The battleground: Landlines vs. VoIP

Apr 8, 2016

Technology and old charm go head to head after AT&T announces that they wish to decommission copper landlines in California to make way for the technological advances of VOIP -- a decision that advocates for seniors and those living in rural areas are protesting.


From Techwire's Samantha Young: "Seeking to capitalize upon Californians' growing use of Internet-based phone service, telephone giant AT&T is asking state lawmakers to allow it to decommission its costly landlines."


"The telco says wireless and Internet-based voice services are giving Californians enhanced phone services at a better price than traditional copper wire landlines, and it’s time for the state to move into the 21st century."


"But consumer advocates argue legislation before the Assembly would force many seniors and rural Californians to give up the reliable landlines they want to keep."


Anti-abortion groups are after state Attorney General Kamala Harris, accusing her of overstepping her reach


Politico's Eliza Collins reports: "Susan B. Anthony List joined other anti-abortion groups Thursday in calling for California Attorney General Kamala Harris to resign and stop her Senate run over the search of the apartment of the man behind the undercover videos of Planned Parenthood last summer."


"The anti-abortion advocacy group released a statement Thursday, accusing Harris of a “conflict of interest and abuse of government power.”


"On Tuesday evening, California investigators searched the home of David Daleiden, the man who released a series of videos last summer that showed Planned Parenthood employees discussing fees for fetal tissue and organs. The search came following an announcement from Harris last summer that she would investigate whether Daleiden broke any laws."


The state's June 7 presidential primary could be in play: Yesterday, the Field Poll showed the Reeps in a tough fight; today the survey shows the Dems in a tense battle, too, with Hillary Clinton barely maintaining a 6 point lead over Bernie Sanders.  


From Joe Garofoli in the Chronicle: "The California Democratic primary is up for grabs, as Hillary Clinton has watched her onetime 63-point lead in the polls shrink to six points over Sen. Bernie Sanders, according to a Field Poll released Friday."


"Clinton leads Sanders 47 percent to 41 percent among likely voters in the June 7 primary, with 12 percent undecided. Voters who do not state a party preference are allowed to vote in the Democratic primary, which is good news for Sanders, as unaffiliated voters in other states have been supportive. In California, nonpartisans support Sanders 49 percent to 39 percent for Clinton."


"The survey was brimming with red flags for Clinton, who has lost six of the last seven Democratic primary and caucus contests and has raised less money than Sanders the past three months. While Clinton has a large lead in the number of delegates needed to secure the Democratic nomination, Sanders has enough money to continue running a robust campaign through the California primary."


With the legalization of recreational cannabis on the horizon, other states where pot is legal have offered California some guidelines


Jeremy B. White reports in Sacramento Bee: "California likes to trumpet its record of pioneering public policy, but the state is a follower when it comes to legal cannabis."


"While the Golden State was first out of the gate with its unprecedented 1996 law authorizing medicinal use, Washington and Colorado got a head start by taking the plunge and legalizing recreational marijuana in 2012. With a California legalization measure seemingly destined for the 2016 ballot and a new study advising a tightly regulated market, officials from Colorado and Washington on Thursday shared some wisdom at a Public Policy Institute of California event in Sacramento."


"1. Beware black market competition"


ALSO SEE: California's new cannabis "Czar" Lori Ajax sits down for a Q&A with the L.A. Times about the government's expansion of her duties as California eyes recreational cannabis legalization. 


In other news, the State Senate has voted yes on expanding conflict-of-interest laws to include nepotism. 


LAT's Patrick McGreevy writes: "The state Senate voted Thursday to expand a law that requires public officials to disclose when they have a conflict of interest and to recuse themselves from voting on a government contract involving a relative."


"The law currently identifies a conflict of interest as a situation in which a public official votes on a contract involving a spouse."


"The bill by Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) expands the list of family members that triggers a conflict to include the adult children, siblings and parents of officials. The measure, which next goes to the Assembly, also covers the spouse of a child, sibling or parent."


A corruption probe ultimately ends with the resignation of David Bowser, Rep. Mimi Walter's chief-of-staff.  


From LAT's Sarah D. Wire: "Rep. Mimi Walters’ chief of staff, David Bowser, has resigned following news of federal corruption charges related to his work in another congressional office."


“The charges against him involve incidents alleged to have occurred in the office of former Georgia Congressman Paul Broun in 2012-2014, before Rep. Walters became a member of Congress,” the Irvine Republican's office said in a statement Thursday morning."


"The Justice Department released the indictments Wednesday, including one count of obstruction of proceedings, one count of theft of government property, one count of concealment of material facts and five counts of making false statements."


And for the person who had the worst week in California, #WorstWeekinCA, we picked SoCal billionaire Igor Olenicoff,  who got worked over in the Panama Papers flap.


OC Register's Tony Saavedra writes: "Orange County developer and billionaire Igor Olenicoff is among the world’s rich and famous outed by this week’s leak of secret documents from a Panama law firm that sets up offshore financial accounts and shell corporations."


"Olenicoff, who pleaded guilty in 2007 to federal tax evasion, is listed in the so-called Panama Papers that have made headlines around the globe, according McClatchy’s Washington Bureau."


"The documents state that Olenicoff, 73, with a property portfolio of $3.5 billion, is a shareholder of Olen Oil Management Ltd., McClatchy reported."


"Olenicoff owns Newport Beach-based Olen Properties and currently resides in Florida. He could not be reached for comment Thursday."



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