will gear up with headphones, a keyboard and mouse. Alex Chan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/29/16

Orange County Sikhs and Muslims welcome new school anti-bullying law -- Amarjit Dhillon understands the burden of being a Sikh in America. The president of Gurdwara Buena Park, a Sikh temple, has been called “bin Laden” while walking in downtown Los Angeles. And about five years ago, he helped a local Sikh family change schools for a child who was bullied for wearing a turban. Deepa Bharath in the Orange County Register -- 9/29/16

UC is joining Boys & Girls Clubs to boost university enrollment -- Students who attend three Boys & Girls Clubs in California will be getting extra help and encouragement on a path to University of California enrollment through a new partnership announced Wednesday. Larry Gordon EdSource -- 9/29/16

Animated videos help teachers build sense of empathy in students -- A Silicon Valley educational technology company and researchers from Harvard have teamed up to launch a new series of animated videos next month about the importance of empathy, intended for teachers to use in building students’ social and emotional skills. Jane Meredith Adams EdSource -- 9/29/16


Budding confusion: Split over whether Prop. 64 allows on-demand marijuana delivery -- The slick website offers many ways to get high. Three pre-rolled joints will cost you $30. A gram of hash is $45. Blueberry, pineapple or brownie-flavored cannabis treats go for about $12 a bag. (“Caution,” the label says, they are “very strong.”) It takes just few taps on a smart phone to place an order, and then the goods arrive. Laurel Rosenhall Calmatters.org -- 9/29/16

How the Emerald Triangle’s Marijuana Boom Sparked an Unlikely Allegiance -- Cannabis farming is a way of life in the “Emerald Triangle” counties of Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity. But it’s also a source of tension. Sam Harnett KQED -- 9/29/16


Phillips 66 Refinery in Rodeo Reopens Marine Terminal as Oil Spill Investigation Continues -- The marine terminal that oil tankers use to unload crude to the Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo has reopened, a week after an investigation into an oil spill and sickening odor prompted the company to shut it down. Ted Goldberg KQED -- 9/29/16

Whales, Sea Turtles, Seals: The Unintended Catch of Abandoned Fishing Gear -- In late June, an endangered blue whale wrapped in fishing gear was seen struggling off the coast of Dana Point in Southern California. Rescuers were unable to extricate it before it swam away. And earlier this month, rescuers unsuccessfully tried to free an entangled humpback whale near Newport. Clare Leschin-Hoar KQED -- 9/29/16


How would the Prop. 56 tobacco tax really affect poor smokers? -- This fall, California voters will decide whether to approve the biggest jump in cigarette taxes since the state began taxing tobacco in 1959. Matt Levin Calmatters.org -- 9/29/16

Also . . . 

Convicted former No. 2 in Sheriff's Department shouldn't remain free during appeal, judge says -- A federal judge Wednesday ruled that former Los Angeles County Undersheriff Paul Tanaka should not remain out of prison while he appeals his conviction on obstruction of justice charges. Joel Rubin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/29/16

Jury clears Los Angeles sheriff's deputy of beating cover-up, but it deadlocks on lying charge -- A jury on Wednesday acquitted a former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy of federal charges that he helped cover up the beating of a visitor to a county jail, but the panel deadlocked over whether the lawman lied to investigators about the incident. Joel Rubin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/29/16

'It's a different world': Man steals two watches worth $100,000 from Beverly Hills pedestrians -- In terms of street robberies, they don’t get much more fruitful than this: Police in Beverly Hills say a thief stole two watches worth more than $100,000 off the wrists of two men on Rodeo Drive last week. Joseph Serna in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/29/16

L.A. agrees to $3-million settlement with cyclist struck in San Fernando Valley -- The city of Los Angeles will pay $3 million to a rabbi who suffered permanent brain injuries after he was struck by a car in the San Fernando Valley. Alice Walton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/29/16


