Katherine Feinstein – a former San Francisco County Superior Court judge, and daughter of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein – was appointed Wednesday to the Medical Board of California by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Feinstein, 58, of Kentfield, served in several positions within San Francisco’s courts from 2000 to 2013, including presiding judge, assistant presiding judge, supervising judge for the Unified Family Court, and trial judge for the criminal, civil, family law and juvenile delinquency divisions.
She was supervising attorney for family and children’s services at the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office from 1998 to 2000; director at the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice from 1994 to 1996; an attorney in private practice from 1991 to 1994; and an associate at Carroll, Burdick and McDonough LLP in 1989. She also worked as a San Francisco assistant district attorney from 1985 to 1988.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Feinstein earned her law degree from the UC Hastings College of the Law. She is a Democrat.
The Medical Board of California licenses and regulates physicians and surgeons and enforces the state’s Medical Practice Act. Members are appointed by the governor but must be confirmed by the state Senate, and while serving receive a $100 per diem.
Upon announcing her retirement in 2012, Feinstein had told the San Francisco Chronicle that she would do something in public service, which could range from helping set up effective judicial systems in Africa to running for office
“Of course I’ve thought about politics. I was born thinking about politics,” she said at the time. “It’s something I’ve always shied away from. Whether I continue to shy away from it would depend on the position at this point.”
But in 2014, when asked by NBC Bay Area if she would ever consider running for office, she reaffirmed her decision to remain a private citizen. “I don’t think campaigns always bring out the best in people.”
Posted on Wednesday, January 13th, 2016
Under: Dianne Feinstein, Gov. Jerry Brown, U.S. Senate | 1 Comment »
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy proposed Thursday to use an executive order to ban gun sales to those on federal no-fly watch lists – begging the question of whether California might seek to do the same.
The Democratic governor said state officials are working with the federal government to get access to the lists. “If you cannot fly due to being on a government watch list, you should not be able to purchase a firearm while on that watch list as well,” Malloy told reporters at the Capitol. “This is basic common sense. The American people get it.”
Congress repeatedly over the past two weeks has turned away efforts to enact this as a federal law. Critics say the government’s terrorist watchlists are error-prone and bureaucratically generated, so using them to deny gun purchases could mean violating Americans’ constitutional right to bear arms without due process of law.
Gov. Jerry Brown was just arriving back in California on Thursday after attending an international conference on climate change in Paris. Spokesman Gareth Lacy said he didn’t anticipate commenting on Connecticut’s action.
A spokesman for Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom – who has proposed a ballot measure for next November that would require people to give up their high-capacity ammunition magazines and require background checks for ammunition purchases, among other things – said this might not be practicable at the state level.
“States aren’t able to compel the federal government to share that information,” spokesman Rhys Williams said in an email. “But Lt. Governor Newsom believes it could and absolutely should be a federal action, as simple as adding the relevant information to the NICS (the FBI’s firearm background-check system) – and it should be done today.”
Still, Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, said Friday he plans to introduce legislation barring individuals on the government’s no-fly list from being able to purchase guns and certain chemicals, the Sacramento Bee reported.
“You are not going to stop every single one of these occurrences,” Gatto told the Bee. “But it does make sense to make sure that the people who have been deemed too dangerous to even board a quick flight to Vegas, that they are not allowed to go out there and buy guns and chemicals en masse.”
Posted on Thursday, December 10th, 2015
Under: Assembly, Gavin Newsom, Gov. Jerry Brown, gun control | No Comments »
As I noted in my story published Saturday, Gov. Jerry Brown in 2013 vetoed a bill that would have classified all semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines as assault weapons – rifles like those used in last week’s terrorism massacre in San Bernardino, and like those owned by many Californians.
That bill, SB 374, had been the centerpiece of a package of gun control bills that lawmakers introduced in the wake of December 2012’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
“This ban covers low-capacity rifles that are commonly used for hunting, firearms training, and marksmanship practice, as well as some historical and collectible firearms,” Brown wrote in his veto message. “Moreover, hundreds of thousands of current gun owners would have to register their rifles as assault weapons and would be banned from selling or transferring them in the future.”
