POLITICS (National): 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, commentary (Op-Ed: Doyle McManus): "Sage advice for Hillary Clinton" ....

* Los Angeles Times (Op-Ed: Doyle McManus):  "Sage advice for Hillary Clinton" - From the LAT:

It's been almost two weeks since their stinging defeat in midterm elections, but Democrats are still licking their wounds and trying to figure out where they went wrong. They don't have much time to extract the right lessons: The 2016 presidential campaign will begin in earnest any minute now. So I consulted two Democratic sages, each of whom played a central role in electing the last two Democratic presidents: David Axelrod, who worked for Barack Obama in 2008, and James Carville, who worked for Bill Clinton in 1992.

Their advice — aimed primarily at Hillary Rodham Clinton, who they both assume will run — boiled down to two basic precepts.

First, don't take the 2016 election for granted; it's wide open, and either party could win. Second, the overriding issue on voters' minds is the economy — specifically, the stagnant lot of middle class workers. The candidate with the most convincing remedy for that problem is likely to win.

Let's take them in turn...........................


SACRAMENTO: Assembly District 64 election, commentary (Dan Morain): "A machine, big money and a lie in L.A. Assembly race" ....

* Sacramento Bee (Dan Morain):  "A machine, big money and a lie in L.A. Assembly race" - From the Bee:

Mike Gipson won his Assembly race thanks to the clout of Rep. Maxine Waters and Assemblyman Isadore Hall, the California Democratic Party, heavy contributions from the moneyed interests that matter, and a lie. The California Teachers Association, oil producers, casino owners, payday lenders, soda and alcohol companies, unions representing nurses, public employees and construction workers, insurance companies and, of course, tobacco companies paid to bring Gipson to Sacramento.

Using some of their money, Gipson fabricated and sent to voters in his South Central Los Angeles Assembly district one of the most vile mailers I’ve ever seen. There is little recourse. With other new legislators, he will take the solemn oath of office on Dec. 1. Like all freshmen, Gipson will be a backbencher. But the smart people who select and elect candidates see potential. They spent $2.7 million on the campaign for and against Gipson and his opponent, Prophet Walker, who was running for the first time.

Gipson’s deception wasn’t clever. Anyone with a computer could have done it. He cut out a photo of Walker and pasted it in a dark hoodie, and manipulated the photo to depict Walker aiming a gun and grinning, though in context it looks like a snarl. Gipson placed a photo of his own face onto a police officer in uniform.

The verbiage described Walker’s criminal past and Gipson’s good work. But that was secondary. The point was the menacing image. . . . . . . . .


Gipson, 47, didn’t need to lie; he was never going to lose. . . . . . . .


Gipson will replace Hall, the assemblyman who has the distinction of accepting more tobacco money than all but one other Democratic legislator since 2009, just ahead of former Sen. Rod Wright .........................


LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Bay Area): San Francisco, Airbnb, Supervisor David Chiu, Mayor Ed Lee, Senator Dianne Feinstein, commentary (Debra J. Saunders): "Sen. Dianne Feinstein goes to war against Airbnb" ....

* San Francisco Chronicle (Debra J. Saunders):  "Sen. Dianne Feinstein goes to war against Airbnb" - From the Chronicle:

In her mind, Dianne Feinstein will always be mayor of San Francisco. She may be a high-ranking U.S. senator with more than her share of clout in Washington, but she never forgets her roots as onetime mayor and supervisor in the city by the bay. As Ess Eff’s mayor emerita, Feinstein recently inserted herself into the city’s regulation of Airbnb and other short-term rental concerns.

Last month, DiFi wrote an Open Forum piece for The Chronicle urging Mayor Ed Lee to veto compromise legislation written by Supervisor David Chiu. The senator sees Airbnb as a neighborhood-killer. Lee failed to heed Feinstein’s advice, and now she apparently is withholding her endorsement for his re-election.

Living in stately Pacific Heights, Feinstein no doubt wants to keep trade out of her neighborhood. Alas, she does so at a cost to everyday San Franciscans who rely on Airbnb and similar platforms to make ends meet. San Francisco’s economy is dynamic, and many residents have to hustle to afford a roof over their heads in the Special City.

As a Republican, I am loving watching an old-guard Democrat take a stand against one of the most popular startups in the sharing economy................................


