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OPINION
March 31, 2014 | By Bill Whalen
Now that the California Senate has voted to suspend three of its members, all accused or convicted of criminal wrongdoing, legislators hope the issue will quickly vanish. And that's precisely the problem with this action. Giving three senators a "time out" - with pay - allows the rest of the members a chance to express outrage, genuine or feigned. However, it doesn't begin to address a larger question: Are these merely three bad apples, or is the larger orchard that is California's Legislature rotten to its core?
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 30, 2014 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO -  If there has ever been a more nauseating corruption scandal in Sacramento, I'm not aware of it. Certainly not in the past 50 years. The notion of a legislator masquerading as a gun control crusader while offering to help a mobster traffic in automatic rifles and rocket launchers is beyond hypocrisy. It's sick. The obligatory insert here: Everyone is presumed innocent until proved guilty in court. But no one I've talked to presumes any innocence in this sordid case.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 30, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO - When the state Senate took up the issue of affirmative action in late January, it was a relatively tepid affair. After 20 minutes of polite debate, senators passed a measure that, if approved by voters, would overturn California's ban on affirmative action in public higher education. But within weeks, the debate turned fractious. Backlash arose among some Asian Americans who feared their children could lose access to the state's universities if more places were granted to students from other minority groups.
OPINION
March 28, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
If it is true that state Sen. Leland Yee consorted with criminals and did them political favors in return for campaign cash, it is indeed "sickening," as Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said. But this newest scandal, along with the indictment of Sen. Ronald S. Calderon on bribery and corruption charges in February, is merely an extreme example of the long-standing and pervasive pay-to-play culture that permeates the Capitol. Yee, a San Francisco Democrat, was swept up in an FBI sting targeting a gangster known as "Shrimp Boy" and faces federal charges related to public corruption and conspiracy to illegally import firearms.
SPORTS
March 25, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
 Fairfax Coach Harvey Kitani is one of the most superstitious coaches around, so when something works once, he'll stick with it. His Fairfax team won a state title in 2004 when the Lions stayed at the Hyatt Hotel in Sacramento and had a big dinner the night before at Buca di Beppo restaurant. Kitani repeated the same routine in 2007, and the Lions won again. Fairfax didn't make it to this weekend's state finals in Sacramento, but he said an Italian family meal would be his recommendation.
SPORTS
March 23, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
  Down by two points, West Hills Chaminade turned to junior guard Michael Oguine, who made a three-pointer at the buzzer from well beyond the top of the key on Saturday night at Colony High to give the Eagles a 53-52 victory over Santa Margarita in the Southern California Regional Division III final. Chaminade advances to the state championship game in Sacramento.   Eric.sondheimer@latimes.com  
SPORTS
March 23, 2014 | Eric Sondheimer
Jerry Tarkanian used to bite on a towel during his coaching days at Nevada Las Vegas, and there's a high school basketball coach with an equally intriguing custom. Gail Hale, the girls' basketball coach for 18 years at Canyon Springs High in Moreno Valley, tightly grips a stress ball in her hand during games. She can be found bouncing the ball while walking on the sideline during pressure-filled moments. "I've never seen anything like it," said standout guard Cheyenne Greenhouse.
OPINION
March 19, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
A California bill to require the disclosure of so-called dark money - campaign expenditures funneled through nonprofit organizations to hide donors' identities - became the first casualty of the Democrats' losing their supermajority in the Legislature. Not a single Republican senator backed the bill, so it has stalled. And there are other important bills that will stay on the back burner unless the Democrats begin to negotiate and Republicans come off the margins to legislate again. Californians may have been lulled into thinking that partisan gridlock in Sacramento was over after the Legislature passed a number of significant bills last year, including one to raise the minimum wage, another to provide driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants and a third that regulated fracking.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 10, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- The Orange County Transportation Authority on Monday became the fourth client to drop the firm Sloat Higgins Jensen and Associates as its lobbyist in Sacramento since the company was hit by record fines for making improper campaign contributions to dozens of elected state officials. Others who have dropped the firm in the last month include the San Francisco 49ers Football Co., Verizon Communications and Accenture. Together, the four clients represented $734,0000 of the $4.7 million paid to the lobbying firm last year.
SPORTS
February 28, 2014 | By Mike Bresnahan
There were so many unforgettable events in the short-lived but surprisingly stormy Lakers-Sacramento rivalry. Robert Horry nailing that three-point shot over Vlade Divac. Kobe Bryant's bout with food poisoning from that Sacramento hotel. And who could forget Rick Fox and Doug Christie throwing punches at each other before a game. An exhibition game. Friday night presented something entirely different from all that early-millennium fun. The team with the Western Conference's worst record (Lakers)
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