The California Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Coastal Commission.
"'I am glad that I lived to see the day that the court ruled unanimously this way,' said Peter Douglas
, executive director of the commission for 20 years and one of the authors of the 1972 ballot initiative that created the commission. 'The public and the coast clearly are the winners.
And, the State Senate used its newly upheld authority, to bump Laguna Beach councilwoman Toni Iseman in favor of a Manhattan Beach councilman Jim Aldinger.
Iseman's "... support among environmentalists faded rapidly after several controversial votes. Iseman's critics pointed to her support for development at the Dana Point Headlands and Bolsa Chica wetlands as particularly disappointing."
Speaking of the coast, the governor has found his favorite location for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal
-- a "floating facility several miles out to sea from Oxnard."
Perhaps coincidentally, the Coastal Commission's authority ends three miles out.
There finally appears to be a deal over the Bay Bridge
, reports the Contra Costa Times. "The accord calls for tolls on all state-owned Bay Area spans to jump from $3 to $4 beginning Jan. 1, 2007, and fund about two-thirds of the bridge's higher costs. The state will kick in $630 million toward the project, which has been saddled with delays and escalating prices since its inception seven years ago."
Assemblyman Guy Houston
was fined $1,800 by an Alameda County court judge
for failing to answer questions in a lawsuit involving a failed business venture.
"The questions dealt with whether Houston had ever been investigated by the state Department of Corporations for selling securities without a license," the Chronicle reports.
"Public records show Houston, his father, Fred Houston
, and a company they were involved with, Winning Action Investments, were the target of a desist and refrain order issued by the Department of Corporations on March 3, 1993. The order required them to stop engaging in broker-dealer activities without a license. But in response to written questions posed to him in the litigation, Guy Houston gave an answer indicating he did not know of any investigation of him by the agency."
In "Francisco Franco is Still Dead" News, we still don't have a budget deal,
and the Times' Evan Halper writes that the special election issues continue to be a barrier. "Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata
(D-Oakland) said that the governor had been insisting a budget deal also include compromises on the initiatives. Perata said the governor had made it clear 'that we had to do it all at once, or we don't do any of it.'"
"Department of Finance spokesman H.D. Palmer
disputed Perata's contention. 'There may have been some overlap in discussions, but there was no hard-and-fast linkage
,' he said."
Speaking of, um, linkage, the Capitol's new favorite soap opera is now the Tom Umberg
saga, and the assemblyman's preemptive leak of an extra-marital affair. Today, we see the story Umberg wanted to preempt by leaking to the LA Times
. The Orange County Register's John Gittelsohn has all the details of the affair,
and names the woman Umberg had the affair with, thus ending the 24-hour long parlor game that had Capitol gossips whispering.
"His affair with Ann Wallace
, who worked for him in the early 1990s, began in 2000 when Wallace and Umberg were working in Washington, D.C., according to e-mails.
On Nov. 24, two weeks after Umberg left Guantanamo for the last time, Wallace received an e-mail from Robin Umberg
declaring that her husband had agreed to end their relationship.
In the e-mail, Robin Umberg
wrote of her husband that 'this supposedly wonderful man is a compulsive liar
.' She wrote of giving '110% working for his campaign and he establishes (an) affair. He really is a cruel man.
Umberg told the Times that he broke off the relationship before his wife found out about it. E-mails and phone records show the couple continued communicating for two weeks after the discovery."
The article also points out that, while his wife was campaigning with a cardboard cutout of her husband because of his military service, he was more often in Washington than GITMO, as alleged. "...Umberg spent about 16 days of his four-month tour of duty in Guantanamo Bay, the e-mail and phone records show."
In more Everybody Does It
news, the story has renewed allegations that Umberg doesn't live in the Assembly District he represents
. The Umbergs own a five-bedroom house in Villa Park (not in his district), and rent a one-bedroom condo in Santa Ana (in his district). The condo appears vacant and a "... Register reporter visited the Villa Park home Thursday, where a woman who appeared to be Robin Umberg, wearing U.S. Army scrubs, answered the door. She denied the Umbergs live there
or own the property, though property records indicate they are the owners. Cars registered to Robin Umberg were parked in the driveway."
Pity the poor reporter who got that doorbell-ringing assignment. This ain't exactly Watergate, you know.
Dana Parsons writes in the L.A. Times
: "I could pontificate, but on such unsure footing as someone else's affair, I feel more comfortable letting Robin Umberg get the last word: 'I know there's a lot more to this man than that poor choice
,' she told The Times."
And we'll probably be reading a whole lot more about it.