Cars and trucks are the largest source of California’s greenhouse gas emissions. Essential to meeting the state’s ambitious climate change goals, academics and other researchers have said, is to reduce the number of cars on the road by building new homes in already populated areas near jobs and transit.
Environmental groups have different perspectives on linking the cause of climate change to housing. On this week’s “Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Pod,” we dig deep into the intersections between environmentalism and development and focus on reaction to a proposal from Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco).
Wiener’s legislation, Senate Bill 827, would allow for a dramatic increase in housing development near major transit stops. But the Sierra Club California opposes the measure, arguing, among other reasons, that it would make it harder to build new transit and increase displacement of low-income residents. Ethan Elkind, director of the Climate Program at the UC Berkeley School of Law, joins the podcast and argues against the Sierra Club’s position and talks broadly about the environmental effects of growth.
Fresno County Deputy Dist. Atty. Andrew Janz, a Democrat, said that as of Wednesday night he had brought in a little over $65,000 over the last seven days while the memo has been in the news. That $65,000 is more than half as much as Janz reported raising in the previous three months.
“Congressman Nunes has given me the best gift a first-time candidate with almost no name recognition can receive, he has made himself the poster boy for what’s wrong with Congress and put a national target on his back,” Janz said in a statement.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says fellow Californian Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) should lose the chairmanship of the powerful House Intelligence Committee over his handling of the Russia investigation and a memo Republicans say discredits the FBI’s role in a separate investigation.
California taxpayers are on the hook for more than $91.5 billion to provide health and dental benefits to state government workers when they retire, according to a report issued Wednesday by the state controller’s office.
That’s a substantial increase from last year’s estimate, a result of changes in the way the total debt is calculated and changes in the projected cost of healthcare in the coming decades.
Last year’s report put the total liability at just under $77 billion. The estimates are a reflection of what the benefits to state government workers— which are in addition to cash from pensions — would cost in present-day dollars. The debt, Controller Betty Yee said in a statement, will “remain a paramount fiscal challenge over the next three decades.”
State Senate leader Kevin de León, a Democrat who is challenging Sen. Dianne Feinstein, kicked off 2018 with a tiny fraction of the money the veteran lawmaker has in the bank, according to federal fundraising documents filed Thursday.
De León reported raising nearly $434,000 and spending nearly $75,000 between entering the race on Oct. 15 and the end of 2017. He reported starting the new year with nearly $360,000 cash on hand, and more than $41,000 in debts.
In contrast, Feinstein reported having nearly $10 million in the bank, including a $5-million loan the Democrat made to her campaign in the final quarter of 2017.
Fueled by activity from the oil industry attempting to influence the cap-and-trade debate, interest groups spent a record of more than $339 million lobbying California government officials last year.
The spending activity to influence elected officials and bureaucrats far exceeds the previous record of $314.7 million in 2015, new lobbying reports show.
Those reports also shed more light on how interest groups have expanded their “scope and sophistication” beyond sending a lobbyist to a public official’s office, according to Jodi Remke, chairwoman of the state Fair Political Practices Commission.
State Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra maintained his large political fundraising lead over five possible challengers in the June 2018 primary, with the incumbent reporting he brought in $4 million last year, according to campaign disclosure reports filed Wednesday.
Becerra, a Democrat, is seeking election as attorney general after he was appointed to the post by Gov. Jerry Brown in December 2016 to serve the remainder of the term of Kamala Harris, who left the office when she was elected to the U.S. Senate.
State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, a fellow Democrat, has the second largest campaign fund among candidates for attorney general. He has raised $2 million for the contest and had $1.5 million left in the bank at the end of the year, compared to $3.1 million in cash left in Becerra’s account.
Gavin Newsom remains the dominant front-runner in fundraising in the California gubernatorial campaign, reporting nearly $16.7 million in cash on hand as the year started, according to disclosure documents filed with the state on Wednesday.
That’s more than all his gubernatorial rivals combined, and it’s a notable shift for a candidate who dropped out of the 2010 governor’s race in part because he was a lackluster fundraiser.
Newsom’s cash-on-hand figure is more than double what his nearest Democratic rivals – state Treasurer John Chiang and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa – each have in the bank, according to filings at the California secretary of state’s office.