Index
Friday
Sep062013

SACRAMENTO: SB 4, hydraulic fracking regulation, closing days of legislative session: "Energy industry pushing late-hour changes to California fracking bill"....

* Sacramento Bee:  "Energy industry pushing late-hour changes to California fracking bill" - From the Bee:

A formidable energy lobbying group has been pushing to relax permitting requirements in a bill to regulate hydraulic fracturing, a move advocates say would undercut the type of environmental review the bill seeks to establish.

Hydraulic fracturing, commonly called "fracking," involves firing a cocktail of chemicals and pressurized water deep underground to dislodge oil and gas locked in geological formations. It has become a prominent issue this session, with legislators floating several bills to regulate the process and bolster what they call lax oversight from the Department of Conservation arm responsible for oil and gas drilling. All but one of those bills expired amid strenuous opposition from the energy industry. Senate Bill 4, by Sen.Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, has passed the Senate and awaits an Assembly floor vote.

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Now, with the window to send bills to the governor rapidly narrowing, the industry has begun lobbying legislators over the environmental review the bill would impose on fracking jobs................

Friday
Sep062013

POLITICS: More info/details, Antonio Villaraigosa, new consulting contract, adviser to Herbalife: "Herbalife Hires Antonio Villaraigosa, Preps For Battle With Latino Lawmakers Over Pyramid Scheme Allegation"....

* LA Weekly:  "Herbalife Hires Antonio Villaraigosa, Preps For Battle With Latino Lawmakers Over Pyramid Scheme Allegation" - From the Weekly:

In his retirement, former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has decided to enter the exciting world of multi-level marketing, taking on a new role as adviser to Herbalife, the Amway of nutritional supplements. The move comes as Herbalife hires lobbyists and gears up for a battle on Capitol Hill over its business model. Congresswoman Linda Sanchez has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether the company is actually operating as a pyramid scheme.

Herbalife looks to be signing up Democrats who might have some sway with the Obama administration. Today, the New York Post reported that Herbalife has hired the Podesta Group, the high-powered D.C. lobbying firm with close ties to Democrats.

Sanchez (D-Lakewood) has raised concerns about whether Herbalife exploits its distributors, who are disproportionately Latino. It make sense that Herbalife would want to recruit some high-profile help from the Latino political world...............

Friday
Sep062013

AFTERNOON MEMOS: Short-term rentals in single-family neighborhoods, editorial, "Make room for Airbnb"; Siskiyou County, residents seeking secession from state, editorial, "Siskyou secession is a silly stunt"; report, "LAUSD hit with unfair labor practice by 12 teachers"....

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

* Los Angeles Times (editorial):  "Make room for Airbnb" - "The right approach isn't to ban the online rental service but to forbid uses that pose a real threat to the local quality of life."

* Sacramento Bee (editorial):  "Siskiyou secession is a silly stunt"

* Daily News:  "LAUSD hit with unfair labor practice by 12 teachers"

Friday
Sep062013

POLITICS/LEGAL: Immigrant in U.S. illegally, bid for a California law license, editorial: "Sergio Garcia's law license limbo"....

***Following up on most recent earlier item noted here (illegal immigrant, bid seeking California law license, California Supreme Court hearing)....

* Los Angeles Times (editorial):  "Sergio Garcia's law license limbo" - "Brought to the United States illegally by his parents when he was a minor, he earned college and law school degrees. But his immigration status is keeping him from earning a law license." - From the LAT:

Sergio C. Garcia was brought to the United States illegally by his parents when he was a minor. Since then, he has earned a college degree and worked his way through law school. He's met all the requirements necessary to become a lawyer, passing the bar exam and receiving a positive moral character determination from the Committee of Bar Examiners. The only thing Garcia lacks is a law license.

The State Bar of California, which normally determines who should receive a law license, has recommended he be given one, and Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris supports his bid to obtain it. But the state Supreme Court, which has the final say, has stepped in to decide whether an immigrant who entered the country illegally is or is not eligible. At a hearing Wednesday, some justices expressed skepticism about whether the court had the authority to fulfill Garcia's request.

Until now, citizenship has never been a prerequisite to obtain a law license. . . . . . . . .

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If the California Supreme Court denies Garcia's request, we hope the Legislature will rectify the problem.............

Friday
Sep062013

POLITICS/TRANSPORTATION: New California pension law, Jerry Brown agreement, exemption of transit workers, editorial: "Governor needs to stand his ground on pensions"....

***Following up on on most recent earlier item noted here (new California pension law, Jerry Brown agreement, exemption of transit workers from new pension rules, administration to support federal court lawsuit challenging 1964 federal law )....

* Sacramento Bee (editorial):  "Governor needs to stand his ground on pensions"  -

It's a crying shame, but Gov. Jerry Brown had no choice but to cave and exempt transit workers from the state’s pension reform law, at least temporarily. The U.S. Department of Labor was poised to cut off billions in federal grants to local transit districts if California did not back off. So the governor has made a necessary strategic retreat.

But he cannot afford to surrender. Brown says he plans to pursue the issue in court. Sacramento Regional Transit is the test case. Because RT complied with state law and applied pension reform to its workers, the federal government withdrew $54 million in federal funding previously approved for work on RT’s light-rail extension to Elk Grove. Some $14 million of that money may be lost permanently because the bill to exempt transit workers from pension reform, which the governor has pledged to sign, won’t reach his desk in time to forestall federal action on part of the grant. Statewide, some $1.6 billion was at risk this year alone.

Why is this travesty allowed? . . . . . . . .

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The governor had to retreat on this issue. . . . . . . .

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The governor’s legal challenge must not be some lackluster pro forma exercise............