State investigators searched former Public Utilities Commissioner Michael Peevey’s home Tuesday, seizing computers and other items possibly related to the judge-shopping scandal that embroiled the agency at the end of Peevey’s tenure. Peevey shares the home with his wife, state Senator Carol Liu. Agents also collected items from the home of fomer PG&E VP Brian Cherry.
From Jaxon van Derbeken at SFGate: “The search warrant covering Peevey’s and Cherry’s homes said investigators were looking for evidence of improper ‘ex parte communications, judge-shopping, bribery, obstruction of justice or due administration of laws, favors or preferential treatment’ related to matters coming before the utilities commission from December 2009 on.”
The Public Policy Institute of California released a new poll that finds Californians feeling more positive about the state of the state. KQED’s John Myers notes that support for extending Prop 30’s taxes is above 50% and Capital Public Radio’s Ben Adler notes that Californians are open to tweaking Prop 13, with a majority backing a ‘split-roll’ approach, with commercial property taxed at a highe rate than residential, and Sam Gallegos looks at the whole magilla for Capitol Weekly.
Adler also looks at credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s new report on California’s finances, which gives more credit for the state’s turnaround.to spending cuts than to increased tax revenue.
“’A significant amount of the correction has taken place on the expenditure baseline, even more than the perhaps more high-profile revenue improvements related to Prop 30 and the strong stock market performance,’ says S&P’s Gabe Petek, who wrote the report.”
It appears that the special election for State Senate District 21 won’t be much of a nailbiter: Sharon Runner is the only candidate. Patrick McGreevy reports for the Los Angeles Times:
“Runner, who recovered from a double lung transplant three years ago, will be alone on the March 17 special election ballot for a district that includes parts of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.
“The 21st District seat was vacated when Republican Sen. Steve Knight was elected to Congress…
“Being uncontested, she said, is ‘the greatest news a candidate can hear. I never expected to be in that position.’"
In case you’re wondering if anyone besides Kamala Harris will toss a hat in the ring for retiring Senator Barbara Boxer’s seat, Rep. Loretta Sanchez says she’ll let you know – soon. From Christopher Cadelago at the Sacramento Bee:
“In a message to supporters, Sanchez wrote she is seriously considering campaigning to replace U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer in 2016, adding that she could bring an important perspective to the upper house.
“’However, this is not a decision I want to make in haste,”’wrote Sanchez, a Garden Grove Democrat. ‘There are still 22 months before the 2016 general election and I will take the next few months to consider how I can best serve our great state.’”
Hot on the heels of Newsweek’s Silcon Valley vs. women cover story
California City News reports on the gender gap in city government: less than 1 in 5 city managers are women. That’s the bad news – the worse news: that’s 7% above the national average.
“GrassrootsLab released a report today that offers a snapshot of the city managers in California, and continues a long standing dialogue on the gender gap that is increasingly evident in California’s city governments. According to the report released today, only 19% of California’s 482 cities are led by female city managers. The gap is more pronounced when examining the make-up of California’s 50 largest cities by population, where only 6 are led by women and the remaining 88% are led by men.”
Over at Capitol Weekly, Rich Ehisen has a fun profile of octogenarian golf guru (and lobbyist, and Governor Reagan’s Legislative Director) George Steffes.
And finally, a story of customer service gone wrong, involving cable and internet giant Comcast. Sorry in advance for the language:
“When Ricardo Brown from Spokane, Washington got his most recent bill from Comcast, he had an extra special reason to be dismayed. It wasn't the pricey charges—we're all used to that by now. No, it was that on this particular bill, Comcast appears to have misspelled his name. By replacing it entirely with the word ‘Asshole’…”
“A Comcast spokesperson provided Gizmodo with the following statement:
“We have spoken with our customer and apologized for this completely unacceptable and inappropriate name change. We have zero tolerance for this type of disrespectful behavior and are conducting a thorough investigation to determine what happened. We are working with our customer to make this right and will take appropriate steps to prevent this from happening again.”
The story does have a happy ending: the Browns received a refund for the past two years of service and Ricardo’s name has been corrected in the system.