FROM Joe Garofoli
Is Donald Trump a Boon or a Burden to California Republicans? California's Republican primary on June 7 could become crucial to Republican front-runner Donald Trump's bid to snag the GOP presidential nomination. Is his candidacy good or bad for a political party that's become almost irrelevant in this very Blue State?
Legalize It No fewer than 17 different groups are working on measures to legalize recreational marijuana in California. Ten are already gathering signatures to get on next year’s ballot. And this week, the tech billionaire Sean Parker stepped into the ring, backing yet another initiative. His measure won the endorsement of Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom. The question is, can all these different pot proponents coalesce behind one ballot measure?
What Oakland Can Teach LA About the Minimum Wage The Los Angeles City Council is moving forward on a plan to raise the citywide minimum wage to $15 by 2020, up from the current $9 an hour. Labor leaders call it a major step forward for lifting workers out of poverty. But some business leaders – particularly restaurant owners – are pushing back.
Barbara Boxer to Retire After 22 years in the Senate, Barbara Boxer said today that she will not run for re-election in 2016. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 1983 and won her Senate seat in 1992. During her tenure, Boxer’s been an aggressive defender of abortion rights and environmental protections. And the race for her seat, just hours old at this point, is already fodder for rampant speculation.
Ridesharing Companies Face Insurance Increases with AB 2293 In this last, frantic week of the legislative session, one measure that’s drawing a lot of attention is AB 2293, which changes the insurance requirements for ride-sharing companies that compete with traditional taxies. It passed the Assembly unanimously. But Uber didn’t get to be a $17 billion company by failing to pay attention. AB 612 is now a dead duck. But AB 2293 is very much alive.
Silicon Valley Makes Its Case for Immigration Reform Silicon Valley is pushing hard for immigration reform—with the goal of increasing the number of H-1 Visas for college graduates they claim they need from overseas. But a recent TV spot—reportedly paid for by group linked to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg—is aimed at immigration of a different kind.
Will Voters Change the Balance of Political Power in California? In 1998, and again in 2005, voters were asked to reduce the political power of labor unions in California. By large margins, they said, "No." One index of their clout in Sacramento is that the California Teachers Association and the State Council of Service Employees were the number one and two donors to political campaigns from 2000 to 2009. Proposition 32 in November's election is another effort to change that, and it's adding political heat to a ballot that already includes Governor Brown's temporary tax increase and the race for president.
California Has a New Governor… Sort of California's newest Governor, Jerry Brown touched two themes today that he emphasized in both his previous inaugural speeches: the state's dire financial situation and the public's lack of trust in government. We hear excerpts from an address that was stern with touches of humor, but with no details of the spending cuts and tax extensions he reportedly plans to announce next week.
Brown, Whitman Discuss Negative Ads Maria Shriver, California's First Lady, holds a women's conference every year. At this year's conference, Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman appeared on stage with Governor Schwarzenegger . Matt Laeur asked each candidate if they would remove their negative ads off the air. Joe Garofoli is political writer for the San Francisco Chronicle .
Rehashing the Boxer-Fiorina Debate In California’s race for the US Senate, three-term Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer is being challenged by former business executive Carly Fiorina . Last night in their first — and possibly only — debate , they came down firmly on opposite ends of the political spectrum.
Meg Whitman Enters the Wingers' Den Meg Whitman has spent more than $100 million on her race for Governor, but she's still just neck and neck with Attorney General Jerry Brown . At a time when she needs to rally the conservative base of her party, the base is preparing to challenge her at the Republican Party Convention this weekend in San Diego. Joe Garofoli reports on politics for the San Francisco Chronicle .
Carly Runs For the Senate Carly Fiorina paid her way through college and went on to become the first woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company, but she didn’t vote much in public elections. The stock price went down, and she was fired by the Board of Directors at Hewlett-Packard. Since then, she’s been an advisor to John McCain’s presidential campaign, and she’s now a Republican candidate for the US Senate seat of Democrat Barbara Boxer - with an endorsement from Sarah Palin.
America's top diplomat faces challenges in Asia Whatever happened to America's "pivot to Asia?" That's just one of the questions left hanging since Rex Tillerson's first trip there as Secretary of State. Is the Trump Administration hoping to change Foreign Policy or maintain the status quo?
The airline electronics ban and what it means President Trump's Department of Homeland Security has banned all electronic devices larger than cell phones on some foreign airlines flying direct to the US. It's causing confusion as well as inconvenience. Is the motive really just increased security?
Trump, Russia and rabbit holes Conservatives are now joining liberal critics of President Trump by demanding to know about his administration’s ties to Russia. We hear about Washington latest political flap and possible unintended consequence.
House Republicans release their Obamacare replacement As two House committees take up "repeal and replacement" of "Obamacare," there may be life left in the Affordable Care Act after all. Even Republicans are divided, and proposed changes won't make good on President Trump's promise to provide "health insurance for everybody."