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Saturday
Mar122016

POLITICS (National, State): Donald Trump, Arnold Schwarzenegger, similarities?: "What Schwarzenegger's role as California governor says about Trump" ....

* Sacramento Bee (David Siders):  "What Schwarzenegger's role as California governor says about Trump"  - From the Bee:

The similarities between Donald Trump and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger are so obvious that comparisons started rolling in as soon as Trump announced his candidacy for president last year.

Like Schwarzenegger in California’s recall election in 2003, Trump fit the profile of a political outsider with money and a showman’s touch. The two men preoccupied the media and drew large crowds. Yet as Trump’s campaign has ascended in recent months, a more enduring likeness is coming sharply into view. Like Trump, Schwarzenegger’s rise reflected the restiveness of an electorate primed in 2003, as it is today, to embrace an outsized personality with a populist appeal. Schwarzenegger laid bare not only that such a candidate could win, but once in office, how short of his initial promise he could fall.

“As a phenomenon, I think they’re similar,” Rep. Darrell Issa, who helped finance the recall election, said of Schwarzenegger and Trump. “As an elected official they may be similar, too, . . . . . . . "

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Like Trump, Schwarzenegger used his celebrity and nonstop media attention to channel the public’s disaffection. Special interests? Schwarzenegger was “kicking their butts,” he said in his first year in office. Lawmakers standing in his way on budget talks were “girlie men.” “There actually are a heck of a lot of parallels,” said Sean Walsh, who was Schwarzenegger’s communications director during the recall election. “A lot of it had to do with one-liners, and tapping into a base sense of voter frustration and anger and angst.” He said, “The Trump campaign is like a giant reality TV show. And Arnold’s really was, too, in a lot of respects.”

Such comparisons have proved annoying to many former Schwarzenegger aides, and a counter-narrative has emerged ....................

Saturday
Mar122016

LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Los Angeles County Coroner's Office, "180 bodies are stacked up in L.A. County morgue, coroner says"; Los Angeles Police Department, "LAPD policy needs to be revamped to further limit deadly force, commissioners say"; L.A. County Board of Supervisors, District 4 election, "One of Janice Hahn's GOP opponents drops out of the race for L.A. County supervisor" ....

***Various items relating to local issues/local government in and around Los Angeles....

* Los Angeles Times:  "One of Janice Hahn's GOP opponents drops out of the race for L.A. County supervisor"

 

* Los Angeles Times:  "180 bodies are stacked up in L.A. County morgue, coroner says"

* Los Angeles Times:  "LAPD policy needs to be revamped to further limit deadly force, commissioners say"

Saturday
Mar122016

SACRAMENTO: "Consumer group files complaint of conflict against Gov. Jerry Brown's top aide"; "Business groups join forces to fight statewide minimum wage hike initiatives"; "UC pension overhaul shifts away from guaranteed benefits"; also, commentary (Willie Brown), "Gov. Brown needs to buck big tobacco and sign antismoking bills" ....

Saturday
Mar122016

POLITICS/WATER: Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sen. Dianne Feinstein: "As rain falls in California, tensions rise over who gets the water" ....

* Sacramento Bee:  "As rain falls in California, tensions rise over who gets the water" - From the Bee:

With prolonged and steady rain falling on Northern California for the first time in weeks, tensions are rising over how to manage the stormwater flows now streaming through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Saying too much water is flowing out to sea, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Friday called on operators of the federal and state water projects to pump more water south through the Delta to drought-stricken farms and cities in Central and Southern California. The influential Democrat argued that federal regulators need to be more flexible in their approach to pumping in the Delta, the environmentally fragile estuary that serves as the hub of the state’s water delivery network. As it is, she said, they are being too cautious in their assessment of the dangers posed to endangered fish species.

Federal regulators painted a starkly different scenario, saying they are shipping as much water south as legally allowed under the environmental restrictions imposed by the Endangered Species Act. Fisheries officials cited recent surveys showing that smelt and the winter-run Chinook salmon are on the brink of extinction. “We’re in the worst condition ever,” said Steve Martarano, spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Every (smelt) survey has pointed that out.”

The debate highlights the sharp divide that has come to define California’s water battles. On one side are the major agricultural interests who say they have borne the brunt of water cutbacks in the drought. On the other, the fisheries advocates who say fish have taken the biggest hit in California’s four-year drought. Now that El Niño is providing some measure of relief, both sides are hoping to benefit.

The argument centers on the Delta, the heart of California’s complex system of water conveyance ...................

Saturday
Mar122016

POLITICS/ENVIRONMENT: California Coastal Commission, Santa Monica meeting ("circus"): Commentary (Steve Lopez), "Join me at the circus, I mean, a California Coastal Commission hearing" ....  

* Los Angeles Times (Steve Lopez):  "Join me at the circus, I mean, a California Coastal Commission hearing" - From the LAT:

It's becoming harder and harder for me to describe in believable terms what goes on at a California Coastal Commission hearing. But I'm going to give it my best shot.

In the past week the circus came to Santa Monica, where demonstrators, still angry about last month's firing of the agency's Executive Director Charles Lester, booed commissioners and called on them to resign. "Our Coast is Not for Sale," said one sign. In the ensuing follies, Commissioner Erik Howell left Thursday's hearing moments before the announcement that a complaint had been filed against him with the Fair Political Practices Commission. The complaint was over a $1,000 donation to him from the business and domestic partner of the state's most powerful hired gun on coastal projects, including a development Howell voted on less than two months after receiving the money.

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The commissioners who fired the world's leading authority on the Coastal Act claimed he wasn't a good leader. But as they struggled in Santa Monica to figure out how to find a replacement, it became more evident that the leadership problem was with the commission. And who'd want the job now, after Lester's observation that the commission "seems to be more interested in and receptive to the concerns of the development community as a general rule?"

   ****

The commission meets monthly, moving up and down the coast like a traveling road show. Comedy, tragedy, it's got everything, and I can't recommend it highly enough.