CVIndependent

Wed02262020

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Politics

21 Feb 2020
After enjoying pizza and salad compliments of the city of Palm Desert, more than 100 residents—including the two plaintiffs in the ongoing legal process spawned by the city’s previous failure to move from at-large elections to district-based elections—convened on Feb. 12 for the “Public Open House No. 2: A Conversation About District Boundaries for City Elections” at the Palm Desert Community Center. During a similar January event, city officials implied that a new elections system with just two districts was a foregone conclusion—even though it was not, as we learned in subsequent conversations with the city attorney and an unhappy plaintiff in the lawsuit, based on the 2001 California Voting Rights Act. However, city representatives at the Feb. 12 gathering were, at times, more candid,…
13 Feb 2020
Jennifer Jennings dons a veritable uniform these days: Whether she’s picking up groceries, cruising through a fast-food drive-thru or headed to the car wash, she’s always sporting Bernie wear—sweatshirts, T-shirts, whatever. But she doesn’t just wear her support on her sleeves. She’s also been making small online donations—hundreds of them—to the campaign of Bernie Sanders, the progressive senator from Vermont who continually assails the “billionaire class.” “It has just become part of my life now. It’s a dollar a day,” said Jennings, a safety manager at the Port of Long Beach. “I live paycheck to paycheck, and somehow, I’m contributing this money, because I’m making that choice, you know? I’m making minimum credit-card payments by their due date, and that’s all I’m willing to do,”…
30 Jan 2020
Kathy Garcia is not your typical Republican candidate for the California Senate. For one thing, she only just joined the GOP. A lifelong Democrat, she won election as a Stockton school board member with the backing of the county Democratic party. She changed her affiliation to Republican in June 2019, six months before the deadline to enter the Senate race. She said the idea to run—under the banner of a party she’d opposed most of her adult life—was suggested to her by a Stockton lawyer and powerbroker who, records show, has helped fund the campaign of another candidate in the race. And that candidate, a moderate Democrat, incidentally stands a better chance if the Republican vote is divided. The 80-year-old Garcia, asked by CalMatters why…
24 Jan 2020
The settlement that would resolve a lawsuit accusing the city Palm Desert of not complying with the 2001 California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) is not so settled after all. The first public forum—held by the city to explain the two-district settlement, proposed in December to plaintiffs Lorraine Salas and Karina Quintanilla—gave attendees the impression that breaking the city into two voting districts was a done deal. However, after a conversation with Palm Desert City Attorney Robert Hargreaves, I now understand that it’s not a done deal: If a resident believes that a total of three, or four, or five districts would provide a better solution to the lawsuit, then it is still possible for a resident to push for those changes. In other words ……
24 Jan 2020
When Oscar night rolls around, Californians rooting for Once Upon A Time … in Hollywood, Marriage Story or Ford v Ferrari will be able to thank themselves as well as the Academy. In all three cases, Golden State audiences not only paid for the movie tickets and Netflix subscriptions underwriting their production; they also let their tax dollars be leveraged by movie studios to produce those Best Picture nominees in-state. Intended to promote and help keep film and TV production in California, the state’s Film and Television Tax Credit, now in its third iteration, just celebrated its 10th year in business. Once controversial, it has become, over the years, a sort of Titanic of fiscal programs—sprawling, sentimental and popular across the political spectrum, despite its…
09 Jan 2020
Anthony Rendon arrived feeling a little punchy. At 51, the speaker of the California Assembly is adjusting to life as a new dad—and his 3-month-old baby hadn’t slept well the night before. “She was up at 1:30, 3, 4:30. And then once she woke up at 4:30, she didn’t fall asleep until 6,” Rendon said. “So that’s my life.” The Los Angeles politician—sporting a black hoodie and Converse high tops as he sat for an interview in his district office—assumed one of California’s most-powerful roles in the spring of 2016. As the Assembly’s Democratic leader, he’s negotiated $200 billion state budgets with two Senate leaders and two governors. He’s overseen a political operation that resulted in Democrats winning a historically huge majority of more than…
09 Dec 2019
A former California Republican leader left the party this week, the latest GOP defection in what’s become a trend among Trump-era moderates. Assemblyman Chad Mayes re-registered without party preference, becoming the second California lawmaker this year to leave the Republican party. Assemblyman Brian Maienschein became a Democrat in January, and California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye left the GOP late last year. Their departures reflect the clash of two diverging forces: President Donald Trump is pulling the Republican Party to the right as California voters are increasingly moving to the left. Less than 24 percent of California voters are registered Republicans. A greater share, like Mayes now, are registered as political independents. Democrats hold every statewide office and historically huge majorities in the Legislature. With Mayes’…
09 Oct 2019
On Tuesday, Nov. 5, Palm Springs residents living in the newly drawn Districts 1, 2 and 3 will head to the polls to elect three City Council members. These elections are the first step in the city’s transition from at-large to district-based representation, to comply with the California Voting Rights Act. The changeover will be complete after the November 2020 election of council members in Districts 4 and 5. (To see the newly drawn districts, visit www.palmspringsca.gov/government/city-clerk/election-general-municipal-election.) Another change: The city will no longer have a directly elected mayor; instead, Palm Springs will join most other valley cities in designating a councilmember as mayor for a year on a rotating basis. The Independent recently reached out to the three candidates running for the new District…

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