February 23, 2012 archive

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca Supports Driver’s Licenses for Illegal Immigrants


Los Angeles County sheriff Lee Baca

Baca joins Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck in supporting driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said he supports the idea of allowing illegal immigrants to have driver’s licenses as long as they have been in the United States for a number of years without committing other crimes.

Baca’s comments Thursday come as Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck has also expressed support for driver’s license for illegal immigrants.

Baca said such licenses should only be issued after illegal immigrants fill out comprehensive applications, similar to those for citizenship. The sheriff also said the licenses should be up for renewal annually, and be noticeably different than those issued to citizens.

“There’s enough potential for Chief Beck’s idea for it to be explored,” Baca said Thursday.

The sheriff has expressed openness to illegal immigrants being issued driver’s licenses before. In 2002, he supported a proposal to allow the licenses, but to imprint them with a special marker such as the letter “I” for immigrant so police could determine immediately if they were dealing with someone in the country illegally.

At the time, the sheriff was the head of a task force helping then-Gov. Gray Davis craft a plan to allow certain unlawful immigrants to get licenses, a proposal that eventually was scuttled.

Baca emphasized then that many illegal immigrants were already driving without having passed a driver’s test or buying auto insurance.
“At some point in time, we will allow illegal immigrants to have a driver’s license as long as they are trustworthy and non-criminal people,” Baca said at the time.

In an interview Thursday, Baca said he felt the campaign for licenses a decade ago failed because it was not restrictive enough about what types of illegal immigrants it would have applied to.

“You can’t do this en masse and make the average citizen happy,” he said.

No way.

I understand these elected officials who want to pander to the heavily Hispanic Los Angeles County, but there is no way other citizens of California will go for this.

KFI’s John and Ken must be ranting – bring on the referendum – if Jerry Brown ever had the guts to sign such a bill.


AD-44: Welcome Home Assemblyman Jeff Gorell


California Assemblyman Jeff Gorell

My California Assemblyman Jeff Gorell is returning from his deployment in Afghanistan and his friends and family are planning a welcome home party.

From the press release:

Here is the website for the welcome home celebration.

By the way, his wife, Laura will be filing Jeff’s re-election candidacy papers for the newly constituted AD-44.

White the district is competitive, Gorell will have to be considered the front-runner.


Calbuzz Co-Blogger Jerry Roberts May Finally Have Beaten Wendy McCaw


Jerry Roberts

You know I am a closet Calbuzz reader, since Jerry and his partner Phil Trounstine write from the LEFT of center. But, I do enjoy their posts and gives me perspective as a center-right California blogger. Besides that they are OLD, like me.

Anyway, it appears Jerry Roberts may have finally won some money for his troubles with Wendy McCaw and the Santa Barbara News-Press.

We’re in the sixth year since Wendy McCaw plundered the lives of her Santa Barbara News-Press staff, ruined a pretty good newspaper and then, incredibly, sued ex-editor Jerry Roberts for $25 million he didn’t have as a working journalist. McCaw is rich and never had any hope of collecting a cent from Roberts, so her attacks on his integrity always smelled a lot like harassment of Roberts, who has reeked of integrity ever since he and other newsroom leaders resigned in 2006 over the ethics of McCaw and her cronies. McCaw’s expensive legal gymnastics have been rejected at every step. Now today, finally, a California State Court of Appeal has affirmed an arbitrator’s ruling that McCaw owes Roberts $900,000 for all the crap she has put him through.

Some better times ahead for Jerry.

There is more of the story here and here.

Boy, do I hate rich bullies…..


Flap’s California Morning Collection: February 23, 2012


California Mission

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

On to today’s California headlines:

Defense of Marriage Act ruled unconstitutional by judge

A judge on Wednesday declared the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and ordered the federal government to ignore the statute and provide health benefits to the wife of a lesbian federal court employee.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White was the first since the Obama administration announced a year ago that it would no longer defend a law it considers discriminatory and reflective of a long history of denying equal rights to gays and lesbians.

