Category Archive: Brad Sherman

Jul 17 2012

Flap’s California Morning Collection: July 17, 2012

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Los Angeles Roadrunners November 26, 2011

Venice Beach, California

The California Legislature is not in session for a summer recess.

The California Assembly has adjourned until August 6, 2012 and the California State Senate is also in adjournment.

The California Assembly’s Daily File is here and the California State Senate’s here.

On to today’s California headlines:

No “T” word, dubious claims in Gov. Brown’s ad for Prop. 30

The campaign to pass Proposition 30 — Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax raising measure — released its first web ad Monday and guess what: Not once is the word “tax” mentioned.
 
The one minute, 39 second ad features people including Merced County Sheriff Mark Pazin and California Federation of Teachers secretary treasurer Jeff Freitas, along with others, talking about Brown’s actions so far in office, such as his vetoing a budget last year and cutting back on state issued cell phones and cars.
 
Translation: You can trust Brown with your tax money, though, again, the T-word never comes up. In its place are “the plan asks the wealthiest to pay their fair share” and that it “asks everyone to do their part.”
 
Prop. 30 would increase the sales tax by a quarter of a percentage point for four years and increases the personal income rate on a sliding scale for those making more than $250,000 per year. The income tax increase would be in place seven years. You can read a detailed breakdown here.

Former Gov. Gray Davis: centrist politicians ‘are toast today’

Can centrist politicians survive and thrive in today’s political climate?

Former California Gov. Gray Davis doesn’t think so.

“Those people are toast today,” the California Democrat said in a taped interview that first aired yesterday, describing his own ideological score as governor as “left of center, maybe a moderate liberal.”

Davis made his comments in an interview that aired at the end of “Chasing the Hill,” a Web-based series that debuted Sunday. The political drama chronicles a fictional California congresswoman’s tough re-election fight in the primary.

Davis, who has been active in California politics since the 1970s, said he’s seen partisan gridlock get worse over the years, saying the “the heightened partisan divide has made governing extraordinarily difficult.”

“You have to either be on the left or the right or else you end up with both sides shooting arrows at you,” he said.

Howard Berman outraises Brad Sherman but still lags in cash on hand

The weekend brought good news and bad for Rep. Howard Berman, who is gripped in a tough race against fellow Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman for a San Fernando Valley congressional seat.

The latest campaign finance reports showed Berman has outpaced Sherman in fundraising since the 2012 election cycle began. Berman added some $500,000 to his coffers during the latest reporting period, bringing the total raised to almost $3.5 million. Sherman has reported collecting more than $2.7 million altogether. But, because he had stockpiled funds raised earlier and lent himself $700,000, Sherman has much more money in the bank—more than $3 million, compared with Berman’s $447,000—as the competitors move into the final months before the Nov. 6 election.

The so-called “super-PAC” supporting Berman, the Committee to Elect and Effective Valley Congressman, reported it was down to $7,800 cash on hand and was nearly $48,000 in debt. The group, which is allowed to raise and spend unlimited amounts from donors so long as it does not coordinate its efforts with the candidate’s campaign, spent nearly $600,000 to support Berman during the primary.

Also Sunday, the Berman campaign fell just short of getting the 60% of delegates needed to win an official endorsement from the California Democratic Party. The 58.5%,  compared with Sherman’s 23.4%, certainly gives Berman bragging rights—Berman on Monday called the margin “a clear sign of our campaign’s momentum.” But it wasn’t enough to win him the money, campaign volunteers and other help an official endorsement could have brought.


Rep. McCarthy comes to town, trashes bullet train

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the third-ranking House Republican, came to town for lunch at Costa Mesa’s Center Club and didn’t hesitate to trash the same high-speed rail plan supported by his lunch host.

The majority whip from Bakersfield spoke to the midday gathering of the Orange County Business Council and the OC Forum, displaying a sharp wit and offering an explanation for Washington’s high level of partisanship. But let’s start with his attack on California’s high-speed rail, which is endorsed by OCBC President Lucy Dunn.

“It’s not the right time or the right approach,” McCarthy said during the question-and-answer period, expressing particular concern about there being just $8 billion available at the moment for a project that will cost well over $50 billion. “I want a new house but I can’t afford one. So do I go buy a front door?”

After lunch, I asked Dunn about McCarthy’s comments.

“Having every dollar in the bank before you begin – that’s not how infrastructure gets built, ” said the Republican, who served as director of the state Department of Housing and Community Development under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. “I really admire Kevin McCarthy… but I’m much more realistic about infrastructure getting built and not so political.”

