Nadia Lockyer interview to air later this week

Former Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer – wife of state Treasurer Bill Lockyer – apparently has given a Bay Area television station an interview on her recovery from methamphetamine addiction.

Lockyer, 42, of Hayward, posted a message on her Facebook page Monday indicating that KGO ABC7 News will “will be airing a 2-part story about my life,” with the first segment airing during the 11 p.m. newscast Thursday and the second at 11 p.m. Sunday.

Lockyer early in 2012 had claimed Stephen Chikhani attacked her in a Newark hotel room, but the state Justice Department investigated and eventually declined to charge him with any crime. As details emerged about Lockyer’s lengthy affair with Chikhani and their drug use, she resigned her supervisorial seat in April 2012.

Bill Lockyer, 72, filed for divorce a few months later, citing “irreconcilable differences” and seeking joint physical and legal custody of their son. Then Nadia Lockyer was arrested in August 2012 in Orange County and charged with felony methamphetamine possession and three misdemeanors: being under the influence of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and child abuse and endangerment. She spent several months in a residential rehabilitation program and now remains under court supervision; her next progress report is scheduled for Nov. 14.

But her husband announced in March that he had withdrawn the divorce papers in hope of reconciling for their son’s sake. When he announced in June that he’ll not seek the state controller’s office next year and instead retire from public office, he said he was “looking forward to family reunification.”

Nadia Lockyer in April 2012 gave the Bay Area News Group an exclusive, videotaped interview in which she apologized to her constituents and promised to focus on her family and recovery from addiction, but many of her troubles were still ahead of her at that time. It’ll be interesting to hear what she says now that she (hopefully) has finished this awful roller-coaster ride and started moving on with her life.


Man who threatened senator pleads to 10 crimes

The Santa Clara man who threatened a state senator’s life early this year over that lawmaker’s gun-control efforts pleaded guilty Monday to 10 crimes that could put him behind bars for up to a decade.

Everett BashamEverett Basham was arrested in February, about four weeks after he emailed a detailed threat to state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco. California Highway Patrol officers who searched his home found guns, explosives and chemicals to make explosives.

Yee issued a statement Monday thanking “everyone who had a hand in bringing this case to a swift conclusion.”

“I appreciate that justice was served in this matter and I hope that this man receives all the help he needs,” Yee said. “As I said back in February, threats like these will not deter me from pushing for common sense gun safety legislation to protect our children and our communities.”

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office said Basham pleaded guilty Monday to seven felonies: three counts of possession of an assault weapon and one count each of attempted terrorist threats, reckless possession of a destructive device, possession of materials with intent to make a destructive device, and forgery of government ID. He also pleaded guilty to three misdemeanors: possession of a destructive device, carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle, and carrying a loaded weapon in a vehicle.

Two other felony counts were dismissed as part of his plea deal. He’ll be back in court on Dec. 17 for receipt of his probation report, which the judge will use in determining a sentence.

Leland YeeYee is the author of SB 47, which would prohibit so-called bullet buttons and other devices used to circumvent the state’s assault-weapons ban and allow fast reloading. But Yee back-burned the bill this fall as state Senate President Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, tried to consolidate support for his SB 374, which would’ve added all semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines to the state’s list of banned assault weapons.

When Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed SB 374 earlier this month, Yee issued a statement saying he’ll revive SB 47 next year. “In the governor’s veto message, he spoke of the importance of our gun laws and the need to make sure they are carefully tailored,” Yee said at the time. “SB 47 will protect the public while keeping an appropriately narrow scope.”

SB 47 is now before the Assembly Appropriations Committee, where it could be heard as early as January.


Denham is 1st GOPer to back immigration bill

A Central Valley congressman is the nation’s first Republican House member to say he’ll support House Democrats’ comprehensive immigration reform bill, earning him praise from advocacy groups and depriving his Democratic challenger of a key talking point.

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Modesto, announced he’ll cosponsor H.R. 15 on Sunday on Univision’s political talk show “Al Punto,” and later issued a statement.

Jeff Denham“We can’t afford any more delays,” he said. “We are a nation of immigrants, but today, our broken system has failed to secure the border, enforce our current laws and help us to attract the best and brightest who want to come and contribute to the greatness of America.

“I support an earned path to citizenship to allow those who want to become citizens to demonstrate a commitment to our country, learn English, pay fines and back taxes and pass background checks,” Denham continued. “This is a common-sense solution to our broken system. I also support a faster pathway for the children who were brought here by their parents through no fault of their own, who have been raised in America and educated in our schools and have no other country to call home.”

Denham also noted the bill “includes language that makes securing the border a requirement, not a goal, and puts measurable benchmarks in place to be verified by independent sources to ensure that our border is secure.” And he said his ENLIST Act, H.R. 2377, which allows a path to citizenship through military service, will be incorporated into H.R. 15.

The move has earned Denham plaudits from groups including the National Council of La Raza (“a bold message that immigration reform is not a partisan issue”); the National Immigration Law Center (“doing what’s best for his district, California, and our country”); and America’s Voice (“a major crack in the dam that has been blocking reform”).

Activists from immigration advocacy groups in his district rallied outside Denham’s Modesto district office this morning to show their appreciation, and Denham and the bill’s author, Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla., joined immigration advocates on a conference call with reporters this afternoon.

The 10th Congressional District’s voter registration as of February – the most recent figures available – was 39.7 percent Democrat, 38.5 percent Republican and 17 percent nonpartisan. The Cook Political Report lists the seat as “likely” Republican, a designation for races that “are not considered competitive at this point, but have the potential to become engaged.”

