Index
Monday
Jul252016

SACRAMENTO: Commentary (Dan Walters), "Would extending California income tax hikes cause rich to leave?"; commentary (Joel Fox), "Direct Democracy Strategy Questions Raised by Gun Referendums"; legislation, "New law will require temporary license plates in California" ....

***Various items relating to doings in and/or around the Capitol....

* Sacramento Bee (Dan Walters):  "Would extending California income tax hikes cause rich to leave?"

* Fox & Hounds (Joel Fox):  "Direct Democracy Strategy Questions Raised by Gun Referendums"

* Los Angeles Times (AP):  "New law will require temporary license plates in California"

Monday
Jul252016

POLITICS (National): 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton / Ronald Reagan: Commentary (Op-Ed: George Will), "Can Clinton do in 2016 what Reagan did in 1990?" ....  

* Washington Post (George Will):  "Can Clinton do in 2016 what Reagan did in 1980?" - From the WP:

-- En route to fight one of his many duels, French politician Georges Clemenceau bought a one-way train ticket. Was he pessimistic? “Not at all. I always use my opponent’s return ticket for the trip back.” Some Hillary Clinton advisers, although not that serene, think her victory is probable and can be assured.

Her challenge is analogous to Ronald Reagan’s in 1980, when voters were even more intensely dissatisfied than they now are. There were hostages in Iran and stagflation’s “misery index” (the sum of the inflation and unemployment rates) was 21.98. By August 1979, 84 percent of Americans said the country was on the wrong track. A substantial majority did not want to reelect Jimmy Carter but a majority might do so unless convinced that Reagan would be a safe choice. Reagan’s campaign responded by buying time for several half-hour televised speeches and other ads stressing his humdrum competence.

Now, voters reluctant to support the unpleasant and unprepared Republican also flinch from Clinton, partly because of the intimacy the modern presidency forces upon them: As one Clinton adviser uneasily notes, a president spends more time in the average family’s living room than anyone who is not a family member. Clinton is not a congenial guest.

Her opponent radiates anger, and the United States has not elected an angry president since Andrew Jackson, long before television brought presidents into everyone’s living room, where anger is discomfiting. Clinton’s campaign must find ways to present her as more likable than she seems and more likable than her adversary, both of which are low thresholds. Regarding the threshold that matters most — 270 electoral votes — she would not trade places with her opponent ..............

Monday
Jul252016

POLITICS (National): 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump, publicity/bad publicitity?: Report/analysis (Michael Kruse), "Trump and the Dark Art of Bad Publicity" ....

* POLITICO (Michael Kruse):  "Trump and the Dark Art of Bad Publicity" - "In one lurid, scandalous month in 1990 he learned a lesson that helped forge his whole candidacy." - From POLITICO:

In the epic spectrum of bad publicity that has defined Donald Trump’s volatile, attention-snatching campaign, Melania Trump’s plagiarism of parts of a Michelle Obama speech on the first night of this week’s Republican National Convention was relatively tame. The advice from seasoned professionals was pretty simple: Find someone to fire, let the scandal die down, move on. Instead, clumsy and contradictory excuses from staffers and surrogates helped keep the story alive all day Tuesday. By Wednesday morning, with the gaffe still dominating the news cycles, the boss had had enough—enough apologizing, enough flailing attempts at standard crisis management.

It was time for Trump to declare victory. He took to Twitter. “Good news is Melania’s speech got more publicity than any in the history of politics,” he said, “especially if you believe that all press is good press!”

This seemed like a preposterous claim—that borrowing lines was basically a good thing if it got enough attention, that all the fumbles that kept the topic in the news were just part of a story of success. But the idea, unprecedented at this level of politics, is at the heart of one of the most remarkable mechanisms of Trump’s rise—the conviction that mistakes, flagrant provocations and the attendant bad publicity genuinely don’t matter, so long as they serve the goal of owning the spotlight. On the short list of Trump’s most guiding, abiding beliefs, this is one that ranks near the top: that bad publicity doesn’t have to be avoided, and doesn’t have to be endured—that it should be embraced, and even stoked ...................

