Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

January 4, 2013
Legislators vow to shut legal loophole in Los Angeles rape case

Three California lawmakers vowed separately Friday to eliminate a legal disparity that allowed a man to escape a rape conviction in Los Angeles County this week because the victim was not married.

Assemblymen Jimmy Gomez, Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian and state Sen. Noreen Evans moved quickly in the wake of a state appellate court decision that derailed a rape conviction, at least temporarily.

Attorney Gen. Kamala Harris vowed to work with the Legislature on the issue, saying "the evidence is clear that this case involved a nonconsensual assault that fits within the general understanding of what constitutes rape."

Lawmakers are targeting the issue after a state appeals court overturned the conviction of Julio Morales, who walked into the bedroom of a sleeping woman and began having intercourse after her boyfriend walked out, the Los Angeles Times reported this week.

When the woman realized that Morales was not her boyfriend, she screamed and resisted, the Times said.

Gomez, D-Los Angeles, told The Bee today that he has asked the legislative counsel's office to draft language to eliminate that loophole. He also has begun reaching out to law enforcement and to women's groups for suggestions, aides said.

"Rape is rape, and we need to do something about this," Gomez said.

Achadjian, R-San Luis Obispo, said he will introduce legislation to solve the problem by expanding the definition of rape to include cases where a perpetrator deceives a victim into sexual activity by impersonating the person's boyfriend or girlfriend.

"Californians are justifiably outraged by this court ruling, and it is important that the Legislature join together to close whatever loopholes may exist in the law and uphold justice for rape victims," Achadjian said in a prepared statement.

Evans, D-Santa Rosa, plans to reword the penal code statute to cover cases involving a "sexually intimate partner," which would include domestic partners and gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender lovers.

"Having sex with an unconscious person is rape -- period," Evans said in a written statement Friday.

Gomez said he does not have a specific proposal but has begun the process of devising one.

In overturning Morales' conviction Wednesday, the Los Angeles-based 2nd District Court of Appeal urged the Legislature to alter the 1870s law that prompted their ruling. Morales' case was returned to lower courts for retrial.

Of Morales, the apellate court said:

"Has the man committed rape? Because of historical anomalies in the law and the statutory definition of rape, the answer is no, even though, if the woman had been married and the man had impersonated her husband, the answer would be yes."

Updated at 2 p.m. Friday to include a statement by Attorney Gen. Kamala Harris and to say that state Sen. Noreen Evans plans to introduce legislation.

January 4, 2013
AG report: Parks officials systematically squirreled away money

The office of California Attorney General Kamala Harris has just released the results of its investigation into the Parks and Recreation Department's reporting and use of special funds, which was triggered by the revelation of a secret leave-cashout program.

Here's the executive summary of the AG's findings, which concludes that officials for 15 years systematically squirreled away money in the department's State Parks and Recreation Fund:

Discrepancies in Financial Reports Submitted by the California Department of Parks and Recreation

January 4, 2013
Funeral services scheduled for former Assembly chief clerk R. Brian Kidney

Kidney.jpgFuneral services for former Assembly Chief Clerk R. Brian Kidney are planned Thursday at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Sacramento.

Mr. Kidney, a longtime Sacramentan, died Dec. 22 from injuries sustained in an auto accident. He was 82.

Mr. Kidney served for 28 years as an Assembly employee, including four years as chief clerk and parliamentarian under then-Speaker Willie L. Brown. His resume included stints in the Assembly's engrossing and enrolling department, and as assistant chief clerk.

After his retirement from the Assembly in 1991, Mr. Kidney served as a parliamentary consultant to governments in Hungary, Malawi, Namibia and South Africa. He also worked as a lobbyist for the Gualco Group.

A native of San Mateo, Mr. Kidney earned an undergraduate degree in Russian history from the University of Michigan and a master's degree in government studies from the University of San Francisco.

He is survived by a sister, Brenna Quebbemann, of Newport Beach, and by two nephews and two nieces.

Mr. Kidney's funeral Mass is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Thursday at St. Ignatius, 3235 Arden Way. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations to the Father Leo McAllister Scholarship Fund, care of the Sacramento Regional Community Foundation, 955 University Ave., Suite A., Sacramento, CA 95825.

PHOTO CREDIT: Court of Appeals Justice Ronald Robie, left, chats with retired Chief Clerk Brian Kidney during a April 1, 2008 Assembly floor ceremony. Photo courtesy California State Assembly

January 4, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Board is a resting place for ex-lawmakers

Dan takes on the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

January 4, 2013
AM Alert: Let the 2013 special election campaigns begin

VIDEO: Dan Walters notes that two governors -- Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown -- have tried to eliminate a board stocked with former legislators, but it's still around.

Capitol denizens, the countdown begins. The 2013-2014 Legislature convenes on Monday, but the legislator lineup is far from set in stone.

Assemblyman Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, officially kicks off his bid in the 40th Senate District this morning. Alert readers will recall that Hueso confirmed his candidacy a month ago, back on Dec. 3, which happened to be the same day he was sworn in to his second term in the Assembly.

Hueso is running for the seat that San Diego Democrat Juan Vargas held before being sworn in Thursday to Congress. Vargas has already endorsed Hueso, whose presser starts at 11 a.m. at Mercado del Barrio Plaza in San Diego's Barrio Logan.

Listed attendees include state Sens. Ricardo Lara, Kevin de León and Marty Block; Assemblymen V. Manuel Pérez and Roger Hernandez; plus San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria and a host of other local officials.

MEMORIAL SERVICE: Friends and family gather Saturday to remember former legislator and lobbyist John P. Quimby Sr., who died Dec. 23 at age 77. The service starts at 1 p.m. at Mission Oaks Community Center, 4701 Gibbons Drive, Carmichael.

CAKE AND CANDLES: Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones turns 51 today, and Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton, turns 49. Birthday wishes to both.


Capitol Alert Staff

Jeremy White Jeremy B. White covers California politics and edits Capitol Alert's mobile Insider Edition. Twitter: @capitolalert

Amy Chance Amy Chance is political editor for The Sacramento Bee. Twitter: @Amy_Chance

Dan Smith Dan Smith is Capitol bureau chief for The Sacramento Bee.

Christopher Cadelago Christopher Cadelago covers California politics and health care. Twitter: @ccadelago

Micaela Massimino Micaela Massimino edits Capitol Alert.

Laurel Rosenhall Laurel Rosenhall covers the Legislature, the lobbying community and higher education. Twitter: @LaurelRosenhall

David Siders David Siders covers the Brown administration. Twitter: @davidsiders

Dan Walters Dan Walters is a columnist for The Sacramento Bee. Twitter: @WaltersBee

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