April 25, 2014 |
State lawmakers have come up with a way to help California cities deal with a proliferation of massage parlors with suspected links to prostitution and human trafficking. New legislation is aimed at fixing an inadvertent loophole created by a 2008 law that created a state-sponsored council to oversee the regulation of legitimate massage therapy businesses, such as spas and clinics. The loophole led to an explosion of massage parlors in many cities. For example, their number grew by nearly 500% to 75 in the city of Huntington Beach between 2009 and 2013.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 24, 2014 |
SACRAMENTO - State authorities Thursday imposed $40,000 in fines against Sen. Tom Berryhill (R-Modesto) and two GOP committees after finding that the lawmaker laundered that amount of political money into his brother's 2008 Assembly campaign. The state Fair Political Practices Commission voted unanimously to uphold an administrative law judge's ruling that Berryhill committed a "serious and deliberate" violation of California's campaign finance laws. The commissioners decided in a 20-minute closed session to include in the fines the Stanislaus County and San Joaquin County Republican central committees for their role as conduits in passing $40,000 from Berryhill to his brother's successful campaign.
April 24, 2014 |
The right-wing insurrection at the Bundy ranch in Bunkerville, Nev., has taken another weird turn with new revelations about the family history of Cliven Bundy. Bundy justifies his two-decade-long refusal to pay the Bureau of Land Management for grazing rights on the public land where he runs his cattle by claiming his ancestors gained livestock water rights in the 1870s, long before the federal government horned in on the deal. Now, it turns out, that is not exactly true. KLAS, the CBS affiliate in Las Vegas, checked out the Bundy family's history with the land and found Bundy's grandmother was born in 1901 to parents who had moved a few years earlier from Utah and farmed, not in Bunkerville, but in neighboring Mesquite County.
April 23, 2014 |
Even as the United States continues its historic move toward fairness and equity for gay people, antiquated anti-sodomy laws remain on the books in a dozen states. Theoretically, these laws were rendered unenforceable by the Supreme Court's 2003 ruling in Lawrence vs. Texas, but apparently not everyone has received that message. In the Lawrence case, the court declared that state laws banning consensual same-sex relations were unconstitutional. Yet somehow, between 2011 and 2014, 12 men were arrested in East Baton Rouge Parish in Louisiana under the state's remaining anti-sodomy laws.
April 23, 2014 |
In Georgia, it will soon be legal to carry a gun in more places -- including bars, churches and government buildings -- following Gov. Nathan Deal's signing Wednesday of a bill celebrated by supporters as a victory for the 2nd Amendment but decried by critics as the "guns-everywhere bill. " "We Georgians believe in the right of people to defend themselves, and we believe in the 2nd Amendment," Deal said. The measure drew national attention because of its sweep and its passage after a number of high-profile shootings around the country.
April 21, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - In a case that could strengthen truth-in-labeling laws, Supreme Court justices on Monday voiced deep skepticism about Coca-Cola's Pomegranate Blueberry juice that is 99.4% apple and grape juice, saying the name would probably fool most consumers, including themselves. The high court is hearing an appeal from Stewart and Lynda Resnick of Los Angeles, makers of a rival pomegranate juice called Pom Wonderful, who complained that the name of the Coca-Cola product, sold under the Minute Maid brand, is false and misleading.