Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

August 9, 2013
Jerry Brown says he'll seek cooling-off period in BART dispute

LS BUDGET SIGN 3.JPGGov. Jerry Brown announced Friday that he will ask for a court-ordered cooling off period if BART and transit worker unions do not resolve their contract dispute by Sunday.

If BART and its unions can't come to an agreement over the next two days, Brown said he will ask the San Francisco Superior Court to enforce a 60-day cooling-off period. BART workers would not be able to strike within those 60 days.

"I urge all parties to think of the public and resolve this matter without delay, but if there's no resolution by Sunday, I will seek a 60 day cooling-off period," Brown said in a statement.

Brown first stepped in last Sunday, when he appointed a three-person board of investigation to study the labor dispute. The board released a report Friday saying "a strike will cause significant harm to the public's health, safety and welfare."

The report cited a spike in traffic, higher risk of traffic accidents, and slower emergency response times as the potential negative consequences of a strike.

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown signs the state budget during a ceremony at the Capitol on June 27, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Lezlie Sterling.

August 9, 2013
Boxer asks San Diego Mayor Filner to step down 'immediately'

APTOPIX_San_Diego_Mayor_Bob_Filner.jpgSen. Barbara Boxer asked embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner to step down "immediately" Friday, after at least 12 women came forward in recent weeks to accuse him of sexual harassment, including two veterans.

Boxer had already joined a growing chorus of California officeholders to publicly call for Filner to quit, but in Friday's letter, she asked him directly.

"Bob, you must resign because you have betrayed the trust of the women you have victimized, the San Diegans you represent and the people you have worked with throughout your decades in public life," Boxer wrote.

Filner, a 70-year-old Democrat, represented the San Diego area in Congress for 20 years before he was elected mayor in November.

Filner had served as chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives and had even introduced legislation to protect women in the military from sexual harassment. But this week, two female veterans accused him of the very behavior he'd spoken out against.

A series of shocking sexual assault and harassment cases in the armed forces recently moved Boxer and several of her colleagues to introduce legislation to make it easier for victims to come forward and for their attackers to be prosecuted.

Last month, Filner apologized for his behavior, saying he'd "diminished" his office and said he'd seek therapy.

"You have every right to be disappointed in me," he said in a statement. "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."

But Boxer said that wasn't good enough.

August 9, 2013
AM Alert: Covered California backers gather in San Francisco


California is now less than two months away from the open enrollment date for the federally mandated health insurance exchange taking shape. Lawmakers and community leaders are gathering in San Francisco this morning for an update.

Participants in the Covered California forum include Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, state Sens. Leland Yee and Mark Leno, Assemblymen Phil Ting and Tom Ammiano, and Covered California executive director Peter V. Lee. The event starting at 10 a.m. at the University of California, San Francisco's Mission Bay conference center.

VIDEO: Secretary of State Debra Bowen's campaign promise to modernize voting systems hasn't borne fruit, Dan Walters says.

VALLEY WATER: With access to water of keen interest to the Central Valley, Assemblyman Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield, presides over a hearing today of the Select Committee On Regional Approaches To Addressing The State's Water Crisis. Joining him are Brent Walthall of the Kern County Water Agency, Jason Peltier of Westlands Water District, Dave Orth of the Kings River Conservation District, and Roger Patterson of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. From 9:30 a.m. at the Board of Supervisors chambers in Hanford.

NEWEST SENATOR: Speaking of Central Valley politics, the victor of the hard-fought race for control of the Seat Formerly Belonging to Michael Rubio gets formally elevated to office this weekend. Republican Andy Vidak will be sworn in as the new senator representing the 16th District during a 10 a.m. ceremony Saturday at the Hanford Civic Center, with Assembly Minority Leader Connie Conway, R-Tulare, presiding.

AEROSPACE APPEAL:The diminished stature of Southern California's aerospace industry is well documented, and Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, D-Torrance, is the latest hoping to jolt the dormant sector. He's hosting a Select Committee on Aerospace hearing focusing on aerospace manufacturing in California, joined by Kish Rajan from the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development, Jack Stewart from the California Manufacturers & Technology Association, and representatives from Northrop Grumman, Boeing and SpaceX, the firm working to spearhead commercial spaceflight. Starting at 10:30 a.m. in Redondo Beach.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Assemblyman Brian Jones, R-Santee, who turns 45 today.

PHOTO: Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi checks her watch to begin a press conference at the California Democratic Convention at the Sacramento Convention Center in Sacramento on Saturday, April 13, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton.

August 9, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Shoddy voting procedures not to be tolerated

A new state auditor's report is the latest blot on Secretary of State Debra Bowen's tenure in office, 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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