Carly Fiorina Ends Bid For Republican Presidential Nomination

As reported by NPR:

Carly Fiorina is exiting the Republican presidential race after a seventh-place showing in [Tuesday] night’s New Hampshire primary.

“While I suspend my candidacy today, I will continue to travel this country and fight for those Americans who refuse to settle for the way things are and a status quo that no longer works for them,” said Fiorina in a statement.

Fiorina was an unconventional candidate. Her only previous political effort had been a 10-point loss in a race for U.S. Senate in California, and her tenure at Hewlett-Packard was most notable for her being fired by the board of directors after an unsuccessful merger with Compaq.

Still, Fiorina struck a chord with many Republican voters, many of whom were especially drawn to her fierce anti-abortion viewpoints and spirited appearances on the campaign trail and in debates. …

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Chavez drops Senate campaign, recommits to Assembly

As reported by CalWatchdog.com:

In dramatic fashion, Assemblyman Rocky Chavez announced Monday he was suspending his campaign to replace the retiring Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer while at a debate for that seat.

“I think the best role I can fill for the Republican Party and moving the agenda forward … is to run for my Assembly seat,” the Oceanside Republican said during the debate’s opening comments. “I’m not going to be running for the United States Senate, and I’ll leave the field right now.”

And like that, he was gone.

Chavez had struggled to keep up financially. As of the end of 2015, Attorney General Kamala Harris, the Democratic frontrunner, had nearly $4 million in the bank. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Garden Grove, was relatively close …

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Boom in Driver’s Licenses Issued to Illegal Immigrants

As reported by the Los Angeles Times:

Judith Benitez had gone most of her adult life without knowing how to drive.

The 35-year-old woman from Mexico who is in the U.S. illegally would ask family members for rides to pick up her children from school. Trips to the grocery store or the doctor’s office were complicated.

That changed last year when Assembly Bill 60 was implemented, granting people in the country illegally the right to obtain driver’s licenses in California. Benitez, who lives in Lemon Grove, learned to drive and was among those in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles the day the law took effect.

“Truthfully, it was an extremely emotional time because having a [driver’s] license isn’t just any little thing,” she said. “We feel a little more protected.”

An estimated 605,000 licenses were issued under the law last year, accounting for nearly half of all new licenses, according to the California DMV. Nearly 400,000 of the licenses were issued during the first six months. …

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S.F. police chief to renew push to equip officers with stun guns

As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle:

San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr plans to reintroduce the contentious issue of equipping officers with stun guns at next week’s Police Commission meeting.

The chief said after Wednesday’s meeting that conductive energy devices — better known by the name of the most popular brand, Tasers — will be referenced in the new draft of the department’s revised use-of-force policy that he will present next week.

Though he would not provide specific details as to what he is proposing with Tasers, he has tried in the past to arm only officers trained in crisis intervention, to use on subjects in mental distress with whom officers can’t reason.

The revival of a stun gun plan has long been anticipated in the wake of the fatal shooting of Mario Woods, a 26-year-old man whose family said he suffered from psychiatric issues. The review of the department’s policies is part of a series of reforms the city has proposed following the Dec. 2 incident.

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LA Prosecutor Files Criminal Charges Against So Cal Gas

Southern California Gas Co. on Tuesday was charged with failing to immediately notify state authorities about the natural gas leak in Aliso Canyon.

L.A. County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey filed four misdemeanor criminal charges against the gas company, accusing it of releasing air contaminants and neglecting to report the release of hazardous materials until three days after the leak began Oct. 23.

“We will do everything we can as prosecutors to help ensure that the Aliso Canyon facility is brought into compliance. I believe we can best serve our community using the sanctions available through a criminal conviction to prevent similar public health threats in the future,” Lacey said in a statement.

The charges could result in a maximum fine of $25,000 a day for each day the leak went unreported, and $1,000 a day for each day the well has polluted the air. An arraignment is scheduled for Feb. 17 in Santa Clarita.

Read the rest of the article here: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-attorney-general-lawsuit-aliso-canyon-leak-20160202-story.html

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Iowa Caucus Complete Results

Iowa caucus election results

The Iowa caucuses are Feb. 1. Delegates at stake: 30 Republican, 44 Democratic.

See the complete results here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/2016-election-results/iowa/

California lawmakers send Brown bill to fix marijuana mistake

As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle:

SACRAMENTO — The California Legislature moved quickly this week to pass a bill that corrects a mistake in the state’s historic medical marijuana laws passed last year.

AB21 deletes a provision that lawmakers inadvertently left in the legislation that said cities and counties had to create their own medical marijuana regulations by March 1 or the state would assume the responsibility. Lawmakers did not mean to set a deadline.

The deadline, however, caused local governments to panic at the prospect that they would lose local control of medical marijuana regulation — and many cities simply banned cultivation.

On Thursday, the Assembly passed AB21 in a 65-0 vote after the Senate passed …

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Fox News Debate Seemed Smaller Without Trump

There was nothing seriously wrong with the Republican debate Thursday night on Fox News. It was lively, somewhat contentious and the moderators were exemplary in maintaining control.

But I have to admit, I kept shifting my attention whenever I thought I could get away with it to the screen showing Donald Trump’s counterprogramming event for veterans.

Trump’s production felt as haphazard and catch-as-catch-can as a telethon with him reading off the names of people who had made big donations and then hitting his talking points in a stream-of-consciousness manner. His big talking point was how we have to be strong – just as he was in boycotting the Fox debate this week — and we cannot let other nations and people push us around.  (Read the rest of the story here: http://www.baltimoresun.com/bal-fox-moderators-gop-debate-smaller-without-trump-20160128-story.html).

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Health Warnings About Zika Virus Increase — 5 Californians Infected

As reported by the San Bernardino Sun:

Concern about Zika virus arriving to the United States from abroad rose Tuesday after federal health officials posted additional travel alerts about two more countries affected by the mosquito-borne disease.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention included the United States Virgin Islands and Dominican Republic on the list of now two dozen countries and territories where Zika has been present. Last week, the CDC advised pregnant women to avoid travel to Central American, South American and Caribbean countries, including Puerto Rico.

There is no evidence of any local transmission of the Zika virus in the United States federal officials said, but it has been reported in travelers returning home. Five people in California who had traveled abroad came down with the virus, beginning in 2013, state health officials said. One adolescent girl from Los Angeles County, who had traveled …

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BART’s damage-control scramble on decoy cameras

As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle:

BART didn’t waste time announcing it would replace scores of dummy cameras on its trains with real ones — and with good reason.

The Chronicle report that embarrassed BART by revealing the decoy cameras hit just as the transit agency was putting pollsters into the field to gauge public support for a planned $3 billion bond measure to improve service and trains.

“It’s damage control,” said state Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda, an outspoken critic of BART spending. “They have to convince the public that everything is going well when they go to the ballot.”

Past polling has shown a majority of voters in San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa counties would be willing to back higher sales or property taxes to pay for BART improvements. But the support hovers just over the two-thirds threshold needed for passage.

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