Mind games

Oct 17, 2018

Gov. Brown's lawyers try to block testimony of prison psychologist alleging state wrongdoing


Sacramento Bee's SAM STANTON: "First, state officials wanted to keep secret the whistleblower report compiled by California’s chief prison psychologist."


"Now, lawyers for Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration are trying to keep Dr. Michael Golding from testifying at a public court hearing Monday about his allegations that corrections officials have provided misleading information to the court and attorneys for 30,000 inmates."


"In two court filings Tuesday, the state is seeking to stop Golding from appearing before U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller, arguing that an investigation first must be conducted into Golding’s allegations that corrections officials have fudged data used to determine how much psychiatric care inmates are receiving in the prisons."


U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and rival Kevin de León meet today in debate -- her first since 2000.


From the AP's KATHLEEN RONAYNE: "U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and fellow Democrat Kevin de Leon are set to face off Wednesday in their only scheduled debate ahead of Election Day."


"It’s Feinstein’s first appearance with an election opponent since 2000 and a chance for de Leon to directly attack her as he searches for a badly-needed boost. Feinstein leads in public opinion polling and has about $4 million left to spend compared to de Leon’s less than half a million dollars. The election is Nov. 6 and early voting is already under way."


"Feinstein faces a fellow Democrat because California’s primary rules send the two candidates who receive the most votes to the general election regardless of party. Roughly half of California Republicans and a quarter of independents said they wouldn’t vote in the race, according to a September survey from the non-partisan Public Policy Institute of California."

READ MORE on the debate: Dianne Feinstein vs. Kevin de Leon debate: Here's what to look for -- the Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLI


More women and people of color are running for office in California


The Tribune's ANDREW SHEELER: "California has seen a significant uptick in women and people of color running for state legislative office in the last two years."


"That’s the finding of a new report,”A Rising Tide? The Changing Demographics on our Ballots,” published by the Reflective Democracy Campaign."


"In 2016, 33 percent of legislative candidates in the Golden State were people of color, and little more than a fifth were women."


Republican outsiders pour millions into saving Denham


McClatchy DC's KATE IRBY: "Because of lackluster fundraising numbers for vulnerable California Republican Jeff Denham, GOP fundraising bigwigs are stepping in with millions of dollars of advertising buys."


"Rep. Jeff Denham reported about $650,000 in donations in the third quarter, while Democratic challenger Josh Harder collectedabout $3.5 million. Harder is challenging Denham for a House seat in the 10th congressional district, which voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton for president in 2016."


"The fundraising difference is one of the most significant between candidates in tossup House races in California."


Democrats are out-raising Republicans by millions in California's most competitive House races


LA Times's CHRISTINE MAI-DUC: "This year’s midterm election is already the most expensive ever, with the total raised by House candidates nationwide surpassing $1 billion weeks before the Nov. 6 election. In California, with at least seven tightly contested races that could decide control of the House, Democrats seeking to win seats in areas long held by Republicans are raising staggering amounts of money."


"In those seven races, Democrats raised $21.6 million over the last three months ending Sept. 30; Republicans took in just $4.2 million in aggregate."


"The Republican candidates also had smaller cash reserves, with an average of about $652,000 at the end of the quarter. Their Democratic opponents, all of them running for office for the first time, had on average more than $1.2 million in the bank."


READ MORE related to Midterms: SF Chronicle's Election 2018 Voter Guide -- The Chronicle


John Cox tours LA's skid row, likening it to a 'third-world country'


LA Times's DAKOTA SMITH: "After months of criticizing his opponent for his record on homelessness as mayor of San Francisco, Republican John Cox took his campaign for governor to Los Angeles’ skid row on Tuesday, where he promised to provide more housing and services for Californians in need."


"As he toured the downtown neighborhood, home to a large homeless population, Cox likened the area to a "third-world country.”"


"It is absolutely not compassionate to let people live on this street,” Cox told reporters. “This is 21st century California. This is not Bangladesh."


Berkeley City Council candidate Cecilia Rosales' campaign materials stir controversy


Daily Californian's RONIT SHOLKOFF: "Cecilia “Ces” Rosales, a candidate for the Berkeley City Council’s District 7 seat, generated controversy by using a photo of community members without their consent in campaign materials and by identifying herself as the “1st Asian Candidate for Berkeley City Council in 40 years."