Monday
Jul252016

LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, former Los Angeles County Counsel Mark Saladino: "Vacation payout for county supervisor becomes issue in fight over ouster of attorney" ....  

***Following up on most recent earlier item noted here (Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, former County Counsel Mark Saladino, controversy/litigation)....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Vacation payout for county supervisor becomes issue in fight over ouster of attorney" - From the LAT:

In November 2014, Los Angeles County Counsel Mark Saladino signed off on a memo giving the go-ahead for Supervisor Don Knabe to collect more than $100,000 in vacation pay when he retires at the end of this year. Seven months later, the other supervisors consulted a second attorney who concluded that Knabe was not entitled to the payout. Within days, Saladino abruptly resigned from the top attorney position and moved to a lower-ranking position in the office of treasurer and tax collector, which he had headed up before being appointed county counsel in 2014.

The vacation pay memo is part of a political drama unfolding at the county Hall of Administration that includes two lawsuits filed by Saladino against his former clients, the county and the Board of Supervisors.

In a complaint filed earlier this month Saladino — who was approved for disability retirement after several months of disability-related stress leave — said he was forced to step down because he had attempted to prevent misconduct by the board. He alleged in his lawsuit that Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, in particular, had engineered the ouster in part because Saladino was close to former county chief executive William T Fujioka, a political enemy of Ridley-Thomas’, and because Saladino had refused to steer contracts to Ridley-Thomas’ friends.

Fujioka was the author of the November 2014 memo that concluded Knabe was eligible for the so-called “leaving vacation” pay of up to 25 weeks of salary. In an interview, Fujioka said he initiated the review of the vacation pay policy and did the analysis, and that he stands by the memo’s findings. Fujioka said he believes that Saladino was ousted for political reasons unrelated to the vacation pay. “I feel the action was an example of gross retaliation on the part of Ridley-Thomas,” he said.

Knabe did not respond to requests for comment. Ridley-Thomas declined to comment.

The current county counsel, Mary Wickham, said in a statement ................

Monday
Jul252016

INTERNATIONAL (Mexico): Oaxaca City, Guelaguetza celebration?: "Why teachers have been occupying one of Mexico's most alluring public spaces since May" .... 

* Los Angeles Times:  "Why teachers have been occupying one of Mexico's most alluring public spaces since May" - From the LAT:

With its towering cathedral, stately trees and many cafes, the central plaza here usually exudes a sense of peace and elegance — a place to dine, reflect or listen to the marimba bands that perform on the ornate, wrought-iron bandstand. But sit-ins, roadblocks and violence linked to Mexico's roiling conflict between teachers and the federal government have cast a pall over Oaxaca City and the Guelaguetza, the signature annual celebration of the indigenous and mestizo heritage of this culturally rich state. 

The plaza, or zocalo, has become a desolate eyesore, a tent city of sleeping bags and plastic mats topped with a jagged array of plastic tarps thrown up as protection against daily thunderstorms. Teachers enraged at federal education reforms have occupied the plaza since May, stranding thousands of pupils and transforming one of Mexico’s most alluring public spaces into something resembling a ramshackle refugee camp. Street vendors have set up shop alongside the tents.

The Guelaguetza starts Monday and hotel bookings are down 50% or more in the heavily tourism-reliant capital of the state also called Oaxaca. Key routes to town remain shut or subject to long delays after protesting teachers, many wearing masks, erected barricades of earth, tree trunks and assorted debris. “We won’t leave until our demands are met,” vowed Nelly Ruth Vicente, one of a number of teachers posted at a blockade at the crossroads town of Asuncion Nochixtlan, on the main federal toll road linking Oaxaca City and Mexico City.

On June 19, eight people were killed and more than 100 injured when Mexican police opened fire in a botched effort to dismantle the barricade at Nochixtlan. The killings have since become a rallying cry for the teachers union and allied activists.

The unrest has discouraged many potential visitors, both Mexicans and foreigners, from venturing to Oaxaca . . . . . . . . 

   ****

The teachers appear to have garnered little popular support for their threat to boycott the Guelaguetza, which dates back to pre-Hispanic indigenous celebrations and is a source of pride statewide .................