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  • State government

Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom on Thursday picked a veteran Capitol staff member to lead his communications shop when he takes office. 

Daniel Zingale, who previously served as Cabinet secretary to Gov. Gray Davis, senior advisor to former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and chief of staff to Maria Shriver, will serve as Newsom’s senior advisor on strategy and communications. 

In addition to Zingale, Newsom filled several other positions in the latest round of hires for his new administration. 

(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

California Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno), who was arrested Monday on suspicion of misdemeanor willful cruelty to a child, said he was taken into custody by police after he spanked his 7-year-old daughter. 

“Like most parents know, kids at times can act out. We had an incident on Sunday night of that. I did discipline my daughter and I spanked her on her bottom,” Arambula said Wednesday, adding that he spanked the child with his hand.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said Tuesday that Fresno’s Dailey Elementary Charter School contacted child protective services Monday after a student walked into the office with an injury from the night before. Officers responded to the school and interviewed the child. Dyer declined to offer any identifying details about the child or to describe the nature of the injury. 

Gavin Newsom, right, was sworn in as lieutenant governor in 2011 by his father, William Newsom.
Gavin Newsom, right, was sworn in as lieutenant governor in 2011 by his father, William Newsom. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

William Newsom III, a retired appellate court justice and father of Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom, died Wednesday at age 84, the governor-elect’s office announced.

“Justice Newsom was a proud, lifelong Californian, a public servant of profound accomplishment and a powerful voice for individual rights and environmental protection,” Nathan Click, a spokesman for the governor-elect, said in a statement.

The elder Newsom was a lifelong resident of San Francisco and was well-connected in the city’s political circles. He was appointed to the Superior Court by Gov. Jerry Brown in 1975, and later was appointed to the Court of Appeal.

State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), left, with then-Assemblyman Tony Thurmond in 2016.
State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), left, with then-Assemblyman Tony Thurmond in 2016. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Californians convicted of serious alcohol-related crimes would lose their firearms for 10 years under legislation proposed Wednesday by state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara).

Jackson’s bill is the latest of a string of gun-control measures proposed after last month’s mass shooting at a Thousand Oaks bar in which 12 people were killed.

Jackson said her bill is based on the findings of a 2017 UC Davis study that found prior convictions for crimes involving alcohol were associated with up to a fivefold increase in the likelihood of arrest for serious offenses including those involving guns.

California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye on Tuesday defended a landmark new state law abolishing money bail, saying it was crafted to ensure courts “do not judge a person based on the size of their wallet or what they have access to in someone else’s wallet.”

Former state Sen. Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) had asked for a partial review of election results that had her losing to Tom Umberg.
Former state Sen. Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) had asked for a partial review of election results that had her losing to Tom Umberg. (Marc Martin / Los Angeles Times)

Democrat Tom Umberg’s election victory will stand in the 34th state Senate District after supporters of losing Republican incumbent Janet Nguyen completed their examination of provisional ballot envelopes, according to Neal Kelley, the Orange County registrar of voters.

Kelley said Tuesday that Nguyen’s supporters did not pursue a recount of any votes after they spent two days examining the envelopes from 13 precincts where Umberg won.

“The vote result will not change,” Kelley said, adding the results, as certified on Nov. 30, stand as official and Nguyen’s camp cannot request further recounts.

  • California Legislature
  • California Democrats
California Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno).
California Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno).

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.”

Former California State Sen. Tony Mendoza.
Former California State Sen. Tony Mendoza. (Steve Yeater)

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. 

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla. (Dylan Stewart / HS Insider)

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.

(Jim Watson / AFP/Getty Images)

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.”