CVIndependent

Tue09252018

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Politics

28 May 2018
In his year-and-a-half as California’s attorney general, Democrat Xavier Becerra has made a full-time job of fighting the Trump administration—filing more than 30 lawsuits to defend the environment, immigrants, birth-control access and more. Which makes it odd that when Becerra’s supporters bought TV time to air a campaign commercial for him, they chose the most Trump-boosting network around: Fox News. The ad spends 15 seconds describing Becerra in ways that likely repel the typical Fox viewer, saying he is “leading the resistance, defending Dreamers, stopping the wall, taking on the NRA.” But the other 15 seconds hails one of Becerra’s Republican opponents, Steven Bailey, as the “pro-gun, pro-life” candidate who “stands with President Trump (and) opposes sanctuary cities.” It’s the latest in a series of…
23 May 2018
On Nov. 6, Indio voters will cast their ballots in the city’s first district-based elections, after the City Council moved away from “at large” or city-wide elections under the threat of a lawsuit to force compliance with the California Voting Rights Act of 2001. Of the five districts newly established in Indio, District 2 is the home of the race that’s generating the most early interest. The final candidate pool will not be established until August, but so far, two candidates have announced an intention to run: the incumbent and current mayor, Mike Wilson, who has been on the council since 1995; and political newcomer and lifetime Indio resident Waymond Fermon. In many respects, the two candidates are polar opposites. Wilson, a self-described conservative Republican,…
23 May 2018
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Lisa Middleton got more than 7,000 votes to lead the way in last year’s at-large Palm Springs City Council election, becoming the first openly transgender person to be elected to a non-judicial office in the state of California. That may have been the last at-large City Council election that Palm Springs will ever hold. The city of Palm Springs—like other jurisdictions across the state that currently don’t elect representatives in district-based elections—has received a letter from Shenkman and Hughes, a Malibu-based law firm representing the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, claiming the city is violating California Voting Rights Act of 2001. The Southwest Voter Registration Education Project aspires to increase the presence of Latino candidates in municipal elections. Indio and Cathedral City, facing similar threats,…
21 May 2018
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The Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla., in February changed something among many young people in the United States. First came the March for Our Lives protests on March 24, with teens around the country organizing and speaking out in favor of tighter gun-control laws. Now those same youngsters, as they turn 18, are registering to vote—and trying to put political pressure on congressional leaders who oppose stricter gun-control laws. Matthew Chang, a senior at Palm Desert High School, is one of those teens: He helped mount a voter-registration drive among his classmates. “It was very successful,” Chang said. “During the days we had the drive, we registered about 35 people to vote, and then we worked in conjunction with a club that…
10 May 2018
Lobbyists in slick pinstriped suits and burly veterans with tattooed arms crowded into a Capitol hearing room earlier this month as lawmakers considered a bill to make it easier for Californians to buy legal marijuana. One supporter said people need more access to the “beautiful sacred plant.” But at its core, this was a business dispute—a question of whether legislators would allow cannabis companies to reach more customers, and make more money. The committee passed Senate Bill 1302—to stop cities from banning delivery services that sell pot to customers at their doorsteps—despite objections from cities and counties that favor local control. And the standing-room-only crowd that showed up to push for it revealed the new reality in California, where cannabis interests have become a formidable…
23 Apr 2018
On May 9, 2017, Gov. Jerry Brown appointed former state assemblymember V. Manuel Perez to serve the remainder of the term of the late John Benoit, the Riverside County District 4 supervisor. On June 5, Perez will attempt to hold on to the seat, but he’s facing a formidable challenge from Palm Desert City Councilmember Jan Harnik. While June 5 is considered the primary election, these two experienced Coachella Valley politicos will get no primary testing ground—because in their two-person race, one of them will almost certainly get a majority of the vote, avoiding a general-election contest and getting elected to a new four-year term. “I think it’s important that people realize the magnitude of what this (campaign) means for the 4th District and for…
16 Mar 2018
An independent political action committee paid for an ad slamming Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom—partly with money from groups that are backing his run for governor. Welcome to the wild ways of campaign money, circa 2018. The ad comes courtesy of the Asian American Small Business Political Action Committee, one of scores of campaign organizations that, by law, must be disconnected from candidates who may benefit from their spending. Its name aside, the Asian American Small Business PAC is funded by Chevron, AT&T, Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison and many other big business and labor organizations that are political players in Sacramento. The anti-Newsom ad, like many of its ilk, employs ominous music, fuzzed-up photos and a narrator who uses innuendo as she cites …
08 Mar 2018
A day after the Trump administration sued California over its new “sanctuary” laws, state officials pushed back hard, with Gov. Jerry Brown calling the move tantamount to “war.” U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the lawsuit, which he filed late Tuesday, at a police event near the Capitol in Sacramento on Wednesday. He said California leaders were scoring political points on the backs of law enforcement with immigration policies that hinder federal agents’ ability to enforce U.S. law. “We’re simply asking the state and other sanctuary jurisdictions to stop actively obstructing federal law enforcement,” Sessions said as hundreds of protesters shouted outside. “Stop treating immigration agents differently from everybody else for the purpose of eviscerating border and immigration laws, and advancing an open-borders philosophy shared…