POLITICS (Bay Area): Oakland City Hall, commentary (Chip Johnson), "Oakland Councilwoman Desley Brooks is out of control"; Silicon Valley, transportation/labor, "Teamsters pact boosts struggling tech bus drivers' pay, benefits"; Berkeley, "Facebook yanks 'White Student Union' page at UC Berkeley" .... 

***Various items relating to politics and/or public policy in and/or around the Bay Area....

* San Francisco Chronicle (Chip Johnson):  "Oakland Councilwoman Delsey Brooks is out of control"

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "Teamsters pact boosts struggling tech bus drivers' pay, benefits"

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "Facebook yanks 'White Student Union' page at UC Berkeley


LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Orange County): Anaheim City Council, district-based elections, no Latino-majority district until 2018, reaction: "Democrats consider condemning Anaheim councilman's vote" ....  

***Following up on earlier item noted here (Anaheim, Latino voters, district-based elections)....

* Orange County Register:  "Democrats consider condemning Anaheim councilman's vote" - From the Register:

The Orange County Democratic Party will tonight consider a resolution condemning a decisive vote by Democratic Anaheim City Councilman Jordan Brandman to have voters in a new majority Latino district select their council member in 2018 rather than next year.

The Anaheim council's 3-2 vote Tuesday was the latest step toward voter-approved district elections stemming from a lawsuit intended to ensure Latinos are appropriately represented on the City Council. The council vote identified four of the six new districts to be placed on the 2016 ballot and two to go on the 2018 ballot. Many Democrats were behind the push for district elections and were disappointed that the sole district with a majority of Latino citizens of voting age would not elect its representative for three more years.

The resolution to be considered tonight by county Democrats' governing Central Committee also calls on Brandman, who is running for Congress, to reverse his vote on the matter when it returns to the council for final approval on Dec. 8. It also condemns the "Yes" votes of Republican Councilwomen Kris Murray and Lucille Kring ...............


POLITICS (State, Local/Bay Area): California Public Utilities Commission, corruption investigation, protection of power plants from terrorist attacks?: "California regulators cut anti-terror spending for power plants" ....  

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "California regulators cut anti-terror spending for power plants" - From the Chronicle:

A new state law mandating that utilities take steps to protect power plants from terrorist attacks is being held hostage in a fight between the California Public Utilities Commission and legislators over the agency’s $5 million legal tab in corruption investigations.

The Legislature slashed $5 million from the utilities commission’s budget this year, angry that regulators had hired outside lawyers as federal and state investigators probed allegations of official influence-peddling and improper deal-making with Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and other utilities. Lawmakers didn’t specify where the commission had to make budget cuts, however — and last week, the agency took the money in part from efforts to implement antiterrorist legislation.

The legislation, proposed by state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2014, ordered the state’s power providers to draw up security plans to harden the electrical grid against saboteurs. The law was prompted largely by an April 2013 incident. . . . . . . .

There was a second security breach at Metcalf in August 2014, just days before the Legislature approved the law that took effect this year. . . . . . . . .

Last week, commission Executive Director Timothy Sullivan told the agency’s five-member governing panel that he would slash $350,000 needed to implement the security plan as part of the $5 million in cuts that the Legislature ordered. The money would pay for staffers to oversee the program. Without them, there will be no one at the commission to evaluate the utilities’ security plans.

The cuts took effect without a vote of the commissioners, all of whom were appointed by Brown ..................


POLITICS (National, State): Syrian refugees, Paris terrorist attacks, commentary (Dan Walters): "Cowardice helps pass refugee bill" ....

* Sacramento Bee (Dan Walters):  "Cowardice helps pass refugee bill" - From the Bee:

It was a profile in cowardice, not courage.

On Thursday, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted 289-137 for a bill the GOP leadership admitted was “quickly cobbled together” to tighten up procedures for admitting refugees from Syria. It was the Republican response to the terrorist attacks in Paris, echoing demands from GOP governors to crack down on admission of refugees from that war-torn country on the assertion that some could be terrorists bent on attacking here.

The bill’s provisions are ludicrous. Every refugee would have to have the personal approval of three Cabinet-level officials, the head of Homeland Security, the FBI director and the director of national intelligence before admission.

Refugees must already undergo a months- or even years-long vetting before being permanently allowed in the country, and if terrorists really want to enter, there are much easier ways to do so, such as posing as tourists from one of the many countries from which visas are not required. So the House bill was just partisan political symbolism that would, if enacted, do absolutely nothing to protect the nation from terrorism.

Most Democrats voted against the bill, and the White House said President Barack Obama would veto it if it reaches his desk. However, 47 Democrats broke ranks to support the measure, including eight from California. With one exception – Janice Hahn of San Pedro – all the California Democrats who voted “aye” are on lists of those considered potentially vulnerable to Republican challengers. That said, the seven others . . . . . . . .

The sole exception might be . . . . . . . .


They. . .  apparently reasoned that voting for the bill would shut off an avenue of possible political attack without having any real effect. However, were the bill to be vetoed, an override attempt could follow. And the 47 Democrats who voted for it would be on the spot because, with them, there would be enough House votes to override the veto.


POLITICS (National): 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, "cause for concern in Hillaryland"?: "Lack of Enthusiasm From Supporters May Undermine Clinton's Lead" ....:

* New York Times:  "Lack of Enthusiasm From Supporters May Undermine Clinton's Lead" - From the NYT:

There’s cause for concern in Hillaryland, the constellation of Democratic advisers, supporters and politicians counting on the former secretary of state to lead the party to a sweeping victory next November.

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s nomination is almost a foregone conclusion, barring any unlikely legal or health issues. Democrats will offer a more coherent and unified front for the general election than the fractious Republicans. Still, this optimism is based on the presumed weakness of the opposition, and ignores what polling suggests could be the candidate’s own vulnerabilities.

The worries of some Clinton insiders are focused on the general election. There is an “enthusiasm gap.” Surveys of voters at this early stage of the campaign show that young people, independents, possibly even blacks and Hispanics are not excited about her candidacy.

To be sure, a number of women, especially middle-aged ones, are energized by the prospect of electing the first female president of the United States. That’s a strong asset. But Mrs. Clinton has a striking problem with young voters. A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed that a solid plurality of young voters has a negative view of Mrs. Clinton. She did even worse in a Bloomberg Politics national poll.

Here is a result to unnerve her Brooklyn campaign headquarters: Both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton get a 60 percent favorable rating with 18-to-29-year-olds. She gets 35 percent approval and 57 percent unfavorable ..................

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