It's still early days, of course, but Gov. Brown's
just-announced appointee to the chair of the state's political
watchdog, the Fair Political Practices Commission, is sending signals that she's not happy with the aggressive
posture the FPPC has adopted over the past of few years under
Ross Johnson and Dan Schnur.
First, from Patrick McGreevy in the LA Times: "The new chief of the state's campaign finance watchdog
agency said she may try to keep complaints of wrongdoing
against public officials off the Web until they have
"Federal attorney Ann Ravel, appointed chairwoman of
the state Fair Political Practices Commission by Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday, said she shares concerns of politicians
who grouse about the agency's practice of posting unresolved
complaints on its website."
Second, from the Bee's David Siders: "Recasting a commission that has become increasingly
aggressive in its oversight of campaign finance and
ethics rules, Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday appointed as its chairwoman a
lawyer who said the agency could deal more fairly with
the officials it
"Ann Ravel replaces Dan Schnur atop the Fair Political Practices Commission. Ravel, a U.S. Justice Department official who worked
decades in local government, said she will try to "make
the rules more
clear and more transparent" to government."
Speaking of appointees, Gov. Brown has removed two members of the CalSTRS board who were appointed
by his predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Times' Marc Lifsher tells the tale.
"Kram is president and chief executive of Content
Partners, a Los Angeles firm that buys films in the
secondary market from other
investors. Content Partners' co-chairman, Paul Wachter, is Schwarzenegger's
"Percy, a recent graduate student at Stanford University's
Department of Economics and Public Policy Program,
helped write a controversial
study commissioned by Schwarzenegger's office. The
research estimated that the
state's three biggest public pension funds were $400 million short of
the amounts needed to meet future obligations to retirees."
In the battle over abolishing redevelopment agencies,
the irony is sublime: The League of Citites, which protects redevelopment
agencies, used the same argument last fall that Brown is using
now in his attempt to get rid of them.
From Timm Herdt in the Ventura County Star: "In their official ballot argument for Proposition
head of the association's Fire Chiefs Department and
the president of the
California Police Chiefs Association wrote that property
taxes should be used
"to fund vital local services like 911 response, police and fire
"It's the same argument that Gov. Jerry Brown is
using these days as he makes his case to disband the
state's 400-plus local
redevelopment agencies and to instead spend the property
tax revenues they now
receive on bread-and-butter services for California taxpayers."
Some 2,500 government workers gathered in Capitol Park to show solidarity with their
counterparts in Wisconsin and other states, where public-employee unions are under attack. The Bee's Jon Ortiz
"Participants in the union-sponsored rally held printed
and handwritten signs: "We stand with Wisconsin workers!"
and "United we bargain. Divided we beg!" A few signs
called for labor
action: "Wisconsin general
"The event -- sponsored by the California
Teachers Association, SEIU Local 1000, AFSCME, the Sacramento
Central Labor Council and the California
Labor Federation -- was pulled together quickly over the holiday weekend. Speakers
exhorted the crowd to cheer for collective bargaining
rights and insisted that
the "attack on public employees" is spreading. Indeed, the crowd was buzzing with the news that
California Assemblyman Allan Mansoor, R-Costa Mesa, has
introduced a bill to end union bargaining of public
And now we leave the world of reality and head to Nevada,
where U.S. Sen. Harry Reid wants to outlaw those legal
bordellos that dot that state's rural landscape. He said the move will attract business to the state,
but as the Fark wag noted, doesn't Reid know that capitalism
works best when someone's getting screwed?
"But what the Nevada Democrat got was an outcry of
opposition from brothel owners and prostitutes looking
to protect their
livelihood and tepid responses from the legislators
he asked to do the legal
dirty work of running bordellos out of the state."
"The gallery in the Assembly chambers went silent Tuesday
when Reid paused for applause after he told lawmakers
from both houses that
"the time has come for us to outlaw prostitution."
"Lawmakers from both major parties shied away from
suggestion that they could improve Nevada's beleaguered
economy by driving
brothels out of the state and inviting other businesses
And so it goes...