And the district is 41.2 percent Latino, according to the U.S. Census’ 2011 American Community Survey.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee last month had worked up a web video blasting Denham for a “history of immigration extremism, support for hard-line stances that divide families and hurt businesses and workers, and his refusal to push for the bipartisan Senate solution.”

And Denham’s presumptive Democratic challenger, Michael Eggman – an almond farmer, beekeeper and younger brother of Assemblywoman Susan Eggman, D-Stockton – had expressed support for H.R. 15 earlier this month and challenged Denham to do the same.

But Eggman still has at least one potentially potent arrow in his quiver. Read more about that, after the jump…
Continue Reading


California has a new Solicitor General

An attorney who couldn’t win U.S. Senate confirmation after President Barack Obama nominated him to a federal appeals court seat will be California’s new solicitor general, state Attorney General Kamala Harris announced Monday.

Edward DuMontEdward DuMont, 51, in January will become the state Justice Department’s chief appellate lawyer, overseeing all civil and criminal appeals and litigating the state’s most sensitive, complex cases in state and federal courts. Harris said Californians “will be well served by Ed’s legal acumen and extensive appellate litigation experience.”

DuMont, in Harris’ news release, said he’s honored. “While it will be hard to leave my current clients and colleagues, I look forward to returning to California, joining a new team and working together to build an expanded Solicitor General’s office that we will all be proud of.”

President Obama nominated DuMont in April 2010 and re-nominated him in January 2011 to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He would have been the first openly gay federal appeals court judge, but his nomination languished for more than 18 months without the Senate Judiciary Committee ever scheduling a confirmation hearing. DuMont asked Obama to withdraw his nomination in November 2011.

An Oakland native, DuMont grew up in the Bay Area; he holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a law degree from Stanford Law School.

DuMont has been with the firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP in Washington, D.C., since 2002 and has been a partner there since 2004; he’s now a vice chair of the firms’a appellate and Supreme Court litigation practice group. Earlier, he served seven years as an assistant to the U.S. Solicitor General and as an associate deputy attorney general at the U.S. Justice Department, focusing on computer crime and privacy issues.

He has argued 18 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court on issues including employment law, the First Amendment, criminal law and administrative procedure. He also has been the lead author of dozens of briefs to the high court, and has filed briefs or argued matters in 10 different federal appeals courts.


Fracking activists to protest Jerry Brown in SF

Anti-fracking activists intend to protest as Gov. Jerry Brown visits the Bay Area this afternoon to sign a regional agreement to align government policy, combat climate change and promote clean energy.

Brown is scheduled to be at Cisco-Meraki’s San Francisco headquarters at 4 p.m. to sign the pact with Washington Governor Jay Inslee, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and British Columbia environmental officials.

But the Californians Against Fracking coalition – which includes members of more than 150 groups including MoveOn.org Civic Action, CREDO, Friends of the Earth, Food & Water Watch, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Race, Poverty, and the Environment, and Environment California – say Brown’s support of fracking could undermine any progress the agreement would make.

Brown last month signed into law SB 4 by state Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Calabasas, which creates the state’s first rules for hydraulic fracturing or acidation to extract oil and natural gas. Some environmentalists, including this coalition, argue that only a moratorium on these techniques will keep California safe from environmental harms and further the state’s clean-energy goals.

The activists who’ll protest Brown’s appearance today say using fracking, acidization, and other unconventional extraction techniques to access 15 billion barrels of crude oil beneath California would produce nearly as much global warming pollution as the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, and set back the state’s progress on combating climate change.


Danville dad’s MICRA initiative starts circulating

A Danville man whose two children were killed by a drugged driver in 2003 can start circulating his proposed ballot measure that would raise California’s nearly 40-year old limit on medical-negligence awards and force doctors to check a statewide database before prescribing narcotic drugs, the Secretary of State’s office said Thursday.

The start of petitioning moves the ball forward in what could be one of next year’s costliest ballot-measure battles.

Here’s the official title and summary prepared by the Attorney General’s office:

DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING OF DOCTORS. MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE LAWSUITS. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Requires drug and alcohol testing of doctors and reporting of positive test to the California Medical Board. Requires Board to suspend doctor pending investigation of positive test and take disciplinary action if doctor was impaired while on duty. Requires doctors to report any other doctor suspected of drug or alcohol impairment or medical negligence. Requires health care practitioners to consult state prescription drug history database before prescribing certain controlled substances. Increases $250,000 cap on pain and suffering damages in medical negligence lawsuits to account for inflation. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: State and local government costs associated with higher net medical malpractice costs, likely at least in the low tens of millions of dollars annually, potentially ranging to over one hundred million dollars annually. Potential net state and local government costs associated with changes in the amount and types of health care services that, while highly uncertain, potentially range from minor to hundreds of millions of dollars annually. (13-0016.)

Pack must collect valid signatures of 504,760 registered voters by March 24 in order to qualify the measure for next November’s ballot.

The California Medical Association, California Hospital Association, California Dental Association, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California and Central Valley Health Network created a “Patients and Providers to Protect Access and Contain Health Costs” committee this summer to oppose the measure. The committee had banked at least $31.5 million by the end of August.

Bob and Carmen Pack will kick off the petition drive during a memorial gathering at 4 p.m. Sunday at Danville’s Sycamore Valley Elementary School and Park, marking the 10th anniversary of the deaths of their children, Troy, 10, and Alana, 7.