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Thursday
Jun302016

SACRAMENTO: Plastic bag ban, "Voters will consider a new use for bag fees on November ballot"; homelessness, "Assembly asks Gov. Jerry Brown for a homeless state of emergency"; environment, commentary (George Skelton), "Big fish in small pond: No room for bass in Gov. Jerry Brown's delta tunnel plan" ....

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

* Los Angeles Times:  "Voters will consider a new use for bag fees on November ballot"

* Los Angeles Times:  "Assembly asks Gov. Jerry Brown for a homeless state of emergency"

* Los Angeles Times (George Skelton):  "Big fish in small pond: No room for bass in Gov. Jerry Brown's delta tunnel plan"

Thursday
Jun302016

SACRAMENTO: November ballot, "No Blank Checks Initiative": "Ballot measure threatens bullet train, Delta tunnels" ....

* Mercury News:  "Ballot measure threatens bullet train, Delta tunnels" - From the MN:

Two of Gov. Jerry Brown's favorite projects -- building a high-speed rail system and a pair of massive tunnels under the Delta -- face a serious threat if California voters pass a measure heading for the November ballot.

The "No Blank Checks Initiative," bankrolled with $4.5 million from Stockton farmer and businessman Dean Cortopassi, would require a public vote on any state project in which $2 billion or more in revenue bonds would be issued. And since both the bullet train and twin-tunnels projects would most likely require that kind of financing, voters could ultimately get a chance to decide their fate.

Cortopassi's initiative is one of more than a dozen measures California voters are expected to decide in November -- the final list of which will be announced Thursday by the Secretary of State's Office. Among them are proposals to legalize recreational marijuana, tighten gun laws, eliminate the state's death penalty and authorize $9 billion in school bonds.

Although it has received less attention than many of the others, Cortopassi's measure could be the most significant in the long term and have a huge impact on the governor's legacy. It's also setting up a major battle involving taxpayer groups on one side and labor unions and business organizations on the other -- the same interest groups that lined up against each other 38 years ago when Californians passed Proposition 13, the landmark initiative that reined in property taxes and required that voters approve taxes .....................

 

Thursday
Jun302016

L.A. CITY HALL: Homelessness, "L.A. City Council backs $1.2 billion bond for homeless housing" ....

* Daily News:  "L.A. City Council backs $1.2 billion bond for homeless housing" - From the DN:

Seeking to stem the rise of homelessness in the nation’s second largest city, the Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday for a plan to add a property tax bond measure to the November ballot that’s expected to raise about $1.2 billion to build housing. The City Council voted 14-0 to put the bond measure to voters. Councilman Mitch Englander was absent from Wednesday’s vote.

The measure, which needs to pass by a 2/3 threshold in November, comes as city officials grapple with a 5 percent increase in homelessness in Los Angeles compared to last year and a noticeable spike in encampments across the city.

If approved by voters, the measure would allow for a new property tax on both residential and commercial properties. A $1 million home would be taxed about $40 to $80 a year with the new fee, according to city analysts. Property owners could pass on the tax to their commercial or residential tenants. However, owners would not be able to charge the tax to renters covered under the city’s rent stabilization ordinance, said Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival, a tenant advocacy group.

The county is also considering revenue streams for the homeless, including a possible ballot measure. However, a proposal for a county-wide “millionaires’ tax” stalled because Gov. Jerry Brown hasn’t shown support for the plan . . . . . . . .

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The City Council is also considering a parcel tax to raise money for homelessness as an alternative and will take up consideration of that item on Friday ...........

Thursday
Jun302016

POLITICS (National): 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump, business dealings/Indian casino?: "Trump was so involved in trying to block an Indian casino that he secretly approved attack ads" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Trump was so involved in trying to block an Indian casino that he secretly approved attack ads" - From the LAT:

Soon after an American Indian tribe announced plans to open a casino at a Catskills horse track, ads started appearing in local newspapers and on radio, sounding an alarm about unbridled crime and corruption. They came from the New York Institute for Law and Society, a new self-described grass-roots anti-gambling group targeting the St. Regis Mohawks. Its campaign in 2000, supposedly supported by 12,000 “pro-family” donors, warned of the evils an Indian casino would bring: “increased crime, broken families, bankruptcies and, in the case of the Mohawks, violence.”

But there were no 12,000 donors. Virtually all the money for the campaign, more than $1 million, came from Donald Trump. The institute was the brainchild of Trump’s longtime lobbyist and consultant, Roger Stone, and Trump himself was hands-on — not just paying the bills, but signing off on ad copy or radio scripts depicting the tribe as violent criminals and drug dealers. When Stone hired private investigators  to dig up dirt on the Mohawks, Trump secretly paid the bills.

“Roger – This could be good!” Trump scrawled across one ad that included a picture of hypodermic needles and lines of powder meant to depict cocaine, underneath the headline: “Drug Dealing at Monticello?,” the name of the track. The ad ran in Catskills newspapers, credited to the institute.

Trump has pointed to his experience in business and real estate as the main argument for why he should be president. As he prepares to accept the Republican presidential nomination at the party’s convention in July, some of the more combative and controversial episodes in his long career, including the anti-Mohawk campaign, are coming under renewed scrutiny. Hundreds of pages of records from a New York agency’s investigation into the ad campaign, obtained by the Los Angeles Times, reveal new details about Trump’s covert fight against the tribe. It was unusual not only for how deeply involved he was, but for the sharp tone of the attacks and the elaborate attempt to conceal his role .....................

Thursday
Jun302016

POLITICS (National): 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders: "Bernie Sanders just gave an amazingly condescending interview about Hillary Clinton" .... 

* Washington Post (Chris Cillizza):  "Bernie Sanders just gave an amazingly condescending interview about HIllary Clinton" - From the WP:

The Democratic presidential primaries ended two weeks ago today. Bernie Sanders is still kind of, sort of running for the nomination, despite the fact he has lost -- by every possible metric -- to Hillary Clinton.

Clinton and her campaign have been generally fine with all of this, pivoting to the general election and assuming the Sanders thing would work itself out.

That approach may change after the interview Sanders gave to MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on Tuesday. It was by turns baffling and surreal. But, most of all, it was remarkably condescending. This exchange is all you need to know to understand why the whole thing was so bad for Sanders: ...........................