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Tuesday
Jun272017

POLITICS/BUSINESS (National, Local/ Seattle): University of Washington, new report: "How a Rising Minimum Wage Affects Jobs in Seattle"; "Seattle's $15 mininum wage may be hurting workers, report finds"; "New study casts doubt on the benefits of Seattle's $15 mininum wage"; "Mininum wage fight may heat up after new study finds jobs and hours fell in Seattle" ....

Tuesday
Jun272017

SACRAMENTO: 2018 ballot, state parks/water bond, Los Angeles River?: Commentary (George Skelton), "Parks are pork, but flood control saves lives. That's the tension just under the surface of the L.A. River" .... 

***2018 ballot, state parks/water bond, Los Angeles River?

* Los Angeles Times (George Skelton):  "Parks are pork, but flood control saves lives. That's the tension just under the surface of the L.A. River." - From the LAT:

All politics are local. That’s long-proven dogma. One gleaming example involves the Los Angeles River.

The L.A. River is a key negotiation point in legislative talks to create a state water and parks bond proposal. Not just the 48-mile river itself, but separate sections of it. That’s how local this issue is. Should most of the river money go to Senate leader Kevin de León’s district upstream from downtown L.A.? Or should it wind up in Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon’s district along the lower river?

There’s “tension” between the Legislature’s two Democratic leaders over that, I’m told. It’ll no doubt be worked out. A 50-50 split is the best bet. But currently, De León’s $3.5-billion water and parks bond bill heavily favors his district. A rival $3.1-billion parks bill by Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) has a more equal divide. Rendon, however, will be the Assembly negotiator for his end of the river.

About $100 million is involved .................

Tuesday
Jun272017

POLITICS (National): Former NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg, American Cities Initiative, $200 million: "Bloomberg's Next Anti-Washington Move: $200 Million Program for Mayors" ....  

* New York Times (Alexander Burns):  "Bloomberg's Next Anti-Washington Move: $200 Million Program for Mayors" - From the NYT:

Michael R. Bloomberg will throw his financial might into helping beleaguered American mayors, creating a $200 million philanthropic program aimed at backing inventive policies at the city level and giving mayors a stronger hand in national politics.

Mr. Bloomberg intends to announce the initiative on Monday in a speech to the United States Conference of Mayors in Miami Beach, where he will castigate federal officials and state governments around the country for undermining cities. He plans to describe the program, called the American Cities Initiative, as a method of shoring up the global influence of the United States despite turmoil in Washington.

A wealthy former mayor of New York who seriously explored running for president in 2016 as an independent, Mr. Bloomberg, 75, has embraced a public role since the election as a kind of elite-level organizer against certain policies of the Trump administration. In an interview, Mr. Bloomberg said his city-focused initiative would serve in part as an extension of his advocacy for national policies that address climate change, gun violence, public health and immigration. That largely liberal agenda is aligned with the growing aspirations of big-city mayors, who are mainly Democrats and who have vowed to check conservative mandates emerging from Washington by using their power at the local level.

After President Trump announced last month that the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate accord, Mr. Bloomberg helped marshal an alliance of American cities and private companies to support participation in the pact, and offered to pay out of his private philanthropy for the American share of a United Nations budget to coordinate the deal.

The American Cities Initiative, Mr. Bloomberg said, will .................

Tuesday
Jun272017

SACRAMENTO: SB 562, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon: "Why universal health care died in California"; "California Assembly leader Anthony Rendon's decision to shelve single-payer healthcare angers progressive activists"; also, editorial, "If there's a smart path to single payer healthcare in California, we haven't found it yet" ....

***Following up on earlier item noted here (Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, SB 562, single-payer healthcare legislation "woefully incomplete")....

* Sacramento Bee:  "Why universal health care died in California"

* Los Angeles Times:  "California Assembly leader Anthony Rendon's decision to shelve single-payer healthcare angers progressive activists"

***ALSO:

* Los Angeles Times (editorial):  "If there's a smart path to single payer healthcare in California, we haven't found it yet"

Monday
Jun262017

POLITICS (National): President Donald Trump, son-in-law (senior White House adviser) Jared Kushner, Kushner Companies: "Kushner firm's $285 million Deutsche Bank loan came just before Election Day" ....

***President Donald Trump, son-in-law (senior White House adviser) Jared Kushner, Kushner Companies....

* Washington Post (Michael Kranish):  "Kushner firm's $285 million Deutsche Bank loan came just before Election Day" - From the WP:

One month before Election Day, Jared Kushner’s real estate company finalized a $285 million loan as part of a refinancing package for its property near Times Square in Manhattan. The loan came at a critical moment. Kushner was playing a key role in the presidential campaign of his father-in-law, Donald Trump. The lender, Deutsche Bank, was negotiating to settle a federal mortgage fraud case and charges from New York state regulators that it aided a possible Russian money-laundering scheme. The cases were settled in December and January.

Now, Kushner’s association with Deutsche Bank is among a number of financial matters that could come under focus as his business activities are reviewed by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, who is examining Kushner as part of a broader investigation into possible Russian influence in the election. The October deal illustrates the extent to which Kushner was balancing roles as a top adviser to Trump and a real estate company executive.

After the election, Kushner juggled duties for the Trump transition team and his corporation as he prepared to move to the White House. The Washington Post has reported that investigators are probing Kushner’s separate December meetings with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, and with Russian banker Sergey Gorkov, the head of Vnesheconombank, a state development bank.

   ****

Deutsche Bank loans to Trump and his family members have come under scrutiny. As Trump’s biggest lender, the bank supplied funds to him when other banks balked at the risk. As of last year, Trump’s companies had about $364 million in outstanding debts to the bank ...................