Aaron Read
Capitol Web Works
Olson Hagel
CA Leg Analyst
Governor Brown
Capitol Weekly


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

State Senator Looking at Breaking Up Utilities Following Potential Ties to Deadly Fires -- State Sen. Jerry Hill tells KQED that he is looking into legislation that would break up the state's investor-owned utilities or make them public following reports that Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison equipment may have been connected to the Camp and Woolsey fires burning at either end of the state. Ryan Levi, Jeremy Siegel KQED -- 11/12/18

A new survey reveals who owns guns in California—and how many got them without background checks -- In a state that has some of the nation’s toughest gun control laws, one in four California gun owners own firearms that they somehow managed to buy without undergoing background checks, researchers at UC Davis’ Violence Prevention Research Program reported Sunday. Dan Morain Calmatters -- 11/12/18

Walters: Newsom will find stack of Brown’s leftovers -- Gavin Newson will not begin his governorship in January with a budget deficit, but nevertheless, Gov. Jerry Brown will leave him a stack of knotty managerial and policy issues that cannot be ignored. Dan Walters Calmatters -- 11/12/18

Skelton: Eleni Kounalakis can carve out a meaningful role as lieutenant governor. It's in her genes -- Here is a new rags-to-riches American Dream story that’s a little different: A Greek family is forced to share its modest home with enemy Nazi soldiers for three years during World War II. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times -- 11/12/18

California AG warns feds of felony charges if wild horses are sold for slaughter -- California Attorney General Xavier Becerra warned U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in a letter Friday that the U.S. Forest Service would be in violation of state law if any of the wild horses rounded up in Modoc National Forest are sold for the purpose of slaughter. Andrew Sheeler in the Sacramento Bee -- 11/12/18

Tuck's lead over Thurmond narrows significantly in race for California's school chief -- As California counties continue to count mail-in and provisional ballots, Marshall Tuck’s lead over Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, D-Richmond, has narrowed dramatically in the race for California’s state superintendent of public instruction. Louis Freedberg EdSource -- 11/12/18

Harley Rouda’s triumph over Dana Rohrabacher signals end of GOP’s Orange County congressional dominance -- Orange County residents awoke Sunday to a new political landscape. A day prior, Democrat Harley Rouda declared victory in his bid to unseat 30-year Republican incumbent Rep. Dana Rohrabacher in the county’s coastal 48th Congressional District. By Saturday evening, the Associated Press called the contest for Rouda. Jordan Graham in the Orange County Register -- 11/12/18

In Sacramento, trying to stop a killing before it happens -- The sun was setting over the Mack Road Valley Hi Community Center as Marcus McGhee, 43, leaned heavily against the building’s front handrail, listening intently to the excited young voice on the other end of the phone. Wesley Lowery in the Washington Post -- 11/12/18


Firefighters worry as Santa Ana winds threaten to feed Woolsey blaze in Ventura and L.A. counties -- A forecast that includes several days of gusting Santa Ana winds has fire officials worried about the possible spread of the 85,500-acre Woolsey fire straddling Ventura and Los Angeles counties, officials said Sunday. James Queally, Joel Rubin, Benjamin Oreskes, Jack Dolan and Sarah Parvini in the Los Angeles Times -- 11/12/18

Camp Fire leaves 29 dead, 228 missing as blaze continues to grow -- The voracious Camp Fire that ran rampant through Butte County’s hilly towns last week has officially stamped itself as the most merciless in state history, and left forensics experts with a grisly chore in the weeks ahead — finding and identifying those who perished. Ryan Sabalow, Kevin Valine and Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee Ashley McBride, Melody Gutierrez and Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle Louis Sahagun and Joseph Serna in the Los Angeles Times Gillian Flaccus and Don Thompson Associated Press -- 11/12/18

Fire and police fought Camp Fire as blaze hit home: More than 90 first responders lost houses -- As they worked this week to save lives, firefighters and police officers in Paradise had their own personal fear in the back of their minds: Will my home survive the onslaught of the Camp Fire? For many, the unfortunate answer is no. Tony Bizjak, Kevin Valine and Ryan Sabalow in the Sacramento Bee -- 11/12/18

More than 200 remain missing in Camp Fire -- The fire was just starting to pick up its pace Thursday morning when Greg Carota last spoke to his twin brother. Vinnie Carota, 65 years old and disabled, said he was sticking it out, even as his roommate and a sister-in-law offered him a ride. Melody Gutierrez in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 11/12/18

As fire burns, many turn to social media for word of missing friends and family -- A crisis is playing out across Twitter and Facebook, and choking shelter and law enforcement phone lines, as hundreds from around the country issue requests asking others to be on the lookout for friends and family lost in the chaos of the massive Camp Fire. Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks, Kevin Valine and Claire Morgan in the Sacramento Bee -- 11/12/18

He couldn’t save his friends. Now Camp Fire survivor’s video is drawing anger -- Greg Woodcox pleaded with his friends to leave everything behind and flee. The firestorm that would become known as the Camp Fire was bearing down on their rural home. They had only seconds to get out. Evan Sernoffsky in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 11/12/18