I  then got a chance to sit down with McCarthy and read him Dunn’s comments. He argued that highways and airports have ongoing funding sources to cover their costs, pointing to gas taxes and flight surcharges. (He didn’t mention local measures, like Orange County’s Measure M half-cent sales tax. Measure M raised $4 billion in its first 20 years and could raise $15 billion over the next 30 years and is a key source of funding for freeway improvements and other transportation projects.)

“If you’re going to build a road, you pay a gasoline tax,” he said. “If you’re going to build an airport, you pay taxes on tickets. High-speed rail will not pay for itself – it needs subsidies.”

Enjoy your morning and Dan Walters Daily video: Will CalPERS’ low earnings boost Jerry Brown?

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May 23 2012

Flap’s California Morning Collection: May 23, 2012

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Mission San Carlos Borroméo del río Carmelo, Carmel, California

Good Tuesday morning!

The California Legislature is in session.  Today’s schedule is here.

The California Assembly’s Daily File is here and the California State Senate’s here.

President Obama and Republican Speaker Boehner are in California today hitting up donors for campaign cash.

President Barack Obama is back in California for the second time this month, scheduled for two campaign fundraisers this evening in the Bay Area.

First up, dinner in Atherton where tickets cost $38,500 a pop, then a reception at the Fox Theater in Redwood City, where tickets start at $250 and Ben Harper is scheduled to play. Obama won’t be venturing any farther east than that before Air Force One heads out on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Republican House Speaker John Boehner will be in the Bay Area himself tonight at a fundraiser co-hosted by California Reps. Jeff Denham, Dan Lungren, Wally Herger and David Dreier. Tickets top out at $35,800 for the reception at Stacey and Tom Siebel’s Woodside home.

On to today’s California headlines:

Brown makes pitch to business leaders for tax hikes

Gov. Jerry Brown hopes that if he can convince business leaders to support his tax-hike initiative, otherwise skeptical voters might just go along with it.

But, he acknowledged Tuesday, it won’t be easy for business groups to go against their philosophy of resisting taxes, so he called on them to “think of something larger than just your small place, wherever you are” to help the state get out from underneath a $15.7 billion deficit.

“This is a bigger challenge than usual, but California is the biggest state and certainly the most creative and most dynamic,” he said in a 25-minute address to the state Chamber of Commerce’s 87th annual Host Breakfast. “But along with innovation, we have to have another virtue — and that’s called courage.”

Since he released his revised budget last week, the governor has been fending off criticism within the state and outside. Conservatives derided his budget, saying California is going the way of Greece, a nation forced to take drastic action to avoid default.

Dan Walters: Jerry Brown struggles on three fronts on state budget

As the state budget’s deficit widens, Gov. Jerry Brown is being thrust into a three-front political battle.

He must not only persuade voters to pass his sales and income tax package, but, implicitly, persuade them to reject a rival tax measure just for schools.

Meanwhile, Brown is pressing liberal Democratic legislators to ignore their political DNA by making deeper cuts in health and welfare programs, not only to close the deficit but to bolster appeals to voters for new taxes.

“It’s not easy,” Brown told hundreds of business and civic figures gathered Tuesday in Sacramento for the annual Host Breakfast.

“We’re getting there,” Brown continued. “We’re making the cuts. But we also need the revenues.”

Brown had been cultivating business groups to support his original tax plan, but they cooled when he shifted gears to satisfy rivals on the left, reducing the sales tax element and sharply boosting income taxes on high-income taxpayers, including many attendees at Tuesday’s event.

California Legislative Analyst OKs mortgage settlement cash shift

Part of California’s share of a national legal settlement with five big mortgage banks can be used to help fill a $15.7-billion hole in the governor’s proposed budget, the state Legislature’s non-partisan policy advisor recommended.

The Legislative Analyst’s Office on Tuesday reported that the $411 million should be used for a variety of general purposes in the current spending year and the one that begins July 1.

Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris, who reached the settlement with other state chief law officers, wanted to use about one-tenth of the $411 million to defray her department’s legal costs and the balance on mortgage-related financial counseling and education.

The bulk of California’s share of the settlement money, $17.6 billion, is not being sought by Gov. Jerry Brown. The funds are earmarked to provide direct benefits to homeowners trying to lower payments on their mortgages. It also will cover damages for borrowers who were unfairly or illegally foreclosed upon during the recession of 2007-09 and its aftermath.

