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Ted Cruz declares; Jerry Brown is unimpressed

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is the first major Republican candidate to declare his candidacy for president in 2016 – and California Gov. Jerry Brown says he’s “absolutely unfit to be running for office.”

Cruz, R-Texas, launched a 30-second spot Sunday:

And a longer one Monday:

And he formally announced his run with a speech Monday morning at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

“I believe in you,” he told the crowd at the evangelical Christian university. “I believe in the power of millions of courageous conservatives rising up to reignite the promise of America. And that is why today I am announcing that I am running for President of the United States.”

But on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Brown was shown a clip of Cruz claiming that science doesn’t support the predictions of climate change “alarmists.” His Jerry-ness was NOT amused.

“What he said is absolutely false. Over 90 percent of the scientists who deal with climate are absolutely convinced that the human activity, industrial activity, generation of CO2, methane, oxides and nitrogen, and all the rest of those greenhouse gases are building up in the atmosphere. They are heat trapping. And they are causing not just warm, drought in California, but severe storms and cold in the East Coast. So it’s climate disruption of many different kinds. And that man betokens such a level of ignorance and a direct falsification of existing scientific data. It’s shocking and I think that man has rendered himself absolutely unfit to be running for office.”

Cruz later told Breitbart News Sunday that if Brown wanted to hurt him politically, Brown would appear on television and praise him; Cruz insisted data doesn’t support climate change.

Posted on Monday, March 23rd, 2015
Under: 2016 presidential election, Global warming, Gov. Jerry Brown, Jerry Brown | 6 Comments »

Florida Gov. Rick Scott aims to poach CA jobs

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is taking a page from Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s playbook – coming to California to try to poach some of the Golden State’s businesses, and take some potshots at Gov. Jerry Brown in the process.

Rick ScottScott will visit Los Angeles on April 12 and 13, leading a trade delegation and hosting a reception for shipping industry professionals. He sent a letter Thursday to shipping companies urging them to shift their business to Florida after a contract dispute disrupted labor recently at California’s ports. Florida is “on a mission to be the number one destination in the world for jobs,” he wrote.

“Our investment in port infrastructure means Florida’s ports are ready and have the capacity to immediately handle increased cargo that could come to Florida as a result of port congestion on the other side of the country,” he wrote, with more projects under way to increase container-handling capabilities.

“Florida’s low-tax, business friendly climate and our commitment to investing in our transportation infrastructure are great reasons for you to consider shipping your goods through Florida ports,” Scott continued. “In comparison, under Governor Jerry Brown’s tax and spend administration, California has the nation’s highest personal income tax, highest state sales tax, second highest gas tax, and has more than double the state debt per capita than Florida. And for ten straight years, CEOs have ranked California dead last for its business climate.”

Florida has no personal income tax, has paid down $7.5 billion in state debt in the last four years, and is second-ranked in the same business-climate index, he noted. “We’ve made job creation a priority while Governor Brown idly watches businesses flee California, which has the second highest unemployment rate of any state, only behind Mississippi.”

Brown spokesman Evan Westrup said it’s easy to understand why Scott wants to visit California.

“California has the 7th largest economy in the world, we lead the nation in manufacturing, technology and life sciences and we’re at the top of the Fortune 500 rankings,” Westrup said. “Our budget is balanced, our credit rating is up and we created more than a quarter of the nation’s jobs in January. We also believe in climate change. As one of the 60 million tourists expected to visit California this year, we hope the governor’s stay is both enjoyable and educational.”

Hmmm. Well, maybe there are some good opportunities at the Port of Orlando. What, Orlando is landlocked, you say? Maybe not for long! But don’t tell Rick Scott that – he doesn’t like hearing the words “cl—– ch—-.”

Sea Level Rise 6 meters

Posted on Thursday, March 12th, 2015
Under: economy, Global warming, Gov. Jerry Brown, Jerry Brown | 3 Comments »

Field Poll: Gov. Jerry Brown still riding high

If he maintained poll numbers like this, California Gov. Jerry Brown would be hard to beat for a fifth term.

That’s impossible under the state’s term limits, of course. But a new Field Poll finds Brown – who already has served as governor longer than anyone in the Golden State’s history – remains remarkably popular.

Jerry BrownThe poll found 56 percent of California voters approve of Brown’s job performance while 32 percent disapprove and 12 percent offered no opinion. That’s within the poll’s margin of error from Brown’s all-time high during this second go-around as governor; he hit 59 percent approval in April 2014.

Even more California voters – 69 percent – agreed Brown “has the right experience to deal with the problems facing California,” the Field Poll found, a sentiment that extends across party lines: 79 percent of Democrats, 69 percent of nonpartisans and 55 percent of Republicans agreed.

Majorities also agreed Brown “has the vision to lead California into the future” (54 percent) and “deserves credit for turning around the state’s finances” (53 percent).

