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Sunday
Mar132016

SACRAMENTO: Fair Political Practices Commission, "secret lobbying," regulation, exemption?: "California watchdog considers rule that would curb secret lobbying at Capitol" ....

* Orange County Register (AP):  "California watchdog considers rule that would curb secret lobbying at Capitol" - From the Register:

SACRAMENTO – California regulators are considering a plan to curb secret lobbying at the state Capitol. The Fair Political Practices Commission plans to vote Thursday on narrowing a regulation that allows people to avoid identifying themselves as lobbyists by attending Capitol meetings as experts. They comply with current rules by working alongside lobbyists who are properly registered.

The regulation has faced scrutiny as a way for former legislators and officials to skirt state rules requiring they wait a year after leaving office to lobby their former colleagues. “People found it to be a little bit of a loophole,” FPPC Chairwoman Jodi Remke told a Sacramento Press Club luncheon last month. “We did have political operatives going along with paid lobbyists, kind of opening the door to certain public officials’ offices and saying that their ‘expertise’ was the political process.” The proposed change would clarify the exception applies only to bona fide experts on specific, pending legislative or administrative actions.

Attorneys at the state’s political watchdog sought the change after deciding last September that former Assembly Speaker and Lieutenant Gov. Cruz Bustamante complied with the rule when he repeatedly lobbied from 2008 through 2013, but never reported it . . . . . . . .

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The change could be too vague for potential lobbyists to properly or uniformly follow . . . . . . . .

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What critics call a “revolving door” between the Legislature and special interests was highlighted in December when former Assemblyman Henry Perea, a Fresno Democrat, resigned and went to work for the pharmaceutical industry. Two state senators left office in 2013 to join the lucrative lobbying business.

Former FPPC counsel Robert Stern said the commission should get rid of the exemption entirely ............

Sunday
Mar132016

POLITICS (National; State; Local): Sacramento, commentary (Dan Walters), "California prisoner count drops, spending increases"; Bay Area, "S.F. selling off spart parts for emergency water system"; Malibu, commentary (Op-Ed: David Randall), "The long and complicated fight to preserve paradise in Malibu"; also, "Judge Hears Woman's Request to Drop Out of Trump University Suit" ....

***Various items relating to politics and/or public policy -- nationa; state; local....

* Los Angeles Times (Op-Ed: David K. Randall): "The long and complicated fight to preserve paradise in Malibu"

* Sacramento Bee (Dan Walters):  "California prisoner count drops, spending increases"

* Wall Street Journal:  "Judge Hears Women's Request to Drop Out of Trump University Suit" - "Plaintiff says she's tired of attacks amid glare of campaign; Trump lawyers call her 'critical' witness"

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "S.F. selling off spare parts for emergency water system"

Sunday
Mar132016

POLITICS/ENVIRONMENT: South Coast Air Quality Management District, air pollution, Inland Empire: "In towns with most polluted air, residents fear that smog fight will slow down at AQMD" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "In towns with most polluted air, residents fear that smog fight will slow down at AQMD" - From the LAT:

When Mira Loma resident Stephen Anderson drives through his community he's surrounded by warehouses. The sprawling complexes housing the world's goods sit next to schools and parks, neighborhoods and shopping centers, bringing a stream of diesel trucks that pollute the air with their exhaust.

The Riverside County community has paid a heavy price for the development, Anderson says. Mira Loma has for years suffered from some of the dirtiest air in the nation. So Anderson and his wife were dismayed at recent moves by Southern California's air quality board that were widely viewed as efforts to weaken pollution regulations. "It's a blow to all the progress that's been made," Anderson said.

Last week, the South Coast Air Quality Management District's board fired its longtime leader, seen as receptive to the concerns of environmentalists, and reaffirmed smog rules backed by polluters. Some new board members have also been talking of putting more emphasis on the needs of business.

Inland Empire environmental advocates, many of whom have fought to curb pollution for years, are frustrated by the decisions."To me the job of the AQMD is to clean up the air," said Jason Martinez, a Fontana resident and local activist. "For them to take a stance that they're listening more to businesses than to community members, that's a big issue."

Compounding the frustration, they say, is the fact that the air quality board's four members from Riverside and San Bernardino counties voted in favor of firing the executive, Barry Wallerstein, and against reconsidering the oil-industry backed smog rules ...................

Sunday
Mar132016

POLITICS/URBAN AFFAIRS: Bay Area, "Chinese developers muscling in on Bay Area housing market"; O.C., "Orange County Fire Authority's financial deficit has some officials sounding alarms"; L.A., "Is Airbnb Making L.A.'s Housing Crisis Worse?"; Bay Area, "San Jose: The city America forgot" ....:

***Various items relating to local issues/local government/urban affairs -- Northern California, Southern California....

* LA Weekly:  "Is Airbnb Making L.A.'s Housing Crisis Worse?"

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "Chinese developers muscling in on Bay Area housing market"

* San Jose Mercury News:  "San Jose: The city America forgot"

* Orange County Register:  "Orange County Fire Authority's financial deficit has some officials sounding alarms"

 

Sunday
Mar132016

POLITICS (National): 2016 presidential election, violence: "Republicans blame Trump for climate of violence"; "As Republican rivals take aim, Donald Trump deflects blame for near-riot in Chicago"; "Donald Trump's Heated Words Were Destined to Stir Violence, Opponents Say"; also, "Campaign 2016 is on a dangerous descent"; "For Trump, protests create a short-term benefit and a long-term threat"....

***Following up on earlier item noted here (Donald Trump rally, Chicago, protesters, violence, "chaos")....

* POLITICO:  "Republicans blame Trump for climate of violence" - "Rubio and Kasich waver on supporting the GOP frontrunner if he wins the nomination."

* Los Angeles Times:  "As Republican rivals take aim, Donald Trump deflects blame for near-riot in Chicago"

* New York Times:  "Donald Trump's Heated Words Were Destined to Stir Violence, Opponents Say"

***ALSO:

* Washington Post (Dan Balz):  "Campaign 2016 is on a dangerous descent"

* Los Angeles Times (Cathleen Decker):  "For Trump, protests create a short-term benefit and a long-term threat"