Index
Tuesday
Jul282015

AFTERNOON MEMOS: Oakland, litigation, Pacific Legal Foundation, "Big legal guns take aim at Oakland's public-art requirement"; San Bernardino County, "Rewards to catch drone operators who flew above fires may be offered"; Bay Area, "Golden State Warriors must address traffic issues to win key San Francisco ally"; Sacramento, "California assemblymen set aside baseball rivalry in district swap"..  

***Various items this afternoon from across the spectrum of politics and/or public policy....

* San Francisco Chronicle (Chip Johnson):  "Big legal guns take aim at Oakland's public-art requirement"

* Oakland Tribune:  "Golden State Warriors must address traffic issues to win key San Francisco ally"

* Sacramento Bee:  "California assemblymen set aside baseball rivalry in district swap"

* Los Angeles Times:  "Rewards to catch drone operators who flew above fires may be offered"

Tuesday
Jul282015

POLITICS (State, Local/Bay Area): California Public Utilities Commission, investigation, former CPUC President Michael Peevey, contract with outside counsel, editorial: "PUC plays by its own rules, hires outside lawyers" ....

* Sacramento Bee (editorial):  "PUC plays by its own rules, hires outside lawyers" - From the Bee:

Imagine the outcry if the California Senate had used taxpayers’ money to hire criminal defense lawyers in 2013 when a leaked FBI affidavit detailed an investigation into then Sen. Ron Calderon. What if the California Department of Parks and Recreation had hired a pricey defense counsel to fend off the 2013 investigations into how it hoarded $20 million while shuttering parks and pleading for donations?

The California Public Utilities Commission operates by a different set of rules.

Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office is investigating former President Michael Peevey, and perhaps other current and former commission employees, and the CPUC is paying an outside law firm, Sheppard Mullin, to represent it. The commission entered into the contract in November 2014, claiming it was for $49,000; the contract since has ballooned to $5 million-plus. Peevey, who stepped down in December, was president at the time, though he has his own attorneys.

The scope of the investigation into Peevey is not altogether clear. But internal PG&E emails show . . . . . . . .

Timothy Sullivan, the commission’s executive director, told a Sacramento Bee editorial board member that the decision to hire the outside counsel was the “least crummy” option.  The attorney general can’t investigate and represent the commission simultaneously. The commission has its own attorneys, but they are steeped in the regulation of electric utilities, not the penal code.

   ****

Sheppard Mullin partner Raymond C. Marshall, a top criminal defense attorney, is billing $882 an hour. Good lawyers don’t come cheap. But why does a public agency with nothing to hide need a team of criminal defense lawyers to represent it against another public agency that is seeking to determine whether there has been wrongdoing? What sort of precedent does this set?

Tuesday
Jul282015

MORNING MEMOS: Bay Area, "Why S.F. evictions are on the rise"; environment, "An 'F' in air quality: California national parks top the list for worst pollution"; Cal. Dept. of Insurance, "Cal Fire captain accused of insurance fraud"; proposed cigarette tax increase (commentary, Joel Fox), "The cigarette Tax Dilemma" ....

***Various items this morning from across the spectrum of politics and/or public policy....

* Los Angeles Times:  "An 'F' in air quality: California national parks top the list for worst pollution"

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "Why S.F. evictions are on the rise"

* Sacramento Bee:  "Cal Fire captain accused of insurance fraud"

* Fox & Hounds (Joel Fox):  "The Cigarette Tax Dilemma"

 

Tuesday
Jul282015

LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Long Beach, Long Beach Harbor Commissioners set $206 million limit for development of port headequarters in new civic center"; South Bay (L.A. County), "Manahattan Beach moves to rein in lengthy, ineffective City Council meetings"; downtown Los Angeles, "Big Plans Presented for Broadway Trade Center"; Bay Area, "Contentious issue of rent control on Richmond council agenda" ....

***Various items relating to politics and/or public policy -- local government, Southern California, Northern California....

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "Contentious issue of rent control on Richmond council agenda"

* Long Beach Press-Telegram:  "Long Beach Harbor Commissioners set $206 million limit for development of port headquarters in new civic center"

* Daily Breeze:  "Manhattan Beach moves to rein in lengthy, ineffective City Council meetings"

* Downtown News:  "Big Plans Presented for Broadway Trade Center" - "Project Would Have Restaurants, Office Space, A Hotel, A Rooftop Pool and More"

Tuesday
Jul282015

POLITICS (National): 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump, voting base, level of education?: "Donald Trump's surge is about less-educated Americans" ....

* Washington Post ("The Fix" - Janell Ross):  "Donald Trump's surge is about less-educated Americans" - From the WP:

In the last few weeks, Americans (and the media) have watched in awe as a New York real estate magnate prone to bellicose behavior and hyperbole has become the GOP's leading candidate for the White House. But how did this come to be? A lot of it has to do with education.

Trump's support is strongest with Republicans in the Midwest, conservatives across the country who do not have a college degree and (perhaps not surprisingly) those who report the most negative views of immigration and Mexican immigrants in particular, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released last week.

To be clear, the poll found that 60 percent of all Americans support the idea of offering undocumented immigrants currently in the United States some form of legal status, and 57 percent told pollsters they believe that immigrants strengthen the country. But there are plenty of people who see things differently. And those people appear to be concentrated among whites, Republicans and those with lower levels of education. Take note of the peaks below.

   ....[GRAPHIC]....

Trump has certainly distinguished himself as the candidate willing to express outrage and horror about the nation's immigration challenges. He has also espoused a range of demonstrably false, unproven and outright conspiratorial ideas about immigration. Those ideas might sound outrageous and even xenophobic to some Americans. But when you look at who told pollsters that they share at least some of Trump's concerns, that same pattern mentioned up above -- white, Republicans with more limited education -- shows up in a slightly more subtle way. Pay close attention to the blue bars below.

   ...[GRPAHIC]....

It seems that education really matters here. Even when pollsters took race out of the equation -- to the extent that that is possible since the Republican base is overwhelmingly white -- and looked at all Republicans, the relationship between education and Trump support was pretty clear. Witness the following: ........................