Lottery official scratched

Mar 25, 2019


California Lottery official dismissed amid investigations


From the Bee's WES VENTEICHER: "A senior California Lottery executive has been dismissed from his position six months after anonymous state employees sent a letter to the Governor’s Office complaining about rowdy behavior among a group of the lottery’s top brass."


"Deputy Director of Sales James David Cole’s dismissal comes amid ongoing investigations into hiring practices and alleged misconduct by senior lottery executives during a 2016 sales conference."


"Cole was notified Feb. 1 that his employment would be officially terminated March 1, according to a termination letter The Bee obtained through a public records request. He was placed on paid administrative leave for the month of February, according to the letter."


Big business’ political muscle in Sacramento is tested by new Democratic mega-majority


From the LAT"s JOHN MYERS: "If the state Capitol had a hall of fame for legislative influence, a no-brainer inductee for playing defense would be the California Chamber of Commerce — a feared linebacker with a two-decade record of tackling and stopping new laws."


"But last week, the powerful group lost an early round against the first two 2019 bills on its annual “job killers” list. And it highlighted one of the year’s most intriguing questions in Sacramento: Will the largest Democratic majority in the Legislature’s modern era and one of the state’s most liberal chief executives, Gov. Gavin Newsom, be able to further push policies that expand government oversight in the business world?"


"The “job killers” list, compiled every year but one since 1997, draws attention to legislation the Chamber of Commerce insists will most threaten job creation and economic growth. “The CalChamber policy staff is very judicious about the difference between legislation that merits opposition and a job killer,” stated an overview document published earlier this year."


Weekend of violence leaves five dead in Stockton 


From the Stockton Record's JOE GOLDEEN: "Five people were killed as the result of gun violence in Stockton in the span of less than 52 hours while a young woman clings to life in an area hospital, leaving families devastated, homicide detectives working overtime and the public demanding answers."


“We’ve had five people shot and killed, and that is just unacceptable. We need to get these cowards with guns off the streets,” Stockton Police Department spokesman Officer Joe Silva said at the scene of the latest homicide in the city’s southeast corner."


"Silva said early indications are that none of the three homicide incidents, starting with the midnight Friday morning slaying of three teenagers on the 2300 block of Finland Avenue in east Stockton, are connected."


Sen. Sanders draws enthusiastic crowd to Fort Mason in San Francisco


The Chronicle's CAROLYN SAID/JOE GAROFOLI: "Thousands of people packed a Bernie Sanders rally in San Francisco’s Fort Mason on a sunny Sunday afternoon as the independent senator from Vermont continued his campaign for U.S. president as a Democrat with a fiery populist speech, vowing to turn his progressive agenda into reality."


"The crowd cheered and chanted “Bernie, Bernie” as Sanders laid out policies that he said were rejected as “radical and extreme” in his 2016 presidential quest, but have now found widespread support."


"The crowd cheered and chanted “Bernie, Bernie” as Sanders laid out policies that he said were rejected as “radical and extreme” in his 2016 presidential quest, but have now found widespread support."


SF judge challenges Trump policy requiring asylum seekers to return to Mexico


The Chronicle's TATIANA SANCHEZ: "A San Francisco federal judge on Friday questioned a Trump administration policy requiring asylum seekers to return to Mexico while their cases are considered in the United States, a program enacted earlier this year that was almost immediately challenged in court by immigrant rights groups."


"Several advocacy organizations and asylum seekers are seeking a preliminary injunction to block the policy, and attorneys on both sides presented arguments to U.S. District Court Judge Richard Seeborg on Friday morning. Seeborg did not make a decision on the injunction."


Stem cell agency down to last $67M


DAVID JENSEN in Capitol Weekly: "California’s state stem cell agency is down to its last $67.3 million following a decision today to back research to enhance bone healing in elderly patients who undergo spinal surgery."


"The $4 million award went to Ankasa Regenerative  Therapeutics following little discussion among members of the governing board of the $3 billion California Institute for Regenerative Medicine or CIRM, as the stem cell agency is known."


