CVIndependent

Tue12182018

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Politics

20 Feb 2018
By many measures, the rambunctious campaign for a single-payer health-care system in California appears to be struggling. A bill that would replace the existing health-care system with a new one run by a single payer—specifically, the state government—paid for with taxpayer money remains parked in the Assembly, with no sign of moving ahead. An effort by activists to recall Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon for shelving the bill has gone dormant. And an initiative that would lay the financial groundwork for a future single-payer system has little funding, undercutting its chances to qualify for the ballot. But even if single-payer is a lost cause in the short term, advocates are playing a long game. For now, it may well be less a realistic policy blueprint than…
14 Feb 2018
When voters in Rancho Mirage mail in their ballots on or before Tuesday, April 10, they won’t simply be voting for the City Council candidates they prefer; they’ll be voting on the direction in which the city goes. If residents like the status quo, they can re-elect incumbents Dana Hobart, Charles Townsend Vinci and Iris Smotrich. If they want change, they can vote for Michael Harrington, Robert Mueller and Kate Spates. The Independent recently spoke to five of the six candidates for the three seats up for a vote this year. Incumbent Dana Hobart declined to make himself available for an interview. It’s worth noting that the two incumbents with whom we spoke said they wanted to be viewed as a united entry against their…
14 Feb 2018
All four of the Rancho Mirage candidates whom the Independent spoke to about CV Link—the 50-mile bike, pedestrian and low-speed electric-vehicle path that, if completed, would connect all eight of the Coachella Valley’s cities—say it’s a dead issue, because the residents of Rancho Mirage overwhelmingly voted against the proposed Rancho Mirage portion two years ago. And then the candidates keep talking—indicating the issue may not be so dead after all. Another indication the issue is not so dead: It’s been the most contentious topic so far in the city campaign. Candidate Michael Harrington filed a complaint against incumbent Dana Hobart after Hobart claimed in an email that the three challengers to the incumbents all want to bring the issue back up—perhaps due to the influence…
26 Jan 2018
As Gov. Jerry Brown neared the end of his last State of the State speech on Thursday, Jan. 25, he invoked a name that has become a frequent theme: August Schuckman, his own great-grandfather, who left Germany in 1849 and “sailed to America on a ship named Perseverance.” The 79-year-old Democrat cast his ancestor’s journey—and the ship’s poetic name—as a metaphor for California in an era of natural disasters and deep rifts with the federal government. “We, too, will persist,” he said, “against the storms and turmoil, obstacles great and small.” Brown, delivering his 16th such speech during an unprecedented four-term tenure as California governor, contrasted California with the direction the United States is heading under Republican President Donald Trump—touting the state’s efforts to combat…
17 Jan 2018
A new grassroots community organization wants this to be the “Year of Indio”—and the first step the group is taking to make that happen is supporting a candidate running against controversial Indio Mayor Michael Wilson. The group, calling itself Year of Indio, announced its formation and the candidacy of Waymond Fermon during an early January news conference. “We (in the Year of Indio group) are a group of individuals who care for the city of Indio, and want to see it thrive,” said Tizoc DeAztlan during a recent interview. DeAztlan, an experienced political campaigner who has contributed to the successful election efforts of Rep. Dr. Raul Ruiz and State Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, among others, is an adviser to Fermon’s campaign for the new Indio District…
12 Jan 2018
California’s resistance began before there was a resistance. When Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled his final budget on Jan. 10, it bookended eight years of a progressive march to reduce greenhouse gases, expand health care, grant more rights to undocumented immigrants and raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Along the way, voters have assented by passing temporary taxes on the rich—not once, but twice. The top marginal income tax rate is now 13.3 percent, the highest state income tax rate in the country. In short, policies that are now labeled acts of resistance to President Donald Trump were alive and ascendant in California long before Trump won the White House. But the contrasts have become much more stark. Instead of cutting taxes, the Democratic…
28 Dec 2017
In the waning hours of the legislative session, Democrats pushed through new labor requirements widely viewed as retaliation against Tesla, the electric car maker embroiled in a union-organizing campaign at its Fremont plant. Labor unions got lawmakers to insert two sentences into a cap-and-trade funding bill requiring automakers to be certified “as fair and responsible in the treatment of their workers” before their customers can obtain up to $2,500 from California’s clean vehicle rebate program. At the time, Democrats openly wrestled with the concern that the United Automobile Workers—which is trying to maintain its major role in the auto industry as the companies make big bets on electric vehicles—was expanding its unionization campaign from the factory floor to the Senate floor. Sen. Steve Glazer of…
22 Nov 2017
With a declaration that “public servants best serve the citizenry when they can be candid and honest without reservation in conducting the people’s business,” lawmakers passed the California Whistleblower Protection Act in 1999. The idea was to protect workers who report misconduct, so that they can blow the whistle on bad actors without losing their jobs. The bill at that time covered workers at state agencies and California’s two public university systems. Lawmakers expanded it in 2010 to cover employees of the state’s courts. But one group of California government workers has never had whistleblower protection under the law: those who work for the lawmakers themselves. It’s an example of how the Legislature sometimes imposes laws on other people that it doesn’t adhere to itself.…