Nancy Pelosi to Introduce Bill Criminalizing Private Gun Sales

Photo courtesy shawncalhoun, flickr

Photo courtesy shawncalhoun, flickr

House Democrats plan to introduce a bill criminalizing private gun sales on Tuesday of next week.

The legislation will be introduced by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), and gun control proponent Gabby Giffords.

Tuesday will be the eighth anniversary of the day on which Giffords was shot by Jared Loughner.

The bill seeks to put background checks in place for all gun sales, requiring a daughter to get a background check before her mother can give her a gun or a son to get a background check before a father can give him one. It would also require a lifelong friend to get a background check before he can a gun from his lifelong friend. …

Click here to read the full article from Breitbart.com

Jerry Brown’s Three Biggest Failures

jerry-brownGov. Jerry Brown is getting the acclaim he deserves in his final days as governor for helping turn around a state that seemed adrift and for being a visionary on climate change. He’s clearly left California for the better. But his biggest failings — his blind spots and, in one major case, his inability to get others in his party to see the bigger picture — threaten crucial aspects of California’s future.

The first example is public education, where reformers emphasizing data-driven best practices and accountability from students, teachers, administrators and parents alike have produced significant improvements in union states like Massachusetts and New Jersey and non-union states like Florida and Texas. But instead of learning from these states, Brown mocked the “siren song” of metrics-based education reform in 2011. Two years later, he introduced his own reform — the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), which wiped out many state-imposed mandates on districts and directed more funding to districts with higher percentages of English-language learners, foster children and poor families. Each district was required to develop a specialized Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) to guide efforts to improve students’ outcomes. …

Click here to read the full article from the San Diego Union-Tribune

Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom Wants to Spend $2 billion on Early Childhood Education

School-education-learning-1750587-hSeeking to frame his new administration as one with a firm focus on closing the gap between children from affluent and poor families, Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom will propose spending some $1.8 billion on an array of programs designed to boost California’s enrollment in early education and child-care programs.

Newsom’s plan, which he hinted at in a Fresno event last month, will be a key element in the state budget proposal he will submit to the Legislature shortly after taking office Monday, a source close to the governor-elect’s transition team said Tuesday.

The spending would boost programs designed to ensure children enter kindergarten prepared to learn, closing what some researchers have called the “readiness gap” that exists based on a family’s income. It would also phase in an expansion of prekindergarten and offer money to help school districts that don’t have facilities for full-day kindergarten. …

Click here to read the full article from the L.A. Times

Women’s March in California canceled over concerns it would be ‘overwhelmingly white’

Womens MarchA California Women’s March was canceled because of concerns that its participants have been “overwhelmingly white,” the march’s organizers said.

Organizers announced Friday that the Women’s March would not take place in Eureka, in Humboldt County, California, on Jan. 19 as previously planned due to issues of representation.

“Up to this point, the participants have been overwhelmingly white, lacking representation from several perspectives in our community,” a post on the march’s Facebook page read. “Instead of pushing forward with crucial voices absent, the organizing team will take time for more outreach.”

The decision was made after conversations with local organizers and supporters of the march, according to the statement, which was posted by Facebook user Beth Ann Wylie. …

Click here to read the full article from NBC News

Gov. Jerry Brown Will Leave Office After 50-Year Career

jerry-brownCalifornia Gov. Jerry Brown will leave office Jan. 7 after a record 16 years leading the nation’s most populous state.

The son of former Gov. Pat Brown first became governor at 36 and will leave at age 80.

He’s gone from an idealist who resisted the traditional trappings of money and power to a fiscally minded elder statesman known as a global leader on climate change.

Brown plans to retire to a ranch in rural Colusa County on property that once belonged to his great grandfather, a German immigrant.

He plans to keep advocating for urgent action on climate change and caution against the threats of nuclear annihilation on a global stage. …

Click here to read the full article from Time Magazine

Gavin Newsom Inherits California’s Troubled Bullet Train Project

High Speed Rail ConstructionGov. Jerry Brown has devoted half a century of political knowledge and power to advance the California bullet train construction project, but he leaves office with its future badly damaged by cost overruns, mismanagement and delays.

It hands incoming Gov. Gavin Newsom a tough decision: delay indefinitely the goal of a statewide bullet train system and salvage something useful out of the billions of dollars already spent, or stick with the original vision and find at least $50 billion in new money to keep it going.