"The photo in question, which was taken at a More Student Housing Now press conference, is the current cover photo for Rosales’ campaign Facebook page and is printed on her campaign mailers. Rosales’ opponents for the District 7 seat — Rigel Robinson and Aidan Hill — as well as Councilmember Kriss Worthington, who endorsed Robinson, are in the photo. Students featured include ASUC Senators Amir Wright, Anna Whitney and Andy Theocharous, all of whom endorsed Robinson."


"All three candidates are in there to show that there is a common goal we’re all working towards,” Rosales said. “Later on I realized it isn’t so bad because nobody could say that I’m biased because Rigel and Aidan are in there, and so is Kriss and so are many other students, because we all want affordable housing."


California's tax revenues beat expectations by $1 billion over the summer months


LA Times's JOHN MYERS: "Californians paid some $1 billion in taxes above official projections during the first three months of the state’s fiscal year, in what could be a major boost to the government’s bottom line once Gov. Jerry Brown leaves office in January."


"A monthly report issued Tuesday by the state Department of Finance attributed most of the unexpected revenue — $990 million — from personal income taxes paid between July 1 and Sept. 30. Sales taxes were slightly below expectations written into the budget crafted by Brown and state lawmakers in June, while corporation tax revenues were slightly above forecasts."


"The new tax windfall comes on the heels of successive years in which revenues have bested expectations, a streak that has allowed the state to push toward its largest long-term cash reserve ever — $13.8 billion by next summer. But the surprise cash from the state government’s first quarter could be erased by weaker revenue collections in the coming months."


Sea lions off NorCal battling deadly disease


The Chronicle's PETER FIMRITE: "Hundreds of California sea lions have been stricken by an often deadly bacterial infection and are washing ashore daily up and down the coast, raising fears among biologists that an already soaring death toll could continue to rise."


"Veterinarians at the Marine Mammal Center in the Marin Headlandsso far this year have treated 220 sea lions for the malady known as leptospirosis, a pathogen that causes liver failure."


"The outbreak, to date, is the second-largest since state officials began keeping track of the infectious disease in 1970, but the numbers are growing. The sick and dying sea lions were found along hundreds of miles of Northern California coastline, including San Francisco Bay, said Shawn Johnson, the mammal center’s director of veterinary science."


READ MORE related to Energy & Environment: California hits PG&E with $5 million in citations for gas leaks -- The Chronicle's MELIA RUSSELL; Power fully restored in Sierra foothills to customers affected by PG&E fire risk shutdown -- Sacramento Bee's VINCENT MOLESKI; Almond farms keep growing and keep moving on water conversation -- Water Deeply's DANIEL BEAULIEU; UC Berkeley researchers find efficient method for producing solar fuels -- Daily Californian's THAO NGUYEN


Inside the veteran candidate network fighting to remake the Democratic Party


McClatchy DC's KATIE GLUECK: "Eight days after a Republican super PAC publicized confidential records of a CIA officer-turned-congressional candidate, national security experts were still seething."


"So Seth Moulton took to his private Slack channel to offer some guidance to the House candidates he has endorsed, many of them military veterans who were horrified that Virginia Democrat Abigail Spanberger had been exposed."


"We usually think about how we’re going to get hit in terms of whatever weaknesses we may have in our resumes, mistakes we’ve made in the past, etc.,” the congressman wrote to his endorsees on the messaging platform, something he set up to dispense exactly this kind of advice. “But they go after our strengths. (Look at how Pelosi always attacks me—on my motives for serving.)"


MTA board OKs reforms amid heated testimony from distressed SF taxi drivers


The Chronicle's HOLLY HONDERICH: "San Francisco’s transportation agency board adopted all but one of the proposed reforms Tuesday night to the city’s taxi medallion system, the government-issued permit to operate a single cab."


"The vote by the Municipal Transportation Agency’s directors was an effort to revive a heavily regulated industry that has lost customers as ride-hailing companies have thrived with limited oversight. The action followed close to three hours of heated and emotional testimony from taxi drivers and other members of the industry expressing fervent opposition to the changes."


"Though varied in style and substance, of the almost 80 people to speak, all but a handful expressed deep distress over the reforms, mirroring the acute desperation of the taxi business as a whole."


