Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

March 20, 2014
UCLA assistant football coach gets massive raise

UCLA_USC_game.JPGThe University of California Board of Regents approved a pay hike Thursday for UCLA's offensive line coach that would more than double his pay over the next two years.

Adrian Klemm currently earns $340,000. In an effort to keep him from leaving for rival USC, the university offered him a two-year contract guaranteeing that he will receive $650,000 in 2014-15 and $750,000 in 2015-16.

Because the 91.2 percent raise in the first year exceeds the 30 percent allowed under UC rules, it required approval from the Board of Regents, who discussed it during closed session and passed it without objection.

The deal would keep Klemm's $250,000 base salary, but boost his talent fee from $90,000 to $400,000 and then to $500,000 over the next two academic years. The contract, which runs through June 2016 and also includes a $63,000 signing bonus, would be funded through athletic department revenue and private fundraising; no state funds would be used.

UCLA's head football coach, Jim Mora, made $1.88 million in 2012.

The raise for Klemm was part of a package of five compensation changes approved by the UC regents, including a 2.7 percent merit increase to $451,010 for A. Paul Alivisatos, laboratory director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and 28 percent raise to $219,000 for Anne L. Shaw, who will step in as interim secretary and chief of staff to the regents.

PHOTO: UCLA ball carrier Eddie Vanderdoes follows a wave of blue into the end zone as he scores a touchdown against USC at the Coliseum in Los Angeles on Nov. 30, 2013. Los Angeles Times/Luis Sinco

March 20, 2014
President Obama to speak at UC Irvine commencement

Oabam_speaking.JPGFollowing a letter-writing campaign by students and alumni, President Barack Obama will deliver the commencement address at UC Irvine this year, the White House announced Thursday.

The commencement ceremony, set for June 14 at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, will kick off the university's 50th anniversary celebration. In June 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson dedicated the land that would become UC Irvine.

"We are thrilled that the President has accepted our invitation to deliver the keynote address at our commencement exercises this June," Chancellor Michael V. Drake said in a statement. "We are proud of the progress we have made during our first half century, and are looking forward to even greater achievements in the years to come."

UC Irvine first extended an invitation to Obama in April 2013. This year, approximately 10,000 students, faculty, staff and alumni sent postcards to the White House requesting the president speak at the university's commencement, which will honor more than 8,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional school students.

This is not the first time a University of California school has gotten a graduation visit from the Obama administration. In 2009, the first graduating class of UC Merced successfully lobbied First Lady Michelle Obama to speak at their commencement.

PHOTO: President Barack Obama delivers a statement on Ukraine on the South Lawn of the White House on March 20, 2014. Abaca Press/Olivier Douliery

March 20, 2014
Kamala Harris says legislative fixes could suppress organized crime in California


Tougher laws and more money would help California law enforcement combat international organized crime, according to a report from the California Attorney General's office.

While it may first evoke an image of intercontinental drug routes, the term "transnational organized crime" can also encompass human trafficking, money laundering and cybercrime. California's size, its sprawling transportation infrastructure and its proximity to Latin America make it an attractive hub for organized crime networks, the report says.

Attorney General Kamala Harris was scheduled to discuss the report this morning in Los Angeles.

"These groups - with roots in places around the globe - have flocked to California to engage in an increasingly diverse range of criminal activities," the report says, adding that transational crime groups are active in every major California city.

Policymakers can better equip law enforcement to crack down on organized crime, the report says, by bolstering laws that could help pursue leaders of crime networks and by restoring law enforcement budgets that diminished during the recession.

March 20, 2014
AM Alert: California Forward lets the sunshine in

RBCapitolBuilding2.JPGIt's National Sunshine Week! While we here in Sacramento have indeed been blessed with great weather, this is actually an event promoting public access to government information. In observance, California Forward is hosting a summit on using government data to improve decision-making and solve policy challenges from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the UC Center Sacramento on K Street.

Among those participating are Kish Rajan, director of the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development; Erin Peth, executive director of the Fair Political Practices Commission; former Assemblyman Rick Keene; budget and campaign contribution data websites OpenGov and MapLight; and The Sacramento Bee's own deputy editorial page editor, Mariel Garza.

VIDEO: California is a leader in technological advances, Dan Walters says. So why does state government have such a bad record with updating its computer systems?

COMMITTEE CORPS: It's a budget kind of day for the state Senate. All five budget subcommittees are meeting at the Capitol starting at 9:30 a.m.: Education in Room 3191; Resources, Environmental Protection, Energy and Transportation in Room 112; Health and Human Services in Room 4203; State Administration and General Government in Room 2040; and Corrections, Public Safety and the Judiciary in Room 113.

BORDER BATTLES: Ahead of a visit to Mexico next week, the office of California Attorney General Kamala Harris will release a report Thursday examining the impact of transnational crime on California. Harris is scheduled to lead a delegation of state attorney generals to Mexico City from March 24-26 to increase collaboration between the U.S. and Mexico on issues including international money laundering and human, drug and firearms trafficking.

DRIVERLESS DEBATE: Self-driving cars may not be available for another decade, but California is getting a head start, allowing developers to test the vehicles on the road and working with the public on regulations. What are the advantages and risks of this new technology for traffic, safety and the environment? Nidhi Kalra, an information scientist at the RAND Corporation, hosts a policy briefing at noon in Room 125 of the Capitol.

NEW JOB: The Internet Association is expanding beyond Washington, D.C., opening a new office in Sacramento this week. The trade association has hired former TechAmerica lobbyist Robert Callahan to head its California operation.

March 20, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: High-tech California flubs computer upgrades

computer_system.JPGCalifornia leads the way in technological advances, Dan says. So why does state government have such a poor track record with updating its computer systems?

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

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: The Los Angeles Regional Transportation Management Center Oct. 18, 2013. The Associated Press/Reed Saxon


Capitol Alert Staff

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. Twitter: @DanielSnowSmith

Jim Miller Jim Miller covers California policy and politics and edits Capitol Alert. Twitter: @jimmiller2

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

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

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

Jeremy White Jeremy B. White covers the Legislature. Twitter: @capitolalert

Koseff Alexei Koseff edits Capitol Alert's mobile Insider Edition. Twitter: @akoseff

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

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