Either option will probably lead to a clash between the project’s die-hard supporters and its skeptics. Almost every major engineering and construction firm has a big stake in the project, as do unions, small businesses and city governments. The outcome will depend on how much fiscal pain and risk Democrats are willing to accept.

So far, Newsom has only hinted at what he will do, saying at times the effort must continue in some form — though with less gusto than Brown exhibited as he championed what has grown into the nation’s largest infrastructure effort over the last eight years. …

Click here to read the full article from the Los Angeles Times

Gov. Brown Grants Clemency to 95 Convicted Murderers

SACRAMENTO, CA - OCTOBER 27: California Governor Jerry Brown announces his public employee pension reform plan October 27, 2011 at the State Capitol in Sacramento, California. Gov. Brown proposed 12 major reforms for state and local pension systems that he claims would end abuses and reduce taypayer costs by billions of dollars. (Photo by Max Whittaker/Getty Images)

A decision by Gov. Jerry Brown to commute the sentence of a man convicted in a 1979 Ventura County robbery-murder was done over the objections of District Attorney Gregory Totten and the victim’s family.

Jahn Vann was sentenced on Feb. 25, 1980, to life in prison without the possibility of parole in the killing of Daniel Nack, officials said.

On Monday, Brown granted Vann’s request to reduce his sentence to 40 years to life with the possibility for parole, Totten’s office said Wednesday.

Vann’s was one of 131 commutations and 143 pardons the governor granted on Christmas Eve, according to Brown’s office. Totten’s office said 95 convicted murderers’ sentences were reduced Dec. 24. …

Click here to read the full article from the Ventura County Star

Court puts limits on Jerry Brown’s powers, denies clemency to 6 California killers

Photo courtesy Steve Rhodes, flickr

Photo courtesy Steve Rhodes, flickr

The California Supreme Court rejected one of Gov. Jerry Brown’s attempted commutations Monday, the seventh time the court has rejected a clemency request from the outgoing governor in recent weeks.

The rejections mark the first time the court has blocked a governor’s clemency requests in at least half a century, according to the state’s Judicial Council. The court reviews clemency actions for inmates who have been convicted of more than one felony.

On Monday, just hours before the expected release of Brown’s annual Christmas Eve clemency actions, the court announced that it rejected Brown’s attempt to commute the sentence of Kenny Lee, who robbed and murdered a cab driver in 1992.

Lee was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Lee, now in his 40s, has been in prison for more than 19 years, where he has improved his behavior and pursued an education, according to court documents. …

Click here to read the full article from the Sacramento Bee

Feds say California didn’t comply with ‘two document’ Real ID requirement

The California Department of Motor Vehicles issued 2.3 million new IDs this year using a process that doesn’t meet the federal government’s standards, the DMV was told last month.

The development means Californians who got those Real IDs will need to provide a second form of documentation to prove their residency when their ID comes up for renewal. DMV spokesman Armando Botello said the federal government told the DMV during phone conversations about the issue that it would still accept IDs that didn’t meet the requirement in the meantime.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security sent DMV director Jean Shiomoto a letter on Nov. 21 saying California’s process for verifying ID applicants’ residency didn’t meet federal requirements.

Federal standards require ID applicants to “present at least two documents of the State’s choice that include the individual’s name and principal residence,” according to the letter. It instructed the DMV to send federal officials a plan to correct the issue. …

Click here to read the full article from the Sacramento Bee

Stretch of California Highway Names After Barack Obama

obamaSigns have gone up naming a section of a Los Angeles-area freeway as the President Barack H. Obama Highway. The signs posted Thursday on State Route 134 apply to a stretch running from State Route 2 in Glendale, through the Eagle Rock section of Los Angeles to Interstate 210 in Pasadena.

The former president attended Occidental College in Eagle Rock from 1979 to 1981 and lived in Pasadena. He then transferred to Columbia University in New York, where he graduated in 1983.

The designation was authorized in 2017 when the Legislature signed off on a resolution introduced by state Sen. Anthony J. Portantino, a Democrat whose district includes the area.

Los Angeles will soon also name Rodeo Road, which is located in a largely African-American area of the city, after Obama.  …

Click here to read the full article from CBS News