"Ankasa, which has locations in La Jolla and South San Francisco, is supporting the award with a matching amount of $1 million. Sandy Madigan, CEO of Ankasa, told the California Stem Cell Report that his firm has raised $19 million in venture capital. Its only current potential product, he said, is tied to the CIRM-backed research, which the agency has previously funded with $8.6 million."


New Zealand attack note left at fire at California mosque


AP: "A note referencing the recent terrorist attacks in New Zealand was found at the scene of a possible arson fire at a Southern California mosque, police said Sunday."


"Nobody was hurt, and members of the Islamic Center of Escondido were able to extinguish the small blaze before firefighters around 3:15 a.m., officials said."


"The incident was being investigated as arson and a possible hate crime, said police in the city about 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of downtown San Diego."


Hidden public spices South of Market? There's a map for that


The Chronicle's JOHN KING: "Only one San Francisco guidebook warns you that the plaza at 50 Beale St. seems “geared toward office workers on their smoke break.” Or that there’s a public space inside Millennium Tower, but you wouldn’t know it because “their sign is small."


"Such are the pointers tucked within “The East Cut Open Space Inventory,” an image-rich tour of 40 spaces south of Mission Street and east of Second Street. While it’s written for the people who live on Rincon Hill and in the towers around the Transbay Transit Center, the thoroughness spells out how private development can add breathing space to dense urban districts."


Believe it or not, Stanford sailing team had an even bigger scandal 30 years ago


The Chronicle's MATTHIAS GAFNI: "Stanford’s involvement in the college admissions scandal that rocked elite universities across the country centered around its nationally competitive sailing team, a largely self-funded group that has caused major trouble for the school before."


"Three decades ago, the small club sport on the Palo Alto campus was embroiled in an even bigger scandal involving a whistle-blower and a 72-foot yacht. Both scandals, new and old, revolved around the club’s ever-present need to raise money."


READ MORE related to Operation Varsity Blues: Mystery parent paid $6.5M to get kids into top universities as part of admissions scandal -- LA Times's RICHARD WINTON


Mueller investigation found no Trump, Russia conspiracy, AG says


Sacramento Bee's DON SWEENEY/JARED GILMOUR: "Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s long-awaited report says President Donald Trump and his campaign did not collude with Russia in the 2016 election, but reaches no conclusion on whether he obstructed justice, a summary by Attorney General William Barr says."


"While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him” in regards to obstruction, Barr quoted the report as saying in a letter to Congress summarizing the findings on Sunday."


"Barr said the report left it to his office to determine whether further charges should be brought. He and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein determined they should not, he told Congress."


READ MORE related to POTUS45/KremlinGate: Democrats zero in on obstruction to plot relentless Hill campaign against GOP -- Sacramento Bee's DAVID LIGHTMAN/LESLEY CLARK; Diplomats now know Trump is not going anywhere -- at least until 2020 -- Sacramento Bee's FRANCO ORDONEZ/MICHAEL WILNER; Want to understand the Mueller report? Here's who you should follow on Twitter -- NY Mag's MATT STIEB; Mueller findings help Trump toward re-election, could change Democrats' focus -- The Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLI


Disappointed Democrats shrug: 2020 election about health care, economy


Sacramento Bee's KATIE GLUECK/ALEX ROARTY: "The newly released summary of the Mueller report has already emboldened Republicans to declare victory, encouraged by the special counsel’s conclusion that neither Donald Trump nor any of his campaign officials colluded with Russian actors during the 2016 presidential election."


"But to Democrats already formulating their party’s message for the 2020 election, the findings were a reminder to get back to the pocketbook issues that delivered the party the House last fall."


"Our plan is going to continue to focus on the negative impact Trump’s policies have had on American families,” said Josh Schwerin, spokesman for the Democratic super PAC Priorities USA, a group that has pledged to spend millions of dollars opposing Trump’s re-election. “And that has always been our plan."

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