Pols react to America’s Cup win

Some California politicians are over the moon about Oracle Team USA’s come-from-behind win in the America’s Cup, and are expressing their joy via social media.


(Someone get the Minority Leader a chair, fer cryin’ out loud!)





Carly Fiorina will chair conservative foundation

Carly Fiorina – the former Hewlett Packard CEO who was U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer’s Republican challenger in 2010 – has been named chairwoman of the American Conservative Union’s educational arm.

ACU Chairman Al Cardenas on Tuesday announced his appointment of Fiorina, 59, who now lives in Virginia, to chair the American Conservative Union Foundation; she’ll succeed current chairwoman Cleta Mitchell on Oct. 1.

Carly Fiorina “I very much look forward to reaching out to all Americans – whether they think of themselves as conservatives or not – and engaging in a conversation about why the principles of personal liberty and personal responsibility simply work better,” Fiorina said in the ACU’s news release. “Bloated and unaccountable bureaucracies cannot make better decisions than families and entrepreneurs can make for themselves.”

The ACU’s release said “Fiorina’s conservative philosophy has been battle-tested on Wall Street and Main Street.”

“It’s one thing to be a conservative among friends; it’s quite another to be an unapologetic public conservative in California,” Cardenas said. “At this pivotal moment for our nation’s economy, we look forward to Carly’s razor sharp insights into restoring prosperity and entrepreneurship to America.”


CA17: Honda and Khanna on abortion choice

One thing that’s not at issue in the 17th Congressional District battle between Rep. Mike Honda and his Democratic challenger Ro Khanna: A woman’s right to choose.

honda.jpgHonda, D-San Jose, announced Monday that he’s been endorsed for re-election by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Honda “has been an unwavering champion of women’s health in Congress,” PPAF President Cecile Richards said in Honda’s news release. “His support for Title X and teen pregnancy prevention programs as a member of the Appropriations Committee have helped strengthening family planning and women’s health care in Silicon Valley and across the country. We applaud the Congressman’s leadership and are proud to stand with him just as he has stood with millions of women, men, and young people.”

Planned Parenthood Mar Monte – serving communities in 40 counties in California and Northern Nevada – has eight health centers in Santa Clara County, including one (in Sunnyvale) within the 17th District.

“I understand the critical importance of the many community health services that organizations like Planned Parenthood provide,” Honda said. “I am proud to have the continued support of Planned Parenthood’s Action Fund and its members as we work together to expand preventative health services to everyone who needs them.”

Ro KhannaBut guess who’s a member of Mar Monte’s board of directors? Ro Khanna.

“A woman’s right to choose is a fundamental constitutional right which should be protected not just as a matter of privacy, but also under the 14th Amendment of the United States,” Khanna wrote on the “Women’s Rights” section of his campaign website. “As a Board Member of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, I strongly believe that all women should have access to reproductive health care. We should stand up for choice, birth control, and sex education.”

In fact, the former Obama administration official from Fremont made a $10,000 donation from his campaign fund to Planned Parenthood Mar Monte in October 2012.

Honda, however, has received PPAF’s endorsement in each of his House re-election campaigns.


Oil-extraction tax measure dies, but will return

A student-led campaign to put an oil-extraction tax ballot measure before California voters has failed – and is starting all over again with renewed vigor.

Monday was the signature-gathering deadline for the “California Modernization and Economic Development Act,” a measure conceived at UC-Berkeley that would’ve imposed a 9.5 percent tax on oil and natural gas extracted in the state. Petition circulation began April 25, but the proponents couldn’t hit their 504,760-signature mark.

But Californians for Responsible Economic Development, the student-led group that drafted the initiative, plans to resubmit a revised measure.

California oil wells“This summer has been busy for the CMED team,” said Aaron Thule, the campaign’s grassroots coordinator. “After a lot of hard work, we have built a signature gathering coalition for fall and winter that will be ready to activate and qualify this initiative come November.”

