You can't say that GOP gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari isn't thinking outside the box. The former U.S. Treasury Department official announced in an essay published at the Wall Street Journal's website Wednesday that he had recently spent a week living on the streets to better understand the plight of those in poverty. From the Los Angeles Times' Mark Barabak:
"Kashkari wrote that he took a Greyhound bus from Los Angeles to Fresno on July 21 with 'only $40 in my pocket (and no credit cards), a backpack, a change of clothes and a toothbrush.' He said he planned to find a job. 'I am an able-bodied 41-year-old. Surely I could find some work.'
"Kashkari was accompanied by two videographers, who produced a 10-minute video. The footage shows a scruffy Kashkari saying, 'This has been one of the hardest weeks of my life.'"
No word on whether or not he applied at Fresno's famous Chicken Pie Shop....
An independent candidate seeking to run as a write-in candidate for Henry Waxman's house seat in November has filed a lawsuit challenging California's top two system. From Christopher Cadelago at the Sacramento Bee.
"Theo Milonopoulos, a 27-year-old political activist and doctoral student on leave from Columbia University, alleges that the write-in rules established by the state’s new top-two primary system violate his First and 14th Amendment rights. The 21-page lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.
"Milonopoulos, a former congressional page to Waxman, said that by prohibiting him from appearing as a write-in candidate in November, Secretary of State Debra Bowen and Dean Logan, the Los Angeles County registrar-recorder, are disenfranchising voters who support him from 'casting meaningful ballots.'"
The state plan to build two massive tunnels under the Delta will cause the extinction of a threatened Salmon species, says the Bay Institute, a California environmental group. Carolyn Jones reports in the San Francisco Chronicle:
"The state's plan to build a pair of 35-mile tunnels under the delta would cause the extinction of winter-run chinook salmon, steep declines in dozens of other species and devastate water quality in San Francisco Bay, an environmental group said Wednesday.
"'This project would be a major step in the wrong direction,' said Gary Bobker, policy analyst for the Bay Institute, which submitted its 250-page findings this week to the state Department of Water Resources as it updates its Bay Delta Conservation Plan. 'Diverting more water from the delta is exactly what we need to stop doing if we're going to have a sustainable ecosystem.'"
Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow, the man at the heart of corruption case against Senator Leland Yee, pled not guilty on Wednesday to racketeering charges. Paul Elias at the Associated Press has the story:
"The man prosecutors say headed a crime syndicate based in San Francisco's Chinatown has pleaded not guilty to a new charge of racketeering.
"Raymond 'Shrimp Boy' Chow was in federal court Wednesday to enter the plea to a newly filed indictment that carries all the same charges as the old one, but also includes a racketeering count. The indictment says he served as gang leader of a corrupt Chinatown community organization that bribed a state senator and laundered money among other crimes....
"[State Senator] Yee is also charged with racketeering in the new indictment in addition to bribery charges. He is scheduled to enter a plea Thursday."
And, even though you're stuck at work on the last Thursday in August, at least you're having a better day than this guy in St. Charles, Michigan:
"A St. Charles man died Wednesday, July 30, after his vehicle crashed into a vacant, bee-infested home in the village.
"The 54-year-old man was driving west on Spruce Road at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday when his vehicle continued straight at a curve just west of M-52, sending the vehicle crashing into an abandoned home at 216 W. Spruce, the Saginaw County Sheriff's office reports.
"Pfau said people nearby saw the crash and rushed to help the driver, but were driven back by swarms of bees, released when the car struck the home.
"'The house, we're being told, has not been occupied for many years,' he said. 'There were just large swarms of bees within the home. It was so infested, they couldn't get to him.'"
Ouch. And ouch.