READ MORE related to Transportation: Uber, Lyft cars clog SF streets, study says -- The Chronicle's CAROLYN SAID; California agency, gas tax backers worked closely together -- AP's SOPHIA BOLLAG


Appeals court says SRO law violates owners' property rights


The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO: "A state appeals court says a San Francisco law designed to make thousands of single-room-occupancy units available to renters rather than tourists, by increasing the minimum stay from the previous seven days to 32 in most cases, appears to violate hotel owners’ property rights."


"The ordinance, which has been in effect since March 2017, “changes the fundamental nature of (the owners’) business, by making them landlords rather than hotel operators,” the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco said Monday."


"Reinstating a lawsuit that a Superior Court judge had dismissed, the appellate panel did not halt enforcement of the law."


READ MORE related to Housing & Homelessness: Is rent control the answer to sky-high prices? Bay Area voters skeptical -- The Chronicle's MELODY GUTIERREZ; SF to cover Housing Authority deficit so poor families won't lose homes -- The Chronicle's JK DINEEN; Oakland to pay rent for low-income residents at risk of homelessness -- The Chronicle's GWENDOLYN WU; California homeownership rate jumps after years of decline -- Sacramento Bee's PHILLIP REESE


California bears brunt of undemocratic feature of the US Constitution


EdSource's LOUIS FREEDBERG: "Teachers of American government routinely turn to current affairs to illustrate the strengths — and shortcomings — of the U.S. Constitution."


"In California especially, they’ll be able to point to the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court as an especially compelling illustration of an enduring deficiency in the Constitution, and one that undermines the U.S. claim to to be a true democracy."


"Especially egregious is the provision (Article I, Section 3) that provides each state equal representation in the Senate, regardless of its population — and then giving this unrepresentative body, rather than the far more democratic House of Representatives, the responsibility to confirm justices to the Supreme Court."


READ MORE related to Education: Bay Area district faces challenges in attempt to shut down a charter school -- EdSourc e's THERESA HARRINGTON


Paralyzing polio-like illness affecting mianly children is confirmed in 22 states, CDC says


LA Times's LENA H. SUN: "Federal health officials are worried about an increase in a mysterious and rare condition that mostly affects children and can paralyze arms and legs, with 127 confirmed or suspected cases reported as of Tuesday."


"Of those, 62 cases of acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, have been confirmed in 22 states, said Nancy Messonnier, a top official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 90% of the confirmed cases have been in children 18 and younger, with the average age being 4."


"The surge in cases has baffled health officials, who on Tuesday took the unusual step of announcing a change in the way the agency will count cases. They also wanted to raise awareness about the frightening condition so parents can seek medical care if their child develops symptoms, and so reports of the illness can be quickly relayed back to the CDC."


READ MORE related to Health & Health Care: Hornblower, Alcatraz ferries pay $2.75 million settlement for SF health care violations -- The Chronicle's LAUREN HERNANDEZ


Trump calls Stormy Daniels 'Horseface'


LA Times's MICHAEL FINNEGAN: "President Trump called porn actress Stormy Daniels “Horseface” in a tweet Tuesday, an extraordinary provocation even for a man whose habit of denigrating the appearance of women draws frequent accusations of misogyny."


"Trump’s insult came a day after a federal judge in Los Angeles dismissed a defamation suit that Daniels filed against the president. The judge ordered her to pay Trump’s legal fees."


“Great, now I can go after Horseface and her 3rd rate lawyer in the Great State of Texas,” Trump tweeted."


Suspects in disappearance of Khashoggi linked to Saudi security services


LA Times's SHANE HARRIS/ERIN CUNNINGHAM/AARON C DAVIS/TAMER EL-GHOBASHY: "Three days before Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in the United States this year for a nationwide tour, another Saudi traveler who identifies online as a member of the Saudi Royal Guard also arrived in Washington, passport records show. His stay overlapped with that of the prince."


"Two times before that, this traveler had made other trips to the United States that coincided with top members of the Saudi royal family, including King Salman and another one of his sons."


READ MORE related to Khashoggi Disappearance: Pompeo heads to Turkey as probe into Khashoggi case heats up -- AP's SUZAN FRASER/JON GAMBRELL

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