State Senators' day of ethical reflection

Apr 23, 2014

State Senators are spending the day reflecting on their ethics.


Judy Lin reports for the Associated Press: “Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg canceled committee hearings and ordered lawmakers and their top aides to devote the day to ethics training at a state library building and inside the Capitol. The purpose of the closed-door sessions was to reflect on the Legislature's current practices and prevent lawmakers and staff from putting themselves in compromising situations, he said.”


“Wednesday's ethics training is the latest effort by Steinberg to distance lawmakers from the criminal charges and repair the Senate's reputation.”


Legislators who won special elections aren’t too keen on Steinberg’s proposal to allow the governor to fill legislative vacancies.


Patrick McGreevy reports in the L.A. Times: “Alarmed by the cost of holding special elections whenever a vacancy occurs in the Legislature, a state panel on Tuesday endorsed putting a measure before voters that would allow the governor to appoint people to fill empty seats.”


“Los Angeles County has held 20 special elections since 2008 at a cost of $27 million, County Clerk Dean Logan told the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee. Turnout in many special elections is as low as 12%.“


Yesterday the Supreme Court upheld a Michigan ban on affirmative action in college admission – an issue dividing the California Democratic Party along racial lines.


Juliet Williams reports for the Associated Press: “The California proposal would allow voters to rescind their state's affirmative action ban, but unexpected pushback from families of Asian descent who mobilized through Chinese-language media, staged rallies and organized letter-writing campaigns has all but killed the measure.”


A Santa Clara boy was undetected for up to six hours at a San Jose airport before sneaking into the wheel-well of a Maui-bound airplane.


Brian Bennett, Kate Mather and Joseph Serna report for the L.A. Times: “The source, who spoke to The Times on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment on the case, said a security camera at Mineta San Jose International Airport recorded video of a person coming over a perimeter fence just after 1 a.m. Sunday.”


“Airport spokeswoman Rosemary Barnes insisted that the airport has no surveillance video showing anyone hopping over a fence.”


More than 17 million Californians are registered to vote, and more of them are choosing to be non-partisan.


From KPCC: “No party preference voters comprised 21.06 percent of the state’s total registered voters, a slight increase from 20.1 percent in April 2010.”


“Republican voter registration in California also had a notable change, from 30.8 percent of the total in 2010 to 28.5 percent.”


The University of California reached a $10 million settlement in a whistleblower-retaliation case over compromised medical patient care.


Chad Terhune reports for the L.A. Times: “In 2012, the surgeon sued UCLA, the UC regents, fellow surgeons and senior university officials, alleging they failed to act on his complaints about widespread conflicts of interest and later retaliated against him for speaking up.”


“UCLA denied Pedowitz's allegations, and officials said they found no wrongdoing by faculty and no evidence that patient care was jeopardized. But the UC system paid him anyway, saying it wanted to avoid the "substantial expense and inconvenience" of further litigation.” 


High-tech manufacturing jobs are coming to the San Joaquin County thanks to Tesla Motors.


From the Central Valley Business Times: “Electric carmaker Tesla Motors has leased 430,000 square feet of industrial space in the Central Valley city of Lathrop.”


“Initial employment is expected to be about 125 workers.”


Glass skins are giving old San Francisco sky rises an extreme makeover.


John King reports in S.F Gate: “I'll cut to the chase: The repackaging hits the spot. Once-homely boxes have a fresh sheen. The renovations include changes on the ground that should connect the buildings to their surroundings in welcome new ways.”


‘In a larger sense, though, the cultural aspects of the trend are more profound than the architectural ones.”