The Laura Richardson saga continues, as papers around the country pick up on the story of the
Congresswoman who'se house went into default.
Capitol Weekly broke the story earlier this week, and
follows up after the Congresswoman's statement about the property.
"A Long Beach congresswoman who fell behind lin her payments on a
$535,000 mortgage in Sacramento said in a written statement that she
owns the home, but financial documents show
the house was sold at public auction and has been in
the possession of the buyer for weeks.
"The auction for Rep. Laura Richardson's house, in Sacramento's Curtis
Park neighborhood, took place on May 7. The transaction was detailed in
public records filed
with the county.
"In a carefully written statement released Wednesday
evening, she challenged Capitol Weekly's story about "the residential
property that I own in Sacramento," and said that it had not been
subjected to foreclosure.
She also said that she renegotiated a loan in connection
with the transaction, but did not provide details.
"'I have worked with my lender to complete a loan modification
and have renegotiated the terms of the agreement -- with no special provisions. I fully intend to fulfill
all financial obligations of this property,' she said.
"But financial records on file with the county show
that Richardson does not own the home. The house was
sold on May 7 at a public foreclosure auction for $388,001.
Documents associated with the transaction can be viewed
"That auction originally had been scheduled for April
7, but was delayed a month, said James York, a Sacramento
real estate broker who purchased the house from the
trustee, the California Reconveyance Company. That
transaction was officially recorded on May 9, and the deed transfer and sale were recorded on May
"It was a foreclosure auction. I took possession of
the house as of May 7," said York, who has conducted numerous similar purchases,
according to county records."
Meanwhile, "[b]y bare majorities, Californians reject the state Supreme Court's decision to allow same-sex marriages and back a proposed constitutional amendment
aimed at the November ballot that would outlaw such
unions, a Los Angeles Times/KTLA Poll has found," reports Cathleen Decker in the Times.
Do you approve or disapprove of the California Supreme
Court's decision last week to allow same sex marriage in
Strongly approve: 29%
Somewhat approve: 12%
Somewhat disapprove: 10%
Strongly disapprove: 42%
On the constitutional amendment...
Don't Know: 10%
"But the survey also suggested that the state is moving
closer to accepting nontraditional marriages, which
could create openings for supporters of same-sex marriage as the campaign unfolds.
"More than half of Californians said gay relationships
were not morally wrong, that they would not degrade
heterosexual marriages and that all that mattered was
that a relationship be loving and committed, regardless
"Overall, the proportion of Californians who back either
gay marriage or civil unions for same-sex couples has remained fairly constant over the years.
But the generational schism is pronounced. Those under
45 were less likely to favor a constitutional amendment
than their elders and were more supportive of the court's decision to overturn the state's current ban on gay marriage. They also disagreed
more strongly than their elders with the notion that
gay relationships threatened traditional marriage."
"Groups that fought San Francisco's lawsuit seeking marriage for same-sex couples have asked the California Supreme Court to delay its
decision to allow the marriages," writes Wyatt Buchanan in the Chron.
"The organizations, including the Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund and the Alliance Defense Fund,
filed a request with the court Thursday afternoon seeking
the delay until after the November election. That's when the state's voters will likely decide a proposed constitutional
amendment to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples.
"'Permitting this decision to take effect immediately
- in the light of the realistic possibility that the
people of California might amend their constitution
to reaffirm marriage as the union of one man and one
woman - risks legal havoc and uncertainty of immeasurable
magnitude,' the filing states.
"A spokesman for San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said they would fight any delay in issuing the marriage
certificates to gay couples. Lawyers for the city are
expected to file a legal response next week."
"A bipartisan measure that authorizes a large group of California
Indian tribes to operate up to 2,000 slot machines each sailed out of the state Senate
yesterday despite late opposition from San Diego County," reports the U-T's James Sweeney.
"The legislation would redefine terms of 61 compacts negotiated in 1999 to grant each of the tribes up to 2,000 slot machines. That includes local tribes such as
Rincon, San Pasqual and Jamul, which are itching to
expand or build new casinos.
"'It's a truth-in-advertising measure,' said Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth, a Temecula Republican whose district includes the
Rincon and San Pasqual reservations. 'The tribes were promised 2,000 machines in their compacts.'
"Most of the Senate agreed, voting 25-5 to approve the bill by Sen. Jim Battin, R-Palm Desert.
"San Diego County, which has more tribes – 18 – than any other county in the nation, warned that the
legislation would authorize gambling expansion under
agreements that provided little leverage to force tribes
to accept responsibility for off-reservation impacts of their casinos.
"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has not taken a position
but is expected to veto the legislation. The Republican
governor has required tribes to pay more to the state
and accept stronger environmental, employee and patron
protections in compacts he has negotiated."
Dan Walters observes the annual legislative ballet, and boy, we're ready for intermission.
"The annual game ramped up again this month with the
California Chamber of Commerce's release of its latest "job killer" list of 33 bills, citing the state's languishing economy.
Hey, every ballet needs a good killer, right? Or in
this case, 33 of them.
"The specific bills run true to historic form – imposing new regulations on environmental or consumer
protection grounds, rolling back the 2004 workers' compensation overhaul, imposing new taxes or fees,
adopting union-friendly working conditions, or increasing exposure
"The "job killer" ritual exemplifies the wheel-spinning that dominates the Capitol and explains why
the state has serious policy issues that go begging
year after year, ranging from water to education to
traffic congestion to, of course, a perpetually unbalanced
budget. It also explains why the Legislature is held
in such disrepute by the public and why the initiative
measure has become the primary policy tool.