Gary Johnson, who couldn't remember Aleppo, can't name a foreign leader he admires -- Once again, Gary Johnson has drawn a blank. Appearing on MSNBC on Wednesday night, Johnson, the Libertarian nominee for president, was repeatedly pressed by "Hardball" host Chris Matthews to name his favorite foreign leader, but couldn't cough up a name. Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/29/16

Trump keeps on criticizing the Venezuelan beauty queen he once called 'Miss Piggy' -- Donald Trump resumed his attack on a beauty pageant winner he had criticized for gaining weight, saying she had “a lot of difficulties” as Miss Universe and that now “a lot of things are coming out about her.” Michael Finnegan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/29/16

Trump launches 'follow the money' attack -- In an effort to go steady his campaign after this week’s shaky debate, Donald Trump on Wednesday launched a coordinated attack casting Hillary Clinton as a corrupt pawn of major donors and special interests. Ben Schreckinger and Kenneth P. Vogel Politico -- 9/29/16

Donald Trump’s defense of not paying taxes is remarkable -- Donald Trump isn't afraid of being labeled as the guy who avoids paying taxes. At all. Trump didn't say Wednesday night whether he has paid income taxes over the past several decades, but he did say that someone who avoids paying them is what the country needs. Aaron Blake in the Washington Post$ -- 9/29/16

Michelle Obama slams Trump for trafficking in ‘fears and lies’ and insulting women -- Michelle Obama tore into Donald Trump on Wednesday, criticizing him for “erratic and threatening” behavior that would put the country at risk. Never mentioning Trump by name, she said the Republican presidential nominee “traffics in prejudice, fears and lies” and routinely insults women. Peter Slevin in the Washington Post$ -- 9/29/16

Donald Trump Pushes Debunked Theory That Google Suppressed Rival’s Bad News -- While seeking to publicize his success in unscientific online polls after the presidential debate on Monday, Donald J. Trump on Wednesday promoted an unsubstantiated and debunked conspiracy theory about Google suppressing negative news in search results about his opponent. Nick Corasanitti in the New York Times$ -- 9/29/16


-- Wednesday Updates 

Latest deadly shooting fuels debate about how police deal with people with mental illness -- The fatal shooting by El Cajon police of a black man described as being mentally ill is fueling the debate over how law enforcement responds in such cases and can avoid deadly confrontations. Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/28/16

Felons in county jails to be allowed to vote in California elections -- Despite widespread opposition from law enforcement, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed a bill that will allow thousands of felons in county jails to vote in California elections as part of an effort to speed their transition back into society. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/28/16

California treasurer sanctions Wells Fargo over fake-accounts scandal -- Treasurer John Chiang says his office will no longer invest in Wells Fargo securities, go through Wells Fargo to buy stocks or bonds, or appoint the bank to underwrite certain bond offerings. James Rufus Koren in the Los Angeles Times$ Jonathan J. Cooper Associated Press Thomas Lee in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/28/16

Proponents of Prop. 61 drug pricing measure challenge pharmaceutical companies to a debate -- For weeks now, voters have been deluged on TV and cable networks with ads for and against Proposition 61, the November ballot measure aimed at lowering drug prices for state agencies. Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/28/16

Politifact CA: Campaign uses Mostly False specter of Brock Turner case to oppose Prop 57 -- On the day Turner was released, opponents of a California ballot measure to reduce prison crowding seized on the notorious case to make a questionable claim. Chris Nichols Politifact CA -- 9/28/16

Statute of limitations for rape eliminated in California after Gov. Brown signs bill prompted by Cosby allegations -- California has ended its statute of limitations for rape cases after Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed legislation filed in the wake of sexual assault allegations against comedian Bill Cosby. Jazmine Ulloa in the Los Angeles Times$ Don Thompson Associated PressJeremy B. White in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/28/16

Brown vetoes ban on for-profit immigrant detention centers -- Citing ongoing discussions at the federal level, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday rejected a proposed ban on the use of private immigrant detention centers in California. Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/28/16

Smoking is still OK at California state parks and beaches after Gov. Jerry Brown vetoes a proposed ban -- Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday vetoed a bill that would have banned smoking in California's 270 parks and beaches, saying it was too broad and punishing. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/28/16

