Becerra's blue wall

Feb 25, 2019

Lawsuit targets Becerra over police secrecy


CHUCK MCFADDEN in Capitol Weekly: "State Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who has filed 40-plus lawsuits against the Trump Administration, has been a darling of many California Democrats. Now he finds himself in a court fight against some of his admirers."


"Becerra is refusing to disclose officer-misconduct and use-of-force records prior to Jan. 1, 2019, saying pending court cases require that they be kept secret until the cases are settled. He also questioned whether disclosure should apply retroactively before Jan. 1."


"The San Rafael-based First Amendment Coalition (FAC), which is often aligned with media interests, has filed suit in San Francisco Superior Court to force disclosure of the records under provisions of SB 1421, by state Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley.) Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill last September, and it was hailed at the time as a major breakthrough in forcing government transparency."


This board used to collect billions in California taxes. Voters might get to kill it.


Sacramento Bee's ADAM ASHTON: "A California tax agency that used to collect tens of billions of dollars a year could be snuffed out for good if the Legislature moves forward with a pair of bills that would kill what’s left of the Board of Equalization."


"Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, D-Sherman Oaks, wrote the bills that would finish an effort the Legislature began two years ago when it stripped the Board of Equalization of almost all of its power, budget and staff."


"Back then, the Board of Equalization had more than 4,200 employees and handled about $60 billion a year in taxes and fees. It was the only elected board in the country that both set tax collection policies and weighed appeals from taxpayers. Its core duties were written into the state constitution."


Newsom joins other governors to confront -- and dine with -- President Trump


LA Times's PHIL WILLON: "Amid an escalating war of words with President Trump over border security and high-speed rail, Gov. Gavin Newsom arrived in Washington this weekend seeking ways to shield California from the administration’s policies while at the same time searching for common ground on issues including disaster relief."


"Newsom’s two-day visit to the nation’s capital, his first political trip outside of California since taking office, started on Sunday at a National Governors Assn. conference when he met with fellow Democrats to share strategies on expanding access to healthcare and strengthening environmental protections at a time when he says both have been under attack by the Republican president."


"Given the gridlock in Washington, the California governor and his politically aligned counterparts discussed ways states can move to expand Medicaid eligibility for the uninsured and provide other essential services for those in need."


Speaking of Trump, his prototype wall sections in San Diego are coming down


From the Union-Tribune's KATE MORRISEY: "President Donald Trump's border wall prototypes will be demolished, according to a Customs and Border Protection spokesman, to make way for newly begun construction of a secondary barrier."


"Construction crews have already replaced most of one layer of fencing along 14 miles of the San Diego-Tijuana border and started work on the secondary fence this week."


"The stretch of old secondary barrier being replaced is a little over a mile shorter than the primary fence. The replacement secondary barrier will run the full length of the primary one."


What's more popular than Uber? Shockingly, it's Jump bikes


Sacramento Bee's TONY BIZJAK: "When Uber introduced its new Jump bikes in Sacramento last spring, officials figured the flashy red bikes would be a popular complement to their main rideshare auto service, given the capital city’s good weather, flat terrain and general pro-bike mentality."


"But how popular? The answer came as a shock even to Uber."


"An October study found more Sacramentans were renting Jump bikes than using Uber’s car service by a 53 percent to 47 percent margin. That makes Sacramento the first of 16 Uber cities that have both bike and car service where the bikes are more popular, company officials said."


Sacramento mayor has millions of taxpayer dollars at his disposal. Can he complete his vision?


Sacramento Bee's THERESA CLIFT: "Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg – and the city he governs – are at a turning point."


"Two years into his first term, Steinberg is navigating a complex list of demands. He wants millions spent on the city’s large homeless population, while also trying to attract Fortune 500 companies, a Major League Soccer franchise and build tourist destinations."


"It’s been nearly a year since Sacramento police shot and killed Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man, and Clark’s death has sparked a larger debate about racial and economic inequality in Sacramento. Steinberg wants millions spent on disadvantaged neighborhoods, but some in Sacramento want as much attention – and money – spent on core city services like firefighters and cops."


Feinstein's tense exchange with Green New Deal kids: 'I know what I'm doing'


The Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLI: "Typically when young people visit their senator’s office, they go home with a bunch of grip-and-grin photos showing them shaking hands with the lawmaker."


"But when an environmental activist group brought several children to Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s San Francisco office Friday to lobby her to back the Green New Deal, what they got was more of a finger-wagging than a handshake."


"The group, the Sunrise Movement, posted a video that promptly went viral of Bay Area kids ages 7 to 16 quarreling with the 85-year-old Democrat, who was just elected to her fifth full term."


Jeff Adachi's biggest fights: An innocent man, 'Textgate' and a shooting on Pier 14


The Chronicle's DOMINIC FRACASSA/ROLAND LI: "As one of the most influential public defenders in the country — and the only elected one in California — Jeff Adachi was at the center of many of the biggest stories in San Francisco over the past three decades."


"He had an almost limitless ambition and an instinct for political theater. In a city whose progressive landscape provided opportunities for trailblazing, Adachi, who died Friday at age 59, widened his influence well beyond that of a conventional public defender, whose job is to represent clients who can’t afford to hire their own lawyers."


"Here are some of the defining moments and biggest battles in Adachi’s career as a public defender, politician and criminal justice advocate in San Francisco:"


Sacramento region home prices are sliding. Will it finally become a buyer's market?


Sacramento Bee's MICHAEL FINCH II: "After months — and even years — of rising home sale prices, the Sacramento region could be seeing the first signs of a decline."


"The median home sales price in the Sacramento region fell by 5 percent last month compared to December, one of the steepest declines seen in large metro areas across the country, according to the latest data by the real estate brokerage Redfin."


"The question lurking in the back of the minds of many realtors: is this just a seasonal dip or a long-term trend?"


READ MORE related to Homelessness & Housing: As Airbnb prepares for Wall Street scrutiny, its hometown is a key case study -- The Chronicle's CAROLYN SAID


Oakland teachers strike is about future of education


The Chronicle's OTIS R TAYLOR JR: "Deborah Green is a scavenger."


"The chairs in the Oakland Technical High School art teacher’s classroom are a mix of plastic, wood and metal. Green said she didn’t have enough seats for her students, and the school district wouldn’t provide her with more. So she started bringing in chairs she found on sidewalks and street corners."


"The chair her mother once used in her home office is in the classroom, too."


READ MORE related to Education: Cal State remedial education reforms help thousands more stuidents pass college-level math classes -- LA Times's TERESA WATANABE


Rep. Schiff warns of subpoenas, lawsuit over Mueller report


AP's MARY CLARE JALONICK/HOPE YEN: "A top House Democrat threatened on Sunday to call special counsel Robert Mueller to Capitol Hill, subpoena documents and sue the Trump administration if the full report on Mueller's Russia investigation is not made public."


"Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said his committee will keep close watch on new Attorney General William Barr to see if he were "to try to bury any part of this report." Schiff, D-Calif., also pledged to "take it to court if necessary."


"He said anything less than complete disclosure would leave Barr, who now oversees the investigation, with "a tarnished legacy."


READ MORE related to POTUS45: At the Hanoi summit, Trump and Kim Jong Un may declare the Korean War over. Does it still matter? -- LA Times's VICTORIA KIM

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