"To those in the building, it's just a game – please your political constituents, both voters and
financial backers, by introducing their pet bills,
even if you know that they have little or no chance
of enactment, and then complain loudly when the bills
stall and vow to try again next year. While Democrats
introduce their array of liberal bills, Republicans
go through the same ritual with right-wing nostrums that have even less chance of making
it through the process.
"It's what substitutes for policy-making in a term-limited, gerrymandered – and largely irrelevant – Legislature."
"The Sacramento mayor's race remains wide open less than two weeks before
the election, thanks to a large number of undecided voters, according
to a new poll commissioned by The Bee and KXJZ News," reports Mary Lynne Vellinga in the Bee.
"Two-term Mayor Heather Fargo led challenger Kevin Johnson by seven percentage points among voters surveyed over
a five-day period that ended Monday. Thirty-seven percent said they supported Fargo, while 30 percent backed Johnson, a former NBA star turned developer
and educator, the poll found.
"But 29 percent of those polled said they still hadn't decided whom to support. If neither Fargo nor Johnson
wins more than 50 percent of the vote in the June 3 primary, the pair will head to a November runoff.
"'Right now it looks like it's going to be a cliffhanger,' said Cheryl Katz, vice president of Baldassare Associates, the firm
that conducted the poll.
"The other four candidates in the race have attracted
less than 5 percent of the vote among them, the poll found. Bounty
hunter Leonard Padilla ranked highest among this group, snagging support
from 2 percent of those polled."
From our Sex, Lies and Videotape Files, "former Sheriff Mike Carona had a camera recording
events in his office, which was linked to a computer located in a
secret compartment in a closet," the OC Register's Peggy Lowe reports.
"In yet another revelation in a case that never ceases
the hard drive of that computer was recently found
in Carona’s old
office, acting Sheriff Jack Anderson informed the
Board of Supervisors this morning in a confidental
email. Anderson said
he has shared the revelation with federal prosecutors who have charged
Carona with public corruption.
"Anderson, who never moved in to Carona’s office, told supervisors
that he hasn’t viewed the contents of the hard drive, as it’s password
protected, all my sources told me.
"'It’s like something out of ‘Get Smart’,' said one of my sources, referring to the old TV series."
The Chronicle's Carolyn Jones reports, Vallejo officials, who are
expected to file for bankruptcy today, have been quietly discussing a
bailout plan with Calvin Grigsby , the politically connected San
Francisco financier who was linked a decade ago to
scandals in Alameda County and Florida."
Not to mention Don Perata. Oh, oops. We just did.
"The City Council met in closed session this week to
financial plan that Grigsby proposed, his partner said
that any bailout deal likely would be contingent on
further cuts to
salaries and benefits paid to the city's police officers and
firefighters, whose compensation makes up three-quarters of the city's
"'We're talking to Vallejo about an alternative means to
getting out of bankruptcy,' said Grigsby's business partner, Robert
Ceresa. "It's in discussion. But from what I understand they need
concessions from the labor unions. We're talking about a refinancing
plan, and that's all I can say right now."
Speaking of refinancing, here are the top cash hogs
reported on ElectionTrack yesterday:
Yes Prop. 98: $548,920
Russ Bogh Leadership Committee: $103,400
Dean Florez For Lieutenant Governor: $72,000
San Diego County Republican Central Committee: $55,000
Bob Blumenfield For Assembly: $31,100
Isadore Hall For Assembly: $27,500
Friends of Wilmer Amina Carter 2008: $24,000
Greg Aghazarian For Senate: $22,600
Merv Dymally For State Senate: $22,100
Fran Florez For Assembly: $16,400
Karen Bass For Assembly 2008: $15,800
"After a day of chasing
wind-whipped flames up and down ravines dried out by a rainless
firefighters in the Santa Cruz Mountains are counting
on a break today," the Chronicle reports.
"The gales that pushed the Summit Fire across more than
of woods and brush Thursday between Santa Cruz and
Gilroy are forecast
to die back to a gentle breeze, giving hope that the
on the lines can keep the blaze from consuming any
"It's the best we could hope for, dying winds and dropping
temperatures," George Hoyt, a spokesman with the state Department of
Forestry and Fire Protection, said Thursday night.
"At least 12 houses burned Thursday and hundreds of residents were
evacuated after the fire broke out at 5:15 a.m. at Maymens Flat, off
Summit Road in Santa Clara County. The area where the
fire started is
southeast of Highway 17 and northwest of Highway 152 near the Santa
Cruz County border. The cause of the blaze remained
And finally, from our Leaded or Unleaded Files: "A Missouri car dealer
said on Thursday sales have soared at his auto and
business since launching a promotion this week that
buyers a free handgun or a $250 (126 pound) gas card with every
"Max Motors, a small Butler, Missouri dealership that
its logo a grimacing cowboy wielding a pistol, has
than 30 cars and trucks in the last three days, far more than
its normal volume. And owner Mark Muller credits his
to start offering buyers their choice of a $250 gas card or a
$250 credit at a gun shop.
"'This thing has taken off. Sales have quadrupled,' said
Muller. The store sells both used and new vehicles
including General Motors and Ford products.
"Every buyer so far "except one guy from Canada and one old
guy" has elected to take the gun, Muller said. Muller
recommends his customers select a Kel-Tec .380 pistol."