Air another danger for fire survivors in Butte County -- Elevated smoke levels as a result of the 111,000-acre Camp Fire pushed air quality to dangerous levels in some parts of Butte County, officials said. Conditions ranged from unhealthy for sensitive groups — those with heart and lung conditions — to very unhealthy across the area. Ashley McBride in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 11/12/18

Brown swings back at Trump: Climate change is propelling California’s fires, governor says -- Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday said wildfires like the ones spanning the state today threaten “our whole way of life” and lend urgency to efforts that would slow the impacts of man-made climate change. Adam Ashton in the Sacramento Bee Alene Tchekmedyian in the Los Angeles Times Carla Marinucci and Angela Hart Politico Richard K. De Atley, Ryan Hagen and Tony Saavedra in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 11/12/18

Forced Out by Deadly California Fires, Then Trapped in Traffic -- Thousands of residents in the wooded town of Paradise did what they were told to do when the morning skies turned dark and an inferno raged across the hills: They got in their cars and fled. What happened next was the vehicular equivalent of a stampede, packing the roads to a standstill. Jack Nicas, Thomas Fuller and Tim Arango in the New York Times -- 11/12/18

Paradise: A grim search, and desperate prayers for miracles -- It’s afternoon in Paradise and the body count is growing. At the charred ruins of a mobile home, a search crew in white hazmat suits carried out the most sobering of duties, delicately removing remains so brittle that each body part was cradled in gloved hands. Julia Prodis Sulek in the San Jose Mercury -- 11/12/18

Southern California wildfire slows; 177 homes destroyed -- Relief and heartache await those starting to return home to a Southern California wildlife zone. Eager to know the status of his house, 69-year-old Roger Kelly defied evacuation orders Sunday and hiked back into Seminole Springs, his lakeside mobile home community in the Santa Monica Mountains north of Malibu. Christopher Weber Associated Press -- 11/12/18

Homeowners used sprinklers to fight fire. When water was shut off, they started draining the pool -- Instead, the couple used the tools they could find to fight the flames that threatened their home Friday and Saturday. With the power knocked out Thursday night, they managed with LED lights. They used hoses and sprinklers, and when the water was shut off they grabbed buckets filled with pool water to fight the flames. Sarah Parvini in the Los Angeles Times -- 11/12/18

Zuma Beach becomes way station for Malibu fire evacuees -- By Sunday afternoon, Zuma Beach in Malibu had become something of a way station for Malibu residents who had been forced to evacuate their homes but didn’t want to stray too far in the hopes that an evacuation order might be lifted. Benjamin Oreskes in the Los Angeles Times -- 11/12/18

Nailed it! Watch the precision water drops making big difference in Woolsey fire air war -- Around 12:30 p.m. firefighters from the Vernon Fire department looked on as tankers and helicopters bombarded the peaks and slopes of Malibu Canyon with flame retardants and water to put out spot fires that kept coming up. Benjamin Oreskes in the Los Angeles Times -- 11/12/18

Woolsey fire destroys historic ranches, movie sets and open spaces in Santa Monica Mountains -- The burnt husk of a park service vehicle slumped at the entrance of Malibu Creek State Park, its glass windshield melted into a Dali-esque blob. The steep craggy mountains and gorges below ordinarily attract groups of tourists, hikers and campers to the area, but on Saturday the ground here was still smoldering, charred into a black crumble. David Pierson in the Los Angeles Times -- 11/12/18

Lopez: One California calamity after another, and yet we always endure -- We have no hurricanes, cyclones or statewide freezes in California. Everything else, we have. Earthquakes, yes. Torrential downpours, yes. Mudslides, yes. Extended droughts, yes. A president who kicks us when we’re down, yes. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times -- 11/12/18

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

CalSTRS wants to avoid another rate hike delay -- It took nearly a decade for the Legislature to act on a CalSTRS request for a rate increase that is now more than doubling school district pension costs — a hard squeeze on funding for other school programs. Ed Mendel Calpensions.com -- 11/12/18

San Diego hotel workers end 35-day strike with new contract -- The vote by the downtown hotel’s housekeepers, banquet captains, servers and other employees represented by Unite Here Local 30 brings to an end a 35-day strike that union members authorized in hopes of securing improved pay and benefits. Lori Weisberg in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 11/12/18

Rocket Lab launch in New Zealand brings quick, cheap space access -- While issues had delayed this launch for months, Sunday’s event went off without a hitch. Rocket Lab — headquartered in Huntington Beach — has now established itself in the lead position of a frenetic, worldwide competition to change the economics and speed at which people can get things into space. Ashlee Vance Bloomberg via the Los Angeles Times -- 11/12/18

Ian Siegel employs artificial intelligence to disrupt the job recruitment industry -- Ian Siegel, 45, is chief executive of Santa Monica-based ZipRecruiter, the company he co-founded in 2010 to disrupt the recruitment and hiring industry. Ronald D. White in the Los Angeles Times -- 11/12/18

