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Hometown: Southern California
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Member since: Tue Jun 7, 2011, 02:02 PM
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Journal Archives

If Wright & Calderon expelled for felonies, Democrats lose supermajority

Democrats derail GOP attempt to expel state Sen. Roderick Wright

Wright, an Inglewood Democrat, is on a paid leave of absence and will be sentenced May 16 following his conviction on eight felony counts. The jury found Wright guilty of living outside his Inglewood district when he ran for -- and won -- his state seat in 2008 for the 25th Senate District.

Three Republicans -- Joel Anderson of Alpine, Steve Knight of Palmdale, and Andy Vidak of Hanford -- on Thursday introduced a resolution to have Wright kicked out of the Senate now. They don't think Wright should be on a leave that allows him to continue receiving his $95,291 annual salary.

State Senate President Darrell Steinberg called the expulsion attempt "political theater." He said they should be focusing on the state's drought issues instead of "a resolution that would make zero practical difference."

If Wright and Calderon leave the Legislature, Democrats would lose the supermajority that lets them act on any matter without Republican support.

Offshore Fracking Off California Coast Under Review, Drawing Calls For Increased Regulation

AP | By JASON DEAREN and ALICIA CHANG Posted: 08/03/2013

California coastal regulators said they were unaware until recently that offshore fracking was even occurring, and are now asking oil companies proposing new offshore drilling projects if they will be fracking.

Because the area of concern is located more than three miles off the state's shoreline, federal regulators have jurisdiction over these offshore exploration efforts. However, the state can reject a permit in federal waters if the work endangers water quality.

"It wasn't on our radar before, and now it is," said Alison Dettmer, a deputy director at the California Coastal Commission.

Most fracking efforts off California have yielded mixed results. The first time Venoco fracked offshore in the 1990s, it had limited success. Chevron's one try failed. Out of Nuevo Energy's nine attempts, only one was considered very successful, according to company and BSEE records.

California drought: Legislature passes $687 million plan

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KABC) -- Both houses of the California Legislature overwhelmingly approved of a $687 million drought-relief plan on Thursday.

The plan -- SB103 and SB104 -- is now headed to Gov. Jerry Brown, who had announced the plan in a press conference last week. The emergency measures will take effect immediately after Brown signs the legislation.

The legislation accelerates $549 million in infrastructure grants for local and regional water projects. It also includes $25 million in food assistance and $21 million in housing assistance for those hardest hit by the drought.

Food experts say the drought is already starting to hurt all Californians at the grocery store. Food prices could rise as much as 10-15 percent due to drought. The Fresno County Farm Bureau says 50 percent of Central Valley farmland isn't being used to grow anything because of the lack of rain. That region grows most of our country's food.

State Sen. Ronald Calderon [SD-30], brother indicted in corruption scandal

The U.S. attorney in Los Angeles on Friday painted a picture of government for sale as he announced that state Sen. Ron Calderon had been indicted on suspicion of taking roughly $100,000 in bribes, meals and trips in exchange for favorable legislation.

Calderon, a Montebello Democrat, who faces up to 395 years in prison, allegedly took kickbacks from former Long Beach hospital operator Michael Drobot, who perpetrated one of the largest healthcare fraud schemes in California history, U.S. Atty. Andre Birotte said Friday.

Drobot allegedly exploited state insurance law to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars from spinal surgeries.

Calderon and his relatives also took money from people they believed were connected to a Hollywood studio that in fact was an FBI front.


L.A. Skyscraper Cell Phone Interference Caused by Light Bulbs: FCC

The owner of a downtown Los Angeles skyscraper has been cited by the federal government after an investigation discovered that light bulbs inside the building caused an interference with cell phone service.

Some working in the 41-story Ernst & Young Plaza building at Figueroa and Seventh streets have complained of dropped calls, unsent text messages and cell phone data issues.

“In response to Verizon Wireless’ continuing complaints that the interference had not been resolved, agents from the Los Angeles Office used portable direction-finding equipment and confirmed radio emissions on Verizon Wireless’ licensed 700 MHz frequencies were emanating from ceiling fluorescent lights/ballasts inside the Building,” the document stated.


Calif. Rep. McLeod (35th District) to Retire, Run for Supervisor

Democratic Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod says she will retire after one term and run for county supervisor in San Bernardino, Calif.

Negrete McLeod announced her plans in a statement on Tuesday. She said her desire to represent her community locally where she has lived for more than 40 years outweighed another bid for Congress.

Democrats are expected to hold the Southern California seat.

Negrete McLeod, who knocked out fellow Democrat Joe Baca in a runoff, won in 2012 with 56 percent of the vote. She has served on the Agriculture and Veterans Affairs committees during her time in the House


Obama: Figure out how to satisfy US water needs

Posted in LBN by Omaha Steve

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) - President Barack Obama drew a link between climate change and California's drought, and said the U.S. must do a better job of figuring out how to make sure everyone's water needs are satisfied.

California Ballot Measure on Pot Legalization Delayed Until 2016

A coalition of investors and strategists, which played a key role in passing most of the legislation to reform drug laws nationwide since 1996, has decided not to put a pot initiative on the ballot in California this year but will wait to push for legalization until 2016.

The group was instrumental in legalizing recreational pot in Washington and Colorado and medical marijuana in Massachusetts in 2012, and it is supporting efforts in November to pass a recreational pot measure in Oregon and a medical cannabis measure in Florida.

The coalition includes the Drug Policy Alliance, which has been involved in drug reform for nearly two decades and is supported by billionaire financier George Soros. It also is allied with the late philanthropist Peter Lewis, who spent $65 million over the last 15 years to change pot laws. Lewis died in November.


Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom: Stop Calif. bullet train, redirect money

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, once a strong supporter of California's high-speed rail project, told a conservative radio show host Friday that he no longer backs the bullet train and would like to see the money diverted to other projects.

"We don't have the federal dollars that we were hoping for - only about $3 billion has come forward. The private sector hasn't stepped up," he said. "That said, the governor is hell bent on doing the first phase of this in that area you just referenced, the central part of the state."

A Sacramento County Superior Court judge last year threw out the state's funding plan, ordering it to write a new one, and prevented the sale of high-speed rail bonds.

Late Friday, the 3rd District Court of Appeal agreed to hear an expedited appeal from Brown's administration, which said the decisions could cause serious delays and set a bad precedent for other public works projects in the state.

James Madison

I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.

No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions.

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.

He was also pro RKBA, but considering the times...
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