However, when asked to consider three negative statements that have been made about Brown, 57 percent agreed with one of them: that he “favors too many big government projects that the state cannot afford right now.” (Hey, high-speed rail and Delta tunnels – they’re looking at you.)

Brown’s approval ratings are highest in the Bay Area (69 percent) compared to other regions of the state; among voters with post-graduate education (64 percent) compared to other education levels; among African Americans (67 percent) compared to other races/ethnicities; among ages 40-49 and 65 or older (59 percent) compared to other age groups; and among men (59 percent) compared to women (53 percent).

The poll of 1,241 California voters was conducted Jan. 26 through Feb. 16 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

Posted on Tuesday, February 24th, 2015
Under: Gov. Jerry Brown, Jerry Brown, polls | 2 Comments »

Jerry Brown proclaims today ‘Fred Korematsu Day’

Gov. Jerry Brown has issued a proclamation deeming Friday a day for celebration of an East Bay hero:

When Fred T. Korematsu received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998, President Clinton said that “in the long history of our country’s constant search for justice, some names of ordinary citizens stand for millions of souls — Plessy, Brown, Parks. To that distinguished list today we add the name of Fred Korematsu.”

Fred Korematsu was, in the best sense of both words, an ordinary hero. A native Californian, born and raised in Oakland and a welder by trade, he simply refused to accept his government’s order to relocate under the brutal and misguided policy of Japanese-American internment during World War II. Korematsu’s staunch determination to be treated like the loyal American citizen he was came to define his life story, in both his decades-long legal battle against internment and his later recognition as a leader in the cause of civil rights. On this 96th anniversary of his birth, we remember him as one who resisted injustice during a dark chapter in our nation’s history, and later worked tirelessly to prevent its repetition.

NOW THEREFORE I, EDMUND G. BROWN JR., Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim January 30th 2015, as “Fred Korematsu Day.”

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 30th day of January 2015.

Actor, activist and social-media phenomenon George Takei – who as a child was interned with his family in a relocation camp – will keynote the 5th Annual Fred Korematsu Day Celebration at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the City Arts and Lectures-Nourse Theatre in San Francisco.

Some Bay Area folks were tweeting on Korematsu today:

Also, California isn’t the only state to mark this day, and some would like to see this made a national holiday.

Posted on Friday, January 30th, 2015
Under: Civil liberties, Gov. Jerry Brown, Jerry Brown | No Comments »

State lawmakers react to Brown’s inaugural speech

From state Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose:

Jim Beall“This may have been Gov. Brown’s best State of the State address. He laid out a long-term vision for California’s future. As chairman of the Senate transportation committee, I agree with his mission to maintain our roads, highways, and bridges. By investing in infrastructure maintenance and effective mass transit projects we can cut pollution and create new jobs. The BART extension to San Jose is projected to generate 19,000 jobs (one job for one year). We have to keep the state moving and I’ve introduced SB 9 to allow multi-year funding under the Cap and Trade program for large, innovative mass transit projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“I also agree with the Governor that we can no longer make students the ‘default financiers’ of our colleges. SB 15 would freeze tuition rates and that’s why I co-authored it. I believe there has to be a more public investment in education rather than have the students pick up higher and higher percentages of the cost. The Governor was right to point out that California cannot afford to pour more money into the prison system. This costs higher education dearly because it is money that could be spent on our universities.’’

From Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, R-Dublin:

Catharine Baker“As we prioritize our budget, we must focus on what is needed for a strong and prosperous state. Education, transportation, and an environment that promotes job growth must be our focus in the coming years.

“I was pleased to hear the Governor’s commitment to some shared priorities we have. Ensuring our schools receive the necessary funding to provide all of California’s children the education they deserve should remain a top priority. We need to ensure that funding for education is going directly to the classroom to benefit our students and teachers, and not to a bloated administrative bureaucracy. And we cannot continue to defend the status quo and the policies addressed in the Vergara decision. Those policies are denying students the opportunity to get a good education. Finally, in the true spirit of local control, we must eliminate the cap on savings reserves that was implemented last year. It endangers the financial health of every school district in our community.

“Republicans and Democrats worked together last year and supported the rainy day fund, and the state needed that reform. Our school districts need a rainy day fund, too, and state law now prohibits them from having the savings they need to protect against cuts. Ensuring we have reserves to continue necessary programs in the midst of a fiscal crisis is the right thing to do. I am committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure that the cap on reserves is eliminated.

“As Vice-Chair of the Higher Education Committee, I will work to fight tuition increases that hinder our students’ ability to attend college, and I hope the Governor will join me in this pledge. Under the UC proposed tuition hike, students and their families will pay 25 percent more for their degrees in 2020 than they are paying today. Lawmakers and the UC must work together on long-term planning to keep higher education affordable, and I will fight for that.

