Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

July 11, 2013
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner apologizes amid harassment allegations

San_Diego_Mayor_Bob_Filner.jpgSan Diego Mayor Bob Filner has apologized for sexual harassment allegations lodged against him:

I begin today by apologizing to you. I have diminished the office to which you elected me.

The charges made at today's news conference are serious. When a friend like Donna Frye is compelled to call for my resignation, I'm clearly doing something wrong. I have reached into my heart and soul and realized I must and will change my behavior.

As someone who has spent a lifetime fighting for equality for all people, I am embarrassed to admit that I have failed to fully respect the women who work for me and with me, and that at times I have intimidated them.

It's a good thing that behavior that would have been tolerated in the past is being called out in this generation for what it is: inappropriate and wrong.

I am also humbled to admit that I need help. I have begun to work with professionals to make changes in my behavior and approach. In addition, my staff and I will participate in sexual harassment training provided by the city. Please know that I fully understand that only I am the one that can make these changes.

If my behavior doesn't change, I cannot succeed in leading our city.

In the next few days, I will be reaching out to those who now work in the Mayor's Office or have previously worked for me - both men and women - to personally apologize for my behavior.

I will also be announcing fundamental changes within the Mayor's Office designed to promote a new spirit of cooperation, respect and effectiveness.

You have every right to be disappointed in me. I only ask that you give me an opportunity to prove I am capable of change, so that the vision I have for our city's future can be realized.

Thank you.

PHOTO: This Nov. 7, 2012, file photo shows San Diego Mayor Bob Filner smiling during a news conference at a park in San Diego. Associated Press/Gregory Bull

July 11, 2013
Jerry Brown signs California enterprise zone overhaul

Brown_Enterprise_Zones_Cali.jpgGov. Jerry Brown today signed legislation overhauling an enterprise zone program of hiring tax credits that have provided employers in locally designated areas large tax breaks for years.

The legislation signed in San Diego, including Senate Bill 90 and Assembly Bill 93, would significantly scale back such hiring credits, instead providing a sales tax exemption for manufacturing and biotech research companies and other tax credits negotiated on a case-by-case basis with the administration.

The Democratic governor and labor unions criticized the existing enterprise zone program as wasteful and ineffective. A modified version of Brown's proposal to overhaul the program was approved by the Legislature after Brown negotiated a series of changes, including extending to 10 years from five years a carry-forward provision for hiring credits under the existing enterprise zone program.

"This legislation will help grow our economy and create good manufacturing jobs," Brown said in a prepared statement. "Through our great university system and through the companies we have, California can build on the strength of intellectual capacity. Let's get to work!"

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown, center, visits Takeda, a biotech firm, in San Diego, where he signed Assembly Bill 93 and Senate Bill 90 overhauling the state's enterprise zone program on Thursday, July 11, 2013. U-T San Diego/Carolyne Corelis

July 11, 2013
California Senate confirms Jeffrey Beard as new prisons chief

JeffreyBeard.JPGAfter a partisan debate in which Republicans criticized Gov. Jerry Brown's nominee to run the state's prisons and Democrats praised him as the best man for the job, the California Senate today voted to confirm Jeffrey Beard as secretary of the state's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The move comes as nearly 29,000 prisoners are holding a hunger strike to protest the use of solitary confinement at Pelican Bay State Prison, inmates at two San Joaquin Valley prisons are getting sick with valley fever and recent reports of prison doctors sterilizing female inmates in violation of prison rules.

July 11, 2013
California poised to regain No. 8 ranking in global economy

MAJ_PORT_OF_OAKLAND_051007.JPGCalifornia's economic recovery and economic crisis in Europe should allow the state to regain its No. 8 ranking in the global economy, according to the Center for the Continuing Study of the California Economy.

Steve Levy, the Palo Alto-based organization's director, cited the latest data on California's $2 trillion economy and numbers from the World Bank to conclude that the state should stand alone in the No. 8 position behind the entire United States, China, Japan, Germany, France, United Kingdom (Britain) and Brazil.

July 11, 2013
AM Alert: Jerry Brown heads to San Diego for bill-signing

LS_BUDGET_SIGN_3.JPGGov. Jerry Brown will be wielding his pen this morning in San Diego, where he's ceremoniously signing two measures overhauling California's economic development programs.

Assembly Bill 93, which restructures the state's enterprise zone program, sparked intense lobbying from business interests and local communities. Senate Bill 90 strips strip clubs of hiring tax credits, among other things.

The legislation includes a sales tax exemption on purchases of manufacturing equipment or research and development equipment for biotech and manufacturing companies, so it's no surprise that the 11:30 a.m. ceremony is taking place at Takeda California's headquarters. The firm received FDA approval earlier this year for three new medications to treat type 2 diabetes.

Republican Sen. Anthony Cannella of Ceres, who co-authored SB 90, will be among those joining the governor.

VIDEO: Dan says advocates of transparency in government have won some and lost some in California.

Ohman_Sutter_Brown_070713.JPGSUTTER WATCH: Bee cartoonist Jack Ohman hasn't met Gov. Jerry Brown yet, but he's been able to snag an interview with the governor's furry surrogate. Ohman, who had been drawing first dog Sutter Brown sight unseen since he started at The Bee in January, posed "a critical political question" he says he asks every pooch. We've got the video. Ohman also chronicles the meeting in this column published Sunday in The Bee.

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown signs the state budget during a ceremony at the Capitol on June 27, 2013, in Sacramento. He'll be signing his economic development plan today. The Sacramento Bee/Lezlie Sterling

CARTOON: Jack Ohman draws Sutter Brown before and after their recent meeting.

Editor's note: The time for the bill-signing ceremony has been changed from 10:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

July 11, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: War over open government never ends

Advocates for open records and government transparency have seen recent victories, but CalPERS' decision to delay its release of pension records is a big setback, Dan says.

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

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.


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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