Santa Monica, California
The California Legislature is adjourned for Spring/Easter break and will resume on April 9, 2012.
On to today’s California headlines:
Santa Monica College to probe campus police use of pepper spray on students
Santa Monica College officials plan to launch an investigation into a clash in which campus police used pepper spray on a group of disgruntled students outside a Board of Trustees meeting, a college spokesman said today.
About 30 students were treated for pepper spray exposure outside a board meeting room Tuesday evening, and three people were taken to hospitals, said Capt. Judah Mitchell of the Santa Monica Fire Department.
More than 100 students converged Tuesday evening on the meeting room where the trustees and several college administrators were discussing a two-tiered system of fees due to go into effect this summer, significantly increasing the cost of attending the college, said Patty Del Valle, a counselor at the college.
The meeting room was too small to hold all the students expected to attend, so an adjacent overflow room was opened, equipped with a closed-circuit video link, said college Public Information Officer Bruce Smith.
But the students wanted to express their displeasure in person, and when some of them attempted to get into the board meeting room, police used pepper spray on them, he said.
The pepper spraying and what led to it will be the subject of an investigation, according to Smith, who said officials of the two-year college probably would issue a statement and possibly hold a news conference today.
Campus police tried to limit the number of students inside the board meeting room to about 12 or 13 people, Del Valle said. Some students shouted “Shame on you,” and “Let us in.”
“The crowd was very spirited . There was some degree of turmoil,” Smith said, adding that no arrests were made.
Mitchell estimated about 200 students came to the meeting to protest. Smith put the number at a little over 100.
Sacramento political consultant Frank Schubert, who guided Proposition 8’s ban on same-sex marriage to victory in 2008, announced today that he is leaving the firm he founded.
Schubert suggested his advocacy for conservative causes — opposing abortion rights and same-sex marriage — was hindering Schubert Flint Public Affairs’ work with corporate clients.
Schubert was back in the news this year with the release of “Question One — The Battle for Same-Sex Marriage in America,” a documentary about his work on the Maine ballot measure to repeal a same-sex marriage law passed by the Legislature in 2009.
Schubert said his new company — Mission: Public Affairs LLC — will work on national “conservative and social issues.”
A day after federal agents rousted him from his apartment and seized his famed Oakland cannabis college, a renowned California marijuana advocate said Tuesday he knows “they can indict me any day” and “arrest me any time.”
So Richard Lee, the founder of Oaksterdam University and the architect of an unsuccessful 2010 ballot measure to legalize marijuana for recreational use in California, hid in plain sight Tuesday.
He quietly pushed his wheelchair to the base of San Francisco City Hall, where hundreds of people, waving signs reading “Cannabis is Medicine,” barely noticed him as speakers made fiery condemnations of a months-long U.S. government crackdown on medical marijuana businesses in the state.
The rally, scheduled before Monday’s raid of Lee’s properties, was staged to protest property forfeiture letters targeting landlords of medical marijuana dispensaries in San Francisco. Members of the city’s Board of Supervisors promised to expedite permits for marijuana stores seeking to reopen in new locations if they are closed by the U.S. government.
Meanwhile, the crowd, which later marched on the nearby U.S. courthouse here, chanted, “Stop the war on Oakland!”
An internal poll for California Rep. Brad Sherman found him ahead of fellow Democratic Rep. Howard Berman by 27 points in a potential general election matchup that is expected to be a close race as November nears.
Sherman took 52 percent to 25 percent for Berman, while 23 percent remained undecided in the poll conducted by the Feldman Group. In the top-two primary, Sherman led with 40 percent, followed by Berman with 17 percent and Republican businessman Mark Reed with 12 percent. Another Democrat, two Republicans and a Green Party member totaled 13 percent, while 20 percent were undecided.
The survey of 500 likely primary voters was conducted March 26-28 and had a 4.4-point margin of error. The results were similar to a Feldman Group poll conducted for Sherman in August.
“Sherman remains better known and more popular in the San Fernando Valley, especially in the portion of the district that he represents now, which has almost double the number of voters as Berman’s current district,” Diane Feldman said in a polling memo.
Sherman currently represents just more than half of the redrawn 30th district, which includes the homes of both members of the Foreign Affairs Committee. They opted not to run in neighboring districts to avoid the matchup, and both are likely to advance beyond the June 5 all-party primary and continue the contentious campaign through November.
Enjoy your morning!
Lastly, Dan Walter’s discusses all of that California Lottery money going to California schools: