Judge to Brown: Stop your parole plan

Feb 25, 2016

In an expected turn of events, a local Sacramento judge has blocked Gov. Brown's parole ballot measure.


John Myers reports in the L.A. Times: "Gov. Jerry Brown's ballot measure to speed up the parole of some California prisoners was blocked from signature gathering on Wednesday afternoon, after a Sacramento judge ruled that the public should have been given additional time to review it."


"The ruling, which a spokesman for Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris said will be appealed, threatens to either derail the governor's high-profile attempt at major reform or force his political team to spend millions of dollars on a last-minute dash to collect voter signatures."


"Judge Shellyanne Chang sided with Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert and the California District Attorneys Assn. in finding that there was "no substantial compliance" by Harris and her staff with the 2014 state law that governs late changes to proposed ballot measures."


A startling review of electronic security throughout the state revealed 73 out of 77 government agencies suffer from inadequate cyber protection.


From the Associated Press' Alison Noon: "California lawmakers at a hearing Wednesday accused officials from the Department of Technology of failing to protect state agencies considered vulnerable to hacking."


"The review follows a critical report by state Auditor Elaine Howle, who found holes in the online security of 73 of 77 agencies she reviewed last year. The technology department has not been providing agencies with sufficient training or qualified workers to keep up with cybersecurity protocols, Howle said Wednesday."


"Three California departments have particularly troubling information security gaps: the judicial branch, the Public Utilities Commission and the Board of Equalization, Howle told lawmakers Wednesday. Those offices are not subject to the same standards other agencies must follow."


Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free... and make them wait another year.


David Siders of The Sacramento Bee says: "Proponents of a measure to raise billions of dollars for anti-poverty and children’s programs through higher taxes on commercial properties stopped collecting signatures for the November ballot and said Wednesday they will try again another year."

"The “Lifting Children and Families out of Poverty Act,” backed by several Southern California nonprofit groups, sought to impose a surcharge of up to 1 percent on real estate with assessed values more than $3 million."


"Proponents said the surcharge would raise an estimated $7.7 billion, with almost all of that coming from commercial properties."

Before Apple brought the technological-privacy debate to the forefront of the news, San Diego County was facing similar issues with phone security and criminal investigations, asking alleged criminals to sign a controversial waiver of their rights.

Dana Littlefield reports in The Tribune: "San Diego county prosecutors have stopped asking to have defendants in criminal cases sign a controversial waiver of rights form that allowed police to search cellphones, computers and other types of electronics without a warrant."

"The judges began issuing or granting the waivers in early January, which came as a surprise to local defense attorneys, many of whom first learned of the new document during court hearings."

"The Public Defender’s Office was particularly vocal in its objection to the waivers, and filed a challenge in appellate court. They contended that the new policy was being applied to all people on felony probation, without discretion, and that it violated their clients’ privacy rights."


And interestingly, there's a "battle of the sexes" in the state's Capitol as an all-female lobbying firm is proving to be highly successful. 


CalMatters' Laurel Rosenhall reports: "Photos decorating the Political Solutions lobbying firm look like those inside many similar businesses in Sacramento. One shows a firm partner on the golf course with a former assembly speaker. In another, three lobbyists smile alongside Gov. Jerry Brown."


"Then there’s a poster-sized picture indicating something here is a little different. Against the backdrop of the Capitol dome, it’s a close-up of a pink high heel.

“We didn’t purposely set out to have a female-owned firm,” said partner Tami Miller.""


"But over time, added partner Stacy Dwelley – owner of the pink shoe – “it’s become our brand.”"


Lastly, it appears that Sen. Leland Yee will receive 5 years in state prison for his hand in a bribery-corruption conspiracy involving organized criminal Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow. 


From the Chronicle's Bob Egelko and Kale Williams: "Former state Sen. Leland Yee, a powerhouse in Bay Area politics for a quarter century and now a convicted felon for taking bribes from undercover agents, stood before a federal judge in San Francisco on Wednesday, the day of his sentencing, and asked for leniency."


"He may have gotten his wish. Although U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer told Yee he wasn’t entitled to leniency, his sentence — five years in prison and a $20,000 fine — was near the bottom of the federal sentencing guidelines, and well below the eight-year term sought by prosecutors."


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