The Roundup

Apr 26, 2018

Poll surprises

Republicans surge past Villaraigosa in governor's race


From the Bee's ANGELA HART: "The two major Republican candidates in the race to succeed Gov. Jerry Brown are battling for second place to make the November runoff, while Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has strengthened his lead, according to a new poll from UC Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies."


"The poll shows businessman John Cox preferred by 18 percent of likely voters in the June 5 primary while Assemblyman Travis Allen, R-Huntington Beach, won support from 16 percent. Both are well ahead of Democrat and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who dropped to 9 percent, down from 17 percent in December, and well behind Newsom, preferred by 30 percent."


And now to the Senate, where a little-known Republican threatens to shake up the race


From the BEE's TARYN LUNA: "A new statewide poll suggests there's another threat to state Sen. Kevin de León's insurgent U.S. Senate bid: A little-known Republican pushing back against his "sanctuary state" law."


"James P. Bradley, running on an "America First" platform, is trailing the former California Senate leader by 1 point — a statistical tie — in the battle for second place in the June 5 primary and a spot in the November runoff, according to a poll from the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley."


"U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein continues to hold a commanding lead."

 Did military and law enforcement training help East Area Rapist suspect evade capture?


Sacramento Bee's RYAN SABALOW/DALE KASLER/NASHELLY CHAVEZ: "Wendell Phillips was a newly minted Sacramento sheriff's deputy when the man known as the East Area Rapist was breaking into homes, stalking and raping dozens of victims, night after night, over the course of several terrifying years in the region."


"Phillips, now 68, said one thing stands out to him as he looks back on the case, which had him hiding in darkened homes, face covered in grease paint, trying to catch the suspect in the act."


"He remembers thinking that the man they were hunting behaved like a cop or someone who had been in the military. It was something he discussed with his fellow deputies."


READ MORE related to East Area RapistWho is the East Area Rapist? Police say it's this ex-cop who attended Folsom High -- Sacramento Bee's BENJY EGELHe was quirky and complex. But they never thought the former cop next door could be notorious -- Sacramento Bee's TONY BIZJAK/ANITA CHABRIA/DALE KASLER/NASHELLY CHAVEZ/DIANA LAMBERTShe wrote the book on the Golden State Killer before dying. Did she just help catch him? -- Sacramento Bee's DON SWEENEY


Republicans hope to ride a gas-tax repeal to victory


LA Times's PATRICK MCGREEVY: "In a Central Valley barn decked out in red, white and blue, dairyman and state Senate candidate Johnny Tacherra drew cheers from a crowd of fellow farmers when he said he opposes the California Legislature's hike on gas taxes and vehicle fees."


"I would not have voted for that. It is not the time to be voting on (raising) the gas tax," said Tacherra, a Republican running against Democratic Assemblywoman Anna Caballero, who voted for the tax increase last year."


SF mayor vows that clearing homeless tents from the Mission just a start


The Chronicle's KEVIN FAGAN: "An army of cleaners, counselors and police descended upon the Mission District at dawn Wednesday — and by lunchtime, they had rendered the gentrifying district entirely free of homeless tent camps for the first time in recent memory."


"And with that, San Francisco’s mayor had fired the first shot in what he said will be unending salvos of enforcement efforts in the coming weeks to try to rid city streets of tent encampments."


Judge rules against Trump administration in DACA case


The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO: "A federal judge ruled Tuesday that President Trump had offered no legal justification for canceling DACA protections for nearly 700,000 young undocumented immigrants, in a ruling that — for the first time — would require the administration to accept new applicants to the program."


"The ruling by U.S. District Judge John Bates of Washington, D.C., came after decisions by federal judges in San Francisco and New York that also rejected Trump’s rationale for halting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. But while the earlier rulings barred the administration from ending DACA for current recipients, making them subject to deportation, Bates went a step further and said the government must allow others to apply."


Hackers stole his campaign cash, Sacramento lawmaker says


Sacramento Bee's TARYN LUNA: "Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, is alleging that thieves hacked his email account and stole $46,000 from his re-election campaign in a "sophisticated" scheme earlier this year."


"Hopefully we can identify the people who did it," Pan said. "That will send a signal that they can’t just get away with it and the people who try these things can get caught."


"Pan said the FBI and California Highway Patrol are investigating the campaign theft, which was also reported to the California Fair Practices Commission."


Filling California's biggest groundwater gap


Water Deeply's ELLEN HANAK/SARGE GREEN: "California’s largest agricultural region – has been in a state of perpetual water stress that can only be partly attributed to the latest drought. Decades of unchecked pumping have resulted in a chronic groundwater deficit averaging nearly 2 million acre-feet per year – equivalent to about two Folsom reservoirs. The clock is ticking for overdrawn basins to comply with the state’s 2014 groundwater law and get their water supply and use into balance."


"One strategy that can help make a substantial dent in this deficit is to encourage more storage in the valley’s depleted aquifers. While logistical and economic constraints will limit how much extra water can be captured from local rivers, we estimate that there is potential to reduce the deficit by up to a quarter with increased groundwater recharge. As a first step to realizing this potential, the State Water Resources Control Board will need to develop a simple, rapid way to determine when river flows exceed the amount of water required for environmental purposes and downstream users."


"The very wet winter of 2017 hints at what’s possible. Even though high-river flows can only be captured for a short span of time – and despite serious shortcomings in the infrastructure required to actively store more water in aquifers – water districts managed to put an estimated 6.5million acre-feet into local aquifers last year. An additional 4 million acre-feet may have been recharged “passively” through seepage from river channels and regular irrigation practices on farmland. The combination of active and passive recharge brought the valley’s groundwater balance sheet into the black for the first time since 2011."


What scandal? Facebook's profits soar, user numbers rise


The Chronicle's BENNY EVANGELISTA: "Facebook’s powerful revenue machine is blazing ahead despite the recent data-privacy scandal."


"In its first earnings report since the furor began last month, the Menlo Park social network on Wednesday blew past expectations, raking in nearly $5 billion in profit during the first quarter, up 63 percent from a year ago. Both advertising revenues and membership showed healthy gains."


Cop killer Bracamontes gets tossed from court, then gets death penalty


Sacramento Bee's SAM STANTON: "Cop killer Luis Bracamontes was given the death penalty Wednesday during a hearing wrought with the emotion of the victims' family members and friends and outbursts from the defendant."


"Bracamontes was sentenced for the Oct. 24, 2014, slayings, which occurred during a daylong crime spree that began in the parking lot of an Arden Way Motel 6 and ended in Auburn."


"About eight family members and friends of slain Sacramento County sheriff's Deputy Danny Oliver and Placer County sheriff's Detective Michael Davis Jr. gave statements before Bracamontes was sentenced in Sacramento Superior Court. Bracamontes continued the outbursts and odd behavior he has exhibited during his trial before he was removed from the courtroom."


President's doctor pulls out as Veterans Affairs nominee


LA Tims's NOAH BIERMAN: "\President Trump’s onetime White House physician, Adm. Ronny Jackson, on Thursday withdrew his nomination to serve as secretary of Veterans Affairs, citing the “distraction” from a string of what he termed “completely false and fabricated” allegations."


"While I will forever be grateful for the trust and confidence President Trump has placed in me by giving me this opportunity, I am regretfully withdrawing my nomination to be Secretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs,” Jackson wrote in a statement released by the White House."


"Jackson served three presidents as a White House doctor but was an unorthodox pick for the VA job, which requires managing a massive federal bureaucracy."

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