Brown told the Sacramento Bee on Saturday that “California has some of the toughest gun control laws of any state. And Nevada and Arizona are wide open, so that’s a gigantic back door through which any terrorist can walk.”
Eddie Kurtz, executive director of the California-based progressive grassroots Courage Campaign, said Brown is “is correct that deeply irresponsible gun laws in other states make it more difficult to protect Californians, but the guns used in the San Bernardino attack were purchased legally in California.” The rifles were modified after purchase in ways that made them illegal under the state’s assault weapons law.
“When Gov. Brown had the chance to sign into law bills preventing the sale of such semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines, he made an unconscionable and short sighted decision to veto SB 374 and other LIFE Act bills in 2013,” Kurtz said. “While guns used in the San Bernardino attack appear to have been purchased prior to 2013, Gov. Brown failed to do everything in his power to prevent mass shootings in California.”
Kurtz said “Brown needs to stop making excuses and immediately announce his support for the full policies of the LIFE Act, including a ban on semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines and background checks for ammunition.”
But Brown believes it’s time for national action. In Paris for an international climate-change conference, Brown told CNN on Monday that he believes stricter federal laws are needed, but that he’s not sure a ballot measure – like that proposed by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom to ban possession of high-capacity magazines and require background checks for ammunition purchases – is the best way to enact further state gun controls.
Posted on Monday, December 7th, 2015
Under: Gov. Jerry Brown, gun control, Jerry Brown | 7 Comments »
California’s elected officials are sounding off on Wednesday’s mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, in which 14 people reportedly were killed and more wounded.
Gov. Jerry Brown cancelled the Capitol Christmas tree lighting ceremony that had been scheduled for Wednesday night. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families and everyone affected by the brutal attack,” he said in an emailed statement. “California will spare no effort in bringing these killers to justice.”
From House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco:
“Today, yet another American community is reeling from the horror of gun violence. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of San Bernardino. As the families of the victims grieve and the survivors focus on healing, the entire American family mourns.
“Gun violence is a crisis of epidemic proportions in our nation. Congress has a moral responsibility to vote on common sense measures to prevent the daily agony of gun violence in communities across America. Enough is enough.”
From U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif:
“Today we add San Bernardino to the long list of communities that have fallen victim to a mass shooting, and my heart is with the victims and their families.
“Details in San Bernardino are still murky, but what we do know is that these deadly shootings aren’t slowing down. Just a week after a deadly attack in Colorado Springs, we’re prepared to mourn more victims today.
“The Washington Post reported this week that in the first 334 days of 2015, there were 351 mass shootings. That’s an average of more than one deadly rampage for every day this year.
“USA Today reported that the National Instant Criminal Background Check System ran more than 185,000 checks for gun purchases the day after Thanksgiving. That doesn’t even count the sales that took place online or at gun shows, where no checks are necessary.
“When a convicted felon can walk into a gun show and buy an assault rifle, that’s a problem. When an individual with a known mental illness can buy an assault rifle online, that’s a problem. When a terrorist who can’t board an airplane can buy an assault rifle in a gun store, that’s a problem.
“Congress also has a problem—a debilitating fear of upsetting the gun lobby. Congress refuses even to require background checks on all firearms purchases, an action supported by the vast majority of Americans.
“Each time I see breaking news of yet another mass shooting, I feel it in the pit of my stomach. Congress can’t stop every shooting, but we can help reduce their frequency. I remain hopeful that enough of my colleagues will join me to make that a reality.”
More, after the jump…
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015
Under: Gov. Jerry Brown, U.S. House, U.S. Senate | 13 Comments »
Four of California’s coastal congressmembers are urging Gov. Jerry Brown to be ready to ask the federal government for an economic disaster declaration if the Dungeness crab fishery remains closed for the season.
Reps. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael; Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough; Sam Farr, D-Carmel; and Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, wrote to Brown on Tuesday asking him to closely monitor domoic acid levels in Dungeness crab.
