GOP gubernatorial candidate John Cox on Thursday called for reducing regulations and repealing and replacing a longtime state environmental law to decrease income inequality in California.
“The inequality gap in this country is all about the crushing regulations, not least of which in California is CEQA,” or the California Environmental Quality Act, Cox said at the California Economic Summit in San Diego. The law “has basically crushed the ability of people to start their own business,” he said.
The 1970 law is the state’s primary environmental law governing development, which requires developers to disclose and minimize a project’s impact on the environment. It is blamed by many as overly onerous and partly responsible for the state’s housing crisis.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer on Thursday held up his city as an example of what can be accomplished when elected leaders put aside politics and focus on the housing, workforce and water needs facing their region.
“It shouldn’t matter if you’re Republican, Democrat or independent — what’s the right thing we need to be doing for our city? What’s the right thing we need to be doing for our state, for our economy?” Faulconer said at the opening session of the California Economic Summit.
The event is a gathering of state civic and business leaders whose goals are to train 1 million new skilled workers, build 1 million new homes, and to capture and reuse 10 million acre-feet of water over the next decade.
The California Republican Party has spent $822,000 on a petition drive for a recall election against State Sen. Josh Newman, while the Democratic lawmaker from Fullerton has raised $1.8 million to fight the effort to remove him from office, according to campaign finance reports.
The state party has submitted enough signatures to qualify a recall measure for the ballot, but the state is conducting a review of the cost of the recall before calling an election. Republicans say Newman should be recalled for voting to increase the state gas tax in April, but the party also sees the chance to deprive Democrats of a two-thirds majority in the Senate by removing Newman.
In addition to the petition costs borne by the state GOP, a separate committee sponsored by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. has so far raised $126,225 to campaign for Newman’s ouster.
State Treasurer and candidate for governor John Chiang has launched a website attacking the record of Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the front-runner in the race.
Chiang's political consultant, Parke Skelton, on Thursday tweeted out a link to www.gavinfacts.com, which the campaign says will "give California voters the facts about Gavin Newsom’s record, as Mayor and as Lieutenant Governor.” Chiang also tweeted a link to the site, then appeared to delete the tweet. After he was criticized by the Newsom campaign for deleting his tweet, Chiang sent out a new tweet highlighting the website.
The site highlights a 2009 San Francisco Weekly article critiquing Newsom’s tenure as mayor of the city. The headline: "Why was Mayor Gavin Newsom's San Francisco Called 'the Worst Run Big City' in the U.S.?"
Corporations, unions and other interests spent $86.2 million on lobbying state government during the last quarter, with the oil industry leading the way as the Legislature approved an extension of California’s cap-and-trade program.
So far this year, $256 million has been spent lobbying state government, according to financial disclosure statements filed this week.
For the three-month period ending Sept. 30, the Western States Petroleum Assn. and Chevron were the top two spenders on lobbying, paying out $2.2 million and $1.1 million, respectively.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) said the state's Republican members are lining up "like lemmings" to support a tax bill Democrats say will harm their constituents.
"For California it is devastating," Pelosi said. "The Republicans from California have gone straight down the line like lemmings to the sea to vote against the interest of their constituents, against the interest of our state."
Reps. Dana Rohrabacher of Costa Mesa and Darrell Issa of Vista, both vulnerable Republican House members who represent districts in Orange County, reiterated their opposition to the tax hike in separate statements Wednesday.
Issa called the tax increase "misguided" and called for its repeal, and Rohrabacher predicted the "beginning of a new tax revolt."
The chairman of the California Democratic Party said a Pacoima Assemblyman accused of groping a woman must “come to terms” over whether he can continue serving.
Party leader Eric Bauman stopped short of indicating whether he thought the state lawmaker, Democrat Raul Bocanegra, should step down. Bauman added that Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) should help Bocanegra decide on “what his future is going to be.”
“I think Assemblyman Bocanegra needs to look into his own heart and decide what he’s going to do,” Bauman said.