POLITICS/EDUCATION: University of California system, budget, finances, funding sources, AB 94: "UC resists law requiring disclosure of expenditures" ....

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "UC resists law requiring disclosure of expenditures" - From the Chronicle:

The University of California has so far failed to comply with a new state law pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown requiring it to disclose, for the first time, key details about how it spends its money — information state officials want especially now that UC is asking the regents to approve five years of tuition increases. Brown pushed for the law after expressing frustration with UC for giving fat raises to executives, and after urging a moratorium on tuition increases in exchange for more state funding.

The law, AB94, requires UC to tell the public how much it spends to educate undergraduates versus graduates, how much it spends on research, and how much money from each funding source goes to each area. State officials say they want the data to understand how much tuition UC should charge, and what the size of enrollment should be, and for basic transparency to the public.

UC currently lumps those expenditures together in an “average cost of instruction,” which is $17,000, $24,000 or $33,000 per student, depending on what UC counts as instruction. Either way, the “average cost” approach masks much of how UC spends public money. For example, it took an audit to learn in 2011 that the four UC campuses with the most underrepresented minority students were also getting the least amount of money per student. And when a rumor circulated a few years ago that UC was using student fees as collateral on the sale of construction bonds, there was no way to verify UC’s promise that that was not the case.

“What they calculate is the cost of that whole bundle of academic missions — and the students paying for that are overwhelmingly undergraduates,” says Charles Schwartz, a physics professor emeritus at UC Berkeley who for years has urged UC to separate out the funds and written extensively on the topic.

In an article for the Manhattan Institute, Schwartz asked: “What happens to the money that the university takes in from undergraduate tuition and fees? This is the largest pot of discretionary revenue that our administrators collect, but there is no way to find out how they spend most of it. ... We, as a public university, have an obligation to come clean about how we use our money.”

Brown signed the law requiring UC to disclose its separate expenditures in July 2013. It gave UC more than a year to comply, by Oct. 1, 2014. Under the law, UC must update its report every two years and break down expenditures for each of its 10 campuses after 2017.

As the Oct. 1 deadline approached, UC requested a month’s extension. On Oct. 31, UC President Janet Napolitano submitted a seven-page preliminary report explaining that accurately breaking out expenditures would be “extremely challenging” because of overlap between research and instruction, and because “funds are neither budgeted nor spent according to these categories.” It said that a final report would be submitted in six weeks, but its information “should be used cautiously.”

Now, as the UC regents prepare to debate on Wednesday whether to raise tuition by up to 5 percent a year for five years, as Napolitano is recommending, or to reject the plan as Brown is expected to argue, the question of how UC spends its money has taken on new relevance............................


LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Orange County): Santa Ana City Hall, Mayor Miguel Pulido, continuing controversy: "Miguel Pulido returns to lead Santa Ana as potential charges linger" ....

***Following up on most recent earlier item noted here (Santa Ana City Hall, re-election of Mayor Miguel Pulido, continuing controversy)....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Miguel Pulido returns to lead Santa Ana as potential charges linger" - From the LAT:

Voters in Santa Ana this month did what they've done for decades — returned Miguel Pulido to office, his 11th consecutive term as mayor of this largely immigrant city. But this time, the mayor returns with some heavy baggage. Under investigation by county prosecutors and state officials for his role in a controversial real estate deal, Pulido is the subject of a recently released legal analysis commissioned by the city that has concluded that he likely violated state law.

The probes by the Orange County district attorney and the state's Fair Political Practices Commission are focused on the mayor's relationship with the owner of an auto parts shop and a 2010 real estate deal that earned Pulido a $197,000 profit. The analysis by Best Best & Krieger, a law firm specializing in municipal law, concluded that Pulido covered up the real estate transaction and later voted to award an exclusive no-bid $1.35-million contract to the auto parts dealer.

Pulido did not return requests for comment on the investigations. But as the mayor awaits the outcome, his power base in the city of 325,000 has eroded. The city's police union, the county's labor federation and the county Democratic party have dropped their support. And voters last year — for the first time — agreed to term limits for the mayor's office. He is increasingly being marginalized by his City Council colleagues. The days of Pulido being a "mover and shaker" in city politics are gone, said Councilwoman Michele Martinez.

It all marks a reversal of fortune for Pulido, who was hailed as a political pioneer in 1994 when he became Santa Ana's first Latino mayor................................