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January 31, 2014 | By Joseph Tanfani, Maeve Reston and Mark Z. Barabak
A former close aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said through his attorney that the governor knew about the closures of lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge as they were happening, disputing Christie's assertion that he only learned about the traffic mess later. A lawyer for David Wildstein, who engineered the lane closures while working as a Christie appointee at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said in a letter that the closures came "at the Christie administration's order.
January 30, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
One thing is clear about the revocation of a film's Oscar nomination: It almost never happens. The nullification Tuesday night of an original song nomination for the composer and lyricist of "Alone Yet Not Alone" - an arrangement sung by a quadriplegic pastor in a faith-based movie of the same name - is only the fourth instance of an Oscar nomination being rescinded in the awards' 86-year history. It is the first time an Oscar nomination has been rescinded from a full-length U.S. feature (the other instances involved shorts, docs or foreign films)
January 23, 2014 | By Seema Mehta
Facing a daunting effort to unseat Gov. Jerry Brown, Republican activists in California are openly worrying about whether the party's donors, elected leaders and voters will embrace any of the GOP gubernatorial candidates. If Neel Kashkari or Tim Donnelly - the two major GOP candidates hoping to challenge Brown in November - do not receive enough support to gain momentum, critical races across the state could be lost. They include several tight congressional races that could affect the party's level of power in Washington and enough state legislative contests to affect Republicans' ability to increase their voice in Sacramento by breaking the Democrats' supermajorities there.
January 23, 2014 | By Paige St. John
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown has again asked federal judges for more time to reduce crowding in California's prisons and, in an about-face, proposed to free inmates early if he misses an extended deadline. California is under orders to remove thousands of inmates from state lockups by April 18, a deadline already delayed more than a year. In papers filed in U.S. District Court on Thursday, Brown asked for an additional two years. That is "the minimum length of time needed to allow new reform measures to responsibly draw down the prison population while avoiding the early release of inmates," the documents say. Brown has declared repeatedly that releasing prisoners early would jeopardize public safety.
January 22, 2014 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO - So the state of the state's governor is static - at least until he is safely reelected. Until the election year blows over, Gov. Jerry Brown is stationary - in a crouch, protecting himself politically, satisfied with the status quo. In his 30th year in elective office - 12th as governor, after failing in three bids for the presidency and one for the U.S. Senate, and growing up watching his politician father - Brown is instinctively cautious...
January 21, 2014 | By Anthony York
SACRAMENTO - With the state's finances in the black and a probable reelection bid to come, Gov. Jerry Brown's State of the State address Wednesday is expected to hew to a familiar theme: Stay the course. As with the budget blueprint that Brown introduced recently, his address to a joint session of the Legislature is likely to highlight the state's improving financial health and his accomplishments of the last three years. "That's his reelection message: progress," predicted Bill Whalen, a fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution who was a speechwriter for former Republican Gov. Pete Wilson.
January 21, 2014 | By Seema Mehta and Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO - Former U.S. Treasury official Neel Kashkari announced Tuesday that he is running for governor, arguing that the status quo is failing millions of Californians and staking his campaign on his ability to create jobs and improve public schools. "I'm running for governor of California to strengthen California families, so that every kid in California gets a good education, and to create a lot of good jobs," the 40-year-old Republican told hundreds of people at a lunch at Cal State Sacramento.
January 17, 2014 | By Anthony York and Seema Mehta
BAKERSFIELD -- Ricocheting across the state in recent days, Gov. Jerry Brown laid out a case for his reelection in a tour that had all the hallmarks of a campaign rollout. Brown visited the inland heart of California, stopping in Fresno, Kern and Riverside counties to talk about his controversial plans for a costly high-speed train network and massive water tunnels that would move billions of gallons from the northern half of the state to the south. Last week, the Democratic governor unveiled his proposed budget in Sacramento, San Diego and Los Angeles, touting a projected surplus, a push for a rainy-day fund and more money for schools after years of cuts.
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