Democrats: Enviros vs. Big Oil

May 27, 2016

There's an in-house fight between Democrats on both ends of the political spectrum: environmentalists vs. big oil supporters.


Sac Bee's Taryn Luna reports: "Special interests have come to play in the Bay Area."


"In a one-minute radio ad airing in the 15th Senate District, billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer says, “The big oil companies will stop at nothing to protect their profits.”


"Steyer warns listeners that the industry is spending heavily to knock Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, out of office. “Why?” Steyer asks. “Because Jim Beall voted for clean energy.”


Lawmakers have approved Gov. Browns $2 billion budget surplus, but now they must come to an agreeable decision on how to split the funding between social services.


John Myers in LAT: "Lawmakers have approved Gov. Jerry Brown's effort to stash away an extra $2 billion in budget reserves, but Democratic leaders are gearing up for a showdown with the governor over spending levels for welfare and child assistance programs."


"Passage of a spending plan by the Assembly Budget Committee on Thursday turns the focus to a conference committee of the two houses."


"The Senate's budget writers approved their own proposal on Tuesday."


A Senate-approved bill would disallow the continuation of religious exemptions for LGBT discrimination within the education system. 


Sac Bee's Rachel Chors writes: "The state Senate passed a bill Thursday that would make it more difficult for universities to get religious exemptions from anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBT individuals."


"The bill would affect more than 30 higher education institutions in California that currently have religious exemptions to federal or state anti-discrimination laws."


"It also requires universities receiving religious exemptions to disclose them. Currently, state exemptions are only available through a Freedom of Information Act request."



 U.S. Rep Zoe Lofgren and a San Diego law professor throw down during a House Judiciary Committee hearing -- Sarah D. Wire in LA Times


New polling shows the GOP is having a tough time in California, citing a 7 point decrease in favorability since last December.


Capitol Weekly's John Howard reports: "Californians have deeply mixed views about the major political parties, with fewer than one in four viewing the GOP favorably and about half giving Democrats a thumbs up, according to the latest survey by the Public Policy Institute of California."


"About 49 percent of all adults reported a favorable impression of the Democratic party, while only 23 percent have a favorable view of the Republicans, down about 7 points since December."


"Only about four out of every 10 likely voters are satisfied with their choice of presidential candidates, a 15-point drop since May 2012, the survey reported."


California's Supreme Court has rejected the appeal to a 50-years-no-parole sentence handed down to a juvenile accused of murder.


AP's Sudhin Thanawala: "SAN FRANCISCO – The California Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a challenge to a criminal sentence of 50 years to life for a juvenile convicted of murder who argued that the punishment violated a U.S. Supreme Court decision because it was the equivalent of life without parole and required by law."


"In its 6-1 ruling, the California high court cited a state law that gives juvenile offenders the right to a parole hearing within 25 years."


"In addition, the law requires the parole board to consider a defendant’s youth at the time of the crime, Associate Justice Goodwin Liu wrote for the majority. As a result, it renders “moot” the defendant’s constitutional challenge, he said.


Two Alameda County sheriff's are charged with Assault with a Deadly Weapon and Abuse under Color of Authority after a severe beating left a fleeing suspect with a minor concussion, head wounds and two broken hands. 


Jenna Lyons with The Chronicle: "Two Alameda County sheriff’s deputies pleaded not guilty Thursday to felony assault counts in the Mission District beating of a fleeing auto-theft suspect in November."


"Deputies Paul Wieber and Luis Santamaria stood silently in the San Francisco Hall of Justice courtroom as their attorneys entered their pleas to assault with a deadly weapon, assault under color of authority and battery."


"Video released by San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi a day after the Nov. 12 incident sparked national outrage. It showed Wieber and Santamaria knocking 29-year-old Stanislav Petrov to the ground in an alley, punching him and clubbing him with batons. The blows continued even when Petrov appeared to surrender with his hands on his head."


SEE ALSO: Mayor Lee sees consequences for SFPD officers involved in last week's fatal shooting of 29-year-old Jessica Williams -- Vivian Ho with The Chronicle.

Meanwhile, those who like surfing the Web may be surprised to know the U.S. Senate's annual intelligence authorization has a provision in it which would allow the FBI full, stealthful unmitigated access to a person's web browsing and email history without a warrant


Jenna McLaughlin with The Intercept: "A PROVISION SNUCK INTO the still-secret text of the Senate’s annual intelligence authorization would give the FBI the ability to demand individuals’ email data and possibly web-surfing history from their service providers without a warrant and in complete secrecy."


"If passed, the change would expand the reach of the FBI’s already highly controversial national security letters. The FBI is currently allowed to get certain types of information with NSLs — most commonly, information about the name, address, and call data associated with a phone number or details about a bank account."


"Since a 2008 Justice Department legal opinion, the FBI has not been allowed to use NSLs to demand “electronic communication transactional records,” such as email subject lines and other metadata, or URLs visited."


It's Friday, and it wasn't too hard to find somebody this week who qualified for the person having the Worst Week in California, #WorstWeekinCA. That would be Roger Hernandez. 


Many Republican officials are asking Assemblyman Roger Hernandez to step-down amid allegations of domestic violence before he's even had his day in court--but Hernandez claims the allegations are meritless, and that this mud is being slung only to derail his political campaign into Congress.


Jeremy B. White in The Sac Bee: "A California lawmaker accused by his estranged wife of domestic violence must step down, Republican officials said on Thursday."


"In a court hearing on Wednesday, Baldwin Park City Councilwoman Susan Rubio detailed what she called a pattern of violence by her husband, Assemblyman Roger Hernández, D-Baldwin Park, as she sought a restraining order. Her initial request for a restraining order described “a long history of physical, emotional and psychological abuse.”


"The two are in the midst of divorce proceedings, and Hernández has called Rubio’s allegations “100 percent a fabrication.”


And finally, from our "I Triple Dog Dare Ya!" file...


Just about all of us have seen Dumb and Dumber or A Christmas Story. And the most important thing we took away from those movies was: Don't stick your tongue to frozen things. Well, Reece Levinson learned the hard way after a joke gone wrong. "This hapless lad suffered a Dumb and Dumber moment as his tongue got stuck to a frozen beer pump after a joke went hilariously wrong."


"Reece Levinson was messing around with pals in a busy bar when he found himself stuck to the metal Heineken pump."


"He was testing it to see how cold it was - but ended up in pain as he had to prise it off the machine."

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