“The Governor and I agree that it is time Republicans and Democrats come together to address California’s transportation needs. We have a crumbling infrastructure that was built for a population a fraction of the size it is now. But directing public funds to High Speed Rail as it starts breaking ground this week is a poor use of taxpayer dollars. We should be breaking ground on BART to Livermore, expanding parking at BART, and improving our road capacity instead of funding the bullet train project. This is money that should be spent easing congestion and increasing mass transit in the most high traffic regions of the state.

“I applaud the Governor and my predecessors that have worked to turn our economy around over the past few years. There is a still a great deal of work to be done, and our economy is fragile. Unemployment is dropping, but there are still too many Californians out of work and too many businesses leaving our state. We have to make it easier for employers to do business here. I would like to have heard the Governor address this, but I look forward to working with him on improving California’s business economy.”

More from the Bay Area’s lawmakers, after the jump…
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, January 5th, 2015
Under: Assembly, California State Senate, Catharine Baker, Gov. Jerry Brown, Jerry Brown, Jim Beall, Phil Ting | 1 Comment »

The tastes of Gov. Jerry Brown’s 4th inauguration

Experience the tastes of Gov. Jerry Brown’s fourth inauguration.

The Orange County Employees Association, California Labor Federation and other partners are holding a “People’s Inauguration” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the State Capitol’s north lawn, serving up free hot dogs. The labor groups say inaugurations usually are exclusive events designed for politicians, lobbyists and other insiders, but their party is a testament to Brown’s commitment to representing all Californians.

“During his last inauguration, Gov. Brown came out and shared a hot dog with the people he represents, right in the middle of the crowd,” OCEA General Manager Nick Berardino said in a news release. “It’s inspiring that he stands with all the people – especially all of us in the cheap seats.”

But if Brown grabs grabs a frank, I’d bet he’ll be saving room for the “Taste of California” reception, hosted from 5 to 7 p.m. at the California State Railroad Museum by Visit California and California Grown with food, wines, beers and ciders produced here in the Golden State.

“Visitors come from all over the world to enjoy California’s culinary bounty, and this reception is an opportunity to showcase the wine and food that make our state a premier travel destination,” Visit California President and CEO Caroline Beteta said in a news release.

California Grown is an initiative of the Buy California Marketing Agreement, a joint effort of agricultural industry groups representing the products of California’s farms, ranches, forests and fisheries. Working as an advisory board to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, BCMA brings together industry and government resources to increase the awareness, consumption and value of California agricultural products.

BCMA Executive Director Nick Matteis said the menu will include:

  • Braised chicken mole tosdadas
  • Roasted pasilla pepper and artichoke cream cheese on California endive
  • Beet hummus on crostini with goat cheese
  • Harris Ranch Oak smoked prime rib slider with creamy horseradish sauce on a smoked Gouda cheese roll
  • Hamachi poke on taro chip with ginger beef sauce and micro shiso
  • Duck pastrami in a rye cup with sauerkraut salt
  • Grappa-soaked cherries and micro greens
  • “I can’t think of a better way to make sure that the Governor and his guests are enjoying the best agriculture products in the world,” California Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross said in the release.

    UPDATE @ 3:10 P.M.: And in case you wondered how Jerry Brown takes his hot dog, the Sacramento Bee has video:

    Posted on Monday, January 5th, 2015
    Under: Gov. Jerry Brown, Jerry Brown | No Comments »

    Governor Jerry Brown’s fourth inaugural address

    My esteemed colleague Jessica Calefati has the story on Gov. Jerry Brown’s fourth inauguration and address – a speech encompassing not only the sweep of California’s history, but also the governor’s own:

    “As I embark upon this unprecedented fourth term as governor, my thoughts turn to a time long ago when I first entered this chamber, January 5, 1959, for my father’s inauguration. I sat there in front of the rostrum, next to my 81-year-old grandmother, Ida Schuckman Brown, feeling awkward in my priestly black suit and Roman collar. My perspective was different then. The previous August, as a young Jesuit living in what was then a pre-Vatican II seminary, I had taken vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. To me, the boisterous crowd, the applause, the worldliness of it all was jarring.”

    Read the entire text of Brown’s inaugural speech, after the jump…
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted on Monday, January 5th, 2015
    Under: Gov. Jerry Brown, Jerry Brown | No Comments »

    Banker named to run California-China trade office

    A prominent Bay-Area based international banker has been tapped to run the California-China Office of Trade and Investment, established last year by Gov. Jerry Brown.

    Kenneth Petrilla“The hiring of Ken Petrilla, one of the most experienced international banking executives in California, shows how serious California is about its trade relationship with China,” Mike Rossi, Brown’s senior jobs advisor, said in a news release.

