Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

July 18, 2013
Report: Online ed project backed by Jerry Brown on pause

udacity.jpgSix months after Gov. Jerry Brown touted a deal between San Jose State University and an online education startup, Inside Higher Ed reports that the arrangement is on pause.

Under the deal, Udacity was to provide entry-level courses for credit online. According to the website:

San Jose State Provost Ellen Junn said disappointing student performance will prompt the university to stop offering online classes with Udacity this fall as part of a "short breather."

Junn wants to spend the fall going over the results and talking with faculty members about the university's online experimentation, which extends beyond the Udacity partnership and has proved somewhat controversial. She said the plan is to start working with Udacity again in spring 2014.

"I think the commitment is to look at the data carefully and make adjustments," Junn said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

Read the full story here.

PHOTO: San Jose State University President Mohammad Qayoumi, right, laughs as Gov. Jerry Brown speaks during a news conference in San Jose on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013. San Jose Mercury News/Gary Reyes

July 18, 2013
GOP crosses the (state) line with letter slamming Bera's votes

bera.jpgAccording to the National Republican Congressional Committee, Rep. Ami Bera will be held accountable next year for putting the interests of big business ahead of voters.

In Illinois.

But Bera's constituents in Sacramento shouldn't worry: California may have redrawn its congressional districts, but they remain within the state.

On Thursday, the GOP's House of Representatives campaign arm sent out separate, but largely identical attacks blasting 13 House Democrats it considers vulnerable in next year's elections. including Bera, for voting Wednesday to delay President Barack Obama's health-care law for employers, but not for everyone else.

The NRCC's blast, a type of cookie-cutter communication regularly employed by both parties, are headlined "(Member of Congress) doesn't think you're good enough," and explains that "(Member of Congress) supports giving big business delay from Obamacare, but not (State) families.

"He should be ashamed of himself," it continues. "In 2014, Illinois voters will know that Ami Bera would rather help big business than help them."


Another release said Rep. Suzan DelBene of Washington state should be ashamed of how she's representing Illinois voters in Congress.

Andrea Bozek, a spokeswoman for the NRCC, attributed the mistake to a typo.

PHOTO: Democratic congressional candidate Ami Bera talks to campaign supporters during a press conference on women's health issues on Tuesday, October 30, 2012. The Sacramento Bee/Lezlie Sterling

July 18, 2013
UC regents confirm Janet Napolitano as next president

napolitano.jpgUniversity of California regents today confirmed the nomination of President Barack Obama's Secretary of Homeland Security as the next president of the 10-campus UC system.

Janet Napolitano will take the reins of UC in late September, earning annual salary of $570,000 in addition to an annual car allowance of $8,916 and a one-time moving allowance of $142,500.

Her salary is $21,000 less than that of outgoing UC President Mark Yudof. Regent Bonnie Reiss said that UC offered to match Yudof's salary but that Napolitano wanted to make a statement by taking a lesser amount. As Secretary of Homeland Security she earns just under $200,000 a year.

July 18, 2013
Napolitano's salary as UC President: $570,000

ucarrest.jpgUC Regents approved a $570,000 salary for Janet Napolitano but had not yet voted on her nomination as the next university president when protestors disrupted the meeting in San Francisco, temporarily putting the meeting on hold.

Students and immigration activists testified against Napolitano, saying her role as Secretary of Homeland Security makes her a bad fit for UC, which serves a diverse student body that includes immigrants who came to the country legally and illegally.

One protestor jumped over a barrier separating the spectator area from the regents. Several of them chanted, "Undocumented is not a crime," and did not disperse after police warned them to. It appeared that police arrested at least four people.

PHOTO: UC police begin to arrest protestors at today's regents meeting. The Sacramento Bee/Laurel Rosenhall

July 18, 2013
Does California, like Florida, have 'stand your ground' law?

USNEWSTEENSLAIN14OS.jpgThe Bee has gotten a deluge of responses to a report on members of the California Legislative Black Caucus planning to call for a boycott of Florida until the state repeals its much-dissected "stand your ground" self-defense law.

Some readers noted that neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman did not invoke "stand your ground" as he was being tried for shooting down Trayvon Martin. Several argued that California case law establishes something tantamount to "stand your ground" and that Assemblyman Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, who is spearheading the boycott effort, would do better to focus on his home state.

So are they right?

July 18, 2013
Immigration activists oppose Napolitano for UC

regentsprotest.jpgStudents, workers and immigration activists staged a low-key protest outside the UC Regents meeting today in San Francisco as the governing board prepared to vote on Janet Napolitano's nomination as the next president of the 10-campus UC system.

Roughly two dozen protestors waved signs on a sunny plaza on the UCSF Mission Bay campus, chanting "education not deportation" and "undocumented, unafraid."

They criticized Napolitano's track record on immigration issues and said she would be inappropriate as leader of the diverse university that serves many immigrant students. As U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Napolitano oversaw a record number of deportations of undocumented immigrants.

PHOTO: Students from Lowell High School in San Francisco joined a protest today outside the UC Regents meeting to voice opposition to Janet Napolitano being named the next UC president. The SacramentoBee/Laurel Rosenhall

July 18, 2013
California redistributes $4 billion in redevelopment funds

HA_SCHOOL_BUS2565.JPGThe erasure of California's local redevelopment agencies and the redistribution of their revenues and assets resulted in nearly $4 billion in payments, according to a new report from the state Department of Finance.

K-12 schools and community colleges received about $1.5 billion from the redistribution. That indirectly lowered their payments from the state's general fund -- the main rationale for dissolving the local redevelopment agencies.

Most of the redevelopment agencies had been operated by cities, which also received redistributed funds, as did school districts, counties and special districts. Cities got $605 million, the report said, and counties $862 million.

The report lists payments to each local government and school district, along with county totals. Agencies in Los Angeles County, which contains about a quarter of the state's population, received $1.1 billion in redistributed funds.

PHOTO: Students get off a school bus at Pleasant Grove High School in Elk Grove on Friday, Feb. 20, 2009. The Sacramento Bee/ Hector Amezcua

July 18, 2013
AM Alert: Janet Napolitano faces UC confirmation vote

NapolitanoResigns.jpgToday we turn to San Francisco, where the University of California's Board of Regents is voting on whether Janet Napolitano, until earlier this month head of the Department of Homeland Security, should be the next president of the UC system.

The position opened up when the current president, Mark Yudof, announced his intention to relinquish the title he's held for half a decade.

Napolitano is expected to garner the necessary votes, but her selection is not without controversy. Some complain that she hasn't done enough to earn the title by ascending through the ranks of academia, while immigration advocates point to her presiding over a record number of deportations. (Homeland Security oversees immigration law enforcement.)

There's also the question of her salary. Yudof has made more than $600,000 annually in past years, records show. While Napolitano's potential compensation hasn't been made public, acting Gov. Gavin Newsom told The Bee on Wednesday that it seemed reasonable.

VIDEO: Dan Walters weighs in on Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, reneging on a pledge to refuse his state legislative pension.

July 18, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Tom McClintock 'something of a hypocrite'

In the 1980s, former Assemblyman and state Sen. Tom McClintock promised that he would not take the pension he earned as a California legislator, but that promise was broken after he went to Congress, 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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