The art of the deal, Capitol style — Part II

The state Capitol in Sacramento at night. (Photo: Susanne Pommer)

Cutting deals is part of the Capitol culture — it’s how laws are made. But does this deal-making come close to the legal line, or even cross it? Let’s continue our review of California criminal statutes that might apply to the wheeling and dealing of the Legislature.

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Analysis

The art of the deal — Capitol style

The Assembly chamber in the state Capitol, Sacramento. (Photo: Felix Lipov, Shutterstock)

We often read about the “wheeling and dealing” among elected officials that occurs in state capitols across this country, including Sacramento. While some Capitol observers refer to it as lawful deal-making, others characterize it as improper, or even unlawful, vote trading. So which is it?

News

New push on Parkinson’s disease

A closeup of the hands of an elderly patient suffering from Parkinson's disease. (Photo: SpeedKingz, via Shutterstock)

A “new era” in the search for a cure for Parkinson’s disease was heralded this month in an article in a prominent scientific journal that explored research involving more than $52 million and an organization called GForce-PD. The news was accompanied by a cry for more support for Parkinson’s research from the $3 billion California stem cell agency, which has pumped $49 million in Parkinson’s studies over the last 13 years.

News

Republican seats in the crosshairs

Republicans gather at a 2016 rally in Costa Mesa for GOP presidential contender Donald Trump. (Photo: Mike Ledray, via Shutterstock)

Encouraged by their Nov. 7 election victories in other states, Democrats now have even higher hopes of flipping the House in 2018, and a big factor governing whether they will succeed rests on outcomes in eight Republican-held California districts. The eight incumbent Republicans in Southern California and the Central Valley that Democrats hope to defeat a year from now make up one-third of the 24 seats needed to give Democrats control of the House.

News

Court victory for Johnson & Johnson in talc cancer case

Talc from a container spilled across a table. (Photo: MIA Studio)

A California jury has rejected claims that Johnson & Johnson and its talc supplier were responsible for the deadly cancer of a woman who blamed her illness on breathing asbestos fibers from contaminated body powders. On a 9-3 vote, the jury Thursday in Pasadena absolved J&J of negligence in the sale of Johnson’s Baby Powder and another talc product, Shower to Shower.

News

California flooding, sea-level rise linked

A condominium complex being undermined by rising ocean levels at a Monterey beach. (Photo: Steve Smith)

As officials in Washington try to repair the nation’s flood insurance program, scientists in California are grappling with a looming threat that will complicate flooding hazards in the state: sea-level rise. Creeping ocean waters are already flooding coastal areas more frequently and eroding sea cliffs more rapidly. They’re also worsening damage from extreme weather events like high tides and torrential rains.

News

The fight over health coverage for children, pregnant women

A child has her ear inspected by a doctor using an otoscope. (Photo: Andrew_Popov)

Health insurance coverage for 1.3 million California children and pregnant women is at risk because of Congress’ delay in extending the Children’s Health Insurance Program. While the House recently approved a bill to extend the program for five years, the bill still needs approval by the Senate and a fight is expected about how to pay for the extension.

News

California throttles down small-engine pollution

A landscaping worker trims a bush with a gas-powered machine while a technician monitors the air quality for FairWarning. (Photo: Stuart Silverstein)

New California rules aimed at curbing the surprising amount of pollution coming from leaf blowers, lawn mowers and other small gas-powered machines cleared a final hurdle Monday, and are set to take effect on Jan. 1. The requirements mark another step in the state’s long-running battle to reduce emissions from a category of small engines that have come to rival cars as a source of smog-forming pollution.

News

CA120: Will the wave hit California’s shores?

Former President Barack Obama, right, waves to the crowd along with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov., Ralph Northam, during an October rally in Richmond, Va. (Photo: Steve Helber/AP)

With the recent Democratic wins in traditional bellwether gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey, a massive pickup-in the Virginia Legislature, wins in several mayoral races and other assorted gains, the pundits appear locked into the narrative that we are headed for a wave election. This would follow the pattern we have seen previously, in which the mid-term elections serve as rebalancing against the party in power. But what does all this mean for California?

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