Fresno police arrested California Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) on Monday on a misdemeanor charge of willful cruelty to a child.
The arrest was made after police were contacted by Child Protective Services, which reported that a student at Fresno’s Dailey Elementary Charter School walked into the campus’ administrative office with an injury that occurred the night before, according to Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.
“The victim provided the officers with the circumstances around how the injury occurred and who was responsible for that injury,” Dyer said. “The person responsible for that injury was determined to be Joaquin Arambula.”
A Superior Court judge has denied the California Senate’s request to dismiss a retaliation and defamation lawsuit filed by an employee of former Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia).
In a ruling issued Friday, the court rejected the state Senate’s arguments that a signed severance agreement bars the staff member, Adriana Ruelas, from filing a lawsuit and that the institution is immune to defamation claims under government tort law.
Ruelas filed the lawsuit in April alleging the Senate fired her in September 2017 after she blew the whistle on Mendoza for allegedly harassing a young woman assigned to work in his office as part of a fellowship program. The ruling allows Ruelas to move forward with her case against the upper house.
The morning after the Nov. 6 congressional midterm election in California, state, county and media websites reported that 100% of precincts had turned in their results.
It was highly misleading: The final tally, released Friday, showed that a staggering 5.2 million of the 12.1 million ballots cast — 43% — remained uncounted that morning. Most of the outstanding votes were from mail ballots.
The website charts listing results from “100 percent” of the precincts feed public mistrust in the counting despite California’s stringent protections of ballot integrity, said Mindy Romero, the director of USC’s California Civic Engagement Project, a nonpartisan research center in Sacramento.
Five former political directors of the California Republican Party have called on state GOP leadership to renounce nationalist speech used by President Trump as well as candidates who embrace “messages of hatred, division and rhetoric that divides us by race.”
A letter sent Friday to the party’s board of directors blamed Trump for the GOP’s stinging losses on election day in California. It said the California GOP must return to its conservative roots to have any hope of reviving the Republican Party in the state.
“This election proved that choosing Nationalism over Conservatism is a losing proposition. President Trump’s nationalist rhetoric has alienated far more than the diverse electorate that turned out to oppose him on election night — Republicans abandoned Republicans in historic numbers as well,” the letter said. “It is our hope that you will publicly renounce the nationalism metastasizing in the party, advance the cause of conservatism and return the greatness to our Grand Old Party.”
Groups seeking a change in the law or California’s Constitution will find it significantly harder — and more costly — to qualify ballot measures beginning next year, following high voter turnout for the Nov. 6 statewide election.
State law links the number of voter signatures required on an initiative or referendum to the total number of votes cast in the most recent election of a governor. The threshold for qualifying a measure was at its lowest point in decades for elections in 2016 and 2018, after record low turnout in 2014 for the reelection of Gov. Jerry Brown.
Last month’s election, however, saw more than 12.4 million votes cast in the race between Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom and Republican businessman John Cox. By law, proponents of an initiative must gather signatures equal to either 5% or 8% of the total votes cast in the gubernatorial contest — depending on whether the initiative seeks to create a statute or a constitutional amendment. A ballot referendum, which asks voters to overturn a law passed by the Legislature, requires signatures equal to 5% of the governor’s race votes.
Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom spent Friday in Fresno reassuring business, agricultural and labor leaders of his commitment to the Central Valley, and dropped a few hints that his first budget will set aside more money for young children and to address contaminated drinking water in the region.
Newsom, who will take the oath of office on Jan. 7, also told a packed union hall at the Teamsters Local 431 that under his administration, California will become an assertive and aggressive voice in the nationwide debate over immigration.
Last week, Newsom visited a immigrant detention facility near the U.S.-Mexico border and accused federal officials of treating immigrants seeking asylum “like trash.”
State officials on Friday moved ahead with a plan to allow marijuana deliveries to homes throughout California, including in cities that have outlawed pot shops.
The state Bureau of Cannabis Control said it sent the proposed rules to the state’s Office of Administrative Law, which has 30 days to conduct a routine review of their legality before the regulations become final in January.
The proposed rule has been vigorously opposed by the California Police Chiefs Assn. and the League of California Cities.
Days after Democrat Tom Umberg took the oath of office as the winner of the state’s 34th Senate District seat, Orange County elections officials said Friday that Republican incumbent Janet Nguyen’s camp has asked for a partial recount of the tally in their portion of the district.
Districtwide, Umberg has 3,088 votes more than Nguyen, a Garden Grove resident, but Nguyen received two more votes than the challenger in Orange County — 118,125 for Nguyen to 118,123 for Umberg.
The district also includes part of Long Beach in Los Angeles County, which put Umberg, a former state assemblyman from Santa Ana, over the top in the Nov. 6 election.
Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom has hired a civil rights attorney to head legal affairs as he continues to shape the starting roster of his new administration.
Catherine E. Lhamon currently serves as the chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, a position former President Obama appointed her to in 2016.
As Newsom’s in-house lawyer, a legal affairs secretary traditionally advises the governor on legislation and judicial appointments, crafts guidance for the executive branch and oversees pardons and paroles, among other duties.