Lawsuits targeting business websites over ADA violations are on the rise -- The boutique Avanti Hotel is known for its poolside, dog-friendly rooms. Yet its website uses the valuable opening page not to highlight the Palm Springs inn’s amenities, but to explain, in stark black letters on a plain white background, that the Avanti violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. Hugo Martin in the Los Angeles Times -- 11/12/18

Immigration, Border, Deportation 

With or without criminal records, some immigrants spend many years in detention -- In 2003, Kenyan immigrant Sylvester Owino was convicted of second-degree robbery in San Diego. He finished a more than two-year prison sentence and was transferred to the Otay Mesa Detention Center as Immigration and Customs Enforcement began removal proceedings against him. Andrea Castillo in the Los Angeles Times -- 11/12/18


New stadium for Colorado State football was acrimonious, hard-fought battle -- For followers of San Diego State’s stadium saga, Fort Collins may seem like a faraway place with little in common with a large city on the Pacific Ocean. But the vibrant Colorado college town of 165,000 — 63 miles north of downtown Denver — already has experienced the highs and lows of planning and building a new college stadium on its campus. Tod Leonard in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 11/12/18


Mass shooting victims remembered at Thousand Oaks church service and memorial -- As Sunday came in Thousand Oaks, people turned to all the things that brought them comfort. Following a week of double tragedies — a bar shooting that killed 12 and a fire that displaced thousands — many flocked to church and family. Esmeralda Bermudez in the Los Angeles Times -- 11/12/18

Ex-coach says California gunman was volatile, intimidating -- A second high school coach of the gunman who killed 12 people at a Southern California bar recalled him on Sunday as volatile and intimidating, and said that repeated complaints to school administrators about his behavior failed to prompt any discipline. Amanda Lee Myers Associated Press -- 11/12/18

Also . . . 

‘Let’s fight’: Sausalito tensions escalate over boat crackdown -- The Sausalito Police Department this month impounded three unoccupied boats that had apparently overstayed their welcome in Richardson Bay. Now, a wave of concern is swelling among “anchor-outs,” who fear the city may be waging war against the lifestyle some say is their last refuge. Matthew Pera in the Marin Independent Journal -- 11/12/18

POTUS 45  

Trump walks alone as Macron rips into nationalism -- In what appeared a direct rebuke, French President Emmanuel Macron warned President Trump and other leaders Sunday that a dark new tide of nationalism, the label Trump recently embraced for his “America first” movement, ignores the painful lessons of history and threatens a fragile global order. Noah Bierman in the Los Angeles Times -- 11/12/18

In Paris, a relatively understated Trump finds he’s still the center of the world’s attention — and outrage -- President Trump likes to throw Twitter bombs that explode in concentric circles of offensiveness. He delivers speeches that contain insults and falsehoods. He announces policies on a whim, some constitutionally questionable. But on a trip to Europe, the president hardly said a word — and he still managed to outrage at almost every turn. David Nakamura in the Washington Post -- 11/12/18

Democrats signal aggressive investigations of Trump while resisting impeachment calls -- Fresh off a resounding midterm elections victory, House Democrats on Sunday began detailing plans to wield their newfound oversight power in the next Congress, setting their sights on acting attorney general Matthew G. Whitaker while rebuffing calls from some liberals to pursue impeachment proceedings against President Trump. Felicia Sonmez and Colby Itkowitz in the Washington Post -- 11/12/18


Nadler: Whitaker will be first witness summoned by the Judiciary Committee -- Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who is poised to take control of the House Judiciary Committee in January, said Sunday that he plans to call acting attorney general Matthew G. Whitaker as his first witness. Colby Itkowit in the Washington Post -- 11/12/18


-- Sunday Updates 

Harrowing escapes, heartbreaking loss in Northern California -- In the days since a ferocious, wind-whipped wildfire began tearing through this Northern California town, residents who stayed behind to try to save their property or who managed to get back to their neighborhoods despite mandatory evacuation orders found cars incinerated and homes reduced to rubble. They have tales of harrowing escape and struggling to cope with loss. Associated Press -- 11/11/18

Butte County fire continues to worsen Bay Area air quality -- Air quality in San Francisco, the Peninsula and the East Bay, devastated by smoke from the massive Camp Fire in Butte County, is likely to get worse Sunday, although the northern reaches of the Bay Area could see conditions improve, weather forecasters said. Ashley McBride in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 11/11/18

New satellite to monitor future West Coast fires -- It hadn’t arrived by the time the Camp Fire began raging in Butte County, but high-tech help to monitor fires is on the way. Sophia Kunthara in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 11/11/18

Unexpected — and unwelcome — guest paid visit to Gavin Newsom’s home -- Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom is certainly getting a taste of what it means to have a raised profile, as evidenced by a family scare involving a stalker at his Marin County home just weeks before the election. Matier & Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 11/11/18