But Brown announced that he wants to use the $411 million to pay interest on housing bonds and to fund housing anti-discrimination programs.

In a report to lawmakers, the analyst’s office report stressed that grabbing the settlement money “makes sense given the state’s fiscal situation” because “the settlement provides damages that were awarded directly to the state that are not being held in trust for particular individuals.”

Howard Berman, Brad Sherman jockey over credit for 405 Freeway expansion

Congressmen Howard Berman and Brad Sherman – locked in a heated congressional race – tussled Tuesday over which politician is responsible for the recent expansion of the 405 Freeway.

Both politicians helped secure funds for the 405 widening near the Ventura (101) Freeway, but it’s unclear which did more of the heavy lifting to make the expansion a reality.

Berman appeared Tuesday at a press event overlooking the traffic-clogged 405 to argue he was responsible for securing $130 million in federal funds that kick-started the project.

“It was a great victory,” Berman said, looking down at the 405 from atop the Sherman Oaks Galleria. “(Valley residents) might not feel that victory now, but when this project is completed, they will see the wisdom.”

The highway widening, planned decades ago, has become an unexpected campaign issue between Berman and Sherman.

The two longtime incumbent Democrats are pitted against each other in the June 5 primary after the redistricting process put them both in the same 30th Congressional District. The race also includes Republican candidates Mark Reed and Susan Shelley. The top two vote-getters will move on to the general election in November.

Enjoy your morning and Dan Walters’ Daily video:Prop. 29 would raise over $700 million a year

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Apr 04 2012

Flap’s California Morning Collection: April 4, 2012

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Santa Monica, California

Good Wednesday morning!

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.


Proposition 8 campaign architect leaves Sacramento firm

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.”

Besieged California marijuana advocate vows to ‘fight on’

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!”

California: Brad Sherman Leads Howard Berman in Internal Poll

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:

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Feb 22 2012

CA-30: Sen Barbara Boxer Endorses Rep Howard Berman

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Rep. Howard Berman

California Senator Barbara Boxer has entered the Democratic Party intra-fight in the San Fernando Valley by endorsing Rep. Howard Berman.

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California) has decided to endorse Rep. Howard Berman (D-Valley Village) in his bruising intraparty fight with Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) for a newly drawn San Fernando Valley congressional district seat.

In a letter  to Berman dated Monday, Boxer said she was abandoning her position of neutrality because of a mailer the Sherman campaign sent out which Boxer said “outrageously tries to connect you to the San Bruno tragedy.”

The Sherman campaign sent the mailer to call attention to an independent expenditure by a PG&E, which has contributed $10,000 to support Berman.  PG&E is operating as a “super PAC” — a corporate campaign organization that can spend unlimited amounts for or against candidates so long as they do not coordinate with the candidate they are supporting.  At least one other super PAC has contributed to elect Berman.

Sherman has urged Berman to sign a pledge aimed at neutralizing Super PACs, which Sherman expects to play a big role helping reelect Berman over himself.  Berman so far  has ignored Sherman’s entreaty to “sign the pledge.”

The mailer refers to 2010’s PG&E pipeline explosion in San Bruno that killed eight people, injured others and leveled homes.  “Instead of spending money to make their pipelines safer, PG&E is donating to a Super Pac set up to elected Congressman Howard Berman,” the mailer says.

California’s senior Senator Democrat Dianne Feinstein has already endorsed Rep. Berman.

One has to wonder at this point whether Rep. Brad Sherman may be reconsidering his decision to not move to Thousand Oaks or Oak Park and run in CA-26?

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Feb 20 2012

CA-30: Rep Brad Sherman Will Face Off Against Rep Howard Berman and NOT Move to Thousand Oaks

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Guess Rep. Brad Sherman does not want to move out to Ventura County and will stay put in the Valley.

The congressman isn’t trading Sherman Oaks for Thousand Oaks, according to Sherman’s campaign consultant, Parke Skelton.

“No, Brad Sherman is not running in the 26th,” Skelton said in an email Friday.

So it’s on to Tuesday night, when Sherman and Berman are scheduled to square off in their second debate of the campaign, a forum sponsored by the Jewish Journal.

Republican California State Senator Tony Strickland has to be considered the front-runner in the CA-26 race (Ventura County) and will face NO incumbent Congressional incumbent.

Looks like this seat will remain Republican.

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