LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Washington, D.C.): Mayor Vincent Gray, 2010 campaign, investigation, proposed plea deal: "Vincent Gray rejects plea offer; federal prosecutors moving closer to indictment" ....

* Washington Post:  "Vincent Gray rejects plea offer; federal prosecutors moving closer to indictment" - From the WP:

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray rejected a proposal by federal prosecutors in September that he plead guilty to a single felony count in connection with their long-running investigation of his 2010 campaign, a person with knowledge of the talks said. Prosecutors have also re-interviewed key witnesses in recent weeks, several individuals familiar with the case said — a further indication that authorities are marching toward an indictment of the outgoing mayor.

A deputy to U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. offered the plea deal in a mid-September meeting with Gray’s attorney, Robert S. Bennett. The person with knowledge of the talks said Gray (D) was not present for the plea offer, which would have required him to admit to one felony count. Bennett told the prosecutor that Gray would not accept any deal requiring him to plead guilty to anything.

In an interview Friday, Gray referred questions about the investigation to Bennett, but he steadfastly denied any guilt — as he has repeatedly over the 3-1/2 years investigators have spent examining his 2010 campaign. “What would I plead to?” Gray said. “I’ve made clear all along what my feelings are about this whole situation. . . . So I’m not about to change anything. What would I plead to? I don’t know how to put it any other way than that.”

Bennett declined to comment except to say, “If indicted, he will vigorously defend against the charges and will seek a speedy trial.” William Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, also declined to comment. “The investigation is ongoing,” he said...................................


SACRAMENTO: Gov. Jerry Brown, campaign $$$, his "legacy," report/analysis: "Jerry Brown's legacy will be decided at the ballot box -- again" ....

* Washington Post (GovBeat):  "Jerry Brown's legacy will be decided at the ballot box -- again" - From the WP:

In an era of constant television advertising, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) stands out. Brown won an unprecedented fourth term in office this month with 59 percent of the vote, without running a single TV spot. Late campaign finance reports showed he maintained almost $21 million in his bank account just two weeks before Election Day.

Despite the big bankroll, Brown wants more. He will appear at a fundraiser Monday in Sacramento with lobbyists and their clients, who will fork over $5,000 checks written to his reelection campaign.

Why does Brown need the money? The 76-year-old governor is barred by law from seeking a fifth term four years from now, and he’s not likely to run for a U.S. Senate seat or some other elected office when his fourth term is over. Despite an endorsement from comedian Bill Maher, Brown isn’t likely to take a fourth shot at the presidency.

Instead, Brown’s campaign war chest is likely to be spent on establishing his legacy through a different type of campaign: advocating for ballot initiatives that advance his legislative and policy goals by bypassing the legislature itself. He can also expend the money on other candidates.


Brown has not made public what initiatives he might support in the future. But his ambitions are not small.......................



SACRAMENTO: California Supreme Court, vacancy: "Gov. Jerry Brown lets state Supreme Court vacancy linger" ....

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "Gov. Jerry Brown lets state Supreme Court vacancy linger" - From the Chronicle:

The California Supreme Court, which is supposed to have seven justices, has had only six for more than seven months, an interval that may be unprecedented and is at least the longest in a half century. The reason is inaction by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Justice Joyce Kennard, the court’s longest-serving member, retired April 5, a decision she had announced nearly two months earlier. The vacancy gave Brown a chance to shift the composition of a court that has had only one Democratic appointee for more than two decades.

The governor moved quickly when another seat opened up with the announcement in June by Justice Marvin Baxter, the court’s leading conservative, that he would not seek another 12-year term. Five weeks later, Brown nominated Stanford law Professor Mariano-Florentino Cuellar, who was confirmed by a state commission and approved by the state’s voters Nov. 4 to take office in January.

But Brown — who at times in the past has questioned the need to fill vacant judgeships — hasn’t nominated Kennard’s successor or said why he hasn’t. “Soon enough. I’ve not arrived at a pick yet,” the governor said in answer to a question on the court nomination at a news conference Nov. 5, the day after he coasted to re-election.

Governors make many appointments, but those to the state’s high court are among the most important and enduring. . . . . . . . .

Brown’s nominee will require at least a month of review and a confirmation vote from the state Commission on Judicial Appointments. If confirmed, the new justice would take office immediately and would not appear on the state ballot until 2018.

Asked why the decision has taken so long, Evan Westrup, Brown’s press spokesman, issued this statement.................................


INTERNATIONAL: Hong Kong-Shanghai stock market link: "Landmark Hong Kong-Shanghai stock link officially opens"; also, "Money flows to Shanghai as landmark stocks link with Hong Kong opens"; "Investors send billions to Shanghai as market opens to foreigners"; "Missing Link In Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect" ....


LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Los Angeles, Long Beach): Port truckers strike: "L.A. area port truckers expand strike to three new companies"; also, "Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach truckers resume pickets targeting three more companies" .... 

***Truckers strike at Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach....

* Los Angeles Times:  "L.A.-area port truckers expand strike to three new companies"

* Daily Breeze:  "Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach truckers resume pickets targeting three more companies"