News

The Weekly Roundup

Thursday, March 2
The Secretary of State’s Office announced that it was looking into
complaints about a GOP voter registration drive in which Democrats claim
they were re-registered as Republicans. “Secretary of State Bruce McPherson
learned of the questionable registrations Wednesday after The Orange County
Register reported that a Democratic group turned over 37 signed complaints
to the Registrar of Voters, said Nghia Nguyen, a spokeswoman.”

“‘Our fraud investigators are looking into this matter,’ she said.”

“Not all of the problems can be attributed to the Republicans’ drive, said
county GOP Chairman Scott Baugh. Ten of the names on the Democrats’ list of
37 were not gathered by the party’s paid circulators, he said,” reported the
OC Register.

Friday, March 3
Former congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham was sentenced to more than 8
years in prison for taking bribes from government contactors. “Cunningham
faced a maximum of 10 years under a plea agreement, but U.S. District Judge
Larry Alan Burns cited Cunningham’s heroics as a Navy pilot during the
Vietnam War in imposing the lesser sentence,” reports the San Diego
Union-Trib.

Saturday, March 4
Opponents of the state’s affirmative action law may not have been able to
overturn it in the courts, but at least they won’t have to pay Ward
Connerly
‘s legal bills, thanks to a ruling by the state Supreme Court.

“The unanimous decision said private citizens who, for ideological reasons,
take part in the defense of a law that the state has refused to defend
should not be penalized by paying the other side’s attorneys’ fees if the
law is overturned,” writes the Chron’s Bob Egelko.

Sunday, March 5
A San Francisco judge ordered the University of California to pay $33.8
million to students whose fees were unfairly raised.

Superior Court Judge James Warren called the university’s breach of contract
“clear and unambiguous.” The case involved more than 10,000 graduate
students who claimed UC officials broke their promise to freeze fees at the
amount students paid when they first enrolled, according to the Contra Costa
Times

Monday, March 6
Bill Thomas announced yesterday that he is not running for reelection,
setting up a scramble to replace him. Vic Pollard reports for the
Bakersfield Californian “Speculation about Thomas’ future was sparked by the
fact that under House rules, he must leave his powerful post as chairman of
the Ways and Means Committee at the end of this year, and most people
doubted he could find another leadership post as powerful or interesting to
him. Monday’s announcement produced a bipartisan outpouring of praise for
Thomas’ accomplishments.”

The move set off a series of dominoes, which lead to Assembly Republican
leader Kevin McCarthy announcing a bid for Thomas’ seat, and George Plescia
being named the new Assembly Republican Leader.

Tuesday, March 7
Oakland mayor Jerry Brown is “being investigated on suspicion of vandalism
after two women accused him of breaking a cell phone and making racist
statements Sunday morning outside @17th, a downtown nightclub,” reports
Heather MacDonald in the Oakland Tribune.

“Brown, who is running for state attorney general and is embroiled in a
tough primary fight against Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, said
Tuesday through his spokesman that the allegations are ‘absolutely not
true.'”

Brown was participating in a police ride-along, visiting three clubs that
have recently had lots of problems.

Wednesday, March 8
Bill Lockyer made news at the National Association of Attorneys General
yesterday, no small feat to be sure, when he cussed out Republican
Congressman Mike Rogers of Michigan in front of reporters.

Rogers is pushing a federal legislation that would undermine California’s
food safety laws, and Lockyer responded in kind, calling him a “dumbsh-t.”
“The comment drew a mixture of laughter and shock from the half-dozen other
state AGs present and about two dozen reporters and staffers, reports the
Chron’s Zach Coile. ‘Lockyer seemed to want to pull his statement back.'”
“‘Maybe I should have said ‘pea-brained’?’ he said.”

“A spokeswoman for Rogers was quick to fire back after hearing about
Lockyer’s off-color remark. ‘The attorney general certainly has a limited
vocabulary,” said spokeswoman Silvia Warner. ‘When you’re wrong on the facts
and wrong on the policy you dive for the gutter, and that’s where he ended
up.'”

No confirmation that Lockyer responded by calling her a f—ing loser.


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