    Petrilla, 68, of Ross, has served for several years in San Francisco as head of the China desk at Wells Fargo, facilitating opportunities involving Chinese companies doing business in the United States.

    Brown created the California-China Office of Trade and Investment to serve as a hub for California companies interested in entering or expanding in China – the world’s second largest economy – and for Chinese companies seeking investment opportunities in California – the world’s eighth largest economy by GDP. California exported $24.2 billion to mainland China and Hong Kong in 2013, as the combined China region became the Golden State’s number one export market.

    “There is a Chinese expression that opportunities multiply as they are seized, and Ken Petrilla is just the person California needs to seize these opportunities,” said Jim Wunderman, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council, which manages the Trade Office for the state.

    Petrilla said it’s hard to imagine a more exciting job “than straddling two of the world’s most dynamic economies and lending my expertise to helping them both grow more intertwined.

    “The people of California and China have so much to gain as trade shifts into what many people have called the Century of the Pacific,” he added. “I hope in this role I can give back to California as much as this state has given to me.”

    Petrilla earlier held other posts within Wells Fargo, including responsibilities for all Wells Fargo business and activities within Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

    Posted on Thursday, December 18th, 2014
    Under: economy, Gov. Jerry Brown, Jerry Brown | 1 Comment »

    Brown names Bay Area lawyer as Cal/OSHA chief

    Gov. Jerry Brown has named a Bay Area attorney with a background in organized labor as the permanent chief at Cal/OSHA, the Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

    Juliann SumJuliann Sum, 58, of Berkeley, has served as acting chief since September 2013 at the agency tasked with watchdogging California workers’ health and safety through its research and standards, enforcement, and consultation programs.

    Sum was special advisor to the director at the California Department of Industrial Relations from 2012 to 2013 and held several positions at the University of California, Berkeley from 1994 to 2012, including project director at the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment and attorney and industrial hygienist at the Labor Occupational Health Program.

    She was an associate attorney at the Environmental Law Foundation from 1994 to 1995; a litigation associate at Carroll, Burdick and McDonough LLP from 1991 to 1994; and an industrial hygienist and business representative for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245 from 1979 to 1986.

    Sum holds a law degree from the UC-Hastings College of the Law and a Master of Science degree in environmental health sciences from the Harvard University School of Public Health.

    This position requires Senate confirmation and the annual salary is $139,092. Sum is a Democrat.

    Posted on Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014
    Under: Gov. Jerry Brown, Jerry Brown | No Comments »

    Fun with numbers: Statewide candidates

    I thought it might be interesting to see in which counties some of our statewide candidates did best, per the unofficial results as they stand this morning.

    The Democrats did best in the Bay Area – shocker! The Republicans most-concentrated support was found mostly in sparsely-populated far Northern California, including several counties – Modoc, Glenn and Tehama – that have signaled their desire to secede from the Golden State. In controller candidate Ashley Swearengin’s case, some southern Central Valley counties – Madera and Tulare – ranked high, too, perhaps due to her name recognition as nearby Fresno’s mayor.

    Gov. Jerry Brown (D)
    1.) San Francisco – 87.5 percent
    2.) Alameda – 80.9 percent
    3.) Marin – 78 percent
    4.) Santa Cruz – 77.9 percent
    5.) (tie) San Mateo and Sonoma – 74.2 percent

    Neel Kashkari (R)
    1.) Modoc – 72.6 percent
    2.) Lassen – 67.2 percent
    3.) Glenn – 65.9 percent
    4.) Tehama – 64.6 percent
    5.) Madera – 62.6 percent

    Secretary of State-elect Alex Padilla (D)
    1.) San Francisco – 77.7 percent
    2.) Alameda – 72.9 percent
    3.) Santa Cruz – 69.5 percent
    4.) Marin – 68.9 percent
    5.) Sonoma – 66.1 percent

    Pete Peterson (R)
    1.) Modoc – 74 percent
    2.) Glenn – 73.1 percent
    3.) Lassen – 72.7 percent
    4.) Tehama 70.2 percent
    5.) Sutter – 66.7 percent

    Controller-elect Betty Yee (D)
    1.) San Francisco – 80.6 percent
    2.) Alameda – 75.1 percent
    3.) Santa Cruz – 71.4 percent
    4.) Marin – 70.6 percent
    5.) Sonoma – 68.2 percent

    Ashley Swearengin (R)
    1.) Modoc – 71.4 percent
    2.) (tie) Lassen and Glenn – 71.1 percent
    3.) Tulare – 67.7 percent
    4.) Tehama – 67.3 percent
    5.) Madera – 66.4 percent

    Posted on Thursday, November 6th, 2014
    Under: 2014 general, Gov. Jerry Brown, Jerry Brown, Neel Kashkari, Secretary of State | No Comments »