Stricter background checks and DUI rules coming for Uber and Lyft drivers through laws signed by Gov. Brown -- Under one law, ride-hailing companies can no longer hire drivers who are registered sex offenders, have been convicted of violent felonies or, within the last seven years, have a driving-under-the-influence conviction. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/28/16

Sex offenders will have to disclose email addresses, user names under new law -- Sex offenders will soon have to report their email addresses, user names and other Internet identifiers to police under a bill Governor Jerry Brown signed Wednesday. Sophia Bollag in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/28/16

Gov. Brown approves citizens redistricting commission for L.A. County Board of Supervisors -- Despite opposition from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday approved a bill that will create a citizens redistricting commission to redraw the panel’s district lines after the next U.S. Census. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/28/16

Felons convicted of minor drug and property crimes will get more time to downgrade those to misdemeanors -- Californians with felony convictions for some minor drug and property crimes will now have more time to ask that the conviction be changed to a misdemeanor. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/28/16

Governor vetoes bill to mandate parking after street sweeping, prevent tickets at broken meters -- Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill Wednesday that would have required communities to reopen parking immediately after street-sweeping. The bill also would have prevented residents from getting ticketed if they parked next to a broken meter for up to two hours. Sophia Bollag in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/28/16

Loma Fire grows in size with little sign of relief -- Lurching for a third day through the bone-dry chaparral of the Santa Cruz Mountains, the Loma Fire by Wednesday morning had grown in size by 10 percent, a sizzling 2,250-acre blaze with 300 homes in its path and more than 1,000 firefighters trying to rein it in. Patrick May in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 9/28/16

Outside spending on November’s legislative races nears the $5 million mark -- Following a trend that began in the months prior to June’s statewide primary, contributions to independent committees seeking races for the Legislature have now blossomed to more than $4.8 million. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/28/16

Republican Justin Fareed hit with Trump-focused attack ad in Santa Barbara congressional race -- Santa Barbara television viewers will see a new political attack ad courtesy of the Democratic super PAC House Majority PAC, part of a $328,000 TV blitz against Republican candidate Justin Fareed, a former Capitol Hill staffer running to replace outgoing Democratic Rep. Lois Capps. Javier Panzar in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/28/16

Ami Bera, Scott Jones to debate for high-profile House seat -- Democratic Rep. Ami Bera and Republican Scott Jones, campaigning for the highly competitive congressional district stretching across suburban Sacramento, are set to clash in a televised debate next month. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/28/16

Sacramento sheriff revokes dozens of concealed carry permits following arrests, gun crimes -- About six months after Hun Chu Saelee obtained a concealed carry weapon permit from the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department in 2012, he reached into the trunk of his car during an argument outside a San Francisco Halloween party, pulled out a .45-caliber handgun and shot a stranger in the head, leaving him in a coma, according to police. Phillip Reese in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/28/16

El Camino Real teachers stage ‘silent protest’ over credit-card spending controversy -- A group of more than 50 parents and teachers protested outside El Camino Real Charter High School before school Wednesday, asking that top administrators be held accountable for a controversy involving credit card spending in an effort to “save our charter.” Brenda Gazzar in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 9/28/16

A small distance, but a great feat: Foshay Learning Center sends more students to USC than any other high school -- Lilly Diaz was in second grade when she first stepped onto the campus of USC for a Halloween carnival organized by undergraduates. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/28/16

Exclusive study group helped Cal Fire officers advance -- A clique of five up-and-coming California firefighters shared a goal when they gathered in a study group three years ago: They wanted to reach the highest ranks of Cal Fire and had to pass a tough exam before ascending the career ladder. Adam Ashton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/28/16

Lawmakers press Fed chief Janet Yellen to punish Wells Fargo for fake accounts scandal -- Outraged lawmakers pressed Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet L. Yellen on Wednesday to punish Wells Fargo & Co. for creating as many as 2 millions fake accounts, but she declined to commit to any regulatory penalties. Jim Puzzanghera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/28/16