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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...
June 15, 2012 | By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO — The state's ethics agency is investigating whether state Sen. Mimi Walters (R-Laguna Niguel) violated conflict-of-interest laws when her office placed phone calls to California prison officials about the status of a financial claim her husband's company had filed. The inquiry was disclosed in a written notice to Walters' attorney by Gary Winuk, chief of enforcement for the state Fair Political Practices Commission. He wrote that his office "will be pursuing an investigation regarding whether or not Sen. Walters violated the Political Reform Act's conflict-of-interest prohibitions.
February 15, 2013 | By Evan Halper
SACRAMENTO -- Here is how one attorney's website explains California code section 11361.5 to pot smokers: “When was the last time that you read about the law and said, 'that's awesome?'” What might be awesome to that particular group is that after two years it wipes clean any record they have of being arrested, charged and convicted for the position or transport of marijuana in California, provided the amount is less than 28.5 grams and they keep their record clean in the meantime.
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.
May 29, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy
Former state Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg can't get enough of Sacramento. Eleven years after he left the Assembly, Hertzberg said Wednesday that he has decided to run for a state Senate seat being vacated in 2014  by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) because of term limits. Hertzberg, a Democrat from the San Fernando Valley who ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Los Angeles in 2005, has stayed active in state policy issues.  He has worked with groups including California Forward and the Think Long Committee for California to improve state government, supporting changes including open primary elections and allowing the budget to be approved by majority vote rather than a two-thirds tally.
March 11, 2013 | By Anthony York
With the field in the Los Angeles mayor's race now whittled down to two, more state legislators from Southern California are taking sides. Councilman Eric Garcetti announced a trio of endorsements Monday from state Sens. Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) and Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) as well as former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez. “These three legislative leaders will be powerful voices in this election and will help me build support in neighborhoods throughout our city," Garcetti said in a statement.
October 25, 2012 | By Robert Abele
More infomercial than movie, "People V. the State of Illusion" calls itself a documentary but is really a 90-minute PowerPoint presentation by motivational speaker Austin Vickers. Narrating directly to the camera, Vickers - a mild-mannered-looking guy with the calm speaking style of an instructional video host - has the answer to the stress that's limiting your potential. Using a mushy mixture of scientific research about receptor walls and perception with therapy session jargon aimed at addressing self-created "prison walls," Vickers and credited director Scott Cervine - who mostly has to wrangle quick-change graphics, talking heads and a terribly acted dramatization about an inmate who turns his life around - keep up a steady empowerment spiel.
August 23, 2012 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
ECATEPEC, Mexico - At 14, Jessica Lucero had already lived a hard life. A stint in rehab, dropping out of school, making her way, day in, day out, in a terribly violent, desperately poor neighborhood. But things were looking up. She had stayed clean and was planning to resume studies. She dreamed of becoming a forensic pathologist. Then, in June, Jessica was raped by a man she later identified as a notorious neighbor, a known drug pusher. Jessica's reaction was to do something that few people twice her age have ever dared.
September 3, 2013 | By Ruben Vives
State Controller John Chiang will conduct an investigation into the administrative and internal controls of scandal-battered Cudahy after receiving several requests from city leaders. “This is a significant milestone for the city,” Mayor Jack Guerrero said. “I'm encouraged by the news.” For several months, Guerrero and the vice-mayor made multiple requests to state officials for an audit after a federal bribery investigation last June revealed widespread corruption at City Hall.
April 1, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO--Secretary of State candidate Dan Schnur, denouncing lawmakers' response to the recent series of ethics scandals in the state Senate as "diffident and lackadaisical," cast his bid to be the state's top elections official as a campaign to be "California's reformer-in-chief. "  Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Schnur said "there has been almost no meaningful effort on the part of the state's political leaders to clean up the Capitol's culture of corruption. " "If you add up all the reforms that have been proposed over the last several weeks, they end up comprising almost a complete fig leaf," he added.
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