The tax would’ve raised an estimated $1.5 billion to $2 billion per year. In its first decade, 60 percent of its revenue would’ve been split equally among K-12 education, community colleges, the California State University system and the University of California system; 22 percent would’ve gone to clean-energy projects and research; 15 percent would’ve gone to counties for infrastructure and public health and safety services; and 3 percent would’ve gone to state parks. After the first decade, 80 percent would’ve gone to education, 15 percent to counties and 5 percent to state parks.

The revised initiative will have a sliding scale tax of 2 percent to 8 percent, which the proponents say will protect small business owners and jobs while still bringing in about $1 billion per year.

The revised initiative also will change the revenue allocation: 50 percent would be put in a special 30-year endowment fund for education, which after three years would start paying out equally to K-12, community colleges, CSU and UC. The proponents predict that after 30 years of collecting interest, it would bring in as much as $3.5 billion per year for education.

Another 25 percent would provide families and businesses with subsidies for switching to cleaner, cheaper energy, and the final 25 percent would be put toward rolling back the gas tax increase enacted last July, to make gas more affordable for working-class Californians, the proponents say.

Working to qualify the measure by early spring will be the University of California Student Association, groups at San Francisco State University, Sonoma State University, CSU Bakersfield and several community colleges. California College Democrats and California Young Democrats, both of which have endorsed an extraction tax for education and clean energy, are also lending support.

“It’s hard to believe that California is the only state that practically gives away our energy – especially when, as a state, our schools and colleges continue to struggle and we have yet to provide adequate funding to meet our own renewable energy standards,” College Democrats President Erik Taylor said.

The UCSA, representing hundreds of thousands of UC students, plans to organize across several campuses. “Affordability and funding are critical issues at the UC and Prop 30 simply is not the solution in itself that we need,” UCSA President Kareem Aref. “Our campaigns for this year are designed to ensure a stable and long term funding stream for the UC.”


Anna Eshoo urges probe of Navy Yard radio failure

Rep. Anna Eshoo wants to know why first responders who rushed to the Washington Navy Yard during last Monday’s massacre had radio failures that left them using personal cell phones and runners to communicate.

Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, who is the ranking Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee, joined with committee ranking member Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, in writing today to Lawrence Strickling, the Commerce Department’s assistant secretary for communications and information, and Federal Communications Commission Acting Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn to urge an investigation.

“If these reports are accurate, this will not be the first time communications difficulties impaired first responders during an emergency,” the lawmakers wrote. “Unfortunately, there have been numerous communications system failures during recent natural disasters and national emergencies, most notably the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.”

Congress last year enacted legislation creating FirstNet, which is tasked with overseeing the construction of a nationwide, high-speed, interoperable broadband network dedicated to public safety. Eshoo and Waxman today asked that an inquiry into last week’s snafu also focus on how FirstNet might prevent similar communications breakdowns in the future; they requested an update by Oct. 21.

Read the full text of the letter, after the jump…
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Swalwell urges GOP to wake up from ‘wet dream’

Rep. Eric Swalwell’s somewhat salty language on the House floor today is making national headlines.

Swalwell, D-Pleasanton, spoke against the House continuing resolution that’s predicated on defunding Obamacare.

“I rise in strong opposition to this radical right-wing effort to walk our economy off of a cliff and cause a government shutdown,” he said. “I invite my colleagues on the other side to wake up from this radical, ideological wet dream, and come back to reality.”

Yowza! The Hill noted its search of the Congressional Record dating back to 1989 doesn’t show that any other member has used that particular turn of phrase on the Jouse floor. The Washington Post called it “an R-rated term,” but noted that a Senator had used it back in 1996 (albeit not as an insult). The Huffington Post says it’s much ado about nothing.

To me, it sounds like something Pete Stark would’ve said.

Maybe Swalwell will hear about it from constituents who join him Saturday (Sept. 21) for his third “Ride With Your Rep” bicycling event. 15th Congressional District residents are welcome to join him at 10 a.m. at the Alameda Creek Regional Trail staging area, near Union City Boulevard at Lowry Road in Union City, for a 45-minute ride and chat.

UPDATE @ 4:30 P.M.: Pete Stark says it’s NOT something he would’ve said. Maybe. On a good day.