Times up for inactive voters: Miss two federal elections, and you're out
The Chronicle's JOHN WILDERMUTH: "Californians across the state could find that they are no longer registered voters now that a suit by a pair of conservative groups has been settled by Los Angeles County and Secretary of State Alex Padilla."
"The settlement, which requires counties to purge inactive voters from their registration lists, could eliminate as many as 1.5 million people from the rolls in Los Angeles County alone and an unknown number elsewhere in the state. The agreement considers registered voters to be inactive if they miss two consecutive federal general elections — a presidential election and a midterm — and fail to respond to a mailed query from county registrars."
"This is a major victory,” said Ellen Swensen, chief analyst for the Election Integrity Project California, who described her group as nonpartisan but “liberty-minded.” It joined with the conservative legal group Judicial Watchto file the suit. A registration roll bloated with inactive voters “opens the door for voter impersonation and fraud,” she said."
Kamala Harris says the powerful seek to divide America
AP: "Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris, standing outside of Oakland’s city hall, formally kicked off her campaign for the White House on Sunday, presenting herself as the leader who can best unite an America that is at an “inflection point” and facing a critical question."
"We are here because the American Dream and our American democracy are under attack and on the line like never before,” Harris said. “And we are here at this moment in time because we must answer a fundamental question: Who are we? Who are we as Americans? So, let’s answer that question to the world and each other right here and right now. America, we are better than this."
"Harris, a first-term U.S. senator from California who announced her candidacy last Monday, rallied thousands of supporters at the Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, her hometown and where she served as a prosecutor before becoming the state attorney general."
READ MORE related to Harris 2020: Harris emerges as a 2020 front-runner, but is that a good thing? -- LA Times's MELANIE MASON/MARK Z. BARABAK; Harris returns home to Oakland to make presidential pitch -- The Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLI; Harris campaign strategy is to keep her ahead of growing group of rivals -- The Chronicle's PHIL MATIER
After long wait for Tubbs Fire report, Santa Rosa tries to move forward
The Chronicle's JD MORRIS/LIZZIE JOHNSON: "Like thousands of other people who lost homes around Santa Rosa in the 2017 Tubbs Fire, Brad Sherwood spent more than 15 months waiting for answers to some essential questions.
"Why did his house burn down? What sparked the fierce firestorm that tore through the forested mountains west of Calistoga, racing into Santa Rosa in the middle of the night and leaving a staggering trail of death and destruction in its wake?"
"Sherwood wanted to put those questions behind him. But for so long, clarity proved elusive."
READ MORE related to Energy & Environment: California utility equipment sparked more than 2,000 fires in three years -- The LAT's TARYN LUNA; State money is funding anti-polluition efforts in San Diego -- LA Times's JOSHUA EMEANN
OP-ED: Now, more than ever, public lands must be protected
CHRIS MORRILL in Capitol Weekly: "For many Americans, we are forced to decide which items we have the money for by measuring what we value most. Those choices become clearer when the chips are down."
\While it is no surprise where the Trump administration’s priorities lie when it comes to our public lands during this shutdown, the brazenness of their disregard for our protected public lands in favor of special interests should make it crystal clear what matters to them most."
Immigrants affected by govt shutdown could wait years for new day in court
The Chronicle's ANDREEWW CASTILLO: "Alfredo and Claudia Valdez were an hour and a half into their drive from Bakersfield to a Los Angeles federal courtroom, brimming with expectation that a judge there would finally declare them legal United States residents."
"It was early January, nearly two weeks into the partial federal shutdown. Alfredo’s brother had flown in from Denver and his parents had driven from Palmdale fcccor the occasion. A friend, a coworker and a former manager had taken the day off work to speak as witnesses on his and Claudia’s behalf."
Trump sets odds of reaching deal on wall at less than 50-50
AP's DEB RIECHMANN: "President Donald Trump said Sunday that the odds congressional negotiators will craft a deal to end his border wall standoff with Congress are "less than 50-50."
"As hundreds of thousands of furloughed federal workers prepared to return to work, Trump told The Wall Street Journal that he doesn't think the negotiators will strike a deal that he'd accept. He pledged to build a wall anyway using his executive powers to declare a national emergency if necessary."
"I personally think it's less than 50-50, but you have a lot of very good people on that board," Trump said in an interview with the newspaper."
Dems uneasy about potential Howard Schultz bid
Sacramento Bee: "For a businessman who grew a small coffee roaster into an inescapable global chain, who ensured that even his part-time workers had benefits and who has given about $150,000 to Democratic campaigns, former Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz is generating tepid — or even hostile — responses within the party as he weighs a presidential bid in 2020."
"That's partly because — as Schultz told "60 Minutes" on Sunday — he's considering running as an independent, a prospect many worry could draw support from the eventual Democratic nominee and hand President Donald Trump another four years in office. Among those urging him not to run as an independent are David Axelrod, the former adviser to President Barack Obama, and Tina Podlodowski, the Democratic Party chairwoman in Washington state, where Schultz has lived for decades."
"For somebody who is professing to be a lifelong Democrat, I think to be running as in independent in this particular cycle is not a wise thing to do," Podlodowski said."