Crabs off the California coast have abnormally high levels of this toxic acid in their bodies due to an unusually big algae bloom, due in turn to abnormally high water temperatures in the Pacific. Officials have delayed the start of the recreational and commercial crab fishing seasons until the acid decreases to safe levels.
But every passing day is a blow not only to Californians craving the delicacy for their holiday tables, but to coastal communities relying on a commercial fishery valued at $60 million last year.
“The closure of the Dungeness crab fishery would not only make the holidays a little less bright, it would deal a hard blow for North coast fishermen, who have already been impacted by a poor year for salmon landings,” Huffman said in a news release. “While Californians’ Thanksgiving celebrations may not feature Dungeness crab this year, we can at least provide the assurance that federal disaster relief will be available to fishermen and affected communities and businesses if we lose the fishery.”
Huffman said the lawmakers are keeping their fingers crossed for better conditions next month, “ but in the meantime we will be working closely with our state and federal partners — from the Governor’s office to the White House — so that we can respond quickly in the event of a total closure.”
Speier noted some fisherman rely on the crab season for half their annual income, yet still must pay for licenses and boat maintenance. “If the season doesn’t open soon, these men and women deserve a financial lifeline. I urge the governor to start preparing for a disaster declaration now.”
Posted on Tuesday, November 24th, 2015
Under: economy, Gov. Jerry Brown, Jackie Speier, Jared Huffman, Sam Farr, U.S. House | 3 Comments »
Gov. Jerry Brown is among nine public officials nationwide honored as the year’s most outstanding leaders in state and local government by GOVERNING magazine.
From the magazine’s website:
Not that long ago, people were questioning whether California could be governed. The state faced multibillion-dollar shortfalls every year, leading to questions about whether California would go broke before Greece. In terms of dysfunction, Sacramento appeared to have beaten even Washington.
Then Jerry Brown returned as governor. When he took office in 2011, the state was $26 billion short. This year, lawmakers were fighting about what to do with a surplus. Much of that had to do with the state’s rising economy, but Brown had helped put the state back on a sustainable course.
In 2012, he convinced voters to raise sales and income taxes. Since then, he has managed to curb the impulse legislators have to spend money as fast or faster than it’s coming in, using his veto power freely and instead diverting the money to the state’s rainy day fund. “His ability to follow through on his promise to voters that he was going to stabilize the financial situation, which every year had been a problem, has made all the difference in the world,” says Mark Baldassare, president of the Public Policy Institute of California.
GOVERNING’s profile also praised Brown’s work on benefits and rights for undocumented immigrants, higher education funding, climate change, and combating the state’s historic drought.
“We’re thrilled to be recognizing such remarkable officials,” GOVERNING Executive Editor Zach Patton said in a news release. “These outstanding men and women are tremendous examples of the power of public service, especially at the state and local level.”
“We are all too aware of the daunting challenges facing many of our states and localities and the people who live in them,” said GOVERNING Publisher Mark Funkhouser. “But this year’s award recipients inspire me with great optimism, showing how determined leadership can address even the steepest challenges.”
Posted on Tuesday, November 10th, 2015
Under: Gov. Jerry Brown, Jerry Brown | 3 Comments »
California Gov. Jerry Brown vowed Friday to fight the 25 states and various business groups that are suing to block the Obama administration’s plan to curb carbon emissions from power plants.
“While the world’s scientists warn of the existential threat we face, these misguided political representatives seek to take America into a dark age of climate denial,” Brown said in a news release. “I will do everything in my power to fight this pernicious lawsuit.”
Power plants are the largest emitters of greenhouse gases among stationary sources in the United States, accounting for about a third of all emissions. The Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan sets greenhouse gas emissions guidelines for each state based on current levels of pollution; on average, it would help cut pollution from existing power plants nationwide approximately 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.
California already is primed to meet and exceed these new, national reduction targets, having committed to cutting emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 under an executive order Brown issued in April – the most ambitious target in North America and consistent with California’s existing commitment to reduce emissions 80 percent under 1990 levels by 2050.
Brown has been focused on subnational pacts – collaboration between cities, states and provinces around the world – to fight climate change, even as national governments seek a deal ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference next month in Paris.