White ordered the federal Office of Personnel Management to enroll the wife of Karen Golinski, an attorney for the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in the health benefits program available to other employees of the federal judiciary. The Defense of Marriage Act prohibits the extension of federal benefits to same-sex spouses, and Golinski’s wife, Amy Cunninghis, had been repeatedly denied coverage since the couple married in 2008.

“The court finds that DOMA, as applied to Ms. Golinski, violates her right to equal protection of the law … without substantial justification or rational basis,” wrote White, who was named to the federal bench a decade ago by President George W. Bush.

White’s ruling echoed that of a Massachusetts judge who in 2010 deemed parts of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, a case now on appeal before the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals.

Ban on sports drinks at CA middle and high schools proposed

Sugary sports drinks would be banned during the school day at middle and high school campuses under legislation proposed this month in the Assembly.

Assembly Bill 1746 would restrict middle and high school sales of sports drinks – called “electrolyte replacement beverages” in the bill – to before and after each school day.

Sports drinks already are prohibited at elementary school campuses, according to Assemblyman Das Williams, a Santa Barbara Democrat who proposed AB 1746. The California Medical Association is among the sponsors of the bill.

CA Finance director pleads no contest to DUI charge

California state finance director Ana Matosantos pleaded no contest Tuesday to driving over the legal limit for alcohol last year in downtown Sacramento.

Matosantos was sentenced by Sacramento Superior Court Judge James P. Arguelles to three years informal probation and two days on the sheriff’s work program, for which she has the option of serving in home detention, according to her lawyer, Megan Virga.

The finance director also was required to complete a three-month DUI program and to pay a fine of $2,200, Virga said. The terms of her plea are standard for first-time offenders.

Field Poll: Obama resurgent in California

President Barack Obama is enjoying a mini-renaissance in California.

Golden State voters are giving him a higher job approval rating and larger margins of victory over potential GOP challengers than they did three months ago. And they are more confident about the future of the nation, according to a new Field Poll.

Obama’s job ratings had slipped below 50 percent last summer in a state dominated by his fellow Democrats. The new poll shows him up to 53 percent approval, still well below a 65 percent peak in 2009.

The president also has widened his lead over potential GOP opponent Mitt Romney. He leads a hypothetical Romney matchup, 55 percent to 35 percent, mostly on the strength of nonpartisans moving to his camp. Similarly, Obama leads former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, 60 percent to 32 percent, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, 56 percent to 33 percent.

Enjoy your morning!


AD-38: Scott Wilk Formally Announces California Assembly Campaign


Scott Wilk at University Center – College Of The Canyons

College of the Canyons Trustee Scott Wilk formally announced his candidacy for the California Assembly yesterday.

Scott Wilk, College of the Canyons trustee and small business owner, formally announced Wednesday that he will be running for the 38th Assembly District during brief ceremony held at College of the Canyons.

In the open June primary, Wilk is expected to face fellow Republicans Patricia McKeon, wife of Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon; local high school board member Paul Strickland; and Democrat and San Fernando Valley businessman Edward Headington. Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, R-Santa Clarita, will be termed out of the office this year.

The top two vote-getters will appear on the November presidential ballot.

Wilk has worked with Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon in the past as a district director. More than 75 people – including several local dignitaries – attended his formal announcement ceremony Wednesday.

Smyth had previously endorsed Wilk to fill his seat once he leaves, and Smyth’s wife, Lena Smyth, announced Wednesday she, too, was endorsing Wilk. Lena Smyth works as an educator at College of the Canyons.

“As an educator, I see firsthand the challenges we face,” Lena Smyth said. “I believe Scott is the right person to guide our state.”

The game is on for Scott Wilk who is deemed by many as the front-runner in this race.

His first goal will be to raise sufficient funds to be in the top two coming out of the June primary election. So, head over to Wilk’s website and send him a few dollars.

Under the new top two system and the political demographic configuration of AD-38, it is possible that two Republicans (Wilk and Patricia McKeon) might emerge to run off in November.

Stay tuned….