Posted on Friday, October 23rd, 2015
Under: energy, Environment, Global warming, Gov. Jerry Brown, Jerry Brown | No Comments »
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law Sunday creating inspection and safety standards for pedal-powered quadricycles – sometimes called “beer bikes” – on which up to 15 people can tool around town knocking back drinks.
Companies in cities including Sacramento, San Diego and Palm Springs already have been offering guided tours through tourism and entertainment areas, often including stops at bars and restaurants. But until now they’ve been licensed by host cities without any state involvement, creating some uncertainty about whether the car-sized rigs can lawfully use city streets because there was no existing vehicle definition that covered them, according to a legislative analysis. And while they could stop at bars, no alcohol could be consumed on board.
State Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, pedaled to the rescue with SB 530, which expands the definition of a pedicab to include a device which is primarily pedal-powered, has a seating capacity of not more than 15 passengers, and cannot travel faster than 15 miles per hour.
The new law requires this type of pedicab to have basic safety equipment including seat belts, seat backs, brakes, reflectors, headlights, and grab rails, and to be operated by a 21-year-old adult with a valid California driver’s license. Existing devices have until January 1, 2017, to retrofit with this equipment. The quadricycles still must be authorized by local ordinance and cannot operate on a road with a speed limit greater than 30 mph, and any accidents in which they’re involved must be reported to the California Highway Patrol.
But perhaps most important to keeping the party a’pedalin’, the law now provides for allowing consumption of alcohol on board so long as the locla municipality allows it and the operator provides an on-board adult safety monitor; both this monitor and the driver must have completed the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s licensee education program.
The Assembly and state Senate both passed the bill unanimously last month.
But Brown didn’t just sign the bill Sunday. Oh, no – he signed it in style.
Brown signed his name to the new law aboard a quadricycle run by Sacramento’s Off The Chain Bike Bus Tours and then – accompanied by his wife, Anne Gust; his top aide, Nancy McFadden; and Senator Pan – immediately took off on a ride.
Cue the Chris Christie jokes here.
Posted on Monday, October 5th, 2015
Under: California State Senate, Gov. Jerry Brown, Jerry Brown | 2 Comments »
Gov. Jerry Brown signed an executive order Monday to bolster California’s preparedness for cyber-attacks which could disrupt the Golden State’s economy and infrastructure or violate residents’ privacy and lead to identity theft.
The order directs the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to create a California Cybersecurity Integration Center (Cal-CSIC), responsible for strengthening the state’s cybersecurity strategy and improving inter-agency, cross-sector coordination to reduce the likelihood and severity of cyber-attacks.
The new Cal-CSIC will work closely with the California State Threat Assessment System and the U.S Department of Homeland Security to improve information sharing between local, state and federal agencies, tribal governments, utilities and other service providers, academic institutions and non-governmental organizations.
Cal-CSIC will also establish a multi-agency Cyber Incident Response Team to serve as the state’s primary unit to lead cyber threat detection, reporting, and response in coordination with public and private entities across the state.
Posted on Monday, August 31st, 2015
Under: Gov. Jerry Brown, Jerry Brown | 2 Comments »
California Gov. Jerry Brown called Hillary Clinton’s email controversy “a vampire” that she’ll have to stake through the heart, in an interview Friday with NBC News “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd.
In a segment that will air Sunday, Todd noted that Brown in March had cautioned that the email problem might not go away on its own, and asked what Clinton should be doing better to deal with it now.
“Well, I don’t know,” Brown replied. “This email thing, it has kind of a mystique to it. You know, an email is just an utterance in digital form. But it has some kind of dark energy that gets everybody excited. So I don’t know how.
“It’s almost like a vampire,” the governor continued. “She’s going to have to find a stake and put it right through the heart of these emails in some way. But I don’t think a leading candidate for president needs the advice of another politician. Generally they don’t follow it, and I think they know everything I can figure out on their own.”
Posted on Friday, August 21st, 2015
Under: 2016 presidential election, Gov. Jerry Brown, Hillary Clinton, Jerry Brown | 9 Comments »